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My Foray into HOn30

September 25, 2011

I began building an HOn30 layout last week to serve one of the large industries on my layout. Deciding on a way to jump into this scale wasn’t hard at all, the re-release of the Minitrains from the ’60s by Big City Hobbies seemed like just the right approach. At first I was skeptical before reading that the entire drive mechanism has been redesigned for smoother operation. Both the Plymouth Diesel set and the H.K. Porter Set looked tantalizing, but I went with the porter for the sole reason that it’d be amusing to have such a diminutive steam locomotive.

I found this great video showing it running!

Perhaps one of the Best Overall TV Overviews of Railroads

September 24, 2011

I’d have to say, back before reality TV eroded TLC (The Learning Channel) into little more than a freakshow, shows like Extreme Machines ruled the airwaves. I have to admit, having seen dozens of Television shows take their stab at portraying railroads in an overall view, Extreme Machines is the one show that got it right. The Cinematography is excellent, the music superb, and the narrator’s commanding voice providing a truthful tone to the facts being presented makes it stand out above the rest.

The Episode itself is nicely balanced between the old and the new. The show steam locomotives in a reverent light without being hyperbolically nostalgic or tossing them in the dustbin of history as obsolete beasts. They approach the modern subjects with an honest optimism that rails are still the most efficient of the land-based forms of transportation.

The Quality of the YT video isn’t HD, but I think you’ll get the picture.

Art Deco Vitrolite Storefront: Monaco Lounge

September 17, 2011

Built for a client, the Monaco Lounge is everybody’s favorite gin joint in town. Make sure to order some top-shelf cocktails when you’re there.

Art Deco Strorefront Monaco Lounge HO scale

The building was built from the front wall of DPM’s “Pam’s Pet Shop” the side wall being from another DPM kit for more depth. The storefront was scratchbuilt from various Plastruct styrene thicknesses and finished off in a period “Moss Green” vitrolite with a smoky gray trim. Add some nice stainless steel trim pieces and it’s straight out of any downtown in the 1930’s.

Wisconsin Central Remote Control Caboose.

August 2, 2011

WC #13 Caboose

While railfanning in Escanaba, MI this summer, I visited the Ore Docks. With permission, we took a few photos around the yard and saw this unique looking caboose. Obviously ex-WC heritage, this caboose had been modernized for pushing long cuts of taconite ore cars to the docks for loading and unloading. It’s fully equipped with locomotive twin-sealed beam headlights on either end, two single note horns, a bell and other details that would make this one great project for a modeler. I wonder who, if anybody makes this design of caboose in scale? Who built the original caboose? The closest model I can find would be Rapido’s new Angus car shops model, but that’s a Canadian prototype.

Wisconsin Central Remote Controlled Caboose #13

More Scenes from the Street Running Module

June 5, 2011

Sometimes a teaser is more for the builder than the audience. Last week’s photo of the module with pancake-flat streets left me unconvinced. So I went in and gave the street some subtle texture and character, of course between this lies about 5-6 hours of work shaping and sanding the road to the right look and subtle crown. The gutters are cobblestone, as seen in more than one prototype city, and add some character, especially after I’ll be painting and weathering them.

Another Artist Uses HO scale parts!

May 31, 2011

This time it’s a bunch of Walther’s Kits and some central valley steps and ladders starring in Jud Turner’s “Oblivion Factory”
Oblivion Factory

See more of his work here:

Free-Mo Preview of the Street Running Module

May 28, 2011

Inland Terminal Railway’s VO1000 trundles up the middle of Union Ave. More photos to come as the street scene takes shape.