SMD on Facebook

From Tom Fedor

Join the SMD on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2575338559196447. Members like Steve Johnson of Frederick, MD [Johnson’s modeling is our fall newsletter cover art -ed.] and Jay Beckham of Berkeley, WV, (via posts from Wilbur Snyder) regularly share their amazing modeling with us. You can share too. Join the SMD Facebook community to share your modeling, ask questions, contribute rail-related news and announcements, post calls for operating sessions, and list your for-sale items (personal ads only, no business use). While the site is unmoderated, it is monitored, and membership to the group must be approved by Division administrators.

Loads In, Empties Out

From Rich Randall

I have a double-sided backdrop on my layout where there will eventually be a “Loads In – Empties Out” function. The St. Maries side has a plywood mill, currently in place, which will receive empty bulkhead flatcars and produce loaded cars. The door will be a rollup type.

On the other side of the backdrop, Marengo, there will be a plant of some kind that receives loaded bulkhead flatcars and produces empty cars. I was looking for a quick way to put a building in place on the Marengo side. I was constrained by existing trackage.

Rummaging through my stuff, I came across a Broadway Limited Cannery kit. I had three of these at one time since they are very flexible. The kit has material to build a factory with corrugated sides and roof, using plenty of heavy styrene sheets, factory windows, and aluminum corrugated siding strips.

So I devised a way to place the building on an angle so that a single car could be placed inside.

 

It took quite a bit of trial and error to create a design that would clear the cars adequately. I used miscellaneous plastic pieces to strengthen the styrene joints.

The conventional swing doors are made of wood and will be operated by some kind of screw mechanism attached to the tops of each door. This will be a subject of a future exercise.

I weathered the structure, but maybe too much.

What’s on Your Workbench?

From Ron Polimeni

As I’ve mentioned here in the past, not having a model railroad of my own doesn’t preclude participating and having fun with model railroading. Thanx to the friends I’ve made through my participation in the NMRA and SMD in particular, I’m having more fun with model railroading than ever before.

Of the many facets of this hobby that I enjoy, one is the resurrecting of old models. “Flea Market Finds” if you will. This old 1880’s Mantua combine could have been had for perhaps 50 cents, if it wasn’t in the freebie box. It had a missing truck and the truss rods, made of steel wire for some reason, were badly rusted. The model probably dates to the 1950s and was intended to accompany Mantua’s “General ” 4-4-0 locomotive kit. I recall purchasing one of those kits at Polk’s Hobbies in Manhattan in the early ’70s for $15. Does anyone remember Polk’s? They later produced their own line of hobby goods under the Aristo-Craft name (if memory serves). The store itself offered five floors of hobby goods. Each floor was devoted to a particular specialty (plastic models, model railroading, R/C, etc).

Prototype railroads often repurposed old rolling stock so I decided to do the same with this old combine. As it is now, the car is ready for detailing. The rusty truss rods have been removed, the cupola is in place, the windows beneath plugged and the grab irons are slowly being installed.   Much tedious drilling ahead.


Also on my bench are this pair of International KB-6 box trucks. Nothing says the 1950s like vintage trucks and these old Internationals are classics. I have no idea who manufactured these models save that they were made in China. No idea where I purchased them either.   They’re nice period trucks except for the paint/graphics. I decided to strip one and see what I could do to make it more period correct. The paint appeared to be fairly thick and hard.  I removed the tires and plastic wheels before using ‘Strypeeze‘ on the metal body.

Unbeknownst to me, the headlights and the roof of the cargo box are also plastic. While the box roof may be salvageable, the headlights simply dissolved.

I was able to recreate the headlights using a 1/8″ styrene rod. Filing a cone shape on the end of the rod and cutting it off created the headlight buckets.

The stands were fashioned from styrene scraps. I’d hoped to have the truck painted for this issue of the WR but that will have to wait till I can arrange a visit to Mainline Hobby for suitable colors.

Who Built this Locomotive?

From Jack Fritz

If you’ve been keeping old copies of the Railroad Model Craftsman (RMC), you’ll find a better photo of this locomotive in the May 1978 issue. It’s a super-detailed Model Die Casting Company (MDC)[recently part of Athearn’s Ready To Roll® HO lineup -ed] “Old Time 2-8-0” simulating Ma & Pa’s No. 25. The piece in the RMC was written by Stanley A. Harris and in the article, he mentions living near Ma & Pa (Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad) trackage in Baltimore, so he may still be with us.

I obtained this gem from the sale of Bob Thatcher’s collection after he passed away a couple of years ago. As it turns out I have several models, some partially built, and a couple completed models of this MDC product. It’s truly a great product for those who are interested in early 20th-century small railroad steam.           The model is DC with an open frame motor and runs as expected, not that well. I’m thinking about how to re-motor and re-gear this to include sound and DCC. I hesitate to tinker with it because it’s such a good looker and therefore is sitting in a wall display case along with some early brass. Since my layout remains DC it’s become an intellectual exercise for now.

Master Builder – Scenery

From Jane Clarke

South Mountain Division Achievement Coordinator Jane Clarke reports that John Pursell of Chambersburg, PA received his Master Builder – Scenery certificate this past year. To earn this John demonstrated “the prototypical rendering of scenic effects from the ground up” on his layout. John has been a frequent contributor to the newsletter. His efforts at home and at the Cumberland Valley Model Railroad Club have graced the covers of Wheel Report editions last winter and spring. Pursell’s HO scale 12 x 28” layout is around-the-walls construction, using L-girder and plywood, set at a height of 53”, and operated with MRC DCC. The backdrop is painted hardboard and the scenery is on foam with a glue shell. Based in the 1950s, the layout depicts the bridge crossings over the Delaware River between Easton, PA, and Phillipsburg, NJ.