Sunday, March 28, 2010

Narrow Gauge - Part 10

I spent part of this weekend attending the Valley Forge Prototype Modelers Meet.    There were some outstanding presentations there, with my only complaint being that with four at a time, I missed a few I would have liked to have gone to.   As happens frequently at these things, I was able to meet a few new folks that I have exchanged emails with in person.  
I hadn't intended on spending anything in the vendor rooms, but of course I did.   The folks from Funaro & Camerlengo were there - they always have show specials and sales.  I was looking for a second Narrow Gauge Plymouth body to match the one I already had - snagged that for $8.   I also bought two car kits - an Erie Hopper and a NYC covered hopper.   Sold in bags instead of the usual boxes they are two for $25 - about $13 a car.  Of course I still need to buy the trucks and couplers, but not bad for something that is unique and unavailable in plastic.  I do need to confess that I have actually never built a resin car kit yet - I have the J&L Coal Tar Tank Car and then these two kits.  I might change my tune about these cars after building them. 
With the second Plymouth body on hand I was able to execute my plans for building a narrow gauge loco for the steel mill using a N-scale 44-tonner mechanism from Bachmann.  This is an outstanding mechanism, that Jimmy won as a door prize at last fall's Steel Mill Modeler's Meet (Thanks to Bachmann and John Glaab).  It is DCC ready so we technically have the potential of using DCC for operations on the narrow gauge portions of track too, although, we will probably just go with traditional blocks and DC for this as the other two locomotives might be harder to convert.     
This I guess is technically a kitbash.  The hoods are pretty straightforward - they need to be cut just behind the second door panel so they are shorter.  The cab needs to be separated from the hood - also easy.  Now for the hard part - the rear wall of the cab needs to be cut out and replaced with a second front wall from the other kit.  This way the window arrangement is the same front or back.   Once this is done, I cut a .040 styrene platform and glued the two hoods and cab to it.   I then built up the edge with some styrene.  Next I need to work on the coupler arrangement and add the details. 

Update on the gate valves - I have been having some difficulty getting good castings from the 1/2" gate valve mold.  I had four useable failures.  I want this to work pretty flawless so I modified the mold tonight and I am trying again.  If I still have trouble then I will try either pressure or a vacuum, and if still no good, a new mold.  

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