Sunday, December 24, 2023

 A few days ago, I finished installing all of the turnout throw rods and wiring the rails and turnouts to the wire bus under the layout. Here is a short video of one of the test runs.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

 Not all od the track is wired as yet as I am still waiting for the 22 awg male spade connectors to arrive (I ran out). However, trains are up and running on the Delaware Central Rail Road.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

P&WV Coal Jimmies

Yesterday I finished up 7 coal jimmies for the layout. They are lettered for the Pittsburgh & West Virginia RR. They are 3D printed kits I purchased from the Train Shop on eBay. I had bought a pair several years ago and decided to order 2 more 2-packs. Because of some order issues, the proprietor was good enough to send me some extra parts. I almost had enough to finish a 7th car. I had to bend my own grab bars for this car from Tichy 0.020 phosphor bronze wire as the spare parts car body did not include these. All of the other 6 cars came with these as an integral part of the 3D printed car body. I also had to go through my parts box to scrounge up 2 coupler pocket lids for this 7th car. They are from MDC/Roundhouse. When decaling, I discovered there was a change in the n/b/w on the cars which necessitated slightly altering decal placement. The wheels are Reboxx 0.99 axle length 33" wheels. The car bodies are painted Tamiya linoleum brown with the journal boxes, brake wheels/staffs, and hardware painted Poly S grimy black to represent cast iron. The decals are from Champ decal set HN-81. I also discovered that Champ actually changed what lettering was included on each decal sheet over the years of production. On eBay, some sets don't include the very small PWV lettering that I used. The lettering was done following an image I have of an early Lehigh Valley RR coal jimmie. The couplers are from San Juan Models On3 part #147 and are a drop in fit to these couplers pockets. When assembling the cars, I discovered I needed to slightly drill out the journal boxes using a #59 drill bit after painting. They roll flawlessly now.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Rolling Stock Update

 I just finished up the latest additions to my rolling stock inventory. Here are a couple of images of the results.

I bashed these three 24' box cars from APAG narrow gauge box car kits. The trucks are from Panamint models, the wheels from Reboxx, the brake ratchet from Tichy Train, and the couplers from San Juan Models. The car bodies are painted Model Master Intermediate Blue. The roofs are painted Tamiya (USAF) Tan. I did not use the kit roofs but instead scratch built them from styrene from one of my old real estate signs. I also scratch built the roof walks from Northeast Scale Lumber 2x6s with Tichy roof walk supports. The kit roofs were peaked but the ones I made are arched (radial). The roof walks were painted with Barnwood craft paint and then a Vallejo dark grey wash was applied. I bent the grab bars from 0.0125 Tichy phosphor bronze wire. I a built car #100 on the left more than a decade ago but tore off the original roof to remove the weight I had originally installed. Also, the color of blue I used back then dfid not meet my current standards. There are some slight variations between it and the other 2 cars. Note the difference in size of the door handles and the grab bars on the ends of the cars. Also, car #100 has bumper blocks on the end sills while the other 2 cars have a more modern style of end beam. The truss rods are made from 10lb, monofilament, fishing line and the turnbuckles are from Tichy Train.

I also completed 2 Bram Models' Harlan & Hollingsworth box cars. Harlan & Hollingsworth was a 19th century car building firm located in Wilmington, DE. They built cars for many, many railroads. 

These cars are 3D prints I purchased on Shapeways. They are lettered for the Philadelphia, Wilmington, & Baltimore Railroad. The cars are based on information and images from John White's book on the American railroad freight car. In his book, White notes that the record indicates the prototypes were painted an ivory color with red wheels and a canvass roof that was tan in color. I painted the car bodies Polly-Scale aged white and the wheels and trim with Poly-Scale red. Vallejo ivory is a match for the now no longer available Poly-Scale Aged White. The roof walks are painted barnwood with a Vallejo dark grey wash. The "canvass" roofs were painted Vallejo (USAF) Tan. This is where I got the idea to paint the roofs on the 2 Delaware Central cars shown in the 1st photo, tan. The decals are custom made. I chose the car numbers based on car #720 shown in an image in white's book. I opted to paint all of the hardware, except the truss rods and couplers, red. White's book indicates that the hardware was black, but I liked the red instead. My fictional Delaware Central interfaces with the PW&B in Wilmington. During the Civil war, the president of the PW&B complained of his cars being used on other lines and not returned to the PW&B in a timely manner. That is my justification of running these 2 cars on my layout. The wheels are from Reboxx, the trucks from Eric Cox, and the couplers from Tichy Train. I made the grab bars from Tichy 0.0125 phosphor bronze wire. 

As a note, the stone factory in the background was about completed when I saw what someone else had done by bashing together 2 of these IHC kits. So, this factory is just sitting on the layout waiting for me to build something similar to the kit bash I saw. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

2023 03 25 Ops Session, W&A RR North Branch

 This past Saturday we held an operations session on my friend, Thom Radice's Western & Atlantic (north branch) HO scale railroad. Here are a few images from that session. There are more images on Thom's blog & I strongly recommend you go over there for his latest posts.

In the background is Thom (back to camera) giving the orientation to the session. You can see Ed, Dan, Rob and just a smidge of Andy listening to Thom while Paul & Bill are examining their assignment sheets & NCE throttle.

Above are the 3 crews. Ed & Dan on the left, Rob & Andy in the center, Bill & the top of Paul's head on the right. Thom is contemplating the snack & beverage tray.

Conductor Andy examines the assignment sheet to prepare his crew to make up their train in the Chattanooga yard.

Ed and Dan figuring out their train movements in Atlanta. The roof of the car shed is visible in the lower lefthand corner, and the rolling mill is just in front of Ed and Dan.

Dan & Ed focusing on their train movements in Atlanta.

Bill (left) and Paul (right) working their train through the wye at Kingston Station. You should have seen the look of annoyance Paul gave the photographer for interrupting their workflow just before this image was captured.

Ed and Dan behind the sawmill just South of Altoona Pass.
Thom, Rob, & Rob's plus-one, Uncle Nearest. I must say, Uncle Ernest turned out to be a great friend to all attendees.

Rob (left) and Andy (right) switching the Chattanooga yard.

Engineer Ed looks very happy that he is NOT the one who has to couple and uncouple cars in Big Shanty. Is Dan smiling or is that a grimace on his face?

That is mini-DC on the left and mini-Thom on the right at our small cabin just South of Altoona Pass. I have no idea who that shady character is on the right, probably a shirker trying to avoid work at the sawmill just across the tracks. (No, Thom & I are not selling moonshine out of our shack.) 

Thom & I had the opportunity to have scans made of ourselves at the Great Scale Train Show, Timonium, MD. Bernard owns & operates Miniprints out of Canada. These are 2 HO scale prints Bernard produced from the scans we had done at Timonium. Figure painting is by Thom Radice. You can find out more about Bernard's fine products and his upcoming show schedule by visiting him at Please tell him DC Cebula sent you.

I love this lighting effect and eagerly anticipate the addition of a couple of figures between the two lights. This is one of the views looking into the Chattanooga car shed.