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16  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Bachmann Sodor Mail Car on eBay... on: April 14, 2016, 09:21:25 PM
Wow! A used Bachmann mail car with the original "Sodor Mail" graphics just sold on eBay for a rather staggering price! See eBay item #381591739848 for some serious sticker shock...

Looks like there are some pretty serious Thomas collectors out there.

Bill in FtL
17  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Styrene or ABS? on: April 04, 2016, 09:59:37 AM
What type of plastic does Bachmann use for the shells in its Thomas line? I have made some modifications to some of my Thomas items, and I have noticed that my solvent cement is not as effective with the Bachmann plastic as it is with other models, such as Athearn. This makes me think that they may not be made of styrene, but possibly ABS. Can anyone with Bachmann confirm the type of plastic?

Bill in FtL
18  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Thomas & Friends in 2017 on: April 01, 2016, 08:46:29 PM
My local shop says that their G scale railroading business has all but dried up, and they are stocking very little, because they can't afford to tie up inventory dollars if the product is not moving. O three rail has slowed down a lot, too, and it does seem to coincide with the slowed economy. I think this has a big bearing on the limited number of new items coming from Bacnmann as well, both in G and On30, which I also model in. G has a particular problem because of its large size, which makes tooling costs geometrically more expensive. At least Bachmann is bringing out new items in HO and N gauge, but the prices do seem to be getting out of control, I know I'm having to cut back on new stuff and also need to thin the present collection down, too.

Bill in FtL
19  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / Re: An update for E-Z APP™ is now available! on: March 30, 2016, 05:47:16 PM
Last night I updated my two locos (an FT & Rs3) along with a third loco belonging to a friend (a GP 35), and it went just as it was supposed to.  All locos are now quieter and seem smoother, too. I really like this system's simplicity a lot better than all the complications of DCC!

Bill in FtL
20  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: The Everything Thomas Thread on: March 19, 2016, 05:40:29 PM
Those sheds look pretty generic, and look like they could be used on any HO or OO layout, Thomas themed or otherwise, but I'm afraid that they are a bit too much on the pricey side for my budget.

Bill in FtL
21  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: chuggington flat car on: March 19, 2016, 05:35:34 PM
I just picked up my Chuggington flat cars at the LHS today, and although it's a bit longer than I thought it looked in the photos, I think it's acceptable, so I ordered another, too. I'm not fond of the lengthways deck planking, but I think I can fix that with a scribed styrene overlay with the scribe lines going across the car. The Moore I think about it, the more tempted I am to order a low side gon and a hopper as well, just to see if they can look any better after a run through the paint shop. I'm afraid the boxcar might require too much work to make it look right, but I might be able to use its under frame with an entirely new body scratch-built out of styrene sheet. I also model in On30, so that's also another possibility, too.

Bill in FtL
22  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: chuggington flat car on: March 16, 2016, 12:28:35 PM
I think the Chuggington flat car would work quite well with the Thomas series locos & trucks. In fact, from the pictures, it looks to be very close to the flat used in the episode featuring the blue sedan being transported over the rails. From the same photos on the web, it even looked like it had a reasonable amount of detail, too. We'll see, I have ordered a couple, just to have a look. I agree that the hoppers don't look very appropriate, but the little mine gons might be ok with a proper paint job. A lot of the Thomas items could stand some paint enhancement (at least a dull coat to reduce their high gloss), as well.

Bill in FtL
23  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Need professional advice update on: March 16, 2016, 09:19:15 AM
James in Florida has the right idea.  shimming the surface of the guard rail that is facing the stock rail will tend to pull the wheelsets away from the frog, thus avoiding hitting both polarities at once.   Hint:  Nail polish, paint, etc., can/will eventually fail and you will be right back to the problem.  James has nailed it.

Rich C.

That could be true if the problem area was indicated to be at the frog, but the OP pointed out with his screwdriver that the problem area was where the rails come near each other as they approach the frog (coming from the points). In this case, shimming won't help (unless the short is actually occurring where the metal rails are close together behind the frog, as they lead away to the two divergent routes, not where the screwdriver indicates).

Bill in FL
24  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: 1A Controller Supplied With Train Sets on: March 15, 2016, 03:57:50 PM
Most Bachmann HO sets today come with E-Z Track, which uses molded plastic roadbed/ties and either steel or nickel silver rails. The nickel silver rails are much preferred by most modelers because it provides better electrical conductivity. Brass track was popular in the fifties and sixties, but fell out of favor because the oxides that forms on it's surface is a poor electrical conductor, so if you want the trains to run smoothly, you'll find your self cleaning the rails more frequently. The steel rails are plated to help prevent rusting, but abrasive rail cleaners like the Bright Boy pads will wear the plating off, allowing the steel to rust. Steel rails are also harder to solder feeder wires to, as well. Do yourself a favor and use nickel silver track on your layout, it's also less trouble to maintain.

Bill in FtL
25  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: finger flick switching. on: March 15, 2016, 10:02:43 AM
In order for the "finger flick" to work, the switches have to be spring loaded in order for them to stay in the direction they are placed. Peco switches are spring loaded to start with unless the spring has been removed so they operate with switch machines (manual or electric) as are Atlas "Snap Switches". If your switch is not spring loaded, here is a video on how to manufacture a spring to make them so. It is for N scale but should be easily adaptable for HO.

These springs are commonly referred to as "over-center" springs, and usually are set up to use the spring's compression to keep the points pressed against the stock rails. I've seen this done using either coil or hairpin type springs (but always with the spring in compression). Recently, I read of someone rigging his own over-center linkage that used rubber bands to provide the spring tension. Sounds like a great idea, but I don't know how he did it, since rubber bands only work in tension, not compression (still trying to figure it out). Anyone else have any ideas?

Bill in FtL
26  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Need professional advice update on: March 15, 2016, 09:33:08 AM
And I have to agree with James in FL. I would start by shimming the guard rail as well. The method he described is spot on correct in my books, and far easier than cutting into the rail.



In this case, shimming the guard rails would only pull the wheel closer to the opposite rail, thus increasing the chance of a short, while also creating potential derailment problems. The short is occurring because of the back of the wheel contacting the vertical surface of the opposite rail. Painting the inside surfaces of the rails with nail polish or insulting lacquer is the easiest solution. Pacific Fast Mail used to sell insulating lacquer for use in it's loco sound system installations, but they are long since out of business. It looked, smelled, and applied like nail polish, but it was black in color. It worked pretty well for painting the wheel backs of a loco to make an electrical cam for the "chuff" wiper.

Bill in FtL

27  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Looking forward to a USRA 4-6-2 Pacific on: March 11, 2016, 08:16:51 PM
Didn't the prototype Pennsylvania L1 mikado use the same boiler/cab/tender as the k4 Pacific? Seems like a Pennsy mikado would be a good candidate for a future release...

Bill in FtL
28  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: My Collection on: March 01, 2016, 02:53:11 PM
My locos

Hey Titanic5972,

Nice loco collection. I don't see any front couplers on any of your locos. Did you remove the couplers on some, or did they all come without them? I know Thomas, Percy, and James models come without their front couplers, but I thought Henry, Gordon, and Salty had them (I'll have to check).

I realize those big hooks & loops aren't true to the series illustrations and videos, but they are quite useful for operation. Didn't the original models made by Rev. Awdry have front couplers?

Bill in FtL
29  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: The Everything Thomas Thread on: February 25, 2016, 12:08:19 AM
^ Above 1 Reply - @Reply #544 By railtwister: ERTL and Take 'n' Play have produced The Fat Controller's Car, but these are not HO or OO Gauge.

I don't know about Take 'n' Play, but I read on the wikia that the ERTL blue car was a '36 Ford, nothing like the car in tha Thomas series. I'm guessing it was repurposed from the Dick Tracey series, which was reportedly 1/64, although I thought it looked too small to be that scale (in which case, it may actually have been closer to being 1/76 scale). To me, Bachmann's Bertie looks a bit too big for HO, though I'm not sure how it compares to OO. The Bachmann figures (STH, Conductor, and Farmer) are way too large, probably even for most of the many different scales used for G (anywhere from 1:20 all the way to 1:32). I've never measured them to check, since I think they are way too expensive for my budget.

I'm not sure using the term 'scale' in any serious discussion concerning any of the Thomas models makes much sense regardless, since it's all fantasy anyway.

Bill in FtL
30  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: The Everything Thomas Thread on: February 24, 2016, 08:13:37 PM
The car from the tv series is presented as a typical vehicle of the 1940s. It is either loosely based on a Jowett Javelin or a Rover. Depending on the season.

Thanks for that info. Has any manufacturer (such as Matchbox or similar) ever produced HO or OO models (or any scale) of either of those two vehicles? How about doing it using 3D printing?

Bill in FtL
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