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31  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Is It Really Trash? on: January 25, 2018, 08:58:54 AM
Down here on the Gulf Coast, in the past, pea gravel was very often used for ballast because of local availability.  One of my MR pals lived not far from a gravel pit and would retrieve buckets of the gravel in the turn in crushed to near dust by truck traffic. I haven’t had that luxury and had to make my own by mixing 3 colors of buff, brown and tan N scale ballast to use on HO track, but it looks good on my Deep South branchline, and is a lot more regionally accurate for me than the grey granite everyone uses whether it is correct or not.
32  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Is It Really Trash? on: January 24, 2018, 08:52:55 PM
Shirt cardboards for mockup buildings.  Prescription bottles to hold parts. Shish kabob type skewers for uncoupling tools and telephone poles.  Pieces of plastic sprues are really good to fill holes that need redrilling. Plastic straws painted to make pipes.  Dirt from the back yard sifted for the scenery base coat.

I’ll think of more.
33  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Best Coupler shim? on: January 24, 2018, 09:32:22 AM
Sometimes you can clip what you need from the flat clear plastic that everything in big box stores is packaged in now.
34  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Smoke Fluidl on: January 20, 2018, 12:25:31 PM
Dust is a big enough problem on layouts with oily vapor settling on in.  If the smoke itself was realistic, it “might” be worth the mess, but there’s nothing realistic about model railroad smoke.  Physics can’t be scaled down.
35  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Question on the Spectrum 4-4-0 on: January 19, 2018, 01:49:54 AM
A new decoder would solve everything and give you sound, too .
36  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Handrails for older run of 1860-80 passenger cars on: January 18, 2018, 06:44:14 PM
Make your own out of .012 wire.  They will look a lot better than the oversized originals.  Replace the truss rods while you are at it.
37  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Is Bachmann's green painted Southern Baldwin 2-8-0 fact or fiction? on: January 17, 2018, 03:07:42 PM
No Vanderbilt tenders that I know of on the SR.  The NC&StL used them quite a bit  though .

Here’s what you ought to do with that Vanderbilt tender.   The Bachmann 2-8-0 prototype is an IC 900 class .  At some early point some of them had coal Vanderbilt tenders.  Makes sense since the IC was a Harriman road like the SP and UP, also big Vanderbilt tender users.

Buy another Bachmann 2-8-0 , put your Vanderbilt tender behind it, and letter it for IC.  Then letter the leftover rectangular tender for SR and put it behind your SR engine. Move the bell to the smokebox front, put a forward tilted steamboat whistle on the left side of the steam dome and by criminy you have a presentable SR 2-8-0!

Or ..... contact me offline and I’ll buy that Vandy from you 😂.
38  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Ho layout plan feedback on: January 17, 2018, 01:25:24 PM
Looks like a typical small town Sedfred.

If you want to be “old time”, the street would more likely be dirt and gravel, between the rails as well.  The flangeway might be defined by some timbers running parallel to the inside of the rail.  We had that back home in a couple of locations. 
39  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: What is your locomotive roster? on: January 16, 2018, 04:09:28 PM
The largest steam engine I routinely use over my shortline is a 2-10-0 because of weight restrictions.   My line is a bridge between a Missouri Pacific mainline and a joint MP/SP interchange at the other end. The MP handles the switching at those points and sometimes will use a 2-8-2 for the job, once in a while a 4-8-2.  Those engines don’t haul trains out on the line.  We lease engines from the Mopac, the Frisco, and the Rock Island.  

I bought the 2-10-2s, the 4-8-2, and the diesel A-B-B-A to operate on a giant club layout now torn down.  I keep them for the future, they won’t be made again.
40  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: What is your locomotive roster? on: January 15, 2018, 11:02:14 PM
Loco roster:


10 Bachmann 4-4-0:  3 undec, 2 Midland Western, 2 Southern Rwy, 2 L&N, 1 Seaboard

1 0-6-0, other mfr, Frisco

5 Bachmann 52” driver 4-6-0 :  2 undec, 1 Midland Western, 1 Missouri Pacific, 1 Southern Rwy.

3 Bachmann 63” driver 4-6-0 , all Midland Western.

2 light USRA 4-6-2, other mfr:  1 L&N, one GM&O.

2 light USRA 4-8-2, Bachmann:  1 Missouri Pacific, 1 Frisco (presently inoperable)

2 Bachmann 2-6-0, both Arkansas, Texas & Southern.

7 Bachmann 2-8-0:  4 Missouri Pacific, 1 SP with Vanderbilt tender, 1 Rock Island, 1 Southern Rwy.

1 Bachmann USRA 2-8-2 , Frisco.

3 light USRA 2-8-2, other mfr:  1 Rock Island, 2 Missouri Pacific.

3 heavy USRA 2-8-2, other mfr:  2 Missouri Pacific, 1 Southern Rwy.

5 Bachmann 2-10-0:  2 Missouri Pacific, 1 Frisco, 1 undec, 1 Arkansas, Texas & Southern, 1 undec

3 USRA light 2-10-2, Bachmann : 1 Southern Rwy, 1 Seaboard, one Kansas City Southern.

Diesels (do not operate on current layout):  

EMD FT A-B-B-A, other mfr., early Cotton Belt scheme.

4 GP 7, other mfr:  2 Missouri Pacific   early blue/grey, 2 Texas & Pacific early scheme.

1 GP 7, Bachmann, Rock Island.
41  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Adding weight to tankers on: January 14, 2018, 06:18:25 PM
I gave several helpful tips early. And I don’t think it’s an argument.  Industry call them something, the public calls them something else.
42  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Adding weight to tankers on: January 14, 2018, 05:59:21 PM
Repeat: tank car is the industry calls those cars.  Tanker is what non industry people call them.  Fact.  Sorry.
43  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Pacific contact wipers on: January 13, 2018, 07:26:36 PM
You maybe could trim maybe 1/32” off the end and re bend for better contact.
44  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Vintage Set Value on: January 13, 2018, 07:18:05 PM
It may not run.  Track and motors oxidize if not used.
45  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: HO [i]Prussian[/i] on: January 13, 2018, 07:11:56 PM
I assume you mean the Russian Decapod.  If you have a DCC one you can adjust cv 2, 209, 210 and 212 to get much better performance.  After doing that, mine can pull 9 or 10 cars up a 2 percent.  You can also hide some extra weight under the cab roof.

You can also apply “ bullfrog snot” traction tire material to the center drivers.

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