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16  Discussion Boards / N / Bachmann N scale models of Mexican trains? on: May 09, 2015, 07:55:24 PM
I am preparing a clinic on modeling Mexican railroads in N scale for the N Scale Enthusiasts' national convention in Sacramento, CA, in late June. I consider Atlas, Micro-Trains, Intermountain and Wheels of Time to be among the leaders in producing (1970s-'80s vintage) Mexican motive power and rolling stock, but don't want to overlook Bachmann if it has produced South of the Border N scale equipment that I am unaware of. Does any reader, or the Bach Man, know of any Bachmann-produced NdeM, FCP, S-BC, Ch-P or FUS equipment? I am more interested in this period than in the 1990's FNM era or the post-2000 freight-only timeframe.

Gil Hulin
17  Discussion Boards / N / Hollow core door, Si? on: October 29, 2014, 07:40:20 PM
Numerous participants in this forum seem to use one or more hollow core doors for a layout base, according to various comments. I would like to know how many different methods of wiring such layouts exist among this readership. Do some modelers run the electrical wiring through both the top and bottom skins of the door, and then deal with all connections from the underside of the layout/door? It would seem easier to drop wires through only the top, and connect them inside the door's hollowness after removing larger access holes from the underside.

How about making electrical connections to the "outside world?" If wires to the power source are fed through holes in the framing that forms the door's edges, then there would be no wires on the layout's underside to snag on the table or sawhorses that support the door.

I want the door to be as easy as possible to transport to a few public shows per year, as it should draw attention due to its northern Mexico desert setting. A year ago I decided to model a typical Mexican mixed train of 1980 vintage in N, HO, S and O scales. Although not planning to lay track in all four scales, I quickly discovered that N scale offers the most variety in adobe structures.

I selected 1980 as the era that I would model for two reasons. That was the year of my last Mexican rail trip, and the National Railways of Mexico (NdeM), Sonora-Baja California (S-BC), Ferrocarril del Pacifico (FCP), Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacifico (ChP) and the Ferrocarril Unidos del Sureste (FUS) were all actively operating both freight and passenger services then. By the year 2000 all five railroads were gone, along with nearly all passenger trains other than Mexico City's growing commuter network.

Although Bachmann has not yet joined the party, many N and HO manufacturers have produced equipment factory-painted with Mexican roadnames, and Microscale has added several new N and HO decal sets within the past year. I expect to operate 100% Mexican motive power and 90% Mexican rolling stock, the main exceptions being MoPac and Tex-Mex boxcars.

Gil Hulin   
18  Discussion Boards / N / Re: What should the next model be from Bachmann? on: February 24, 2014, 03:48:51 PM
I am less concerned about new prototype models than about new paint schemes for existing models. Bachmann is one of the few major manufacturers of N scale trains not to have produced any motive power or rolling stock lettered for Mexican railroads. Personally, I would rather see more equipment offered for National Railways of Mexico, FC del Pacifico, Chihuahua al Pacifico, FC Sonora-Baja California, FC Mexicano and Unidos del Sureste (1970's-'80's era) than for today's Ferromex, Ferrosur and KCS de Mexico.

Gil Hulin
Eugene, OR
19  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann H-16-44 handrails on: January 28, 2014, 12:28:58 AM
Thanks, Jack, for the Smokey Valley information. I've visited their website and am pleased to learn of their dozens of handrail/stanchion options. And I fully agree that enlarging the body holes is far better than smearing glue on the model.

20  Discussion Boards / HO / Bachmann H-16-44 handrails on: January 20, 2014, 07:21:41 PM
I recently purchased my first Bachmann H-16-44 (Baby Trainmaster) diesel second-hand because it is custom-painted for Mexico's former Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway. The model is great, except for the wobbly handrails that appear to be blowing in the wind. I see that Bachmann has new, replacement handrail sets available, but wonder if they would look any better? It appears that the problem may be the Delrin-like plastic that makes the handrails flexible and resistant to breaking, but at the same time fail to hold a rigid shape, either horizontally or vertically. If you have this model, or other Bachmann diesels from the same time period (late 1990's?), is the problem typical of all "long hood" models? Both end handrails came loose in the box and I have not tried to install them yet. It also appears that the mounting holes in the body shell may be too small for the pins on the handrail stanchions, and attempts to glue Delrin to styrene are never fun.

Gil Hulin
Modeling Mexico Railroading in Oregon
21  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Mexican Roadnames on: January 03, 2014, 06:22:54 PM
Since my original post last May regarding HO models with Mexican roadnames, I have been able to pluck a few NdeM 40-foot and 50-foot boxcars off eBay. I can create other NdeM equipment (stock cars and tank cars) with Microscale decals that have been available for years, and welcome the new FCP (Ferrocarril del Pacifico) decals that Microscale just released in December, 2013. Although other model companies such as Intermountain and Fox Valley Models are producing modern Mexican cars, I will continue to model the early 1980's era when there were still five major railroads serving the country. Variety was greater then just as it was in the U.S.

A highlight of my Mexican modeling came last summer when I operated several one-hour shifts on the local HO club's portable layout at the local county fair. One afternoon an Hispanic family wandered into the room. The children were of course excited by the trains, but the father's "take it or leave it" expression quickly changed when he spotted the NdeM train I was running as something familiar from his childhood.

Even if Bachmann has not produced any Mexican roadname products in the past, I would highly encourage the company to consider testing the market with a sample freight car in the future. NdeM boxcars are quite common, but something distinctive as a Chihuahua al Pacifico  or Sonora-Baja California boxcar should appeal to modelers of Southwestern U.S. railroads as well as Mexican railroads. When Ch-P or SBC boxcars occasionally appear on eBay the bidding quickly soars to the $40-50 range.

Gil Hulin
Eugene, OR
22  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Knapford Station for On30 passenger trains? on: November 11, 2013, 12:11:58 AM
When I started this topic three days ago, I asked if anyone had already used Bachmann's HO scale Knapford Station with On30 trains. The answer is apparently no, since responses have focused on a reality versus fantasy debate. Apparently Model (with a capital M) railroading is too serious a pastime to allow FUN to creep in.

To answer GG1onFordsDTandI's question about Knapford Station dimensions, The Favorite Spot (a Texas dealer with great Bachmann prices) lists the structure as 10.5 inches wide, 26 inches long and 6.25 inches high. These figures include the three high-level platforms that I would exclude if using the structure with narrow gauge.

Gil Hulin
23  Discussion Boards / On30 / Knapford Station for On30 passenger trains? on: November 07, 2013, 05:56:06 PM
Has any On30 modeler tried adapting Knapford Station, Bachmann's HO-scale "glass" covered passenger terminal, for use with their On30 trains? Because of On30's overhang on HO-width track, I suspect that the high level platforms would be the first pieces to go. But then high level platforms and back-woodsy narrow gauge trains don't go together, anyway. And I think that the canopy support posts would need new bases to extend their height above On30 locomotive cabs and smokestacks.

So, while the question of whether Knapford Station could be adapted to On30 use remains, the question of whether any/many modelers would want to is perhaps more at issue. On30 modeling attracts more would-be loggers and miners than fans of passenger train operations. Certainly plenty of On30 modelers do run trains with one each of Bachmann's baggage, combine, coach and observation cars around in circles, but how many actually operate passenger and headend trains that set out and pick up mail storage, meal service and sleeping cars en route?

By augmenting a Bachmann passenger and baggage car fleet with cars and kits from Mount Blue, Wiseman and San Juan, an equipment pool for local, overnight, mail and express trains can turn an On30 passenger "train set" into a passenger operation with variety. Bachmann two-door baggage cars and reefers can be relettered for express company ownership. Very few prototype "baggage cars" were actually used for passengers' checked baggage; the vast majority carried mail or express, and usually the car next to the Railway Post Office stored the mail sacks that were being worked en route. Mount Blue makes kits that turn Bachmann passenger superstructures into four-door baggage and RPO cars.

Rearranging the window pattern might be the only change needed to turn Bachmann, Wiseman or San Juan coaches into sleeping cars. Canadian National's operation of the 42-inch gauge Newfoundland Railway was North America's last use of narrow gauge sleepers well into the diesel era. As for converting Knapford Station to On30 use, Merida, Yucatan, had North America's last covered trainshed serving narrow gauge trains into the 1980's.

Gil Hulin     
24  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Hey Mr B, how about a Vanderbilt tender and some new regions for the 4-6-0? on: October 25, 2013, 05:23:38 PM
Bachmann used to offer separate sale Vanderbilt tenders in both oil and coal versions. I am looking for an oil version right now for use behind the 2-8-0. Road name is unimportant as it will be lettered for a fictional logging railroad. Does Bachmann have ANY separate sale tenders available at this time?
25  Discussion Boards / Plasticville U.S.A. / Re: Wants a Saw Mill on: June 07, 2013, 03:34:49 PM
It should be pointed out that photos of Bachmann's kit-bashed sawmill on the On30 exhibition layout are posted in the Bachmann Photo Gallery under tab 3: "The Bach-man builds a layout". The entire how-we-built-it article includes 120 images on 14 pages. The views of the sawmill are primarily on pages 10 and 11 and the best views may be images 93 and 95. Lots of good ideas here for kit-bashers with two or three Plasticville covered bridge kits.

Gil Hulin
Eugene, OR
26  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Mexican Roadnames on: May 17, 2013, 06:23:50 PM
I want to thank the eight forum members who responded over the past six days, but no one actually answered my question as to whether Bachmann has produced any motive power or rolling stock lettered for Mexican railroads, past or present? I am familiar with the models that Athearn, Atlas, Bowser, Broadway Limited and other HO scale manufacturers have produced, and that simple NdeM boxcars often sell at three to four times their original MSRP when offered on eBay. And Walthers NdeM Pullman cars never appear on the second hand market at all.

Gil Hulin 
27  Discussion Boards / HO / Mexican Roadnames on: May 11, 2013, 07:47:50 PM
Has Bachmann released any HO rolling stock with Mexican roadnames in the past 10 to 15 years? Other manufacturers' products seem to sell out before the cars even arrive, and anything Mexican on eBay fetches prices two or three times the original MSRP. I am not seeking roadnames of the 21st Century, but the NdeM, FCP, S-BC, Ch-P and FUS cars of the early 1980's. I feel there is a larger market than most US manufacturers realize.

Gil Hulin
Eugene, OR
28  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Any one for new cars? on: June 20, 2012, 12:33:55 PM
I model a common carrier narrow gauge railroad inspired by Iowa's Bellevue & Cascade, so can always use more house cars. I favor a steel boxcar and an outside-braced, single-sheathed wood boxcar, both with doors opening to the right.

Gil Hulin
29  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: 2012 On30 wish list on: March 15, 2012, 10:42:30 PM
My number one choice for the 2012 Wish List was going to be a new diesel, but then today I discovered that Mount Blue Model Company has recently added two new On30 diesel bodies that fit over HO scale mechanisms. These will be a quicker modification than Mount Blue's original diesel shell that required a regauged and more expensive S scale mechanism. If you are not familiar with this company, visit and see all of the passenger car, freight car and caboose kits that turn basic Bachmann bodies into entirely different On30 cars. Look through the entire list at the "rolling stock" button. I have no ties to Mount Blue---they are in Massachusetts and I am in Oregon---other than being a satisfied customer.

30  Discussion Boards / On30 / Auto-reversing track electronics on: March 14, 2012, 12:37:58 AM
While moving I lost the Hayes bumper auto-reversing track piece that is key to making the special track function. I currently have a query sent to Bachmann's parts department asking if the bumper section is available for separate sale. If not, has anyone examined this piece to the extent of being able to explain what wiring and parts are needed to turn any straight or curved auto-reversing section into an end-of-the-line piece? I plan to install the reversing line inside a large industry with a diesel critter shuttling open flat cars between two warehouses, so the end-of-line trackage doesn't need to look pretty.

Gil Hulin
Eugene, OR
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