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391  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Check out this Commercial! on: March 14, 2007, 06:33:25 PM
This commercial was shot on the Sierra Railroad in early February '07. Here is a report (originally posted on the Yahoo Historic Sierra Railway Group) from Tom Bispo who was the engineer for the shoot:

“Filming took place between MP 5 (Sand Hill) and MP 19 (Cooperstown.) over
the course of four days (2/2-2/5). The train was made up of 17 mixed
freight cars (including a home made auto rack and two flat cars from the
Fillmore & Western), a caboose and the SERA 48 & 50. This is the largest
production consist since the making of the movie Bound for Glory (late
1970s). Extensive use of a rail-bound camera crane and helicopter was made.
Although it is not confirmed, the commercial should be televised in the next
few weeks.”

Looks like the Sierra RR is still a favorite for the RR film business!

Happy RRing,

392  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Prospector Train Set - Scale and Proportioning? on: March 09, 2007, 02:17:10 PM
Slightly aside from your original question:

In addition to the correct information above, consider that the V&T was a standard gauge railroad. Using 45mm gauge track would require that the rolling stock be 1:32 scale to accurately represent the V&T.

Your fathers Prospector set is nominally 1:22.5 scale and as the pix show, a 1:20.3 scale car would be out of proportion (~11%) compared to the other cars. As you suggested, Bachmann used 'selective compression' in making the Big Hauler models, so they are actually somewhat smaller than 1:22.5 in some dimensions. Folks who claim the various scales 'go together' have not looked at enough prototype trains to see and understand scale and size differences.

Another accurate scale / gauge combination for standard gauge is 1:20.3 scale rolling stock running on 70.6mm gauge track. That would accurately represent the V&T.

Hope this helps.

Happy RRing,

Jerry Bowers
393  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Trees and New Catalog on: March 04, 2007, 09:28:15 PM
I don't think Bachmann has any ". . . Thousand dollar engines". Perhaps charging for the cataolg helps keep Bachmann's prices low.

Happy RRing,

394  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Wood Burner on: March 04, 2007, 05:09:20 PM

Wood burned in locomotives was typically around 18 to 24 inches long, dependent on the size of the firebox and the enthusiasm of the wood cutter. Firewood cutters don't use a tape measure so there is always variation based on the sawyers eyeball and what was being cut.

At 1:20.3 scale, the model wood would be between 7/8" and 1 1/4" long. Wood for a specific locomotive being cut by a 'company' crew or a contract supplier would be close to the same length at any one location.

I can't imagine using a piece of firewood 2 1/2" (~50" or over 4' at 1:20.3 scale) long as Paul W suggested. Not only would it be extremely hard to load onto the tender and handle on the engine, but it probably wouldn't even fit in the firebox of our small Shays.

Hope this helps.

Happy RRing,

395  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Question from a new guy on: February 23, 2007, 06:36:20 PM
. . . I needed to know if future N scale train sets will have the old couplers- otherwise I won't buy anymore since My son won't be able to combine new and old trains and not be able to play with them.

I'm not certain, but I would assume all new issues will have knuckle couplers. That's quickly becoming the modern common standard.

It's extremely easy to change couplers. I would suggest upgrading the older equipment to the new ones. The best way to do this is to equip one end of a single car with the new style coupler. That creates an 'adapter' car (old coupler on one end and new on the other end) that will allow running new and old equipment together without the necessity of changing all cars at once. With a couple of adapter cars, you can even leave most older cars unchanged if desired.

Things change. I doubt you are considering discontinuing the use of any computer just because newer programs won't work on older systems. Same with model trains. It would be a shame to turn your son away from a great (possibly life-long) hobby interest just because of a simple coupler change.

Hope this helps & Happy RRing,

Jerry Bowers
396  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: #52 Srill bit on: February 20, 2007, 04:04:39 AM
Theres a Ace hardware in WA and near where i live,what should ask the sales person there
I would suggest something along the line of "Do you have a #52 drill bit?" Wink Wink

As Jim Banner wrote above, a #52 bit is 0.0635" diameter. A 1/16" drill bit is 0.0625" or just 0.001" (1/1000th) of an inch smaller. You will never tell the difference unless you are working on something for NASA. While a #52 drill bit might be somewhat hard to find, 1/16" drill bits are available everywhere. If you already have a small drill set, it is probably the smallest bit in the set.

You can also get whole sets of small drill bits from Micro-Mark. Look at

I find that it's generally better to use small drill bits in a (manual) pin vise rather than a hand-held rotary (Dremel) tool. Even at their slowest speeds, rotary tools tend to either break or quickly overheat and burn up small bits. Also remember that drill bits are breakable / consumables and need to be replaced with new sharp ones at regular intervals.

Take a look at the file sets at Micro-Mark. Set #33108 "Swiss Pattern Needle Files" is $13.35. It contains 12 medium cut files in a wide variety of shapes. A set like this will provide all the files you need for most beginning modeling tasks.

Hope this helps.

Happy RRing,

Jerry Bowers
397  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Painting cars etc on: February 11, 2007, 09:56:21 PM
I used chalks for many years, but they present a few problems:

1. Finding or mixing colors appropriate to weathered appearance is not easy.
2. Shaving and screening them to get a fine enough powder can be difficult to impossible.
3. Overcoating them with clear spray to get them to stay in place frequently makes the color disappear.

I now use Bragdon Enterprises' Weather System powders. See:

Joel Bragdon has developed a method of ball milling extremely fine powders from the real stuff (rust, dust, grime, minerals) with pressure sensitive dry adhesive incorporated directly into the powder. You just brush the powder on. The brushing action activates the adhesive which makes the powder stick. It works great, without the problems associated with chalks.

He sells these individually or in multi-color sets. A little more expensive than chalk, but as he says "a little goes a long way".

Happy RRing,

398  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Wire gauge for switches on: February 08, 2007, 10:39:46 AM
The older telephone wire works quite well, but much of the 'new' telephone wire is a foil-like material that is impossible to solder to. Modern phone connections are usually crimped, so the wire can be made cheaper than the previously common small gauge copper.

Happy RRing,

399  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Did everyone have to re-register? on: February 08, 2007, 10:32:24 AM
Bach-Man, All:

Thanks, good decision! Like you, I was already seeing the 'numbers push' with quite a few "Looks great . . ." posts in the areas I regularly visit. I've noticed that most of the public forums I use have abandoned the ranking systems for the same reasons.

The new forum seems to be working well, but there are still a few folks on other forums saying they can't register. One pointed out there was no "contact us" button. I haven't needed to contact, so haven't looked. Can you tell us how to respond to those who can't seem to get in?

Thanks Again & Happy RRing,

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