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3001  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Renumbering a Loco on: June 11, 2009, 08:16:42 PM
Thanks, Yampa Bob.  I'll remember to do that in the future. I'm good at the trial and error method.

Sorry if I blew up your PC's, forum members!

Hat in hand,   Jonathan
3002  Discussion Boards / HO / How do I post my album? on: June 11, 2009, 01:36:21 PM
As you can see from my last post on ‘renumbering’, I now have a ‘photobucket’ account.  How do I post the URL for the whole album?  I intend to use this account for nothing but layout photos.  Is there a way to put the album on my profile so anyone can look if they want to?  Seems more efficient, and I won’t annoy those who aren’t interested.  I suspect I need to copy and paste a URL from photobucket, just not sure how to do it.

I believe I’ve reached a half-way point on my layout.  I want to take a break from building and document my progress so far.  I’m hoping this will also give me some new scenic ideas for my layout.

My sincere apologies for posting so much lately.  I’m on a big learning curve at the moment. 


3003  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: drybrushing on: June 10, 2009, 08:23:21 PM
I prefer drybrushing to any other method.  I feel more in control of the affect.


3004  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Renumbering a Loco on: June 10, 2009, 08:17:21 PM
Sorry, two didn't go through.  Trying again...

3005  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Renumbering a Loco on: June 10, 2009, 08:12:28 PM

Ladies and gents,

I am now learning more than I hoped:  photography, uploading, posting, and paint removal.  If I did it wrong I apologize.  As you can see I'm nearly done removing the number "8" on both sides I have uploaded five images that were clear enough to see my progress.  On the extreme close up, check out the piece of ground foam inside the truck.  With a little dullcote and a touch of weathering, should be hard to tell I did it myself.  But then, I'm an optimist.

Will understand if you ignore this post.  I'll get better.  Thanks,

3006  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Renumbering a Loco on: June 10, 2009, 06:07:34 AM
  OK.  I've managed to get the '8' off the 928.  I'm desperately trying to insert an image or two.  "Insert image" isn't working for me.  Anyway, the eraser wasn't working, neither was alcohol, but for some reason, my  wife's finger nail polish remover was spot on.  I dipped a toothpick in the evil solution, removed most, and gently rubbed the number.  Think drybrushing with a toothpick.  Took about 10 minutes per number.  There's still a little residue, which I can only see with a camera.  Isn't that weird.  When I figure out how to upload a photo.  I'll do it if interested.  Thanks.


3007  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Renumbering a Loco on: June 09, 2009, 07:23:37 AM
Haven't done it, yet.  I'm in the middle of engine maintenance and coupler conversion.  Renumbering is next.  At some point I have to get back to scenery.  I'm burnt out from planting over 313 trees so far.  When I renumber it I will attach a couple of photos... even if I botch it royally.


3008  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Renumbering a Loco on: June 08, 2009, 11:34:49 AM
Just picked up a copy of the latest Bachmann catalog.  They have renumbered the FM H16-44 B&O to 927!  I think Mr. B was tuning in.

My wallet hurts.


3009  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Coupler failure on: June 06, 2009, 08:17:23 PM

Thanks,  I think I will mix between #5 and 148.  I was unaware of the shallow box in the Walthers (haven't changed one yet), but I did discover that a few of my old Roundhouse kits had shallow gear boxes.  Was just about to order some 148's.  Think they're on sale this month in one of my flyers. Glad to know there a good fit.  BTW this is really for a new thread, but I went through three LHS's today (local is relative), and it's amazing the lack of inventory in all of them.  It's seems to be getting worse and worse. I hate buying on line.


3010  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: How I nearly destroyed an engine on: June 06, 2009, 08:24:08 AM
Yeah, Jim, sometimes I forget to go slow and gentle.  Learning...
3011  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: How I nearly destroyed an engine on: June 05, 2009, 08:57:52 PM
Sorry, the story doesn't get juicy.  My son is not tall enough to reach up to the benchwork.  I think it was a defect that was not detected at the manufacturer.  I've had the engine for well over a year and just now noticed it myself.  I'm still a little new at this.  Thanks, pdlethbridge for the info.  At least if the frame fails, I know I can get a replacement.  Now I just need to learn how to take an engine down to parade rest and put it back together again.  I just got the soldering down.  Now I may have to learn to unsolder.  The fun never ends.


3012  Discussion Boards / HO / How I nearly destroyed an engine on: June 05, 2009, 08:41:32 AM
I was in the middle of routine inspection and maintenance of my engines when I discovered one of my Athearn GP40s had a coupler out of alignment (sitting too high).  After removing the shell, I observed that the front portion of the frame, which holds the pilot draft gear box, was bent slightly upwards, causing the coupler to point up at an angle. Thus, it could potentially not couple/uncouple correctly. 

Here’s where my stupid meter kicks in.  I removed the draft gear box, took out a small pliers and proceeded to pry at the frame to bend it back into shape.  You guessed it… I was standing there with the main frame in my left and the now broken angle portion in the pliers of my right.  After a few choice words I put everything down and walked away. 

After I calmed down, I proceeded to mend the broken frame by joining the two pieces with some cement.  After letting that dry, I added more cement around the split joint and let that dry.  Hoping to strengthen the joint, I then added some left over styrene (90 degree angle stuff) to the inside and outside of the angle where I broke the frame.  I then replaced the coupler box, having removed the kadee coupler and replaced it with one of my cheaper plastic spares.  I’m hoping the plastic coupler will fail before the frame does.   With the shell replaced, all the damage is hidden.  By sheer luck, the coupler now sits level and at the correct height.  The engine is now relegated to the freight yard for light switching duty.  At some point I hope to get brave enough to put it back on the mainline, but I have my doubts about how well my repair will hold (too nervous to give it a stress test).

I feel like I just earned a Darwin Award.  The lesson here is don’t try this at home kids.  There are a lot of coulda, shoulda, woulda’s that would have solved a minor problem turned major.  I submit this hoping someone will learn from my mistake.


3013  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Coupler failure on: June 03, 2009, 05:27:00 AM
OK, thanks.  That makes sense.  I checked out my LHS yesterday and found a 4 pack of #5s for 3.50.  I located the offending freight car and started surgery.  Turns out that car had those knuckle couplers that come in two halves.  Dumped 'em and in went the #5s.  The centering spring wasn't that hard to deal with. I actually use a No. 2 pencil to lube my draft gear boxes.  Did I mention I'm 'frugal'?  It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  I also replaced the couplers in my GP40.  So far no problems with shorts.  Looks like I will take my time and replace all my couplers as the old plastic ones give out.  Thanks again, GG & RR, for all the great wisdom.


3014  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 3 questions on: June 02, 2009, 02:24:29 PM

1.  As with everything, you get what you pay for.  Spectrum train sets, while more expensive, contain excellent quality rolling stock, power, and track… far cheaper than if you tried to buy the separate pieces.  I highly recommend them.  Avoid the cheaper sets.  There’s a reason they’re cheap.  A good set is a great way to start your empire.

2.  Metal wheelsets are far superior to plastic for numerous reasons.  Run a search of this forum to find out why.

3.  I have no experience with lifelike couplers.  However, I am making the switch from plastic to metal couplers.  I just posted a new thread concerning that very topic.

Hope this was helpful.


3015  Discussion Boards / HO / Coupler failure on: June 02, 2009, 02:23:17 PM
After three years of running my layout, I finally experienced coupler separation.  It happened while running a double-headed train with 22 freight cars and a caboose.  I was running the trains at about 70%... a bit faster than I normally run (was feeling speedy that day). The Athearn engines (SD70M and GP40-2) separated.  Later, two freight cars separated about halfway through the consist.  So I’m ready to pull the trigger and order a bulk pack of kadee #148’s.

Will the #148’s be compatible with all my fleet?  I’m capable of minor tweaking (filing, sanding, shimming and drilling).  I’m also considering #5s, but would rather not play with the separate centering spring if I can avoid it.

I have Athearn, Atlas, Bachmann, Metaltrain and Walthers rolling stock and locos.  Think I read somewhere that putting metal couplers in some engines can affect current flow, although I could be wrong about that.  I perform regular maintenance on my track and wheelsets (all metal) to keep everything free-rolling. There are no uncoupler magnets under the mainline.


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