Monday, December 29, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
I had to cut and file the feet off of the figures, not a natural thing to do! I also had to file some of the material off of their butts to get them to seat properly. None of this will been seen when the figures are riding in the trolley.
There! How’s that! Don’t quite notice the motor as much, hmmm? Yessir! Don’t quite notice the motor as much!
Monday, December 01, 2008
Because the floor of the model is higher than on the prototype, there isn't room enough for the legs of the seats. (Or for the passengers for that matter!!! Preiser actually offers plenty of legless passenger figures because this is a common occurrence with models!). So mounting the seats to a bar works out just fine.
I tried snapping an interior shot so that you can see how the seats fit around the motor. Difficult shot to get. I tried.
Monday, November 24, 2008
First off, I measured the motor to determine how much of the interior its going to eat up. Birneys came in different sizes and configurations, but generally they were 8' wide with 36" seats and a 24" isle. As you can see in the blueprint I drew, the motor takes up the whole isle and half the seats. But thats all right. There is enough seat left to seat passengers on, thus distracting from the motor!
Monday, November 17, 2008
So I found these poles where the base is facing the opposite direction! Perfect! Problem solved.
Whoops! Somethin' wrong here. These poles were designed for PCC cars and I think that the roof of PCCs curve down where the poles attach, angling the pole. So the upward angle of the base (which would be level on a PCC) prevents the pole from laying flat on the Birney car. It can’t reach the hook! Dang it! So it’s back to finding a suitable pole. This can’t continue for too long because poles are expensive!!! (I can’t return these poles because I had to trim the bushings to fit the Birney.). These setbacks are really blowing my modeling budget. Dang it! Yessir! Dang it all the heck!!!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Changeling, Directed by Clint Eastwood, with Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich, out in theaters now, features Birney trolleys throughout the movie!
Here is a rubber tired Roger Rabbit trolley parked on the side of the road waiting for its close-up.
Rubber tires because tracks are long gone from the streets of LA. Todays trolleys run on separate right-of-ways. So production crews have to lay "track" for the movies. Bill Volkmer photos.
The Birney car wasn't from OERM, but rather "Omaha Lincoln & Beatrice #4, (Brill 1926, order #21021, info from Frank Hicks). It's on rubber tires for filming of The Changeling at the San Bernardino depot (seen in the background) and at other locales. OERM loaned seats and other interior furnishings for the car, along with the complete mainline steam train mentioned previously."
Monday, November 03, 2008
The insulating bushings that came with the poles are too big for the existing holes in the Birney. So I had to drill them out so the bushings would fit. Easy enough.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I have no idea how I'm going to do this. So, as usual, I'm just going to have to take it one step at a time. Yessir! One step at a time.
The first order of business is to remove the old motor and see how the Bullant relates to the frame. First off, its apparent that the Bullant will not slip right in. The wheels prevent dropping in the mechanism down from the top, and the bolsters prevent it from coming up from the bottom. So somethings got to give.
Looks like I have four choices at how to do this. 1- build a new frame, as Bruce Battles of Menlo Park, CA seems to have done with this single truck streetcar ( I don't know Bruce or how to contact him, If anyone knows this guy, I sure would like to correspond with him about his modeling, and probably ask permission to use above photo ~ eep!). Or 2- modify the existing frame. Or 3- mount the Bullant directly to the Birney shell. Or 4 – glue the truck side-frames to the polystyrene side-frame supports on the Bullant, and then mount the side-frames to the trolley body.
As you can (barely) make out in this photo, the mounting bolsters of the Bullant are actually higher than the top of the chassis frame. So options 3 and 4 are out. But if I could just slide in the Bullant into the chassis frame, then the mounting bolsters could be mounted from the top.
So as you can see, I decided to modify the frame (Option 2). If I mess it up, then I'll simply build a new frame (Option 1). I cut a piece of the frame out so that the Bullant could just slide in. This kind of compromises the integrity of the frame, but note that the mounting holes are on either side of the cut, so when bolted in place on the Birney body, things will be rigid again.
Whoops! Things are sitting kind of high. The Birney body needs to sit lower so that the center of the side-frames are equal to the center of the wheels. More fiddling needs to be done. But we're getting there Huh? The Bullant is in there!
Spacers between the frame and the bolsters will raise the Bullant / lower the Birney body, so I cut some from brass stock and soldered them to the frame. Now this is funny; I wanted to screw the Bullant to the spacers so the Bullant could be removed from the frame. But while I was trying to center the mounting holes so I could mark their location for drilling, things kept sliding around. So I temporarily super glued the Bullant in place. Well, the super glue has worked so well, I think I'll just go with it for a while. Yessir! Just go with it for a while!
I did it! I actually pulled it off! The Bullant is in there, and its in there solid! I'm just so proud of myself. I wish I could test it. What I need to do now is build a test track. Yessir! I need to build a test track!
Monday, October 06, 2008
Hollywood Foundry (of Australia of all places) builds these finely crafted mechanisms built to perform and last. So I had them build one for my Ken Kidder Birney.
The specifications I used for the Birney car drive mechanism are: 28mm wheelbase, 26” wheels, Mashima 1024 motor, a 31:1 gearbox reduction ratio, and wired for common wheels and trolley pole reversing.
Time to build up the momentum on this project again and get it moving full steam ahead. Yessir! Full steam ahead!
Monday, September 22, 2008
As always, constructive comments and suggestions are welcome!
I strive to have the photos on this site dominate rather than text. Text gets to be rather "blah blah blah" where as a photo is worth 1000 words. So I dug around on my work computer and found a photo I don't think that I have posted before. This is a test shot I did with my brass horsecar model to mess around with in Photoshop to see if I could make the photo look historic:
Like I said, its a test shot, never meant to be seen. The horses still need their harnesses, the car needs a driver, and the car needs to be posed so that the faces of the passengers can be seen, as well as details on the streets and sidewalks, and the buildings in the middle need to be painted!, etc.
To update you on whats going on: with the birney project on hold, work has resumed on the trolley valence, I also have a new project in the works I think you will find fun, but your going to have to tune in from time to time to find out what it is!
So check back later to find out whats going on! Another year of fun stuff in store, yessir! Fun stuff in store!
Friday, August 01, 2008
From what I understand, the trolley is built on a vintage trolley chassis from Boston. Talking to the conductor he noted that the new design includes a wider staircase to accommodate the larger sized Americans of the 21st century.