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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

#301 Visits The Southern California Traction Club!

The Southern California Traction Club set up their fantastic modules at the Orange Empire Railway Museum over the Fathers Day weekend.

I brought along #301 to show to them and ask general questions about traction modeling. The members were immediately taken with the model and put it on their track. It was the first time I've ever seen the trolley run! Pretty darn exciting.

Above, #301 passes by the SCTC car yards. Displayed in their yards are the pre-production models of the San Fransisco "F Line" PCC Streetcars by Bowser. SCTC was instrumental in the development of these models. George Huckaby’s “Hollywood” car 717 stands ready on the curve. George Huckaby photo.

Three things were immediately apparent about the Birney. One, it runs really slow! I might have overdone the 30:1 gear ratio a bit. Second, the motor/gears are really noisy. But the club members assured me that all that will quiet down as the car is broken in. And third, as I suspected, the lights didn't light. But over all the car performed really well. My thanks goes out to the SCTC for indulging me like that.

I am really impressed with the clubs modeling. The long straightaways obtainable by lining up the modules look like they go on forever.

The clubs modular layout is about at its limit with how much bigger it can get. So now they are concentrating on detailing the scenes.

Impressive. So impressive in fact, I joined the club! That's right, I am club member #13. Yessir! Southern California Traction Club member #13!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Birney Project ~ Window Glass

Model Railroading isn't always fun. Sometimes its downright tedious!

My apologies for the late post but I'm finding that installing the window glass to be just that... tedious.

I'm trying to make good on this post about my method of installing the window glass. But I have run into some obstacles. While trying to install the motor assembly into the Birney body, it kept snagging on the seats, pushing them up. So I spot glued the seats into place with superglue. Turns out that the motor was snagging on some of the figures elbows. So I had to file those down. Now the motor is in there but so are the seats and figures. I can't access the windows to install the glass. If I pry the seats loose, the thickness of the glue remains so that when the seats are reinstalled, they will be sitting too high. Now I'm looking into superglue solvent.

In the meantime, I installed the glass into the front window. I cut a piece clear styrene to span the front windows and glued it into place. But...

As you can see, trying to maneuver the glass into place scratched the heck out of it and the glue got all over. Unacceptable. Lets punch out the glass and try that again.

This time I cut each window pane to size. Using two part epoxy, I applied one part to the window frame and the other part to the edge of the glass. This gave me time to get the pane into the car and into position for installation. Using this suction cup tool, the glass was carefully positioned into place. The two parts of the epoxy contacted each other, the reaction took place and set.

Now thats more like it! There's Birney the Motorman at the controls with a clear view ahead.

Yeah, Model Railroading might get tedious at times, but the results can be very satisfying. Yessir! Quite satisfying!