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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Inaugural Run of Birney #301.

SDERy Birney #301 makes it first public run!

The Southern California Traction Club set up its modules at the Great Train Expo this last weekend at the Fairplex in Pomona. I took the opportunity to fine tune #301 and was able to get it to run perfectly on the modules. It ran trouble free for hours. And of course I took plenty of video to share with you!:

The BullAnt motor is kind of noisy in this video but really its not that bad. To be fair, Hollywood Foundry who manufactures the BullAnt offered to replace it with their new and improved belt driven extra quiet BullAnt drive, an offer I hope that isn't too late for me to take them up on!

Because Birneys are a rather diminutive car, the Miniature By Eric trolley poles proved to be not quite long enough to reach the overhead. So one was swapped out with a rebuilt Bowser pole. In the video you can see how the new pole really presses against the overhead for good electrical contact. I'll post in the near future how to rebuild trolley poles.

So after all this time, it was quite satisfying to finally see this little guy make laps around the layout. Yes sir! Quite satisfying indeed!


Monday, December 06, 2010

Niles Project ~ Applying Decals to #107

Now that the decals are made, I'm going to try a different technique of applying the decals so as to help them settle more easily into the wood slats.

Remember, decals have to be applied onto glossy surfaces. Since I painted #107 with Floquil paints, which dry dead flat, a coat of gloss has to be sprayed on to where the decals are going to go. AND the decals need to be sealed as well. So while I have the gloss in the airbrush, I'll coat the decals with it as well.

Okay, Floquil Hi Gloss has been applied to the decals and #107. While they dry let me recap the decaling of #105...

With #105 the decals didn't want to settle into the deep wood slats. Eventually, the parts of the decal with air under it will dry out and flake off. So I'll probably loose that part of the "5", and the 3D drop shadow of the "0", and the rose buds on the corner flourish of the pin stripping, etc.  So after discussing the matter with Don Ball, it was concluded that it was difficult for the air to escape from under the vast expanse of the decal paper. So he suggested cutting the decals closer to the printing:

With a new, sharp eXacto blade, I cut out the negative areas of the decals that didn't contain any printing. But while applying the decals, I had a horrible problems with the decals curling! I wasn't able to get any photos since I was frantically trying to get the decals to lay down flat and straight before they set. Some decals got so distorted that I had to scrape them off and print new ones. Now its quite possible that this happened because the decal paper I used is over a year old. Fresh paper might behave better, but I don't know for sure. But I'll be sure to start with fresh decal paper next time since decal paper doesn't cost and arm or a leg.

Decaled and sealed with Dull Cote. Over all it looks good! But under closer inspection, the pinstripes are a bit wiggly, air bubbles can be seen here and there, and the edges of the decals are visible. Hopefully, some of these imperfections will be hidden by a bit of weathering. But over all, its looking good. Yes sir! Looking good!