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Monday, December 21, 2020

Mirror Test

Taking photos under the overhead wires by using a mirror.

     Cameras are too big to be able to take photos from a scale persons height. So I had the idea of placing a mirror on the layout at a 45 degree angle and aiming the camera down at the mirror that I wanted to try out:

You can actually make out the bottom edge of the mirror in this photo. And since the photo was taken in a mirror, I had to flip it in a photo editing app.

    It kinda worked! I was able to get a very low POV. Not bad for a quick and dirty test. The photo is a little 'foggy', I suspect that's due to my little mirror being rather old. There is also some ghosting effects going on that is quite prominent on the forward pole of the trolley. This is due to my little mirror being a 'regular' (second surface) mirror.

The mirror set up.

    For this photo of my mirror set up, my camera was sitting on the layout. This is the lowest I can get my lens to the ground and still we are about at the roof level of the trolley looking downward. So this mirror technique seems to be viable.

    I'm encouraged by these results. So I'll order a new 'first surface' mirror that should be more clear and eliminate ghosting, and continue to experiment.

Yes sir! Continue to experiment!


Monday, December 07, 2020

Observations Regarding the Window Functionality on the SDERy Class 5, 400 Series Cars.

Random open windows on streetcars make for a nice touch on models, and while studying the windows on the SDERy 400's I discovered something rather interesting about how they function. 

(and I mean "interesting" as far as windows functionality could be interesting).

On the builders photo I noticed that the 3rd, 6th, 7th, and 10th transom windows are either frosted or opaque. But that's not all...

...they appear to be the only transom windows that are able to open (by tilting in) on these cars.

The transom window arrangement is surprisingly evident on this congery of 400s out for a stroll on Broadway.

    Because these transom windows were able to be opened it appears that the regular windows below them were fixed in the closed position.

    This interior view of a 400 reveal that the transom windows in question (3rd, 6th, 7th, and 10th) have the pull shades mounted on the lower window while all the remaining windows have full length window shades that could cover both the transom and regular windows.

    Then it appears that sometime during the SDERy's transition to the green and cream color scheme (1931) , the transom windows became permanently closed and all the lower windows were able to slide up. In this photo the 3rd, 6th, 7th and 10th lower windows are all open. The open windows on the front of the car was typical with many streetcars of that era which allowed for a nice breeze to blow through while the car was in motion (an early form of "air conditioning").

    So armed with this knowledge of how the windows work on the 400's, I "opened" some windows on my model by filing away the lower sash and soldering in a new strip of brass higher up the window opening. I decided not to try modeling the tilted transom windows as it seems to be even more tedious than what I've already done. Though I might be able to represent it by simply bending back the clear styrene when it comes time to add the widow glaze after the car is painted. Otherwise, this window stuff is rather useless knowledge (am I, and now you, the only ones in the whole wide world to know this?).

Yes sir! Rather useless knowledge!