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    • April 17, 2019 8:13 PM EDT
    • Cool project, Cliff.  I have coke and popcorn in hand waiting for the show to begin 

    • April 17, 2019 7:29 PM EDT
    • Truck Differences. 


      I mentioned there were 5 trucks in the project, with four different versions. The truck beneath the mast doesn't have brakes, because there's no room for the rigging down there. So, with and without brakes, standard and narrow gauge. The cosmetic one on the deck is an extra standard gauge, with brakes. 


      Here's what the gauge difference looks like. The standard gauge configuration has more realistic body-mounted couplers. I can't use them on my layout (curves are too tight), so these couplers are just for show; they plug into a drawbar socket. 



      The narrow gauge config has typical truck couplers, modeled along a Bachmann design. A blanking plate plugs into the drawbar socket. 



    • April 17, 2019 7:17 PM EDT
    • Thanks guys!


      Chris, thanks brutha, I'll do my best!


      Jim, Forrest, measuring between coupler ends, it's 20.29" long; length of the deck is 18". 


      About the compression I wanted to avoid, I originally started the project thinking I could use a commercial flat car, say, B'man or LGB, but those are quite shorter. (I'd measure, but I'm in a hotel at the moment... another work trip). Since the mast stabs through the deck, between a truck and the needle beams, there wasn't room for the mast's underside details. Another example is the Bachmann truck frames I was going to use, until more recently. Though supposedly 1:20-ish, their axles were about 1/2" too close together for this 1:24 model. 



      john, it's a hand-operated winch, with a handle on either side (for 2 man op, if needed; or maybe also just for convenience). When the derrick was sold to Paramount for movie work in '47, PM mounted a tiny steam or air motor (powered from the loco) on the boom to drive it. It's shown clearly in the movie Whispering Smith, which has the best (and apparently only) photography of the derrick in actual operation.


      Here's a detail shot of the model winch.



      Yellow parts are brass, black is 3d printed; wood is cedar. 


      Thanks for viewing,




    • April 17, 2019 1:05 PM EDT
    • Cliff Jennings said: ... without the compression rippling though the rest of the model.



      Haven't seen/heard that exact phrasing before but it definitely transmits the concept well; that is indeed what happens.

    • April 17, 2019 10:21 AM EDT
    • How are the winches driven? 

    • April 17, 2019 8:56 AM EDT
    • Kewl!  How long is this? What are the implications of non-compression?

    • April 17, 2019 8:19 AM EDT
    • Going to be another good one to watch Cliffy!

    • April 16, 2019 11:40 PM EDT
    • Gauge & Scale.


      The trucks were a kinda big deal on this project. After looking at a number of commercial options, including beauts from Iron Creek Shops, I decided to roll my own, using 3D printed parts and wood. I'll go over their construction as I get to them, but for the present, I wanted to point out the gauge and scale problems with this build.


      I wanted to model on an actual scale, on a model that wasn't compressed. I'm using 1:24 on my "formal" modeling projects; so for this model, that means it's pretty long -- because it isn't compressed, like all the LGB stuff. That's important, because I need the room to fit in the derrick without the compression rippling though the rest of the model.


      The other problem is gauge. Since I'm doing 1:24 on 45mm gauge, that's narrow gauge. But the V&T was standard gauge. So that means the trucks, if they're to run on my layout, are too narrow for a prototypical model. The solution I found was to make two sets of trucks: one narrow gauge (for running), the other standard gauge (for display / discussion). Well, and one more standard-gauge truck for display, on the deck (as shown), because that's how the ol' #50 was configured in her best (and final) photos. So, five trucks for one car model.


      The display will be dual-gauge, to support either truck configuration. 



    • April 16, 2019 11:31 PM EDT
    • That’s really nice!

    • April 16, 2019 11:17 PM EDT
    • Off and on, over a few years, I've been researching and computer-modeling a derrick car that the V&T used in the late 1800's. It's a long story, and I'm not sure where to start, so I'll just dive in. Here's a couple images of the design model.




      There's gobs of hardware on this thing, so lots of 3d printed parts. Lots of individual boards, lots of holes to drill. I'll post on all those in weeks ahead. 


      I finally began construction on the project last weekend, on the display. Yeah, I know that sounds weird. But since I'll be presenting on the car & model at the next V&T conference, I needed a display base that can disassemble and pack flat in a suitcase. I learned the hard way how not to do that with the V&T flanger #51, where I dragged a big wooden display / mirror to show the flanger mechanism. This display also needs a mirror to show the underside, to show the complicated mast base. Here's the design model,



      The parts for the display were cut on the laser from acrylic. The mirror is mirrored plex (which has a protective film on it, so doesn't look great in this pic).



      The parts interlock (without fasteners), and are quite rigid. Now that I've put it together though, I realize it doesn't need those pricey 1/2" rods at all. If I do another, it won't have those rods, only a couple more laser-cut joists that snap into slots. Another thing, the end pieces are glued/laminated; but it's hard to do that cleanly, and there's plenty of micro bubbles visible. I asked my artistically-dependable wife if I should spray the ribs flat black, she said no, no one will notice the bubbles if I don't point them out.  So I'll go with this thing, and move on to the actual model.


      'Mo later,



    • April 17, 2019 6:31 PM EDT
    • Thank you for the comments, gentlemen.

      The next hard part after the radiators was the steps at each corner. The USA Trains steps look like this:

      The prototype steps look like this:

      I tried making them out of brass, but my soldering skills simply aren't up to that kind of work. After much pondering, I finally decided to make them out of styrene shapes from Plastruct. I printed a picture of the steps at scale and found that the HO scale diamond plate plastic patterned sheet in the catalog matched the printed picture perfectly. I also bought some 3/32" fineline styrene angles. I cut and bent a bunch of pieces of each and them melted them together with Plastruct Plastic Weld. They came out like this:

      They're pretty fragile, and if I still owned hundreds of feet of operational track I would fear for their survival. But since I have no track these days, they should be fine.




    • April 17, 2019 1:08 PM EDT
    • Nice progress Matt.

      John Passaro said:

      edit: how come I see the typos after I hit the post box? Geez!

       Just the way our software works.  Every day for me   Just did now 'cause I didn't notice the big red underlines on misspelled words!


    • April 17, 2019 1:01 PM EDT
    • Good re-use of the radiator louvers. Project is proceeding nicely.

    • April 16, 2019 11:26 PM EDT
    • Good deal, yeah, Jerry's model is gorgeous. 

    • April 16, 2019 10:44 PM EDT
    • Thanks Cliff! And thanks for the attribution on that loader. I just found it on google images...


      [edited to add a Bruce Chandler photo of Jerry Bohlander's loader at a drag & bag in 2015 [link]:




    • April 16, 2019 10:38 PM EDT
    • Hey Jim, great project!!


      BTW, that second to the last pic you have in your initial post shows a model that I believe was built by our buddy here, Jerry Bohlander. Aka "Naptowneng," which is short for "Annapolis Engineer." 


      In case you don't have it, here's a Surry-Parker catalog which has a bunch of great info on their loaders:;view=1up;seq=7


      Looking forward to seeing your build!


    • April 16, 2019 9:56 PM EDT
    • I love it Rick! Thanks!

    • April 16, 2019 11:24 PM EDT
    • oops, not sure what happened there Jim, see my next post



    • April 16, 2019 11:16 PM EDT
    • Did the images get lost?


    • April 16, 2019 10:49 PM EDT
    • Off and on, over a few years, I've been researching and computer-modeling a derrick car that the V&T used in the late 1800's. It's a long story, and I'm not sure where to start. But here's a few images of the design model.