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  • Topic: The Blue Ridge Stemwinder in On30

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    • March 16, 2019 11:45 PM EDT

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      The Blue Ridge Stemwinder in On30

      I have wanted to build this layout for a very long time. I have enjoyed On30 for about 10 years now. I have built two mini layouts that have graced the electronic pages of this fine site for quite some time. A sugar cane hauler set in 1920 Haiti and a primitive backwoods logging operation set in 1910 Kentucky and Tennessee.

      But the ET &WNC RR ,”Tweetsie” has always held a special place in my model railroading heart. When Bachmann came out with their magnificent Baldwin 10 wheelers I was ready to do a medium sized layout in On30!!

      So I moved a storage building in to the backyard and made my move to turn dreams in to reality. I have been reading everything I can on the prototype and joined the ET&WNC RR historical society. I live in Tennessee and Johnson City and the Doe River Gorge is not that far away. So field exploration is in the near future.

      I got two of the beautiful locomotives and started to take the plunge in building up rolling stock. Here is my first go at equipment…… the parlor car #10 “Azalea”.





      A Bachmann On30 coach provided the donor mechanism and hardware and roof. The very nice laser wooden kit from Deerfield Laser was chosen to build up the coach







      I scoured the internet trying to find the colors used on Tweetsie Varnish and used some gloss rattle can paints to do up my rendition.







      Well it at least an approximation of the colors I think they used.

      I really enjoyed this shot from the prototype photos.....



      ......so I found some O scale chairs and had a go at recreating the little scene.



      Here is a "topside" view of the fabric roof.



      The actual layout is still in the planning stages and while rolling stock is accumulated a Porter on the mini logging layout will shuffle cars around for pictures.



      So here is what is coming in hopefully the near future:

      Iain Rice's nifty book "Shelf Layouts for Model Rail Roads" has this plan for the ET&WNC in On30 that should fit nicely in the storage building out back.




      So thanks for looking and hopefully you all can follow along as this adventure begins.



      Doc Tom

    • March 17, 2019 4:43 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      There's a fellow on here that modeled that in 1:20. 

      Parlor Car

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      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • March 17, 2019 8:27 AM EDT

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      Ken Brunt said:

      There's a fellow on here that modeled that in 1:20. 

      Parlor Car

      That is a very nice car Ken. It matches the prototype very nicely. Thanks for sharing. Doc Tom

    • March 18, 2019 9:28 PM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Doc Tom,

      Another great example of your work!  The "Tweetsie" is another one of those railroads we share interest in.  I've done a lot of exploration on the old road bed and truly fell in love with the area.  Be sure and get yourself into the Christian Youth Camp.  Its the door to a whole lot of the photography of the area.  It was one of those things on my "bucket list" and I can say, we scratched that one off.

    • March 18, 2019 9:53 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Nice!

      Do you have this? 

      http://grw.trains.com/news/product-reviews/2016/04/20-years-of-the-blue-ridge-stemwinder-cd

       

      It‘s a great source of interesting information.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • April 18, 2019 10:17 PM EDT

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      My latest creation for the upcoming On30 ET&WNC layout is one of Tweetsie’s iconic wooden hopper cars. My modeling buddy Bill Nelson scratch built the wooden body. I went to work adding detail parts, grabs, stake pockets , wheels and couplers. Here is the model in primer gray.















      Next steps will be to follow the prototype and paint and letter the car. The original used a mixture of lampblack, linseed oil and japan drier to get the dark gray/black color. This according to the good folks in the ET&WNC Historical Society.







      Thanks for looking.

      Doc Tom

    • April 18, 2019 10:19 PM EDT

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      Ric Golding said:

      Doc Tom,

      Another great example of your work!  The "Tweetsie" is another one of those railroads we share interest in.  I've done a lot of exploration on the old road bed and truly fell in love with the area.  Be sure and get yourself into the Christian Youth Camp.  Its the door to a whole lot of the photography of the area.  It was one of those things on my "bucket list" and I can say, we scratched that one off.

      Hope to go to the camp and ride their little train in to the Doe River Valley this summer.

      Tom

    • April 18, 2019 10:20 PM EDT

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      Bruce D. Chandler said:

      Nice!

      Do you have this? 

      http://grw.trains.com/news/product-reviews/2016/04/20-years-of-the-blue-ridge-stemwinder-cd

       

      It‘s a great source of interesting information.

      Thank you Bruce. this should be very helpful.

      Tom

    • April 18, 2019 10:20 PM EDT

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      My latest creation for the upcoming On30 ET&WNC layout is one of Tweetsie’s iconic wooden hopper cars. My modeling buddy Bill Nelson scratch built the wooden body. I went to work adding detail parts, grabs, stake pockets , wheels and couplers. Here is the model in primer gray.















      Next steps will be to follow the prototype and paint and letter the car. The original used a mixture of lampblack, linseed oil and japan drier to get the dark gray/black color. This according to the good folks in the ET&WNC Historical Society.







      Thanks for looking.

      Doc Tom

    • May 1, 2019 1:34 PM EDT
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      Goody Goody … another adventure!! 

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      The light in the tunnel might not be an engine , but a light in the caboose of my own train on my Roundy Round Rail Road !    My empire is complete...I think...

    • June 10, 2019 9:11 PM EDT

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      To build this little layout I have been researching the heck out of the ET&WNC RR. Heck, I even joined the ET&WNC RR Historical Society.....a very nice group.

      At the end of May they had their annual convention in Johnson City Tennessee and I had a ball.

      Here we are playing with ET&WNC lokie #12. She is 102 years old and guzzied up in Tweetsie RR livery.

      https://youtu.be/H_xgCijWV0Q

      The engineers let us take as many runbys and phot ops as we wanted with the theme park closed for the time we were there.

      I have a model of number 12 ready to hit the iron when I get to building the layout.

      doc Tom

    • June 10, 2019 9:44 PM EDT
      • Waverly, Alabama
         
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       Great video, Tom.  Thanks for sharing.

       

      EDIT: I hope I look that good when I'm 102 

      This post was edited by Dan Hilyer at June 10, 2019 9:47 PM EDT
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    • June 10, 2019 9:46 PM EDT
      • Waverly, Alabama
         
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    • June 12, 2019 9:54 PM EDT
      • Strattanville, PA
         
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      Great stuff Tom!

      Really looking forward to see you layout build and your new equipment trundling along on it.  Really like those hoppers .  Very similar to the early EBT hoppers. I'd like to build some of those some day.  Hopefully they'll turn out half as nice as yours. Really enjoying all of the historical photos too.  I'll be watching.

      This post was edited by Randy Lehrian Jr. at June 12, 2019 9:55 PM EDT
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    • August 16, 2019 11:11 AM EDT

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      Ahhh, the joys of Prototype model railroading.

      I have completed three hopper cars to haul iron ore and coal on my planned On30 homage to the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad. I will be modeling the era 1920 – 1924 when the railroad was quite profitable and had beautiful narrow gauge passenger cars.



      So, I was doing research on what I thought the prototype Hopper cars looked like.





      I picked up Johnny Graybeals nicely done decal sets for freight cars in O scale at the model railroad show in Johnson City Tennessee this summer. It was also nice meeting him in person. I proceeded to carefully apply decals to the first side of a hopper car. I thought I had done a nice rendition of Hopper car Number 28.







      I read on further about these fine wooden hopper cars, that were felt to be the largest wooden hopper cars in narrow gauge railroading for their time. In an article in the 2018 HOn3 Annual written by Johnny Graybeal, and including photos from his collection, I hit the jackpot on prototype pictures of Hopper cars for the ET&WNC RR. In one of the pictures he mentioned that the lettering in use by the ET and WNC from the teens until 1936 had small stenciling for the road name instead of the stretch lettering that came into vogue after 1936.



      So, it was back to the paint shop and my first attempt at an early 1920s Hopper car was repainted and relettered using Johnny's very good decal sheet. But at this time with much smaller lettering. The stenciling on the decal was a bit too wide and I had to remove the “&” to get it to fit. But, I felt it was a fairly good representation of Hopper car number 18 in 1920’s livery. I am not a rivet counter, but certainly want my rolling stock to be a good representation of what road the rails in the early 1920’s in the mountains of East Tennessee and western North Carolina.







      Now I have two other cars to decal correctly with the correct prototype look for the early 1920's.





      Thanks for looking. Dr. Tom

    • August 16, 2019 6:11 PM EDT
      • Right here 'X', Pa
         
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      Tom Grabenstein said:

      My latest creation for the upcoming On30 ET&WNC layout is one of Tweetsie’s iconic wooden hopper cars. My modeling buddy Bill Nelson scratch built the wooden body. I went to work adding detail parts, grabs, stake pockets , wheels and couplers. Here is the model in primer gray.















      Next steps will be to follow the prototype and paint and letter the car. The original used a mixture of lampblack, linseed oil and japan drier to get the dark gray/black color. This according to the good folks in the ET&WNC Historical Society.







      Thanks for looking.

      Doc Tom

      Nice looking cars Doc. Will these be loads  or empties when on the pike? Looking at that last pic and following along with your attention to detail, I also need to ask if you will be laying in the metal slope sheets whose edge appears to show laying on the wood slope base ? Note pic of car 28 appears to show the metal folded over the edge of the wood slope boards.

       

      This post was edited by David Marconi,FOGCH at August 16, 2019 6:18 PM EDT
    • August 16, 2019 8:38 PM EDT
      • Defending the State of Exile! ,
         
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      As always ....outstanding work Doc Tom

    • August 16, 2019 9:52 PM EDT

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      David Marconi,FOGCH said:
      Tom Grabenstein said:

      My latest creation for the upcoming On30 ET&WNC layout is one of Tweetsie’s iconic wooden hopper cars. My modeling buddy Bill Nelson scratch built the wooden body. I went to work adding detail parts, grabs, stake pockets , wheels and couplers. Here is the model in primer gray.















      Next steps will be to follow the prototype and paint and letter the car. The original used a mixture of lampblack, linseed oil and japan drier to get the dark gray/black color. This according to the good folks in the ET&WNC Historical Society.







      Thanks for looking.

      Doc Tom

      Nice looking cars Doc. Will these be loads  or empties when on the pike? Looking at that last pic and following along with your attention to detail, I also need to ask if you will be laying in the metal slope sheets whose edge appears to show laying on the wood slope base ? Note pic of car 28 appears to show the metal folded over the edge of the wood slope boards.

       

      Hello David. Thanks for the input on the hopper models. There will be removable loads of iron ore and coal. I am trying to figure out the color of the ore mined at the Cranberry NC mine on the ET&WNC RR.

      The metal sheeting is a tough one though. I am not sure if the early cars had it or not. If installed it would hide all the cool wood and nail details on the slope sheets. I will ask members of the ET&WNC RR Historical Society and get their input on what was done in the early 1920's. I'll bet there was sheet metal as dumping rocks in to a wooden car would tear up the timbering fairly quickly.

      Doc Tom

       

       

      This post was edited by Tom Grabenstein at August 16, 2019 9:55 PM EDT
    • August 16, 2019 9:54 PM EDT

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      " Rooster " said:

      As always ....outstanding work Doc Tom

      Thanks Rooster. Good to hear from you again.  Doc T

    • August 16, 2019 10:22 PM EDT
      • Waverly, Alabama
         
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      Fine looking cars, Tom.  Thanks for sharing and providing the historical background and photos.

      ____________________________________

       

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