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    • July 27, 2020 10:47 PM EDT
    • Greetings fellow friends, hobbyists and forumgoers, hopefully all of you are as well as can be in these swiftly vanishing weeks. As of the past month or so (June-July) I have been busy with a kitbash of an LGB 2017 0-4-0 into an open cabbed industrial/sugarcane/tropical export locomotive, with varying successes and trials throughout the build.

      Beginning this adventure is the engine's original appearance, shortly after a conversion from archaic radio control back into a track-power analogue engine, and a proper servicing of the motor block. 'Tis your typical grey starter-set LG(&)B 2017 that would be stuffed in a box with a 2 axle gondola and 2 axle caboose. At this point I had already replaced the 'American' box headlamp with a European Stainz headlight, and was tinkering with the thought of mounting the roof on metal poles, being nice clean axles from Hartland plastic wheelsets. The running gear has been removed, but the wheels were still turning.

      The open cab appearance had been noticed after some browsing of images of open-cabbed locomotives, many of which were of an industrial and non-mainline nature.

      It is known that English and European railways rostered mainline motive power in earlier days of railroading with open-cabs, and in rarer cases, American railroads did as well.

      In all instances, the crew generally suffered from the lack of inclement weather protection. In my case, this engine, my model, would end up retaining the full arched roof over the cab floor space, and would live a life in a warm tropical environment, where the only weather it sees is regular imagined rainfall.

      In the process of a further teardown, curiosity brought a spare dome lid and safety valve apparatus from my pile of Stainz parts. Using the same boiler shell casting from 2010/20s means that yes, this certainly can fit in the envisioned position on the 2017. This began a dangerous series of contemplations of what else can be traded around on these models.

      A day or so later, I ripped the doors off, hinges and all. Knocked the handrails out too, pressing against the inner split nubs with a flat blade screwdriver. Those railings in particular are fragile and costly to replace, so care is advised.

      I also decided to rip the cab in half.

      Lopping off the superstructure allowed for me to place the metal support rods in, thereby synthesizing additional inspiration fuel for the idea-cooker. (Mind)

      Around this point, tinkering with the various doobies and things on the boiler came forth into the beginnings of a vertical steam pipe, reaching skyward to the future roof to deliver spare steam to a whistle. Those are chopped plastic axles sleeves, on another metal axle rod, courtesy of Hartland. Very nice that cast-off plastic wheels and their metal internals have additional uses on the work table.

      Some morning later, I took the top half of the cab to a powered wheel grinder, after committing unspeakable violence with big cutting dykes, and ground away the remaining plastic. An Xacto blade later trimmed the outer edges flush and cut new channels in the flat spots to match the rest of the roof's relief.

      Then, probably some of my finest guesstimation-ing took place, spotting cut and drilled nubs of plastic, all sourced from a spare Hartland flatcar stave.

      Seating the poles carefully onto various corners, the first glimpse of the combination-modification came forth. The height is certainly not final, don't worry.

      With cutting the cab in half, the wide open doorway in the rear was now wide open, leaving the rear walls standing alone and afraid. This was rectified by cutting apart one of the cast-off cordwood fuel-retainer things from my Hartland Dunkirk, creating a three-board insert that hangs out between those two convenient flange slots. Who's to say the locomotive's builder didn't have modular catalogue construction in mind?

      In among research of prototypes, the locomotive's color was on the mind, and a variety of Java locomotives, yellow with red trim, very much had the likeness of tropical-industrial I was after, with the same ballooney smokestacks to boot. This engine in particular below was quite a find.

      In the end, yellow was decided as the dominant color. Having a lighter yellow on hand from two yellow cabooses painted in times prior, I sprayed some on. Coinciding with this was an application of flat black sprays to that silver smokebox and all related black parts, evening out the colors.

      I'm sure your eye noticed that spot of orange peel on the bunker. Mine swiftly did too, though it only occurred on this one spot. As fate would have it, this wasn't entirely a bad thing, considering its position beneath the wet and splashy hatch of the engine's upper water tank. Evil plans were henceforth concocted after sanding and several minutes of stern staring. Additionally visible is the placement of the errant walkway-mounted generator/tank cylinder, sitting in a more suitable position behind the sandbox.

      Remember that T-shaped thingy? What you probably didn't notice is the absence of the huge single-stage cylinder/pump on the right-hand tank. Taking that off leaves two big conspicuous holes, but also allows for creative insertion of different things.

      Like a water tank overfill-air-vent overflow... Thing?

      One plastic truck washer and a mesh wire sleeve later, things are a little more convincing and interesting.

      Next to come was the installation of singular buffers, done in the same style as my blue-grey 2017. These are spare Thomas/British buffers made by Bachmann that were ripped off 2-axle rolling stock and tossed in a spare parts drawer. Roughing up the front of them with a file mimics the impact and rubbing wear experienced in service.

      Installing one on the rear required Xacto work to remove the cast rivets lining the back of the black chassis frame. The buffer sits right above the rear coupler slot, not readily visible due to the pliers.

      Around this time, a rear headlight was considered, and a flat spare grabbed from the parts bag. Although the central mount seemed optimal, the look of a heavy headlight sitting on painted wood boards seemed a little odd.

      Sitting offset on the right, was a triple-whammy. Unusual for being offset, (which I like) fitting snugly up against the framework of the rear wall, and conveniently above that long-ago drilled hole for wiring from the long-dead R/C electronics. This placement immediately won favor.

      In another instance of mad science, Stainz-style rear flange guards were fitted to the underside rear, only requiring a few chops of the Xacto blade on the backsides of two cast round things, hiding and visible among the four support lengths of the plow. This allowed the tops of the angled plow blades to sit flush beneath the motor block and chassis.

      What occured next on a later evening, was an execution of patience to be remembered, and it paid off. Cutting a small length of scrap wood (popsicle sticks) to length to act as a placement block, and using temporary slappings of tape, I positioned and glued the support rods to their various places on the rear walls and backhead plating. In a procession of matching heights in four corners, I set a pair of pliers atop the arched roof as a counterweight, and pushing up slightly with the metal rods beneath, found their stopping places against the mounts, and kept them in place as the glue cured.

      And as intended, the roof is the same height as the since-glued steam pipe, with the metal axle wonderfully in line with the cast holes for the factory whistle. Around this same point, I painted, glued and added those little wood boards between the roof's riveted metal bars, representing a different sort of roof vent, or perhaps a prefabricated hole in a prefab roof, replaced by wood planking by the manufacturer with the open-cab construction. Modular mayhem, especially reasonable considering those lifting eyes in the four corners, would mean the roof is plucked off by a shop crane.

      Once the metal support rods were confirmed to be adhered, more of that sectioned Hartland flatcar stave became mounting feet for them, glued into place and giving the setup a little more durability against possible downforce impacts. (Gravity + objects)

      Breaking the topic into two posts because I expected a 25-image limit; stay tuned!

    • July 27, 2020 9:51 PM EDT
    • Glad to be of assistance.  


      Good luck with the hurricane.


      Looking forward to watching the Mill take shape.

    • July 26, 2020 11:51 PM EDT
    • Tim, well, what do you know?   Sure enough, there are two little screws on a curved plate!  I've had that saw for years...never dawned on me such things existed. Thanks!

    • July 26, 2020 11:42 PM EDT
    • No...not the screws that hold the blade in place.  Rather, there should be another Allen screw (more than one, likely) in the bottom of the metal base, perhaps affixed to a small curved plate in the base.  That is what controls the 'side angle.'   Get that level, then tighten the screw.  At least that's how mine is, which looks similar to yours.


    • July 26, 2020 10:15 PM EDT
    • Tim, yes, I did find the allen wrench screws.  I assume you mean the ones that hold the blade in place?  I will pay more attention to these the next time I meet "Jigsaw" in single combat... As for housing, that sounds about right... If it's only an annual bloodletting (I use the cash substitute), you have a great deal!


      Back to the project...I took some a break from preparing to recieve Hurricane Douglas yesterday to tinker with some mock-ups.  In both, I extended the loading / unloading area the length of the mill.  The first option I am weighing is to cover the whole complex:


      To be frank, I have some real concerns about the margin for error here once I move the complex onto the railroad.  Oldest Son joined me to modify the mock-up so that the loading track for the Triple O's box cars would be exposed:


      What this may sacrifice in terms of being prototypical I feel it gains in terms of being doable ( i.e. margin of error, tools and skills, and material).  Frankly, I think it looks better, too.


          I think I now see a plan going forward:

      1. Cut the frame for the loading / unloading shed from foam.  As suggested, this will be a "wooden" structure to vary things up.  The side facing the box car will be open. 
      2. Lay foam horizontally around the structure and inside the shed to serve as the core  for the loading deck and walkway.  We can cover this with craft stick planking on top and carve "stones" into the sides (Pennsylvania than Hawai'i, but it is consistent with material on hand on our railroad.).  If there is a better material we can cut, scribe, and paint, I am all ears!
      3. Simulate the conveyor going into the mill. The loading deck will give the appearance of depth, especially if it breaks over the area that would hold the conveyor.  We'll cut an opening in the mill for the conveyor, backed with foam on all sides so you can't see any deeper into the mill.  I am toying with approximating a conveyor, as it could, conceivably, be visible to someone curious enough to put down their drink and look into the shed.


      My office is splitting us into a week on / week off schedule, so I hope to start cutting the loading / unloading shed this week.  Hope springs eternal!  The primaries are in early August, after which I will go "shopping" for roofing material!








    • July 27, 2020 1:50 PM EDT
    • Richard Mynderup said:

      I successfully removed the paint, cleaned everything up and have repainted using very light coats. It all looks good and now will let it cure for quite awhile before I do anything else. I appreciate all the advice and experience!!

      Great, I think your on your way to success, here is the paint I use for clear coats, both dull and gloss, it doesn't take much, one coat works for me. I do usually paint over the Rust-Oleum base color in three days The reason I don't use Rust-Oleum clears is because they are too thick and drying times become a problem.


    • July 27, 2020 1:34 PM EDT
    • I successfully removed the paint, cleaned everything up and have repainted using very light coats. It all looks good and now will let it cure for quite awhile before I do anything else. I appreciate all the advice and experience!!

    • July 27, 2020 1:22 PM EDT
    • Rustoleum paints can be very problematic with re-coat times.  We use it at work for small jobs. One of my helpers was tasked with painting a 2" x 3" piece of acrylic with their Smoke Grey. Even after following the re-coat times, waiting 48 hours between coats, he still got that orange peel effect because the the base was not completely cured.  He repeated this failure abut 6 or 7 times finally giving up!  When doing the same job I find that spraying second and third coats within the re-coat time of within 1 hour yields good results.  Most Rustoluem paints say re-coat within 1 hour or after 48. The after 48 assumes ideal humidity conditions and that the previous coats were even and relatively thin. If you go sooner, before the 1 hour, the solvents are still active and don't react with the finish.


      Personally, I shop for paints that say Re-coat any time.  All Krylon used to be this way, but not so much any more. Most lacquer paints fall into this category and most enamels do not.

    • July 27, 2020 11:11 AM EDT
    • I would say you are putting on too many coats of paint, did you watch the video and see how much paint he applied to the model, not much. Your clear coat coat to seal the decals should be light also. Now I have no idea on what you did or how much paint is on the model at this time, like I said, adding more paint and the paint is not dry under what you are painting will just result in more problems. I'd strip it all off and start over it it were me with a paint stripper that will not affect plastic, yes I would test it somewhere on the engine underside to see what happens.  The solvents in the paint are most likely not cured (dyed) in the paint, thus you are trapping them in when you apply more paint. Take your fingernail an push it into the paint, if it leaves an impression your paint is not dry down under the top layers. Sorry, it's the only advise I have for you, Iv'e only been painting models for 60 plus years and Iv'e had everything go wrong that could have gone wrong over the years, painting is a learning experience for sure. 


    • July 27, 2020 10:31 AM EDT
    • Pete, fair question. I’ve applied Stan Cederleaf‘s decals and his instructions call for applying a clear coat to seal The decal. I thought why not hit the entire area for a bit of extra coverage. So this is the only reason.


    • July 27, 2020 10:14 AM EDT
    • this morning I applied a light coat of the 2x semi gloss clear.

      Can I ask why? If you've already got a good coat of semi-gloss green paint, why use the clear semi gloss on top?

      I only apply clear coats when I am trying to make it glossier or duller. The Krylon UV protected dull coat is my usual overspray.


    • July 27, 2020 12:26 AM EDT
    • Hey John...hence my dilemma.  I’ve received all kinds of advice And everyone has a different solution. Seriously I just want the darn thing to work. It’s Rustoleum 2x... both color and clear coat. Shouldn’t be a lot of brain science...but t frustrating when it doesn’t work after follo I gotta the directions . I’m good with the cure time of 2-3 weeks but then some claim it doesnt take that long. It’s been suggested to use rubbing alcohol to remove paint. So I’ve tried that with some success. It’s all confusing... but in the end I appreciate The suggestions



    • July 27, 2020 12:26 AM EDT
    • Hey John...hence my dilemma.  I’ve received all kinds of advice And everyone has a different solution. Seriously I just want the darn thing to work. It’s Rustoleum 2x... both color and clear coat. Shouldn’t be a lot of brain science...but t frustrating when it doesn’t work after follo I gotta the directions . I’m good with the cure time of 2-3 weeks but then some claim it doesnt take that long. It’s been suggested to use rubbing alcohol to remove paint. So I’ve tried that with some success. It’s all confusing... but in the end I appreciate The suggestions



    • July 26, 2020 11:21 PM EDT
    • Don't understand the use of rubbing alcohol, I would have probably taken thinner on a rag and just wiped the paint off where is was bad, then sanded with 180 grit sandpaper and follow up with 400 grit. Myself I would have probably wiped the engine paint off completely with thinner on a rag and started over, but test the thinner on the plastic and make sure it doesn't affect the plastic. Your have made the mistake of too much paint and now you want to add more, not to sure what you will end up with. As far as drying, spray enamel takes 2-3 weeks to dry, I don't care what the can says on it, if you can still smell the paint with the engine up to your face, it's not dry. The Testor's works fine the first go around, but just adding it to your engine at this time I have not idea what will happen with all the paint you have on it. You can not just keep adding paint and expect it to work, it just doesn't work that way. Remember this, paint drys from the inside out, not the outside in, yes you can touch the paint after a short time and you may think it's dry, but it wet under that outside layer. This is where when you repaint, or add clear coat, etc. and you think it's dry, but it's not. 

      Watch this guy paint with Rust-Oleum paints, do pay attention to how much paint and coats he uses on his models, less is better,



    • July 26, 2020 7:41 PM EDT
    • Thanks John...I put a light coat of semi gloss on the entire cab but only had raising on the front in a few spots.  I have since lightly wiped it down with rubbing alcohol and sanded with an 800 grit wet/dry paper.  I've managed get rid of most of the ripples.  I'll paint a light coat of green again tomorrow morning and then let dry well.  

      Question...since the sides and back already have a light coat of Rustoleum clear semi gloss do you think I'll have any problems moving to the Testor's spray lacquer you mention??  I'd let the entire cab dry for about a week at this point.  I would think 100 degree temps would speed the curing process.



    • July 26, 2020 6:18 PM EDT
    • I use the Rust-OLeum 2x all the time and have no problems, I would say your green paint is not totally dry and it's raising up because the clear on top of it is affecting the drying process. I don't know how much green paint you put on the model, 1, 2, 3, 4, coats, I only spray a light cover coat and then one wet coal and I'm done. Note here I never use the 2x clear, 2x satin for a clear coat, I use the Testor's spray lacquer in the blue and white can, about $6.00 from Hobby Lobby, it sold at many other hobby store to. It goes on lighter where the 2x clears go on way too heavy and can cause the problems you are having. When I say heavy I'm talking the thickness of the paints makeup and how it sprays out of the can, in other the paint is too thick, it's made too thick for modeling I think. Most from what I have seen is many put too much paint on there models and the thinner you can get by with the better. 



    • July 26, 2020 9:36 PM EDT
    • I scrolled back a bit to catch up and I'm seeing June dates, but not noticing the year and wondering how I missed the thread. Then I notice it's 4 years old   Converyor looks good and adds a lot of realism. Now the unobtanium has a way to get into the colliery.


      You need to work on cameras and some on-board. We could run as a Zoom meeting


    • July 26, 2020 4:22 PM EDT

      Somebody get the track gang down there and clear the weeds we've got unobtanium to move!

      Looks good BD

    • July 26, 2020 4:05 PM EDT
    • Dang, that looks GOOD!

      Now, I'm guessing we don't get to see it in person for awhile.