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  • Topic: Ke Ka'a Piki (the Shortened Coach) -- Passing the Baton

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    • March 11, 2020 8:11 PM EDT

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      Eric Mueller said:

      To All,

       

           Thank you for all your kind comments and words of encouragement!  I have passed them along to Oldest Daughter.  Today, we completed our research run.  A summary of our discussion of the day's finding follows. 

       

           She took the initiative to take a bunch of pictures inside and outside the parlor car.  I also nudged her to approach one of the volunteers with questions, as a case study in "one well placed question can spare many hours of work!"  She and the volunteer then about an hour looking for paint chips to take home so she can match commercially available paint to the  OR&L's green.  Instead, he gave her the label off the can and the formula, to boot!   Other key finds:

       

      1. Confirmed no stoves!  Even Dillingham's parlor car apparently packed a cold lunch!  She will have to shave off the port where the old stove pipe came through the roof.
      2. The roofs are canvas-over-wood.  It will be up to her if she wants to emulate this.  The current model has a textured roof that would likely suffice.  
      3. The interior of the 3rd class coach under restoration had wooden benches running athwart the car (in WWII, pineapple can cars, themselves converted coaches, often had benches running the length of the car like a modern military transport aircraft). We got to examine the last remaining examples of the pre-WWII benches! Again, her call if she wants to emulate it or simply paint the existing ones to look like they were cushioned.
      4. Lots of little individual details, like colors to paint the wheels, the amount of appropriate weathering, suggested trim colors, etc.

       

      The finery of the parlor car was overwhelming.   In all of our trips to the railroad, we'd never been inside, reinforcing the lesson of "Ask the question!"  At this point, she is leaning more towards a combine than a parlor car, but we shall see.  If she catches the bug, that can always be a project down the line as her  confidence rises.  Hopefully, this weekend, she will be ready to put paint or saw to plastic.

       

      We'll review the photos tomorrow and see if any add to the topic.

       

      Have a great week!

       

      Eric

      P.S. Pete, you may tell your wife I passed along the compliment and found that, no, other than the bangs and an inch or so off the back once in a blue moon, she never cuts here hair.

       

       

      Just a recommendation while doing historical research on a RR car. They "Usually" lightly sand down the body and window frames of the car to determine the "original" paint colors. However sometimes they can never specify a determined color.  I'm curious how many colors OD might find if she starts sanding lightly. 

       

      Hint would be to start on the NON STOVE end of the car or sometimes know as the A end?

       

      Just a thought with the historic information provided so far ....carry on .....;)

       

    • March 12, 2020 1:30 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Rooster,

       

      I should have explainted OD's quest a bit better.  The new third class coach in the works had to be rebuilt from the trucks up.  Most of the lumber that the shop was using to create patterns was so termite ridden, I am surprised they even could use them!  There was nary a scrap of paint on it.  The car started out like this still barely standing derelict:

      It is now framed up:

      The foreman told OD that the colors they use are "best guesses."  She got the label from their paint locker:

      This is what she used to do the match at the hardware store.   I don't own - and I have no place to put - a spray booth, so she went with a best fit spray can, and Rustoleum's "Hunter Green" was close enough.  Best of all, if she enjoys this project, we can buy more for whatever comes next.

         

           As for getting her an account here, Devon, I'll let her do that if she decides to carry on.  It would, as you said, allow her to directly share her thoughts.  I am using this project to ease her into social media, and this site, with its membership and moderators, is a good place to start.  

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

       

       

       

    • March 13, 2020 2:51 AM EDT
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      Eric, I am enjoying following the build of your daughters coach. I asked my daughter last week if she would be interested in " decorating " a boxcar for me. She is into drawing characters from some of the games she plays. She is really getting good at it. So I figured maybe a graffiti car or something of that nature would get her "hooked" on some train stuff. Tell OD she rocks at what she is doing and keep up the great work!....

    • March 13, 2020 9:55 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Travis,

       

      I'll pass it along!  OD's first idea was to simply "paint a picture," too, actually.  Little did she know I have friends with bigger goals and deeper spare parts boxes!

       

      Eric

    • March 15, 2020 12:00 AM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Now this is seriously getting fun. Not only is modeling train fun. But prototype research is even better. She is learning to model, yeah thats awesome. But now she is modeling history and learning about the real deal. Maybe she can volunteer some help on the restoration of the real thing. I have an acquaintance who's daughter started out with an interest in WW2 war planes. She is now a young woman of 17 and has written a book and is actively restoring warbirds with museum staff. This is so much better than wasting away on social media. Not that that is a bad thing I mean we are all here but there is something to be said for hands on projects.

      ____________________________________
    • March 15, 2020 10:44 AM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Travis here is one of the cars I had my grandkids do. I gave each family a car and let them run with it

      ____________________________________

       

      Butt Modeler #2

       

       

    • March 16, 2020 2:19 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      All,

       

           As ever, thanks from both of us for your kind comments!  OD made a bit of progress this weekend.  Today it rained too hard to even consider spray painting; in fact, our lanai flooded, making it unsafe for us to use electrical tools.  Nonetheless, OD asked I share a few highpoints from yesterday's push of what can best be described as "fun with styrene."  Basically, the coach needed an interior bulkhead to block the view towards the "cargo" area and a few patches in the floor.  Some tracing, scribing, snipping, and fitting followed:

        

      We both (re)learned what a joy styrene is to work with.  She learned that order of operations do, in fact matter, as a few of her patches made it harder to trace the parts for the next step.  My role is to advise, not to do!  She cut a couple windows into the interior bulkhead and also discovered the truth of "measure twice, cut once" and its corollary "erase all mistakes so you don't confuse those lines with the lines you actually wish to cut!"  No show stoppers.  Styrene is very forgiving, she discovered!  Along the way, she picked up a few tricks on choosing the right glue for the right job.

           

           Her new pal, "Kiwi-bird," watched from his cage and posed with the results (bulkhead pre-interior windows):

       

      Not bad!  Her goal is to provide enough of an interior to give the impression of  detail from the normal viewing angle, and I think she is on the right path.

       

          The crew got a bonus week for spring break.  OD identified the following steps she plans to take:

      1. Scribe the new wood flooring.
      2. Cut panes for the interior bulkhead windows (I am trying to convince her to take the extra step of adding strips of styrene to simulate the frames).
      3. Remove the old wiring from the wheelsets intended to bring power to interior lights.   I told her we will  learn to make our own light strips, possibly installing a switch in the clerestory a la Bill Barnwell.
      4. Paint.

       

      It is spring break in Hawaii.  We'll see!

       

            On another note, yes, I do hope this may inspire her or her siblings to get involved with the historical railroad, both so they can learn to use their hands in a way I never did and so, to be honest, I have an excuse to go out there and learn to do the same!    In the meantime, I am just glad her siblings are learning through her how to leverage local resources beyond going to a search engine in pursuit of a goal.  There are stories behind facts the internet simply does not have.

       

      Updates as required!

       

      Eric & OD

       OD's note-

      Yes Kiwi has taken over, but even though he's settled in I still have too many projects!  Between railroad, fish breeding, babysitting, music, karate, friends, and basic fun DIY to improve things,-yes I'm pretty busy- my dad may not be the king of too many projects anymore.  Anyway, I still want to keep the exterior design kind of secret for now, but I'm really excited about that.  I do have a lot of options, but I want to start small first and then you know, we'll learn and get better so I can do bigger things.  I did make a really stupid mistake when adding that styrene sheet on the bottom of the car though.  (' - ')  As you can see in the pic of the floor above, there is that little circle.  The smarter thing I should have done was put a chunk of styrene under it and trace the circle -they're hard to get exact when free-handing- to cut it out and put it in after the supporting sheet of styrene under it.  NOPE!    I glued the supporting styrene sheet on the bottom and forgot about the circle until after!  Like my dad said, "Cut once measure twice."

      Although -sorry this is so long, but I think there's an exception because it's not like I've made a post before- my dad has made a lot of improvement, but that's because he made mistakes first.  LOL This is a funny story he told me!  When he was a kid, he was doing some kind of model project with a really sticky super glue that could stick your skin together.  He still had some glue on his hands and started to rub his face.  He realized what he did when he couldn't open his mouth, eye, or breathe through his nostril.  He didn't want his mom to see , so he had to cut his eyelashes and slowly open his mouth and nostril over time!  Then -eventually and surprisingly- success!

       

      Enjoying this project,

      -OD

      This post was edited by Eric Mueller at March 18, 2020 7:30 PM EDT
    • March 16, 2020 7:15 AM EDT
      • Not one of the WannaBe's,
         
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      OD, for that hole patch in the floor. Lay a piece of paper over it and tape so it can't move. Now press down with finger or thumb around the edge of the hole. At this point you can enhance the pressed in line with a pencil or just cut the hole out of the paper with scissors or knife. Test fit this pattern just to make sure of fit then transfer it to plastic.

    • March 17, 2020 10:40 AM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Hey OD, we learn through our mistakes. If you are going to scratch build stuff you are going to make mistakes, do dumb stuff, and make breakthroughs. That all part of the fun as long as oyu learn from them and gain skill as you go. My first attempt to scratch build a locomotive was pretty much an epic failure. But as Thomas Edison famously is quoted as saying "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." and that is truly a great saying. One thing about mistakes is you learn how to make repairs.

       

      Keep up the great work.

       

      PS what kind of fish do you breed? I used to be an freshwater angelfish breeder.

      ____________________________________
    • March 17, 2020 11:41 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      And like an experienced modeler, keep the band aids handy...............

      ____________________________________

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

    • March 17, 2020 2:46 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Ken Brunt said:

      And like an experienced modeler, keep the band aids handy...............

      I tried explaining to my wife that no project is truly complete until there is blood on it. This was while she was giving me the evil eye a few days ago as she was helping me bandage the end of my finger.

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    • March 19, 2020 3:25 PM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      OD, if you are not making mistakes you are not pushing your boundaries or learning new things!! Granted once you learn NOT to do something it looks bad when you repeat that mistake learning opportunity. I have been a master of doing the wrong thing 2 or 3 times. We are all waiting to hear and see what you have planned and of course the finished product!!

      ____________________________________

       

      Butt Modeler #2

       

       

    • March 21, 2020 1:52 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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            Hey everyone, thanks for the nice tips and responses.  I'm glad you're all supporting this project and helping me with it.  We spary painted the chassis and truck a primer black today and removed the wires that run from the wheels into the interiors.  I'll make a bit more progress on the interior this weekend and maybe get to painting the car body.

          About the bloodied project, yes I totally agree.  I learned to keep the band aids or paper towels in a fairly close distance after I cut my thumb with a pocket knife recently making a playground for my Kiwi Bird.  Whatever I have to do for pets though, is always worth it in the end.  A day or two after we got Kiwi, we put him on our indoor play train, (Kid-Zilla's cheap battery train he calls "Gordon") and he just sat there in the work caboose having a good time, so we know so far he likes the trains!  Already getting used to his new home.  I'm sure some of you have pets who "help" you with your projects sometimes, or maybe they're part of it like our fish. 

       

            Speaking of fish, I bred kribs, tried to breed cherry barbs and bettas, and am trying to get a pair of angelfish.

       

      Once again thank you for the responses!

      -OD

      This post was edited by Eric Mueller at April 3, 2020 4:21 AM EDT
    • March 31, 2020 3:35 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Hi everyone!  Getting very close to the painting now.  Thank you, Mr. Bill, for the suggestion about painting the interior a white.  I will definitely hand-paint the interior sort of a flat white.  Recently we spray painted the flooring a nice brown and it looks so much better as you can see in the pics below.

       

       

            I also worked on tweaking the windows for the interior bulkhead which separates the passenger from the cargo.  I wanted to give it just enough detail to see a door through the window, so I used a piece of styrene and made it look like the door on the outside of the coach.  Then I made the door frame by cutting little strips of styrene with a paper cutter and X-ACTO knife and placing them on the faux door with plastic weld.  To make sure it didn't rattle around in the coach while the train was running,  I made some supports with scraps.

       

           Also, since I'd decided to take the stove out of the coach -we live in Hawaii, who uses a heater?- there was one puka -hole- on the roof from the stove exhaust pipe.  -I didn't even know what a stove exhaust pipe was until now.  If you asked me to clean or ready a fireplace, I'd be extremely confused-  I glued some scrap styrene to the ceiling of the coach where the puka was and on the roof we cut excess off with an X-ACTO and sanded it so we could fill in the gaps with putty.

       

           For the chairs, I was going to use cloth to create a more detailed, realistic look, but we didn't have the right colored fabric at the time and we can't go out to buy more fabric because of the coronavirus.  So I thought it probably wouldn't be worth the time and effort to use another color that wasn't right.  I'm hand-painting it with acrylics now.  It will be a rustic red like the ones on the OR&L.  I'm also planning on putting lights inside the coach and have plans for the Triple O logo that I will show in the next post.

           Well thanks everyone for the suggestions and replies!  Btw hope that your doing ok and staying safe and healthy.  The good thing about being trapped at home is that now we get the excuse to work on all our projects!

      -OD

      This post was edited by Eric Mueller at April 4, 2020 11:17 AM EDT
    • March 31, 2020 9:58 AM EDT
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      Understand about the stove but how are you going to heat the coffee or tea. The roof stack on my observation car where I took out the stove to make the open area I just shortened the stack and keep it as a vent pipe for when the guys were out there with there cigars

    • March 31, 2020 2:44 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Mr. Bill now thats funny.

       

      Doing great OD. Keep up the good work.

      ____________________________________
    • March 31, 2020 2:53 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      If you have not thought about a exterior roof covering yet Kevin Strong turned me onto aluminum foil tape used in HVAC duct work. When overlapped a little it can look like a tin roof. Just a thought and it will hide your patch where the smoke jack was (thats the proper name for that exhaust pipe chimney thing).

      ____________________________________
    • March 31, 2020 8:39 PM EDT

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      Watching and enjoying the updates while my 63 year old fawn boxer expels bodily gas below me that I cannot hear but I sure can smell!

       

       

      Thank you and keep up the good work young lady !  BTW a favorite tool of mine when detailing are Sharpie markers .....if you have them and/ or decide to use them stay with the neutrals and remember they will finish out with a semi gloss tone. They can also easily dot out scratches and flaws.

       

    • March 31, 2020 8:41 PM EDT

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      Bill Barnwell said:

      Understand about the stove but how are you going to heat the coffee or tea. The roof stack on my observation car where I took out the stove to make the open area I just shortened the stack and keep it as a vent pipe for when the guys were out there with there cigars

       

       

      This is true and thought about that but it's "Her" build

    • April 3, 2020 4:13 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Hi, OD here. 

       

           Thanks again for the nice responses and tips and advice.  You're right, Mr. Bill, I didn't think of the coffee, which is unfortunate as I love coffee once in a while.  I don't think some of us -cough cough - my dad- can make it too long without coffee in the morning!  Also, we didn't see a vent in the surviving OR&L originals.  For the roof, Mr. Devon, I'm going to use painted cloth like the OR&L cars. Oh, and thank you for the name of the exhaust pipe.  Mr. Rooster, I have sharpies.  I don't have the colored kind, but I always have to have different sizes of black sharpies for my drawings. 

       

           I will post an update hopefully by tomorrow of my work from today.  It's starting to look a lot closer to the end now and I'm still thinking about my next project, but I think before I get to my next railroad project, I want to do some fish ones.  I think I have a good betta pair and I still have five angelfish to work with too, so I have yet a lot that can be accomplished.  I still need to find more kribs, but I haven't seen any at our local pet stores lately and I can't even go to most of them now anyway, so I'm stuck there.  Anyway hope everyone's doing fine and I will post again soon.

      Aloha and Mahalo,

      OD

       

       

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