The real OR&L and Oahu’s plantation railways served the U.S. military for most of their existence, a facet of operations (such as they are) our loose take on that storied narrow gauge has not represented. Kid-zilla to the prototypical rescue! Late last year, he took two bell guards from broken epees and a busted impeller from an old aquarium filter and declared that they were the start of a submarine! He got as far as gluing those guards to a pair of Ovaltine cans before we had to clear the lanai for end-of-year holidays and, of course, the Mik!
We began discussing this project again in earnest yesterday. First, he took the hull, put it on a flat car, and rolled it through the tunnel. Good (we’ll see…). He also agreed to substitute the now missing impeller for a homemade windmill blade (the dogs destroyed the windmill at some point) for the prop. Finally, when we discussed how to move it, I suggested disconnects like the cars we have from and LGB-starter set that carry sections of track. He was all in! He wanted to work simultaneously, with him moving out on the submarine and me making the disconnects. I explained we had to have the finished boat before we could design the cars. I also think he might just need a little help realizing his submarine!
Late this afternoon, he got leather work gloves, a knife, and tin snips and converted a beverage can into a conning tower (“sail” in the modern parlance). This is where he stands:
I think we are going to craft the rudder and planes from foam. I also think we are going to wrap this in aluminum tape to hold it all together. He wants to paint it black, like a modern boat, and to give it a name. I explained the name has to fit on the hull!
This may be a slow moving project, as I intend to give him as much leeway as possible to try, fail, and try again without either risking himself or getting too dejected. In the end, we should have a plausible if somewhat fanciful tribute to Hawaii’s military railroading!
Now if I could only get O.D. to restart her grain silo…