I decided to continue my habit of putting my years’s plans and goals in print as a way to budget time and money over the course of the year ( Triple O – 2022 Plans & Objectives). I am also using this as an “anchor thread” to collect links to previous projects to make it easier to reference past successes and failures! I have spent the last several week’s reflecting on 2022’s endeavors, and I racked and stacked this year’s objectives to reflect the following:
- The kids are getting older. On the one hand, this means I can incorporate more details. On the other, it also means that they are all finding their own voices in other activities. While I am pleased to see the glues and paints and techniques we accumulated building the Triple O getting divided amongst crafts, rockets, planes, etc., I have to face the fact (and enjoy the fact of) Kid-zilla remains the last instant sidekick.
- I rather like 1:24-ish PLAYMOBIL scale. I just like PLAYMOBIL. My brother and I played with it. All my kids played with it (the boys still do). It has a high nostalgia factor, and, practically, I can really bring the railroad to life with the “little people.” I also like the fact that, with few exceptions, I never have to say, “Don’t touch!” I learned the phrase, “Build to your own level of detail,” and, for the moment, I am happy here.
- I need to allow myself the luxury of taking advantage of the flexibility I build into these plans. Last year I let myself get bogged down in a couple projects. This year, I really tried to spread the themes around to flex to available time, materials, budget, and, yes, interest. I deliberately spread out the project list across a lot of topics and ideas, and I am loosely prioritizing them to attack left-overs from 2022 and repairs first. Maybe.
- Continue to prioritize locally-sourced solutions. There are some details I cannot make or find, but I am shocked at how much stuff I can source locally. It saves me time and money, supports local businesses, and expands my sense of what is possible.
My ruminations behind me, Kid-zilla and I hooked up a work train…
…so hop on and follow along as we detail this year’s plans!
Nuernberg. The old boy’s cable from the tender to the loco failed ( LGB 2018D Mogul - Cable From Cab to Tender Kaput). The parts are on hand.
- Gustav. This cantankerous veteran seems to have eaten his gears…again.
The parts are on hand, but, after repair, he will retire to ceremonial duties. ( LGB 0-6-2T: BadMotor, Bad Gears, Both, or Something Else?).
The Tub-o-Trains. Two holdovers remain from last year ( Tub-o-Trains: Low-Cost Micro-Projects on the Triple O ). The box car had no door when we got it, and we stripped it for parts last year.
I have been looking for an excuse to use Matt’s ( @Matt_Hutson ) scribed basswood technique, and the door seems like a natural way to try this out. I got the mounts for the roofwalk last year, and I think craftsticks will form the planks. I am weighing using this as a project car to see where we can go painiting it all up for our railroad.
…just needs new handrails, which we can bend, and some ice hatch latches, which Ozark makes.
Our earliest buildings have begun to show some wear and have survived falling coconut fronds, acts of dog(s), bank robberies, derailments, etc. The hard part will be maintaining some of their “folksie” character while improving their appearance.
Water Tower & Pumphouse. My father-in-law built the original. Mr. Otto, our cattle dog, decided it did not, in fact, need legs, so we clad Styrofoam in crafsticks, called it a pump house, and enjoyed it.
The crafsticks are peeling off, and, frankly, I don’t like the peaked top. I will have to be very careful to incorporate my own aesthetic without losing the builder’s intent. Like last year, my plan is to see how far we can take foam in pursuit of the new pumphouse.
Private Residence. We built this using Hardiebacker and clad it with craftsticks.
This may have been our first building. It got a new roof along the way, but, somewhere along the line, the craftsticks began to separate from the Hardiebacker. This is unique amongst our buildings, where craftsticks have held up fine wood-to-wood or wood-to-foam. Hardiebacker proved too hard to work with, so we never repeated the process. I may decide to make this a stone hose using our foam meat trays and see if that hold up better, even if it is not typical for Hawaii in our nominal time period (1880-1940).
Pu’uomao Yard Office and Observation Tower. This was our first Mik project ( Miks 2018 – Pu’uomao Yard Office and (Maybe) Observation Tower). We’ve rebuilt the tower and platform numerous times, but it is getting worn.
To boot, the wiring used to turn on and off the passing siding / coaling track no longer works (we used the wrong type of wiring). Fixing the wiring is a “must.” How we improve the look without destroying its origins will be the trick.
- The “Thomases.” Both of these LGB m2075 (battery) came back to life via the help on this site ( Rehab of the Missile Sponges Part the Second - Christmas Thomas and Challenge Accepted - Large Scale Fantasy Locomotive ).
Neither have run particularly well, probably because I didn’t actually fix the weight in place. Tire balancing weights should fix that. Christmas Thomas originally had plastic false sides I was supposed to be able to screw on and off to hide those stickers. Fail! My plan is to use this as excuse to play with brass and to make false sides held together with banding that we can drape over him in the seasons between Christmas and Advent. Both locos tend to work the fields of our inner loop, which is more prone to breaks in power, so both may get battery and a Magnetic Critter controller.
M.O.W. I hope to finish installing rail clamps on the rest of both mainlines and all passing sidings. Also, I hope to finally address the approaches to both of our bridges. The trestle is no longer in alignment with the tracks…
…but it is firmly concreted into the gulch…
…which is why I’ve left good enough alone for now. I really don’t have a good plan of attack.
The approach to the other bridge (upper part of picture below)…
…has on occasion caused derailments. I think just need to stabilize the approach at both ends.
- Power Supply. Our homemade controllers are suffering from wear.
This presents some saftey concerns. We may go to an internal power supply to simplify things. We had been experimenting with secondhand Train Engineers, but no one really seemed to like them. More experimentation is warrranted.
The Stretch Projects.
- 4-6-0T “Tropical.” I have always wanted to follow @Bill_Barnwell 's admonition to build a loco from scratch. I don’t want to make a wreck from a perfectly good STAINZ, but PVC pipe, a spare B’mann chassis…
…some Ozark bits, and a bit of creativity could produce an engine loosely based on South African engines, possibly with a field tender. An open cab would allow any detail parts to remain visible. The idea is to accumulate skills on a fantasy loco now for more prototypical projects later.
Inspection Locomotive. Pete (@PeterT )challenged us with the idea, and helpfully sent around some bits.
The powered tender is an obvious way to make this roll, and Oldest Duaghter says we need more green locos anyway.
More flat cars. We still have lumber left over from our crane care project ( Crane Car for the Triple O)…
…and, let’s face it, I do need to get better with my nemeses in the Saw Family. Archbar trucks are already on the way, and Kid-zilla is already crafting a special load.
Secret Project. I’ve accumulated a number of derelict m2075 chassis and m2075 (battery). Someone had given me the idea of a heavyweight flat car, my books on the OR&L had shown we were missing an aspect of island railroading, and we know how to repower these little locos…
…whatever could the 1:24 gang be discussing with the local garrison?
It’s an ambitious agenda, but that is the point! When the goal is to have fun, improve what you have, make something new, and learn along that way, I figure we win regardless of how many of these ideas come to fruition!
Thanks for reading!
P.S. But first the Mik!