Hawley Brothers Machine Shop

A while ago I was gifted a couple of large boxes of model railroad stuff by a friend. It had belonged to her husband and he was no longer interested in it. Most of the stuff inside was junk, but there are a few buildings I might repurpose and a couple of old wooden boxcars that would make good maint buildings.

Also in the box was a complete Woodland Scenics Tucker Brothers Machine Shop cast metal kit. The copyright on the instructions is 1980 but you can still buy these.

This was a new thing for me. It’s the first metal kit and the first one with lots of cast-on small details to paint.

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Adding More Ground Cover

I seem to have gotten over the hump and I am starting to work on the layout again. I decided where Western Crate was going to be located so I put down some ground cover there.

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Build Update

Well, I haven’t made a build update for a long time. And there is a reason for that. My hand built turnouts are giving me troubles and I got disgusted and stopped working on the layout.

If you read my other posts you’ll see I didn’t stop railroading, I just switched over to building freight cars and trucks for a while.

This weekend I finally bit the bullet and repaired the three broken turnouts. The problem I’m having is my point rails keep coming unsoldered from the throw bar. I bought some Tix silver solder to see if that would be stronger, but I could not get it to adhere well at all. It melted and flowed but as soon as it cooled it would break loose. Maybe the remains of the regular solder were contaminating it? I don’t know.

So I made new throw bars, cleaned them really well, fluxed them, and then installed them with regular solder. I also had to repair a couple of the Bull Frog switch machines that weren’t glued very well when I built them.

But now all my turnouts are working – mostly. They don’t all throw completely all the time, so you have to help them along a little. I’m still not sure what that’s about.

But at least I can start working on scenery again now. And I ran my trains around for a while last night, so that’s good.

The three year plan has us moving to a different house and the new house will have a larger train room. I didn’t think I’d miss having a complete loop to run the trains on, but sometimes I’d just like to watch them run, so the next layout will have a complete circuit.

And I’ll take more care building the turnouts.

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A Couple of Seaboard RR Box Cars

I picked up a couple of Seaboard kits the other day and just finished assembling them. They are not super-detailed so assembly was quick.

The first is an Accurail kit of a 40′ box car. Seaboard #23164.

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10/08/2020 Photo Dump Update

I realized that I’ve been posting a lot of photos over on my Facebook page and on the Model Railroad Forums site, but neglecting my blog. I feel kind of like the blog is for larger posts with more detail.

But I’ve noticed that some of the model railroad blogs I follow post long articles, some post mostly single photos and some a mix. So I’m going to try and remember to post more things here that are shorter, or single photos.

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Upgrades for Consolidation 1246

I have this 1980’s vintage Tenshodo model of a GN Consolidation. It’s a pretty nice looking model so a while ago I replaced the motor and installed a Soundtraxx DCC decoder. But it never really ran very well.

A couple of weeks ago I took it apart and ran some tests. I was thinking that the motor was pulling too many amps and that was the problem, but I tested it and it never pulled more than 500 milliamps, so that wasn’t it. So I started looking at other things.

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Western Crate

This is a Bar Mills kit to build “Crown Crate”. I followed all the instructions, but changed the name to something more suitable for Montana.

Since it’s a Bar Mills kit, it’s a little fiddly to build. But the end result is worth it.

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Building Branchline Blueprint Series Box Cars

I’m building my second Branchline Blueprint Series Box Car model and I thought I’d document my process. It’s a little different than what the instructions suggest you do.

The instructions are a little vague about what order you should assemble things, and if you follow them in the normal reading direction (left to right, top to bottom) you are more likely to break some small parts.

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Mickey’s Diner

When I was at the train show I decided the residents of Blackwing needed somewhere to eat. There was a vendor with the Walther’s “Betty’s Diner” kit for sale at a reasonable price and since it fit my time period I thought I’d pick it up.

The majority of the kit is molded in a greyish “silver” color, with the seats and tables molded in red. There are also some clear parts for windows.

I sprayed the grey parts with Rustoleum Aluminium spray paint to make them look more like chrome, and left the red parts alone. I thought about washing the red parts with some black to add some detail, but you can’t really see the interior all that well when it’s assembled.

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GN Engine No. 655

I went to the swap meet again and this time I picked up a Proto 2000 model of an EMD GP7 painted for the Great Northern.

It’s a really nice looking model, and has some very nice detailing. It even comes with optional parts you can install, including an all-weather hatch to put over the radiator fans, some all-weather window boxes and various MU hose stands. I haven’t applied these details yet – that will be another post.

This post is about installing a Soundtraxx Tsunami DCC decoder, a speaker and new LED lights.

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