We just had an offer accepted on a new house.

The good news is that there is lots of basement for a much larger layout.

The bad news is that we have to move. Which means tearing down the current layout.

I’m actually okay with tearing it down. I’ll save all the buildings and bridges and try and save the flex track.

This first layout was a good learning experience but I’ve never been happy with the turnouts I built. I know what’s wrong with them so I can avoid the issues when I make the next batch.

Plus I can make a new track plan and setup for continuous running – something I didn’t have room for before.

So, I’ll probably go quiet for a bit while we move, then I’ll probably start posting a new thread where I build out the layout space and start track planning.

I’m really excited about the new house and much larger layout space.

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Building the 120 Ton Wrecking Crane – Part 2

After the last blog post I spent some more time on this build. So I’ll make another progress post.

Step five is to assemble the pulleys and boom forks. The pulleys are three pieces each and I had to sand them down a bit to make them fit in the forks.

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Building the 120 Ton Wrecking Crane – Part 1

I have a Walthers 20 Ton crane model that I had never built. I finally decided to paint and assemble it, and this is how it turned out.

It looks okay I guess, but a bit simple and toy-like. Then I remembered that Tichy makes a model of a 120 Ton wrecking crane that is much more detailed.

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Useful Links

I decided I’d make a page listing the web sites and on-line stores that I use for research and for purchasing model railroad material and supplies.

First off though: If you can buy what you need at a local hobby store, you should do that even if it costs a little more. Support your local hobby store or they won’t be around later.

Model Building Kits

Detail Parts

General Building Materials


DCC Info and Sales

General Hobby Stores

  • Arrow Hobby – kits and detail parts, grab irons, etc.
  • Yankee Dabbler – Hobby shop with a good selection of DCC parts for sale.
  • Bob the Train Guy – great prices on just about anything you can think of.
  • Hobbylinc – full hobby store with good prices and lots of model railroad stuff.


Misc Useful Sites

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A Few More Freight Cars

As I baby sit the laser cutter (can’t really leave it run alone, there’s a good risk of fire,) I’ve been building more freight cars.

Mostly I buy cars that I think look interesting. Cars that catch my eye with slogans or logos.

Anyway, these are the latest three.

An Accurail Milwaukee Road box car that says “PC Compartmentizer” on it. A cursory google search doesn’t really explain what that means.

An Accurail Central of Georgia box car emblazoned with “Streamlined Money Saver Service”.

A Proto 2000 Erie drop end gondola. This is the second P2K drop end gondola I’ve built. The are nice looking models.

As per my usual modus operandi I painted the trucks and wheels with “rust” brown, but haven’t weathered the cars yet. Some day I’ll run through the fleet and start weathering.

I just like building freight cars.

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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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