Category Archives: pictures – electrics

Mister Rodger’s “Trolley” from a Bachmann Cable Car

I can believe that it took me 3 1/2 years to finish it. I’m given to much deep thought as to how to best finish a project, only to find that the simplest of methods and techniques are usually the most effective. In this case, rather than try to cut around each seat setting in the sides, I simply dimpled the top of the card stock between each seat, thereby reinforcing the old “3 foot rule”–if it looks good from three feet away, then it’s good enough.

The sides and sign are simply printed on heavy stock, then glued into place. My beloved lifted the graphics from a picture of Trolley, then reduced them to the dimensions of the cable car.

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As the video shows, it runs quite well, and the open air effect is quite nice.

Model Power HO scale Bullet Train in Amtrack paint…

Got this a couple weeks back in a trade with one of the members of a forum I am a part of with the idea of modifying it with close coupling and Favely pantographs.  The idea of Amtrak trying out a Bullet Train over here is not far fetched at all as they tried several different foreign locomotives and trains in the early daze of service.  The weak point on this model is the awful gap between cars…

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…it measures out at 8 scale feet.  Three feet is more prototypical but, with 20″ radius curves, would I be able to do it?  Fortunately, it was quite easy, the truck casting literally having the cut line cast into it.  By mounting a stand Kadee #5 box to a small brass strip, I got 3′ of coupling space AND found it can easily traverse my 20″ curves AND not hit freight cars on the adjoining track…Note that I found that a Rivarossi Hudson tender wheelset is a drop in fit.  Being metal, it’s a much better setup for the train…I only need 5 more…sigh…

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Here is is, installed and setting on a 20″ curve…

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…a side-by-side comparison of the old and new gaps…

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…the finished train…

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AHM/Rivarossi Limited Edition HO scale Conrail Bicentennial GG1 #4800…


…the first GG1 built and the only one with a riveted carbody, the others being welded, hence the nickname “Old Rivets”. Along with this paint scheme, #4800 wore Pennsylvania RR, Penn Central and the standard blue Conrail paint before being retired to a museum siding around 1980.

Number 2091 of 2700 made, the AHM/Rivarossi model falls short only in that they use a welded carbody on their rendition, but is an otherwise faithful and accurate reproduction of Old Rivets when she wore this paint scheme in the years around our nation’s 200th birthday. I especially enjoy the silver running gear and the kitschy 70s stylized graphics. It comes complete with its original foam lined box, certificate of authenticity and commemorative belt buckle…

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Bachmann N scale DD40X and Brill Trolley…


Both are now running and fully assembled.

The DD40X now sports Unimate couplers fore and aft, hates 9 3/4″ radius curves and looks great on my one wide curve with the roof top blinkies in their full glory. An 80s offering, they’re weak in the power department but, have the open walk throughs that they took away in their later offerings.

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The Brill trolley suffered from the classic Bachmann malady of the 80s, a weak plastic gear train given to cracking, even when new in the box on the store shelf. I replaced the truck assemblies with later ones that were a drop in fit. It runs great now.

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Both were finished with parts offered on their online store. Take advantage of it as certain parts, like the coupler boxes I got the last of, are no longer available.

Bachmann HO scale E60CP in Rock Island “Bankruptcy Blue”…


…catalog #751 in 1978-1980. Many thanks to a generous fellow modeler, who gave this to me.

A very intriguing bit of Bachmann’s early attempts at low end scale models, a lot of good detail, mixed with awful running mechanisms, making for the well earned nickname, “Botchmann”. How else does one explain a freight line’s colors on a passenger locomotive…and, with a drive train that sounds like a cross between a dental drill and an electric pencil sharpener, I’m stoked…

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Not a half bad effort on the Favely pantographs…they’re plastic castings with one stamped metal upright. It’s only real shortcoming being that there is no spring to hold it up, it’s a friction fit.

Father’s Day 2010


Is it just me? In churches across this land on Mother’s Day, orchids are handed out and the grand virtues of mothers are spilled out from the pulpit, raising them up on a pedestal that culminates in a dinner at Cocodrie’s. On Father’s Day, we guys get a cheap ball point pen and are smacked around to work on some particular character flaw that has plagued us since the Garden…then we get to cook our own dinner over a flaming pyre in the backyard…sigh

My enjoyment of model trains goes back to a TYCO trolley followed by an AHM/Pocher 4-4-0 “Genoa” that my father would have running around our Christmas tree every year. In the end, I was their demise, the trolley when I used it with our Hotwheels cars in the playground at school, the Genoa to my many ventures into weathering and detailing in my early daze in the hobby. These are the replacements I’ve picked up since…

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The blessing I have on Sunday is that our Bible study group doesn’t follow fashion trends, we got to stay home and be family***—followed by a 1/2 pound bacon cheeseburger smothered in grilled onions on a fresh baked roll and a chocolate shake at a favorite local eatery…urp

***Yes, my beloved got her dinner on her day at an appropriately haute cuisine type eatery—with French names for the entries and 2 digit prices with no decimal points in them on the menu…eeek