Category Archives: pictures – freight cars

Yup…still here…

I could say that it has been a hard six months, but my missionary family in Nepal and my immediate family in Baltimore might beg to differ.

I had a career move go bad back in October, leaving me to work at the bottom rung in a trade where I used to be the top dog. I literally wept when I realized for the first time that I was back on 24/7 emergency call once again, a duty that never failed to remind me that it came with an 80 mile round trip commute, and at the oddest hours one could want to work, and in a part of town not known for its hospitality at those hours. The physical demands were taking their toll as well, upwards of 4 hours of my day was just the commute, not including any emergency calls. I put 10000+ miles on our only vehicle in 4 months, one that has way too many miles on it already.

As of yesterday, I no longer work there. When my employer found out that I was still scouting another job back in February (read that: a much shorter commute), the hunt for my replacement was on, with me staying around until they found one, or until I found a new job. They won that race, as I am currently still looking for work.

The whole thing has left me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted to a point I have never been before. My well of tears has run dry, and any desire for the pulpit has been thoroughly beaten out of me–I don’t even want to do a Sunday School class, and my Bible reading and study times are at the barest minimum at the moment.

These are by no means complaints or murmurings, they are just an explanation of where I’ve been these last six months. I’m still modeling, just not at the pace I used to, and that wasn’t a lot then. I’ll just post the bigger projects from the last 6 months for now, in the hopes I can chronicle them individually and in more detail later, should time permit…

I was given a Bachmann 4-4-0 “Jupiter” with a drive that was too damaged and too difficult repair, but that was cosmetically complete. I turned it into a flat car load, after removing the motor and sheathing in the fuel bunker. Once done, I chained it down after building some lathing for it on the flat car decks…

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I received a batch of slightly damaged cars that I repaired with various items, including bits of wire, scale lumber, and…toothpicks…

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…this old Revell Beano crummy was a nice rescue…

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I am still converting toy diecast into reasonably accurate models as well. This Majorette RV was a simple fix with some scrap wheels from long lost HO trucks…

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This Kibri truck kit was purchased second hand, only to find during its assembly that the wheels were missing. Wheels salvaged off of Reader’s Digest fire trucks fixed that in short order…

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Several kits were finished, including this Roundhouse kit from a series made in memory of John Allen’s famed Gorre & Daphetid R.R….

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…and this old Comet kit from the ’40s of an outside braced auto parts box car, complete with a set of Baker couplers, the type John Allen used on his road. I plan on building a short consist using these couplers and other 45+ year old kits I have on hand…

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I did some flat car loads…finally.

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Lastly, I started a Fine Scale Miniatures kit, “Water tank and tool shed #125”, one of 6 FSM kits I recently purchased from a fellow modeler’s estate. After informing the executor of the estate of the value of these, he still wanted to sell them to me at an excellent bargain, feeling that that is what his friend and his friend’s widow would have wanted, especially seeing how knowledgeable I was on their history and intricacy. I well remember slavering over the color ads as a teenager, and now I will likely be kept occupied with them for some time to come…

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With that, I bid you all God’s greatest blessings, grace and peace found only in Christ, may your hope be only in His Cross, and may this only ever be your hobby and not an unholy affection.

The Great Train Show…



…came to town last weekend. Looking to move into another market, it was important to attend if for no other reason than to show the organizers that there was a market to cater to. I bought a couple of trinkets…

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…an HO scale AHM/Rivarossi 2-8-4 Nickel Plate Road “Berkshire”, in excellent condition…and…

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…this nice vintage lot containing a 1953 Mantua 0-4-0 Booster, two assembled Mantua flat cars and a 4 wheeled bobber from 1960-62, as well as an Ulrich two bay hopper from 1959. Note that they have the older Mantua hook/loop couplers that were pretty common at around that time, and that the bare zinc metal and brass looks like it hasn’t seen air for most of their 50+ years of life.

I’ll give more detail reviews of each as time goes on…right now, I’m enjoying a slow day at the house.

New life for Comet and Strombecker HO scale paper cars….


I’ve had several of these cars, built by modelers long past, that I’ve wanted to put back into circulation on my layout.

Old school running gear is hard to find and quite expensive, but a novel fix came to me by way of a junk box care package from another modeler. In the box were several underframe parts from Athearn 40′ cars that, when placed against the bottoms of the older cars, were found to be a perfect fit. Simply run 3/4″ screws through the trucks and they were back in service in less than a half hour….

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With only enough touch-up to make them presentable without taking away from the original modeler’s work, I now have 3 truly vintage (NOTE TO DEALERS: a term that disqualifies your eBay thingies from my consideration BTW***) set of cars for my yard.

***The same goes for the word “Rare”….

Bachmann HO scale Bicentennial box cars, four car set…


May you and yours have a blessed and safe holiday…

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This day is call’d Independence Day
We who by the Grace of God are born here or have
chosen to migrate here must stand a tip-toe to Our Founders.
Whose dreams, sweat, struggles, discussions, arguments, and Blood
are the foundation for this “shining city on a hill.” Men whose names must be honored and remain familiar in our mouths — Washington, Adams,
Jefferson, Franklin, Solomon and others who should along with the
display of fireworks, music, parades, barbeques, bells and flowing cups be freshly
rememb’red. This day shall the good man teach his son or daughter –
they must uphold the promise and protection of this Great Nation, UNDER GOD.
—Robert Davi

N scale transfer caboose and post 1972 converted boxcar…


Transfer cabooses were used primarily in large yards and short moves on trains that needed little more than an office to run out of. Like this one, they were often cobbled together out of the scrap box, albeit a somewhat larger one than we modelers are used to.

The box car models a converted car from the late 60s/early 70s, when railroads were forced to remove the roof walks and all new cars had to be built with lower ladders and brake wheels, something that would have eventually been done when this car was shopped.

These were given to me as an unsolicited “Thank you” from another modeler for parts I had sent him. That the one was built by him and the other sports his weathering work makes them cherished members of my N scale roster.

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