Category Archives: pictures – MOW

HO scale Burro crane model from a 25 ton crane model…

I’ve always wanted a running model of a typical Burro crane, models of which are usually in brass and quite pricey. I’ll let the pictures do the explaining. It requires a Train Miniature 25 ton Brownhoist crane (later offered by both Life-Like and Cox) and the power truck from a Bachmann Cable Car.

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Test run…amazingly, the flatcar outweighs the crane by a full ounce–1 1/2 oz. as compared to 2 1/2 oz.

Walther’s HO scale Impact Test Car #933-6892…

Though you wouldn’t know it from how often my Blackberry has been going off, I’ve been on vacation the last 3 daze. Spent some time fixing this old kit from the 70s, upgrading the wheelsets and trucks and adding an onboard button cell battery power source rather than relying on track pickup. I repaired the missing corner steps and touched up all the paint with a 1 to 6 mix of Humbrol Matt 60 and 154, an almost perfect match.

I installed a flasher circuit that has a 15 second timer on it as well, the problem with the original being that the penalty flash was momentary most times. This one will flash long enough to see that the bad operator move can be noted without a doubt as to what happened.



The basic car is an Athearn bulkhead flat painted especially for Walther’s. I’m not concerned that I’ve “ruint a classic”, it was a bit rough when I got it, so I felt free to do as I pleased with it while retaining the original spirit of the car.

Ambroid and Walther’s HO scale Russel Plows…

…spent last weekend just catching up on some long on the back burner projects…


Built by a long gone modeler, this is an Ambroid B&M plow that I received as a throw in with a box lot I bought at a swap meet 3 years ago. It was filled with about one hundred 10 penny nails (?) for weight. I removed those, added weight just behind the front truck and under the blade, added the missing ladder and smoke stack and then touched up its original paint applied by the first owner/builder.


This is a Walther’s Russel Plow that was in yet another junk box. Over the past four years, I replaced the missing horns, carved off the cast on grabs and added wire ones, replacing the broken stirrups as well. It has a working strobe and headlight that run off of batteries and are controlled by onboard switches. It will probably be another four years before I paint it…sigh

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.


10 daze, 2,000+ miles ’til home…

My first overnighter completed…

Most of my modeling friends are also avid rail fans, folks who chase down real trains as a side hobby to their model work. While I do enjoy the sight of locomotives doing their thing on the rails, I’ve never been much of a chaser.

Thursday night found me in a Holiday Inn overlooking the Red River near a major UP/KCS rail hub. The first sight to greet me was an old UP SD40-2 idling in the shade of an overpass, no doubt assigned to run out her last daze sorting cars in the yard.

My car’s parking buddy was a real treat…


…not often one can get so close to a Hi-railer.

My room had an impressive view as well…


…leaving me to think that I would enjoy a pleasant night’s rest, blissfully lulled to sleep by an occasional distant air horn, accompanied by the low rumble of EMD prime movers and clatter of running gear.

Was I in for a rude awakening—literally every 30-45 minutes, all night long.

You see, downtowns are generally crowded with traffic during the day, something city fathers wish to keep moving freely during regular business hours for very obvious reasons. 100+ car trains coming and going don’t help this flow and so are relegated to running at night, making the required horn blasts at grade crossings—right under my window—every 30-45 minutes—all-night-long…sigh.

Nathan Airchime M5s are not designed to make rail fans out of people looking for a good night’s sleep.

I’m praying that my boss gets his next hotel room alongside a Slipknot/Marilyn Manson/Seether allnighter…