Category Archives: thrift store/yard sale/flea market finds

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.

A wagon for my Mamod TE…

Picked up this little John Deere farm wagon for 25 cents with the express purpose of turning it into an appropriate wagon for my TE. The biggest problem was finding and mounting suitable wheels, but this was fixed with a bargain yard sale purchase of K-Nex and Meccano bits. The Meccano bushings fit perfectly into the K-Nex wheels, which then fit onto Meccano axle mounts. I simply cut the old axles with bolt cutters…

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…then mounted the new wheel assemblies in their place…

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…making for a snappy looking combo for the next steam up in Jackson. Bending the hook on the tow bar down 90 degrees hooks it right into the loop on the spirit burner that protrudes from the scuttle box.

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Blessings, grace and peace to you and yours…

1:34 First Gear Mack Granite tractor w/ dump trailer #19-3301 circa 2004, part II…

I suspect some were wondering, “Well, you had no problem taking that model from them for that price.”

Well…actually, I did.  When I saw how much it was really worth, I felt I should take it back and offer them an opportunity to exchange it for the model that the kids had found before me.  It was a 1:34 scale Oshkosh Cement Mixer Truck, undamaged, missing only the rear view mirrors…remarkable when you consider that the kids found it first.  My offer was simple, take this complete mint in the box Granite tractor/trailer model in exchange for the incomplete one…one worth an easy $100 for one priced $9.99.  Ministry gets a complete one of much greater value to further their cause, I get an unsalable, incomplete one in the hope that I can find the parts to finish it down the road.  What a deal, right?

Only…it wasn’t going to be that simple.

You see…they raised the price of the cement truck in the three days since I first purchased the tractor/trailer, making it $29.99, rather than the original $9.99 it was posted at, the same price I paid for my tractor/trailer.  They would make the exchange…if…I…paid…the…now…$20…difference.

Ummm…no.

Then she wanted to know if I wanted to return the tractor/trailer…

Ummm…no.

…I’ve created a monster.

I’ll post pictures of my new truck tomorrow…