I got asked often in the past month, so I use the time between my large-scale projects for an update.
Since we moved in our new home, the layout found a permanent place. Not stored away in the attic, it’s in operation as shelf layout in the office section of our living room, where I found my space for my model trains.
A few days ago, I even spend own lightning to the layout. The showcases above holds all my H0-scaled narrow gauge trains, the smaller one is for the WBE stuff only. I use to run trains more often than expected. It’s just fun to set up a train from the showcase and run it on the layout, do some switching and then take another train.
Once I found a new place for the printer at the right end of the layout, I’m also able to add another 60cm segment to the layout, which is already build.
Beside the ordinary service, some “strangers” got spotted some while ago… A whiff of “Maine Two Foot” comes to the WBE in form of Minitrains cute F&C stuff. I’ve even some plans for layout extensions for the future, but first, I’ll continue with my large-scale projects.
I look forward to get the matching F&C Forney soon as well 😉
once all the cars were done, I did the announced airbrush-weathering to all of them at once. I covered the marks from the rebuild, weathered the new trucks and couplers and removed the old road numbers. Such small logging railroads doesn’t need road numbers.
Here are some photos of the finished rolling stock. I showed the weathering steps and details in the boxcar-build-log.
After the weathering, I polished the wheel of the log car trucks to give them a well used look, matching with all the other rolling stock.
At least I had all the rolling stock sitting on the workbench and I was looking for some place (and way) to store them properly. I used wooden crates and secured the cars with some foam pieces. A third box holds the log loads as well. Closed with lids, the rolling stock is stored away from dust and damage.
The boxes got stickers applied and I made a storage rack beside my 2″-scale trains where the rolling stock is out-of-the-way.
A second shelf below will hold the locos, once I’ve built storage boxes for them as well. The live steam Shay is already placed by now.
The last car to be equipped with Kadees is the waycar. This seemed to be a bit complex first, but finally was easy as the other freight cars as well. I had thoughts while the end sills were different on this car. I removed the nailed-on stir-ups and used a Japan-razor-saw to just cut off the lower portion of the end sills. Afterwards I installed the couplers the same way as on the freight cars. Don’t wonder, I rebuild the car from bogies to 4-wheel when I built the boxcar.
Later on, I switched the 26mm wheelsets by 27.5mm San Valley ones which make the car look much better, even by the small difference in wheel-size. I also installed a break rigging to complete the already existing hand brake wheel.
Now all the cars are ready for airbrush-weathering…
Some may notice that I removed the road numbers. The high 2-digit numbers doesn’t feel right anymore on such a small roster. Maybe I’ll replace them with new 1-digit road numbers during the weathering.
Sometimes, good ideas just end in the trash bin…
Last week I told that I’m going to do some test’s for the new skeleton logcars. I soon realized, that 24′ logcars would lead to derailment on direct 4′ radii S-curves as usual on turnout connections. This comes due to the body-mount couplers on the Bachmann Shay, which pushed the cars out of the track on such curves. At least, 20′ cars were acting much better. But finally, they are not so far away from my existing 18′ ones.
Another thought that came to my mind was the length of the logs in proportion to a sawmill. Longer logs would make a possible sawmill even longer and bigger in size. So, maybe the 16′ logs on 18′ logcars are just the right size…
So I grabbed one of the old log cars and did some experimenting on them. Finally I was able to install the 830 Kadees and I switched the trucks to the new ones.
Another new detail is the hand brake which got installed on one end of the car. Since only one truck is braked, I removed the brake rigging from the other.
With the first car done, I started work on 4 more skeletons as well by dismantling, rebuilding and assembling.
Beside the big Bachmann Shay, the Accucraft one got Kadees installed as well. They look somewhat odd on the old T-boiler-type Shay, but it’s okay for me.
I also spend some thoughts about the log cars. The old and short 18′ skeleton log cars are hard to equip with Kadee’s due to the construction. I would also like to have some longer log cars, say 20-24′ long. So I decided to build 4 new cars and sell the old ones. For the new cars, I bought some Kadee archbar trucks, which are all-metal with detailed wheelsets and break rigging. Only the high flanges are a minus point on this trucks.
The next days, I’ll go to figure out how long the new cars can be to negotiate regular tracks in the garden. I also ordered some log bunks and other Ozark castings for the new cars.
In the past days, I rebuild the freight cars to Kadee couplers. I started with the flat ar and soon ran into the first problem. Once the correct coupler height was measured, I realized that the car bodies are two low above rail-head to install the couplers at the correct height. I had a closer look to the truck mounts and simply added a 4mm plywood layer to the bolsters and raised the car body on top of the trucks. The car not only get’s the perfect height for the couplers, it even look much better in proportion at all, especially together with the locos. The following photos shows the rebuild of the other freight cars, since I did only a few photos on the flat car.
I glued in some more plywood block for the correct coupler height. Once the coupler pads were in place, I made the cut out to the end sills with a fine razor saw files. The first version I tested was the coupler in full size, which leads to an outside overhang of 4mm which I covered with a crown-piece of wood.
It worked okay, but didn’t match my feeling well. So I cut off 4mm from the rear of the draft box and installed the couplers flush with end sills. The second version was exactly what I was looking for and I’ll use them on all cars. The right photo above shows the rebuild flatcar beside the not-yet-touched workcar, which has the same frame. It clearly shows the different height and the changed couplers.
The next day, I finished the other cars as well to the same pattern. So I’ve the first three cars done. But the most important part was still missing – how’s the performance on track? I did some test runs on my temporary garden railroad which features very rough track. the couplers work perfect and keeps the train connected in all situations. I even made a test run with 3′ radii curves in a direct S-curve. Kadee recommends 4′ radii curves with body mounted couplers on the Shay, but in my test, they also worked down on 3′.
Next project will be the waycar. Due to ta different frame pattern, the rebuild might be a bit different. And I’ll use the rebuild as well to add some brake detail to the waycar.
BTW: I’m going to weather the couplers and rebuild-sections later when all cars are done to avoid multiple airbrush-cleaning…
See you next time, Gerd
since my 5″-gauge railroad is ready for the upcoming season, I decided to overhaul my smaller garden railroad trains next. I look forward to build a garden railroad for my US log trains one day. While running my trains in the past, the stylish Link&Pin couplers are a mess on garden railroading. They look very good, but are not handy while crawling on the knees beside your train trying to couple them up. So I decided to switch to Kadees instead.
Many garden railroaders recommend to use #1-scale Kadees for G-scale, while they were looking much better in size. Since my log trains are 1:20.3 scale, I’ll go with the G-scale couplers. Another reason is additional performance when running trains on very rough, temporary tracks.
First model I upgraded to Kadees was my Bachmann Shay. There are several instructions and guides on the web. I used my own version by replacing the lower pocket with a Kadee #835. I added new runboards from 3D-printed replacements which features a full kick boards.
I really like the new pilots with the Kadees in place. As you can see, I decided to go with body-mount couplers, since the Accucraft Shay needs 3-4′ radius curves, which will work with body mount couplers.
Will be continued soon with the first upgraded cars…
last week, I got the latest release of Minitrains, the LKm Ns2f diesel loco. It’s a modern type engine (built 1953), but I couldn’t resist.
Since the loco is late built, I’ll keep her un-weathered
since the car roster is mostly done, it’s time to spend some attention to my Forney loco. Last year, I spend a rebuild to make her look “Maine style”, which doesn’t match the new logging approach anymore. The new logging Forney at the Moody Lumber Co. should be more solid ans sturdy and should match the Shay in paint-scheme as well.
First steps were the end beams which got changed to massive wood beams with run boards, which were ideals when shunting log cars. As on many Porter locos, I added single pocket Link & Pin coupler heads on std. coupler height.
To change the pilot, I had to remove the boiler, which is no big issue for me due to regular training. The new pilot makes the loco shorter and more compact looking, just perfect for a logging engine.
After re-assembling the loco, I overhauled the cab. The roof was painted oxidred as on the Shay and I added boards to the sides which got stained in brown just as the pilot and end beam. Once all the paint was dry, I added road number #2, which will be all the lettering on this engine.
Now the Moody Lumber Co has both locos in service for the upcoming season.
three years ago, I started my Hon30 adventure which became later the “Waldbahn Eusserthal”. Time for a small review, starting with some photos from the beginning.
But my review will not focus on my own layout. Instead, I’ll show you two copies of my idea/layout build by other model railroaders. Since I started with my layout, I got dozens of mails from other model railroaders, asking for details, sources and so on. Not each of them was going to build a logging railroad. Many adapted the modular plug&play system for N-scale, TT-scale and even H0n2. Most of them were just happy to have a solution for model railroading in limited space. Ans sometimes, I got response from the other projects and I like to show two of them today.
If you’ve build your own layout based on my idea, feel free to send me a mail and some photos. If you like, I can show your layout here as well.
The layout by Bernd
In march 2016, I showed my layout at an exhibition in Germany, where I first met Bernd. He was mostly working on locomotive kits, but was so fascinated by my layout and design, that he made the step forward into layout building. In just 12 month, he copied my layout incl. some additional modules. We are in close contact and maybe we’ll have a layout meet some day, bringing both together. Here are some photos of the layout, more were hosted on an own page, since it was too hard to sort them out.
The layout by Michael
When I was for a visit at another exhibition in march 2017, I spotted this layout, which has clear parallels to my design. I talked to the owner/builder and as expected, his layout way inspired by my blog as well. He told me, that there are plans to extend the layout in the future.