after my small break here, to exhibit my trolley layout, I’m back on my logging railway projects. First, I cleaned up the workshop, but I didn’t feel in the mood to continue directly with my large-scale trains. So I finished another long time project, which was on my wish list for many month.
Since I got my tiny 009 live steam loco, I was thinking about a small micro layout, to operate the loco. I had this MDF board with some old Egger tracks for a long time and some month ago, I spend some grass mat, which actually coming off again due to bad adhesives. Well, it was time to spend some more attention and get this tiny layout into something reasonable.
So I took of the grass mat pieces and re-glued them with white glue. I reshaped some pieces to match ma actual thoughts of the finished layout. The trees came from my Billerbahn equipment. I don’t use them any more, so I removed the wood base and glued them into pre-drilled holes with hot-glue.
Since the live-steam loco will be the highlight on this micro layout, I was looking for some simple scenery, instead of highly details as my Hon30 modular layout is. Therefore, the brush-trees were just right. But I couldn’t resist to spend some attention to the buildings…
I gave them a slight weathering and build them up without their base plates. This way, they look much better. I painted some traces to the “dirt-road” and started to add clutter around the structures to get the scene detailed. Some parts are from the actual kits, others where from my big scrap bin. At least I added some bushes from Iceland moss and two figures. In the last second, I decided to add a pile of logs at the loading spur, which finished the layout.
I’m very happy with the result and look of my micro layout.
And of course, I couldn’t resist to run some trains once I was finished. I steamed up the loco two times and enjoyed her running through the new layout.
While I’m working on my trolley layout, I’ll show you some other updates in between from my Fn3 garden logging railroad.
The livesteam and the Bachmann Shay were actually in service, but there were two more locos on my roster. Together with the Bachmann Shay, I also got a Climax for the same railroad, but I sold her some years ago. Now I got the chance to get her back into my collection, so both locos were united again. The Climax needs some restoration, because of damage during shipping and I’ll replace the outdated battery-power-system with a new one similar to the big Shay. I’ll also add sound to the Climax.
To the far left is a very small Shay, which was my personal second Shay ever (unfortunately, the first one is lost). I got a box with parts of a KTM Shay in 1:24 scale, which was hardly damaged. I had to spend a whole new frame and drive. Later I replaced the cab to make her matching to my 1:20 rolling stock. Anyhow – I decided to bring her back to live after a break of 10 years, resting on top of a showcase in the living room. I already removed the old batteries and will repower her with modern Lipo batteries and a simple control system, but no sound. At least, she’ll be a very small Shay beside the bigger ones, but there has been such Shays in real too.
Last weekend, I assembled the trucks from 272 parts each. It took me arround 10 to 15 minutes for each truck. The more I finished, the faster I got.
And here are the trucks in detail. The first step into my new freight cars is done.
I’ll exhibit my H0m trolley line layout on September 4th, so work on my new freight cars will pause for two weeks, until I’ve got everything prepared for the show. Afterwards, I’ll continue work on the box car.
With the last bits done, it’s time to pre-assemble the truck bolsters for painting.
I decided to glue the spring plank between the sides and to get a tight bound, I’ll glue them before painting. To insert the springs, I’ll make the lower plank removable, but put them in place to get the bolster glued up square and parallel.
The bolts and nuts were used to clamp everything together. Once the glue was set, I removed the screws in the center ans replaced them with wood dowels. On the real thing, the spring plank would move freely up and down to provide the suspension to the car body. The spring plank would be guided by the side blocks, screwed in place. To get a prototype like looking truck, I faked them a little bit.
In the late evening, I took the spray cans and painted the truck sides as well as the bolsters. I also pre-painted the nuts and washers and all other hardware.
Next is to assemble the first truck… I’m very excited… really…
I got some questions about the strength and durability of my 3D-printed journal boxes, which I use on my archbar trucks. Here’s what I found out…
Hard to beleave, but actually, the trucks are more holes than parts… I cut the last planks for the bolsters and made some movie clips, showing how fast one can work with good preparation and jigs/stop blocks…
Next I drilled 200+ holes into the 24 wood pieces. Most of them are to screw the bolsters together with M4 bolts and nuts. Some holes and at least some hardware is still missing, but the trucks were making good progress.
At least, I drilled the spring pockets with a 12mm milling bit. Next I can pre-assemble the bolsters and once the last hardware is done as well, I can start to set the trucks together.
Once the archbar sides were done, I started with the bolster. I chose a prototype with wooden bolsters, and since they will be painted in freight car brown, I used plywood to make them strong enough.
But first, I made a cross-cut-sled for my table saw, which is very helpfull on such tasks. By using stop blocks, it’s very fast and accurate to cut down several identical parts. In just 4 steps, I cut the side pieces of the bolsters. All 12 of them where equal and square.
A first test with the archbar sides looks very neat so far. Next I’ve to cut the lower and upper plank to complete the bolsters. Meanwhile I also decided to NOT go for working spring suspension. I’ll place springs for the detail, but the bolsters will be rigged. But I’ll still try to make them look realistic in detail.
Today, I did nothing than holes… 216 of them and each was made in two steps…
I added a wooden drilling table to mill with a fence at the back, which allows fast alignment of the work pieces. I used the center line mark on each flat bar to pre-drill the first hole with a center drill, 21mm beside the center line. Once the first hole was pre-drilled, I moved over to the drill press and drilled them to 4mm.
For the next steps, I placed a 4mm pin into the wooden table which is used as quick reference. I moved the table over by 42mm for drilling the second hole. Therefore, I just slipped the work piece with first hole over the pin and I got them aligned for the next hole. To drill the third and forth one, I used the same technique which goes very fast and precise as well. It took only a couple of minutes to set the next row of pre-drilled holes, which got finished on the drill press. On the raised ends of the arched flat bars, I used wooden blocks as supports to keep everything aligned proper.
Once finished, I took a stack of 12 pieces, lined them up and you can clearly view to all holes the same time. That’s precise work in my eyes. In the end, it took my just 2 evenings, to finish all the difficult parts of the new archbar trucks. I couldn’t resist and testfitted two sides together for a first moke up and I’m very happy with the result.
Next step is to make 48 bolts which will hold the iron bars and journal boxes together. Once they were done, I can proceed with the carpenters work for the bolsters.
Finally, I started work on the new archbar trucks for the new freight cars. I wasn’t sure how to bend all the flat bars to proper form, so I spend some thoughts and ideas in this task.
To get the task done, I bought a used hydraulic press and made dies from steel for the two angles I need, 16 and 46°.
The pics below show the progress on bending the top archbars. Each 12x3mm flat bar get’s bend 4 times. Before I bend the bars, I marked the exact position while bundling all 12 pieces together. I had to mark them from both sides to get the final shape.
When bending the flatbars in the press, the angles got a bit sharper than finally needed. I adjusted each archbar by hand to bring them into the final form.
Finally, making the 24 bend flatbars (12 for the top and 12 for the center), was fun and took only an hour. Next is to drill the holes for the journal boxes and the bolsters.
Will be continued…
Today, I’ll show you a preview of my new freight cars that I’m planing tu built for my railroad. My idea is to replace the 4-wheeled freight cars, which were poor runner on uneven track and unusual for 1920th US narrow gauge railroads. I’ll replace them by classic truck based rolling stock, which will negotiate uneven track much better.
First, I was going to make simple dummy trucks as on my first 8-wheel freight cars, but finally, I decided to build more detailed and prototype looking trucks as well as rolling stock. This 3D-model shows a 20′ flat car of typical construction. I simplified some details and made the side and center sills thicker for more loading capacity (i.e. full size passengers).
The trussrods will be of full function and the couplers will be mounted on drawbars for better coupler alignment in tight curves. I’ll build 2 flat cars as shown, one of them with a gondola top, and another chassis of the same type will be used under the box car body. While the trucks were the most difficult components, I’ll start with them in the next days.