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Satisfying Anglophilia in the Chicago suburbs with no money.

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Kato Portram Toyamako

Kato Portram Toyamako

I just received a Kato Portram I had ordered; Adorable little thing.  Somehow, when I bid on eBay for it, I hadn't noticed the adorable articulated cat motif.   I bid on this with the intention of using the bogies for RT Models Lister Autotrucks.   But, I just can't ruin such a charming little tram.   Oh well.   I'll need to keep an eye out for another on the low end of the market.   Shame they're out of print, from my knowledge.   I probably spent too much on it for breaking it, anyw

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Cooper Craft GWR 'Mink' V5 Van

Cooper Craft GWR 'Mink' V5 Van

I had picked up a Cooper Craft GWR diagram V5 'Mink' at my club's swap meet some time back.  Decided I would start on it, feeling on-trains but not interested in bringing the iron back out.      I didn't get too far in one evening.    I set the top-hat bearings in the W-irons, glued an end to the side.   I know I need to alter the bracketry on the solebars.   Sadly, apparently an accurate V5 isn't possible with just this kit.   Pertinent parts for the DCI or II brakes aren't present. 

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Jidenco LMS 12t 1-Plank

Jidenco LMS 12t 1-Plank

No fault on Jidenco, but man am I bad at this soldering thing.   Real happy I didn't dive straight into the 3F.   So;    Old kit, methinks.   I have option B, the 12t 1-planker.  I also don't have wheels for it.   I fussed with it some years ago, when I first picked up the $10 stick-iron from Radio Shack.   Back when there were Radio Shacks.   The mess on the bottom is from back then.   Trying to tin the thing.   Never got it quite clean.

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LNER Y...something?

LNER Y...something?

I bought an N20 motor a couple of weeks ago, along with a pair of 3D printed gears to fit 1/8" axles & the N20.   My original thought was to fit it to this small LNER tank I picked up at an estate sale;   While the motor would probably fit, it won't fit between the frames.   Which means needs to angle into the boiler.   Which hasn't enough space.    Playing around with the brass chassis, I think it was made undersized.    The chassis will 'walk' on my test plank.   
Couplers 2

Couplers 2

I've gone as far with the coupler project as I can now.   I've run out of couplers.   Well, mostly.   I have two packs of #31, but that micro draft box is impossible.    Not worth the trouble.   These are what I converted during this push;   I feel rather accomplished, cranking this out in a couple of weeks.   I piled the old couplers... ...for no purpose other than to dump the pile in the trash.   I have no use for them.   I managed to bo

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Couplers

I've dug into fitting Kadee's to my wagon fleet.   I've found longshank underset works well.    I don't plan on using these for shunting.   I'm using Kadee's more due to availability & reliability.   Also, trying to take a 30-wagon train off the line at a show is a pain with tension locks.   I'll keep working on this for now.

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Photo Op

Photo Op

Train things.   I have some OO9 out.    My Heljan L&B Manning-Wardle, suitably modified per the pertinent thread, and a Bachman USA Skarloey.   I will say, Skarloey is the sweeter runner.   I was double-heading do to constant stalls with the M-W.   This long shot shows the relatively easy load.   Skarloey struggled with it on his own.   Also, the little bit of American I have breaks scale.   Just after Thanksgiving, I ordered a Heljan 1366 when Rails

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Christmas Temps

Christmas Temps

The holiday season means I get asked to set up a loop at the office.   New office this year means I'm no longer beholden to doubled-desks next to a leaky window.    I have two 4'x8' sheets of chipboard laid in our attic, with about a 3'x8' oval.   Not as much running as before.   I don't like to have it run where I can't hear or see it.   I also found out the Japanese caboose I have (code WaMu, I believe?) has automatic directional lights.    Absolutely cool.   I'm so used to UK

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Surprise Finds

Surprise Finds

I found this line-up by absolute chance on Friday 9/30.  Actually, I suppose to most of this sites' userbase, the date was 30/9.    Either way, seeing an E-unit in the wild is incredibly rare.   I don't recognize the line, though.   Discussion with my one train club suggested a commuter line in Maryland.    Makes this find even more unusual.    I live outside Chicago, and found this on my way home from work.    Still, cool.

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GWR Buffalo in N

A couple of months ago, I had what then seemed like a clever idea.    I would knock together a Bachman-Farish Gronk with a pannier body.   I was inspired by a picture of the Buffalo in a book I had bought second-hand.   I hadn't known any outside-framed tanks received pannier tanks, much less lasted until the timeframe I nominally collect.   Excellent, I thought.   I figured this would be a simple bash.  Nope.   First, my inspiration https://www.philt.org.uk/Misc/Archive-Photos/i-ZPJSZ

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More New Toys - Opinions Requested!

More New Toys - Opinions Requested!

I am so very happy.   Hatton's has the Heljan-Olivia's Trains 27001 Ariadne listed as a bargain, just under 100 GBP.   Once I was through processing, I had it bought and shipped for $110.   Great deal!   I do need to figure out which coaches are appropriate for a Brunswick green 77, though.  Any opinions?   I was thinking maroon was the livery to grab?   I also ordered a second-hand Lynton & Barnstaple 4-wheel open.    Just adding to a small collection of narrow gauge.  

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All American Railroad Show, Part 1

Both clubs I am part of, the British Train Society, and the European Train Enthusiasts club, Chicago Chapter, showed at the annual All-American Railroad Show in LaGrange, IL today.   I only took a few pictures.

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New Toys

New Toys

Short note - new toys in the mail.   I managed to catch the Rails of Sheffield flash-sale on the Heljan L&B Manning-Wardle 'Taw' in Southern lined green.   I must say, beautiful model, but the relevant thread elsewhere gives me pause to running it.   Shame, cost me enough.    On the same order, I grabbed a couple of L&B bogie opens in Southern colors & markings.   From the depths of eBay, I won this monstrosity; I regret my decision.   Runs lik

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Ruination

Two entries on two nights, and both poor showings.   I've mentioned earlier in this blog that I had two locomotives fail during the Christmas season, my Terrier and 14xx.    Tonight, I attempted to take them apart to ascertain what failed, and what I could do to remedy the issues.   First, I attempted the Terrier.   Completely mangled the thing.    One of the clips just would not let go, and by the time it did, I had bent one of the coupling rods, lost a coupling rod pin, and

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False Starts

I've managed to mangle two projects tonight.    I've taken no pictures, in absolute shame.   Firstly, I had done a very rough cut of a baseboard for my shoebox layout.   General idea was that I could build the whole of the layout on the plywood, so that I could work on it without destroying the box.    Problem with my cutting the baseboard myself is I only have a ripsaw, triangle, and tape measure handy.   Nary a sawhorse in sight.   Also, the sheet I started with wasn't square in the

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5600 and Vans

Updates will be thin for a while. Well, thinner than normal. I have other, more pressing or older projects that do not involve model railways in the slightest. Still, a shortlist of relevancy.   Firstly, I am officially abandoning the 56XX kitbuild. The Grafar chassis under it made a circuit and a half on my loop, and quite. I am already $150 into the build, and I do not fancy trying for another donor chassis. Also, I had just found the announcement from RevolutioN about their plans on produci

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T-Trak Planning

For about two years now, I have been planning on a modest T-trak layout. If you are not aware, T-Trak is a system based around Kato's Unitrak system, taking advantage of the strength of the joiners used. The modules are also based largely on Unitrak's standard lengths, with the normal straight module being 2mm shorter in length than a Kato double crossover, the largest single piece of track in the Unitrak catalog.   Part of my goal with this layout is to run...whatever I damn well please!

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Progress - 5600 3 and other

Sorry I've been quiet. I've mostly been lazy lately, but I've had other business as well.   Firstly, the 5600 was built and tested. Can't complete a circuit of the loop I have set up at work. Shame. I don't think I'll pursue it further; any money I saved buying the kit secondhand has been spent trying to get a decent 94XX donor.   Secondly, found a couple of gentlemen with some bring-backs at the local model train show/swap meet. I picked up a Langley yard crane. A lot of fl

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Progress - 5600 no. 2 and Other

Not much progress, really. Been a bit of a bum week for the workbench, errands and more pressing issues cutting into my limited worktime. Most, if not all of that time is recently, and for a while, given over to a Bolt Action army I've been trying to paint as a set. Not doing this again!     Firstly, I've added the small parts to the 56xx. Needs some finessing, though. The rear sanders and front steps foul the rather large pins on the drivers for the rods. Based on space, I'm lo

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