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Been thinking about this for a while now, but after seeing the Blackstone Models loco's in the flesh on Saturday, I am taking the plunge. Initially I'll be using three 4'x18" baseboards that have been in my possession for a while, maybe it will be exhibitable. Location is the fruit growing region around Paonia, maybe just up the road in Somerset CO, a coal mining town, just like my home town. Although both places are served now by the UP, my scenario it was 3' gauge up until the early 1960s. My setting is no later than 1959.  The photo's below are all Blackstone. I also have some  boxcars I picked up between 25 & 30 years ago at the narrow gauge show at Sparsholt, back in the days when I was into 009. These have been narrowed, but are about the same width as the Blackstone stuff. Interestingly they are marked Rivarossi, could they have been American TT? New Kadee H0n3 bogies are in the post for me, as is a Rail Line D&RGW Boxcar kit. Some track has been purchased today, including the last Shinohara dual gauge at Scale-Link, so tomorrow brings me to test it and then prepare the baseboards. Don't expect to see a great deal done soon, as I'm off the travel on the real thing in five weeks.

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Edited by JZ
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Posted (edited)

Had the loco on the Sprog today and it has the best steam sound I have heard, quality-wise it's up there with my SLW Class 24.  A C-19 was ordered today, should be with me Saturday. Below are the two Rivarossi(?) boxcars. Totally fictitious livery, but I think they look good. Paonia is/was a fruit growing area and I found these box labels online and made my own transfers up. My Rail Line car should be here tomorrow and it will also probably end up in a similar way. More genuine liveried boxcars will either be F&C kits, which come with transfers, or Blackstone, all of which should fit easily in the suitcase.

After effing and blinding for a bit today, I came to the conclusion that my fingers are too fat, I don't have enough hands and my eyesight is no longer good enough for putting together Kadee #713 couplings and boxes. Giving some #153 a go as they are compatible.

 

The boxcars need some touching up and weathering.

Union Fruit.jpg

pears.jpg

Edited by JZ
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Cleaned up the baseboards today and went up the road to the timber merchant for timber for the legs. Have decided that it will be made available for exhibitions. Plan is to finish around the end of the year and put it forward for next year's SWAG do in Taunton. The Rail-Line boxcar has arrived, nice looking kit, and transfers have been ordered from San Juan Decals. My C-19 is on special delivery and should be here by one. Keeping an eye on a couple of carriages over the water, pretty close to what I'm willing to pay at the moment, so expecting to miss out on these.

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Next this is finding a suitable bridge, preferably girder for the gully I want, something around 250 to 350mm. Will also need a road bridge, but that can be scratch built.

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Knocked up the trestle out of some stripwood I had lying around. Rails will be soldered to the copperclad, but first I must order some track gauges, for this and the fiddle yard.

 

This baby arrived today, a C-19, while this one was scrapped in 1938, I have decided to be a little flexible with dates, as my setting is 1959. Another wagon kit was won on eBay and that will be it rolling stock wise for a while, though I may pick up some carriages when I'm in Denver. As for locos, my next purchases are a K-28, which is at prototype stage and a K-36, which is still at CAD. Planning to pop into Blackstone Models while I'm in Durango.

 

Apart from the river section board and the fiddle board, the other baseboards have just about been prepared. Can't lay any track until I have a few buildings to see what will go where, but, weather permitting, I might bolt two together just for a play after work tomorrow.

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Fitted rail to the trestle after work today, using other track as a guide and a vernier. Inspiration was the lower picture, which I believe is near Antonito. I would love to have something this long, but needs must, maybe if I sell off my 00 stock. Just kidding, but it might find a home in the loft. I've also joined 3 Facebook groups dealing with Colorado narrow gauge and the support has been tremendous. Now have a long list of shops to visit and one member in Durango has invited me to have a browse through his many structure kits that he has surplus.

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Posted (edited)

 

 

Edited by JZ
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I need to make a few adjustments to the sounds. The bell on the C-19 isn't as distinct as it sounds on the video and the buzzing sound heard on the K-27 is the generator for the electric light, needs turning down a bit. Also will play around with the whistles, as the are 5 or 6 options. However, as at the moment I can only put up the layout outdoors, the weather has put paid to any work. That said, I can't do much until I get a few structures and work out where things will go.

 

Another thing is, I can find no evidence of tender first running, so will have to fit a turntable into the scene somewhere.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JZ said:

Another thing is, I can find no evidence of tender first running, so will have to fit a turntable into the scene somewhere.

 

Or a wye.

 

(Edit - this should point to one in Silverton:

   https://maps.app.goo.gl/uK6KniAAEdrcqc5v8 )

Edited by pH

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Posted (edited)
On 25/04/2019 at 06:07, pH said:

 

Or a wye.

 

(Edit - this should point to one in Silverton:

   https://maps.app.goo.gl/uK6KniAAEdrcqc5v8 )

Unfortunately I don't have room for a wye. These loco's will only manage a minmum 18" rad and my boards are 18" wide, dictated by what will fit in the car. It seems that wyes were quite common features, I've spotted several between Durango and Silverton, it's something I would have if I eventually decide to get rid of my 00 stuff and go full hog H0n3.

Edited by JZ
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Just picked up a rather ancient R Robb kit for a 6000 series flatcar. Unfortunately two pieces are missing, the two halves of the underframe. The eBay seller was gracious in giving me a partial refund to pay for the Plastruct section to make this myself.

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Posted (edited)

Now the owner of some 8 Rail Line boxcars and a few  stock cars from various makers. Also have 5 E&B Valley/Precision Models passenger cars. Had eyed up a Galloping Goose in Denver and had emailed the seller about possibly collecting, but, this morning one of the same make turned up on eBay, full DCC sound and $200 cheaper. Tomorrow I drive to Chepstow to collect it. It will also leave space in my suitcase for other goodies.

 

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Edited by JZ
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Posted (edited)

After two weeks mostly in Colorado, I have picked up some Blair Line and Micro Engineering kits, three Blackstone freight cars and a carriage and tomorrow I'm popping up to Cheyenne to visit LaBelle Woodworking for some more rolling stock. While in Durango, I met up with Josh Levine of Blackstone Models and discussed the future availability of products. Good to know that the next batch of reefers are expected within the next month, but ongoing production difficulties with China means that the next two planned loco's have gone back to the drawing board. It looks like I will be on the lookout for another K-27 to add to the roster. While I was around Denver, I also dropped in on San Juan Models and picked up some decal sheets and had a tour of their facility. Loads of photo's taken at the Cumbres & Toltec, the Durango & Silverton and the Georgetown Loop, though I didn't travel on that one, some of which I will post up when I return home, though I won't bore you with too many infrastructure shots, trees, rock cuttings and old mine workings.

Take away the trains and Colorado is a fantastic place, you stop to take a picture of a beautiful vista, drive off and around the next corner is an even better one. I've crossed the 11000ft contour twice today, the first time at Loveland pass, 11990ft and later at Juniper Pass, 11020ft.

 

Forgot to mention. I managed to pre-order a Kitwood Hill Models 65ft turntable based on the one at Durango.

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Posted (edited)

Interesting meeting with Rick Steele at LaBelle, it was nice to meet a former guard/conductor and share experiences, they aren't that different. I came away with 2 boxcars, a reefer and a gondola. The LaBelle kits are wooden with plastic, whitemetal and brass fittings.

 In an earlier post, I mentioned about turning down the sound of the steam dynamo on the K-27. After hearing the real thing, I don't think I will, it's very loud. I will get a short video up when I get home so you can hear it for yourselves. I'll be driving back down to Canon City tomorrow. Three reasons. The forecast is good and I would like to walk the Royal Gorge Bridge again. The second being that it's not too far away from Pikes Peak and the forecast for that is reasonable. And finally, the best burger that I have ever had was from a small place called Bunk House Burgers in Canon City. You don't get a massive one, but they do it hit the mark.

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Been wandering around in a bit of a daze today, my body has accepted UK time, but my brain is still 7 hours behind. Planning will start in earnest tomorrow. All the building footprints will be marked out on the boards, together with the turntable position. 

In the meantime, a few pictures from my travels.

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Great thread! The Blackstone models look and sound incredible albeit I’d hope so for the asking price. Will they operate on Peco 009 track? (Or Kato n scale if required). Do you know what the minimum radius is for them? 

 

Does anyone sell them in the UK? Out of interest, does any other manufacturer sell HON3 models such as these that are a bit more basic/easier on the wallet? 

 

I hadn’t realised fruit growing was prevalent in Colorado! 

 

Greg 

 

 

 

 

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They work on Peco HOn3 track (10.5mm gauge). EDM and SCC stock them in the UK.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, RateTheFreight said:

Great thread! The Blackstone models look and sound incredible albeit I’d hope so for the asking price. Will they operate on Peco 009 track? (Or Kato n scale if required). Do you know what the minimum radius is for them? 

 

Does anyone sell them in the UK? Out of interest, does any other manufacturer sell HON3 models such as these that are a bit more basic/easier on the wallet? 

 

I hadn’t realised fruit growing was prevalent in Colorado! 

 

Greg 

 

 

 

 

 

20 hours ago, Nile said:

They work on Peco HOn3 track (10.5mm gauge). EDM and SCC stock them in the UK.

As Nile says, Peco do track and points. Scale-Link have some Shinohara track and points and EDM have some Micro-Engineering track in both code 55 and 70, but no points. Blackstone Models loco's are stunning, but at the moment, hard to get hold of. SCC have a few C-19s in stock and a handful of flatcars when I spoke to Ted Smale the other day. EDM(NGtrains) have only a few EBT hoppers and no loco's. H0n3 is quite well catered for with rolling stock kits, but getting them from America can be expensive, though they often turn up on eBay over here. Many of the kits are fairly complex compared to what we have over here, but many handrails are preformed. Most kits are without trucks(bogies), but these are easily available here from the likes of Kadee, look on eBay, same for couplings. Many infrastructure kits for standard gauge H0 can be used for H0n3, these loco's are BIG. Example, the K-37 499 in the top picture, was rebuilt from a standard gauge 2-8-0, it has a tractive effort of 37100 lb, more than an 8F.

 

Minimum radius is 18"

 

Blackstone, like other manufacturers, are having issues with production in China. However, they were expecting some reefers (refrigerator cars) shortly and both EDM and SCC will be getting some. I was at Blackstone a couple of weeks back and they hoped to get another run of K-27s done in the near future. K-28 and K-36 models have been hit by design problems, but are still very much on the burner.

 

It is also well supported with Japanese and Korean brass, but these are even more expensive.

 

Check out the Facebook groups "Denver & Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Modeler's Circle" and "Rio Grande Southern Modeling and History" and look at the work by Dave Vollmer in H0n3.

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4 hours ago, RateTheFreight said:

 

I hadn’t realised fruit growing was prevalent in Colorado! 

 

Greg 

 

 

 

 

To be honest I didn't either, I just googled what industry/agriculture was around and came up with these. I drove through Paonia while I was there, loads of orchards, but probably less that there used to be.

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Hi JZ,  looks like you had a good time in Colorado, followed the trail I laid 25 yrs ago! Did you get to Leadville?  That place left me well out of breath!.

     If you are interested I have a lot of HOn3 stuff that I want to go to someone who will enjoy it. I dont want to leave too much stuff for the memsahib to clear up!  I  am clearing up a pals estate and have learnt some lessons!

      PM me if you are interested but bare in mind mine is all analogue stuff.

 Mick

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Made a start today on the first of the structures I purchased on my travels, a Bar Mills laser cut kit. Once I get a few of these done, I can juggle things around to see how I want them all to fit. Also happened across another H0n3 modeller in Germany who may be selling a Galloping Goose. This time it's a Wayne bus version with D&RGW markings, though it isn't DCC fitted. Another kit I picked up was the Micro-Engineering viaduct. The original plan for this was a diorama to show off the models, but things are gathering pace to scrap my S&D layout and go into the shed with the H0n3 and model aspects of the Cumbres & Toltec, Durango and Silverton and the Georgetown Loop. I would have 20' x 10' to play with and it would be a continuous run, climbing as it went and returning to the original level with a helix. It would remove the need for a duck under, or at least make it higher. I am finding it more difficult getting under the one I have on Gurney Slade, obviously not as supple as I used to be.

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Well, this thing is now taking a life of it's own. Plans for the exhibitable layout are now shelved, the boards now earmarked for their original plan of an Isle of Wight layout. Gurney Slade, S&DJR, will be scrapped and a new S&D layout set between Combe Down tunnel and Midford to be built in the loft at some point.

 

So, back to this one. It yet to have a working name, but I'm sure a study of Google Maps will find me something. I have tried to get something that gives a flavour of the narrow gauge in Colorado, rather than a specific location. Inspiration come from Whiplash curve on the Cumbres and Toltec and the Georgetown Loop., the station and passing loop is based on Sublette, and I decided to get a wye in for turning loco's serving the mine, loosely based on the one just outside Silverton. maximum gradient will be 4%, but mostly 2%, and on the sharper curves less, the tightest of which is 18" rad. I intend to use trees mostly as scenic breaks to hide the fact that it loops around on itself a little too much in places. Bog brush trees will be used behind, with better quality ones in front. Either a lift out section at the door, or a higher duck under than I have now. And finally a helix to get it back down to the original level.

 

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Posted (edited)

Black scribbling next to helix is a scenic break of building backs, or maybe fronts. Period will be the end of the 1950's, I have an Oxford Edsel Citation, 1959 which is my late marker for date.

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After doing some calculations this morning, had to do something, one of my cats makes a real fuss if I stay in bed, I worked out that a constant 2% grade would give me something like a 650 mm rise in the scenic section, far more than is needed. So the plan is now to keep the gradients to the parts where it will show the most, the loopy sections, and this will give a rise of around 300 mm. Another Micro-Engineering viaduct has been obtained, this is a light weight version of the one I already have.393762477_tsvl-w.jpg.ee239e875e8bf9bcead13fda1220bc76.jpg

This will be used for the highest bridge in the loop section, just before the line plunges into a tunnel on the lift/duck under section.

  And finally for now, another Galloping Goose has been located, this time it's No.5, a Wayne Bus bodied version and in D&RGW Maintenance  of Way livery. Not DCC this one, but I have some spare Lenz decoders to play around with until I can get hold of the correct Soundtraxx one.

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Failed to win the Galloping Goose, in the end it went for €251. These things are as rare as hens teeth. Narrow Gauge Colorado has the same model, albeit sound fitted, at $549.97. One went on eBay in the US last week for $755 and that was the same one as I have. Not to worry. one is probably enough for now.

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