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The Bigbee Line

Pidcock Lines - Bay Window Caboose

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Latest Posting is the construction of a shunting plank

I am looking to fit Sergent couplers to a Stewart FT-A.  I have fitted Kadees to an A-B-B-A set with no problem, the A and B units being connected by a drawbar.  The problem with a solo A unit is the lack of space behind the rear power truck.  I'm sure I've seen someone file one down for another application.  Any ideas appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

Edited by The Bigbee Line

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Ernie,

 

I can only speak for the Western Pacific...I'm pretty sure their FT A and B sets were never parted...much like an old married couple!  :derisive:

 

Maybe it's Stewart's "art" imitating life...they never intended for you the modeller to dabble like this! BTW..what's a Sergent coupler? 

 

Good luck!

 

FRB

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Ernie,

 

I can only speak for the Western Pacific...I'm pretty sure their FT A and B sets were never parted...much like an old married couple!  :derisive:

 

Maybe it's Stewart's "art" imitating life...they never intended for you the modeller to dabble like this! BTW..what's a Sergent coupler? 

 

Good luck!

 

FRB

http://www.sergentengineering.com/ Sergent produce some neat HO scale couplers.

 

I'm going to model a Georgia Northern ex Southern FT.  In real life fitting a coupler on the rear was a real pain due to lack of space.

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ISTR Kadee produced #450 couplers for the rear of a Stewart FT AB, but didn't have an answer for A units alone. The #450s took a bit more assembly than a #5, too!

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ISTR Kadee produced #450 couplers for the rear of a Stewart FT AB, but didn't have an answer for A units alone. The #450s took a bit more assembly than a #5, too!

Ian, 

 

Thanks for that.  I have #450's on a Southern ABBA set.  They are quite good using the 30 series shortest coupler, with a drawbar between the A and B units.  The Santa Fe were the first to demand a coupler and EMD had to do some serious head scratching to get a drawbar in place.  I believe it bent right over the rear traction motor.  One option is to make the rear truck a dummy and utilise the space where the axle gear was.

 

Sergent also stock a plastic dummy coupler and as only one knuckle needs to open to couple might offer an option for experimenting.  I have some of these so might give it a go.

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FTAs, prototype and model, were not designed for couplers on the 'blind' end.  The ATSF threw a monkey wrench into all that; their A unit couplers are described as being S shaped thought I've never seen a photo of one.  In modeling an Atlantic Coast Line FTA I used a dummy knuckle that was pillaged out of a Proto 2000 FA2; I could find nothing from Kadee that was short enough.  The other way I've seen it done is to drill thru the shank of a coupler and fit that to the model with a small screw; a fellow I knew would then use little dabs of silicone sealant as the 'centering spring' though I found on my FTA that the coupler is so close to the truck that centering is not really needed.

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The fitting of Sergent Couplers to the FT is in hand.

 

Big thanks to Martin K O'Toole for the use of the following inspirational images:

Georgia Northern #14 out on the road with a short freight.

 

post-2484-0-27884200-1392064570_thumb.jpg

post-2484-0-00629500-1392064494_thumb.jpg

post-2484-0-78905200-1392064430_thumb.jpg

post-2484-0-89799000-1392064518_thumb.jpg

 

G.A.S.& C. #16 resting in a shed

post-2484-0-28615200-1392064447_thumb.jpg

post-2484-0-21864900-1392064470_thumb.jpg

 

 

They are from the RailPictures web site http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=69905&nseq=1

 

I'm now looking at some suitably lightweight and wonky track.  I've tried out some spare Code 55 FB rail, slid into Peco Code 75 sleeper base.

 

Shown here against some Roco Code 83.  Just need to sort out a turnout now... 

post-2484-0-82754700-1392065161_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post-2484-0-43273900-1392064590_thumb.jpg

Edited by The Bigbee Line
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Since the last post the coupler situation has made progress beyond expectations.

 

I have corresponded with Frank Sergent (Sergent Engineering, Knoxville, Tennessee) and one of my FT A units made an 8000 mile round trip for a fitting session at the Sergent Engineering workshop.  There is a distinct lack of 'rear end' pictures of FTs.  To ensure prototype authenticity Frank visited the Southeastern Railroad Museum at Duluth, Georgia to inspect 960604, a former Southern FTB unit.

 

The results of his efforts the results are beyond expctations.

 

As a tester these are images of the EC87M040K coupler with a Kadee on another A unit for comparison. 


These images show the couplers on the rear of the A unit and the resultant gap when an A and B unit are coupled.

post-2484-0-17790900-1399016648_thumb.jpg

post-2484-0-41496300-1399016664_thumb.jpg

post-2484-0-19785800-1399018726.jpg

post-2484-0-70602200-1399018748.jpg

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post-2484-0-31432600-1399018802_thumb.jpg

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Mutt's nuts stuff, Ernie! Great for a supplier to be so positive with an overseas modeller, too. This firm may have a future!

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Mutt's nuts stuff, Ernie! Great for a supplier to be so positive with an overseas modeller, too. This firm may have a future!

Not many UK suppliers that are as amenable. Tops marks to Frank Sergent.

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Not seen these before, they look excellent.  If I was starting again with a small layout I would seriously consider them.

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Whilst continuing my workshop tidy up epic I came across a pack of weathering powders. I've never used them before.. I'd made some bargain purchases of Exactrail Gondolas. Unfortunately they were all black.

 

Black models are always 'dead' to the eye and I have an O gauge 08 in black to tone down. I'd thought of using a stick of chalk as the base, but these powders gave the opportunity.

 

Here is the end 'before':

 

post-2484-0-00911200-1495651957_thumb.jpg

 

Some powder scrubbed in slightly, then brushed off gave this effect:

 

post-2484-0-56108700-1495651980_thumb.jpg

 

Here is a 'before' on the left and an 'after' on the right:

 

post-2484-0-14710800-1495652040_thumb.jpg

 

The inside also benefitted from the same treatment, finishing the sides with vertical strokes:

 

post-2484-0-82008600-1495652065_thumb.jpg

 

Will wear gloves next time as it has dried out my fingers....

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UPCYCLE is one of the latest buzz words.

 

I do try to find a use for things rather than throw them away.

 

Yesterday I was sorting out the smallest bedroom after my Step Daughter moved out.  The room will become my 'home office'..

 

In the process there was some furniture to dispose of.  The bed ends and mattress went to the tip.  There was an Ikea canvas wardrobe...  hmmmm..  the timber looks useful, so it was disassembled with all wood and screws saved.

 

I have a code 55 turnout in HO that was purchased a couple of years ago and needs using.  So I thought of something in a similar footprint to my 'Tenterden Sidings'. 

 

So from one of these:

 

post-2484-0-12148400-1514206407.jpg

 

I've built this:

 

post-2484-0-07773700-1514206409_thumb.jpg

 

69" long, with a 12" section at one end at 12" wide, with a 12" section at the other end at 6" wide.  It will be topped off with some expanded foam and a back scene on sides and rear.  The plan is to have a single turnout, with a dummy derail for protecting the main. 

 

post-2484-0-61851600-1514207491_thumb.jpg

 

Here are a couple of 1994 pictures of Moneta Virginia, the mainline is heavy rail as the main traffic was coal on the former Virginian main line.  Mine will be more rustic.  I'm planning code 55 or 60 for the main line with code 55 for the siding.  The idea is to switch various cars from the main to the siding and vice versa.

 

post-2484-0-10740000-1514208989_thumb.jpg

 

post-2484-0-38311300-1514208991_thumb.jpg

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Laid a piece of cardboard over the frame for a test run.  Tomorrow I will get the brown foam to form the actual base for the track.  A small creek will run under the track so the elevation is required.  Code 55 rail equates to 75lb rail, so this is no class 1.   I have Bachmann 70 and 45 tonners.  Both suitable for shortline work.

 

The 45 tonner needs some miles under its belt... This is the Bachmann picture...

 

post-2484-0-29499200-1514245708_thumb.jpg 

 

Testing for length.  Tomorrow 3 lengths of track will be used for adjustment etc.

 

post-2484-0-09762200-1514244907_thumb.jpg

 

post-2484-0-54613700-1514244908_thumb.jpg

 

post-2484-0-44358800-1514244910_thumb.jpg

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Quiet Boxing Day, we walked to Queens Hall where Linda gave blood (I'd like to, but having had a blood transfusion I'm not allowed....).  While waiting for Linda I did some 'fag packet calculations' and figured I could clear the switch with 3 x 40' cars and a U23B, still having room for 3 cars in the siding and on the main past the switch.

 

So when we got home I found some Kadee 40' cars and had a practice.  The turnout was set to give the minimum distance for the 3 cars plus loco.  the track will be set on a gentle curve..

 

post-2484-0-54618600-1514325068_thumb.jpg

 

The siding will need to swing out quite a bit to get the two tracks on their respective lines.  Not sure if that spacing will be the way to go.  Maybe the front one in at 3" with the siding at maybe another 3" in.  That will give 6" for some anonymous industry building and some scenery.

 

This is the 6" setting and it looks a bit wide....

 

post-2484-0-26757700-1514325064_thumb.jpg

 

The main line past the turnout will again be on a gentle curve..

 

post-2484-0-59765500-1514325075_thumb.jpg

 

When finding the 40' cars I also found a sheet of pink foam that will form the ground.  Not sure what to use to stick if to the wooden frame, suggestions please

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Well not much modelling today.  Got side tracked by some domestic duties, sorting stuff out and a recently discovered Flickr site of Bill Gordon,  some really great shots...   https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

 

I laid the pink foam board on the frame, 'too thick!!'  So it will be plan B and build up the layers with laminate floor underlay, topped with a sub road base of thin ply.  I made a cardboard cut out for cutting out the ply, tomorrows job....

 

post-2484-0-73047300-1514414635_thumb.jpg

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The morning was spent filling the brown bin from items out of the raised beds (bean stems, cabbage stalks etc) then turned over the soil to expose the underneath to some winter weather.

 

I then took my cardboard cut out and marked some off cuts of ply and set to with the jigsaw.  Despite best efforts the alignment is not neat enough.  I don't actually need a huge ballast shoulder as the type of line I'm modelling will have a minimum of ballast and plenty of weeds.

 

post-2484-0-66637900-1514503562_thumb.jpg

 

So tomorrows plan is to fix a door on the dishwasher and add the cupboard door next to that..  Go to the butchers for something nice for Sunday (not poultry...)

 

Then align the track on the ply, drill and loosely pin down (holes drilled for the pins).  Mark a cutting line and cut the ply to match the track alignment.  Then build up the layers of laminate floor underlay.

 

I need to find a couple of lengths of N code 55 track, not the faux 55 from Peco, but some Micro Engineering to donate the rail to this project, 4 fishplates and 2 insulated fishplates and I can get the track down.

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A bit of modelling time today.  I finished screwing the main frame together.  The cross members had short pieces added to the top to perform T sections.  The ply sub road base was laid on and the track sat on top.  It showed what a pigs ear I'd made of cutting the ply.  I have used Peco conductor rail, code 60 FB for the momenent.  The code 83 is hard to get out of the track base, best to split into 4 or 5 sections.  I used a 1mm drill for a hole through the sleeper and into the ply, then a thick track pin pushed in and a slight tap to secure.

 

A U23B and 3 x 40' cars easily clear the points...

 

post-2484-0-97923200-1514580078_thumb.jpg                            post-2484-0-80315100-1514580077_thumb.jpg

 

 

The first section of track in the siding doesn't look right and needs moving.  I can then mark out the true edge and recut the ply.

 

post-2484-0-09357700-1514580084_thumb.jpg

 

The turnout needs a mechanism.  The code 55 means that very little pressure is needed.  I think I'll try a small spring to hold the switch in the 'normal/straight' position, with a 'finger' coming up to push on the other end and hold it in the 'reverse/curved position

 

post-2484-0-47803200-1514580076_thumb.jpg

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Just caught up with this thread. Nice work.  Look forward to following your progress.

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More recycling today..  A board with some N gauge track was found today when sorting some stuff stored at my daughters.  The points were stripped for potential re-use and the code 55 track stripped of sleepers. 

 

I had some spare Code 83 track base, so cut some rail into scale 39' lengths.  These lengths had the ends filed clean and they were threaded into the track base with typical US staggered joints.

 

post-2484-0-90342400-1514672491_thumb.jpg

 

Looking down the length I think the slightly random deviation captures that 'short line' look...

 

post-2484-0-86901100-1514672939_thumb.jpg

 

Now I need to find some rail joiners.  I'll probably cut them in half..  Just need to do some research looking at pictures of short line track for inspiration..  Tomorrow I'll strip the rest of the rail..

 

 

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Today I replaced the code 60 rail with code 55.  I managed to slice the end of my thumb by running it along the web, OUCH. 

 

The cutting the rail into scale 39' lengths and staggering the joints has got the 'not worth it' vote.  Reasons:

 

  • The joints aren't noticeable.  I think some glued on fishplates with bolt heads might be more visually attractive.
  •  
  • The joints would need soldering and I want to minimise soldering.
  •  
  • It's easier to use longer lengths.

 

Here are a couple of images showing jointed track.  The representation of the spikes are tiny on the code 83 track base, in the pictures they looked enormous.

 

post-2484-0-11467900-1514841373_thumb.jpg

 

post-2484-0-88771200-1514841374_thumb.jpg

 

post-2484-0-50692800-1514841380_thumb.jpg

 

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The 'home office' progresses..  Part of the shelving is planned to hold a shelf layout.  There is a standard format that will allow me to 'ring the changes'.  Here is the HO board.  I will get some shorter brackets so I do not spear myself.  The shelf above will have a strip of LED lights and a small pelmet.  The beauty of the twin slotted shelves is the versatility.  Just need to get them all at the same height...

 

post-2484-0-76030100-1515368564_thumb.jpg

Edited by The Bigbee Line
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I'm keen to create a backscene to represent the Georgia countryside.  Not sure whether to photoshop or have a go at painting.  What have others done?

 

post-2484-0-63173300-1515541121_thumb.jpg

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Cannot offer any suggestions for the backscene, but I do love your idea and execution of that shelf layout.

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I did a search via interweb for georgia forestry/tree pictures when i was building my Louisville & wadley layout.

https://uk.search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=C111GB0D20150225&p=georgia+forestry+images

 

I did come up one that i was going to use, though it is probably a bit too dense for what your after....

https://www.farmflavor.com/georgia/georgia-forestry-industry-seeing-wood-trees/

 

and on the layout

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/74013-the-lwa-1950s-georgia-shortline/&do=findComment&comment=1117481

 

Hope you find what your looking for.

Brian.

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