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About SlowFreight

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    Waiting for a plane, somewhere...
  1. FDNY Squad 41 1/25 scale

    Yeah, Shapeways has probably the worst search function possible, so I'm always worried that the exact part I need is out there but I can't find it. If it weren't for forums and other groups, I don't know how you'd find stuff! So did Ralph Ratcliffe stop making kits? I tried to order one of his trash truck bodies, but he never got back to me.
  2. FDNY Squad 41 1/25 scale

    Resin kits are their own special challenges. In addition to the chronic need for more parts and better details, just getting them to fit together can be no fun. It came out great for all that work.
  3. Photobucket woes

    Can't dispute the user-unfriendliness of it, but I'm wondering if my account is old enough that they aren't going to start charging for the image linking feature. Which if it still works, means I can replace P-Bouquet without rebuilding all my linked posts around the planet.
  4. Photobucket woes

    Am I missing something, or is Photobucket still working for my links?
  5. This is a build I've had going on in the background for a while now. Like a few other projects I've worked on, ultimately the research--and repairing my screw-ups--took longer than the actual work. In this modern era, there's some interesting passenger modeling that can be done without insane levels of effort. When Walthers came out with the new Amfleet cars, I didn't want to pass up on them, but I hadn't really thought about what I'd buy. Amtrak and amfleet don't fit my normal modeling efforts, but do fit the same-era test. And to me, Amtrak was always an F40PH pulling amfleets. I did some research, and found that in the late 70s, quite a few trains ran with Amfleet I cars on longer-distance runs. It was only a 150-mile run, but I took a liking to the Minneapolis - Duluth/Superior North Star, which would run 3-5 Amfleet I, a baggage, and a sleeper behind a single F40...kinda like this: AMTRAK 352 by Dan Mackey, on Flickr A little more research showed that some of the earliest heritage cars rebuilt for this service were ex-Santa Fe baggage cars and sleepers. The baggage is a slam-dunk because Walthers released it in pretty correct Phase I, II, and III versions. I grabbed my Phase II on clearance right after I started boning up on amfleets. The sleeper was a bit tougher. Right after it started rebuilding ex-UP Pacific-series sleepers, Amtrak switched to the ex-Santa Fe Pines series because the A/C systems were less reliable on the Santa Fe cars. They came out looking right at home in Phase II stripes: Amtrak 2983 Pine Arroyo 5-1979 mb by mbernero, on Flickr Now, how to model? After mucking around for a while, I realized the P2K deluxe San Francisco Chief Pines cars could be updated reasonably easily. What I do here could also be used to make a dorm lounge, and these cars have definitely withstood the test of time. Truth be told, the car completed here is my test subject. I will build one more to keep for my own fleet. Note that if you're interested in trying something like this yourself, Walthers has suitable donor cars on clearance. First, here's the changes required to get a 95% solution: 1) Add HEP connections and marker lights to ends 2) Replace trucks with GSC-41 trucks 3) Remove steam heating equipment and update undercarriage with HEP details 4) Remove Santa Fe lettering 5) Add Amtrak striping and decals Now, it's impossible to find a separate detail part for passenger car red marker lights. Plus, matching the plated finish isn't the easiest thing. So, time to get creative. I picked up a Walthers plated Amtrak Phase III lounge car on clearance for $30. I salvaged the lighting bar for one of my NJDoT cars, and swapped trucks and ends with the Santa Fe Pines car. It took a while to figure out that the Pines cars had some basic HEP mods, plus a bunch of minor variations car-by-car. I'm not sure how much got changed by the time they became dorms. Note that at a minimum, the water tanks need to be swapped out and the big steam-activated A/C unit needs to go. It took a while to figure out the water tanks are always screwed on, which means completely disassembling the car to get at the screws underneath the weights--which are part of the electrical system, too. Here's a photo showing the underframe before painting: After stumbling around, I found that removing the lettering was most easily done by sanding it off with 800-grit or finer sandpaper, and then masking/repainting the letterboards per antoniofp45's Alclad recipe on the Amtrak and Commuter forum. The shade is a tiny bit off, but not enough to be noticeable. Once the underframe was updated, I was over the hump...mostly. Underside was airbrushed black. Decals came from the Microscale 87-423 anniversary set, which turned out to be defective and lacked the white background. I ended up decaling over the side twice to hide the defect, but it's part of the reason I won't keep the car now that it's done. I also had a non-plated 10-6 sleeper that included a decal sheet which gave me enough lettering to complete the car, since I needed a Pine name. Unfortunately, the Walthers sheet was for ex-UPRR Pacific-series sleepers, which limited my options if I didn't want to piece every letter...it was bad enough piecing together "Pine" from individual letters, so I settled on Pine Crest. I'd love to do Pine Arroyo, but don't have a set with "Arroyo" on it. Here's some photos of the finished car next to my unstarted car. They're not great because I had to make do with lighting, but it should give a good idea of how the car turned out. Next, I'll build one for myself, and that one will also get weathered.
  6. My 1st OMI

    IF you build what you have, it would be an ex-CGW SD40, which gives you quite a few options and can match any time period between 1966 and 1985ish. All 8 of them started out the same but varied quite a bit over the years once they rolled into the CNW fleet.
  7. BLI trackmobile

    Myself, I'd try removing the lettering and see how well that worked before stripping it. You could try 1) a hard eraser, 2) Solvaset on a q-tip, or 3) scraping it off gently with a curved Xacto blade.
  8. BLI trackmobile

    I haven't relettered one, but what is the starting and ending point for this project? I have a surplus one in Trackmobile yellow. I've stripped metal components before, on a Walthers centerbeam car, and it worked fine to use the same 91% isopropyl on both the metal and plastic.
  9. NJT Comet II

    Thanks, guys, for the kind words I'm not home much right now, so I really hemmed and hawed about taking the day to go to the meet. But when it's 30 minutes from home, I decided more than exhibiting stuff, I couldn't stay home and miss the chance to meet all of you great people. The compliments make a lot of the hours at the workbench worth it, but it was even better finally meeting Tony, Dave, Dan Kohlberg, Chris Z., Hummer (again!), Brian Banna, and anyone else I may be forgetting right now. Getting a chance to see all of our work in person ain't bad, either.
  10. Proto 1000 vs Proto 2000?

    Nope, I run the stock trucks and wheels. Once weathered, the cars look good...they could benefit from cut levers and crossover platforms, and maybe new cushion coupler details. But overall decent lookers. Unfortunately, the stock Walthers couplers are a bit too "prototypical" in their strength. I've broken knuckles frequently and had to swap couplers for Kadee.
  11. Proto 1000 vs Proto 2000?

    I run a large fleet of P1K newsprint box cars. They have less detail than a comparable P2K, Genesis, etc., car. But dimensionally they're pretty accurate so you're starting from a good platform. On the locomotive side, I'm not as familiar but would probably start with a higher-end model if one is available--like the Genesis GP15-1 vs. the P1K.
  12. Southern ALCO PA

    I can see you did a huge amount of work to get here, and trimming etched pieces is no joy. I like that you've got a distinctive pair, and the lack of the "swoop" found on the PA1 grills definitely makes them look different.
  13. NJDoT warmed-over GN coaches

    As promised: Unlike a normal masking job, I didn't strike a new edge on the masking tape, since I don't get the impression that the State was very careful on the prototype. It made the edge just a little less sharp.
  14. NJDoT warmed-over GN coaches

    Broken arrow patching has been applied to both cascade green cars. It really was as simple as hitting it with unglossed Floquil BN green...meaning if I'd caught it in the beginning, it would have taken under 5 minutes to mask the patches instead of 2 hours repainting and replacing the decals that I accidentally lifted off. Photos coming later this week.
  15. Detailing BNSF GE Dash 8-40B/BW's In HO Scale

    Any luck finding these? I can check the shop this weekend as discussed.