Friday, December 30, 2016

Topside Creeper

My new creeper ready to access the far reaches of Milton.
Santa (my wife, Becky) was good to me this year in several ways. One of the more interesting ways was this Topside Creeper from Micro-Mark. Most of the benchwork on the Stockton & Copperopolis is two feet wide or less, easily accessible for operation and for work. There are a few places, though, at CP Junction, Farmington and Milton which are deeper and less accessible. This handy tool allows me to lay over the layout and do whatever work need to be done without the risk of falling through the railroad.
     I tried using it at Milton yesterday to get to some of the scenery and backdrop. It works great! There's even a tool pouch at the end so you don't have to lay your stuff on wet scenery or on the roofs of your structures. When you are done with it, the Creeper folds up into a much smaller package for storage. It is a little pricey but, since Santa bought it, the cost doesn't matter. . . . There's a fallacy with that argument but I'm still working it out.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Last Structure Before Scenery

My model of the Mason's hall will sit prominently on the highest part of town strategically placed so that arriving train passengers will see the inviting signs of the Plaza Saloon.
What was to become home to the Masons in Milton was built shortly after the railroad arrived in 1871. There is an 1871 photo which was obviously taken from the building's balcony showing the railroad depot. In 1881, the Free and Accepted Masons Keystone Lodge No. 161 of Copperopolis voted to move to Milton and did so. They were not the only tenants of the building, however. The Plaza Saloon occupied the southern portion of the first floor while a dance-cum-meeting hall had the rest. The Masons were on the second floor. Here they continued to meet until January 2016 when a fire broke out and burned the structure to the ground.
     Being the single largest and most prominent building in town, it had to be modeled. I had to the good fortune to visit Milton a few times and, during one of these visits, was invited to tour the interior of the building. I was also allowed to copy some of the old photos on the walls of the structure, some of which have been shown in this blog.
   
This photo, taken in November 2014, shows the southeast corner of the building. The entrance to the Masonic Lodge is through the door on the side of the building instead of the front as is portrayed on the model. 
My model of the hall was built of styrene, the only real tricky part being the fabrication of the decorations around the soffits of the building front. I only shingled one side of the roof and left the off side of the building blank since it cannot be seen from the viewing angles. Finding the right size ball to use on top of the flag pole was tricky but my wife's daughter produced a tray of beads which yielded one of the proper size.
      Milton was built on the side of a slightly rolling hill with the railroad being at the lowest part. Now I need to flesh out that hillside. I plan to use foam to build up and shape the hill which I have never done before. It should be interesting. After Christmas, I think.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Spotted While Traveling

The wagon of the well-known balloonist and alleged charlatan, Professor Marvel, was noted on the road adjacent to the S&C tracks. The professor appears to be waiting for his horse to return.
While roaming around the tracks of the Stockton & Copperopolis the other day, the wagon of Professor Marvel was sighted. A well-known charlatan and balloonist, the last known location of the professor was reportedly somewhere in Kansas.
   
A frame from the movie, Wizard of Oz showing the good professor's wagon.
    For those of you into old movies, you might recognize the wagon from the Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland. Recently, our daughter's high school put on the play with her daughter appearing as one of the flying monkeys. I was inspired to dig out this picture along with some original MGM Studio plans of the prop wagon and build up the model.
   
MGM Studios plans for the prop department.
The model was built from styrene with Jordan wheels. It looks a bit out of proportion but it follows the dimensions given on the studio drawings. I imagine that MGM just put together whatever they wanted to meet the story's requirements without regard for functionality. It was a nice diversion from working on the structures for Milton.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Milton Business Block is Growing

With the Milton Hotel at the far right, the business area of Milton stretches north (to the left) with stores, saloons, livery and a barber shop.
The business area of Milton has been growing a bit. Several structures have been constructed which make up the string of semi-flats which line the backdrop behind the town. All of the structures were based on photos of Milton, some of which have been seen in this blog. Dimensions were obtained from Sanborn Insurance maps of the town. Construction has been all of styrene using Tichy and Grandt windows and doors. The only kit used is the blue dwelling at the end of the block. It represents a boarding house which was there. A Grandt Line kit was about the right size so I used it.
   
The ground level slopes from the depot (left) uphill along the businesses. Foam will fill in the slope and form the road in front of the structures.
The railroad is at the lowest level of the town and the town is located on rising ground behind the depot. To get this effect, I laid out the buildings on a strip of wood, adding risers based on the elevations noted on the Sanborn maps and onsite visits. Eventually, foam will be added to form the rest of the rising ground with Sculptamold filling in the gaps.
   
This more elevated view shows the relationship between the businesses and the depot and warehouses along the tracks. The Mason Lodge will fit about inthe middle of where the pink foam is now located.
 The colors of the businesses are all speculation based on the shades of gray shown in the photos. Even these changed over time but I think I have a reasonable set of colors which could have existed in 1895.
      There are a couple more major structures to be built: the Tornado Hotel at the end of the block away from the Milton Hotel and the Masonic Lodge which will be between the railroad and the business block.

Monday, October 17, 2016

American Civil War Railroads Historical Society Meet

An overall view of the Memphis & Charleston with the Chattanooga Train Shed in the center.
Last weekend I attended my first meet of the American Civil War Railroads Historical Society. It was great fun! There were clinics, an operating session and a field trip to the Shiloh Battlefield.
   
A closeup of the Chattanooga shed. It is quite large, over four feet in length.
The weekend started with a Thursday evening get-together, introductions and some updates as to what other members were doing. This was continued into Friday morning with reports by SMR Trains (makers of O-gauge locomotives) and of a small group who have produced two locomotives made by combining commercial and 3D printed parts. There are two separate books you can buy to guide you through the process with detailed instructions on which pieces to buy and how to put them together.
 
One of two very long bridges (about 12 feet in length) on the railroad. This is a railroad bridge on top
and a wagon bridge on the bottom level.
The rest of Friday was spent operating on Charlie Taylor's O-gauge Memphis & Charleston Railroad. It occupies a 75x35 foot second floor room in his guest house. It was great fun operating with link & pin couplers and the large rolling stock.
   A guided trip to Shiloh and the Corinth junction took up Saturday and was the end of the conference. Many thanks to Thom Radice and the others who put on the event. I think I'll go again.
A sample of the engines used by the M&C. This one was made by SMR Trains and is complete with sound and factory paint.

Virginia & Truckee Railroad Historical Society Conference

A couple of weeks ago, the V&T RR Historical Society held their annual conference in Carson City. As usual, it was great to hear the various clinics on the history of the railroad and how to model it. I gave two clinics: the first was entitled The Circus Comes to the Comstock and covered the various ways the railroad handled the large shows getting them into Virginia City and back again. The other clinic was about the building of the Ormsby and the Storey moguls that I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog.
     The conference banquet finished with a stirring talk about the great Virginia City fire of October 1875. A field trip to the Carson & Colorado depot being restored at Dayton ended the weekend. In the modeling part of the weekend, a couple of folks showed their progress in using 3D printing for making cars for the railroad.
     
One of the many records to be found at UNR. This one shows part of the track
arrangement at Virginia City.
I spent another day in the Special Collections library at the University of Nevada, Reno. They have the bulk of the V&T records and I was able to find some things for which I had been looking from the early 1870s.
 
 It's a good organization and they publish a very informative quarterly newsletter along with an annual book on some facet of the railroad. If you are interested, go their website at  http://vtrrhs.org/.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Beginnings of the Milton Business Block

The Milton Hotel is on the right side, followed by the Brown store and post office, harness shop and Breen's Saloon/barber shop.The balconies and awnings are just temporarily attached until painting is completed and the board sidewalk is installed.
As I had mentioned, the next step in reconstructing Milton was to build up the business blocks. There are very few pictures of this area but there are three good Sanborn insurance maps. Between all of these, I think I have a good shot of getting a decent reproduction of the town.
   
This long view shows the wood baseboard with pads attached to create a slope. Structures will eventually stretch from the lower left to the right end of the base.
The first five buildings are the Milton Hotel, the Brown store and Post Office, the harness shop, barber shop and Breen's Saloon. Since these structures will be up against the backdrop, almost all of them have been shortened. The street itself (San Francisco Street), was on a slight slope. To reproduce this, I used a 1x4 base board and glued pieces of wood of varying thicknesses to hold the buildings and provide a slight upgrade. The structures themselves are all built of styrene with Tichy and Grandt Line windows and doors as close to the originals as I could get. Some of the windows have had panes cut out to shorten them to prototype length.
 
The first business block can be seen at the left in this 1890s photo. Breen's Saloon is on the left with the Milton Hotel at the right.
These five businesses mark the end of the first block. The second block will contain the Pioneer Livery, Big Tree Saloon, Frank Brown's store and a boarding house. The third block will house another boarding house and the Tornado Hotel.
   

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Down by the Milton Tracks

Overall view of the Milton trackside. From left to right are the loading platform and crane, Hunter, Bunds & Walker, the depot, L. Beysser warehouse and the Peterson & Dake Warehouse. There is much finishing to be done e.g. staining platforms, adding baggage. Compare this view with the prototype one below.
Looking from the same end of the siding as above, the prototype view shows much of the activity surrounding Milton in the early days. In the background are the Milton Hotel and some of the commercial buildings. Note the privy on the platform.
The first phase of the Milton townsite construction is mostly completed. That was the building of the structures along the siding in town. These consisted of the Peterson & Dake Warehouse, the L. Beysser freight forwarding warehouse, depot and freight station, the Hunter, Bunds & Walker Warehouse and the loading platform. None of the buildings are as yet fastened to the layout since they will be removed so that the structures in the background can be installed.
   
The Peterson & Dake warehouse takes up most of the other end of the siding. I don't know if the business name was painted on the building side as I have no photographs of that part of the building but I think it looks good.
Milton in 1871 in a view that will not be seen on the model. The P&D warehouse is to the left with the depot building at the right. The P&D general store is at the center.
The layout of the town is according to both Sanborn insurance maps and railroad station plats. The buildings' appearances were derived from photographs of Milton taken around the turn of the century or before. The occupants of the various buildings changed over the years. I have tried to label them per the 1893 town directory I have. The names used give more of a feeling of reality than any fictional names I could have devised.
 

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Beginnings of Milton

The Milton depot contains a freight, ticket office and the P&D store as well as an advertisement for a local health center. The platform will be continued in both directions from the building.
Milton was the easternmost terminal of the Stockton & Copperopolis. Up until 1887, it was one of the busiest towns on the railroad both with goods shipped and received. Everything going to the Mother Lode mining towns north of the Stanislaus River went through Milton. Almost nobody went to Milton. It was simply a transfer point.
    There were several freight forwarders who would undertake to move your goods to their final destination and several stage lines as well. The best way to reach Yosemite Valley was through Milton. The Yosemite traffic ended in 1887 when the Southern Pacific built the Raymond branch. It was a closer trip and you could stay in your Pullman all the way to Raymond. When the Sierra Railroad was completed in 1897, it reached all the way up to Sonora, the heart of the mining district so almost all the freight now went via the Sierra and Milton became a very sleepy town.
    In 1895, there was still an active town with all of the stores occupied. The Sanborn map company visited there in 1890, 1895, 1908 and 1912 so there is a lot of documentation regarding what was in town. I also have enough photos and, more interestingly, enough layout space to model virtually the entire business area of the town to scale.
     My first structure, fittingly, is the S&C's depot, built in 1871 along with the several warehouses strung out along the siding. The depot building had a large freight house and shared the structure with a small store run by Peterson & Dake. They also owned a grain warehouse located on the siding (my next structure). P&D were also the Western Union Telegraph and Wells, Fargo & Co's. agent.
    My building is all of styrene except for the Minuteman Scale Models shingles and was modeled full size. Few photos of the building are available so some features had to be based on common practice and available plot plans. Next project will be to continue the platforms to define the siding area before continuing on with the actual structures.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

An Entire Op Session Somewhat Condensed

As I have mentioned before in this blog, the S&C holds monthly prototypical operating sessions. The railroad normally takes a crew of 10 people to operate. The jobs consist of a dispatcher, operator to copy train orders and operate the interlocking machine, and a yardmaster for Stockton Wharf. Sessions last about three hours long, the morning session covering 5:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m while the afternoon session runs from 2:01 p.m. until the last train is in (usually about 10:30 p.m. or so). We are not running a night session but that may change when management decides to paint some of the locomotives it has stored in boxes.
   
Here's the Replay camera. The computer mouse is in the photo just for a size comparison. The nifty little clamp above the camera dates from the 1940s and is very good for holding small cameras.
    Last Saturday, July 16, we had July's session but with only nine folks in attendance. It turned out to be real good especially since I got to try out a new camera. It is the Replay Prime X which is a neat little video camera designed for use by people with more active hobbies such as skydiving, Motocross, skiing, etc. It has a variety of clamps so it can be attached to a tripod, bicycle handlebars, stuck on a wall and so on. For some reason, it didn't come with an attachment to fit on a model railroad car. For last week, it didn't matter since it was just a test so I clamped the camera to the fascia just above Peters and recorded the entire 3-hour session in time lapse mode. Here's the results in only a minute and a half.
video

   The experiment also allowed me to get familiar with a new video editing program. The video isn't all that great (it was only a test) but it proves that the camera can be used for other railroad purposes. My next job will be to attach it to a car so I can photograph while the train is moving.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Switch Engine for the S&I

A combination of 3D printed boiler/cab on a HOn30 mechanism produced this nice little switch engine for the yard at Holden. The track sliders can be seen between the drivers. They will eventually be painted. to hide them.
Although my narrow gauge feeder, the Stockton & Ione is not yet ready for operation, I ran across a blog post about a fellow who used an HOn30 Japanese mechanism and a 3D printed body to build a light Porter 0-4-0T. I purchased the chassis and the body parts and built up one of these little locos. I weighted the boiler and tank with tungsten putty and installed a Soundtraxx mobile decoder (I wanted sound but there is just no place I could find to put a speaker).
   
The Ione can easily pull two cars plus a little more. 
There were a few problems to overcome, however. The first was that the wheels were gauged for HOn30. I first thought about replacing the 2mm axles with longer shafts but found that I could simply pull out the wheels on the existing axles to HOn3 gauge. The second major problem is electrical pickup. The chassis comes with wipers on all four wheels which is just not enough. I added some track sliders between the drivers and that helped quite a bit but the engine still stalls every now and then. The more I run the engine, the better it runs so it might just need some more running.
     Overall, the performance is very good. The engine can pull 2 cars with ease and a third one on level track, just about what the prototype would be expected to do. It does run very well with the mobile decoder and some momentum built in.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Storey is Finally Complete

The Storey sits on the Copperopolis turntable ready for her next assignment. The engine was the Virginia and Truckee Railroad's No. 3.
The second engine of my two-locomotive project is now out of the shop and ready for service. The Storey, another Virginia and Truckee locomotive, was constructed very similar to the Ormsby. It uses the Porter Mogul frame plus the boiler and cab. The motor and gearbox were replaced along with the drivers (now 48"), cylinders, stack and domes. The driver spacing was altered and, thus, new siderods had to be made as well. I thought that the original mogul tender was too small so I used a larger one which was originally from a PFM Reno locomotive.
   
The new motor was mounted on two pieces of brass box beam to raise it to a height suitable to connect to the gearbox. A torque arm was connected between the gearbox and the motor to prevent alignment problems. The two cylindrical items on top of the gearbox are tungsten weights. The cylinders are from a Model Engineering Works Tahoe.
The gearbox used was a Northwest Short Line 36:1 box with no idler gear. This was connected with the new motor with NWSL U-joints. A torque arm was installed to keep things aligned. Tungsten weights were used in the boiler, cab and on top of the gearbox to get enough weight in the locomotive.
    A Tsunami TSU-750 along with a sugar cube speaker were mounted in the tender.
With the Storey and Ormsby sitting side by side, it is easy to see the size difference between the two locomotives. The Storey was more the size of the later Baldwin engines bought by the V&T.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ormsby Now in Service

The Virginia & Truckee's Ormsby sits on the Oakdale turntable. On lease from the V&T, the locomotive will add some power to the S&C's fleet. The number "2" on the headlight lens is for night running so the engine can be identified by an approaching engine. The long rod reaching from the cab to the front of the boiler operates the cylinder cocks.
The Ormsby finally rolled out of the shops today and is in service on the railroad. The past couple of weeks have been spent in installing the decoder, tuning it and finishing the small details. I decided to try the relatively new Soundtraxx Econami steam decoder and am very satisfied with it. It has considerably more options in bells and whistles (literally) and a much better single-tone whistle than the Tsunamis. You can also set the cylinders cocks open at the start of a run and time when they will be closed. Synchronization for engine chuffs is much, much better as well. I'm happy with it and the price is right.
 
A torque arm was added and screwed to the 28:1 gearbox. It attaches to the motor with silicon caulking. 
 The motor for the engine is a 12mm diameter Sagami which just barely fits within the boiler. I used a NWSL 28:1 gearbox and connected it directly to the motor. Lettering for the engine was developed using Adobe Illustrator and then printed on decal paper. The distinctive Union Iron Works builder's plate is a decal applied to an etched brass backing plate. Engineer and fireman figures completed the engine while a wire rope and hook completed the tender gear on the rear.
 
To get enough clearance with the small driving wheels, the bottom cover of the gearbox had to be removed. Electrical wipers are installed on the left-side drivers to get more pickup.
  One problem occurred when I tried to run the engine; it bumped along the track. A close examination showed that the gearbox cover on the bottom was hitting the ballast and the rails at turnouts due to the small driver diameter. The bottom of the gearbox was cut away and the problem was solved.
     Ormsby only has 40" drivers and is about 15% smaller than the other engines. That's the way the prototype was and why these engines sadly did not last into the 20th century.
The Ormsby alongside the Calaveras. It is easy to see that difference in size between the locomotives.
Most of the moguls I use on the S&C are V&T prototypes and have 48" drivers. This engine is quite a bit smaller than the larger ones  but I liked the looks of it and the fact that it was built in California unlike the remainder of the engines which were built in the East.
    One of the unexpected pleasures of this little engine is its pulling power. I tried it out with a few cars and kept adding more until I got to 15 and it was still pulling well on level ground. I can't complain. Part of this happy result was undoubtedly due to the tungsten weights I used instead of lead. Woodland Scenics makes a line of these weights designed for Pinewood Derby cars. They were just the right size (3/8" diameter) to fit in the boiler and under the cab roof.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Kit-Built Flat Cars

Three new flat cars ready for service. Stakes are scale 4x4s inserted in the stake pockets. The end stakes would have been used on loads such as firewood which would be stacked across the width of the car. Before the 20th century and the banding of lumber piles, the side stakes would have been used to hold such loads in place. In wheat country, the portable steam engine would be used for powering the threshing machines. Now I have to come up with a way to tie that engine down to the car.
While waiting for paint to dry (it seems I do more waiting than working), I decided to try putting together some of my flat car "kits." Why flat cars? In the 1890s, the railroads had about 50% of their fleets made up of flat cars. That would change toward boxcars going into the 20th century but, for now, I needed more flats. I really wanted to make up some nice loads of boilers, carriages and other neat things and, for that, I needed the flats.
    The pieces used to build these cars were laser cut for me by a friend who, obviously, has a laser cutting machine. I designed the car after an 1870s era Central Pacific flat car and tried to get as much work done in the laser cut as I could. When cutting out the car, I had the holes for Grandt Line stake puts burned in the car sills as well as more holes for nut-bolt-washer castings for truss rods, etc. I did have to buy the stake pockets, NBW castings and some Tichy brake wheels and mounts for flats.
   
The main frame of the car with its attendant pieces. Sides frames are at the bottom while bolsters and needle beams are at the top. Buffer blocks at each end. Note the holes ready to receive the Grandt Line stake pocket castings.
The parts went together quickly and pretty much flawlessly using white glue. The decks were also laser cut and included the little cutouts for the stake pockets and well as the stake pockets at the deck ends (a common feature of that period). The couplers were Kadee 711 and I used some 3D printed trucks I purchased from a Shapeways seller. The trucks are of the Allen or California pattern used almost exclusively in the west and were of the swing motion variety. Reboxx wheelsets completed them.
    One of the things I did was make two flat cars each bearing the same number. The loads I wanted to model would those that were tied and lashed down with chain, rope and chocks and would not be easy to remove. When operating the railroad, the crews would deliver the car with its load but I wanted to be able for them to remove the empty car. The easiest way to do this would be to build two identical cars, one with the load and the other with just the remnants of the dunnage. So far, I haven't put any loads on them except for the portable boiler/engine and that isn't tied down yet.
   Now, back to finishing up my two locomotives.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Out of the Paint Shop

The upper locomotive is of the Virginia & Truckee Storey while the bottom is that of the Ormsby.
My slow-moving locomotive project is finally out of the paint shop. Following the color of the prototype (or what we think we know about the prototype), I painted the engine with a dark green chassis with the tender a two-tone brown/green. This seems to be what the few pictures of the original engine suggests. The domes and cylinders were masked and painted to give the two-tone paint job as well as the polished brass of the steam domes.
Comparing the Storey's tender (bottom) to that of the Ormsby, you can see the difference between the size of the engines. Note that the Ormsby tender has the tapered collar.
   The tender of the Ormsby had a tapered collar while the model I was using (Porter Mogul) did not. It turned out to be relatively easy to unsolder the wire bead around the top of the collar, cut the taper and then resolder the bead.
The relative size of the engines can easily be seen by the frames. The cylinders for the top frame (Storey) are from a MEW Tahoe while the bottom set are from the original Porter. 
    The frames were the easiest (all one color). I used the Porter mogul frame for the Storey and built up the frame of the Ormsby from brass strips. You can see on the Storey where the rear driver position was filled in by a piece of 3mm material and a new driver slot cut to match the prototype. I used a cylinder set from a Model Engineering Works Tahoe (no, I did not cannibalize one of these scarce models but used an extra set) for the larger engine and the original Porter Mogul cylinders for the smaller one.
The curved molding over the windows is a separate piece which was soldered on to the window etching. The "wood" molding under the roof was built up with  strips of styrene.
    The cab of the Ormsby appeared to be a bit more ornate than the Storey. I made parts for a new cab by etching them in thin brass and then soldered the parts together. It was a tedious process with a high scrap ratio.
The screening on the stack top was made of fine brass screen
with small brass strips forming the cover.
   The Storey's  smokestack was just a Cal-Scale ballooon stack but the stack of the Ormsby was a bit more trouble since no one makes a model of the old bonnet stacks. I took some measurements from the photos I had and then turned the stack on a lathe. Archer rivets were added for detail.
    The next step is the assembly and the installation of the decoder.


   

Friday, April 1, 2016

A Large-Scale Locomotive Model


The Lyon's boiler now sits atop the chassis outside its shed in Iowa.
This week, I was in Mason City, Iowa and decided to visit the nearby town of Clear Lake where Stan Gentry is building a full-sized working replica of Virginia & Truckee RR No.1, the Lyon. Stan started this project about 20 years ago and is about 80% complete. He is using the same drawings that I have for my HO scale Ormsby, the Lyon's sister engine.
The complete tender tank waiting to be mated to the underframe.
Stan located the remnants of a Union Iron Works tender which had been built for the Bodie & Benton railroad in California. He has used that to recreate the building style for the  Lyon's  tender. Remaining to be done is the cab, domes, valves, water pumps and the myriad of small details you don't realize you need until you start doing this kind of project.  
   
Tender trucks and chassis awaiting the tank.
     The locomotives in the nineteenth century are relatively small but you don't realize how tiny they until you stand beside them. I've visited the California State Railroad Museum where they have one of the V&T's larger 2-6-0s and it's monstsrous along of the Lyon.
     Stan is a real nice guy and I wish him all the luck in completing this project. It will sure be neat to watch it running some day. You can read more about his project on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/V-T-Lyon-269396092936/) or at vtlyon.com.


Newly-made smokebox front duplicating the original.
The new stack. You can judge the size by the
figure behind it.

Friday, March 18, 2016

More on Locomotives

A rendering of the Ormsby's sister engine, the Lyon. Both were built in 1869 by the Union Iron Works in San Francisco.
 February was a busy month. Every two years, the model railroaders in Kansas City who have operating layouts invite others to share in their operations. This year, over 30 operating railroads hosted about 135 attendees from the east coast to the west coast and a lot in between. Over a Friday to Sunday weekend, each guest got to operate on four layouts in the area. The S&C hosted two of these sessions and 20 visitors. It was a lot of fun and the railroad performed well but there was a lot of work getting ready for the event. This left little time for new projects. I did, however, make a start on another new engine.
The temporarily assembled engine.
Both the chassis and the boiler/cab are scratchbuilt from brass and nickel silver. The drivers are 40" in diameter. Drivers and cylinders are left over from the Porter mogul engine.
    This new locomotive will be a model of the Virginia & Truckee's No. 2, the Ormsby. It was built in 1869 in the same order as the Storey (http://sandcrr.blogspot.com/2016/01/new-locomotive.html) but it was a little smaller. While I am modifying a Porter mogul for the Storey, the Ormsby is scratchbuilt. To date, I have completed the frame and siderods and formed the cab and boiler. All of the construction is based on the builder's erection drawing found at the California State Railroad Museum.
   
These plates mount between the fenders of the engine.
 To make the cab, headlight bracket and builder's plate, I tried etching brass with varying results. The headlight bracket and builder's plate turned out all right but the thicker material I wanted for the cab would not produce the results I wanted without a lot of fiddling. I need to try some better techniques for thicker etchings.
     Some of the parts on the engine such as the drivers, cylinders and tender are left over from the Storey project while the pilot is from a PFM Reno.

   
Headlight brackets still need to be bent to shape.
Obviously, more work is needed to finish the engine and it goes slowly but both engines should be ready for paint before too awfully long (I hope).