Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Recently I created a Gn15 Micro Layout for my friend Bill Palmer. Gn15 is G scale 1/2" to the foot. Gn15 locomotives are gauged to HO width track. Most Gn15 locomotives represent estate, tramway or mine railways.


This micro layout features Peco O-16.5mm (On30) code 100 track and turnouts. I scratch-built all the structures. The brick tractor shed bricks were cut from foam and glued on board. The rolling door is scratch built from styrene plastic, n-scale metal wheels and a bit of time.

The neat signs were reduced down images of vintage tin signs. Many of the small directional signs, "Open Shaft" "No Loafing" "Look Out For Cars" were originally produced for industry by Stonehouse Steel Sign Co., Denver, Colorado. Many of these standardized signs were sold to mines and industry through the Mine & Smelter Supply Company in downtown Denver.

"Stonehouse Steel Sign Co., Denver, CO. William Stonehouse opened a sign shop in Chicago in 1863 and taught his son James Wesley the art of painting gold leaf lettering on store front windows. by turn of the century j.w. moved west with the gold mining boom and set up shop in Douglas, Arizona.  Ten years later, he moved to Colorado, and it was here that the accident prevention sign business was born. J.W. saw a need for safety in the mining industry. He created standard bell signal signs to better communicate in the mines, therefore reducing accidents and injuries. He lobbied for the codes to become standard in all mines in Colorado and was ready to sell his silk screen printed signs when the mining bureau enacted the standard. in 1913,  J.W.  moved to Denver, where he continued to design signage that would set the standard for the "safety sign" industry.  The Stonehouse Steel Sign Company was formed as a corporation in 1914, and has stayed in business through multiple generations."  Info from

  Inside the tractor shed overhead view. 

Inside the tractor shed. 
 Tractor shed roof is real corrugated, metal sheets, weathered with Games Workshop Paints

Cheers, Gerald

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The past few months I have been building a Gn15 micro layout. It is 2x4 feet. When finished it will have two structures, this is the first finished small structure, it is a lean-too mine office.

This structure. It is entirely scratch built except for the Grandt Line door. Real glass windows. When placed on the layout, the open back-side faces a stone wall along a cliff face.
Have Fun! Cheers G

I just finished up an animated prairie dog town for my O scale railroad. I used HO scale Rustic Rails beavers. They have the same body shape as a prairie dog, and the size looks good in o scale, I just had to modify the tails

Figuring out the the animation action was the difficult part. Initailly I "toyed" with the idea of making cams and followers to create the up and down motion. However I decided that it would be too complex.  I decided to use magnets to actuate the up and down motion. The repelling magnetic field causes the piston to rise, and make the dog appear to pop up in the hole. The unexpected neat thing is they also slightly rotate around and emerge in a different direction. 

The animation,  under the scene  is a disc that rotates with magnets radomly placed and glued with the repelling field up. The pistons have the magnets on the bottom with the repelling field down. As the disc rotates under the magnet the dog pops up. Each piston has a stop collar top and bottom. A small 1.5 volt gear-head motor drives the disc through a Delrin plastic link chain and cogs to reduce the speed. In the future I am possibly going to write an article for one of my favorite hobby magazines.

Friday, June 12, 2015

In this seasons winter months I also finished my submarine kit from Pegasus Hobbies #9120 1/144 The Nautilus Submarine Kit. I had it on display at Caboose Hobbies for a couple months this spring.

 It was fun to build, I used games workshop paints for most of the corroded copper look. The base color of the hull was Rust-oleum hammered bronze spray paint.

The octopus pink and white base color was painted with enamels via an airbrush. I then did the detail painting with brushes and Vallejo paints.

I added some led lights to the eye of the octopus, inside the main cabin, and on some of the forward deck lights.

the rusted base was made from gator foam, some trim, and rust powder. The bolt heads are resin castings that I create. Lot's-o-fun.

WOW! It's June 2015 already, time flies...  Although I have not posted anything here I have been very busy building models. I will have several posts in the next few days, maybe I can get most of the builds brought up to speed here on my blog...
First news...
I have been creating some new Gn15 critters and rolling stock. These freight cars were intended to go with a sugar cane locomotive that I displayed at the Pasadena CA National Narrow Gauge Convention.  The pictures following are of the locomotive I scratch built out of brass, plastic and wood. The resin figure was once offered by sculptor Richard Kapuaala on his website "" I painted the figure with Vallejo acrylic paints.

This loco features a ESU Loksound DCC sound decoder with a custom sound file. They are neat! Very fun to watch and listen to running down the track. 
Above is a sample of the Gn15 whole cane cars I created to pull behind the locomotive. The basic flat car that is the basis of the cane cars got me thinking....

 This "basic platform" could be used to make up a bunch of different cars for different purposes.

Some Gn15 man-trip cars based on the same basic flat car that is on the cane cars.

 From there things just went into overload... I also created some fuel tank cars to hold fuel oil. Remeber.... "No smoking around these tanks they are leaky!"

Then one day while I was surfing the internet I stumbled upon an industrial shop built crane in Brazil. I had to make one of these cranes.... Here is the prototype crane:

And below is my creation, it completely works using the small hand cranks. The little pawls do lock the spool in place as you turn the hand crank. Pencil is to show size of the model.

I am working on some Koppel drop side cars and in the future I would like to make some sand cars, an explosives skip, little gondola, maybe a brake van... Fun! G