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Thread: What are you buying January 2021?

  1. #61
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    @CHUCKGEO

    Nice! That does it, Moose is headin' to Florida to go "borrow" yer auto, ya'know, to test drive it and make sure it's safe, at any speed. Bwaaa!
    = >

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    Yesterday I made a shopping trip to Home Depot and Ikea. Purchased the last 4 x 8 sheet of 1/8" hardboard and their final 8 sheets of 2 x 4 cut stock. I also picked up 10 sheets of 2 x 8 foam insulation board 1/2" thick. Is this stuff ever getting expensive. 1" costs even more than 2 sheets of the 1/2". Also picked up 2 tubes of foam adhesive, 1 tube caulk, 2-1/2" construction screws, some metal strapping for securing an offcut section of conduit for running wire between decks, a package of 1" #6 screws and 60 finishing washers for securing the hardboard. I also picked up a folding work platform for working on and viewing the upper deck. I've been using a 2 riser step stool which requires being a contortionist to do anything not directly in front. The body doesn't twist as freely anymore.

    At Ikea I picked up an 8 slot Kallax shelving unit along with 2 x drawer and 2 x door inserts. I already purchased 2 of the 4 slot units in a different color last month but got the inserts yesterday to better utilize the storage. Got all but 1 insert assembled this afternoon and already have them stuffed. I can see the floor of the shed again! Still have a lot of reorganizing to do for free movement.
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    Grant.

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    I've made three big purchases this January, though one of them is from an ebay seller that is very grand slam hit it outta the park hit, or very drop the ball and lose the game miss... I'll get back to that...



    First big purchase is a second BL2 locomotive. I love the curve of the BL2, and ever since being gifted the black Western Maryland one about 2 years ago, I've had the urge to pick up a second one. I got the second one on ebay, and special thanks to our own spookshow's archive of N scale locomotive differences, I was able to spot an ebay auction that was very clearly the newer 2000s era Life-Like revision. I bought it, with a last second sniped bid made on my phone, standing in the middle of a Scheels sporting goods store with a friend who was looking for ice fishing gear! A week later, I saw another one sell for double the price! I couldn't have been happier with the deal I snagged!

    Pardon the appearance of the black BL2... I tried a few solvents to see what would dissolve the existing road markings... Nothing I had worked, aside from clouding up some of the surfaces. I'll just have to prime and paint it fresh... I don't know what manufacturers use for their printing, but it's resilient, and I don't wanna use anything that might damage the plastic either!




    The one I was gifted two years ago was the 1990s era Life-Like model, with a strange juxtaposition of terribly outdated and surprisingly modern elements that look like the unholy offspring of a modern Atlas and a 1970s Mehano...

    Pros: 5-Pole skew wound motor, all 8 wheels are driven, all 8 wheels provide pickup, has smooth truck gearing, blackened wheels, low profile flanges, no traction tires
    Cons: ALL the wires, no flywheels, odd spring based drive shafts, GoW lamp in the middle lights both front and rear lights via light pipes, light weight plastic frame, no real pilots, truck mounted couplers, loose weights

    I wonder which one was the mama... The Atlas or the Mehano?

    Anyway, you can see that my new purchase is the much, much more modern 2000s era design, with a modern split frame, 5 pole motor, flywheels, directional LED lights, and pretty much everything being much more inline to what one expects of an N-scale locomotive today. Both seem to operate reasonably well, which is nice.

    Future changes would include plans for incorporating DCC into them both. The new one that I just bought off ebay should be just about like upgrading any other typical non DCC ready split frame. I don't see having any trouble there. As for my older one, I might look into a few small upgrades to improve it, beyond just adding DCC. I've used small diameter collars for a variety of past projects, and I'd like to see if it's feasible to fit a brass collar around the motor side hub of those weird spring driveshafts, and see if I can add flywheels to it. It also looks like tungsten weights that would fit under the drive shafts could be an option. It looks like there's a little room under there, on both sides of the motor. That would help lower the center of gravity, and make up for me machining the tops off the loose lead? weights to make room for a DCC controller and a speaker. I'm also thinking that I could replace the wire with thin guitar wire. If I bend tiny "accordion folds" into the wire, and make sure it's well insulated, then it should be able to take up any flex itself, leaving the joints free to move without excess stresses or flexing on the joint itself. It'd likely require me to mill a small side channel in the sides of the weights, to prevent shorts. Again, part of why I'm looking at tungsten weights to line the bottom. Maybe I could even drill into the existing weights and press tungsten cylinders into them, to add even more weight, so I don't have to worry at all how much I trim off them. Could work...

    Why did I want a second? For fun. I know that Rock Island had a handful of BL2s, and my whole alt timeline concept for my layout has Rock Island still around, and would have had them dumping old rolling stock and locomotives to bolster those early cash reserves, back in the early days of their recovery. It's my explanation for former RI hardware still making it to CNW and then to DME. I want to have one of Rock Island's BL2s end up with DME, and I want to come up with a BL2 suited DME color scheme. Honestly, just cause I think it could look cool! It's not the most realistic element of my layout, but it's my layout, and I can indulge. I'll paint up one in DME colors, and one in Rock Island colors... Their blues! Honestly... I just wanna know how it would look!




    I also purchased a Kato SD45 and a 3D printed Morrison Knudsen MK5000C shell from a fellow forum member (if they want to be identified, they are welcome to claim their fame, as I don't know yet whether the person wishes to take credit publicly or not... I will edit this if they want the glory!). I have mentioned in the past that I want to model the Dakota, Minnesota, & Eastern #5000 "City of Huron", the sole SD50M-3 ever built. Morrison Knudsen built the MK5000C back in the 1990s, and the 6 they built were all lemons... SP and UP returned the units, as they were apparently nothing but trouble. They got rebuilt, getting new electronics and exchanging the caterpillar engines for EMD engines. These 6 were identified as MK50-3, and went on to serve Utah Railway. I've seen shells in HO scale for all three varieties of this cab, but never, ever in N scale, till now!




    I was honestly surprised when two shells arrived. I have a Bachman Spectrum chassis that I rebuilt a while back, but missed the auction for the shell I was gonna use on it. I did a test fit, and low and behold, it seems to just fit it. I might need to file the inside of the wall down a bit, as it's a VERY tight fit, and it wants to flex, but it does fit. I just learned today that Genesee & Wyoming acquired Utah Railway in 2002. G&W also has a modern day connection to DME, as they acquired a portion of the old DME line from CP back in 2014, forming the Rapid City, Pierre, and Eastern Railroad. I routinely see RCP&E locomotives running alongside CP locos where I live. RCP&E now employs many people who would have worked for DME in it's later days. Thing is, my "alternate timeline" railroad plans would never see DME acquired by CP, so technically, RCP&E shouldn't exist either. Still, I kinda wanna represent them somehow, and the way I could see this happening, is by way of G&W maybe leasing locomotives to DME, maybe in some kind of partnership with the Powder River expansion.

    This new information about G&W owning both Utah Railway and me also learning that at least one of the six MK50-3s got repainted in G&W colors (UTAH 5005), presents me with a very fun idea... I could have BOTH the DME 5000 SD50M-3 on my layout as well as the G&W owned MK50-3. In reality, they ran 5001, 5004, and 5005 till around the end of 2016, at which point they were to go to Kyle Railroad, which runs between Kansas and Colorado... Thing is, that railroad consists of former UP and Rock Island rail, and on my layout, Rock Island will still be around, thus no Kyle Rail. This also means G&W needs to send those locos elsewhere... and where better to send it than the railroad that is expanding into Wyoming (the state), and in my timeline, already leases RCP&E painted G&W units, AND already has the lone sister unit to the MK50-3... So this gives me an excuse to run BOTH the unique SD50M-3 and an RCP&E painted MK50-3 together... Is this not a perfect fit!




    The SD45 that I bought had a Digitrax DCC decoder installed into a space milled into the fuel tank, hence the extra wires in it. Don't know if I'll leave the installation be, or if I'll eventually upgrade it to a LokSound controller. I really do enjoy noisy locomotives... In all likelihood, I will probably do it someday.

    The only issue is that I still don't specifically have an MK50-3 longhood, just the MK5000C shell that I have, so I will have to look into what made the MK50-3 different. I hear someone suggest it was basically an SD50 longhood, but I've yet to verify that. I can already see some details on UTAH 5005 that differ from the shells I have. It's just a thing I'll have to read up on and find out. The shell that fits the Bachmann frame has fan grilles that failed to print, but theoretically, I could just buy some etched metal fan grilles to replace those with, after carefully trimming the failed print pieces out. I'll also have to do some trimming on the walkway to allow it to fit the Bachmann Spectrum chassis, and for that matter, even the shell. 3D printing is pretty amazing, but parts can slightly warp, and getting a perfect print can be a challenge


    Finally, I'm not gonna say the last item I bought, aside from hinting that it's a book. It's from an ebay seller that I have had incredible luck, or incredible fails from... I don't think they can actually get everything they post for sale. They may be some kind of liquidator, and I think they source their books from many different places. I also know they drop ship. Basically, if they think they can get a library discard, or some warehouse overstock, or a college store's out of date materials, etc... They'll list it, then try to arrange the shipment. I've gotten some pretty obscure books like an early-mid 1990s published thesis from a neurobiology-electronic researcher that graduated Cal-Tech... I paid $14 shipped... This is a book that normally fluctuated in the $120-180 range, due to it's rarity. This type of drop shipper is becoming more and more common. I see another one on Amazon selling that same book for a similarly low price. The gamble, of course, is that they can arrange the sale and get the book shipped. Sometimes they fail. Depending on the nature of the company, they might leave you waiting for a month and a half, and only finally refund you after the maximum wait period, and others will just drop a refund without notice, and simply state the item became unavailable. This particular seller has, so far, been reliable. They have picked out my obscure books successfully, and they have failed gracefully when they can't secure the item, and promptly refund the money.

    It is from one of these literary drop shippers that I've made my most recent purchase. I trust nothing until I have the book in my hands, but the price is low enough that I'll take the gamble on tying up the cash for a while, in the hopes that it's not refunded, and the book actually does ship... And of course, I'll share pictures if the seller pulls through! We wouldn't want a stampede, now would we!
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    Last edited by richfiles; 25th Jan 2021 at 04:30 AM.

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  7. #64
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    Wow!, @Silent1961 your wallet must be smoking!

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    Quote Originally Posted by el Gato Gordo View Post
    Wow!, @Silent1961 your wallet must be smoking!
    Ah...ur....we won't look at that part. However, the one benefit to Covid has been the inability to spend money on things like entertainment therefore freeing up capital for important things...like trains! Working 50 to 60 hour work weeks for almost a year has also prevented even looking at trains. And before this week, no vacations for the last 2 years. I currently have 468 accumulated unused vacation hours. Truth be told though, I'm trying to get a good sized run set up before the arrival of my pre order of the Canadian with 2 x F40 rebuilds from Rapido later this year. It deserves more than just a loop.
    Grant.

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    The rest of my tracks from Japan just arrived today!
    3458b764afbce57f409517704dffe98c.jpg
    Cheers!
    Clayton


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    Quote Originally Posted by Silent1961 View Post
    one benefit to Covid has been the inability to spend money
    I made a lot more progress on my layout this year because of this. I was able to buy lumber and track without much regard for a budget since daycare was closed for four months and all travel since March has been cancelled.

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  13. #68
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    Grain cars



    Heiko


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    After realizing that these kits will eventually disappear from the market, thought it worth to finally pick up from Republic Locomotive Works. Searching for the Coon Cap Sawmill and Coal Tipple #1 was a good lesson. Probably some time before I actually build them but who knows! Will consider this my 2021 Amherst Train show splurge.

    Just another n-scaler.


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    Oh , great haul , I will never need these for my layout , otherwise would have bought them long ago, RLW makes some really great kits.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

    My Flickr Pages

    http://www.janbouli.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by schedule22 View Post
    After realizing that these kits will eventually disappear from the market, thought it worth to finally pick up from Republic Locomotive Works. Searching for the Coon Cap Sawmill and Coal Tipple #1 was a good lesson. Probably some time before I actually build them but who knows! Will consider this my 2021 Amherst Train show splurge.

    https://i.postimg.cc/DySjZkVM/Screen...9-29-11-AM.png
    Is the one on the lower left the Plaining house? Or Plaining station. That’s an excellent looking building.

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    I picked up a couple of TCS K0D8-G decoders from Yankee Dabbler for my Kato NYC E7a's and a 1.0mm wide Molotow Liquid Chrome Alcohol Paint Pump Marker (#703.101) from Amazon.

    ​Doug (dilley340)



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    Quote Originally Posted by dilley340 View Post
    Molotow Liquid Chrome Alcohol Paint Pump Marker (#703.101) from Amazon.
    Your going to love this marker. It's the closest to true chrome I've found without plating. I picked up 3 different sized tips for various upcoming projects...if the wife stops stealing them for her resin hobby! Well worth the money.
    Grant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by New View Post
    Is the one on the lower left the Plaining house? Or Plaining station. That’s an excellent looking building.
    It is called a plaining shed and seems to be a mini mill into itself
    Just another n-scaler.

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    Nice haul!

    When you do get to build these, please post some updates.
    Rob

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    More track! Another boxcar, used, Life Like but with Micro-trains trucks and couplers. Must have been a runner as the wheels are pretty dirty. Mistakenly bought a bottle of paint that I already have the color. trying to match the paint on another car to touch up where I removed the ladder and roofwalk. Cheers all, stay safe and model on! Maurice
    20210123_153242.jpg
    Attempting to apply the K.I.S.S. principle to Model Railroading.

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    I scored big time this month, I think I need a birthday every month.
    20210125_140601.jpg 20210125_140718.jpg 20210125_141240.jpg 20210125_141257.jpg 20210125_141327.jpg
    This is a Sain Smart 3018-PROVer CNC router. It Has no instructions on how to put it to gather and make it work.
    I guess I start looking for one on line. I also bought three other sets of bits and cutters.
    20210125_141413.jpg This is a very COOL level! but very accurate, it's driving me nuts.
    I cant get my layout at 0.00% level. I think I'm being to critical. But I still like it!
    20210125_141249.jpg small order from Fast Tracks. 50x18" code 55 rail much needed after building that Star turn around.
    some tamiya weathering stuff, LED's and 36 gage mag wire for the lighting on that loco shop.


    I had to send the CNC router back, it was missing to many parts.
    Last edited by Comfortably numb; 27th Jan 2021 at 11:56 PM.

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    January has turned into an expensive month!

    Today was the household's monthly shopping trip into town, and returned with plywood and six 4x8 sheets of pink foam, riding on top of 200 pounds of dog food in the back of my in-laws' pickup. (Human food in the cab.)

    Sort of ironic that, after spending time over Christmas designing a HCD-sized plan, I wound up buying a plywood sheet as that was a bit cheaper than a HCD and is also more amenable to having access holes cut through it to facilitate running Tortoises and wires above the plywood rather than dangling underneath.
    It may be Presidents' Day weekend before I actually have time to cut said sheets and glue down the foam... but it is in the house!

    Still "in transit," as we call it, now that "lost in the mail" has gone out of fashion, are a box of ME switches (bought December 28th!), a turntable, a replacement Arduino for one that arrived dead, and an assortment of pushbuttons and LEDs making their way from China, with the idea that they'll be here by the time I am ready to think about panels and signals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Siegmund View Post
    I wound up buying a plywood sheet as that was a bit cheaper than a HCD
    Too late now but if you are ever looking for a HCD again, look for used material dealers. "Habitat for Humanities" has some shops and I have gotten great deals there. I paid $5.00 (U.S.) a piece las time I bought a couple. You can also look for people remodeling, throwing out doors. Even a dent in one side and holes for the knob doesn't make them unusable. Good luck with the build.
    Attempting to apply the K.I.S.S. principle to Model Railroading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice View Post
    Too late now but if you are ever looking for a HCD again, look for used material dealers. "Habitat for Humanities" has some shops and I have gotten great deals there. I paid $5.00 (U.S.) a piece las time I bought a couple. You can also look for people remodeling, throwing out doors. Even a dent in one side and holes for the knob doesn't make them unusable. Good luck with the build.
    Part of the the "too late..." aspect is that last fall I was seeing a door every week or two on a local yard sale / recycling group, and figured, hey, I'll just grab one when I am ready -- then I didn't see one for the past two months.

    Finding 36-inch-wide doors, rather than 30 or 32, seems to be hard, too. I could give up a foot of length more easily than 6 inches of width - sharp curves don't mesh with people who want to be able to see their passenger cars in action.

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