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Thread: Kicking around an idea

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    Default Kicking around an idea

    With only the Archer Heights railroad still around but in storage. I am missing playing with trains. So I’m considering something completely different. I’m thinking of a small very portable layout, about the size of a door. But built on a foamcore base. To make this layout fairly unique I’m thinking of a semi-realistic layout of a fictional railroad. The lost branch of the C&FW. Research may be difficult but easy as sitting in front of the TV.

    The actual name of the C&FW is unknown. But what self respecting railroad doesn’t connect to Chicago. From Chicago there are only two ways to go, East or West. No S(outh) or N(orth) so that leaves Far. The Chicago and Far Western seems to be a Grainger road from a route map seen in the first episode. Also seen is a model of a EMD bulldog wearing a war bonnetesque paint scheme. Thinking a reddish orange based on color episodes seen on the teakettle.

    I know to make this happen I’ll need a 4-6-0 and a combine. But what other things?

    So far…

    • 4-6-0 — Manufacturer Unknown possible kitbash
    • 40’ Combine — Bachmann/Arnold-Rapido or
    • 30’ Combine — Roundhouse/Athearn 30’ Combine
    • Watertank — Unknown Fairly easy kit/scratch build
    • Waiting bench — Kitbash
    • Rural Hotel — Unknown Kit will substitute
    • Rural General Store — Unknown kit
    • Timber Trestle — Unknown kit or Scratchbuild
    • Washed out bridge — Kitbash (Reason for isolated branchline)
    • Cottage in the wood — Unknown kit
    • Crop dusting biplane — Unknown model
    • Couple farms — small, simple and generic
    • Two tiny towns — Usual suspects must include stations and one movie house


    The route is a scenic point to point with loops or turntables at the ends. While the actual train ran in California. I’m thinking more like Cairo, Paris and Metropolis Illinois with Kentuckyesque hills.

    So, guys and gals, can we put together a parts list? Right now I am without a car, so I can’t just cruise the local shops. My Internet is limited so I cannot spend lots of time there, either. Besides, you have some of these things squirreled away.

    Could I build the run of the Hooterville Cannonball?
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    I had to look that one up... (It's the train from "Petticoat Junction," Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooterville_Cannonball). But yeah, go for it! The biplane crop duster sounds like the hardest to source or build. A quick look at 1:144 models turned up a handful of WWI and interwar biplanes, but nothing already set up as a crop duster. Some wire to simulate the pipes under the wing might get you close enough? But unless that's a "make or break" part of the plan, you can always get the layout running and worry about that one later.

    Edit to add: Looking at the locomotive, Of course there's the Bachmann 4-6-0 that is a nice little locomotive, but it might be challenging to get the late 1800s look of the "Hooterville Cannonball" locomotive. Apparently they used Sierra #3 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_Railway_3) for the moving shots, which has also been used in a number of other movies and TV shows. They had a mockup that, according to my deep research that consisted of reading a Wikipedia article while drinking coffee this morning, was based on Rio Grand and Southern #20, which is a different and smaller locomotive, used when they didn't actually need a moving train. Either way, it's an older look than the Bachmann 4-6-0. In theory there is this old, Fleischman based 4-6-0 found on @Spookshow's page: http://www.spookshow.net/loco/rocky460.html but that sounds a) hard to find and b) like it doesn't actually run that well.

    If you're going with the Bachmann, I'd plan on swapping out the tender for their USRA small tender, or maybe the even smaller one that comes with their 2-6-0 if you can find just the tender.

    If you're willing to fudge the wheel arrangement in favor of a more 1890s look, there's this 2-8-0: http://www.spookshow.net/loco/mdc280.html
    Last edited by OTFan; 23rd Jun 2022 at 06:07 AM. Reason: more info

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    That Fleischman based loco certainly looks the part of the Cannonball. It’s a shame it is very rare.

    Sierra #3 has been featured in quite a few movies. So much so, that the in studio shots were filmed in a wood, metal and fiberglass replica built for another movie. It was borrowed from a restaurant that used it as a mascot after buying it from the studio. According to some info I found in a quick G search.

    I would have thought the Ten Wheelers would have been more common in N. Bachmann’s American has been with us for decades.

    The plane is way down on the list but may be easy to do. Any 30s era biplane with a little extra wire for the spray equipment would work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    So, guys and gals, can we put together a parts list? Right now I am without a car, so I can’t just cruise the local shops. My Internet is limited so I cannot spend lots of time there, either. Besides, you have some of these things squirreled away.
    Are you looking for sources amongst us? No doubt some of us do have some useful items squirreled away. Sounds like a good amount of kitbashing.
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

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    Any source possible. Many of us have sooooooooooo many kits that we will never build.

    But first let’s see how many items can come close. I’d like to find out much doesn’t exist. Because this layout will be more conceptual than realistic, exact scale models won’t be the norm. Besides, if the layout isn’t complicated (Single track, one loco and car, isolated scenic vignettes) The more work goes into the details.
    • Most people wouldn’t notice if the loco was an American or a Ten Wheeler. They would recognize the big stack and red/orange, black and green colors pulling that green combine.
    • The Shady Rest is more recognizable for its yellow color and wrap-around porch than the Gothic architecture.
    • Drucker’s General Store/Hooterville Station has gotta be a kit already. The design is so generic.
    • The water tank is so large that an HO version is a good start.
    • Towns and farms along the tracks are almost never seen. When visited you only see about ten feet either side of the actors. Pretty generic too.

    So, much of the run is talked about but never seen, How can I go wrong?

    Besides, I’d trust you guys a lot more than this…
    https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&ai=...DDwjtDQ&adurl=
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    The wooden prop locomotive used on the sound stage is still preserved today in a park in Durango, CO. It's called the Emma Sweeney, and honestly it doesn't look very much like the Sierra #3 except at a glance. (You're not supposed to notice, it's just a TV show)

    Sierra #3:
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/rrpa_photos/89913/CA163.jpg

    Emma Sweeney:
    http://www.heritagerail.org/wp-conte...atus-adj-C.jpg

    The difference in the driving wheel arrangement is pretty apparent, as is the shape and location of the domes. Plus the Emma Sweeney has much more proportionate lines and is just a much prettier locomotive, IMO.

    Ignoring all that tho, is the sake of practicality in N scale. I might suggest, instead of a 4-6-0, maybe sourcing a MDC or Athearn 2-6-0: http://spookshow.net/loco/mdc260.html. Outstanding running locomotive, relatively easy to come by. Atlas made a really pretty 2-6-0 as well: http://spookshow.net/loco/atlas260.html But they are expensive and hard to come by.

    The combine is the easiest part to replicate. MDC and Athearn Overton cars are models of the actual cars pulled by the Sierra #3 in that show. The Sierra Railroad had switchbacks and needed tiny little cars for their curves. Of course, as is often the case with model trains... While they represent a rare prototype, but the models have been produced for practically every railroad under the sun and then some. Easy to come by, but not particularly cheap.
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    If we go with the Athearn/MDC Loco, could the boiler be shifted forward and a four wheel truck replace the two wheeler? Of course replace the funnel and paint plus decal. We can’t forget that mix of wood and “loose ties” in the tender.

    OK, So we are pretty solid on adding paint and decals on this…



    And for just extra credit this one too…

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    Found pictures of the real Shady Rest Hotel.
    https://entertainment.ha.com/itm/mov.../997059-1266.s
    It will be a real project. Definitely will skimp on the finer details.
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    Another possibility for a 4-6-0 that’s older than the Bachmann is the Aspenmodel version of Casey Jones’ locomotive...

    https://aspenmodel.com/Westmodel-Dam...nes::3284.html

    Not cheap... based on the same mechanism (presumably) as the Rocky Mountain Model locomotive mentioned earlier.

    Jim

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