Monday, February 15, 2016

Very bad at responding to emails ... so a brief question and answer time

Due to various commitments and just plain forgetfulness, I've been pretty remiss in answering various email inquires I've received. So, I thought I'd answer a few questions ...

A train load of answers (hopefully) pulls into the station!
1) Where do I find plans / dimensions / details on elevated structure?

I've found a lot of information via Google searches and especially with various trade publications that were published last century that have been scanned by Google. However, for a more detailed answer ... it all depends. Not the best answer, but like elevated cars, the differences in L structure types are vast. 

But basically, a good starting point is:

For North Side main line type of structure (or Englewood or Ravenswood branch):
    - Length of girders is 48 feet
    - Height of the girder is four feet
    - Height of the structure depends ... but 16 feet from ground to bottom of the girder is a good starting point.
For Loop:
    - Length of girders is 50 feet
    - Height of the girder is 5 feet

     - Height of the structure depends ... but 16 feet from ground to bottom of the girder is a good starting point.

From these dimensions, the best answer I can give is to study the real thing. If you can't do it in person (certainly without looking like a terrorist), Google Street View is fantastic for getting up close and personal. Zooming in on various areas of different structure gives a great (and relaxed) view of how all is put together. 

Then, with the details gleamed from Google and some basic dimensions, you can change the structure to fit your needs on your layout. What worked for me may not work in your situation. Each layout (and what you desire from it) is different. As they say, your mileage will vary.

Also stay tuned as I slowly build more details models of L structure ... I'm working on that now so more posts will appear in the future.

2) Where can I find models of the elevated cars?

Since I model in O scale, I have a combination of MTH 3 rail elevated cars (the 3200's and the 6000's), some Q-Car 2 rail cars (Northwestern Elevated, 4000 series plushies and CSL cars), a set of Island Model works 2200's, Clouser North Shore cars, and a Chicagoland Hobby CA&E car. Plus, add in some 3D printed 4000 series Baldies for fun.

From near to far: 4000 series Baldie motor (3D printed); 4000 series Baldie trailer
3D printed), Q-Car 4000 series Plushie and wayyyy in the distance a MTH 3200.

MTH 3200 in foreground, MTH 6200 in middle and Island Model Works 2200
in rear
Q-Car Northwestern motor and trailer and a very lost Q-Car CSL streetcar
Clouser North Shore Cars (with Plushie tucked behind)
Chicagoland Hobby Resin Kit CA&E car

As for other models / scale, please refer to Ed Halstead's excellent blog Modeling Insull's Empire in O Scale. Ed has several posts listing various models that were available in O and HO for Chicago. He has multiple posts and lists, so search through the old posts. Ed's blog is linked to in my list of favorite blogs.

3) Are you still selling the Baldie model?

Yes and no. Its best to contact me before you pull the trigger. There are some ... pitfalls. The design is good and if all goes well at Shapeways (that's a big IF) ... it makes for a great model. If not ... things get expensive as reprints are needed.

4) Any more 3D printed cars coming?

Plans are to complete a Met 2800 series and get ready to print a Joliet and Southern Interurban (local road for me). As with the Baldie, I have to out-smart Shapeways' inherent idiosyncrasies. Its too much to write here, contact me if you want the full and very long story.

5) Where do I buy L structure (pre-made)?

I do believe there are a few companies that sell components. Bridge Boss and Imagine That Laser are two that come to mind. 

All my L structure is scratch built. See previous posts for various construction articles.

Watch the end of the line!

6) Where can I buy the buildings you have or how did you make them?

With the exception of two buildings on my layout (one Ameritown 3 story brick building and a wooden garage) all of my buildings are scratch built.

A review:
- Track is 3 rail Gargraves. I'll be replacing this in near future with 2 rail as I convert to 2 rail
- Turnouts are Ross. Those too will be replaced with two rail.
- L structure as mentioned in scratch built
- All other structures and station platforms are scratch built.

The buildings are made from sheet styrene, home-made window and door castings and brick sheeting. I obtain most of my brick from either N-Scale Architect (good stuff!) or from JTT Scenery.

Back wall with window and door castings

Construction in progress
Southport Station under construction

I don't really build the building from plans. I search Google Street View for something interesting (and easy to build) then modify it to fit the space.

Well, this one I did draw out. But no scale, just visually to size and
appropriate "fit" to the scene based on the height of the door (7 feet),
7) Why the switch to 2 rail?

Why not? It will look better ... I'll just have to convert all my MTH cars to two rail. Should be easy, right? That will be a most interesting project.

Well, that's all I can think of for now. If I can think of anything else, or if any more come up, I'll do another Q & A post.

But, the ultimate answer is that there are no easy answers. Traction is a niche part of the niche hobby of model railroading. Modeling elevated traction is even rarer. Therefore, one's ready made resources shrink to an almost non-existent level. Scratch building is really the only good answer to most questions, unfortunately!

No comments:

Post a Comment