7mm US model dabblings

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Jordan, 8 April 2013.

  1. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    Mick, you might consider the Ogden/ Salt Lake City area for you depot location. UP, SP, DRGW, and WP all passed through or terminated in one or the other. The architecture however may not suit your tastes as it does further west.

    For bridge/water locations, I suppose it depends on how grand the bridge and crossing need to be. There are any number of deck girder spans over various creeks and the Colorado River, as the DRGW heads west from Denver. The UP features two pairs of rather iconic bridges (one set of through trusses, one set of deck trusses) in Weber Canyon east of SLC. And there is at least one through truss and one minor deck girder span along the WP on the Feather River Canyon that I can think of.

    Of course there is Keddie Wye on the WP, but as a very famous scene it may not be generic enough for your needs.

    I can probably get map links or coordinates for you if need be. Or point you in the right direction at least.

    I like rhrough truss spans, but I now tend to prefer deck girders for photos. Through trusses are more visually interesting, but they obscure the interesting train thingy that's really why you're there in the first place. Deck spans of course don't suffer this issue.
  2. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    How much will it cost, his time and postage, if it's less than £5 per wheel set then it has merit.

    I could of course turn them myself, I do at least have the tools and gear to turn simple solid wheels myself, my gut instinct tells me they may be coated brass wheels which are quite common in US models I hear.

    Again it's the time, cost, enthusiasm factor. If I apply my commercial rate then I know for sure I cannot do it for £5 an axle.
  3. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    James, indeed so, both Salt Lake city and Ogden feature heavily in images collected from the web, I wish there were as many for SP depots and engines.

    The location will be fictional and the architecture generic, I don't have a lot of space so it'll be too easy to make it look crowded if i'm not careful, to that end I'm trying to keep it to an oil fuel only depot, that does rule out DRG steamers, though I do thing some were oil fitted.....I need to research those in more detail; both UP and SP have all the oil burners I can wish for, not sure on WP either.

    The plan isn't to mix railroads as back in the day they had their own servicing facilities, however WP freely used and mixed at DRGs facility in Salt Lake City, I also came across a UP Bull Moose at Dunsmuir image last night :eek: what an earth that was doing there I have no idea, it's dated mid war period so could be a loan engine to the SP, though I had no idea UP loaded any engines out, I know they picked up a hand full of N&W and C&O articulated's around that time and they soon got pensioned off once traffic levels dropped back.

    The plan is to have a depot layout that can be full of either UP, SP or DRG/WP but not readily mixed, maybe the odd unit.

    Bridges are of the road type, sorry didn't make that clear, i just love those big concrete bridges they threw up in LA in the 30's, too big for what I need but there are smaller ones to choose from, or that sort of generic design. Salt Lake City has a big one almost right across the DRG depot, probably why there are so many photos of it. It's not concrete but steel with steel fencing and nice sets of steps down to the railroad.

    I basically have three layout genres, depot, scenery and industrial. Given my very limited space you don't get much scenery in my space, you also don't get much of an industrial shunting layout either, hence a more determined focus on a depot.

    If I had the space for scenery then it would have to be the feather river area, some lovely rock formations, tight areas, water and of course bridges :thumbs:

    I can't easily get a water feature on my depot plans, but, I might add some sloped concrete edging to the layout in LA fashion so famous in movies and just smacks of LA. Shades SP's Taylor yard whose depot is right on the edge of the Los Angeles River and features the same sort of infrastructure.

    Anyway, here's where I'm at so far, still a lot of detail to add in and I've tried to keep it clear of large buildings, so although there's a quite a lot of track the whole area is quite open. In fact I don't have any buildings as such, not of any size.


    I do have an option to add a roundhouse maybe at the top left of the table, I can't add it when the layout is in the study, but if it ever got taken out somewhere is a possible extension, but then I'm not really a big fan of roundhouses.

    It might be possible to add a two road low shed to the far left top 145' tracks, a sort of Mallet shed or lubritorium but then the road bridge would have to go or the shed cut back to stop just shy of it.

    The steam service area needs more work but it's just details like, sand, oil/water, jet wash or oil/water, sand, jet wash; I need more info on depot servicing flow procedures.

    The diesel pad may see the both lines in the service bund evened out at three engines long, rather than a four and two affair.

    It is very tempting to add another fifth road in between the diesel and steam pads but I think that might be too much, however it could be an oil tank spur coming in from the right and truncated by the steam sand bridge. The oil tanks and pump room could be moved between the two pads which might make more logical sense.

    I could then loose the existing oil tank spur (I kind of like it stuck there), then ease the ABBA release road. The space saved would allow the concrete slope for the LA river to be added and not clutter the scene too much, not a full slope, just enough to let you know it's there.

    It's also very tempting to add a link from the ABBA road up to the inner diesel service pad road; that would add a crossover, not common, but not unusual.

    The other option is to loose the link line from the outer diesel pad line to the table, leaving only the inner line with access to the table.

    Both steam lines from the service pad go right across the table to the ready roads, so a cab forward can get across, but not be turned, that would have to be done on a Wye somewhere off stage.

    Anyway, it's a start, it'll probably all fail with first contact, but failing is part of the fun....right?
    Big Train James and Dog Star like this.
  4. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    I'm not trying to convince you of anything, rather just thinking out loud. Have you ever considered P48 profile wheels but at 5'-0" gauge?

    I'm going to go ahead and pursue p48 at the correct gauge, for various reasons But I did consider the above option for a while, because I felt that the biggest improvement in the overall aesthetic from switching to p48 was in the wheel profiles, and in the improved frame position. The difference in track gauge really is almost negligible, enough so that it it doesn't have much of an impact on the overall effect.

    While acknowledging the absurdist tragedy that is receiving packages from overseas into the UK, I would suggest you at least consider getting in touch with Jay Criswell. Firstly, there is an outside chance that he could provide you with proper wheels for 5'-0" gauge replacements, yes his business is p48, but he has been known to help some Ow5 folks along the way as well. If not that, he could probably provide appropriate p48 wheels and driver tires for your model, which you could apply at 5'-0" gauge. No, they are not ideally what you are looking for. But they are an option. The other handy thing is that Jay is pretty familiar with the older brass imports, and he can probably talk to you off the top of his head about what the best options are for the Challenger.

    This is offered as food for thought only, nothing more. No need really to even acknowledge if the idea has merit, or argue against it.
    mickoo likes this.
  5. Mudhen

    Mudhen Western Thunderer

    To follow on from the suggestion made by James, some modellers who are working to O-Medium Fine are using S7 wheels in order to get a better looking wheel. You're probably au fait with O-MF but here's the description copied from the Gauge O Guild website.


    0-MF, or Medium Fine, has developed as a way of ensuring that the track on which Fine Scale stock runs is consistent with the standards that have been adopted and are commonly used for Fine Scale wheels. This involves ensuring that the check gauge (the distance between the outside of the check rail to the inside face of the opposite running rail) is consistent with the wheel back to back measurement. For Fine Scale stock this results in a reduction in the track gauge from 32mm to 31.5mm. This gives the better look of narrower flangeways through points and a shorter gap over crossings which means that wheels do not "drop" into the crossing gap giving the rolling stock an unsightly lurch. A number of significant railways have in recent years been built to these dimensions.

    • Improved running
    • Better look to pointwork
    • Finescale rolling stock can be used
    • Pointwork must be hand built
    • Slightly further under scale gauge than Finescale

    all the best
  6. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer


    Yes that is an option, though it might be hard to find ready machined wheels in S7 to suit the Challenger.

    For reference:-

    Wheels currently fitted = 4.48 mm (NMRA code 172)

    Roxey replacements = 3.55 mm (code 145)

    PSC replacements = 3.55 mm (code 145)

    S7 replacements = 3.21 mm for engines (the equivalent code would be 126)

    ¼" AAR scale wheels = 2.97 mm (P48 code 117) However, some quote code 115 which = 2.92 mm (true scale)

    So working on the fact that I'm a lazy modeller and looking for the quickest, cheapest swap out options, we have the following.

    Roxey, reduction of 0.93 mm = £5 + postage

    PSC code 145, reduction of 0.93 mm = $8 (£6.20) plus postage and VAT

    S7, no stock of an equivalent (30") 1:48 wheel.

    NWSL code 115 (tread) but wide gauge UK 31.5/32 mm not P48 = $4 (£3.10) plus postage and VAT

    I'm not modeling P48 scale/gauge but UK O fine at 31.5/32, so, fitting P48 treads might not be a good idea, as overseerer noted, compromising scales.

    To that end I need something that is between true scale and biscuit tin profile, S7 profile would be good as it's been proven by others to work at the widened OF gauge.

    If I stick the Roxey code 145 wheel sets in, I know it'll work probably just about anywhere and with hand built of set track components.

    I can stick in Roxey code 145 and skim (I can do this, it is within my skill set and tool box techniques) the front tyre by 0.34 mm to get to S7 width, but not the rim, the rim stays, not even going down that road. With a reduced tyre width it might struggle on some layouts, with a reduced S7 rim it almost certainly would.

    Going one step further you can reduce the Roxey by 0.64 to get P48 tread width, then you'd almost certainly get issues running anywhere else. There's plenty of meat (0.8) on the tread to reduce it.

    None of the replacement wheels match the real engine profile and shape, that's not a concern, they're all wrong, even the ones on the model, no point worrying about that.

    For the time being I'm going to stick code 145 wheels in, it's the cheapest, fastest, laziest, best bang for buck compromise option available. I might (probably won't) trim them to S7 tread width; but, the more I reduce the tread width the more potential problems running elsewhere and the bigger contrast with the driving wheels.

    I'd like to take the driving wheels down to code 145, but as orated the other day, lot of effort, work and high risk of cocking something up.
  7. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    The only way I've ever noticed that layouts are S7 is because of the wheel flanges. Looking across tracks, especially near eye-level, the gauge is impossible to distinguish, & even the finer flangeways through points (switches!!) aren't that noticeable either.
    simond and Dog Star like this.
  8. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    and all your mates' toys will run on it too...

    and your toys run on their trainset!

  9. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    Should have gone to Specsavers!
    eastsidepilot, Andrew and simond like this.
  10. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

  11. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    Mickoo can't be trusted to be objective. In his current world, there's no such thing as a "bad price" if the subject is big, brass, US outline, and the word "West" or "Pacific" appears anywhere in the name. :eek::p:))
    mickoo, AJC and Jordan like this.
  12. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    You sir, know me too well :D

    For future reference you should add Ohio and DRG into that equation as well ;)

    This just popped up last night, it's PFM :thumbs:, it's a compound Mallet:thumbs:, it's D&SL later D&RGW :thumbs::thumbs:

    Now the down side, I think it's over priced and heavily over weathered and also D&SL, so at minimum it'd be a strip down and repaint then new logos for Rio Grande.

    PFM CUSTOM D & SL 2-6-6-0 O-scale Brass Painted Unlettered locomotive EUC, box | eBay

    It's also quite rare, I've not seen one for sale, total build run of 162, 55 with high headlight and 107 with low headlight, this sample being the rarer of the two with high headlight.

    I've seen some scratch built ones and the general word on the street is that no drawings exist, some people buy one of these and scale from it, usually the 4 mm version as it's cheaper.

    I do have some erecting diagrams for a SP MM-3 (piston valves) /WP (slide valves) but 3rd rail are offering a limited run for reservation only, I am tempted :))
  13. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    I saw a post on another forum where Brasstrains.com sold 3 PSC SP cab forwards on the 24th. I figured it was you who had bought them all.:rolleyes::)
    cmax and Jordan like this.
  14. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Didn't even know they were on sale, they must have sold almost as soon as they got them in then.

    With Brasstrains.com you at least know what you are getting, but one thing is for sure, you'll never get a bargain there ;)
  15. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    I don't have direct links to the items on Brasstrains. But here are the descriptions from the other forum if you care to do some sleuthing:

    O Brass Model - PSC 15297-1 SP Southern Pacific Cab Forward AC-12 4-8-8-2 #4292 - F/P - 1992 Run - Samhongsa - RARE! Sold for: $4995

    O Brass Model - PSC 16893-1 SP Southern Pacific Lines AC-2 Cab Forward 2-8-8-2 #4017 - F/P - 2001 Run - HARD TO FIND!] Sold for $4295

    O Brass Model - PSC 16897-1 SP Southern Pacific AC-3 2-8-8-2 Cab Forward #4029 - F/P - 2001 Run - Made in Korea - RARE! Sold for $4295
  16. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    By the way, if you want some big DRGW power, you might sign up for the standby list for the Sunset L-105 Challenger that's due soon. I believe they are all currently reserved, but invariably somebody drops out at the last minute and one comes available.

    Always happy to help others spend their money!!:oops::eek::rolleyes::cool::thumbs:
  17. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Didn't even get a chance to look at it before it was sold. What a magnificent model though.

    I have recently speculated on some more ON30 though recently in the hope that at some point we'll have a house so I can do something nice with it.. It's a very slippery slope!

    Jordan likes this.
  18. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    You should still be able to see the original images if you click the 'see original posting' link, it was nice but not my cup of tea so to speak.
    Scale7JB likes this.
  19. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    I'm pleased I missed these, too rich for my tastes, even if they are SP and cab forwards, as I said, hard to get a bargain on Brasstrains.com

    Re DRGW Challenger, yes I've seen that, big beasts, I'm keeping an eye out for some of the older, slightly smaller, compound articulated engines or mountain classes.
  20. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Ahead of receiving a winning punt on something on eBay, did the DRGW F7/9's ever wear the black livery with orange logo, or only the yellow and silver?