Lance Mindheim on Time

A great post on Lance Mindheim’s site caught my attention at lunch today.  Here is the critical idea, but you should read the whole post:  The hallmark of a good design?  It’s pretty basic when you step back and think about it.  A “successful design” is one that results in a model railroad that produces […]

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To pivot or persevere…

Mark Dance made a great observation on the previous post: Pivot towards something that looks more promising when your existing path is not successful and your rate of learning on it is slowing down. Of course, you don’t know if your rate of learning is decreasing until you have three attempts.  As my mother used […]

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Equalization POC

We’re just two weeks away from the Railway Modellers’ Meet. As I’ve said before, I always like to bring something to display, and I think everyone else should too. What’s more, we committee members agreed to bring something to get the display rolling: I have a commitment to bring a display! So, I’m working to […]

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Semi-believable coupler pocket

From a review of the 1906 Locomotive Builders Dictionary¹ it seems like the pilot, and also likely the tender couplers on 622 should not have draft gear per se, but would have been mounted in cast coupler pockets, without any springing at all.  These were very narrow affairs, barely wider than the 6-inch shank of […]

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Frame POC

I sure hope my tools really are somewhere in Mt Flood. This business of modelling by candlelight without a square, or even a straight edge is wearing thin after only one evening. At least I managed to find some syringes and a bottle of MEK that Kyle Gardiner kindly passed my way a few years […]

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What the Cricut wrought

Mark asked how the styrene cutting is going. Here are the parts I cut last night. There isn’t meant to be any part here that is less than half a millimetre wide, although I haven’t taken out my calliper to check them yet. One thing is certain: this is going to be a tiny model! […]

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Invasion of the dining table

It couldn’t last forever. Sooner or later I had to make something that I could touch, despite everything still buried in Mt Flood. Fortunately the Cricut has been stuffed in a corner of our bedroom since that fateful day in January.  Even more fortunately, Cricut supplies were on special this weekend at Michaels!  I have […]

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Next order layout goals

I just read a thought-provoking post over on Tony Thompson’s excellent blog, modeling the SP.  Then I took the dog for a walk, which is an excellent time for thinking about something, if you’ve been so provoked. Tony identifies a spectrum between operations-oriented and prototype accuracy goals that I think resonates with many in the hobby […]

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Split-frame tender design

When I built number 10, I included a detailed underframe, complete with boards and the stringers.  You can’t see it, and frankly, the tender frame is a bit of a weak spot.  Not only that, but I didn’t think about how to get current from the trucks to the decoder until very late in the […]

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Accumate coupler boxes

Maybe they should be called “draft gear,” but they don’t look much like them, and they don’t behave much like them, and so, like “throwbars” they should get their own name. “Coupler box” is what I’ve always called them. I standardized on Accumate couplers for a couple of reasons: firstly because they are near-scale size, […]

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