Track standards- parallel track spacing for Maine On2

Parallel track spacing can be a problem for Maine On2 (and other scales) layout builders at the design stage, particularly if they need to shoehorn a design into restricted space, as there is not a lot of information around for guidance, but here’s what we have found.

The NMRA Standard for model railroad parallel track spacing is S-8 which can be viewed here. The general view of the Maine Two Foot modellers is that this standard is not particularly helpful as it depends upon interpretation and interpolation, but still does not give clear results for On2. This was so eloquently put by Yahoo! group member Hilary Smith very many moons ago:-

In my reading so far, I have either not come across spacing discussions or have overlooked them. Looking at NMRA S-8 Track Center Standards for Class II (small four-wheel truck diesels; small steam; old-time, logging, branch line rolling stocking stock) O scale standard gauge puts tangent track at 3.75″ (or 15 scale feet) apart, and for a curve of 41.5″ radius, 3.8125″ apart. For On3, tangents are 2.75″ and for 41.5″ radius, 3.375″, proportionally much wider spacing in curves relative to tangents than in standard gauge. Comparing On3 tangent spacing with standard gauge shows that the track centerlines are a full 1″ or four feet closer together, but on curves only 0.4375″ (or 1.75 feet) closer together. So, are On2 cars no skinnier or longer than their On3 counterparts meaning that On3 spacing standards are a good choice? Or should the centerlines be closer still? Thanks for any observations, experience, or advice.

Hilary Smith,  Northern Virginia

 

The post got two replies;-

Terry Smith: The Maine two foot passenger cars can be longer than was common on three foot gauges, meaning that models of Maine cars “cut the corners” more than the equivalent three foot lines. The controlling dimension is the truck centres. I think that three foot narrow gauge cars are slightly wider in general than two foot, but not sufficiently different to make a difference modelling wise for track centres. ie using the On3 data will be OK for On2.

Trevor Marshall:  
You asked about spacing between tracks on tangents and curves for On2 layouts. I think it’s safe to say, as Terry Smith suggested in his reply, that passenger cars are the critical equipment for curves. Therefore, if you have such a car (SR&RL – not, say, Monson, whose lone passenger car was much shorter), you could do your own testing:

1 – lay a minimum radius curve on a surface on which you can draw with a pencil. You can either spike down a piece of On2 flex, or just a pair of rails, directly onto, say, a 1×6 piece of pine.

2 – put the car on the track.

3 – holding a pencil at each end of the car on the outside of the curve, roll the car along the track so the pencil draws a line on your surface

4 – repeat holding a pencil at the midpoint of the car on the inside of the curve.

5 – measure the offset between the track centerline and each line you’ve drawn.

Note that the pencil line will be slightly offset from the edge of the car – that’s built-in clearance for you. If you don’t yet have a passenger car – or don’t want to use that nicely painted model as a marking device – you could always cut a passenger-car-sized piece from styrene or wood (doesn’t have to be exact, but should be at least as large as the car is, corner to corner), add some bolsters from styrene strip under it at the proper locations, and screw some On2 trucks to it. You could even add pencil holders at each corner and in the middle if you like. Build two of them and you can check clearance on the layout before running your real models through. Heck, even add vertical pieces at the ends and in the center to turn one into a clearance car for bridges, buildings, holes in the backdrop, etc.

That’s curves for you. For straights, I have two standards: For transfer tracks, freight platforms, or other places where cars will be spotted adjacent to each other or adjacent to a structure with the intent that plates be dropped between them for the transfer of goods via hand-trucks or strong backs, I use my widest pieces of equipment to lay the tracks as close together as possible without sideswiping. For other places, I’ve spaced tangent track on 3″ centers. This is way more than the minimum spacing required, but it looks right to me – narrow gauge yards tend to have a spare, open feeling to them, and 3″ spacing allows for an O scale figure to stand between cars on adjacent tracks without getting sideswiped. Remember, the minimum is not always the best.

Hope this helps. – Trevor in Toronto

Some time later, the question was asked again, and this time the replies included references to the Maine Two Foot prototypes and other modellers’ experience.  

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Bob Schlechter: Scaling from the prototype photo above, taken at Bridgton Junction, gives approximately 8′ 7″ to 8′ 9″ as the center to center distance of the two foot trackage to the standard gauge trackage. The photo was taken from the roof of a standard gauge box car looking downward at the trains and trackage giving a good vantage point.

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Bob Schlechter: on my Kennebec Central diorama (above) I used 8 1/2 scale feet center to center. Looks good for prototype spacing but if one is going to do lots of operation and switching you may want it wider to allow for full size fingers to be able to reach in between cars!

 

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Terry Smith: “I used 2½” spacing for straight parallel tracks widening to 2¾” around the curved sections (36” radius) on the Reading iteration of my P&SR (pictured above). I added the extra bit of clearance around the curves because I had a passing loop cum staging tracks that were bent round a 90 degree corner in parallel.
I do not recall having problems with access for manual uncoupling (using a Rix wand for my Kadee’s) or with interfering overhangs/underhangs with the longer rolling stock (coaching stock and Bridgton 34 foot freight stock) or locomotives like the large Forney’s, (B&SR/B&HR #7 & #8), or SR&RL #24 using these values.

 

Bob Harper: I use 3″ spacing on my On3 tracks and 2½” on my On2,  which reflects the difference in width of the real rolling stock – 8′ on the 3′ and 6′ on the 2′ lines. Looking at Franklin on the FAQ’s will show how this looks.

Editor: see the picture above of Bob’s Franklin module where the slight out of focus plus lighting highlight the tracks. To view more pictures of Bob’s Franklin module on another browser page, click here.

Bob Harper continues: Obviously the throw-over of the long On2 coaches is important, but I have found that the critical dimension is the cab on SR&RL #23. This is far wider than anything else (apart from a snow plow?), and my mistake of having the driver leaning out of the side window made clearances even worse! He has since been repositioned.

But another factor to bear in mind is the sense of proportion of the whole scene. Unless we are very fortunate with the space available, we inevitably have to fore-shorten out scenes, and trying to keep a prototypical width while losing the prototypical length can lead to the eye perceiving the track spacing to be too wide. In order to keep the overall scene in proportion, it may be necessary to slightly reduce the track spacing from prototypical standards.

 

Trevor Marshall: I like the generously spaced look of the Maine Two Foot yards, like in the picture below of Bridgton on the B&SR/B&HR;-

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Trevor continues: I’ve used 3″ centers on my On2 layouts. I find it gives that appropriately “NG” look.

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Above is a picture showing Enoch Pond station area under construction in the first iteration of Trevor’s S&PCRR, which captures the spaced out look between the tracks.

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This is a rare overhead shot of the Hebron Pond Slate Company sheds and passenger depot on the second iteration of Trevor’s S&PCRR.

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Trevor continues: – I built a test track board that included both 2′ and standard gauge tracks, side by side, like a transfer yard (illustrated above by the interchange yard at Monson Junction). I lined things up visually – used a standard gauge and 2′ boxcar and double checked my spacing with an engine. I think I left a scale 6″ between the equipment, and raised the 2′ gauge line so that the floors of the cars were level.

What I did NOT do was check the spacing with a 2′ gauge plow. ……..Guess what? They’re a lot wider than other equipment. So, if you can get a plow or mock up the width of one (a block of balsa would do), it’s a good idea for checking clearances.

I think I’d still build the transfer tracks close like I did. Crews will just have to shovel the tracks by hand, or plow when there are no standard gauge cars in the yard.

Editor (18-12-2016): I’ve just found my plans of the Bridgton snow plow #2, which measures 8ft 10ins wide at its maximum – a lot different from the normal 6ft 6in to 6ft 9ins width of Bridgton freight cars and coaches. The model snow plow that Trevor acquired was built from a SRCS kit for SR&RL #513, which measures 8ft 4ins wide at its maximum.

Editor: Here’s a picture of the interchange yard at Snowdon on the second iteration of Trevor’s S&PCRR.

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For more pictures of Trevor’s layouts click here. Well worth a browse!

If you have different suggestions and/or experience and would care to share it with us then please contact us.

 

 

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Madruga Models

Madruga Models

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In October 2008, Trevor Marshall wrote;-

I recently acquired two craftsman kits for Sandy River flangers, offered by a company called Madruga Model Works. The photos of the finished models that accompany the kits are stamped on the back as being printed in February and June 1980.

Editor:These are shown above.

Here’s some more detail: Madruga Model Works was owned by Bernie Lewis and the address on the box is a PO box in Miltipas CA.

The 503 comes with two sheets of plans – one by RH Werner, the other by JE Robinson, based on measurements taken in 1968 by RW Brown and additional data from E Bond. It looks like Bernie Lewis did 55 kits for 503.

The 505 includes one sheet of plans by RH Werner, and 50 kits were produced.

The kits each consist of a Grandt Line details, plus white metal castings for journals and the flanger blades that MIGHT be Portland products, or might be MMW’s own castings (does anybody know?), plus strip and sheet wood in little baggies.

Does anybody know more about Madruga Model Works, or any of the gents mentioned? I thought it might be a good topic for discussion and possibly help record the story of Maine two-foot modeling in O scale. – Trevor

PS: Bernie sounds like quite the guy. His first page of instructions reads, in part: “I realize that most On2 modelers are accomplished scratchbuilders; however, instructions are included to demonstrate my method of construction. If all else fails, you might want to give these methods a try.”

Obviously, a wit!

and Bob Schlechter replied to Trevor;-

Very interesting that you came across both Madruga kits by Bernie.

Those were the only two kits that Bernie produced. Very nice kits even going back 28 years ago. Further kit production ceased due to a divorce! Bernie is a good friend from the past when we both lived in and around the San Francisco bay area and he now resides in Vermont. He, to the best of my knowledge, quit model railroading and does bird/duck carving. Has a Ph.D. in mathematics and has a very good sense of humor.

Bernie and I did On2 modules depicting the Kennebec Central RR. I did Randolph and he did Togus. They were displayed at a NMRA show in San Mateo, California many years ago. I still have my diorama as I tend not to throw things away! Just ask my wife.

R.H. Werner, Bob of Hobby Barn fame also a friend from the past who now resides in Arizona. Would love to see his Portland Products line reissued.

J.E Robinson, John is also a friend and resides between Colorado and a ranch in Texas, He still does model railroading but enjoys his full size two foot RR on his Texas ranch. Talked with him at the 2008 NNGC.

R.W. Brown , Bob, is the founder, owner and editor of the Gazette magazine. Bob and I have been friends for the last forty plus years. He is still very active in model railroading in Los Altos, California. Also talked with him at the 2008 NNGC.

Bond, Ed, also a friend for some time is credited with many of the prototype two foot photos that we all use and enjoy. He was collecting prototype railroad photos since he was a teenager. He is active in 7 1/2″ gauge live steam in Georgia. Had a pleasant visit with him a few months ago.

I’ve known all of the Grandt family for the past 45 years. Dave still runs the business and Robb publishes a line of books pertaining to Colorado railroads. Met with both at the 2008 NNGC.

Does the above suffice or is more needed?

Regards

Bob in Sequim

 

Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette Info about Madruga Models;-

Jan/Feb 1980, page 17 SR&RL flanger #505

May/Jun 1980 page 75 small advert SR&RL flanger #503

Jul/Aug 1980 page 20 News in Review SR&RL flangers

Sep/Oct 1980 page 17 News in Review Sound Cams and SR&RL flanger

 

Tin roofs and colour schemes

Tin roofs and colour schemes, edit date: 04-06-2015 Grantham 1, updated 13-11-2015.

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Key Points

As this is a long post, we present some of the key points that will be expanded further in the post;-

With only a few exceptions, all Maine Two Foot equipment; freight, passenger, and locomotives were roofed with tin sheeting. There is a misconception that canvas or tarpaper was used. Jeff Bissonnette

The exceptions are the rail autos/buses. G Kohler HOn30 response

Don’t run for the hills… the point is that the vast majority of Maine two-foot equipment had tin roofs. Some have tried to argue/”speculate”/justify whatever… that equipment had “tarpaper” or some other treatment. The bottom line is that all of the surviving equipment (that wasn’t Edavillized or covered with asphalt roofing material at Phillips) still have their original tin roofs. This is a testament to both the longevity of the material and the reason why it was chosen over other roofing materials in the first place. Chris McChesney

Standard practice was to coat the tin seamed roof with a preparation referred to as “red lead”, and this preparation was most likely mixed up on site from a paint base (boiled linseed oil?), binders and pigment (the red lead itself). Red lead is the common name for the mixed oxide of lead (Pb3O4) which in its pure state is a bright almost virulent orange colour. When mixed as a paint locally, various correspondents have indicated that colour can appear as anything from orange through to brown, and it has been described as “fugitive” ie rapidly changing. Wes Ewell, Bob Schlechter & others.

Red Lead is similar to the SR&RL “Freight Car Red” but is absolutely flat. This red is not like Floquil’s “Boxcar Red”. I use Floquil’s “Oxide Red” for roofs, sometimes cut with white for older cars. Chris McChesney

SR&RL “Freight Car Red” – This red is not like Floquil’s “Boxcar Red”, which is way too brown and is a match for D&RGW’s boxcar red. Chris McChesney
The closest out of the bottle color I have found is ATSF Mineral Brown. G Kohler 12/12/12 MaineOn2

15-12-2016: Check out David Keith’s posting “Search for SR&RL freight car red” using currently available (in the USA) paints. Click here to view on another page.

By the end of operations, the tin roofs on Maine two-foot freight cars were a dark brown rust color because… their red lead paint jobs were not maintained and the tin rusted! Chris McChesney

Roof walk boards were normally left unpainted. Painted wood and rain lead to slippery conditions. Wet, raw wood weathered with raised grain is much safer for a brakeman to walk on… especially when a train is in motion. Chris McChesney.

List of Contents

The tin roof: its use on prototype rail vehicles, structures and the tin materials.

Modelling tin roofs, a selection of modellers methods from the Yahoo! groups.

Prototype “red lead” and Maine Two Foot “boxcar red”.

What is red lead?

Modeling Red Lead

Boxcar color- Freight cars and models

Commercial paints available in the Maine Two Foot era

Prototype Paint Schemes, selection by road name and vehicle type presented on the Yahoo! groups.

The tin roof; its use on the prototype rail vehicles, structures and the tin materials.

The tin roof; its use on the prototype rail vehicles.

With only a few exceptions, all Maine Two Foot equipment; freight, passenger, and locomotives were roofed with tin sheeting. There is a misconception that canvas or tarpaper was used. Jeff Bissonnette

The exceptions are the rail autos/buses. G Kohler HOn30 response

Don’t run for the hills… the vast majority of Maine two-foot equipment had tin roofs. Some have tried to argue/”speculate”/justify whatever… that equipment had “tarpaper” or some other treatment. The bottom line is that all of the surviving equipment (that wasn’t Edavillized or covered with asphalt roofing material at Phillips) still have their original tin roofs. This is a testament to both the longevity of the material and the reason why it was chosen over other roofing materials in the first place. Chris McChesney

The pieces have a lip on one side and the top. They are nailed at the edges. The next piece is applied over the nails and then the lip of the first piece is bent over the seam, covering the nails. Finally a bead of solder is run into the seam. The porch roofs on my 1932 house are done the same way and the seams are still as tight as the seams in a tin can. Jim Pasquill.

The tin roof; its use on structures 

The metal panels were probably not pure tin, but “terne” which is tin-plated steel. When the tin plating wore off, the underlying steel would rust. See recent photos of the Strong creamery for a good example of this phenomenon. Note that the roof on that building is 97 years old and has been painted a few times. Wesley Ewell, December 2012.

Tin roofs hold up better on a building then on a car. The car begins to flex during movement as it loosens with age. This cracks the solder seals. The result is bad roof leaks — a problem we are fighting currently at the wide-gauge East Broad Top. Lee Rainey

The tin roof; the tin materials

There are three possible candidates for the tin sheet material in a historical context, tin coated steel, zinc coated steel and terne plate. Terne plate was sheet steel coated with a lead/tin mix. Modern research has shown that the lead/tin ratio varied widely, and that contemporary accounts at the time of initial building of the Maine Two Footers and their rolling stock did not distinguish between tin coated steel, zinc coated steel and terne plate. Terry Smith, December 2012.

Based on a report from Gary Kohler that the underside of a piece of boxcar roof in his collection “is as bright as the day it was made” suggests that it was made from what we would now classify as tin coated steel, as both zinc coated steel and terne plate would go dull as they aged. Terry Smith, December 2012.

Bob Troup has mentioned 30 and 32 gauge in a posting he made about tin roofs that he has seen while refurbishing cars at the SR&RL Museum. Depending upon the material and the exact gauge scale referred to (unspecified in the posts) the actual thickness of the tin sheet material could range from around .008 inches to around .013 inches. These seem low/thin to me, but an actual measurement would be valuable. Terry Smith, December 2012.

Roof walk boards were normally left unpainted. Painted wood and rain lead to slippery conditions. Wet, raw wood weathered with raised grain is much safer for a brakeman to walk on… especially when a train is in motion. Chris McChesney. However, a later posting suggests that some roof walk boards were painted – and this has been observed in some museum restorations.

Tin sheet comments from Bob Troup:

The common tin size was 14″ x 20″ with 5/16″ seams bent over, interlocked with the adjoining sheets, and soldered (flat seam soldered). As each sheet was applied it was either tacked through the seam (Laconia), or a tin strip typically 3 inches long and perhaps 1/2 inch wide hooked into the seam which was in turn tacked to the roof (Portland Co.). Roof edges were tacked to the trim or weather board every inch. On passenger cars this is not visible because a drip strip was soldered over these tacks (actually formed to a mini gutter over the platforms). Yes, all tin roofs were on a steel substrate, 30 gauge – perhaps 32. Forming compound curves on passenger car corners is a bear particularly if the steel has too much temper. You can roll the sheets to form a compound curve, then at the very corners bend a “hospital corner” just as you would on a bed sheet and hammer it until it lays down the way you want it – tack in place and solder to hide.

But, SRRL Box 155 had a mix of 14×20 and 20×28 sheets with a manufacturer’s stamp that dates to its original build date. Portland Co. ran out of one size of tin perhaps???

Laconia coaches were, and are, definitely tin. The Lower portion of roof is 14 x 20 5/8 sheets while top of clerestory is the conventional 14×20.

Historically, tin roofing was sold by the basebox = 112 sheets of 14×20 tin. For roofing tin, the plating was 4 – 5 lbs per basebox. They still talk about the plating in terms of lbs/basebox even though it is only sold on rolls now. Now it is all electroplated to about 0.25 lb/basebox which is not even close to adequate for roofing. The original process was a dipped plating and the practical dip tank held a 14×20 sheet. Galvanized material took over for roofing, but is not solderable once the zinc oxide layer forms.

All of the tin comments are based on my experiences re-roofing boxcar 155 (completed) and SRRR Coach 5 (in process), including careful measurements before I started.

Bob Troup, Secretary, SR&RL RR Museum, 2006.

SR&RL Boxcar #155 Tin roof – original and replacement at the SR&RL Museum

The following set of pictures and plans are published here courtesy of Bob Troop and Els Gray, and show the original tin roof of SR&RL boxcar #155, and its replacement at the SR&RL Museum in 2006.

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The underside of the original roof covering. Note the bright appearance (contrast to the exposed surface) and the tacks/nails protruding from the seams.

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Els Gray produced these sketches from dimensions taken by Bob Troup as an aid to modellers.

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B&SR;- My own observations (Bridgton boxcars) are that the “central” or longitudinal seam appears to be much more obvious than the crossways seams. I don’t know if this is because of different seam constructions or simply a trick of the light. Panels appear to be square, and sized 18″ x 18″. Terry Smith, February 2005.

WW&FR Boxcar Tin roofs

An off-board discussion has led me to look into the question of how boxcar tin roofs were laid, and what the pattern of seams seen should be. The revised edition of Jones and Register’s “Two Feet to Tidewater” shows a picture on page 217 of the Whitefield wreck, taken from the top of boxcar 509. The picture in the revised edition is not as clear as that shown in original copy, but shows two longitudinal seams on one roof panel (ie half the total car width) and it appears that the transverse seams are quite close together on either side of the longitudinal seams, (ie not staggered by half the panel length as is suggested by the B&SR practise). On page 368 there is a bill of materials for an order of 10 boxcars, which turn out to be the 30 foot boxcars numbered in the series 65 to 74 built by the Portland Company in 1906. The bill shows “Tin to cover 2200 sq ft of roofing. 133 sheets to one car. 112 sheets in box” Order shows 12 boxes Tin 14″ x 20″.” Doing some figuring equating the area of each sheet with the total area specified shows that the seams used 5/8″ material from each of the four sides of the piece of tin, making the laid panel clear size 12 ¾ ” x 18 ¾” separated by 5/8″ seams if single lapped. The evidence from the picture of the Whitefield wreck suggests that this car (if it used the same size tin sheet) had the sheets laid with the long dimension of the sheet laid lengthways along the car, and that the transverse seams were only a couple of inches out of line across the car. In contrast, a picture of car 502 on its side on page 45 of Kohler and McChesney “Narrow Gauge in the Sheepscot Valley” volume IV appears to show only one longitudinal seam along the lower roof half, and the individual panels appear narrower along the length of the car compared to the width (making due allowances for the relative angles), and the transverse seams appear to staggered by half a width in the two rows. This pattern could occur if the sheets are laid with the long dimension of the sheet across the car roof with the shorter dimension along the car roof. The half panel staggering is also seen in the lower picture on page 48 of the same book. Some of the pictures could be interpreted differently, and often the detail is lost in highlights etc. If anybody has other (and better) pictures and/or alternative interpretations then please post a reply. Looks like any Wiscasset modeller who wants to model tin roofs is going to have fun! Terry Smith, January, 2007.

Prototype Wiscasset tin roof panel

The following set of photographs come from Marcel Levesque and show a section of tin roofing salvaged from a farmer’s field near the Albion Station site.  Marcel writes “Stories say that two cars were brought to the field and attached together to make a livestock shed.  This section of roof material was salvaged about 10ish years ago.  It either comes from box #82 or flanger #202 which were both on site from the inventory of rolling stock taken.  It will probably answer some questions and most likely raise more……..”.

These photographs are noteworthy for showing clearly the details of the seams, the angled folded corners to each “square”, the tacks which hold the tin square down and the laying pattern of offsetting the transverse seams by half a width in the next row.

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View of the underside.

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View of the underside. Note the tacks used to attach the tin to the roof.

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View of the underside.

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View of the underside. Note the tacks used to attach the tin to the roof and the angled folded corner.

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View of the exposed top surface of the original roof.

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View of the exposed top surface of the original roof. Note how flat the seams appear.

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View of the folded seam from the top, note the tack head not quite covered by the fold.

Modelling tin roofs, a selection of modellers methods presented on the Yahoo! groups.

Gary Kohler wrote: There is an excellent article by Mark Hall on “Building Metal (Tin) Boxcar Roofs” in M2FQ Vol 3-1, 1997, and another by Gary Kohler on rusted tin roofs in M2FQ Vol 47 1995.

Jeff Bissonnette wrote:Gary Kohler came up with a good way to do this, and I modified it some to make it a little more convenient (IMO) for modelling.  Gary suggested Mylar, but I switched to Evergreen 0.005″ thick styrene sheet. What to do is simple. I laid out the 18″ and 27″ divisions on the styrene using a soft pencil. Then place the sheet of styrene over a sheet of basswood. Using some sort of ball ended scriber (ball point pen, or a rounded off scriber), “draw” the panels into the styrene using light pressure. The basswood sheet underneath supports the material, but still allows the scriber to force a fine line into the styrene. The last step is to heavily scribe the roof peak into the sheet so that the “tin roof” can be bent to match the pitch of the car roof. Use ACC or epoxy to glue to the car roof, and once dry, trim off the excess. This technique works well for HOn2/n30, but looks especially good for Sn2 cars. If you’re not crazy about using styrene, craft stores carry small rolls of 0.002″ thick copper sheets that would work just as well, maybe better. The problem with aluminium foil is that it is so thin and is easily torn or distorted. Another method is to scribe the panel pattern onto an existing resin or styrene car roof, then apply aluminium tape (used for duct work) over the entire surface. Burnish with a soft stick or “Q”-tip and it gives a really nice effect. You can even carefully trim the material so it can be bent over the edges, just like the prototype cars. A recent communication from a museum (think it was Sandy River) had a report that the superintendent had ordered tin sheets 18″ x 27″ to re-roof something. M2FM had an article years ago that said that they were roughly 18″ x 27″ panels. Though some Maine Two-Foot cars had smaller panels as well. It depends on the car and even the era modelled for any one car.

In 2006, there was a flurry of postings on the Maine On2 Yahoo! group which reported what various modellers were doing or suggestions to use for representing metal seamed roofs;-

Bill Kerr: I do not use foil. I build in styrene, so I use .010” x .020” styrene strips to simulate the seams. After gluing down, I sand the strips down to almost nothing.

Elliott Thomas suggested: Try the silver tape used in ductwork (not duct tape!) It is thin, and goes on easily. It will take paint and is available at many larger hardware stores.

Doug Rowe added: I have read that some folks use the aluminium tape that air conditioning & furnace repairmen use to seal ducts- not “Duct Tape.” This stuff is like aluminium foil with a sticky back, and comes in rolls.

Keith Gutshall: I use the foil disposable cookware from the supermarket. The foil is thicker than the rolls and tools very good. The cookie sheet yields the most flat stuff to work with. Goo or a similar contact glue would work best, because a flexible glue seems to work best with the metal and the wood.

Terry Smith: I use two methods, either a styrene roof panel and then add chart tape for seams, and use paint applied by brush to soften the hard edge and as extra “glue” or I have used the same panel as a master, adding the roof walk supports, and then casting urethane complete roof sections using an RTV silicone rubber mould. I have heard of using paint or varnish as a fixative for metal foils in plastic kit building.

The picture below shows the taped seam roof on the right (and historically incorrect representation of tarpaper roofs central and left).

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In June 2007 Trevor Marshall wrote about using “embossing foils”, which he then cut into individual pieces and glued to the sub-roof to produce overlapping seams,  shown  below.

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Shortly afterwards Terry Smith used the same materials, (ArtEmboss by Amaco, in particular #50068T; light aluminium) to produce an embossed half roof panel which he then copied in urethane resin using RTV Silicone Rubber moulds for his own 26 foot B&SR boxcars. The two pictures below show one of these roofs under directional lighting (both from the right) in order to show how the lighting emphasises the seams along and across the roof differently.

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In 2010/2012 John Rogers wrote: I use stained glass copper foil with an adhesive backing in the 3/8” width size, cut to length. It works great. Apply it to wood that has been sealed with two coats of clear brushing lacquer and it will adhere very well. After it is on, I put a coat of brushing lacquer over the copper to help keep it from peeling up at the edges. A picture showing this technique on a caboose roof is shown below.

 

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In early 2013 Terry Smith posted a summary of his foil roof experience to the Maine On2 group after a number of offboard questions;-

When I first started out on my Maine On2 modelling journey around 1990, I tried using domestic aluminium cooking foil to represent metal roofs, as suggested by Peter Barney in his SRCS kits, but I could not get it to work for me. I found it way too fragile and too prone to unintended embossings and it also shows glue thickness variations. Standard UK domestic aluminium cooking foil is only 0.015mm/.0006” thick, which is too thin for this type of application. That’s when I started to use a replacement styrene roof panel plus self adhesive chart tape to represent the seams. The tape is Letraline by Letraset and the writing on the cassette is 3005 .5mm black flex 3112. I bought mine 20+ years ago and I’m not sure if it’s still made or available.

Then sometime after I joined this group (Maine On2 Yahoo! group), way back in the 2002/03 period, Bill Kerr published a picture of a SR&RL metal roof from Jeff Bissonette (the heading photo of this posting) which opened my eyes to just how subtle the seams needed to be, and then sometime around the 2006/07 timeframe, Trevor Marshall mentioned the Amaco ArtEmboss materials.

I have trialled a number of the Amaco metals and thicknesses;-

50063M; medium pewter, 0.17mm/.007” thick, weighs 122 grams per 9¼” x 12” sheet.

50067S; medium aluminium, 0.17mm/.007” thick, weighs 26 grams per 9¼” x 12” sheet.

50068T; light aluminium, 0.09mm/.0035” thick, estimated weight 13 grams per 9¼” x 12” sheet.

Pewter is really nice for its finish and ease of embossing, but I found it rather heavy and floppy to use for a single/one half roof panel. It’s great as a replacement for the soft metal foil that I used to get from Drambuie bottle tops which I used in the past for representing lead roof flashings on roofs.

Although I really like the way the pewter foil embosses and takes impressions, I find the easiest material to work with is the thin aluminium sheet. This is lighter and stiffer and so I can work with pieces that are one piece for boxcar roofs.

I also find it simpler to make a master of the embossed foil (glue it down to a piece of styrene) in order to make a mould because then the resultant urethane part has permanent ridges which are pretty obviously immune to handling damage in a way that the embossed foil itself is not (and of course further copies can be made easily).

The picture below shows the urethane roof that Terry has recently made for a Wiscasset 65-74 series boxcar, with the long edge of the tin “squares” across the roof.

trtcs04

My piece of the thicker aluminium foil (Amaco medium) is pretty much intact, nearly a full sheet, so obviously I have not used it much. I think that I found it too thick for my embossing style and procedures, in comparison to the light aluminium, and perhaps too stiff as a sheet to ensure that it laid flat over a styrene sheet as a master pattern.

The Amaco aluminium foils have a matt, almost brushed surface finish both sides. The pewter has an almost polished finished, but it is not a mirror finish.

I also bought some copper foil/shim 0.09mm/.0035” thick from a different source and found that it was also a usable material for embossing, impressions and handling but was much more difficult to trim, especially at the edges, with a modelling knife and therefore lost out to light aluminium and pewter. It was also more difficult to remove mistakes and unintended embossings from this material than light aluminium and pewter.

None of the metal foils have shown glue lines when using a medium thickness ACC (Green label, Zap-a-Gap Medium CA+ by Pacer) to glue them down over styrene.

Prototype “red lead” and Maine Two Foot “boxcar red”.

What is red lead?

A number of correspondents (including Wes Ewell and Robert Schlechter) have confirmed that standard practice was to coat the tin seamed roof with a preparation referred to as “red lead”, and indicated that this preparation was more than likely to have been mixed up on site from a paint base (boiled linseed oil?), binders and pigment (the red lead itself). Red lead is the common name for the mixed oxide of lead (Pb3O4)which in its pure state is a bright almost virulent orange colour. When mixed as a paint locally, the correspondents have indicated that colour can appear as anything from orange through to brown, and it has been described as “fugitive” ie rapidly changing.

By the end of operations, the tin roofs on Maine two-foot freight cars were a dark brown rust color because… their red paint jobs were not maintained and the tin rusted! This is abundantly evident in the Bridgton & Harrison DVD available from Gary Kohler. There are a couple of shots taken from the roofs of boxcars that will provide perfect color tone and weathering information. Chris McChesney

Question – what color for red lead?

Answer 1: I am a scenic painter in the theater and majored in historic paint formulas of the early period of electric light. Red lead is a color that is all over the board. It ranges from flame oranges to brown. The color was made by a couple of different methods each resulting in a vast array of hues. Add to this variation that red lead (also known as minium) was harshly affected by acrid coal smoke it is almost impossible to speculate on a correct red. UV rays seriously affected the color as it aged and a painted piece could have many variations of the same pot color. Add again the fact that lead and tin may have been mismatched as finish coat and substrate a wide variety of colors could appear.

What am I really saying? Red lead was not a set formula but a purpose made color which changed from pot to pot and from day to day in use. Variations in modeling will present the railroad in everyday use. Unless we all agree to model a specific moment in time we can all have red roofs that are “correct”.

If some one has a sample, a very close color match could be calculated and we could discuss it using a Munsell number, giving us all access to viewing a matched sample then choosing our own shade of red. Brian Goodman

Answer 2: As far as “What is true “Red Lead?” that’s like asking to correctly identify/match “Barn red”. The best you can do is compare what few color photos we have to black and white images and try to draw some logical conclusions. Gary Kohler and I have been collecting samples and analyzing Maine 2-foot colors (and trying to match them in our models) for years. If you really want to see and judge colors for yourself, buy one of Gary’s color CD’s. My favorite is the “Bridgton & Harrison Ry. Video and Photos from 1939-1941.” In a previous post someone erroneously used the word “colorized” to describe the images. Make no mistake, the color in this DVD not colorized like a painted postcard. The color is from real color slides taken by a railfan in the early ’40s. Gary purchased the original slides from a friend of the deceased photographer. The B&H slides are the best color Maine two-foot images we have ever seen. Period. There is no “shifting” or contrast that occurs with copy slides. These aren’t copy slides and Gary hasn’t run them through Photoshop or anything goofy like that (the naysayers need to give it a rest). So, If you want to see the wide range of reds you described (and excellent examples of weathering)… heck if you want to see the best real 2-foot color period, get a copy. No one will have to speculate about UV, coal acridity, chemical reactions with the tin substrate etc. etc. anymore. Chris McChesney

Answer 3: If you review your Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes RR Museum newsletters you will find a series of articles about the stripping of the Sandy River/SR&RL Laconia passenger car in preparation for restoration. In the article, it states that the ORIGINAL color of the paint applied to the TIN roof of the coach was found! It survived because it was in a protected location. The article states that this color is best matched to “Red Lead”. Red Lead is similar to the SR&RL “Freight Car Red” but is absolutely flat. This red is not like Floquil’s “Boxcar Red”. Floquil’s boxcar red is way too brown and is a match for D&RGW’s boxcar red. I use Floquil’s “Oxide Red” (sometimes cut with white for older cars) for roofs. Also in the Sandy River Railroad Museum article, they found an area of the coach that had ORIGINAL green paint on it. The area is the wood found directly behind the brass bell cord sleeves found at the end of the cars above the doors. This color was the color applied at the Laconia car works. The brass bell cord sleeve was applied later. The article states that the original color is indeed best matched to Floquil’s “Brunswick Green”. Chris McChesney

Answer 4: Two-foot coaches, in general, were maintained better and the Red Lead is visible in many SR&RL and B&H coach shots even immediately after abandonment (including the earliest Kodachrome postcards series of the Edaville fleet). If you own one of these postcards of the Rangeley, you will notice that the car sides have been restored and repainted but the Red Lead on the tin roof was left alone. There are dents and areas of bare metal seen in many places on this ORIGINAL roof. Later, this roof was painted by Edaville in I believe black. Chris McChesney

Modeling Red Lead

Red Lead is similar to the SR&RL “Freight Car Red” but is absolutely flat. I use Floquil’s “Oxide Red” (sometimes cut with white for older cars) for roofs. Chris McChesney

I use oxide red with some caboose red mixed in. The red lead that I used to paint my rowboats with when I was a kid was more of a Chinese red, but varied a lot depending upon how thoroughly you stirred it. Wes Ewell

Boxcar color- Freight cars and models

The SR&RL requisition sheets state, “Freight Car Red”. Nothing is more accurate than the real thing and since I’ve found a good piece of existing paint, un-weathered, I have been able to come up with a formula that I feel, as well as others who have seen it, is 98% accurate.

You will need the following paints: Floquil Polly S Metal Primer, Floquil Polly S Roof Red and Model Masters (Acrylic Enamel) Desert Sand. The formula is as follows: Three parts Metal Primer, two parts Roof Red and a touch of Desert Sand. This will get you an almost perfect colour match. For a slightly weathered colour, add a touch of Model Masters Flat White.

SR&RL freight cars were lettered with White Lead. excerpt from Brian Carters page information provided by Gary Kohler, take link for more details.

The SR&RL “Freight Car Red” color is similar to Red Lead, and not like Floquil’s “Boxcar Red”. Floquil’s boxcar red is matched to D&RGW’s boxcar red and is way too brown for a Maine Two Foot freight car  – edited from Chris McChesney

The closest out of the bottle color I have found is ATSF Mineral Brown. G Kohler 12/12/12 MaineOn2

15-12-2016: Check out David Keith’s posting “Search for SR&RL freight car red” using currently available (in the USA) paints. Click here to view on another page.

Commercial paints available in the Maine Two Foot era

Bob Schlechter has sent some useful background information: most paint colors prior to 1940’s were not available ready mixed off the shelf as they are today. My grandfather and father were painters by profession and they had to make up colors by adding tinting colors from a tube of concentrate color. It was a very difficult task to match colors exactly unless one was a very good professional. This accounts for the many variations that resulted.

White lead, linseed oil and turpentine were the starting point of any color for painting wood. Red lead was the starting point for painting metals.

Time and weathering can also account for the variations in shades as not all equipment was painted at the same time.

Prototype Paint Schemes, selection by road name and vehicle type as presented on the Yahoo! groups.

SR&RL Selected Rolling Stock

Cream/Dairy car information – Freight

SRRR #19 was lettered CREAM CAR. The only photos I have (or have seen) of #21 show it numbered only #21 on each side of door. No cream car, no dairy car, no milk car, no dairy/milk ice cream car.

Numbers 19 and 21 had full length door stops to allow running with doors open. It is not clear if 19 had an end door, but many early cars did. Number 21 became SR&RL 59 and still exists today. Number 21 had ladders on sides — for some reason. HOWEVER, it did retain this feature on the SR&RL (as number 59) until the early 1920s. This was later changes to conform to standard SR&RL practice.

What is unique about 21/59 is that it had ladders and roof platforms on both ends of the car sides. However, the later photos showing this car 21 numbered as 59 indicate that the extra ladders and roof platforms were removed at some point so it looks like any other boxcar. Jim red_gate_rover

SR&RL #145 was lettered DAIRY PRODUCTS centered top/bottom, left/right to the right of the door. Number 145 did not have an end door. All cars had standard boxcar doors, no ice hatches, roof ventilators, chimneys, etc. Gary Kohler response on HOn30 group

SR&RL 17 & 18 ex SRRR 5 & 6

A Sandy River Railroad Museum article state they found an area of the coach that had ORIGINAL green paint on it. The area is the wood found directly behind the brass bell cord sleeves found at the end of the cars above the doors. This color was the color applied at the Laconia car works. The brass bell cord sleeve was applied later. The article states that the original color is indeed best matched to Floquil’s “Brunswick Green.” Chris McChesney

Non-revenue Equipment

Caboose – Non-revenue equipment

Cabooses had tin roofs.

The SR&RL, as well as all Maine 2-foot roads, used tin for roof coverings. Caboose 556 (Phillips, ME) still has its original tin roof. The roofs were all painted red lead. Tarpaper would not stand up in the severe Maine winters. Gary Kohler

Cabooses had red trucks.

Underbodies WERE NOT painted. Metal parts may have been, but I have not found proof. It appears that trucks were painted red when new. Gary Kohler

Internal green color

A very good approximation of the light green used inside engine cabs and cabooses on the Maine two-footers is Polly Scale No. 505254 Br. Sky (Type S). Wesley J. Ewell

B&SR/B&H Selected Rolling Stock

B&SR tank car color. – Freight

Editors note 04-06-2015; there is currently an unfinished conversation on the Maine On2 Yahoo! group on this subject, the results of which will be added at some time in the future.

The B&SR tank cars were never painted black! The earliest known photo (1905) clearly shows gray or silver tank on a standard flat car (the B&SR used Princes Brown (Red Oxide my guess)). All later photos, including about a half a dozen color images clearly show silver/gray tanks with the SOCONY in black. The Moody photo in question that has caused everyone to jump on the “black” band wagon was taken in shadow and appears black due to all the rust! Color photos taken the same year show silver/gray tanks. Gary Kohler.

This article is being discounted as erroneous about the black tank color? Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette Sept/Oct 1979 Peter Barney did an article on Painting Two-Foot Gauge Cars. One interesting point Barney says B&H tank Cars were “Tank” Flat car box red with natural wood decking. Tank “At first painted black with white lettering, and white ends with black lettering. Later tanks were off-white to gray with black lettering. By the end of the railroad the tanks had no lettering.” Walter Orloff

It is as with most things, publish, and new information may come to light contradicting your conclusions of your research. The listing is not meant as negative reflection on the great work Peter has done for the Maine Two Footers.

Bob Schlechter on Bridgton Tank Car Colours:  I studied the potential colors of the B&SR RR tank cars #21 and 22. In later years they were likely repainted silver/aluminium or black (Edaville) as some date. Early photos in their prime is not silver but likely the Standard Oil light warm gray.

See photo bottom of page 234 in Jones’ “Two Feet to the Lakes”. Those tank cars are not silver or black and lettering isn’t black either but likely Standard Oil’s blue. The date of the photo’s is around 1920 or 21, shortly after tank #22 arrived on the scene.

Wes Ewell on B&H rail car colours; I picked up a color print of the B&H railbus 3 at one of the West Springfield shows and was surprised to see how it was
painted. I always assumed it was green with a red lead roof and black hood. In this photo the hood, frame and trucks are freshly painted gloss black; the body is faded boxcar red and the roof appears to be silver or aluminium paint.

Wes Ewell on B&SR Loco  colours;

Question, did any B&SR Forneys come with a gray (Russian Iron) boiler and/or varnished wood cab?

I believe the B&SR engines Hinckleys 1 & 2, Portlands 3 & 5 and Baldwin 6 were all delivered with russian iron boiler jackets and painted cabs.  – Wes Ewell

W&Q/WW&FR Selected Rolling Stock

trrc01

Rod Coombs supplied this picture of a GME WW&FR #6 to show the Brunswick Green colour used on many Maine Two Foot passenger cars.

WW&F #6 Baggage/Mail/Smoker painting

Question: Anyone have the best color to paint this car circa 1915? The best I can find is coach green (any idea on that color) to freight car red. Also what color is chrome yellow? Thanks, Paul Buhrke

Answer: This is an interesting question and I’ve thought about the answer for some time, too… But seriously: Unfortunately, I haven’t yet seen a photo of this car from that era. Apparently the noted 2-ft.-authorities also don’t have one either. The following notes come right out of memory as my 2-ft.-stuff is already packed for an upcoming move.

What I have is a contact print from the original glass plate taken at the J&S plant. On this one, the car seems to be very dark. I believe this color was called pullman green. I think somebody (Gary K.?) once described it as a mix between dark green and black. Of course the fancy original lettering was there.

After Carson Peck bought the WW&F in 1906, it has been written that the passenger cars received a fresh coat of green paint. Once again, I haven’t seen any photos of the combine from that time, but there is one of matching coach “Vassalboro” (originally #5), showing it lettered as “WW&F _RY_” and numbered as “12”, thus dating the photo post-1906/7. In this photo, the coach body is painted in a lighter color. This can’t be a negative or print deterioration, as the image also shows an engine tank, and this one is clearly painted in a very dark (probably black) color. The roof color can’t be determined easily, but is very light. Contrary to the original appearance (where the clerestory window area was painted dark), roof and clerestory window area are painted the same color (!). It seems to be much lighter than the roof red found on the coach at the WW&F Museum (although I don’t know how close this is towards the original color). Therefore, I seriously believe the roof area might have been painted silver or aluminum… I think the photos showing the Peck inspection train (taken around 1907?) support this.

The described photo (I think it has at least been published in Peter Barney’s WW&F volume) may also fit in your timeframe because the eastern (riverside) stall of the Wiscasset engine house had already received its rear doors (they weren’t in place when the building was built around 1906).

The statements of this car being painted (some sort of) yellow or freight car red belong IMO to later eras: When a group of railfans visited Albion around 1930 (photos are in the Sirman collection), #6 was painted in a noticeable lighter color than following passenger/RPO-combine 7. It seems to be a bit too light for being freight car red. This leads me to the conclusion that at that time #6 was just primed and put back into service. Compared to primer colors here in Germany, this could explain the yellow.

Towards the end of operations, #6 seems to have received a fresh coat of freight car red paint. There is a color slide of the overturned car bodies in Wiscasset’s upper yard showing this clearly. Of course, I’m always interested in discussing other opinions. Wolf-Jobst Siedler

WW&FR Freight car lettering stencil

George Dutka has posted a picture showing a prototype WW&FR lettering stencil on his Modeling Maine in Narrow Gauge blog. Click here to view on another page.

 

 

 

Two Foot Gauge Hinkley Locomotive data

hinkley01

Researched and compiled by Robert Schlechter. Additional factual information welcomed. Information is correct to the best of his knowledge. Personal thanks to Bob from Bill Kerr for making his information available to the Maine On2 FAQ.

 

C/N

Blt.

RR

No.

Name

Type

Cyl.

Drvr.

W.B.

W.B.O.A

Tndr Trk

1251

7-77

B&B

 

Ariel

T4-4-0

8×12

30″

42″

  13′-0″

36″WB18″dia

1261

?-77

B&B

 

Puck

T4-4-0

8×12

30″

42″

  13′-0″

36″WB18″dia

1563

10-82

B&SR

1

 

0-4-4T

9×12

30″

48″

  14′-5 ½”

48″WB20″dia

1564

10-82

B&SR

2

 

0-4-4T

9×12

30″

48″

  14′-5 ½”

48″WB20″dia

1621

7-83

Monson

1

Whiting

0-4-4T

9×12

30″

48″

  13′-6″?

?WB20″dia

1647

7-83

PV&Co

 

Italia

0-4-4T

9×12

30″

48″

  13′-6″?

?WB20″dia

1661

3-84

Monson

2

Cushing

0-4-4T

9×12

30″

48″

  14′-5 ½”

48″WB20″dia

1664

9-84

F&M

1

Meade

0-4-4T

9×12

30″

48″

  13′-6″?

?WB20″dia

PV&Co= Porcella, Vicini,& Co. Inc.

W.B.O.A wheel base overall

Note. Boiler diameters varied too as well as coal and water capacity Where the ? appears this data hasn’t been confirmed with hard facts. i.e. drawings, specifications.

Right of Way, trackwork, rail

Weight and length

  • B&B Rail was 25#, 30ft lengths.  Railroadians of America, Billerica & Bedford 2ft Gauge     Railroad 1879 (page 6),  Russ Simpson
  • B&SR Rail Weights Bridgton Jct to Bridgton, prior to 1909: 30 & 35 lbs. Bridgton Jct to Bridgton, after 1909 : 50 lbs. Bridgton yard relaid with 50 lbs rail in 1910 Bridgton to Harrison : 35 lbs. information provided by Terry Smith
  • SR&RL rail weights, information from 1916, but weights probably did not change too much after then (before that is not a simple answer);          Farmington – Strong – Phillips weights varied from 50 – 52 – 56 & 58 1/4 lbs (most of it 10.48 mi. was 52lb).         Phillips to Madrid Jct. 50 lb rail laid in 1919         Almost everything else was 35 lb rail (there were a few small exceptions, but the mileage was very minor). Things like the Mt.         Abram branch had .16 mi of 30 lb rail in iron (only the best of nitpickers could point this out on a layout ;^) ).         At time of abandonment, there was a reported 2 mi. of 60 lb rail.                                 Information gleaned from Jones, Two Feet Between the Rails
  • The nominal equivalents for rail weights per the various Code rail sizes in 1:48 scale are as follows:

Code 55 = 25# rail

Code 70 = 35# rail

Code 83 = 50# rail

Code 100 = 80# rail   

information provided by Robert Schlechter

Model       Prototype

Code     Weight/yard        Axle load (tons)

40         12                   2

55         25                   5½

70         35                   9

83         55                  16½

100        85                   36   

information provided by Terry Smith

What’s your ***** loco? – part 4

In 2008, I posted a set of questions to the MaineOn2 Yahoo! group list under this title. I felt that the Yahoo! group postings had been dominated by other topics such as ”bashing brass and brass owners” in the verbal/written sense not the converting to another type sense, and by complaints about the poor running qualities of particular examples of brass loco’s, and that it was time to encourage other brass loco owners who had been quietly enjoying positive experiences with their collection of loco’s to post about them.

The questions were chosen quite deliberately to allow different locomotives to be selected, recognising that some owners may have a favourite loco which they would not necessarily recommend as a suitable choice for a newcomer.

My thanks to all the contributors for their comments and especially to Bill Kerr for updating his replies showing how they have changed over a three year period, and for the “Pearls of Wisdom” from a former Moderator of the Yahoo! Group and long term On2 modeller about starting today.

The collected views have been re-edited in 2013 to present a consistent loco/model naming format to facilitate links etc, and finally posted to the new style FAQ’s site.

Terry2foot

What’s your ***** loco? – part 4

What locomotive would you suggest to an interested newcomer (who is supposed to be fully aware of the pitfalls of brass loco’s, but nevertheless has decided to model in On2) as a first purchase and why?

Terry Smith: Probably a Custom Brass SR&RL #6, because they are a good general engine, and when re-motored (a number are already) can be very reliable performers.

Bill Kerr (2008): Custom Brass SR&RL #6 , basic engine, not too complicated, good starter if it needs rework, not too costly, the Forney’s probably defined the two footers, more then the 2-6-0 or 2-6-2 (which I prefer).

Bill Kerr (2011): If serious about On2, start with Custom Brass #6, its small, still seems to be relatively easy to acquire one, and easy to start your journey on working with On2 brass. See also the general comments.

Jerry Kitts: I will stick with the No. 23. Some of the smaller engines would frustrate a new comer to On2 right to another scale or track gauge.

Brass Locomotives have pitfalls? All models that move under their own power can have problems. I would suggest the No. 23 because it runs well, it’s easy to work on, plenty of room to add sound and/or DCC without losing your mind trying to stuff all that electronics in a Forney should it be your first time around.

I would certainly recommend a brass steam engine over some of the new stuff coming in from say Bachmann, which may be cheap, but you really get what you pay for. I have some Bachmann engines most of which have failed when you actually run them with a heavy train. Bachmann has replaced the parts, on two of them twice and now one of them has failed just sitting on the shelf. I tried their version of a Forney and sent it back. The drivers were not even round and as to turning into a scale model not much chance of that happening if you are interested in Maine Two Footers. The out of round drivers gave me a good excuse to get my money back.

So far if you want to be in On2 I am not aware of any offering that is not brass for a locomotive.

Trevor Marshall: I’m quite pleased with the performance of my Car Works B&SR #6. It is relatively new and needed little done to it. I added a pair of wipers to the drivers on the insulated side and it picks up power well and runs very nicely. Locomotives from this run (SR&RL 8 and 9, WW&F #7, B&SR #6) are still available “new” so haven’t suffered from being much loved, as have some of the older engines that I purchased second hand. For someone who’s looking for a first On2 brass engine, I think there’s a lot to be said for getting one that’s new.

Chester Louis: I would ask the newcomer what their plans were and then suggest. If they are interested in big power I’d suggest Custom Brass SR&RL #24 or Custom Brass SR&RL #16. If they wanted something simple, then it would be Custom Brass SR&RL #6. They keep popping up on eBay.

Jace Kahn: The last is a thorny matter, as most On2 modellers are prototype-specific, and a great deal depends on the individual modeller’s preferences. As a general thing, probably a Portland Forney remains the obvious choice for a first locomotive, both for size and because, effectively, all the Maine two-footers had them; the SR&RL Prairies (and even WW&F #6) are large to start with. If someone were thinking of producing a new locomotive in On2, I think one of the Porter 0-4-4T’s would be worth doing (I’d buy one)–they are small and basic, and no else has ever made one commercially (I’m not sure whether anyone has even scratch built one). The other suggestion is one of the Monson Vulcans, which have the advantage of also being small, uncomplicated, and the prototypes are still in existence, and (periodically) still in steam, so there is likely to be some additional interest among the general public.

Bob Schlechter:  The Custom Brass SR&RL #6, etc. Forney as it is the most versatile of the prototypes as it was produced in the greatest numbers model wise and can depict many roads if not free lancing. Also, the Forney is the watermark of loco types for the Two Footers.

Gerry Cole: The Custom Brass SR&RL #6 seems to be often available, or at least quite a few were on eBay a year or so ago. Availability at a decent price would be the main advantage, and it’s already On2!

Dean Brown: Get one that you like the looks of. This is a personal choice, but chances are you will spend a lot of time with that loco, so make sure you like to look at it. Also make sure you get one that runs well, or that you have the wherewithal to make it run well.

Matt Coleman: Any of the old CB or CW locos would be a great start. Avoid the Putnam and Stowe locos — they are too much work.

Matthew Latham: Hard to say as I only have one brass locomotive.

What’s your ***** loco? – part 3

In 2008, I posted a set of questions to the MaineOn2 Yahoo! group list under this title. I felt that the Yahoo! group postings had been dominated by other topics such as ”bashing brass and brass owners” in the verbal/written sense not the converting to another type sense, and by complaints about the poor running qualities of particular examples of brass loco’s, and that it was time to encourage other brass loco owners who had been quietly enjoying positive experiences with their collection of loco’s to post about them.

The questions were chosen quite deliberately to allow different locomotives to be selected, recognising that some owners may have a favourite loco which they would not necessarily recommend as a suitable choice for a newcomer.

My thanks to all the contributors for their comments and especially to Bill Kerr for updating his replies showing how they have changed over a three year period, and for the “Pearls of Wisdom” from a former Moderator of the Yahoo! Group and long term On2 modeller about starting today.

The collected views have been re-edited in 2013 to present a consistent loco/model naming format to facilitate links etc, and finally posted to the new style FAQ’s site.

Terry2foot

What’s your ***** loco? – part 3

What is your favourite locomotive? and why? 

Terry Smith: my Car Works Wiscasset #7, because it looks so good.

 Bill Kerr (2008): Car Works SR&RL #23, largest of the Prairies, purchased as my going away present from Motorola after 19 years (the termination package was GOOD, so I could afford the cost)

Bill Kerr (2011): Prairie #24, I like its size, #23 is large in comparison, mine needs to be worked on to get it running, and it is a Baldwin that would look good running on any world wide railway, S American, Cuban etc.

Jerry Kitts: My favourite is the Car Works SR&RL #23 because of how well it runs and it will take 30″ radius curves easily. If with little or no work a steam engine works great, then I am more than willing to put hours into detailing it to the best of my ability.

Trevor Marshall: Until recently, a Car Works B&H #8. It was my first Forney – it has also been tuned and has extra wipers for pick-up so it runs quite reliably. It’s been used a LOT in my slate quarry – has been my “test loco” and has seen the most time in steam for operating sessions.

My NEW favourite is a Custom Brass SR&RL #21. Just got it back from a tune-up and it’s delightful. I need to finish detailing it – it needs lettering, a crew, 14 panes of glass, a coal load, some shovels’n’picks, and weathering – but when it’s done it’ll be a much more appropriate locomotive for quarry work than the 2-4-4Ts.

Chester Louis: It’ll be the Hinkley most likely, but will have to wait and see how the rebuilding of my Portland goes.

Jace Kahn: Probably my scratch-built B&SR #7 (for obvious reasons, although I also like the prototype). Among commercial products, probably my Custom Brass SR&RL #24, because the lines of the prototype are so elegant.

Bob Schlechter:  From the stand point of aesthetics, the Custom Brass SR&RL #24 wins hands down in my thinking. The pinnacle of the BLW’s designs.

Gerry Cole: Definitely my brass Car Works SR&RL #23. I think #23 is even prettier than the more popular #24, and both have room for DCC and sound.

Dean Brown: This is a toss up between the Car Works SR&RL #10 and the Custom Brass SR&RL #24. The big Forney, emblematic of Maine 2-footers, looks good and runs well, while I really like the proportions of the Prairie.

Matt Coleman: Custom Brass #22. It looks great and runs well and I just happen to like those big Forneys.

Matthew Latham: Car Works WW&F #7 because it is the only WW&F locomotive I have.

Doug MacLeod: SandyRiver 2nd #2. Probably will be the next On2 locomotive I build.

John Rogers: My favourite is a Custom Brass SR&RL #24 which looks “cool”. It runs OK with the factory gear box and motor and has not blown out as yet