Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby green_elite_cab » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:31 pm

Mike@IHP wrote:
Guys, from that photo link, the one auxiliary roof actually looks like it was SHORTENED from the original length. We've been talking about lengthening then, and that may not be the case. The original drawings I have show the Arrow III auxiliary roofs as being the same length, so some modification obviously went on.

I have had one or two other requests for the modernized ABB Arrow IIIs, so I think a short run might actually sell. I'd have to have complete documentation on the underbodies and body detail changes and come up with some credible way of making the new roof grids, but if you guys were interested in a set or two, I could potentially make it happen with some help.

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that's what i suspected. The original's roof blisters were equal length, i have more than enough video and photos to prove it.

as far as the roof grids go, they look tough, I think even if i did managed to find a good picture of how it was put together, it would be a tough one to "get right". I think the best way to do it is to make a plastic base, and make the "grids" of plastic, then have something like an etched metal box to cover it realistically. You wouldn't need the resistor grids perfectly, just the same shape, since i would imagine the grills over the grids would do a good job obscuring things.

Micro Mark sells a metal photo etching kit. it costs a lot of money, but that is my rather ambitious opinion on how to best do the box. You could probably scratch build a lot from styrene, and photo etch the rest of external grid details to look right. I'm probably crazy, but whatever. Watch me have one of those kits within a year from now playing with making such a part!
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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby ajp31 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:43 am

green_elite_cab wrote:
Mike@IHP wrote:
Guys, from that photo link, the one auxiliary roof actually looks like it was SHORTENED from the original length. We've been talking about lengthening then, and that may not be the case. The original drawings I have show the Arrow III auxiliary roofs as being the same length, so some modification obviously went on.

I have had one or two other requests for the modernized ABB Arrow IIIs, so I think a short run might actually sell. I'd have to have complete documentation on the underbodies and body detail changes and come up with some credible way of making the new roof grids, but if you guys were interested in a set or two, I could potentially make it happen with some help.

Mike Bartel
IHP
http://ihphobby.tripod.com


that's what i suspected. The original's roof blisters were equal length, i have more than enough video and photos to prove it.


I never said the original roof blisters weren't equal length! I'm quite certain that the one blister on the rebuilt cars is longer than the originals. Look at some comparison photos. Here are some that really should put this issue to rest:

Original car (which we all agree had equal length blisters): http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... ?id=731601
Rebuilt pantograph car: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1546724
Rebuilt non-pant car, short side: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1546737
Rebuilt non-pant car, lengthened side: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1546723

Mike, how dare you threaten a run of rebuilds after I bought so many as-delivered kits! :-) Seriously, this is the list of modern modifications that I have:

(1) Roof power grids and elongated blisters, with connecting apparatus
(2) Digital destination signs
(3) Underbodies

The ditch lights were not part of the ABB rebuilds per se; the cars ran rebuilt for about a decade in the '90s before the ditch lights were installed (yes, I have photos to prove it).

For my money, if you were going to tool up any of these differences, I'd hope to see them as an "add-on" kit, consisting of the roof details and new underbodies, rather than complete cars (obviously, skipping the digital destination signs, which I'll probably just cut into the shell and make up some decals). I would buy enough such add-on kits to modernize all the cars you're making for me right now, but I can't imagine buying another entire fleet of full cars.

I've started to collect some photos of the underbodies and roof details for my own attempts at this stuff. Mostly stuff from rrpicturearchives.net (and in fact, the photos linked above are some of the better underbody shots), but I can send you more links if you'd like.
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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby Mike@IHP » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:54 am

Hi Andy and all,

That's a good start. I don't know what form a rebuild kit would take but I'm sure we could work something out; I wouldn't make anyone buy more complete cars if they didn't need them!

It seems I can count on at least four of your for help, and possibly for enough orders to make it initially worth it. Take your time getting it all together; I probably wouldn't get to the project until next year at the earliest.

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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby green_elite_cab » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:15 am

ajp31 wrote:
I never said the original roof blisters weren't equal length! I'm quite certain that the one blister on the rebuilt cars is longer than the originals.


I wasn't saying that you said they weren't, lol. sorry for the confusion, i must attempt to sound less hostile, lol.

Look at some comparison photos. Here are some that really should put this issue to rest:

Original car (which we all agree had equal length blisters): http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... ?id=731601
Rebuilt pantograph car: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1546724
Rebuilt non-pant car, short side: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1546737
Rebuilt non-pant car, lengthened side: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1546723

Mike, how dare you threaten a run of rebuilds after I bought so many as-delivered kits! :-) Seriously, this is the list of modern modifications that I have:

(1) Roof power grids and elongated blisters, with connecting apparatus
(2) Digital destination signs
(3) Underbodies


Do not forget the strobes over the cabs! they might be able to be done with tube and Kato strobes if you can find them.

The ditch lights were not part of the ABB rebuilds per se; the cars ran rebuilt for about a decade in the '90s before the ditch lights were installed (yes, I have photos to prove it).

For my money, if you were going to tool up any of these differences, I'd hope to see them as an "add-on" kit, consisting of the roof details and new underbodies, rather than complete cars (obviously, skipping the digital destination signs, which I'll probably just cut into the shell and make up some decals). I would buy enough such add-on kits to modernize all the cars you're making for me right now, but I can't imagine buying another entire fleet of full cars.

I've started to collect some photos of the underbodies and roof details for my own attempts at this stuff. Mostly stuff from rrpicturearchives.net (and in fact, the photos linked above are some of the better underbody shots), but I can send you more links if you'd like.


I think those details could easily be made into a detail kit. Unless you glued the under bodies on, you could theoretically removed those easily as well (i screwed mine in with the provided holes in anticipation of a future swap, should i decide to go that way). I press fit the roof blisters, and they are secure, so they can be popped out and replaced i think. That roof box can probably be made to fit on the roof like the included destination sign does, just on a larger base.

the digital readout and the original train boards are the same externally as far as the model is concerned, just a different type of display in the same housing. That should have really been flush with the shell, below the ribs/fluting, but that would probably require its own shell (i understand that the Arrows and silverliner IV bodies are supposed to be the same "part", just different details), since only the Arrow III has boards like that as far as i can see (i'd need better Arrow II pictures), so i'll live with it.

should be an interesting possibility.
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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby mlrr » Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:14 am

My MARC Bi-level. Manufactured by Island Model Works (http://www.islandmodelworks.com). I also have three coaches. They're working on the single level cars as well.
Image

I hope to post photos of a finished Metra Gallery Car within the next month or so.

Currently my layout sports four different commuter agencies (Metro-North, NJT, Metra and MARC)
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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby Mirai Zikasu » Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:52 pm

Since we're getting into progress/completion shots, here's what state my MARC K-Cars are in.

I've modified the bloody hell out of the shells and bodies in order to enable superdetailing. I cut off the skirting on the bodies to match the prototypes. I shaved off the diaphragms to make painting easier and will probably add on ones made out of heat shrink tubing (idea thanks to the Amtrak Modeling Yahoo Group) or Train Station Products' tubular diaphragms--whichever I get first. The frames are heavily modified with the trap steps moved outward and some styrene added to represent the platform on the traps. The frame was also hollowed out to allow provisions for a bilevel interior once I make sure my measurements of seat placement are accurate. Holes have been drilled for fiber optic lighting provisions. I changed the wheel base slightly to allow more truck movement and imported Eurofima style trucks from Roco which are very close to the the prototype although much thinner than the provided metal trucks (which I screwed up trying to modify) so that there is enough room to add some truck damper brackets like the prototype.

I'm planning on using Matt Donnelly's stainless steel painting technique once I can get a hold of some Floquil Bright Silver Paint. I have a K5LA set aside for the cab car, and I'm still trying to figure out how to mass produce grab rails for the cars.

Photo time!
Image
Image

While I've been poking along with this project for over nine months, it has been good for getting the hang of super detail work, and it'll be awesome to finally have MARC stuff once I'm done. Once I've gotten through some of my other projects and get in a better financial situation (Yay for being out of university for three months with not so much as a bloody bite for a job), I'll be back to IMW for more K-Cars to make up a longer train and some of those upcoming Sumitomo Cars as well since I love everything MARC.
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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby ApproachMedium » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:14 pm

If anyone wants copies of the info from the rebuilt Arrow III manual I have them at home. I also had access at one point to the original GE manual and the rebuilds in fact have the longer blister on the car with the dynamics as pictured. It was done I believe to facilitate the extra cooling and conduit for the dynamic braking system.

The undercarrage details are very different and the nice thing about Mikes kit is that the underfloor has a removable panel so you can put in different parts! So either you could just make your own replacement or if Mike is willing to do so, just make an "upgrade" kit for the current arrows we have.


As for train lengths a 6 car commuter train is about as long as I will run with 85 foot cars. I was running around an 8 and 9 car train since my U34CH and my ALP44 can move both trains and I just think thats wayyy to much even for the large layouts I have operated the trains on. 3-6 cars seems to be ideal in all situations. In my little world the diesels generally I go with 3-4 cars and the electrics 6 cars looks good. Less cars per train means I can run more trains. One day I hope to make an ops session of nothing but commuter trains and local freight!!
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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby Cadet57 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:01 pm

ApproachMedium wrote:
As for train lengths a 6 car commuter train is about as long as I will run with 85 foot cars. I was running around an 8 and 9 car train since my U34CH and my ALP44 can move both trains and I just think thats wayyy to much even for the large layouts I have operated the trains on. 3-6 cars seems to be ideal in all situations. In my little world the diesels generally I go with 3-4 cars and the electrics 6 cars looks good. Less cars per train means I can run more trains. One day I hope to make an ops session of nothing but commuter trains and local freight!!


Heh, you sound like me. My dream layout is a 3-6 track NEC layout running Amtrak and commuter electrics. With some light freight on some local sidings.
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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby green_elite_cab » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:00 pm

An NEC layout seems to be a lot of people's dream layouts. I'm surprised that I've only seen about two, maybe three, layouts that actually attempted to model the NEC itself. (I've seen another two who have "dummy" NEC tracks crossing their layouts here or there).

I really wish the catenary was more accessible. only one company makes it, and it can get kinda expensive. to scratchbuild scares away to many people, though i did just get all the scale H-columns and things (which look a thousand times better than any of the stuff i've built), so i hope i can start making something nice. the only real problem i suppose is space. no one but clubs or people with entire basements really have the kind of room they need to be satisfied i suppose. To bad we couldn't make a modular NEC layout or something, that would be awesome.
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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby Cadet57 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:07 pm

green_elite_cab wrote:An NEC layout seems to be a lot of people's dream layouts. I'm surprised that I've only seen about two, maybe three, layouts that actually attempted to model the NEC itself. (I've seen another two who have "dummy" NEC tracks crossing their layouts here or there).

I really wish the catenary was more accessible. only one company makes it, and it can get kinda expensive. to scratchbuild scares away to many people, though i did just get all the scale H-columns and things (which look a thousand times better than any of the stuff i've built), so i hope i can start making something nice. the only real problem i suppose is space. no one but clubs or people with entire basements really have the kind of room they need to be satisfied i suppose. To bad we couldn't make a modular NEC layout or something, that would be awesome.


I mean, you'd need like what, 12-15'+ mainline runs with very broad turns. Its a large amount of room if you want it to look good. At the next train show here in Jan, I want to talk to Model Memories and see what kind of pricetag im looking at for catenary, I dont even want to power it, just have the wire up.
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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby green_elite_cab » Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:09 pm

Cadet57 wrote:
green_elite_cab wrote:An NEC layout seems to be a lot of people's dream layouts. I'm surprised that I've only seen about two, maybe three, layouts that actually attempted to model the NEC itself. (I've seen another two who have "dummy" NEC tracks crossing their layouts here or there).

I really wish the catenary was more accessible. only one company makes it, and it can get kinda expensive. to scratchbuild scares away to many people, though i did just get all the scale H-columns and things (which look a thousand times better than any of the stuff i've built), so i hope i can start making something nice. the only real problem i suppose is space. no one but clubs or people with entire basements really have the kind of room they need to be satisfied i suppose. To bad we couldn't make a modular NEC layout or something, that would be awesome.


I mean, you'd need like what, 12-15'+ mainline runs with very broad turns. Its a large amount of room if you want it to look good. At the next train show here in Jan, I want to talk to Model Memories and see what kind of pricetag im looking at for catenary, I dont even want to power it, just have the wire up.


lol, i think you'd need more than that to be honest. For one thing, a full long distance train like the silver Star, Crescent, or Meteor could easily reach up to 13 feet, since each car is a foot long, and so would be the locomotive(s) pulling it. Also, a legitimate station platform is like, 6', and that's about as small as i think you could get away with (just long enough for an Acela train-set). assuming you have two station stops, that would already be 12 feet, and you'd still need some layout to "run" in.

What kills me though, is that an NEC style layout shouldn't be so difficult. when it really comes down to it, the NEC is pretty much all there is to the line, its not like you need wide open scenery or areas for big industrial parks. You just need to have a long, thin section to wrap the track around. you don't necessarily need to use super broad curves, but i don't see why anyone with a little extra basement space couldn't build a good set up. I still am surprised that while everyone LOVEs to snatch up AEM7s and GG1s, that so few people have real electrified layouts to run them on.

Model Memories pricing is on their site. Its not good if you have a large layout, lol. better have the capitol! though, scratch building with the equivalent supplies isn't much cheaper in the long run by my math, but it depends on how you want to work with it.
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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby ajp31 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:01 am

ApproachMedium wrote:If anyone wants copies of the info from the rebuilt Arrow III manual I have them at home. I also had access at one point to the original GE manual and the rebuilds in fact have the longer blister on the car with the dynamics as pictured. It was done I believe to facilitate the extra cooling and conduit for the dynamic braking system.

The undercarrage details are very different and the nice thing about Mikes kit is that the underfloor has a removable panel so you can put in different parts! So either you could just make your own replacement or if Mike is willing to do so, just make an "upgrade" kit for the current arrows we have.


Count me among the interested! Even if Mike does an upgrade kit, I'd still love to have the reference materials for when I go to put them together!
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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby Mike@IHP » Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:59 am

ApproachMedium wrote:If anyone wants copies of the info from the rebuilt Arrow III manual I have them at home. I also had access at one point to the original GE manual and the rebuilds in fact have the longer blister on the car with the dynamics as pictured. It was done I believe to facilitate the extra cooling and conduit for the dynamic braking system.

The undercarrage details are very different and the nice thing about Mikes kit is that the underfloor has a removable panel so you can put in different parts! So either you could just make your own replacement or if Mike is willing to do so, just make an "upgrade" kit for the current arrows we have.


As for train lengths a 6 car commuter train is about as long as I will run with 85 foot cars. I was running around an 8 and 9 car train since my U34CH and my ALP44 can move both trains and I just think thats wayyy to much even for the large layouts I have operated the trains on. 3-6 cars seems to be ideal in all situations. In my little world the diesels generally I go with 3-4 cars and the electrics 6 cars looks good. Less cars per train means I can run more trains. One day I hope to make an ops session of nothing but commuter trains and local freight!!


Sounds like some info I could use! Maybe the next run of Arrow IIIs could be a short run of the rebuilds.......will you be at the Rutgers show next month?

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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby green_elite_cab » Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:31 pm

Mike@IHP wrote:
ApproachMedium wrote:If anyone wants copies of the info from the rebuilt Arrow III manual I have them at home. I also had access at one point to the original GE manual and the rebuilds in fact have the longer blister on the car with the dynamics as pictured. It was done I believe to facilitate the extra cooling and conduit for the dynamic braking system.

The undercarrage details are very different and the nice thing about Mikes kit is that the underfloor has a removable panel so you can put in different parts! So either you could just make your own replacement or if Mike is willing to do so, just make an "upgrade" kit for the current arrows we have.


As for train lengths a 6 car commuter train is about as long as I will run with 85 foot cars. I was running around an 8 and 9 car train since my U34CH and my ALP44 can move both trains and I just think thats wayyy to much even for the large layouts I have operated the trains on. 3-6 cars seems to be ideal in all situations. In my little world the diesels generally I go with 3-4 cars and the electrics 6 cars looks good. Less cars per train means I can run more trains. One day I hope to make an ops session of nothing but commuter trains and local freight!!


Sounds like some info I could use! Maybe the next run of Arrow IIIs could be a short run of the rebuilds.......will you be at the Rutgers show next month?

Mike Bartel
IHP
http://ihphobby.tripod.com


Yeah, i'd definitely pick up a couple of those rebuilds.

Speaking of rutgers, i will be going there as well. will you be having any models for sale (particularly NJ transit stuff or silverliners)?
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Re: Thoughts and Rants on Commuter Modeling (Re: Modeling SIRT)

Postby ST214 » Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:35 am

While we're on the subject of train length...I run 5-6 car MBTA trains at the club all the time...no problems...looks good enough to get by. The train is never in 2 stations at once, and the siding at the end of the line is long enough to accomodate 7 cars, but the F40 tends to get stuck on the curves with the 7th car present. That's fine, as most MBTA trains that run here on the Northside are 5 or 6 cars anyway.
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