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  1. IronBeltKen

    Different Application, Same Crappy Plastic!

    Anybody here remember the cracked gear problem on LifeLike Proto2000 BL2's, GP7/9's, GP30's and a few of their other 4-axle models? The gears cracked because the center hole was just a wee bit too narrow for the axle to fit thru it, and as the plastic aged, it became brittle and cracked. Well...
  2. IronBeltKen

    How much current does a set of NJ International Crossbucks draw? [was "Who makes flasher circuits..."]

    I've done half a dozen google searches and been unable to find what I really need: A simple alternating flasher circuit board where I can plug in two NJ International #1193 single-lane "gantry" crossbuck flashers like the one pictured below: I don't know if having double the number of LEDs...
  3. IronBeltKen

    Five 60-foot Double-Plug-Door Boxcars, on a Limited Budget

    I found myself needing to obtain five 60ft double-plug-door boxcars to serve my 1:87 scale Ford auto assembly plant during the next planned op session. They didn't have to be super-detailed or of 'contest' quality - they just needed to be of the double-plug-door type, not with sliding doors...
  4. IronBeltKen

    NCE PHPro Wireless Throttle Keeps Shutting Down in Mid-Use

    I've had this NCE PH Pro wireless throttle since the summer of 2009, so I don't know if it is past its expected useful life or not. During a recent op session, I lent it to one of my guest operators and ~5 minutes later he told me the batteries were failing. This seemed a bit odd, since I...
  5. IronBeltKen

    Does anybody custom-print decals for prototype RRs?

    I've run into a problem where I cannot accurately model a Ford assembly plant, because the only type of 60ft auto parts boxcars that they use are the ones that have plug doors on them. The model manufacturers only seem to sell plug door boxes in Western road names. So, I figured I'd simply buy...
  6. IronBeltKen

    Lipstick On a Pig: Upgrading a Bachmann Sound-Value GP7

    Ok, time for another model loco upgrade thread! Not sure whether this qualifies more as a kitbash, since it started as a GP7 and ended as a GP7. Either way, lots of time went into it - a LOT more than I originally planned. I have ~ a dozen GP9's of various brands, but not a single GP7...
  7. IronBeltKen

    Burnout on the CL&W

    Hi y’all, I haven’t posted anything here in quite a while for two reasons: (1) A slew of family commitments, plus preparing the property for winter [and possible hurricanes], eroded my free time to the point where my mrr time is extremely limited; and (2) what little “real” free time I’ve had...
  8. IronBeltKen

    CL&W Subdivision Scenery Blog

    Hi gang, I’ve decided I should just have one dedicated thread for all the scenery work I’ve been doing rather than creating a bunch of short ones. First, a brief history: I began construction on this layout in the summer of 2010, after having demolished my previous pike. My main focus was...
  9. IronBeltKen

    Freeway Overpass and Corner Camouflage Project on the CL&W Sub

    Hi gang, this thread is a continuation of an earlier one titled “Scenery Dilemma What Would Tony Koester Do”, where I needed to figure out a way to hide a hole in the backdrop on a semi-urban flat land scene. The consensus was that I should hide it with a freeway overpass, so that’s what I did...
  10. IronBeltKen

    Scenery Dilemma (What Would Koester Do?)

    Hi y'all, I have an industrial switching layout that is supposed to loosely represent the Cleveland, OH metro area. All of the benchwork and trackwork is installed and functional, now I'm ready for the final phase: scenery. The layout is oriented on a north-south axis - Cleveland on the...
  11. IronBeltKen

    Scratch-bashing a B&O I-5d wood-sided caboose

    To some people, model railroading is an addiction; in my case, kitbashing/scratchbuilding is my “Drug of Choice.” No matter what project[s] I may have planned, if I see an unexpected opportunity to create a home-grown model of something I’ve always wanted, I go for it! Everything else gets put...
  12. IronBeltKen

    Improving the Appearance of Stewart FT/F3/F7 Headlights

    I’ve had a small fleet of Stewart/Kato F7s since they came on the market in the mid-1990’s, and they are still among my favorite locos – they run smoother and pull more than any of my other engines of comparable size. However, there is one major shortcoming that can not be easily hidden - the...
  13. IronBeltKen

    Cement for Vinyl-to-Styrene Bonding?

    Does anybody know of an adhesive solvent that can bind vinyl to styrene? I have this Kibri crane where the track chains don't lay flat like prototype ones do - the stiff vinyl-like material that they are made of is circular, and they tend to stay that way even when installed on the chassis...
  14. IronBeltKen

    Operations: Switch List Sorting Order

    Imagine an op session where you are the yardmaster, and you need to build a mixed-freight local based on the following info: Road.Number..Type........Length..Color.....Destination ------------------------------------------------------------ PRR..22587...Gondola.....52ft....Brown.....Atwell...
  15. IronBeltKen

    Needed: "Safety" Orange Acrylic Paint

    Hi all, I'm trying to find source for a color of paint that is plentiful for non-modeling uses, but impossible [for me anyway] to find as an air-brush compatible acrylic: Safety Orange. My preferred paint manufacturer, Tamiya, only sells one shade of orange in its 'X' series of paints and it...
  16. IronBeltKen

    Programming an ESU Loksound decoder in a Rapido FL9

    A local friend of mine is just getting started in DCC, and bought a couple of sound-equipped Rapido FL9's. He wants to bring them over to my place so I can help him tweak the sounds. My question is: Since the model has LokSound decoders, will I still be able to use DecoderPro to adjust the...
  17. IronBeltKen

    Atlas HO RS-3: "yellow box" -vs- "Classic"

    I need a few 4-axle Alcos in my private road roster, and after reading the various reviews, I've determined that I want Atlas units - not Athearn or Bachmann. I see quite a few Atlas RS3's on ebay, but some of them are the "Classic" series and others are the earlier versions in the yellow box...
  18. IronBeltKen

    Stop-and-Go Behavior Over Aluminum-Frog Turnout

    I've recently noticed some weird behavior on one of my turnouts. Whenever a locomotive's leading truck goes over the frog, it stops for ~1 second, the headlight blinks [like a flash bulb on a camera], then it continues onward as if nothing happened. If I run an MU'd set, each loco in the...
  19. IronBeltKen

    Power Supply for "far-away" UTPs

    I just installed an additional UTP panel to my NCE PHPro-based layout. Because of the increased cable length, some of my UTP's that are farther away from the command station have become unresponsive. The NCE website says to plug-in a 12VDC - 1amp "wall wart" (NCE p/n P114) power supply in the...



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