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  1. Charles Smiley

    Retirement and the layout choices

    QUOTE: Charles! Do you have any themes in mind? The space you described sounds great. Sure. All my models are centered on 1956, Alameda and Contra Costa County SP and WP Railroad themes. So I'll keep with that. All the buildings are derived, in part or total, from that area and time. All the...
  2. Charles Smiley

    Retirement and the layout choices

    Chuck, Thanks! Actually I retired, from electronics engineering, some time ago. But since then, I still have a hand in making more new vintage railroad videos and I still have more of those I have material saved up for. If I stop "doing" and making things, it might hasten the demise. I've seen...
  3. Charles Smiley

    Retirement and the layout choices

    Yeh, I thought about modular style, but I like sweeping-vistas and that might make it harder. Regarding the present 20x20 layout, I told the Mrs. and daughter that when I'm gone they can arrange a sale -- and the rolling stock, signals (all brass), Electronics and the buildings can be...
  4. Charles Smiley

    Brass prices, they are falling, atleast at shows

    I have scored a few brass WP cabooses that way. Many came with poor trucks, no paint or glazing. But They are true "durable goods" and worth the time to honor their long-suffering wait in a box stuffed into a dark closet. :) Chas.
  5. Charles Smiley

    Retirement and the layout choices

    We have been looking at places to retire and it has included Texas and Arizona. I have noticed that in places like Kingman, and Bullhead City, AZ that you can sell a So.Cal home and buy a palace for half that amount. AND! The newer homes in many cases are adding not only a 3 car garage (Yay!)...
  6. Charles Smiley

    Your Layout After Dark

    Gary, It's HO scale. I used the Walthers street lights. They look great unlighted. But they were so dumb to use incandescent bulbs instead of cool-white LEDs. Also the plug-socket design is prone to being unreliable here on my layout and intermittent. I have replaced several. I thought it would...
  7. Charles Smiley

    My Opinions.

    I cut off at 1956 and I 98-percent keep to it with the trains. Same with autos and trucks. One exception I can think of is a little white model of the Jeep Gladiator pickup truck that didn't really come out until 1963. But hardly anyone would know that date or even what the truck was. Off...
  8. Charles Smiley

    My Opinions.

    No it isn't over weathered. But.... Ore cars show up at mines, and then ore processing plants, Both of those "customers" have no expectation of clean cars. These cars usually are essentially "captive" to one railroad. When a boxcar shows up at a kitchen appliance factory I would think that...
  9. Charles Smiley

    Your Layout After Dark

    This is an Albers Mill, something like the one that was in Portland, OR. It has been "transplanted" to 1956 Oakland, CA. I liked the looks of it a lot so I built a resemblance of it.
  10. Charles Smiley

    Your Layout After Dark

    What scale is that? It looks too detailed for HO. It is HO. The basic building is the old resin kit of a city block that Walthers now offers in plastic.. I built it long ago and it waited in a closet for the layout to be built.
  11. Charles Smiley

    The cost of highspeed rail is expensive, but can we really afford not to consider it?

    I still travel a lot by train. Amtrak that is. I do it to see things and relax. If I want speed I'll twist my legs into an airline seat-space and endure it for an hour or two. Having said that, I think the California HS train was a scam and a fraud from the beginning. A small fortune was...
  12. Charles Smiley

    Cement Local and Silver Streak caboose kit

    I can add this video of a cement local on the SP in the 1956 time frame. The second half has a kit bashing feature of a old craftsman wood/metal kit by Silver Streak that was actually available back in 1956. Cement Local 1956
  13. Charles Smiley

    Giant Sink Hole in 1/87th scale

    I have another under the cattle loading pens that start making a group noise as soon as the turnout is thrown to their spur. Another sound source is the sound of a large rocky stream under a deck bridge interspersed with several cawing crows. Someday I'll make a short video with these to...
  14. Charles Smiley

    Your Layout After Dark

    This old radio shop is a lot like the one I bought many used Shortwave radio tube radio chassis from when I was about 13. I learned a lot of electronics making them work back then.
  15. Charles Smiley

    Kit-Bashing of buildings, Contest announced!!!

    I built this large paint factory that once was in Oakland, CA. I built it from childhood memories of living in the Montclair hills. The big animated Neon sign would glow in the fog at night and you could see it from far away. The model has an animated neon sign too. The model was made from a...
  16. Charles Smiley

    Cattle car local

    This video is of a Western Pacific livestock local in 1950s. It has a few modeling tips for cattle pens etc. near the last half. cattle local
  17. Charles Smiley

    Your Layout After Dark

    Hey Gary B... That is beautiful! It reminds me of Mel's Drive In in walnut Creek, CA
  18. Charles Smiley

    The Hobby Shop of today!

    Any body else feel the same way? Yes! RTR could be considered to be the "participation trophy of model railroading. :)
  19. Charles Smiley

    Giant Sink Hole in 1/87th scale

    This first photo shows the surviving chickens looking into a deep sinkhole where their chicken coop used to be. The next photo is the replaced coop. Actually I put a 2-1/2 inch speaker under the layout to make a chicken and rooster sound loop seem to come out of the coop.
  20. Charles Smiley

    Keeping Track of Manuals and Information Sheets...

    I built this roll drawer file cabinet into the layout structure. It is lagged into the leg so it won't tip forward - even if both drawers are pulled out! Curtains will soon cover it. The black cabinet, to its right, is on casters. That way working on the mass of wiring there is easier. The...



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