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  1. IronBeltKen

    LifeLike P2K SD7 Shell on a Walthers Chassis: Epilogue

    This is a continuation of a thread I posted in early September [] regarding the possibility of directly swapping the shell of a Walthers P2K HO scale SD9 with a shell from an...
  2. IronBeltKen

    Unwanted Enlargement of Posted Photos - How to Avoid?

    Hi all, can somebody share the secret to having your photos appear sharp and clear when you post them? I've obviously been doing something wrong over the past year, as any .jpg photo I post - which looks ok when viewed at its normal size in a graphical editing tool like MS-Paint - gets expanded...
  3. IronBeltKen

    Proto2000 SD7/SD9 body shells, before-vs-after Walthers

    Does anybody here know if a LifeLike Proto2000 HO scale SD7 body can fit directly onto a [later production] Walthers P2K SD7/9 chassis? The reason I'm asking is because I have a LifeLike P2K SD7 into which I've invested considerable time and effort to replicate its B&O prototype. It serves as...
  4. IronBeltKen

    Incompatible Replacement Gears for Cracked P2K Geeps

    I got a 20yr-old NIB Proto2000 GP30 from an ebay seller, with the typical cracked axle gear problem. I handled this the way I always did: Ordered a set of replacement 40-inch-wheel axles from Athearn. I didn't discover until I was ready to drop the new ones in, that (1) they don't have the...
  5. IronBeltKen

    'Time-Effective' Method of Cleaning Wheels on Rolling Stock[?]

    I recently finished a 3-month project of airbrush weathering all of my active freight cars; now it appears I'm facing an equally daunting task: de-gunking their wheels. I've always been proactive about cleaning my track and locomotive wheels; but I'm embarrassed to admit, the need for cleaning...
  6. IronBeltKen

    'Generic' Weathering 200 Freight Cars by Airbrush

    A few years ago I spent ~6 weeks weathering all my locomotives so they would look "real" when they were photographed. After my most recent op session, it dawned on me that having weathered locos coupled to un-weathered rolling stock just didn't work. So in early May, I decided to tackle the...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. 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...
  14. 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...
  15. 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...
  16. 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...
  17. 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...
  18. 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...
  19. 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... is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to