Workshop Wednesday

Discussion in 'General' started by yardmaster, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hi Gary:

    No. This Frisco AB F3 set was made long before today's "details specific" offerings. It's old school in that a basically correct phase, but lacking specifics was painted/lettered to reflect a Frisco F3. Not only will I attend to the "FRISCO" On the side, but yes, it has dynamic brakes that I will have to deal with, as well. I will also need to drill and fabricate the climb rails, etc. In the long term, I may have been better served to simply have waited for an undec F3 Ph3 and detailed it, then paint/decal it for the Frisco myself... but I didn't. Instead I suckered-in for the black and yellow scheme that is so classy. What can I say? I'm easy pickin's for certain Frisco offerings.
  2. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I also enjoy the modeling part of this too, the using your hands to bend rails and install them, cutting, sanding filling, sanding some more, and on and on. Then painting and all that. My real problem is I fall in love with these same model locos, and now with 150 or so, I gotta sell some off, but I hate too. I could prolly use 25-30 in rotation, service maintenance and such. I just look at them and remember the satisfaction of building and get sentimental, too much so.
  3. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    Though I get a bit frustrated at myself at times (when hit be an attack of fumbleitis), I do seem to enjoy seeing an engine slowly take shape.

    As for too many:

    So what?

    If you still enjoy them, even if only visually, and more importantly, if there's sentimental value in them, whatever you do, DON'T sell any.

    For me, historically speaking, modeling money was often tight and I sometimes came by it through extra work in my free time. SO, when I'd get a hair-brained modeling idea (or a genuine need to generate cash), sometimes the only way to finance it was sell off some of my custom models.

    Over the years, I've come to regret the selling-off decisions.

    There are many Frisco pieces in my past that I wish I'd never sold. Mainly, my GP7 fleet. (No real regrets selling off my old Frisco F's. Those models were based on the old Athearn BB models, and when Stewart/Kato came out with their F models, I never looked back at Athearn BB F's again.)

    I'm talking over a dozen highly modified Front Range GP7's. These were powered with the FR chassis that I modified. If I was starting with a powered FR unit, I would retain the original Mashima w/flywheels, to which I mated tuned Athearn trucks (the ones with changeable truck sides) into which I also installed NWSL 40" nickle silver wheels. (BTW: The Front Range trucks were truly horrible.) The FR models were the very first scale width hood GP7 models in plastic that were available, and with work, the shell could be made to look pretty darn good for their era. My two survivors from that time in my life (late 1990s), KC&G GP7's, #409, #412, run very nice and still hold their own in the looks department when sitting next to my Athearn Genesis Frisco GP7 #594.

    Based on my experience I would suggest you NOT sell them. Instead perhaps get wall-mounted sliding door cases and display them out where you can enjoy seeing them, and yet, are quickly available to be run if desired.

    As for me, I doubt I'll ever sell another model in which I have sweat equity invested.

    An aside: A few years ago a chap contacted me via PM here at He said he had three of my Frisco FR GP7's. Two powered and one dummy. Offered to sell them back to me. The models were unmolested and pretty much like they were when they left my possession. I was thrilled at the prospect of having some of my older Frisco models back so I told him I'd take them and then asked "how much"? The price he responded with was more than reasonable. I was thrilled. However, I never heard back from him and subsequent attempts to PM him have never been replied to. Never did figure out what that was all about.

    ANYWAY... keep if you can at all! They're not hurting a thing... and most importantly... you can't take this stuff with you when yer build date goes out on 'ya!
  4. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Tom - You have a marvelous fleet of locomotives that you have built or modified. Terrific models! I would advise not to sell them. Perhaps the thing to do is to divide them into a few groups from the same era, and rotate them on your layout to display different eras.
    I think if you sell them off now, you will miss them, in particular the good ones. I got rid of ~90% of my collection at our estate sale and by selling them off to members or eBay. I'm glad I kept the few I still have - I rotate them in a display on a shelf in my office. There are quite a few items I wish I still had, but there just is no room for them.
  5. Some of you may have seen today the NMRA national convention was cancelled for 2021. I’m afraid that will be a trendsetter. Our local RPM has not been cancelled yet but was scheduled for April so I’m sure it is out for sure.
    Sirfoldalot and Ozarktraveler like this.
  6. Been a while since I updated the Hinojosa Express 1700 project. My plan is to be done by the St Louis RPM if it happens this year.

    Here is the screen door and steps for one end made from basswood strips:





    Sirfoldalot and Ozarktraveler like this.
  7. Also got one of the louvers built. The double hung portion of the windows is done. Plus the large window A/C unit on the cupola is done. The Ac was made with a block of basswood laminated with sheet styrene. For the louvers I cut strips of HO scale lap siding. Then finished it out with the outside pieces. The notch in the back lets it fit tight to the glass. Then when permanently mounted it will have a cap,flashing and caulk.






  8. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    I've been indulging in some of my non-railroad pastimes of late, but I have accomplished some progress on the motive power situation.

    As I awaited the arrival of my pair of engines from the Whiz, work continued on the last on-hand A unit I have. I'm finished with the plastic work on the body and have started the wire work. However, my pair of engines arrived from Whiz, so I've sort of set aside the F unit and went to work installing details on the P2K GP7 along with finishing up the detail work on the AS16.

    KC&G GP7 #407...

    Once I gave it my customary "gotta hear it/see it" check run and made some preferential program changes (adjusted momentum and overall speed response), I re-installed the P2K-supplied details, re-inserted the horn, added a photo-etched stainless steel cab awning on the Engineer's side, tacky-tacked an Engineer in place, slapped on impromptu numbers patches (a "patch job"? :ROFLMAO:), and over to the "In Service" box it went. (You have to look closely to see that it has an Engineer seated at the controls.)


    With #407 in service, then it was start in again on the in-process AS16. I patched/filled/smoothed some unwanted holes, made some MU's and installed them, among other things. (And installed an Engineer wearing a red flannel shirt.) Here's a view of the front...


    The rear...


    It's coming along, but I still have a ways to go. However, I think I've screwed up. You see, I use ACC and 5 min epoxy for any filling (putty) work. Have for decades (never shrinks or dries out, also works much easier)... however... I've never had to strip a shell (previously used undecs). Anyone know if 91% isopropyl alcohol will adversely affect the ACC and/or 5 min epoxy? In my haste I started on this unit and forgot all about needing to strip it! I should have stripped it first and I wouldn't be in this potential pile of poopy.

    My goal is still to get enough DCC/Sound equipped engines IN SERVICE, so I can pull a couple at a time out of service for paint/decal/weathering and still have more than enough power to cover the schedules. When finished with the paint/decal/weathering on that pair, I'll return 'em to service and remove 1-2 more and rinse and repeat. This goal is going to take a while and I may have to take breaks (diversions) in order to maintain progress. But, I'm really getting determined to get some more engines into KC&G paint. It's been a long time and I've looked at the handful of painted KC&G equipment for over two decades. They need company. Besides, I'm anxious to continue the "bankrupt and reorganizing" aspect of my theme, and the paint and unit's condition goes a long ways to convey that aspect. I have a lot of ideas on wear and tear effects I want to try my hand at... so I'm hoping I'll stick to it and follow through and actually fling some Floquil.

    All fer now!
  9. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    Just off the top of my head, I believe your 5-minute epoxy fills will endure; Nothing dissolves those except maybe water over a geological time scale.
    I have no experience with ACC; Please let us know your experience. Instinct tells me the bond to plastic will be fine, but not necessarily the one to metal.
  10. geep07

    geep07 Member

    Based on my experience. You can spray over all with a clear flat of the same type paint. This tends to blend the variations between the dark and light spot. A little weathering like a " brownish rust" on the entire cab and roof.
    Eg: like the cab and roof of an orange /white Frisco unit. The orange/red is mostly a "brownish rust" color.
    Good Luck!
  11. You should be fine Andre. Alcohol is not that strong. It will remove Stewart paint easy enough, without having to soak so long it would do damage to your adhesives.
  12. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    EDIT: Thanks all for the input about the 5 min and ACC. I'm going to put a dab of each on the inside of a caboose I need to strip and see what happens during the stripping process.

    Got all the shell work finished on all the Stewart/Kato A units that I have on hand...


    The latest addition is on the left: F7A late phase. This represents one of the last F7A's ordered by the KC&G and is one of three equipped with steam generators for dual service as needed. These will now wait their turn for the frame milling modifications (noting Whiz's request as to places to remove/leave material) and then eventually to be sent to the Whiz. I have an AB set of Frisco F3's headed my way that the tracking # shows the package to be out for delivery later today. Of the pair, the B unit will donate its power chassis to an F3 Ph1 undec shell I have that's been waiting for years for a powered chassis. The Frisco F3A will be detailed and slightly modified and eventually put into service as a leased/loaner unit.

    As of this morning, I've started the process of prepping the next pair of engines headed for the Whiz. Here's the first of two P2K GP7's that will make the trek:


    It's been an ongoing process learning how to make it easier for Whiz to mess with my stuff. I now pull all details that will come off (handrails, etc) and I don't even ship with couplers. Just the powered chassis w/coupler pockets and a bare bones shell w/clear plastic light castings (in case he needs to modify same). Less for him to mess with, thus less chance for frustration with finicky detail parts.

    As for the above, it's one of the last KC&G GP7's The Casey ordered and is one of three with steam generators for dual service. Looks like this one hit a low hanging branch and damaged the steam exhaust stack. S**t happens on the railroad.

    All fer now!
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  13. Here is some of my weeks work and even on wednesday.

    Started the paint on the window AC unit:


    Also got the big rooftop exhaust fan built. Same as the AC is is a basswood core laminated with styrene. The round part is half of a fiber optic connector my son found at work. I cut it in half and it worked out pretty close to the shape I needed.



  14. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Received my factory painted Stewart/Kato F3 A/B set yesterday.

    The yellow is the best match (to my eyes) I've yet to see on a Frisco factory paint job. They even have the little pointed "peak" at the top of the nose patch!


    There will many things I'll need to do to the above model in order to produce the "look" I want:

    * Remove the dynamics, fill and smooth, and once finished spray the panel black.
    * Remove the bold "FRISCO" font on the sides and replace with Microscale "FRISCO" decals.
    * Add the numbers on the sides using the same Microscale decal set.
    * Add the needed riff-raff (ladder rails, drop grabs up the side of the nose, ladder grabs, eyebrows, MU hoses/etc.
    * Install a Leslie 5 chime "bells all forward" horn, plugging the unneeded blat horn front hole (and smoothing touching up w/paint).
    * Open up the pilot coupler opening to reflect a prototype F.
    * Weather as appropriate for a typical Frisco F unit in '64.

    Today I've already set in and fixed one of the things I don't like about Stewart/Kato F's: The "high water" look. The issue (to me) is the body/frame sits too high and doesn't snuggle down close enough to the trucks to look right. Over the decades of messing with Stewart/Kato F's, I've developed a quick way of fixing that.

    Here's a comparison photo showing a Stewart/Kato sitting on modified trucks (left) and the box stocker sitting on unmodified trucks on the right. There's about .030" - .040" difference between the two that's evident at the bottom of the pilot, the anti-climber, and the top of the headlight. This snuggles the frame/body down onto the trucks better and makes the unit look much mo' bettuh to me.


    Still lots to do at my workbench, but I'm in a "work mode" so I keep making progress most days!

    All fer now.
  15. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Frisco Friends,

    I have been sitting around waiting for terminals strips to arrive, such that I can finish up the wiring on the new staging yard....


    I decided to take some of the leftover materials from the layout construction and create another diorama for photos when the layout is stored. This one will be large enough to wire and test locomotives (18" X 5-ft). It may have a single turnout something like:


    Here, a building or industry can be photographed on the spur and the foreground would be more scenic. I will build up the grade on the front half to get a good "eye-level" perspective in photos. Maybe a slight curve on the mainline in the foreground. Suggestions are welcomed.

    The other alternative was to make a pair of tracks in the foreground with the Scammon (KS) depot model I built a while back and the spur that went behind the depot represented.



    I put a bit of bracing on the underside:


    Once it is wired, I will skin the bottom to make a sort of torsion box, and add some 1/4" plywood for fascia matching the terrain.

    One goal is to test making some more detailed track with fishplates using these from KV models:


    I might also use this as an opportunity to improve my water pouring skills and even make another ballasted wood trestle in the foreground. In the Scammon case, there was one just north of the depot that caught at least two tracks (main and siding). We will see. Should be a fun project and plenty of scenery for photos.

    Edit: I noticed this thread has crossed 100K views. Wow!

    Take Care All,

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2021
  16. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Bob, you are always busy with new projects, great job

    I believe Workshop Wednesday is the longest running thread on our website.

  17. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter


    I made some progress on my mini layout / diorama over the weekend, carving up the pink foam, roughing out the terrain and putting down the roadbed. The view is a bit distorted, but there is room for two cars on either leg past the turnout (left side in the plan), and enough room for the loco and three cars on the near side (right in the plan). This should be a nice diorama for photos with some good elevation changes to get an eye-level or below the train kind of photo. I was going to give it the first coat of sculptamold, but when I opened my box of the stuff, it was near empty. Some more coming in on Wednesday, so maybe some progress next weekend. I drew it up in AnyRail, but realized that I need a name for it....something Frisco-related. Maybe a location in the Ozarks. Thoughts for a name?



    Take Care All,

    -Bob T.
  18. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Looking great as usual Bob. You always make progress in a hurry.

  19. It should be Wednesday by the time most of you see this. HA

    I got the freezer and fridge for the outside of the taco stand built this week. Like the AC unit these are basswood blocks laminated with styrene. The detail parts are junk box donors.










    gna, Sirfoldalot, Coonskin and 4 others like this.
  20. SLSF Freak

    SLSF Freak Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    I'm getting hungry! (y) -Mike
    Sirfoldalot and modeltruckshop like this.

Share This Page