NP Lester WA T-Trak Z Module Set Project

rray Feb 11, 2020

  1. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Those will look fantastic on your NCL!
     
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  2. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

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    Rob,
    Those look real nice! Good to see you a bit more active in Z. I missed your last update on the coal chute. It is a beauty! Love the pulleys!
    Scott
     
  3. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    WOW !!! It’s been a YEAR!
     
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  4. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Yeah, as always, I take trips to the mountains to escape city life and raise a little hell. This was Friday the 14th, and yes, I took a date to the mountain cabin with me. What happened at the cabin stays at the cabin!:
     
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  5. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    And I thought we had a 'few' deer in our yard when I counted 8 !!!
     
  6. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    On a trip to Denver we saw a Mule Deer standing at the patio door at one house and several in the parking lot at work. Makes me wonder why hunting is a sport.
     
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  7. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I plan on getting back into the model railroading for the rest of the season. I don't have anymore trips planned, so it's time. Today I worked on toning down my over-weathered 1917 tank car, and staged it on the Lester module to see if it fit's in:

    De-weathered1.jpg
     
  8. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    I’d say it fits I don’t know what it is but placing one lonely solitary car on a scene can say so much. Abandoned? Still in use? Stored? Forgotten? Broken? Kinda creates a whole series of possibilities
     
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  9. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    It's just to see how it looks Era-wise, instead of a workbench photo.
     
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  10. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    The NP (and most steam era roads) used a tank car near the roundhouse for used oils, and usually one for new. The NP had some 3 dome tankers for the new stuff.

    That car and roho all look good!
     
  11. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I am looking at my Depot Roundhouse module of the Lester set, and wanting to fill it in a bit, so I glaze over photo's and seen that there was at one time a Roadmaster's Office, just behind the depot to the left of the speeder shed. In this 1924 photo you can see the Roundhouse in the background, the Roadmaster, he's dawg Chopper, and one of the Gandy Dancers posing for a photo. Also visible is an old type speeder, a Rotary Snowplow, and to the right of that is the speeder shed.

    The position of Roadmaster is one of seniority and almost always requires many years to obtain. As Roadmaster you are assigned a territory of the track and are responsible to maintain and oversee its general upkeep.

    Roadmasters Office Lester 1924.jpg

    For my module, I choose to paint it in the 1960's Sand with Brown scheme, where the prototype photo has it in the original all brown.
    Roadmaster 4.jpg

    In keeping with my format of magnetic base removable structures for easy track cleaning, I have 2 small super magnets inside the base, as well as a protection diode and 3K resistor pack. (only one LED circuit is used, but I can have 4 for every resistor pack I use):
    Roadmaster 1.jpg

    On the bottom of the base you can see the magnets going through the floor, as well as the contact strips:
    Roadmaster 2.jpg

    And to see how it looks illuminated, I just used a 9v battery:
    Roadmaster 3.jpg
     
  12. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    While going through my Lester photo collection, I found this 1940 King County Assessor photo of the Sand House. Visible in the photo is the ash pit to the left where the fireman could drop all it's hot old cinders and hose them down. The dude standing there sporting the white straw hat is the Assessor waiting for the photographer's flash so they could move along to the next asset. To the left and right in the photo's are water column's for watering tenders. And towering high in the background is the coal loader.

    It's a 2 part structure, where the shack up front is the sand drying house, and the bin behind it is to keep the snow off the unprocessed sand. So the operation at Lester looks like a steam locomotive would pony up to the sand house area, if on this track they could drop ashes, fill the tender with water, and the big rubber hose on the ground was to blow the dried sand into the steam locomotive's sand dome. Sand House Later Lester 1940.jpg


    So my next project is to build the sand house and bin. Working from photos, and without any official measurements, I decided I need to shop the photo, and enhance it, so I can see just the subject without all the other fluff in the way. I find it makes it easier to draw up the model with fewer mistakes. A good example is the chimney to the sand drying house. I could easily forget to model it if I keep referencing the original photo, but take out the coal loader in the background, and I can see the whole roofline better. A tiny bit more contrast and I can see there are a lot of long tools leaning next to the sand drying shack. I can see a pickle fork on the right, and several other assorted pikes and pokers. And there looks like some kind of hook on the right. The sign on the shack has 3 lines of text, I bet it's a safety slogan of some kind. This will be an interesting structure if I manage to apply all the details I can see.
    Sand House Lester 1940.JPG

    In this photo, diagonally opposite the assessors photo, you can see the other side of the sand bin, and careful eyes can see a bit of steam rising from the sand drying shack's smoke stack, blurring the trees behind it. The car right next to the sand house is a Fire Car. And as I explained earlier, that strange tower to the left is the Diesel Servicing tower. It has a Sand Bin on top, so there were pipes between the drying house and this tower to blow the dry sand up there.
    Depot Diesel Servicing Turntable Roundhouse Sand House Fire Car Lester 1957.jpg

    Notice the Fire Car is staged right next to the Sand House. As we seen in the Assessor's photo, the Ash Pit where hot cinders are dropped from the locomotives before being staged in the roundhouse, is right there between the rails. There are no wooden ties, but what look like metal bars mounted or welded to the ash pit rails. So having the fire car staged ready is a smart move. Here is the only known photo of a similar style NP Fire Car, but I don't have any info on the car number of the one at Lester. Either way, it's an interesting car. I guess they classify it as an MOW car, I don't know for sure, but I do know NP liked to paint such cars Mineral Red in color.
    NP Fire Car 705 a.jpg
     
  13. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Ridiculously unique car…as always I’m enjoying the progress with actual photos and then seeing your work. Too bad there is no color photography of the scene. It’s just cool
     
  14. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    I am just loving this whole thread! What a cool scene and Robert is really bringing it to life!
     
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  15. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

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    Rob,
    The roadmaster's office looks great, nice job!
    Those are great photos! It is always so helpful to find them. Thanks for the tour and explanations.

    Scott
     
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  16. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I made a little progress, I got the basic sand bin part done. Model 3.jpg

    I tried to laser in a bit of rotten wood and make it look like it's been in use a while.
    Model 1.jpg

    And the next part it the sand drying shed. I'll start drawing that part up tomorrow.
    Model 2.jpg
     
  17. zdrada69

    zdrada69 TrainBoard Member

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    Excellent job. I really like stairs.
     
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  18. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    I had to go back and peek at the actual photos again. Totally looks right to me!
     
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  19. tiestvangool

    tiestvangool TrainBoard Member

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    Robert,

    Love this!!! Great seeing an authentic layout in the making by a master. Love the pictures of the various buildings. Definitely has gotten me re-thinking my Canyon Diablo track scope, more on that to follow…

    Personally I am bought into the magnetic baseplate idea with embedded electric works. Is baseplate made of wood, polystyrene or else? Any preference?

    As for protection diode, great suggestion considering the LED lighting. Do you have any recommendations on type of diode to use?

    Good night!
    -Tiest
     
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  20. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I had a problem breaking details that were too close to the track while cleaning the track, and details too close to the edge of the modules while moving them. I noticed Jeff always took his favorite structures off his modules before moving the modules, so his stuff never got broken. This got me re-thinking permanently mounted structures. So I started exploring better ways to make removable structures.

    As with everything I want to improve, I make a list of things I do not want, and a list of things I do want.

    I Do Not Want:
    1) To break structures while setting up modules.
    2) To break details while cleaning track.
    3) To destroy structures or details when I rebuild a scene or change the track layout.

    I Do Want:
    1) Removable and replaceable structures and details.
    2) To be able to quickly change era specific structures and details.
    3) To add lights and sounds to as many structures as possible.
    4) Structures need accessory power available.
    5) Structures need a way to hold them in alignment on the layout or modules.

    So once I identify what I do and do not want, I make a list of features to add that achieve those desires.
    1) Structures or details need a base that has electrical contacts.
    2) Structures or details are self aligning and hold steady with magnets in their base.
    3) No electronics should burn out if accidently connected backwards, so protection diode for lights and electronics will be used.

    So I tested cardboard, plastic, and wood bases. All work just fine so any can be used. If the detail or structure is only going to be illuminated, then a 1N4001 or better rated protection diode will be used to prevent damage to the LED should the structure be placed backwards, reversing the input polarity. For LED longevity, I tested and determined that with a 12-16V accessory power bus possible, I need a a minimum resistance of 3K Ohms to reduce their drive current. By running the LED's at lower current, I found the LED brightness looks better in photographs, and don't shine through structure walls. Some LED's I even use 6K Ohms and run them at 2 milliamps to just turn them on but run very dim. These LED's should last forever.
     
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