Sunday, July 23, 2017

NTS&B Hidden Military Base Bunker Entrance Complete

The assembly now has all electrical and scenery items added.  The motor drive had to be redesigned, because the original operation was too intermittent.  Power to the radar tower, bumper, and door drive have all been installed from the appropriate power strips.  Here is what it looks like, and the steps involved:

Final Result, with Lionel #44 Missile Launcher coming out getting ready for action.

 Re-designed motor mechanism.  Rubber band is to apply spring tension to pull it up an additional 1/4 inch when opened.  Limit switches are applied with hot glue to the side of the DC motor, and was done MUCH  neater the first 10 to 15 times.  The motor is powered using a DC HO power pack connected through a double pole, double throw, center off switch. The switch is wired to reverse the DC and turn off power through the switch.

Internal connections for radar tower, bumper, and motor power.  Voltages are applied through a 6 pin connector at the base of the platform, so the assembly can easily be removed to work on.

 Scenery was done using joint compound, textured with an old come to give the appearance of rock blasted out with dynamite.

 Assembly is now painted.  The wire sticking out is for radar tower.  Also, there is a bulb sticking out that is wired in parallel with the motor, which will be on only when motor is on.  If a limit switch fails, the motor will stay on and  possibly burn up, so the light is wired to stay lit until the motor is off.  

Picture of finished assembly, with door brick wall installed.

Friday, July 7, 2017

NTS&B Hidden Military Base Bunker Door Started

The last module I had to build was the bunker door assembly.  It sits on the end of the hidden track at the Top Secret Headquarters, where the Lionel #44 Army Missile Launcher lies waiting for action.  The assembly will consist of 1) a 'dummy' track bumper mounted on the door to simulate the end of the siding just past the coal loader, 2) an operational door for the bunker, 3) Track power for the bumper and siding, and 4) Power for the Lionel Radar tower which will sit on top of the bunker.   Here are the initial pictures:

 Structure built, with bumper mounted in door panel.

Side view with bunker door opened.

I used a slow speed DC motor I had purchased a few years ago for this project.  I used fishing line to open the door, and added counter weights under the bumper to help close the door.  Limit switches are hot glued on to the side of the frame, and on the motor casing.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

NTS&B New Shelves and Skirts Installed

I had to move the existing  under layout shelf to make room for the new ones.  Then I hemmed new skirts (with Kathy's help) and hung them by the shelves, and under the crane controls drop downs.  Here's how they turned out:

Saturday, June 10, 2017

NTS&B New Under Layout Shelves

I had enough left over boards and plywood from building the large wall shelve to build 2 smaller shelves that fit under the layout.  Even though the shelves are small, they are supplying a little more much needed train storage area.  Only 1 set is painted, because I ran out of white paint.  The unpainted one will go next to my other unpainted shelves.  Here's a couple pictures.

Monday, April 17, 2017

NTS&B Water feature almost finished

I had painted the bay area in October of last year, and now am finally getting around to pouring the simulated water.  I had heard good things about a product called  'Quick Water for Silks" which is used for fake flower arrangements.  I bought 4 kits at Michaels at 1/2 off, so thought I had enough to finish it.  I poured the first 2 kits on the first layer.  According to the directions, it was to harden in 4 to 8 hours.  After about 3 days, it was still extremely tacky.  After doing some research on line, I found an entry that it took this person 4 or 5 days for it the surface to harden fully, and the 'water' was the result was like a

'super ball'.  It also recommended adding a couple drops of paint for a more realistic look.  I mixed the next 2 kits with a couple drops of blue, and wished I hadn't.  The blue made the water more cloudy than I liked, so you couldn't see all of the detail I had painted on the bottom.   It also recommended that it be covered with cardboard while drying, to keep dust and stuff from sticking to it.  After day two, I put a piece of cardboard on it, which sagged and touched, and instantly boded itself to the surface.  I had to literally dig the cardboard out of the water, which made it a mess.   So then I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited for about a week, and the tackiness never did go away.  So then I decided I had to come up with plan B.  I went back to Michaels and bought a kit of Enviro Tex Life Pour-On High Gloss Finish.  This finally hardened to the touch after about 8 hours. The next day, it was totally cured.  All told, I have about $46 in water products. Below are pictures of a sample of both products, and the steps along the way to create the bay.

Item on left is Quick Water with a couple drops of blue paint in it.  It is still somewhat tacky after about three weeks.  The one on the right is the EnviroTex from the bottom of the mixing cup. Unfortunately I had thrown a tissue in the cup, which is now encased in the EnviroTex.

I started out by painting the plywood a mix of blue and black paint to simulate shallow and deep water. 

Quick Water and EnviroTex water poured.  The couple drops of blue in the Quick Water made it cloudy, so a lot of detail in the painted plywood was lost.

Finished (almost) scene with boats and people.  I also bought some Woodland Scenes Water Effect a long time ago, that I want use to try to make waves around the boats.  Maybe in a few weeks.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

NTS&B Debug power ammeter added

I have had multiple problems with transformer breakers dropping out at too low of a current.  I therefore decided to add a 10 amp ammeter to the layout.  I also purchased a 15 amp one in case 10 amps was not high enough.  I didn't want to add a meter to every track, so I decided it to add it to the debug track instead.  That way I could switch in the debug track, and know exactly how much current a curtain train was pulling.   I wanted it easily visible, so I mounted it with the mainline control panel. Here is what the mounted meter looks like.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

NTS&B Mainline turnout and yard power finished

Now that I have all of the mainline yard track positions finalized,  I can finish up the power to the new end of the yard, as well as the switch track motors and panel control buttons.  I have all of the switch tracks installed, except for 1, which I still need to purchase.  Here is a picture of the new controls. The buttons on the left control the switch tracks on the left (shop) end of the yard, and the ones on the right control the right (by outside door) end of the yard.  The green switches in the middle control the track power to each siding in the yard.

Friday, March 24, 2017

NTS&B De plane Boss, De plane

I finally got around to hanging my fleet of aircraft.  It is a small collection of 2 C130s I got while at Lockheed, a Space Shuttle from Kennedy Space Center, and a couple others.   I cut circles out some clear plastic from something we bought, and painted them to match the propellers.  Here are a couple pictures.

LM_C130J_USMC_Harvest Hawk followed by C130J Weather Bird

US Coast Guard C130

Space Shuttle

K-Line Army Air Corps P40

Saturday, March 18, 2017

NTS&B Rearranged shelves on end of room

I am getting a number of Lionel 4x4x0 Americans (Lionel calls them Generals) engines,l which were not fitting well on the way I had the shelves positioned.   I spent a couple days and moved the longer, wider shelf from the left side of the room to the right side, and rearranged most of the contents on the shelves. I now have room for a few more Generals.   Here are a couple pictures.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NTS&B New home for Roadrunner Shack

I didn’t have room at the end of the mainline for the Roadrunner Shack, and had this unused area underneath the mainline by the bay that I couldn't figure out what to do with.  I decided to move the 'Shack' there, and tried my hand at painting a typical cartoon type Roadrunner Scene where the Coyote paints a road and tunnel in the side of a mountain and the Roadrunner runs through it, but Wile W Coyote cant . As you can tell, I'm definitely not an artist, but I think it works OK.