Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HO Scale Deer Creek Mine

Been waiting on this kit since it was first shown in O scale - now in HO.  Ordered, hope to have it in early January.   More info at:

The HO Scale Deer Creek Mine
pilot model constructed by Brett Gallant and Karl Allison
all photographs copyright Brett Gallant and may not be used without permission

SierraWest Puts the Detail First!
A great kit design deserves details that define what state of the art is in HO Scale.

The HO Scale Deer Creek Mine features:
New Stationary Horizontal Boiler
New Double Cylinder Mine Hoist Engine
New Mine Shaft Blower
New Mine Ore Skip
New Mine Ore Bin Gates
New Mine Ore Cars
Many More New Castings...
Acrylic Laser Cut Jigs and Assembly Aides
Comprehensive Easy to Follow Construction Manual
Laser Cut Windows, Doors, and Interior Wall Framing
Board on Board Hoist House and Tipple

The attention to the smallest detail is evident. SierraWest kits are so much more than a structure and a handful of details. The diorama creation is paramount in the development of each new kit. Instructions are provided leading you through every phase of construction including tool selection, assembly, weathering and aging, diorama composition, and scenery application. When you view the pictures of the Deer Creek Mine diorama remember this. SierraWest kits are unique in the level and amount of detail provided. Since all four sides are fully detailed, you have a ton of flexibility in placement and view-ability.

The little mine cars are incredible and illustrate the large scale thinking I bring to HO Scale. Twenty years ago the industry was excited about castings with all of the details cast in place as one piece. (Like a mine car with four wheels cast to the under-body.) Today I provide you with the body, frame, and four wheels. It is so much easier to weather the individual components and assemble the car than it was to paint the parts as one unit. The mine car is just one example of this type of detailing. (Notice the crates filled with individual parts.)

I love the boiler and you will too. It is the most detailed boiler ever made in HO Scale yet it is effortless to assemble. A two-part resin body that self aligns is complimented by cast metal details. And yes, if you look closely you will be able to read "Williams Bros" cast in place on the front of the smoke box and firebox doors. (Now that's more detail than found in O Scale.)

The Deer Creek Mine includes many laser cut components to aide in your construction. These include assembly jigs, wall framing, and roof trusses. They are designed to compliment the craftsman building techniques, not replace them. This is very important. Careful thought and design practice combined with decades of experience provide for a unique building experience.

A fully detailed hoist house with removable roof is included in the Deer Creek Mine. Would you expect anything less? A prototypical double cylinder mine hoist and blower were mastered new just for this kit. (I also mastered new crates and acetylene tanks.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sorry been so absent

Work has been a bear.

Here is a photo from Colorado Trip.

South Park Historical site, stamp machine.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Beaver Brook Station Build Book available in September

We have the Beaver Brook Station build with plans released in a new book that hopefully will be at the Narrow Gauge Convention in Kansas City. The book includes plans for anyone interested in doing this build.

Thanks Cameron

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sound Car Decoder test

Uploaded a short video of a LaBelle Box car built around the SoundTraxx Sound Car decoder. Mounted to roof and created a sound-chamber to force the sound out the drilled holes between the trusses. This is much louder than before and places the sound right at the truck level.

The keep alive works very well, runs 20+ seconds after power is cut. My stock of trucks are not conductive so test on rails will have to wait until I can pick some up.

Thanks Cameron

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Final Beaver Brook Station Pictures

Wanted to share the final build pictures of my Beaver Brook Station.

This station was on the CC\C&S Clear Creek line from Golden CO to Black Hawk and Silver Plume CO.

If you'd like to see any detail on the build -

Front of Station

Rear of Station

Left side - not seen on layout.

Right side - the part that looks like an addition is the dual outhouse.

3/4 view showing interior

Close-up of interior.

Thanks for looking

Thursday Update

Worked more on the Interior.

Used Bachmann figures fro an old toy train set. Did not want to use really good figures as you cannot see detail through the windows.

Here is view with light on and looking through the window. 

Upstairs large window, I added another figure looking out the window.

These were painted with craft paints and Vallejo. The more I use the Vallejo, the more I like it. Goes on smooth, one coat coverage. No lumps and takes little mixing.

I suspect for buildings and rolling stock it will become my go-to paint.

More progress to post later.

Thanks Cameron

Thursday, June 26, 2014

As promised some update photo's:

As promised some update photo's:

Qtr view with batten installed.

Rear wall temporarily in place

Interior partitions to control light both natural and artificial.

Evans LED's are prewired and have resistors included to make install on a 12v system easy. Adding an additional resistor will dim the light. Lights in early 1900's were more orange than today so I will be adding another resistor to drop light level and shift temperature. If that does not go orange sufficiently will tint with Tamiya transparent paint mixed with Aleene's clear glue and spread over the led.

LED placement from rear.

Close-up of exterior with natural light

Close-up of exterior with artificial light on. Lights require control of light leaks, have some more work to do on the interior window to make sure not telltale lights shine through.

Trim is next. Then interior, mount roof, finish stairs and weather.

Almost to the finish line.

Thanks Cameron

Monday, June 23, 2014

Spray Booth completed.

Started a project to build a Spray Booth for my modeling. Well 6 months later I can say it is finally fully wired and vented. The unit uses white bookshelf material for a finished look and a shaded pole motor offering > 200 cu ft minute capacity. The reason for shaded pole is most spray booths are not to be used with enamels due to their flammability. Shaded poles have no exposed electrical parts and are designed to handle flammable gases.

Since the vent is to the left not back, I was concerned about draft. Tested with smoke and it has no issue drawing fumes away. I will cover bottom and back to catch any over spray.

Beaver Brook Station Update

Well, been hard at it, made some good progress. Had to hold off on the scratch built windows due to time constraints.

Here are some photos:

This is the almost completed right wall. Still needs weathering and some trim board. The merging of the foundations is achieved by using colored plaster squeezed into the crack between plaster castings making up the foundation. They are then carved and colored.

Northeastern has a really good roofing material. I like the variations in color and the way it is made it is easy to split.

The window peaks are scratch-built. The beams are to support the station deck. Doors are also scratch-built.

Adding the deck to the supports. You can also see the batten added.

Added 2 sides and roof to show a mock-up of the building in whole.

If it were not for the time constraint this would be a really fun build.

Thanks Cameron

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Late update.

Have been tied up with Holidays and trying to finish our kitchen. Not a lot out on the layout but did work on my Beaver Brook Station build.

Wanted comments and ideas on how to improve.

This is the std window I am hoping to use. Colors are based on information Keith Pashna sent me from Joe Crea. Going with either a green trim on light grey or on red. Since I'm modeling 1907 and Station torn down in 1895 it's a bit of Rule #1 here.

This image is a small portion of a Ted Kierscey picture. Limited as I was unsure if copyright had been renewed. Purpose is to show top of doors and windows. This is what I'm trying to reproduce.

I tried mullions on Clover House glass using tape. Looks off, not sure why. May go back and try wood on glass using canopy glue or similar clear type glue.

Thoughts, suggestions, all appreciated.

Thanks Cameron

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Coal Shed Final

Coal Shed finally done - Used pan pastels on the wagon, they work well.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Opportunity or Stupidity

Opportunity or Stupidity

My wife's parents are wanting to give us their house near Pascagoula Mississippi. Since I'm looking to retire in 10 years or so it looks like a great way to prepare for the future.

On the property there is a nicely finished 20x40 building complete with separate electric panel and A/C. Thus this presents a challenge - do I continue building current layout in a 12x22 space, or do I expand the space to 20 x 30 and move the layout and rbuild so it is movable.

My thoughts are this could make sense as I can then rent a truck and move the layout to the new house when I retire and not have to start over when I'm older and probably less able.

So as titled, opportunity or stupidity. I can build the new area and move most of what I have already done to it a section at a time. Configuring it as I go to make it fit the new space in a manner easy to move later.

1. More space
2. Can add Alpine Tunnel and Platte Canyon
3. Can address aisle space limitations
4. Can add depth to current scenes
5. Can fix "problem" areas as I go
6. The new area would have easier access and could be made to allow visitors

1. Cost - new space would cost more
2. Build time for new space
3. Move and reconfiguration time
4. Probably lost $ as when we move it would probably not add much to house value.

Talking my wonderful wife into it is doable - it will cost me.

With 10+ years before I can retire it seems a decent solution.

Here are some very rough plans of what I think the new arrangement would look like:

Deck 1 made up of existing sections. Allows Denver to be greatly enlarged and provide a place to staging in a recreation of the Denver Yards. One oddity is a lift-out would be required to ensure access to Denver for construction and any maintenance. Argo area larger for the smelter and support town. The Clear Creek Canyon would be longer if needed. Platte Canyon and long run to Como available. Due to lentgh it would allow 3% or lower grade and curves could be upped to 20".

Deck 2 based on existing work. Would allow Idaho Springs and Black Hawk to be larger. Would include Como and run up to deck 3 including Alpine Tunnel Romley, etc.

Deck 3 would be only partial and would allow top of mountain over Tunnel, Pitkin, and Gunnison.

So thoughts? Opportunity or Stupidity? Lots of work - my goal is this to be my last layout and serve me for the rest of my life.

Feedback appreciated - Cameron

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 20 2014 Tuesday Update

Been way too long.

The dual gauge is taking lots of time. Also we are having a teenager move in for a little while to help her and the family out so taking alot of time getting the house ready.

Did get a dual gauge turn-out, mostly done. It is a HON3-HON2 stub switch. Could not find a template and Fast Tracks is not doing custom jigs at this time. So using my HON3 #6 and the N-Nn3 Template to try and get a working template. Will post pictures when it gets close.

Shot a quick picture with phone while doing a test on the Dual Gauge track with a HON2/Z scale test locomotive. Sorry for quality. Clear Creek rough-in seen on the right.

HON3 ME track with pcb soldered in every 6th tie. HON2/Z scale third rail soldered in between. This is the first successful test run.

Also Beaver Brook Station scratch-build underway.

Thanks Cameron

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Late Sunday Update and need some advice

Sunday was first break to get to the layout again. Between bug bombing house and other chores still got about 4 -5 hours in (Sunday is my modeling day). Spent most time on Black Hawk, really enjoying this section. Got in plans from Mike Blazek for Eagle Mill, Rocky Mtn Concetrator and New York Mill. Will photo copy and make mock-ups to verify spacing.

Pretty much relaid all track, with main piece having every 6th tie removed to allow PCB to be soldered in place. Then will add third rail so will be 3'/2' gauge. Tried glue with no luck. Also completed more creek cut-outs and began forming creek bed. Turn-outs to be dual-gauge in most cases, built in place. 

Idaho Springs to Georgetown curve creek cut out and plaster cloth added.

North Black Hawk with Gilpin Engine House and cardboard to mark warming house position. Not much on warming house to go on, have dimensions and know was stone, that is about all. Creek roughed is with plaster cloth mostly done.

North Black Hawk to right of previous picture. Track laid ready to solder in pcb ties and add third rail. Creek repositioned to allow for Eagle Mill to right of Polar Star in picture.

Looking towards Clear Creek Canyon (Canon). The mine is now removed to make room for New York Mill and Rocky Mtn. Concentrator. Track in place, switches to be built in-place. Did it this way to allow a train to be run since these are dual gauge and will take some time to construct.

By turning track and station a little I can include a partial State Ore facility. No 2' gauge here according to 1898 Map I am using as my reference. This area is designed to really show confines of valley and the density of buildings in that space.

Here is where I need Advice The prototype has concentrator spur coming from behind picture to front. Space seems to only allow coming from front of camera. Also Prototype has 2' entering back of Mill, only way I can accomplish is coming from side. Do alteration like that violate the prototype, or are changes like that considered acceptable generally speaking?

Turn-table and Water Tower area.

Station Area with State Ore to left side. Most track dual-gauge, 2' - 3'.

So far like this plan much better. Next steps will be: adding building mock-ups to check spacing, beginning back-drop and finishing pcb ties and laying third rail.

Comments and advice welcome.

Thanks Cameron