Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Stevens Creek HOn30 Lasrer Cut Monson Box Car Kit

The Monson box car kit is now back in stock! Get them now! It's very cool that this is run number 4 for this kit.
It is very encouraging to see this HOn30 kit supported so well. The quality of this particular kit and the current popularity of laser cut kits must be factors in this.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Stevens Creek Monson HOn30 Box Car Kit

These are all sold out for now. If you are interested email Ken at scm@hon3.com. The next run of these depends on interest received via e-mail. The run that just sold out was the second run.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Stevens Creek Monson HOn30 Box Car Kits

Word on the street is that the excellent Stevens Creek Monson Hon30 box car kits are almost sold out. I have one and would highly recommend this kit. I have not built it, but I have scanned through the instructions and it looks like a well-designed kit that will yield a great finished product. It consists of laser cut plywood. It allows you to build 3 different versions that all match the prototypes.

Use this link to get good views of the kit parts and the assembly process from the manufacturer: http://www.hon3.com/MonBox/index.htm

I don't know if a second run will be done. If I find out I will let you know.

I do have several Stevens Creek kits and am very happy with them. I did meet the owner at the 26th NNGC last year and he's a great guy.

P.S. I have no financial interest in the manufacturer or this product. Just a satisfied customer.

Updated Links at New England Scene

I see that Jim has updated the links page on his New England Scene website. Check it out along with his building kits. The most interesting link is for a Hon30 Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes No. 19 2-6-2 kit in brass from Victors Scale Models. It's out of my league, but fun to look at.

Worsley Works also has a new rail bus kit in 009, the T&D 4mm Saloon kit. It's a brass etching that will require the builder to add other cast details but it looks like fine start to a kit. Here's the link to the manufacturer's web page for this kit: http://www.worsleyworks.co.uk/Image-Pages/Image_NG_Irish_TD-Inspection_Saloon.htm

I know 009 is a little larger than 1/87 but I'm willing to overlook it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Brian's New End Module

Here are pictures of my friend Brian's new Hon30 module. It will serve as one of two end modules so that our group can run a loop.

This is a work in progress so that's why the stones for the retaining wall on the left side are still white. They will be painted.
The white spot in the gravel pit is wet gloss medium that will be water when dry. The trestles still need to be built. This module conforms to the HOn30 module standards listed on the HOn30 mail car site.

As always, click on the pictures for a larger version of each photo.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I've been quiet for a while because I haven't been doing much modeling lately. So here's some old pictures of partially complete projects waiting for me on my work bench. The first one is a Kennebunk Models resin kit of WW&F No 9 on a Bachmann chassis. It is waiting for smoke box and boiler details and pilot details. The boiler is filled with Templo to give it as much weight as possible. If you don't have Chris McChesney's handbook on Hon30 locomotives I recommend it. That's where the Templo idea came from.
The second picture shows a Chivers forney body that will go on an scale Kato C-11 drive. This was a 2-6-4T
before I removed the last driver. There have been a few articles over the years on this conversion. Pieter Roos did that last one in the Maine 2-Foot Quarterly in the 1990's. The drive is very nice. The drivers are a little large but the trailing truck has pickup so this should run well when it's all together.

The other news of note is Stevens Creek Model's release of the Monson wood shed in HO. Click here to see it: http://www.hon3.com/Woodshed/index.htm
This kit has some very nice detail and will become part of my Monson module in the next few years.

I hope to have more to report as I get back into modeling.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Here's some pictures comparing the N-Drive mechanism to a Bachmann.

Here the N-Drive mechanism is on the right. The Bachmann mechanism on the left has Nigel Lawton's re-motoring kit and a new worm from NWSL installed. The biggest difference is the motor position: it sits much closer to the worm and rear drivers. So use of the mechanism with the Chivers small Forney kit (RC-45) requires some modification.

Here's the N-Drive mechanism with a new boiler made out of 2 sizes of brass tube so that the Chivers smoke box casting will fit into it. The motor fits inside the new boiler. I think this will allow the Chivers kit to use this mechanism.
The last two photos show Bachmann and N-Drive chassis for comparison. Note that the drivers are a little smaller on the N-Drive chassis and the wheel base is a little shorter. The chassis in front in the last photo is Bachmann with the original motor, boiler and cab floor to be used in a Kennebunk Models resin forney kit now out of production.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

N-Drive Website

Thanks to Stephen at http://fairlightworks.blogspot.com/ I've discovered that N Drive Productions has a website now:


The range and prices page are the correct prices for the 9mm (N scale) drive.

Note that the wheel base and motor location are different from the Bachmann drive it replaces.

Here's the N-Drive order form.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New Forney Kit from Railway Recollections

Railway Recollections (see links list) has released a resin kit of Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes RR No's 20, 21 & 22 both late and early. This is the late version with air brakes and steel cab. Please note that the assemblies here are only test fitted and the gaps will disappear when fully assembled with screws. This is a nice resin kit with accurate parts that fit together well. For what it's worth I recommend this kit for any HOn30 Forney lovers out there. It runs on the recently released Bachmann N scale Prairie 2-6-2 (Bachmann # 51551). This chassis ran well on my N scale layout for twenty minutes after the middle driver was removed. It might fit on the older Bachmann 2-6-2 or 0-6-0 but why take that chance that all your effort will be negated by a poorly running mechanism?
This kit is just begging for super detailing and many of the parts are not hard to find. The bell and handrail stanchions at left are prime examples. I'll also add pop valves, a whistle, a compressor (hence the hole in the running board) and piping.
This is a well-thought out kit. The pieces scale well against drawings for No 20 that I enlarged to full size HO. The wheel base is also right on.
Extra weight is added in the cab, but since the Bachmann split frame remains this is not really needed.
The Bachmann chassis shown here has been prepped for use except the original pilot and pilot deck and the leading truck have not yet been removed. The manufacturer provides an HO scale pilot to replace the existing N scale one.
One other good reason to try this kit is the trailing truck suspension. It slides from side to side and will take a 10" curve per the manufacturer. I believe it, based on how far it swings. It provides vertical suspension as well, keeping the drivers in better contact with the track. Not included, but recommended by the manufacturer and shown here are Kato N scale passenger trucks with electrical pickup. I got a used Kato N scale passenger car cheap just for the trucks. B & F Hobby has had them for sale as parts in the past. These will compensate for the limited eletrical pickup due to the short wheel base and lack of tender. The combination of the good running chassis, the rear suspension and trailing truck pickup means this will be a good runner. I'll update this as I complete this kit.
As a disclaimer I have no financial ties or interest to the manufacturer or this kit. I just want to share a good thing. This should be available from any of the three sources in the links section: Trains & Things, Train & Trooper and B & F Hobby.

Latest Linekin Bay

Here's the Linekin Bay module at the Narrow Gauge Show. The latest addition was the ramp to the floating dock where the steam launch is docked and some details on that dock.
Behind it is the Monson Junction module, built by Tom and Bob. Bob has some excellent Bangor and Aroostook standard HO equipment at the interchange. Look for Bob's articles on modeling Maine NG passenger equipment appearing in RMC and/or the 2008 On30 Annual.
As always click on the photos to view a larger version.

16th Annual Midwest Narrow Gauge Show con'td

This view shows the back from the branch end of the layout. The corner of Tom's winter/spring transition module is in the right foreground. Next is Jeff Head Tide module, and then Sam's Windes Inlet module. After that are Phil's harbor module, Pete's Winslow module, Vic's Weeks Mills module. The total length was 32 feet.
Ford's Mill is one of the distinctive structures on the WW&F and Terry's module shown here captures it in 1/87 scale. Just beyond it is Pete's Whitefield module. The yellow building is Erskine store which served as the local post office.
Tom's Ice Harvesting module at left captures the bygone practice of harvesting and storing ice in the winter for use in ice boxes during the summer. This all vanished with the advent of mechanical refrigeration. This module is the first one on the U-shaped branch section.

16th Annual Midwest Narrow Gauge Show

Front view of the Great Lakes HOn30 Module Group set up at the show. The first two modules next to the corner are Pete M's North Whitefield modules. These are the same two modules that won best HOn30 module at the 2007 Nat'l Narrow Gauge Convention. If you get down to ground level you get an authentic feel for North Whitefield, Maine on the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington between 1900 and 1915. Pete used these to earn his master modeler certificate.
Here's a shot of the modules from the back showing Jeff S's mill module. This is a free-lanced mill loosely based on the woolen mill that the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington served near North Vassalboro, Maine.

Here's Sam's Windes Inlet module. The mockup is a stand in for Windes Fine Fish which won a structure award at this show. Sam's clinic covered the techniques he used to build this. Excellent information!

Here's another shot of North Whitefield. That's Pete's Whitefield module at left.

This overhead shot shows many of the modules on the main loop, but does not show the ones on the branch line at the other end. In the foreground is Jeff S's East Dirigo module showing a typical early 20th century Maine village. It includes a one-room school house and typical business district. The signage is very well done.

Friday, March 7, 2008


At left is the typical Frary/Hayden conversion from the '70's using the Trix FM chassis and the Funaro & Camerlengo Plymouth resin shell for the cab. It does still run well despite being dropped 48" once. :)

Here's a Jordan 1930's school bus shell on a Bachmann trolley mechanism. The rear wheel wells were filled with plastic sheet and Squadron putty and wet sanding until smooth. The idea is from Mark Rollins with a few of my own modifications. The construction is described in detail in the Fall 2002 issue of Maine 2-Foot Quarterly.

Here's a very quick and easy conversion if you can find a Kato N scale pocket loco mechanism. This one is from the yellow steeple cab. Remove the shell, remove about an 1/8" of plastic from the motor housing on each side and the Funaro Plymouth shell will fit onto the chassis.
Here's the same loco with a DCC decoder installed.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Here's a close up of Terry's tug boat that also shows the ball signal on Linekin Bay. Terry did a great job on building this from the Model Shipways kit. It's a wooden-hulled steam tug which fits the era of I model. It was only a visitor on the module. The ball signal is based on the prototypes used though out New England and specifically on two Maine narrow gauge railroads: the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington and the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes. It is functional, being actuated Switchmaster style switch machine by a toggle switch on the fascia. The construction was written up in the Maine 2 Foot Quarterly, Spring 2004 issue. There are plans to added a stationery decoder for actuation by DCC.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Old Photo

Here's an old photo of Linekin Bay from 2006 showing an overview. Terry Davis' excellent tug boat model is on the left side of the harbor. It's mounted on a plank so that's why it looks like a barge. I poured Envirotex for water and added a floating dock in mid 2007 so it has changed a bit.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Check out the new HOn30 Forney kit that Railway Recollections released in January for Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes RR Nos 20-22. I've modified the Bachman N scale 0-6-0 chassis per the instructions and it still runs well. The longer wheelbase also gets it over the plastics frogs on some of my turnouts so it should run better. The assembly is divided into 4 sub-assemblies: boilder, cab/fuel bunker, rear deck and pilot. I have slowed myself down a little by adding a working head light in the boiler. It looks like it will go together smoothly. I'll post pics soon.
You can get this kit from Train and Trooper & B & F Hobby.

Other HOn30 news: sweet-looking laser-cut wood Monson boxcars soon to be released by Stevens Creek (http://www.hon3.com/).

N-Drive Productions in the UK is producing a replacement mechanism for the Bachman 0-4-0. I hear that quite a few are coming across the pond. His e-mail address is n.driveproductions@yahoo.co.uk for inquries. Picture is at right.
It should be a good runner with a Mashima can motor. I have not seen one in person so I can't evaluate it fully.