Tuesday, July 12, 2022

This post should be little noted nor long remembered.

I have not touched the layout or any motive power projects in at least 40 days.  I have had health issues that have taken much of my attention and strength from April through into July. No Covid but other debilitating maladies that are partly driven by aging.  

I have looked at the scenery and trackage every day but have had no impetus to work on any of the 30 or so projects that I have started or contemplated. 

The addition of LocoFi to the two active plastic steam engines has been stalled over how to add a Keep Alive to the wiring flow between the rail  pickups on the engine and tender and the LocoFi receiver. 

The best I efforts I seem to have any drive for are freight car projects such as were detailed in my last post https://srandsp.blogspot.com/2022/06/here-it-is-middle-of-june-and-i-finally.html . I have another project for repainting and adding a new floor and underframe to a Trix RTR UP class A-50-16 double door automobile/box car.  This too has stalled as I have been unable to find the definitive brake gear arrangement and locations of the 12 chain cylinders from the Evans loader system that are visible below the car on most photos of the A-50-16 prior to or in the modeling period 1950-54. 

I do have one other project which I have been pursuing for the last several months and is now into the actual production stage.  Early this year I became interested in the efforts of a group of UP modelers to obtain prototypically accurate replacement ladders for the UP CA-1 cabooses made by Walthers. I actually ordered one and have worked on soldering it together although I have not completed it. 

This lead me to Bill Lugg. the UP modeler who created the UP ladder project.  Bill helped me find a US based etcher and designer, Bill Meridith of Leadville Designs,  who was able to take the photos of the SP Common Standard design drawings for the C-30-1 caboose and create a brass etching design for the HO version.  I have just paid for that design work and the initial sheet is going to the etcher today or tomorrow.  The full etch sheet has 72 pairs of ladder styles (side rails).  This is what the artwork for an individual etch looks like:

I The etch has all the holes for the ladder rungs which must be cut from .011" brass wire to be supplied by the modeler. The ladder styles etch is .003 thick. 

I have had the etch design work reviewed by Tony Thompson (the SP freight car guru) to get a second opinion and he agreed this etch would be useful for accurately replacing the Walthers caboose ladders. In the past I have built brass wire caboose end railings. 

These ladder etches are in two parts as the bottom rung and the upper part of the ladder with 3 rungs were separate. These were bolted together through a flattened portion of the end rail. Tabs to be bent for the mountings on the deck, bottom and top of the rail and the roof are included in the etch. 

I will have to look at a soldering jig and instructions to build brass rod handrails for the replacement of the old Walthers SP C-30-1 caboose ladders. 

This is the Common Standard design drawing for the C-30-1 on which the etch is based, It was used for production of the C-30-1 possibly earlier wood cabooses. The attachment plate for attaching the ladder to the edge of the roof shown in the drawing was not included. a piece of brass or even pieces of plastic angle could be used to replicate that feature. 

This has taken a bit of mental energy. I was originally hoping an 3D print would be good for a replacement but the ladder thickness would have to be significantly overscale to provide sufficient robustness. 

I hope to have the first sheet and a built up sample by the Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society convention in mid-September.  I think I can find someone with an e-store to handle any subsequent distribution as I really do not want to be in the mail order business.   I am looking to just recover my costs if possible and have maybe 5-6 etches for my own needs.