Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
The thing is, Joe (the builder of these wonderful items) probably hasn't hit that point yet. Every time I speak with him he's learning something new or he aspires to learn something new OR I better be telling him something new.
All the info I have and anyone can give is grist for his ideas. What I genuinely respect about him is his open mind and ability to put ideas into tin. I can't do that. I would like to though. I watch the O Gauge Tinplate Boards and forums. I see newbies that desperately want items that take a long time to acquire or are just too expensive. One the many actions several generations took before us is that when they couldn't get something they wanted, they built it themselves. If you can't find a 400E or cars you like, fine. We'll make them ourselves. I guess that Joe is damn good inspiration. Maybe I can head out West and he can teach me more than I know now (diddly).
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Dan (R) liked the interactive displays at the TCA museum and we were both impressed with the size of the PA. RR museum.
The only downer came when we walked inside several of the vintage passenger cars at the RR museum, which are awaiting restoration. Their condition made us sad as we tried to imagine how nice they looked during their glory days.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
I am debating on if and how I should change the template or update the existing HTML. Enough computer stuff.
Kenny at TTU sent me some pics of the layouts they are creating. These are really outstanding.
He mentioned something about rolling the 177-B standard gauge layout. I'd love to consider one of these layouts as a permaent home for some of my standard gauge. Any thoughts? These guys just put together a beautiful and accurate product. I know it can be limiting. I have O gauge and 2 7/8 that I run often (by the way, if you like the sound of standard gauge you really out to try listening to 2 7/8, it is noisy and has a bit of a different tone to it).
So any thoughts on pre-fab layouts? We really haven't had the option in quite a few decades, at least in classic Lionel dealer form. So is it better to roll a toy train layout with your own two hands or is it better to have time to run the trains as they were meant to be run; on a terrific layout created by skilled craftsmen?
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
I found a set of Williams Reproduction Limited 418 series cars this week. The cars are complete and will not require much work to get them ready to be repainted. The cars are quite interesting. Take a look at the tables and chairs and the restroom in the 431 diner car. To me the table and chairs strips look like original Lionel tinplate that has been installed in the reproduction car. Other cars also appear to have original Lionel chairs in them. I read somewhere recently that Jerry Williams acquired Lionel tooling for standard gauge items back in the 70s, which he later sold to Mike Wolf. I suppose this explains how Williams, and later MTH are able to make so many of the ex-Lionel design standard gauge tinplate locos and cars.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I can't/won't post any of them here. Frankly I don't want to ruin it for the folks that haven't got their hands on the Quarterly yet. The calibre of the writing from John Desantis is outstanding. It's almost the kind of thing I would have hoped CTT did but that didn't happen. CTT's homage to 100 years of standard gauge was weak at best.
The TCA's is quite strong and the other articles and information in the Q are equally interesting. The only thing I would have really liked to have seen covered was what the next 100 years will hold. I like seeing what people want or think should be there, especially as the torch gets passed to another generation.
Monday, January 08, 2007
He's new to standard gauge; we need to welcome him and tell him thank you for the wonderful pics. He's a recent covert also interested in Voltamp (interested in the Pridelines Trolley).
I am looking forward to many great pics and stories. Even in 2007 (the year everyone was supposed to have a hoverbike and a bungalow on the moon) standard gauge is still a very magnetic (pardon the pun) toy.
I also liked the gargantuan standard gauge cat (ok, it's a real cat that's just plain big). I have two cats but I have banned them from the train room. They're just too rambunctious around my antiques. I have enough trouble just keep the stuff I have straight and in some mild order....
That cat is exceptionally well behaved!
On one table I found this wonderful and seldom available Dorfan #426 three-story illuminated tinplate station from 1930. This is the second largest station that Dorfan offered. According to reference materials I have, tinplate stations like this with clock faces over the entrances may have been made for Dorfan in Germany. The station is missing its roof but it is otherwise complete except for the interior light socket. There is some flaking but the flaking on the yellow brickwork actually makes it look really authentic. Needless to say I grabbed it when I found out I could have it for a mere $75.00!
Once home I took to the shop and fashioned a Mansard roof for the station out of mat board, glue and some spray paint. I think you'll agree that it makes a stunning tinplate display! I love the platform posts and the corrugated covers and the little arched tunnel that runs from the front to the back of the station. These stations were, of course, intended to go with either 0 gauge or standard gauge even though their scale is a bit small for standard gauge, but we're all familiar with that from Lionel villas, etc. This acquisition was certainly a surprise and made my day, needless to say!
Sunday, January 07, 2007
These toys are completely charming and there is no disputing it; when the kid or adult opened the box, their heart skipped a beat and they had to catch their breath.
There's a nice toy exhibit at the NYC Transit Museum in Brooklyn. Something kind of cool: the original design of the Empire State Building was supposed to have a dock for dirigibles at the top near the needle.
Check out the Erector version of the Empire State Building and the Erector Dirigible. It's just too cool. PS The Hudson and Erector truck is also just amazing.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
What you may not know is that the development of the PRR steam turbine was based upon an earlier British steam turbine locomotive, the London, Midlands, and Scottish (LMS) #6202 "Turbomotive," a Princess class (4-6-2) engine designed by the famous Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LMS, W. A. Stainer. Click on the link in the title to see a picture of the "Turbomotive." The Bassett-Lowke 0 gauge tinplate model pictured above is of a Stainer Pacific, the "Princess Helena Victoria." Unfortunately, the British experiment with steam turbine power was as problematic as was that of the Americans.
Another interesting fact about the turbines is that, unlike conventional steam locomotives, they were actually gear driven, just like so many of our standard gauge tinplate models. The turbines were actually geared to the drive wheels! There were massive side rods, but no pistons and valves.
I've really become quite enamored of the prototypes as well as the beautiful tinplate models of British steamers, because the design of the prototypes so lends itself to reproduction in tinplate, unlike American steamers. I'd love to see a standard gauge model of one of these British steamers, whether it be of the Stainer Pacific or the famous Gresley A3 standard or A4 streamlined Pacifics. Imagine the "Princess Helena Victoria" pictured above in standard gauge tinplate!
Monday, January 01, 2007