Monday, April 30, 2012

Operation Lifesaver in HO

Not sure about anyone else, but every once in a while a Model Railroader article gets my attention. Most recently, Pelle Soeberg penned a story about operating grade crossings. He's a great modeler, but the story told a lot about what you have to buy to do this. Given my legendary cheapness, it seemed like a challenge to me. And so it came that on a Sunday afternoon when my back felt like it had been bit by an alligator, the living room became a grade crossing signal assembly point for a day. The raw materials included two different types of coffee stirrers, the ever-present plastic sign material, a few scraps of Evergreen styrene, a hunk of wire, my imagination, and the internet for some photos. A few fits and starts and three hours later (the same amount of time as the Gilligan's Island boat ride was supposed to take), I had this.

That seemed like a fair start. I fiddled with it a bit more in the evening, and then tinkered around some more on coffee breaks today. Gotta give the paint time to dry you know. 

So after the darn thing was put together, I decided to let it do its work. Here the signal is protecting the grade crossing for a coal empty behind a shiny ACe. I'm the power for raising and lowering it, and the flashing lights await advice from the electronics wizard Chris Muller. 

I think it's slightly oversized. That can be fixed in production versions, though. Heck it will be an advantage as the scrap box will go further that way. 

And as long as I had the camera out and trains running it seemed only proper to shoot one more photo. If you have ever tried taking model photos you likely are aware of the depth of focus issue. This photo is stacked from 6 or 7 shots by Helicon Focus. Man that is same jaw dropping cool software. 

That's about all for this post. Hopefully my back improves, the sun comes out, trains run, and I catch something cool down south later this week. Minnesota Prairie Line, DME, and the Marshall Sub are all potential victims of my journey starting Wednesday.

1 comment:

Mike Hamer said...

Hi Jim, I came across your blog via the Railroad-Line Forum. Your layout is progressing nicely. I really like your railfan photography as well. Welcome to the forum!