Another "New" Old Member - Modeling Alaska in N

bob303 Nov 3, 2022

  1. bob303

    bob303 TrainBoard Member

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    Hello -

    Was thinking of introducing myself again as I've been away so long and tend to come and go even then. Saw Hemet's very nice re-intro and thought I'd follow suit. I've posted here and there so this may rehash a bit. Sorry.

    I'm quasi retired now, living in Colorado, modeling the Alaska RR circa 1970's in N Scale. Get up to Alaska at least 1x / year so have occasion to get inspired. I have a plan for a 10 x 11 room (thanks Byron at Layout Vision (is that an ok plug?) ) that covers Anchorage - Whittier and Seward. Plan to build with Peco track BUT seeing how quickly Mike Fifer builds his layout with Kato gives me pause. Also wondering about splitting into modules for eventual/ inevitable future move. I'm fighting a perfectionist tendency which slows progress (but might build some skills along the way) Found that it has taken many years to acquire the Alaska RR rolling stock and engines - mostly from that auction site. Generally found it very helpful and vast majority of transactions were excellent.

    Spent the last 12 months mud jacking the basement floor family room and train room, dry wall repairs (plumbing leaks), paint, carpet, and building on to my work bench and rebuilding 30 year old spray both with proper fan and lighting. 30 year old bench with more storage and better light now. Still need to wire the basement for outlets with pony panel as the original owner skimped on circuits.

    Also worked on a few T Trak modules to use as a test track while improving rusty modeling skills. Have too many 1/2 finished projects such as a short bench test track (ESU/ Sprog / Roller Track) so I can use Decoder Pro. Demo'd my son's HO switching layout which was a bit sad. Cleared out a lot of HO to help focus and make room. Nice to give it a new home however.

    The two key models from my era that are not available RTR are the chop nose GP7 and MRS-1 prototypes.

    On my workbench are a number of LL GP20s being used with Atlas shells and various parts to make the GP7L and GP7u (Chop nose) that occur in my chosen era. John's Alaska Railroad website has been a huge help in understanding the prototype. I have very few photos of my own from my modeling era. Adding CN-GP to this LL vintage. Have a couple newer that will take the drop in boards. After the 3rd CN-GP seem to be getting more efficient and reliable results. The low LL nose makes the GP7u chop nose with cab headlight feasible. Working nose head light in GP7l is a problem I haven't figured out. Nor is the operating beacon in all that I'd like to add. Haven't tackled modifying the Atlas GP7 frames yet. Shapeways parts provided some cabs and details but they wouldn't have been essential if my skills and speed was better.

    I've found that the LL mechanism takes that Atlas GP7 shell with no problems; ditto the Alco trucks that the Alaska Railroad stuck under these Geeps.

    The new (weren't they supposed to be here already?) Atlas Gold GP20s would be good starting points for GP7 mechanism with sound as they should follow the LL tooling (wishful thinking?) thus making the chop nose shell fit ok without major frame mods. I'm looking at Zimo 500 if and when I try to make one or two sound GP7 models without waiting on Atlas's redo of the LL model.

    More ambitious project will be to build Alco MRS-1 from either Shapeways (print came out wrong TT scale) or more likely an approximation using RS-1 shell (for the long hood) and RSD 4/5 trucks. Hard to find parts without buying loco which gets rather $$. Won't be perfect but I'll learn something.

    I may start a thread with my GP20 to GP7 work if it would help anyone else intending to venture down that path. IM announced Paducah GP10s which might be good stand ins but don't know if or when they would be run. With my kitbash attempts I'll find every way to do it wrong before I hopefully come up with something passable.

    Found this site extremely helpful in my fits and starts of modeling. Life gets in the way sometimes but nice to have a hobby to retreat to. Thanks to all who have patiently, kindly and knowledgeably answered my previous newbie questions.

    Bob
     
  2. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    Hmm...I wanted to model
    Alaska in N scale, but I
    found out it would take
    up 4158.75 square miles...
    [​IMG]
     
    HemiAdda2d likes this.
  3. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    Welcome back. Glad to see you.
    From the western slope, Grand Junction
    Tom
     
  4. bob303

    bob303 TrainBoard Member

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    And about a million little moose and a few trillion mosquitoes!
     
    Kurt Moose, HemiAdda2d and Kisatchie like this.
  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome back.

    In answer to your pondering the idea- The possibility for a move is always there, for any of us. I would definitely consider building modular. I have seen a lot of fun lost, some fine layouts demolished, as a move has come along.
     
  6. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Welcome back. Can I ask, what is mud jacking?
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Where a concrete surface, (his basement floor), has cracked and portions have sunk. You drill holes and pump a concrete slurry underneath to raise the bad areas back up flush again.
     
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  8. pomperaugrr

    pomperaugrr TrainBoard Member

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    Welcome back! I would be very interested to see those locomotive projects you are tackling, as I will need to make a GP7U for my N scale Housatonic layout.

    Congratulations on the structural progress and I look forward to watching your layout updates.
     
  9. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome back! A handful of my favorite railroad's F7s ended up in Alaska in the early 70s. My best friend also collects ARR equipment in N scale.
     
  10. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome back Bob!
     
  11. Pfunk

    Pfunk TrainBoard Member

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    Welcome back!
     
  12. bob303

    bob303 TrainBoard Member

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    Nice to meet you Tom. Thanks for the welcome.
    Appreciate the advice - I might go sectional (?) vs modular. That is, build Anchorage, Whittier, Seward as sections that could be moved. That would be 85% of the turnouts and most of the detail. The intervening more or less scenic sections both water level and mountain grades could be harder to fit in a new space. Too much thinking, I need to get building!
     
  13. bob303

    bob303 TrainBoard Member

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    I've seen those D&RGW F7s patched for Alaska on John's website. As it fits my era and I like the Rio Grande I have an excuse to get a couple. Too many locos, not enough time or room. BTW - one time had a HCD plan using the G&D plan with some mods to try for the mainline passing thru Salida with the grade being the mine at Monarch. Salida is a favorite town of the family so had a bit of a bug to try. Gave me an excuse to buy a small amount of D&RGW. Met a gentleman at Caboose II who had built the art deco/ stucco Salida station in HO. Impressive. I wasn't going to tackle the rotary dump. Finally told myself to focus on Ak!

    Thanks for the hello!
     
    HemiAdda2d likes this.
  14. bob303

    bob303 TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you - maybe I'll get something done if I have "accountability" to the forum.
     
  15. bob303

    bob303 TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you, the welcoming comments is reminding me that the forum here seemed welcoming to those of all abilities and budgets (time and resources). Thanks for reinforcing that impression.
     
  16. bob303

    bob303 TrainBoard Member

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    Exactly. Expansive soils in Colorado coupled with settling of fill can lead to a lot of slab on grade movement. Mud jacking works pretty well, bit cheaper than jack hammers and new concrete. But still a bit of work. I think I spent 8 solid hours cleaning up the mess after the pumping equipment left, and then a day later when the mud dries almost as much time with the vacuum.
     
  17. bob303

    bob303 TrainBoard Member

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    I'd be happy to post on the models I'm mangling! I've collected a bit of stuff (hoods, cabs, shells, trucks, etc) over the years and had a few false starts and long hiatuses. Right now I can imagine that a few of these might actually make it to the paint booth! I'm taking pix as I go so happy to post when I figure that out. Perhaps I need to wait to get posting rights?
     
    BoxcabE50 and pomperaugrr like this.
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    You should be good to go. You can link in from another website. (Click on the icon which looks like a little mountain, in the bar directly above the message box.) Or you can upload from computer or storage device. Just click the "Upload a File" button next to the "Post Reply" button you have already been using. You can choose either a clickable thumbnail, or full size. I would recommend the latter.

    We did have a minimum number of posts required, before a person cold upload pictures. i believe it was ten, but it has been a long time... This was to stop spammers from joining, dumping their garbage on us, and then running away.
     
  19. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

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    Welcome back to TrainBoard!
     
  20. Hemet Hermit

    Hemet Hermit TrainBoard Member

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    Welcome back. I modeled i N scale when I lived in Kodiak, and loved it. I model in HO scale now because my old eyes & hands just are not mates with the smaller scale. Good luck on yor layout.
     

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