The Little Rock Line

Allen H Dec 31, 2011

  1. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks Tad!

    With so many trees in that area it looks almost too much when you compare it to the rest of the layout, but I guess that just acts like a prod to keep me going?
    Also with so many trees, it does kind of limit the amount of angles I can shoot from. It's too bad the camera lens in the phone couldn't be removed so you could set it IN the scene for more angles, maybe someday they'll make this possible.
     
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  2. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Or model a clear-cut lumber operation, and/or the aftermath of a forest fire...
     
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  3. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    You gotta love the ignore feature!
     
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  4. pomperaugrr

    pomperaugrr TrainBoard Member

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    Allen, you have some serious modeling talent. It has been so much fun watching that scene develop!
     
  5. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thank you Pomp!
    I can easily say the same thing about you and what you've been doing with your recent scenery upgrades on your layout!
    I'm so thankful for forums which allows us to follow along and share our endeavors.
     
  6. pomperaugrr

    pomperaugrr TrainBoard Member

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    The best part is that we get to learn from each other too!
     
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  7. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Amen brother!
    Which is how I came up with my dropdrop idea: from drooling on pics of yours! LOL
     
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  8. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    After getting the Whitewater Creek scene to a stopping point, I got the layout and basement cleaned up and readied the layout prepped for a visitor.
    A friend from Washington state had a business trip planned to KC and said he was going to make the trip to Lincoln to see and play on the layout.

    During that time I started playing with some 804 & 603 pre-wired surface mount LEDs that I got off of eBay in hopes to use on my Locos to make the headlights brighter. It's the one thing about N scale that really bothers me......dim headlights. :mad:
    I could care less about sound, but I want to see some lights, damnit!

    I grabbed a LifeLike GP18 shell and held one right behind the glazing and the difference was night and day!
    The numberboards were brighter than I'd like, but I have a plan for them.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So I grabbed an Atlas GP40, another poorly lit model IMO, and added the LED to the one on the left.
    [​IMG]

    Again a big improvement, a little more light than I wanted to see from the cab, but that can be addressed.
    [​IMG]

    Happy with that, I grabbed one of my finished LifeLike GP18's.
    The camera actually does not capture the brightness of the LEDs completely.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a comparison between the 1337 and the 1343's rear light, using the stock board and LED.
    [​IMG]

    Yeah, I'll be adding the LEDs to quite a few of my locos.
    Now I won't have to look twice to see if the damn headlight is on or not. :cool:
     
  9. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    Nicely lit up!
     
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  10. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    As I've updated from DC to DCC I've also updated lighting like you have done. I use a separate LED for the number boards which requires careful cutting of the factory light piping then run the LEDs to their own light outputs on the DCC board. If you are on DC then adding in an extra resistor to the lightboard LED would get you the dimmer effect.

    This was the early days. Here I carefully separated the headlamp portion of the light piping from the number boards with a razor saw and hobby knife. I blacked out the separation to prevent light bleed and inserted an LED for just the headlamps while using the factory onboard LED to power the number boards.

    20191031_134839.jpg

    I later discovered bondic UV glue and now just ditch the headlamp light piping, fill the vacant lens holes in the shell with bondic then glue the LED to the lens on the inside of the cab with more bondic then paint over the result in the inside of the shell to prevent light leakage.

    This is an interior cab pic of an SD40 that I have 3 lights in the cab area - light boards, headlight and roof mounted beacon. The light board uses a replacement LED encased in bondic to make a bulb but still positioned similarly to the original factory board mounted LED. I then ran separate lights to a hole in the roof for the beacon and another to the headlights and both painted over to prevent light leakage into each other.

    20200213_111301.jpg

    20200213_205112.jpg

     
  11. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow. That is a really big difference!
     
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  12. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes it is.
    Some of the Atlas units, even the newest ones (before they added sound) are extremely dim.
    Now it's easy to tell if they're on or not at a glance.
     
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  13. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow Freddy, you've got more patience than I!
    I have a friend who did the separate numberboards/headlight thing on a N scale U30C.
    So many lights make me nervous.


    OK, you peaked my interest on the Bondic UV glue?
    Can you give me some more info on it?
    I'm assuming you carefully squeeze into the light holes?
    Do you fill it entirely or just on the outer end?
    Does the outer end dry with a flat surface or does dry with a bulbed end like a lens?
    Got any close up pics?

    On the B23-7's that I'm working on right now, I tried placing the LED behind the headlight tube, and it didn't seem to make any noticeable improvements.
    Figured maybe it was just that tube, but the others didn't capture the light well either.

    So I've been thinking about using some .030" fiber optics as headlights, a friend had decent luck with that.
    But if the Bondic works? Hmmm....

    Thanks!
     
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  14. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    Search "bondic uv glue". Amazon site is the best place to get it.

    The consistency of the glue is like honey before you cure it with the included UV lamp (if you buy the kit). I fill the entire light piping galleys applying it with a toothpick rather than straight from the tube then with that same toothpick coax some of it back out the front to get a convex/rounded lenz contour or again use the toothpick to add minute amounts of glue then cure it with the UV lamp. You can even just cure it flat then add tiny amounts to it later to form the lens then cure again. Like any liquid you learn to work with it's surface tension properties to get that finish. Then on the inside I test placement of the lamp to ensure both lenses on the outside light equally, note placement then glue it in place. With the pico lamps and dual lights you may have to build back a little ways with the glue and cure it to make that work before you tack the LED in place. Anymore I just default to building up about 2mm back as being too close to the light holes can block the light if you center it between the two holes because the LED is now mostly obscured by the plastic in between.
    Nice thing with the glue is if it doesn't place properly when you apply it simply clean it up with a q-tip and alcohol and try again.

    Finally before you apply black-out paint make sure the LED is fully encased in UV glue so you don't get paint in the path that the light needs to go.

    And for blackout paint go silver first because it has the best light blockage properties as well as creates a reflector to increase and push light out where you want it to go. Afterwards you can paint again with black.

    I have used fiber before but on my Z-locos. The 1mm fiber would be close to perfect for n-scale but it has it's own set of issues to overcome such as keeping the strands exactly where you want them to be. I'd go with a larger nano LED to make sure it spans both widths of the strands. Oh, if you get to using a few LEDs under the shell consider getting ones with magnet wire. I've ran into issues where the thicker wires, like what you were showing, got to taking up too much room when extending them for a service loop and made it problematic to get the shell back on.

    Here's a pic of that same loco from my previous post. If I were to do it again I'd paint silver inside the light galleys and let it dry before applying the UV glue. The glue does get hot when you cure it so don't know how it would interact with the paint but worst case just clear it out, clean up the paint then fill again without paint.

    20220707_112315.jpg
     
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  15. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks Freddy!
    That's all good info.
    I'll have to give it a try.

    I might try some fiber optics and well and see what works best for me.
     
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  16. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    While playing around with the lights, I've also been working on another loco project, actually 5.

    I dug out 5 Atlas B30-7's for stand-ins for some Rock Island U33B's. A project I've been wanting to do for several years now.
    I've been hoping that Atlas would announce this model in N scale someday. Several years ago, during a "What do you wish a Manufacturer would Make" thread, I asked Paul from Atlas if they had any intentions of making a U33B? His reply was: "Nope, not enough interest in that model. Highly doubtful we'll make one."

    Not more than a few months later they announced a U33B in HO and one in Rock Island Maroon and Yellow.
    So with that I'm proceeding with some stand-ins. If they offer them now, they won't be getting into my wallet, too bad so sad.

    I've added just enough details to give them a flavor of being Rock Island, close enough for me.
    Cab shades.
    5 chime horns.
    and the side mount bell.
    I also removed the headlight plate on the noses.
    The paint and weathering will finish off the illusion.
    Once painted, I'll add a firecracker antenna and then the lights.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I just got the yellow painted on them this evening and are still drying.
     
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  17. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I see some bright red in the mix. Does that mean you are doing this scheme?

    IMG_2432.JPG
     
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  18. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here are the schemes I plan to paint them in (stolen off the web for reference, not my shots):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    and two of these
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    Them are going to be some nice looking units!
     
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  20. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Got the yellow painted on and then gave them a flat finish before applying the decals.

    [​IMG]
     
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