Friday 31 March 2023

GP40X (JSSX 7000)

Well, the GP40X has been coming along not too badly, but I have hit a snag in trying to complete it. I ordered a replacement set of handrails to replace the damaged ones that were on it, but the seller of the handrails (on ebay) sent me a set for a GP38, which don't even come close to fitting. At all.

Athearn didn't have any on their website, but I called them anyway. Their auto voice answering machine directed me to contact Horizon Hobby online. Doing that, I was assigned a case number and told that they would contact me next week.  Looking around a bit more on the web site, I found a "chat" icon, where someone told me that he would have to forward my request to another department, and that I would hear via email from them on Monday.  However an hour or so later, I received an email informing me that Horizon Hobby has none of the handrails in stock because the GP40X is discontinued.

Here are a few photos of the engine anyway, much of the weathering now done.

The end missing the handrails.  Maybe I should get some HO scale yellow caution tape to put on it until I find a solution to this

The long hood end, which is actually labelled on the side sill as being the front or forward end, whichever is the correct term

The word "Southern" has been painted out on the long hood, and the new ownership JSSX added below the cab windows.  I went over just about the whole locomotive with flat black, and kind of stained the white stripe with burnt umber.

A little rust can be seen on the bolts of the panel below the air filter, there's some light coloured grime streaking downward in a few places, and some fuel/oil stains on the fuel tank.

Sitting on the shop track here.  Maybe that's not really a terrible idea to try to put some caution tape around the short hood end.  Hmmm...

Friday 24 March 2023

This and That for March

I had this wheelset from the GP40X taken apart 3, maybe even 4 times, trying to solve the problem with the thumping and lurching that I wrote about last week.  I cleaned gears, replaced gears, checked for bent axles, removed the drive shaft (to see how it would move if that end was unpowered), and then reassembled and test ran after each of those procedures. Nothing seemed to help.

And then finally...I happened to notice that one of the metal plates in the power truck assembly looked like it was bent just a little bit outward toward one wheel. The plate of course conducts electrical power from the wheels to a wire that runs to the motor. I bent it back inward, too far the first time, adjusted that, and then the truck was able to run smoothly across the workbench.  Reassembled everything again, and the locomotive now runs just fine, so that's a big win here.

That's the metal plate, the black looking area with the large round hole near the bottom, that I'm referring to as having been bent behind the one wheelset

I was going to order new power trucks from Athearn, but that doesn't appear to be necessary now.  I have ordered a new handrail set though.  My belief now, given the damage to the locomotive that I noted last week, is that it had been dropped at some point. Buyer beware I guess.

So moving forward now, here's the GP40X on the bench, masked in preparation for some paint work to blank out the word "SOUTHERN" on the side.  Once that's done I'll move forward to the weathering.

In other news, a lifelong friend of mine, John Bell, and I grew up around the corner form each other.  John is president of the Edmonton Train Collectors Club in Edmonton, Alberta. The club has a display in the Bonnie Doon Centre mall in Edmonton, and they were featured on the Edmonton TV news on this past Sunday.

Here's the link to the TV news feature: 

Also, in local news from around here this week is the story that the Pere Marquette rail bridge in Port Huron, Michigan is about to be taken down, or demolished as the news story reads.

Here's my photo taken from Ferry Dock Hill here in Sarnia, taken this past Monday.  I certainly don't remember ever seeing the bridge lowered, but whenever anyone looked across the river here, it certainly stood out to us locals as an iconic landmark.  I guess maybe it was somewhat taken for granted too. I'll be sorry to see it go.

A couple of cranes at the the site of the Pere Marquette bridge over the Black River

The story doesn't mention why the bridge is being taken down, just that it's about to happen.  Here's the link to that news item:   There's a much nicer photo accompanying that story.

Friday 17 March 2023

GP40X for the JSSX

We'll get to the GP40X in  a minute, but,

First up this week is this nifty picture from the bakery module that Brian Smith is putting together.  Brian explains that the owner of the bakery is a classic car buff, and that the Pontiac Bonneville belongs to him.

The "Mandalay Red" sure adds a nice bright splash of colour to the scene.  Just look at that car. I bet that riding down the highway in a real one of those would have been like floating on a cloud.  Great choice Brian !

I have sold off a few of my locomotives over the past 18 months or so, but I still have plenty left that I rotate on and off of the layout.  And I have been trying pretty hard to not buy any more.  That said, I've often thought that adding a high-hood geep the JSSX would be a real nice addition for the shortline. So when one came up for sale on the internet about 10 days ago, I made an offer for it which was accepted.

This GP40X arrived here on Wednesday. Here's a few photos...

Five chime horns at both ends

Flared radiators

The seller did advise that there was some damage to the handrails at this end of the locomotive. I can get a replacement set of handrails for it, and didn't really think of that as being a big deal.  I've broken handrails myself too.
However, the seller did not mention that there are other problems as well that have taken the "shine" off of my new locomotive for me.

There's a hole that has been drilled into the top of the hood above the cab (should have snapped a photo of that to show here too).  I'm thinking that it was done to install an antenna, but there's no antenna in the box.

One of the hangers is broken off of one of the trucks.  Maybe that happened during shipping, because the broken piece was in the box.

And the truck at the long end of the hood rolls with quite a rhythmic thump, and can be seen lurching with each thump.  So, I'll have to find what's causing that, and hopefully be able to fix the problem.

To sum up, as Charlie Brown would say...Rats...

Friday 10 March 2023

American Hardware Supply build - Part 3

I figured that I'd have this build all wrapped up by now.  Well, it's not quite there yet, but it's close.  I just want to add a little more bit to it still.  Just small things, like blocking out some windows, I want to try some static grass around it, throw a bit of paper litter around.

But, the good news is, I got it mounted onto a piece of MDF, and some scenery along the loading dock sides.  The roof also has an air unit and some vents added, so the model looking pretty good now.

View of the roof

I thought I had sealed up the MDF base, but it warped on me I think as a result of getting wet  with the diluted white glue I used on the scenery ground cover.  A little disappointed about that.
Here's the sign I made up for the closed down door.  I had it mounted on the door, but it lookeed quite oversized there, so I moved it to the wall.
One end of the building. Still need some ground cover put down here.
The truck loading docks .
This would actually be the street side of the structure.  It doesn't show up in the photo, but I used some fine mesh as screening over the "basement" windows.

Another look at the rail side of the building. I should point out that we can't see through the building on the lower floors.  That's because I blocked the view using strips of cardboard that I placed diagonally across the inside of the building.  I left the top floor open on purpose, just to make it different.

So that's it for the time being. Time now to go shovel some snow.  Again.

I like the way the model has turned out, pretty close to what I had envisioned for it, but I'll have to find a way to overcome the warp in the base.  Maybe I should have tried using the "Gatorfoam" product that I've read about.   

Friday 3 March 2023

Maintenance of Way Crane

The new image at the top of the blog for the month of March, shows a somewhat imposing view of the front end of hard working JSSX 813 switching cars along South Industrial Blvd.

I recently sold off this work crane to another modeler in Prince Edward Island.

The crane hadn't been seeing a lot of use on the JSSX, and I happened to stumble across someone that was wanting one, so...
I'm hoping that Stephen in PEI is happy to have this one.
I used to have photos of the crane actually on the layout, but of course I lost those in the great 2020 hard drive crash.  I should have thought of that and re-taken a few new ones before I shipped it out.  Too late now.

And here's an updated view of my paint-by-numbers effort of the scene along the JSSX east side
It's really starting to take shape now.  Keeps me out of the basement for a couple hours at a time. I sort of wish I'd used a different locomotive for this (my B23-7). Oh well, it is what it is as they say.