Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Choo Choo's End

As a bookbinder, model railroader, and lover of children's books focused on railroads, Virginia Lee Burton's Choo Choo is a natural to bind or interpret. It was also begging me to create an artist's book based on it. In the book, Choo Choo bored by his hum-drum life of pulling locals makes a run for, loses his tender, and runs out of steam in the dark woods. In "Thomas" speak, he was not a helpful engine that day. As luck, and fate would have it, he is saved by the big, bad streamliner in the form of a stylized Union Pacific M10000 who pulls him out backwards. Though mending his ways, Choo Choo will inevitably be rendered obsolete by the streamliner.



The structure of the book is called a flagbook and while not really my bag, a lot of fun to view and handle. The image for the interior was found online thanks to the help of some friendly ferroequinologists and that on the covers was taken from the book. Overall, in terms of "finish" a passable prototype...




A fun project and one I have owed my friend Karen for some time. She makes fantastic use of the structure.

Two other examples of combining bookbinding/book arts and trains are the bindings on Carsten Ramcke's A Christmas Tale, and Other Short Stories, a compilation of some of his Märklin / railroad short stories.

and

I really need to do more of this...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Playing with the Modules

In preparation of our club's work-session and open-house next weekend, I decided to set up our modules in the living room and run some trains. Highpoint was being to run my ore train (15 cars) and the BR65, all models I had been waiting for for a very long time. It's been a lot of fun to watch them. It's been a lot of fun to watch them endlessly going in circles.






Monday, June 2, 2008

Baseball in Syracuse

Went to a Syracuse Chiefs yesterday (Sunday) even though I'm not a big baseball fan. They even have a steam loco in their logo and an engineer as a mascot. As I said, I'm not a big baseball fan, but the tickets were free, my daughter brought a friend the the stadium is right by the main CSX east-west line here in Syracuse, NY. About a 1/4 mile west of the stadium a line down from Canada merges into the mainline in an 18" h0 radius turn. Very tight and they go real slow. Although the line is CSX one can also see engines from other lines such as UP, BNSF, and NS. During the 2.5 hours of the night game (Syracuse won 5-4 after a homer with one on in the bottom of the 9th) 13 trains with an average car number of 90 passed by. Lots of stacktrains and intermodals but also two Amtraks and a few mixed freights. The view from the stadium, behind the visiting team dugout is best, allowed for slightly less than the length of a Dash-9 between the trees, not a lot. Distance to the tracks from our seats was about 450'. Pics were taken with a 2.1 megapixel... Here an overview via Google Earth.

Bin gestern (Sonntag) zu einem Baseballspiel der Syracuse Chiefs gegangen... Haben sogar eine Dampflok im Logo und einen Engineer als Maskot. Baseball mag ich eigentlich nicht so, aber die Karten bekammen wir gratis, meine Tochter hatte einen Freund dabei, und das Stadion ist direkt am Bahndamm von der CSX Ost-West Hauptstrecke in Syracuse, New York. Ca. ein halber Km westlich (von links im Bild, sieht Ansicht unten) mündet das Gleis von Kanada in einer Märklin R1 Kurve in die Hauptstrecke. Obwohl CSX sieht man dort auch Loks vieler anderer Firmen, z.B. Union Pacific, BNSF, und NS. In den 2.5 Stunden die das Spiel dauerte (Syracuse gewann im 9. dank eines Homeruns 5-4) fuhren 13 Züge dabei. Durchschnitts Zuglänge war um die 90 Wagen, viele Stacktrains und Intermodal, aber auch 2 Amtrak und Sonstiges. Das Blickfeld vom Gleis hatte ganz knapp die Länge einer Lok, was Aufnahmen erschwerte. Distance von meinem Platz zum Gleis, ca 150+ Meter. Kamera ist eine kleine Olympus mit 2.1 Megapixels. Hier mal eine Übersicht mit Google Earth.

In the image below the train on the left is eastbound, train on the right westbound.
What a lucky shot!

Der Zug unten links kommt vom Westen, der von rechts von Osten. Glück gehabt!


Two videos. The speed of the game was synchronized to that of the trains!

Zwei Videos. Das Spiel hat sich dem Tempo der Züge angepaßt!


video


video

The regional farmers' market is also directly by the tracks, next to the stadium. Hard to get a clear view of the tracks, but lots of action.

Der Wochenmarkt ist auch direkt am Bahndamm, neben dem Stadion... Hier ist es wirklich schwer klare Sicht vom Gleis zu haben.



Werde demnächst noch ein Spiel fest einplanen.

p.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A weathering challenge...

"The -best- weathering is subtle. But then again it's not only how you weather (materials/tools/techniques) but what you are weathering. Here are a few examples: A BR44 at the end of epoch 3, DB, a work horse, is a lok I weathered heavy, not last legs, but not run thru the 'lok-wash' :-) BR10, very little, it was still a flagship at that time for the DB and well taken care of. The running gear of a dampflok was dirty, so that is were most of the weathering applied. One can also consider the era, where as 1-2 epoch loks were will taken care of, still, coal, grease, water, oil, and the weather had some effect. Even an e-lok is going to have dirty boogies and carbon on the roofs. If modeling epoch 4 dampfloks,... well you can go to town!" Sent to the Märklin Bar and Grill by Dr. Dirt, aka Kevin Brady, May 27, 2008.

Inspired by Dr. Dirt, went to work on my BR 44, epoch 3 markings, but at the end of that or early epoch 4, not yet with the DB signet, missing smoke deflectors and perhaps close to retirement... In looking at the picture I see some spots I want to touch up, mainly the wheels. For some images of steamers during that period go here.


Also my BR 10 001, at then end of epoch 3 or very early 4, perhaps sensing that it would soon be replaced by an 110 electric or 220 diesel in 1968... Images of the BR10 002 in 1967 , and in 1968 and 1972, the year of it's demise... This was years before the engine they were supposed to replace, the BR 01.



There were only two of these "black swans" built. 10 001 survived and can now be viewed at the Deutsches Dampflok Museum, DDM in Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg, Germany.