Jigsaw #003: Steyrtalbahn, Austria

The Steyrtalbahn is a narrow gauge (760mm) railway in Austria, formed back in 1888. Today it is operated as a museum railway featuring vintage steam locomotives and coaches, running through the beautiful Steyr Valley. I took this photo during a trip to the Steyr Valley, Austria, in 2012.

Steytalbahn, Austria

Crimson Star’s Jigsaw #003: Steyrtalbahn, Austria

Steyrtalbahn, Austria

Easy    Average    Hard    Difficult

Posted in Austria, Europe, Jigsaws, Railroads of the World, Steyr Valley | Leave a comment

Hawk Lake Garden Railroad

I started my garden railroad in 2005, the year after our water garden was created. The main line is a simple “dog-bone” layout, with a 4% grade connecting the two return-loops.

In 2009 I started another line which will eventually include an LGB rack section for my LGB Furka-Oberalp electric locomotive.

Both lines use LGB turnouts with electric motors, operated by EPL track sensors, train magnets, and a timer (for a timed station stop).

Posted in Alberta, Canada, Edmonton, Garden Railroads, Photo Gallery | Leave a comment

POLA 1763: Village Well

POLA 1763: Village Well

POLA 1763: Village Well

I purchased this kit from Ultimate Trains Ltd. It is about 9″ long, 5.25″ wide and 5.5″ tall. Although small, it is expensive because it includes an electric pump.

This was one of the first kits I assembled and painted, and I still like the overall look.  I painted the following items with the water-based acrylic paint indicated:

Fountain basin: Folk Art, Green Forest 448
Fountain basin trim: Folk Art, Metallic Pure Gold 660

Fountain pump body: Folk Art, Green Forest 448
Fountain pump lever: Folk Art, Wrought Iron 925
Fountain pump trim: Folk Art, Napthol Crimson 435
Fountain pump trim, bands: Folk Art, Metallic Pure Gold 660

Fountain stone base, basic color, mix of:
Folk Art, Medium Gray 425
Folk Art, Dark Gray 426
Folk Art, Licorice 938

Fountain stone base, highlights, each of:
Folk Art, Rose Pink 632
Folk Art, Silver Anniversary 506
Folk Art, Sky Blue 465
Folk Art, Hauser Green Light 459

Fountain stone base, rust spots: Delta Creamcoat, Metallic Red Copper 02605

Fountain stone base, lime/mortar: Folk Art, Dove Gray 708

Fountain stone base, shadow/stain: Folk Art, Wrought Iron 925

Quite a while after finishing this kit, I painted the LGB 5038 Advertising Pillar using a mix of 3 parts FA Green Forest 448 to 1 part FA Dark Gray 426.  That mix came out really nice and if I ever decide to repaint this fountain, I will use that mix for the basin and pump.

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LGB EPL Template

I created this MS Visio 2003 template of LGB EPL electrical devices to help me document my wiring diagram. If your layout wiring blew every circuit breaker in your house, then this template just won’t help…

This file is named “LGB_EPL_Wiring_Symbols.vss” but MS Internet Explorer 6.0 changes the file type from “vss” to “vsd” during download. If this happens with your browser, just rename the file. Opera downloads the file correctly.

Download Now

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Jigsaw #002: Hawk Lake Garden Railroad

The Hawk Lake Garden Railroad looks its best in early summer, when  most of our alpine and rock garden flowers are blooming.  By August, half of them have already given up the ghost for the season!

I set up this photo to highlight the flowers, much to the disgust of the Red Baron (who was powerless to stop me).  Enjoy the puzzle!

Hawk Lake Garden Railroad

Crimson Star's Jigsaw #002: Hawk Lake Garden Railroad

Hawk Lake Garden Railroad

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Jigsaw #001: Kettle Valley Railway

The Kettle Valley Railway’s Trout Creek bridge still stands, and today’s tourist train backs out onto the bridge for a photo opportunity. If you’re ever anywhere near West Summerland, British Columbia, Canada, check it out. Until then, download and work on this puzzle.

Kettle Valley RR #001

Crimson Star's Jigsaw #001: Kettle Valley Railway

Easy    Average    Hard    Difficult

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Schloss Thayngen

I found this small castle while researching castles on the Internet. I really like half-timbered buildings and castles, so it was love at first sight. I’m going to scratchbuild it for my layout, but first it needs to be “down-sized” to fit into the rather small area reserved for my Swiss village.

I decided to make my first drawing as close to the original as possible. If you compare the original drawing shown on the Swiss website (search for it!) to my drawing below, you will see that I have already made a few minor design changes. If you are an experienced CAD user, you will also see that I am not. This is my very first drawing, other than the exercises in the CadStd tutorials.

Schloss ThayngenSchloss Thayngen

In the original, the part of the building at the back was offset to the right, relative to the part of the structure at the front left. I aligned the front and back, along the left side, which obscured some of the windows in the rear section. I also deleted the greenhouse-style balcony from the right side.

After a lot of experimenting with CadStd, I finally figured out how the scaling and resizing options worked, relative to paper size. My next drawing was to a scale of 1:24, “full size,” with a paper size of 34″ x 44″. This was printed out on 25 sheets of letter-sized paper, which I taped together with some difficulty. The building was going to be about 33″ long by 29″ tall.

Schloss Thayngen "Diorama"Schloss Thayngen “Diorama”

In this photo, I’ve taped my “full-size” drawing to the wall and set up a scene to help judge the overall impact. The two cars and motorcycle are 1:24 scale, while the figures and kit buildings are 1:22.5. Although not unrealistic by any means, I think this would overpower my little village, so I will need to make it smaller.

(This is a work-in-progress, as of Nov. 2010.)

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Swiss Fire Hydrants

I spotted these two fire hydrants in Engelberg, Switzerland, during a visit in 1990. Although I didn’t take any dimensions, I think you could just make them the same size as the ones in your neighborhood.

Engelberg Fire Hydrant #209

Engelberg Fire Hydrant #209

Engelberg Fire Hydrant #202

Engelberg Fire Hydrant #202

Posted in Engelberg, Europe, Project Ideas, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Great Manhole Covers of Germany

While participating in the LGB Tours 2011 Journey through North and East Germany, I discovered that some German towns and cities have so much civic pride that they even turn their manhole covers into works of art!

If you want something really unique on your garden railway layout, model one of these manhole covers. Don’t ask how big they were because they came in several sizes. If you are bursting out with artistic talent yourself, you might even design your own manhole cover! (If you are simply bursting out, however, it may be time for some exercise…)

Boppard Manhole Cover, Style 1

Boppard Manhole Cover, Style 1

Boppard Manhole Cover, Style 2

Boppard Manhole Cover, Style 2

Dresden Manhole Cover

Dresden Manhole Cover

Manhole Cover, Munich, Germany

Munich Manhole Cover

Wernigerode Manhole Cover, Style 1

Wernigerode Manhole Cover, Style 1

Wernigerode Manhole Cover, Style 2

Wernigerode Manhole Cover, Style 2

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POLA 995: Susi’s Newspaper Kiosk

POLA 995: Susi's Newspaper Kiosk

POLA 995: Susi's Newspaper Kiosk

I purchased this kit from Ultimate Trains Ltd. It is about 6.25″ square and 7″ tall. This kit includes some patio accessories, so will actually require about one square foot of display area.

This is listed as a 1/22.5 scale kit, but an LGB figure placed inside the building (as shown in my photo) is not really tall enough to be realistic (the figure on the box cover looks fine). A Bachmann figure seems about the right size, which implies the building is really 1/20.3 scale. Meanwhile, the table and chairs are just plain tiny. There is no way in heck that an LGB or Bachmann figure can plant their butt on one of those small chairs. A 1/24 scale figure fits the chair, but his legs take up all the room under the table. My guess is that the table and chairs are probably 1/29 or 1/32 scale, but I don’t have any figures in those scales to confirm that guess.

I painted many of the parts, but that was before I started recording the paints that I use. I’ll try to determine the colors and add that info soon, maybe.

This is a small kit, but it adds an unusual bit of color and activity to my layout, so I like it. If your layout looks like an Elton John costume, then you may find it too hum-drum.

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