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Doctor G
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I have wanted to build this layout for a very long time.

I have enjoyed On30 for about 10 years now.
I have built two mini layouts that have graced the electronic pages of this fine site for quite some time.
A sugar cane hauler set in 1920 Haiti,
and a primitive backwoods logging operation set in 1910 Kentucky and Tennessee.

But the ET&WNC RR, ”Tweetsie” has always held a special place in my model railroading heart.
When Bachmann came out with their magnificent Baldwin 10 wheelers,
I was ready to do a medium sized layout in On30!!

So I moved a storage building in to the backyard and made my move to turn dreams in to reality.
I have been reading everything I can on the prototype and joined the ET&WNC RR historical society.
I live in Tennessee and Johnson City and the Doe River Gorge is not that far away.
So field exploration is in the near future.

I got two of the beautiful locomotives and started to take the plunge in building up rolling stock.
Here is my first go at equipment…… the parlor car #10 “Azalea”.










A Bachmann On30 coach provided the donor mechanism and hardware and roof.
The very nice laser wooden kit from Deerfield Laser was chosen to build up the coach.















I scoured the internet trying to find the colors used on Tweetsie Varnish,
and used some gloss rattle can paints to do up my rendition.















Well it at least an approximation of the colors I think they used.

I really enjoyed this shot from the prototype photos.....





......so I found some O scale chairs and had a go at recreating the little scene.





Here is a "topside" view of the fabric roof.





The actual layout is still in the planning stages, and while rolling stock is accumulated,
a Porter on the mini logging layout will shuffle cars around for pictures.





So here is what is coming in hopefully the near future:

Iain Rice's nifty book "Shelf Layouts for Model Rail Roads" has this plan for the ET&WNC in On30,
that should fit nicely in the storage building out back.










So thanks for looking and hopefully you all can follow along as this adventure begins.





Doc Tom



slateworks
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Very nicely executed rendition Tom and the prospective layout looks to be a biggy - at least by the usual UK standards!

Looking forward very much to developments as they arise.



Doctor G
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slateworks wrote: Very nicely executed rendition Tom and the prospective layout looks to be a biggy - at least by the usual UK standards!

Looking forward very much to developments as they arise.


Thank you Doug.

I am looking forward to the build.

Doc Tom


Doctor G
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My latest creation for the upcoming On30 ET&WNC layout is one of Tweetsie’s iconic wooden hopper cars.

My modeling buddy Bill Nelson scratch built the wooden body.

I went to work adding detail parts, grabs, stake pockets, wheels and couplers.

Here is the model in primer gray.






























Next steps will be to follow the prototype and paint and letter the car.

The original used a mixture of lampblack, linseed oil and japan drier to get the dark gray/black color.

This according to the good folks in the ET&WNC Historical Society.















Thanks for looking.

Doc Tom



slateworks
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Tom, the two of you have produced a fine rendering of the hopper car and the detail is great, very realistic.

Doctor G
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Thanks Doug.

Bill and I are Tennessee train nuts.
We have collaborated before on the Little River Rail Road, and several Tennessee themed logging outfits.
This our first foray in to world of Tweetsie.

Tom


W C Greene
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Nice hopper, great craftsmanship shown.
I do have a "question" about the prototype...how do they have bottom drop doors amid the truss rods?
Are the doors narrow enough to allow the load to dump yet not hit the rods?
Perspiring minds want.......
I agree about the Bachmann 4-6-0, she's a very nice lokie.

Woodie


Lee B
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Tom,
Good to see you here as well.

Not to deflect this thread, but I have an ongoing thread on my own ET&WNC layout here:
http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=7313&forum_id=4

FYI, the locals called the ET&WNC the "Stemwinder," not SteAmwinder…
Only the flatlander tourists called it, "Tweetsie" from what I've bene able to tell.


Doctor G
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Hi Woodie,

Yes, the discharge doors are small. There are 4 sets.

There are two outer truss rods that go outside the door openings.
There are two other truss rods running down the center of the car and inside to the door openings.
I need to flip the car over and get some shots.


Thanks for looking.

Tom


Doctor G
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Lee B wrote: Tom,
Good to see you here as well.

Not to deflect this thread, but I have an ongoing thread on my own ET&WNC layout here:
http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=7313&forum_id=4

FYI, the locals called the ET&WNC the "Stemwinder," not SteAmwinder…
Only the flatlander tourists called it, "Tweetsie" from what I've bene able to tell.


Hi Lee, Love your layout. I have been following your news and the thread for several years.
It has been one of the inspirations to build this one.
I think I have stemwinder spelled correctly on the header for this thread. I hope I didn't screw that up. :doh:


I have only visited the "Tweetsie" RR theme park in NC once and briefly.
I hope to linger with #11 at the park this summer as part of the ET&WNC Historical Society meeting.

Will you be going?


Doc Tom


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Hi Doc  :wave:



AWESOME ! job you both done on the hopper-car !!  :thumb:

Now THAT's what I call a nice bit of rolling-stock modeling.  :cool:


A pretty darn hard task on those diagonals for sure ...  :brill:

... at least there aren't a ton of pesky RIVETS to do though !  :f:




I love this end-shot with your rusty ol' donkey engine.  :old dude:

Nice detailing Doc.  :)



I'd be really pleased with an ACE hopper like that on the rails.



:moose: :moose: :moose: :moose: :moose:



Si.


Doctor G
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Si. wrote:
AWESOME ! job you both done on the hopper-car !!  :thumb:

Now THAT's what I call a nice bit of rolling-stock modeling.  :cool:


A pretty darn hard task on those diagonals for sure ...  :brill:

... at least there aren't a ton of pesky RIVETS to do though !  :f:


I love this end-shot with your rusty ol' donkey engine.  :old dude:

Nice detailing Doc.  :)



I'd be really pleased with an ACE hopper like that on the rails.


Thank you Si.

I really like working in On30 because of the detail you can create.

But I will leave all the rivets and bolts used on the prototype to the imagination. :)

Tom


Doctor G
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To build this little layout I have been researching the heck out of the ET&WNC RR.
Heck, I even joined the ET&WNC RR Historical Society.....a very nice group.

At the end of May they had their annual convention in Johnson City Tennessee and I had a ball.

Here we are playing with ET&WNC lokie #12.  She is 102 years old and guzzied up in Tweetsie RR livery.

https://youtu.be/H_xgCijWV0Q

The engineers let us take as many runbys and photo ops as we wanted,
with the theme park closed for the time we were there.

I have a model of number 12 ready to hit the iron when I get to building the layout.

doc Tom


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Fantastic car Doc, love the detail

Lee B
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Doc, even though I just spent last week riding NG trains in Colorado,
I envy you for getting to the ET&WNC association event.

I've been wanting to get to those for years.
Been a member for quite a while now, myself.

Last time I got to Tweetsie was 2005.
I got a cab ride, but sadly # 12 was cold that day...


Doctor G
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Lee B wrote: Doc, even though I just spent last week riding NG trains in Colorado,
I envy you for getting to the ET&WNC association event.

I've been wanting to get to those for years.
Been a member for quite a while now, myself.

Last time I got to Tweetsie was 2005.
I got a cab ride, but sadly # 12 was cold that day...


Glad to hear you belong to this very nice group.
I met some nice folks who are extremely knowledgeable about the narrow gauge railroad.
I hope to make this an annual event.
Luckily I live in Tennessee and it is nice drive from middle Tennessee to the glorious mountains in the East.

Hope you can make it to the 2020 get together.
I would enjoy meeting you and talking up model railroad tall tales.

Doc Tom


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Doctor G wrote
Glad to hear you belong to this very nice group.
I met some nice folks who are extremely knowledgeable about the narrow gauge railroad.
I hope to make this an annual event.
Luckily I live in Tennessee and it is nice drive from middle Tennessee to the glorious mountains in the East.

Hope you can make it to the 2020 get together.
I would enjoy meeting you and talking up model railroad tall tales.


I'm on the west coast.
Getting there would be very tough, but I'd like to get there someday.

My folks have my Dad's childhood home outside of Elizabethton
(though they haven't been there in quite a while)
and I have some relatives still in the area.

I badly want to get back there, especially now that I know of a remaining section of dual-gauge track in Elizabethton
(which I never knew of during all those visits in my youth, I would have loved to have seen that even then).
It's at 574 S Sycamore ST.

http://cfordart.com/elizabethtonrails.pdf

If I lived in the area, I'd offer to pay to chop up that section,
and re-lay new concrete for the owners, to get to those rails and spikes.

Also, I want to get the museum in Newland to see caboose 505 and the Linville depot there.

It'd be great to finally get to meet with fellow ET&WNC fans, especially as where I live,
I'm lucky to encounter someone in this hobby who merely heard of the RR at some point.


Doctor G
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Ahhh, the joys of Prototype model railroading.

I have completed three hopper cars to haul iron ore and coal,
on my planned On30 homage to the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad.

I will be modeling the era 1920 – 1924,
when the railroad was quite profitable and had beautiful narrow gauge passenger cars.





So, I was doing research on what I thought the prototype Hopper cars looked like.















I picked up Johnny Graybeals nicely done decal sets for freight cars in O scale,
at the model railroad show in Johnson City Tennessee this summer.

It was also nice meeting him in person.

I proceeded to carefully apply decals to the first side of a hopper car.
I thought I had done a nice rendition of Hopper car Number 28.




















I read on further about these fine wooden hopper cars,
that were felt to be the largest wooden hopper cars in narrow gauge railroading for their time.

In an article in the 2018 HOn3 Annual written by Johnny Graybeal,
and including photos from his collection,
I hit the jackpot on prototype pictures of Hopper cars for the ET&WNC RR.

In one of the pictures he mentioned that the lettering in use by the ET and WNC from the teens until 1936,
had small stenciling for the road name, instead of the stretch lettering that came into vogue after 1936.





So, it was back to the paint shop,
and my first attempt at an early 1920s Hopper car was repainted and relettered, using Johnny's very good decal sheet.
But at this time with much smaller lettering.

The stenciling on the decal was a bit too wide and I had to remove the “&” to get it to fit.
But, I felt it was a fairly good representation of hopper car number 18 in 1920’s livery.

I am not a rivet counter, but certainly want my rolling stock to be a good representation,
of what road the rails in the early 1920’s in the mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina.




















Now I have two other cars to decal correctly with the correct prototype look for the early 1920's.





Thanks for looking.

Dr. Tom



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Great reproductions Tom, very realistic.



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I love the hoppers!
You did a great job with the decals.

I have some of the IMA On30 kits and have only built one so far.
I really need to get it painted and decaled, then move on to the other 4 I have to be built.

Your photos have motivated me to pick that up and move forward with it.


Doctor G
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Thanks Doug and Lee.
I appreciate the kind words. 

Lee, I remember you had several of the IMA On30 kits Hopper Kits.
Glad you got one together.

They were a fun build,
and the laser cutting was excellent.

I've built up two kits, and one of my hoppers is scratch built by a friend of mine and myself.
I will most likely letter it as number one, as the scratch build model was my first hopper.

I'm going to use some weathering powders from BRAGDON, to age the models,
as by 1920 – 1923 they were about 10 – 15 years old.

The hopper kit instructions discussed the use of the weathering powders.
This will be my first use of this product, as I have used washes and dry brushing in the past.

Looking forward to seeing your model soon Lee.   :rah:


Dr. Tom


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:thumb:   :pimp:

Very nice indeed. 

Black cars are always interesting. 


Johnson City train show. 

Hmmmm, I'll have to look for that next year.


Doctor G
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Steven B wrote:
Very nice indeed. 

Black cars are always interesting. 


Johnson City train show. 

Hmmmm, I'll have to look for that next year.


Hi Steven.

There will be some weathering coming along, to lighten the black a bit.

The train show is becoming an annual event,
tied in with the ET&WNC historical meeting in Johnson City Tn.

It was a great weekend.

Doc Tom


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Bench…… errrr…… shelf work, for the" Blue Ridge Stemwinder”,
an On30 homage to the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad.


In my last two On30 mini layouts I made exclusive use of lightweight materials,
such as Styrofoam board and aluminum metal supports.

There is no wood in either of them, except perhaps the model wooden structures.










I found this material to be easy to work with, lightweight, and durable.

With the experience gained on the "minis",
I was ready to tackle the around the walls shelf layout of the ET&WNC.

Again, I wanted to use easy, lightweight materials to construct the shelf supports.

The Gladiator track system available at Lowes,
seemed a good one to build the shelves for the layout.





The track that supports the shelving is attached to studs behind the drywall in the train shed.
The shelving is easily attached and is about 12 inches deep.

The plan for the layout calls for 12-18 inch deep sub roadbed.

I think the lightweight materials will be easily supported by this shelving system,
which is easy to use and readily available.















So far everything seems fairly straight and level.















It Is enjoyable getting back to layout construction with these newer materials.


Thanks for looking.

Doc Tom



Doctor G
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It's Labor Day and the painters and stencil man want to get the day off.

The boss wanted some pictures of the newly labeled Hopper cars,
so they hung around for some pictures.





All three of the hoppers are now fully lettered for cars #1, #12, and# 18.

This is the prettiest they will look as they leave the Johnson City shops,
to haul iron ore and coal and make some money for the railroad.










The actual shelf layout is still in the imagination phase.

If you try real hard you can imagine the Linville Depot at the midsection of this shelf,
near the Historical Society fan.





More to come.

Thanks for looking.

Dr. Tom



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Doc,

Those hoppers look great.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you do the benchwork.
Those shelves look interesting.

Tom


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For those interested, I am going to be doing another cutting of the full length Tweetsie hoppers shortly.
I don't recall which ones Tom has but watch my FB page (On30 Kits) for the announcement.
I only do them on special order but the 24' I keep in stock.



Doctor G
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Tom Harbin wrote:
I'm looking forward to seeing how you do the benchwork.
Those shelves look interesting.


HERE YOU GO:



Doctor G
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Blue on Blue.
More doings on the Blue Ridge Stemwinder in On30.

One of the nice things about Styrofoam is that construction proceeds rapidly.
Here the blue foam pieces of the puzzle are coming together for the Layout Design Element (LDE) that I am calling Linville station.

This LDE is 11 feet long and 18 inches deep at the center and 2 feet deep at the ends.
The station will set about where the ET and WNC Historical Society fan is located.










If you look at the track plan to the right it is the section that IAN RICE (layout designer) calls “Halfway".





Next up, will be attaching the Styrofoam pieces and strengthening them with L Channel aluminum……….lightweight and strong.





Thanks for looking.

Doc Tom



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" For those interested, I am going to be doing another cutting ... shortly.
... watch my FB page (On30 Kits) for the announcement.
I only do them on special order but the 24' I keep in stock."



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Doctor G
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I am going to be traveling for the next couple of weeks on a late summer vacation,
so I thought I better wrap up the construction of the base of the shelf layout for the Blue Ridge Stemwinder.
Time also to give you guys a break for a while from studying Blue Styrofoam.

When I was an HO modeler I learned the joys of L girder construction in making a strong support for my model RR empire.
I found in my experimentation on the On30 mini layouts,
that the L girder construction using aluminum L girders could give the foam boards tremendous strength also.





What I do is attach them along the edges of the blue foam board using Liquid Nails Construction Adhesive for Projects.
This is a strong adhesive that is compatible with Styrofoam.

I temporarily screw the channels in place, but have found that once the glue dries,
the screws can be removed and a strong bond has been achieved.










This layout design element ( LDE) that I am calling Linville Depot is 11 feet and a half inch long.

Once all the channel is in place the entire LDE can be picked up and turned up on its side easily,
to allow access to the undersurface for wiring etc.
 
It is then placed back on the wire shelving and snuggles right into place.















Now I have an expanse flat blue terrain to begin some modeling on.










One of the things I've always wanted to do was to blow up a neat track plan to full scale,
and use it to establish track lines and changes in topography.

On this project I thought I would give a local printer the chance to blow up Iain Rice’s track plan for the Linville LDE.
The image is quite pixelated but I can readily see where the track lines are supposed to go.

I also found that Iain’s track plan is 1 foot and a half inch shorter than the width of my Railroad room.
You can see where I split the plan to allow for a longer mainline run.










So now the passenger cars have a place to show up at Linville Depot.





I'll be back at it in two or three weeks and hope to show some more progress.


Thanks for looking.

Doc Tom


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Howdy Doc, have a great time and get back to work soon.
Are you going to see any trains?

Woodie


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Overlaying the track plan in 1:1 scale for the layout is brilliant.

There's no way to second-guess the use of the plan that way, for sure!

I'm really looking forward to your progress.

Us On30 ET&WNC guys gotta stick together (considering how few of us there are)!


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Thanks Lee and Woodie for the kind comments.

I had hoped that I was not boring everyone,
with a weighty discussion about re-purposing blue insulation foam.

I have never been able come up with my own original track plan,
in all my years of model railroading.
I've always used printed and publicized track plans.

Getting the plan to fit my layout was always tricky,
and I ended up with too tight curves and tight turnouts. 

So on this project I wanted to get the track planned right,
and in particular, with wide enough curves to handle passenger cars.

I had read about people using blown up track plans to 1:1,
and thought to give it a try.
 
I will use a point to push through the plan into the blue foam,
connect the dots and draw out the track line with a Sharpie.
 
I had toyed with the idea of gluing roadbed and track directly to the track plan,
but decided against this.

I will also trace out topography from the plans,
and get to work with the hotwire to cut the curves and angles of the topography.

Lee I am following your lead in this foray into On30 Tweetsie modeling,
and cannot wait to get to your level of modelling of our favorite railroad.

[toast]

Doc Tom


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More work on the Linville layout design element (LDE)

I've had a little more time to work on the Linnville LDE.

This is what I'm shooting for in the next few months:















I placed the 1:1 track plan on the blue foam shelf layout.
I used the turnout templates from PECO and pushpins to trace out the track lines.





I then connected all the little dots with a Sharpie pen, and then had an outline of the track and turnouts.





I also used the same technique to map out the roads and geographic outlines of hills and railroad crossings.





It looks like the On30 models of ET&WNC narrow gauge rolling stock will fit nicely.















Next I cut out Blue foam forms for the foothills that surrounded the Linville Depot.
They are stacked like wedding cake and will receive carving of rocks and sculptamold ground covering soon.





You can get a good idea of how the nearby logging lines will connect to the Linnville LDE.





Thanks for looking.

All ideas, critiques and input greatly appreciated.


Dr. Tom



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Tom,

I can't wait to see your take on the Linville depot.
I wish someone would make a kit of it, as it was (and still IS) a neat little structure.

I'd bet the people at the museum in Newland would love it if such a kit existed too,
as they own the depot now and had it moved there.

Interesting you're using the wartime black-painted ten wheelers,
as you are modeling the time before they went to the 'anniversary' green and gold paint jobs.


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Doc,

Thanks for posting those photos of your aluminum and foam bench work. 

Planning on doing something similar on my next extension.




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Thanks Mike.

It makes for a strong light weight layout.

It is fun to pick the whole thing up and work on wiring "underneath".

Doc Tom


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Hi Lee,

Hoping to do a styrene scratchbuild of the little depot. 
I have gotten a few articles on making plastic look like chestnut siding.

Yes, from my understanding the locomotives were black in the early 1920s.
I hope I have this right.

Right now I have number 11 and number 12 in my roster.
This planned layout is so small I probably won't need many more locomotives.

The ET&WNC historical society has been very helpful in getting me plans of the depot,
and a general idea of the layout of the depot in relationship to the town of Linville.

I will have to pay a visit over to the restored Depot in Newland to inspire me further.

Doc Tom


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Doctor G wrote:
Hoping to do a styrene scratchbuild of the little depot. 
I have gotten a few articles on making plastic look like chestnut siding.

Yes, from my understanding the locomotives were black in the early 1920s.
I hope I have this right.

Right now I have number 11 and number 12 in my roster.
This planned layout is so small I probably won't need many more locomotives.

The ET&WNC historical society has been very helpful in getting me plans of the depot,
and a general idea of the layout of the depot in relationship to the town of Linville.


Do you have Johnny Graybeal's "Along the ET" book,
that discusses all the ET&WNC depots (volume 3)?
It's a great series of books, well worth the money:

http://tarheelpress.com/ETWNCmain.html

The one on the ten-wheelers (volume 2) is excellent as well.
I'd have to look at mine to see if the engines were black in the 20s or not.
That's the problem with b/w photos!


As you're modeling the Linville area,
getting a Linville River # 9 isn't tough from the era when ET&WNC had re-lettered her.

I have found a set of dry-transfer decals that has numbers,
that are a perfect match for the road numbers on those ET&WNC engines,
I did up my own #9 like that.

I later found out that there are solvents that can remove the Bachmann lettering,
but I'd used very fine sandpaper to remove the factory road number.
Looking at my Flickr photos, I just realized I have no photos online of the side of my #9.

In your case, though, you'd need to re-letter then tender as Linville River as well,
and nobody makes gold lettering decals for anything ET&WNC related, sadly.


Doctor G
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Lee B wrote:
Do you have Johnny Graybeal's "Along the ET" book,
that discusses all the ET&WNC depots (volume 3)?
It's a great series of books, well worth the money:

http://tarheelpress.com/ETWNCmain.html

The one on the ten-wheelers (volume 2) is excellent as well.
I'd have to look at mine to see if the engines were black in the 20s or not.
That's the problem with b/w photos!


As you're modeling the Linville area,
getting a Linville River # 9 isn't tough from the era when ET&WNC had re-lettered her.

I have found a set of dry-transfer decals that has numbers,
that are a perfect match for the road numbers on those ET&WNC engines,
I did up my own #9 like that.

I later found out that there are solvents that can remove the Bachmann lettering,
but I'd used very fine sandpaper to remove the factory road number.
Looking at my Flickr photos, I just realized I have no photos online of the side of my #9.

In your case, though, you'd need to re-letter then tender as Linville River as well,
and nobody makes gold lettering decals for anything ET&WNC related, sadly.


Hi Lee,

Yes, I have the excellent book that Johnny did about the depots.
Do not have the book about the locomotives though.

Interesting thought about LRRR #9.
Might have to give it a go in the future.

Doc Tom


Doctor G
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BLUE FOAM TAKES ON SOME COLORS AND TEXTURE.

On my On30 logging mini layout I used Blue Foam landforms in anticipation of this layout depicting the ET&WNC.





Even learned to carve the foam to look like rock strata, by using the edge of a whirling dremel rotary sander.





So it was time to put those experiences to work on this latest project.

First the profiles of the mountains and hills on the Linville LDE were smoothed out using a Surefoam tool.





Rock was carved using the trusty Dremel.
The first layers of forest ground cover were made up using latex paints and a variety of ground foams.















Unlike the logger mini, set in wintertime,
 this mountain RR is set in glorious summer in the Blue Ridge.

Next up will be the greens of ground cover and then the trees.

Thanks for looking.


Doc Tom


W C Greene
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Great looking rockwork.
The old Dremel works well as a "scenic tool".
More photos please.

Woodie



Doctor G
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Thanks Woodie.

Green scenic elements started this weekend.

More pictures to come once all the glue dries.

Doc Tom  ;)



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