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I got the printer fixed and finally printed some successful seat slats for the Heritage Park benches. I needed to replace the new 32GB thumb drives smaller ones. I also replaced the USB 2.0 extension cable that goes from the mother board to the back case face. Elegoo told me that the printer really doesn't like thumb drives of greater than 16GB. I ordered another set of five from Amazon for less than $20. I didn't return the others, they're good to have around if I have to send more photo files to publishers. They also told me that the cable might be defective and the new cable worked well. It took just a few minutes to make the change.

I printed 6 up and got four good ones. I'll detach and clean them up on Monday. The arm rest/end caps are all printed ad waiting for this part. I still have to remove all those supports and could lose some more. I also have to clean the vat since the failed ones leave lumps stuck to the bottom.

Heritage Park Bench Print 4 of 6

And the Bradley is coming along. I got the engine/trans in today and the driver's compartment is also done. It's a nicely engineered model. When the lid is on, the engine is not really visible. The big silver box in front is the GM/Allison hydrodynamic transmission. It would be very easy to drive one of these. Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Low along with a steering wheel. Easy peasy.

Bradley Power Pack InstallBradley Driver's Compartment 2

I post when I build the park benches. Stay tuned...


Images (3)
  • Heritage Park Bench Print 4 of 6
  • Bradley Power Pack Install
  • Bradley Driver's Compartment 2

Well… I finally got the park benches printed, built, painted and placed in the Heritage Park. I printed them 6 up, two failed, one got destroyed when de-supporting so I ended up with the three that I needed. I post-cured before removing the supports to strengthen the slats. I used the Dremel flexi-shaft with a needle-shaped diamond-coated burr to cut off the supports. I then used the mini-sander to remove the support nubs. Didn't have to be too careful since the bottoms and backs will not be seen be very well.

Heritage Park Support Scars

I glued the ends on with thin CA. Two benches have the later-printed full-thickness end pieces. The other has the thinner pieces that were printed first in an aborted print. Here are the three after gluing.

Heritage Park Benches Built

I hand-painted the slats with Tamiya wood tan.

Heritage Park Slats Painted

Today I followed up with Tamiya Park Green, which is a gloss bright green that looks a lot like Burlington Northern Green.

Heritage Park Benches Fin

Pretty respectable, if I do say so myself. And here they are in the park where they belong.

Heritage Park Benches Placed 1Heritage Park Benches Placed 2

Now I need people. A park without people is just plain sad. I'm really trying to find STL files of figures that I can print.  With the benches in place, Heritage Park is actually fully complete. I think that Park Green is a new Tamiya color. I've been wanting a Tamiya bright green, but never could find one.

I had to adjust the color on the some of the driver's compartment stuff in the Bradley.

Meng Models has some really nicely made decals.

Bradley D Compartment Decals


Images (7)
  • Heritage Park Support Scars
  • Heritage Park Benches Built
  • Heritage Park Slats Painted
  • Heritage Park Benches Fin
  • Heritage Park Benches Placed 1
  • Heritage Park Benches Placed 2
  • Bradley D Compartment Decals

My wife and I splurged the other day and finally got Apple Watches and new iPhones to go with them. Our daughter wanted us to have the watches since we're now at the age where falls can occur and the watch will sense this and alert the right people. We had iPhone 7s. I got the Pro because of the fabulous camera system, and she got the Mini. I bought the pro because between posting all my work and the magazine articles, I'm taking thousands of hi-res pics per year. I just took these yesterday just to test it out. I did not spend much time doing this, nor did I really test all the variables.

The night photo capability is breathtaking.

IP12Pro Night Test 4

The wide-angle shot of the layout shows everything is beautiful focus. I don't have to use the Canon EOS and image-stacking software to get this.

IP12Pro Wide Test

This is shot with the full 10X telephoto. That engine house is about 40 feet away.

IP12pro Tele test 1

And it can do one more thing... You can set up the camera and reproduce what you see on the iWatch. You can then snap the picture on the watch. This enables you to put the camera in unique places without having to physically operate it. Like this.

What's most impressive about the optics is the depth or field without any fussing around. Not only is the shed in good focus, but the entire mountain is as well. The camera was about 3 inches away from the shed, but the mountain was five feet away. No more image stacking software. There's apps available where you can adjust the focus manually so I could use the iPhone with image stacking if that's ever necessary.

IP12Pro Watch Trigger 6

or this… I could have shot this with everything in focus if I wanted to spend the time. In the Portrait Mode you can adjust how much of the background should be in or out of focus. It's called "Bokeh". You can position the camera very close to the subject. Perfect for all my model and WIP photography.

IP12Pro Watch Trigger 8

Or this… I'm going to build, buy or 3D print some kind of holders so the camera can be safely positioned various ways to really take advantage of the Watch/Camera relationship.

IP12Pro Watch Trigger 4

or even this...

IP12Pro Watch Trigger 3

The CPU's AI capabilities are extensive and it adjusts exposure in various parts of the image to balance it. That's how it handles the night photography. Apparently, it does not work in the telephoto mode. The camera switches seamlessly from ultra-wide, wide and telephoto lenses as you adjust the magnification.

It was a hard-sell to convince my wife that the optics in the 12 pro are worth the extra $200. It also comes with 128GB memory standard, versus 64GB in the 12 standard. That's $100 of the $200 right there. With the photo work I do, I believe it is justified. It basically puts my Canon EOS into cold storage. I may just sell that along with the old phones. The color rendition on the phone is substantially better than the old Canon.

The above only scratches the surface. I didn't even mention that the LIDAR laser range finding, you can scan, measure and even export STL files for potential 3D printing. I need to do more research about this feature before fully understanding its role in my model work. And I haven't tried to take 4k movies with this beast. That should be terrific as well.

Stay tuned.


Images (7)
  • IP12Pro Night Test 4
  • IP12Pro Wide Test
  • IP12pro Tele test 1
  • IP12Pro Watch Trigger 6
  • IP12Pro Watch Trigger 8
  • IP12Pro Watch Trigger 4
  • IP12Pro Watch Trigger 3

Thanks Mark! And as I said, I didn't spend any time working with the options or really positioning the camera carefully. I was rushing. If it can produce results like that without fussing, imagine what it can do it you do fuss?

Just for comparison, here are two shots from the same point of view. The first is with the canon, done with image stacking software to get it all in focus and I then had to attempt to adjust the color, etc. The second was the iPhone 12 pro's shot with no adjustment whatsoever except for cropping it a bit to get rid of the ceiling.

Layout Status EOS 2-21IP12Pro Wide Test

The iPhone's color is so natural. It's a little red-shifted due to the LED lighting. I could adjust that, but I just took it as it was. If you click on them to see in full resolution it's even more dramatic. I suspect that I'm going to sell the Canon along with the two iPhone 7s. The 7s are not worth anything for trade in, but you can still get $100 a piece for them on eBay. I'm going to look at what the camera's worth. Probably nothing.


Images (2)
  • Layout Status EOS 2-21
  • IP12Pro Wide Test

My wife and I splurged the other day and finally got Apple Watches and new iPhones to go with them. Our daughter wanted us to have the watches since we're now at the age where falls can occur and the watch will sense this and alert the right people.

What a coincidence, I’m about to do the same thing. I’m just trying to decide if I should go through the Base Exchange kiosk, Costco kiosk, Apple or Verizon. I do know if Verizon will deal on 2 phones and it’ll probably mean an upgrade to our service level. The only difference is my wife won’t be happy unless she gets the same phone, so it’ll be a Pro Max for each of us. These will be our first iPhones, so I’m debating between the 128Gb and 256Gb versions. We have 256Gb iPads, so it’ll be no problem to offload photos to the iPads, but I tend to buy the next level up from the base model. I plan on a 44mm watch for me and we’ll see what she wants, probably the same. I gave up wearing a watch a long time ago, mostly because the band always got sweaty in the AZ heat, plus the Velcro wore out, etc., but the camera control and medical safety makes it something I think we need now. We got our stimulus check today (for deposit Wednesday), so that’s pretty timely.

Dave, I feel your pain! We bought the watches and my wife's phone through the Apple website with the intention of picking them up at the Apple Store at the Oxmore Mall in Louisville. We then attempted to buy my phone on line, but ran into a snag with the Verizon part of the transaction. It kept saying we couldn't add a second phone to the line UNLESS I was the administrator of the account (which I am). We got into a stupid loop and fussed with it for about an hour. We then decided to go to the Apple Store, pick up the stuff we bought and buy my phone there. That worked without any hitches.

The Max is simply too big for my smallish hands. The 12 is wider and longer than my 7. My wife and I went around and around on the Standard versus Pro question. She tends to blank whenever I try to describe why one technical thing is better than another. When someone asks you to justify spending $200 for some technical upgrade it's a very hard sell. Since I don't really do any photography for commercial purposes, there's no payback to defray the extra cost. If I do get more articles published then I'll have some cash influx that can be used to justify the camera. If we can sell the 7s and my Canon, the cost difference is moot. I was convinced by several responders to my various threads that going for the better camera was a no-brainer. After seeing what it does, I think that's true. I offload images and only keep those on my phone that I want to share with others, so 128 is fine.

I ran into trouble transferring the data from MY 7 to the 12. This is funny because the transfer to from my wife's 7 to her 12 went without a hitch. At the start of the transfer, the new phone said it needed to update the OS 14. It downloaded the new files and then got stuck on installing… for hours. I shut it all down, and downloaded the update with the new phone isolated from the 7. When the upgrade successfully loaded, I put them back into proximity and let the data transfer continue. That hung too. It sat for about an hour showing the data transfer icons, but the status bar was showing no progress. I shut that down too and did the transfer from the Cloud. That worked, but I was unsure if all the 7's stuff was all transferred. After evaluation, all of it transferred from the Cloud.

I don't know why my phone was being difficult, but it worked out in the end. My daughter's had the Apple watch for a few years and really relies on it. I was unsure about its value. I was wrong! It was the same with the iPhone. I was a late adopter, not getting my first until version 5. I was wrong with that too. Don't know about life without the darn thing. And you know what? You can even make telephone calls with it.

That was one of the funniest lines in "Spy Kids" when he was showing this fantastic thing on his wrist, but the only thing it COULDN'T do was make phone calls.

So, I'm glad you're going this route. You won't regret it.

Last edited by Trainman2001

We have old Samsung Note 5’s now. All we need to transfer is contacts, so I’m not too worried about that. Since we already have apps on the iPads, that should be no problem either. My biggest concern is getting the best deal between the Base, Costco or Verizon. The watches will comes from the Base because they’ll match Apple’s military discount and I’ll save the tax. They don’t sell phones direct, so no real savings there.


If you purchase at Apple Store, you can select a two year payment program which allows you to upgrade after 12 months without any charges by swapping out your current phone plus it includes Apple Care.  Also, as to the Apple Watch, I have found Milanese watchband to be superior for heat and comfort.  It's also attractive.  All of these are great to have with model trains!

@Bill Brown posted:


If you purchase at Apple Store, you can select a two year payment program which allows you to upgrade after 12 months without any charges by swapping out your current phone plus it includes Apple Care.  Also, as to the Apple Watch, I have found Milanese watchband to be superior for heat and comfort.  It's also attractive.  All of these are great to have with model trains!

That adds around $9 to the monthly payment and of course you start a new monthly payment base on the cost of the new phone. Reminds me of the old days when our local dealer offered to sell you a new car the following year for your trade-in plus $500. As fas as the band goes, that’s a $99 band, seems a bit expensive.

Last May I traded my wife's iPhone 6s in for an iPhone SE with 256 MB storage.  She wasn't concerned about photo resolution as much as storage since she wants to have all her photographs and saved videos from FaceBook handy and not have to get them off the cloud first.  She is one step above a novice user.  I just traded my 6s in for an XR.  I wasn't as concerned about all the photographic qualities Myles needed, but my battery was almost shot and with only 16 MB storage, I couldn't offload enough to free up space to run updates.  I got 128 MB storage.  The camera resolution is much better.  I don't know the difference in pixels and all that, but the files are over twice a large.  By the time I get my layout as far along as Myles' layout where I want to try things with photography, it will be time for a new camera anyway.    I bought my wife's online via Verizon, but bought mine online directly from Apple.  Her setup went without a hitch, but mine would hang on the identification codes.  After 3 tries, I called Apple.  Their representative entered the same codes in her system, and it went right through right away.  Happy shopping!

Trainman and Bill, I’ve got a little more info. If I buy a SIM free phone from Apple, I get the military discount. If I buy a Verizon activated phone, I lose the discount. It’s not an activation fee per se, but it sure feels like one. 🤣 They said I can technically just swap my SIM card, but it’s really old, so I’d prefer a new one. I still need to find what Verizon will charge for that, but I suspect it’ll be less than the discount. I also got an Apple Card, so I’ll get another 6% cash back on that if I pay in full.

My sister convinced me 128GB will be enough. I’ve got over 70Gb of photos, but most won’t be transferred to the phone. She also said she decided to trade early, so she got almost 50% trade-in for her 11. Still a lot to pay for a new phone every couple of years. 😂

My wife is getting her 2nd shingles shot tomorrow morning, so I plan to stop at the Base Exchange and see if the clerk can answer questions about the activation process. I still need to check Costco and I plan on doing that tomorrow.

Mark, did you mean to type MB or GB?

Last edited by DoubleDAZ

Well… that was certainly enlightening. So far the silicone Sport Band is comfortable for my wife and me. We'll see how it works in the heat of the summer. The band is certainly easy to change… much easier than on a conventional watch. Between my last post and today, we had a tutorial session with my brilliant daughter who's a pretty good techie and very intuitive. She's had an Apple watch for a couple of years and knows all about it. I love the 12 Pro, but it's the integration with the watch that so 'magical'.

She helped us set up the 'home' screen to have everything we want at a glance. On mine I have weather, camera, workout, moon phases, date, and… oh yeah… it tells time too. Between Workout on the bottom left, and Camera on the right, is moon phases. Because it's not showing anything, I'm thinking we're at a New Moon. I'll have to check that out. I like having the weather at a glance without having to pull the phone out of my pocket and then start and app.


Like the smart phone itself, I was a skeptic about the iWatch. "How would you handle all those tiny icons?" I asked. And "Who would want to read anything on a 40mm screen?" As usual, I didn't know what I was talking about. The iWatch and how it integrates with the iPhone and the Mac, is so seamless that it's the true genius of the whole deal. You just look straight at the Watch and say anything to the face and SIRI pops up.

We didn't get the cellular hookup, but it does have GPS. If you're within WiFi range of your phone, when the phone rings, the watch does too. You can answer the watch and conduct a conversation. You can easily respond to messages as well. Unfortunately, being a retiree who builds models, I'm not getting too many messages or calls. Most of my human interaction is with all you folks on the various forums to which I contribute regularly.

I've used the EKG feature and yup!… it says I'm in AFib. Tell me something I already know. I also used the blood oxygen level sensor and it was 99%.

And I do love the camera. I took some movies today to see how that worked. I also found that the watch will activate the movie function on the camera as well as all the other camera modes. So I stuck the camera in various spots to see how it worked. It did. The movies weren't very good so I scrapped them. But be sure that I will make more… and they'll be great!

One more thing… If I had one of these watches when in school, I would have done worse than I did. For a kid with ADD, that watch would have been my undoing.


Images (1)
  • IMG_0079

Trainman2001, thanks to our recent discussion, I spent way too much money the last 2 days on 2 of everything; iPhone 12 Pro Max 128Gb, Apple Watch 44mm, MagSafe charging pad, MagSafe clear case and power adapter. I got the phones without SIM cards to get the 10% military discount and paid for them with the Apple Card to get the 6% cash back they’re offering through March 31. Then I went out to Luke AFB to upgrade our service and get new Verizon SIM cards for a whopping penny each. And I had to pay the $.02 before we could leave. 🤣 The watch is capable of so much more than I expected and the integration between it, the phone and the iPad just works. Our contacts didn’t all transfer, but I think that was my fault and the Verizon Contact Transfer app took care of it. I had to arranged my apps, but I’ve spent more of my time fiddling with the watch app. I set it up to vibrate when I get a call and not ring the phone for some peace and quiet from home buyers. Oh, and I can be out in the garage without the phone and still make calls. Have you seen the video of the watch emptying water after a swim? It’s really cool technology.

I'm sorry that I'm so influential. I am really happy with the phone and especially how it works with the watch. It's a brilliant system. We bought the watches without the cellular capability. As long as the phone is within WiFi distance, when it rings so does the watch and you can answer the call on your watch. As a retiree I get so few "real" phone calls that neither my wife or I needed the extra cost of the cell option. We're both using it to track our exercise sessions, and SIRI works perfectly with the watch so when grilling, I can just ask the watch to set the timer and not have to take my phone out of my pocket with greasy fingers. I'm putting both iPhone 7s up for sale on eBay. If anyone wants them we can agree to a good price. Both are in good condition.

At some point I'll be getting back to railroad stuff. The Bradley is progressing pretty well. It was missing the "Q" sprue and Meng is sending me a replacement from China. I'm also replacing the kit's snap together track links with metal track from Friulmodel. The snap-together was easy enough, but they weren't secure and handling kept separating the links. Not good. The metal track links are secured with through-pins at every link and will not come apart. Here's a couple of progress shots.

The hull is complete except for those pesky missing "Q" parts, and the turret is almost done. The turret's of late model Bradleys is a very complicated affair.

Those boxes are explosive reactive armor ERA. They're held with PE parts that were not easy to install.

Bradley Turret ERA Comp

The orange periscope faces is my attempt to duplicate the anti-laser coating on the prototype's. I used a coat of Molotow Chrome pen, followed by a clear lacquer to seal it, and then a mix of red/yellow Tamiya clear paint. I needed the seal coat because the Tamiya paint was dissolving the chrome since it too was alcohol-based. I will have to mask those faces before exterior airbrushing.

Bradley Turret ERA Start

The black "X" is a missing armor layer that's one of the those "Q" parts.

Bradley Hull Buttoned upBradley Rear Gate Closed for Paint

Interior detailing is very real. Masking tape is holding the rear ramp actuating mechanism to keep it from falling out. There a LCD screens for the driver and another in the cabin seen on the back right in addition to the commander's in the turret.

Bradley Seat Belts installed

Turret rood undersides.

Bradley Turret Upper Finished

Fighting this tank is like playing a video game. There's LCDs, joysticks and a keyboard. Much is automated and it's deadly.

Bradley Turret Lower Finished


Images (7)
  • Bradley Turret ERA Comp
  • Bradley Turret ERA Start
  • Bradley Hull Buttoned up
  • Bradley Rear Gate Closed for Paint
  • Bradley Seat Belts installed
  • Bradley Turret Upper Finished
  • Bradley Turret Lower Finished

Thank you Randy. I've sent off a manuscript about that building to Railroad Model Craftsman. I don't expect to know for quite some time, if and when it will be published. It's going to be a hard act to follow.

Meanwhile, the turret is effectively done on the Bradley except for some decals. I put in whip antennas made of high E light gauge guitar string. I had to drill 0.010" holes in those plastic antenna bases. It was challenging to say the least. I'm waiting for metal track parts and the replacement of the missing sprue "Q" to arrive. So I'm pretty much stuck after I finish the turret. The real Bradley M2A3 and the model is a very complicated machine. I haven't pulled the masking on the optical and periscopes. I did very modest weathering.

Bradley Turret Detail Paint 4Bradley Turret Detail Paint 3


Images (2)
  • Bradley Turret Detail Paint 4
  • Bradley Turret Detail Paint 3

Sprue Q has most of the Explosive Reactive Armor parts, a couple of armor layers for the hull, the taillight enclosure that sit on the air conditioners that hang on the rear, and the framing for the commander’s transparent bullet-proof shield. I realized it was an empty slot in my cardboard sprue rack along with the sprue O, but assumed incorrectly that it was intentional. But, and it’s a big but, Sprue Q was shown in the parts breakdown drawings in the instructions. If I would have contacted Meng then, I probably would have the missing parts now. There is NO sprue O.

For $10 from Amazon I bought a neat little iPhone to Tripod adapter. It lets you position it landscape or portrait and I replaced my quick lock tripod clamp from the Canon EOS to this adapter. It will enhance my layout stills and movies letting me position the iPhone in unique viewpoints instead of me just handholding it on the aisle. With the iWatch's ability to remote control the shutter, I can be anywhere to make it all go. It holds the phone snuggly so it won't shake even at long telephoto shots.

iPhone Camera Adapter


Images (1)
  • iPhone Camera Adapter

I produced a post last night, but neglected to hit SEND and therefore, lost the entire deal. Now I'll do it again. Ugh!

While this is technically not a train issue, since I'm using L-girder construction to do it, and since I've posted literally everything that's happened in my life for the last 9 years, I am declaring it legitimate to post on my never-ending story.

The project is to finalize the upgrading of two work surfaces that have been sitting on saw horses since layout construction ended in 2014. I created the work surfaces to for building the large main wing of the 1:16 scale RC B-17 that I finished in 2011. They consisted of a 1/2" piece of plywood capped with a layer of homosote. The resulting surface was perfect for holding T-pins which were holding the balsa parts of the big wing. At the time, they were supported on an L-girder frame that eventually was re-sized and re-purposed as the end platform area that forms the tunnels and area in front of the gate.

Here is the table in used in building the B-17's 6 foot wing.

Wing Begins

For the past 7 years this table and its twin were in the railroad room and it's where I did the sloppy work like plastering. They sat on rickety saw horses that were not stable and a pain in the butt to sweep around. You've seen these tables in use over the past years, for instance when I was gluing up the sides pilasters on the engine house. Like here: You can see the lovely saw horses.

EH R Side Done almost

I moved one of the pair, a 4' X 2' chunk into the shop are still with its saw horse base, but wanted to upgrade it to a real, substantial and stable work surface. Right now it was holding my three sanding machines. I want to move all the 3D printing stuff to this table and move the sanding equipment to the current 3D table. My reason… I'm going to improve the bench with a back pegboard and a shelf so all the printing paraphernalia can go on the shelf and only the operating equipment will be on the work surface.

It's going to look like this:

Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 9.30.04 PM

Since I find that L-girder is so solid, I decided to use it in making this table structure. The girders are 4' long minus 2X the board thickness on each end which worked out to 42-1/2" long. The front legs stop at the girder top. The rear legs continue through a slot in the table top to 2 feet above the working surface for the peg board side supports. My peg board is left over from making the original work benches in 2010. I have enough for this bench and making a permanent surround for the model making table so my small tool racks are mounted on the board and not taking up precious work top space.

I covered making L-Girder a long time ago in the layout building thread, but instead of forcing anyone wanting more information to go back into the archives, I'll give a quick review here.

The web (the vertical part) is a 1 X 4, and the flange (the horizontal part) is a 1 X 2 are glued together with Titebond II wood glue. The steps are: Cut the members to length (in this instance 42.5"), and clamp them together with Quickie Clamps. Doing it on a set of saw horses works because you can also clamp the assembly to the horses to keep everything still. Drill holes for some screws that will temporarily hold the web and flange together while glue dries so you can remove the clamps and use them on the next girder. Back the screws out so the two parts can separate, apply a bead of glue to the web's edge, and then screw them back together so the glue oozes out of the joint. The next day, you can remove the screws and reuse them to build other stuff. The screw ONLY hold the parts until dry. The glue joint is immensely strong.

This picture shows the initial clamping. You can see that one is holding onto the saw horse also.

Table Mods L-Girder Construct

Here were the four girders needed to upgrade both benches. The screws haven't yet been removed.

Table Mods L-Girder Complete

That was yesterday's work. Today, got one bench almost finished. I cut the legs, their leveling screws, L-girders and legs, attached and made a great start on all the diagonal bracing that makes this whole thing work. You can use 2 X 2 legs as long as they're deeply braced. Because of the short table, the bracing isn't as deep as I would like, but since this isn't having to hold the weight of all the trains and the 180 pound guy that occasionally has to climb on the table, it will be quite strong.

I wanted the working height to be the same as the taller parts of my main workbench, 36". I subtracted the table thickness and some more to account for the #10 metric carriage bolts and T-nuts so the feet can be precisely leveled. The 3D printed needs to be level and cross-level. It really helps to have a level work surface at the start. The back legs had to go up that additional 2 feet for the back board. Some of the 2 X 2s I got from Lowe's were bent like pretzels. I can use some. As it is I way over-estimated the amount of leg stock I would need. "Why Metric carriage bolts?" you ask. I had a bunch left over from the original layout building in Germany in 1999. As it was it was $140 for the lumber without that hardware. I did have to buy the metric T-nuts, and realize that I will also need #10 nuts so the adjustments can be locked.

Table Mods Leveling Feet

After marking the center of the table top, and the girder centers, I positioned them for attachment. I cut a small chunk of the leg stock to use as a gauge since the rear legs were mounting flush against the table's edge in the back and front. I set the gauge at the edge and positioned the girder against it and then drew a line the length of the girder on the table bottom. I screwed the girder down by drilling through the web with a wood screw drill. I use Torx drive screws exclusively. I'm particular to SPAX. They are marvelous screws that I started using in Germany. They're now available here at THD. Torx screws DON'T CAM OUT, and you don't need to apply excessive down force to keep the driving head engaged.

I attached and end board 2 X 3 to further stabilize the girder and you can see the relief cut where the back leg will pass through the table. I used my saber saw to make that cut.

Table Mods Leg Notch CU

I temporarily clamp the short front legs and then went about setting the tall rear ones. I wanted the legs to be be close to the same level, even though the leveling feet will adjust for any level error. I placed a long level on the leg tops and raised or lowered to match the front.

Table Mods Setting Long Leg Height

I also got the legs in plumb as best as I could. Their all a little warped so plumb was an approximation. After the legs were set on one end, I drilled through the leg and the girder and used 1/4" carriage bolts on the outside with nuts and washers inside. I ordered these, but they're WAY TOOOO LOOOONNNNG. I may use an abrasive cutoff wheel to shortened them. Or not. You really won't interact with them.

You can see the long screws in this image. I also started adding the X bracing. The end bracing is straight forward since they lay directly on the legs.

Table Mods End Bracing WIP

The long braces are different. It you screw them flat on the girder, they butt against the legs. If you want to screw them flush on the legs you need to pack out the to attach them to the girder. So you need to use gussets. The gusset attaches the brace to the leg so the brace can butt up to the leg. It's better than attempting to drill and screw on the brace's angle.

Table Mods Side Brace Gusset

Tomorrow I should pretty much finish the first table.


Images (10)
  • Wing Begins
  • EH R Side Done almost
  • Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 9.30.04 PM
  • Table Mods L-Girder Construct
  • Table Mods L-Girder Complete
  • Table Mods Leveling Feet
  • Table Mods Leg Notch CU
  • Table Mods Setting Long Leg Height
  • Table Mods End Bracing WIP
  • Table Mods Side Brace Gusset
Last edited by Trainman2001

The B-17 was my introduction to hobby life in Louisville. I had stopped at Scale Reproductions, Inc. when we first moved here to ask about the model jet meet that was held at South Lebanon, KY. We had attended a meet with the grandkids before we had moved and I wanted to see if it was a re-occurring thing. I was directed to Mike Hunt in SRI's RC department. SRI is one of the best hobby shops in the country in an age where many have disappeared. Mike flies model jets. We got to talking and he asked if I built RC. I did… 25 years before. He asked if I wanted to build an old Royal kit that he had. He also had four OS .29 4-stroke engines to go with it. For this he would pay me $600.00. He was a fabulous RC pilot, but hated to build kits, especially old all-balsa ones. I asked him to bring in the kit and I would take a look and see what's what. It was similar to the refurbishment of the bronze Sikorsky an year and half ago.

The kit was a beast. The balsa was all dried out and brittle. I struggled mightily to skin the fuselage which almost had more filler than balsa. For the wings I bought all new material. The results were pretty good. I machined my own browning M2 machine guns since none were available for 1:16 scale. 3D Printing didn't exist yet. I also sculpted my own pilot and co-pilot, but they ended up looking like Wallace & Gromitt… well maybe just Wallace.

The model was designed for 2-stroke engines. The engine change was dramatic. The 4-strokes were 3/4" longer than the 3 strokes because the carburetors were hung on the rear. I had two choices: mount them as the 2-strokes which would have extended the prop shaft way out of the cowling, or move the firewall back so the longer engine fit in the cowling. That's what I did. And what that did was remove the space in the nacelle for the fuel tanks, which now had to be placed in the wings. While that's where the rear ones were, in the model it meant re-routing all the fuel lines, messed with the center of gravity and just complicated everything.

I changed the rudder and elevator control scheme which required more problem solving. And so it went.

The model flew and flew well. On it's maiden flight Mike was able to rolls with it. I don't believe the real one ever did rolls…if it did it wasn't intentional. Here's a link to the maiden flight.

Because of the fuel changes Mike couldn't get it to idle and it landed too fast, the gear dug into the grass and it dove forward. It bent the gear and loosened one motor mount, but all was repairable. Mike could never solve the idle problem and so the model as a "hangar Queen."

My B17 build thread was what got me started documenting all my work. It can be found in its entirety here:

This website features builds by some of the finest RC scale builders in the world. If you think my attention to detail and creativity is commendable, what goes on here makes me a rank amateur.

Even if you’re not into scale flying aircraft, as fellow model builders, it’s worth a visit. I’ve transferred a lot of techniques from these guys to my scratch-building.

The first Table Mod project is done and it's working exactly as planned. I first had to finish it up. One of the 1 X 3s that I was using as a short, front diagonal brace had a significant warp in it. I could have pulled it straight with the gusset screws, but it was torquing the L-girder too much, so I packed out the gap with some more Masonite.

The arrow points to the curve. It should have aligned with the leg's inner edge. Instead it was pointing to the center.

Table Mods Warped Brace

With the bracing in place, I carefully turned the table right-side up on its own legs. I then built the back framing that would support the pegboard and the shelf.

The 2 X 2 furring strips are really awful. The square stock I bought in Germany 21 years ago were much better lumber. All the German lumber seemed to be of higher quality than the usual US stuff. It was warped and twisted. For the silly little frame I was making I cut the pieces to minimize the curves and lived with the twist. The bottom member was just there to provide a fastening point for the middle vertical member, so the twist at the ends mattered nothing.

I used angle brackets to secure the center brace to the bottom member and just screw in from the top to secure it there. I also screwed into end grain for the two ends of the upper longitudinal. It's not a good way to hold wood together, but the usage is low load.

Table Mods Back Framing

When the pegboard went on the whole deal stiffened up a bunch. I used Torx screws with dress washers to hold the pegboard in place.

Table Mods Pegboard Back

And the front:

Table Mods Pegboard Frt

I didn't have a any commercial shelf brackets, but didn't need them when I had a chop saw. First I screwed on a 1 X 3 ledge to support the back of the shelf.

Table Mods Shelf Ledge

The shelf was a 1 X 8 and I wanted to make a full-width 45° angle brace, so I multiplied the shelf with by 1. 414 (the sine of the angle) and got about 11". So I made three 1 X 3 braces with their ends cut at 45°. They were too long and overhung the shelf edge. What?!!! So I decided to ACTUALLY measure the shelf's width and it was 7-1/4". Oh… that's what happened! I trimmed the ends again at the bevel and made them right. Always easy to make something shorter.

I clamped the shelf to the ledge, used some other clamps to hold the pre-drilled diagonal braces and screwed them all in. I pushed the table back to the wall, raised any feet that weren't sitting on the floor and measured its level. It was pretty good. I paved the surface with polyfilm to protect it against the bath of UV resin that it's going to get, and moved the 3D printing stuff into place.

The acoustic tile surface is a bit soft. The printer's feet sank into it. I placed a piece of Masonite under it and made sure it was level and cross-level. The bench's full 4 foot width accommodated all the key apparatus and solved the first problem. In the previous setup, the UV curing chamber was behind the ultrasonic cleaner and was a pain to load. It's now right out in front. The lid opens towards the back. The arrow points out the spring clamp that I need to keep the lid from flopping closed so I can load it with both hands.

Table Mods FinishedThe

The next improvement was the shelf. All the supplies (Resin and cleaning) are now off the work surface. I may plastic coat the shelf too since resin is notoriously sloppy. Everything in this arrangement is cleaner and more efficient than the previous one. Took two days to do this project. Easy when you have the right tools. It doesn't wobble, but due to the shallow front bracing, there is some flexibility side-to-side. Again, the table's going to do light duty. It's definitely over-engineered. BTW: raising the legs off the floor with the carriage bolts is good especially if there's any water on the floor. Notice how easy it is to clean under it. The table in the train room is not a four foot width. It's less, so the construction will even be more spindles. I've already produced the L-girders so I committed to going that way.

I ran out of time, but will strip the plastic sheeting off the old table and put the sanding gear there.

While this was going on, the printer was busy making 140 1:32 scale jumbo concrete blocks for a project that Al Graziano is doing and needed a hand. He needed 120. I was getting 21 per load. Each load took 45 minutes. I was conservative and predicted I would get some failures and crashes. As it worked out, I had to scrap 3 pieces. The printer was working GREAT! I just bought some special cleaning solution and lint/scratch-free wipes to polish the FEP during deep cleanings. Paper towels put fine scratches into the FEP. Fine scratches make the surface too sticky and cause failures. So far so good.

The back pile are fully sanded and are done. The front pile has been post-cured, but need some touchup sanding to make them perfect. Looks like a building supply truck lost its load. If I couldn't do this, Al would have scratch-built them out of styrene. I was able to get radiused corners in the holes. That would have been very difficult if building the blocks out of styrene. Printer is a game changer… again!

Al's Block Print Complete


Images (7)
  • Table Mods Warped Brace
  • Table Mods Back Framing
  • Table Mods Pegboard Back
  • Table Mods Pegboard Frt
  • Table Mods Shelf Ledge
  • Table Mods Finished
  • Al's Block Print Complete

Myles, Yes the model plane guys do some fantastic work.  My uncle was an RC plane enthusiast.  He built the planes mechanically sound and very sharp looking, but didn't get into superdetailing because there were often repairs after flying.

The workbench looks great for all the 3D printing needs.  The blocks you are printing for Al look great.  I knew right off what they were.

Thanks as always, Mark.

Today, in one work session I upgraded the roll-around model building work bench. This is the one that I bought in Venlo, the Netherlands in 1999 on German Reunification Day. All the stores were closed in Germany, but the IKEA just across the Netherlands border was open and booming.

Last year I did a jerry-rig mod to help reduce the small parts flying off into the ether either straight ahead or to the right side. I couldn't wall in the left side since my airbrushes sit in a holder there. I used some 8" wide Masonite screwed to the work table's edge and duct taped two sheets of cardboard to that and each other in the corner. It worked! It did reduce part loss. In addition I installed the lap drape stapled to the table's underside front edge, which caught about 90% of the parts dropping straight down to the floor.

But that's all the cardboard did. It had no other function. With the completion of the 3D work table and its pegboard, I had just the right amount to pegboard to upgrade the model bench. I woke this morning thinking about the ways of framing the new pegboard walls. Here's a drawing I cobbled together to show the challenge and the solution.

Unlike the 3D bench, I was unable to run the corner braces all the way to the floor for added stiffness. And I didn't care if the framing was visible as long as it was functional. So this time I used two pieces of 1 X 4 edge-laid onto the table and screwed in from below. I didn't want to screw these pieces into the edge of the table since it would not be as secure. I was going to hang a shelf and some tool holders directly on these walls. I screwed the corner posts into the end-grain of the 1 X 4 and one screw directly from below. Not the best way, but they pretty secure. And the pegboard tied to the corners adds additional stiffness.

Screen Shot 2021-04-05 at 9.55.20 PM

You can see that the table floats above the base so there wasn't any structure to hold the walls.

Screen Shot 2021-04-05 at 9.55.36 PM

As in the 3D bench I added a ledge to hold the shelf back edge and then used 1 X 3 45° angle brackets. This time I screwed their bottoms into the sides of the uprights and then one screw under the shelf end. I screwed the shelf edge wise from behind through the pegboard. This was a slightly different approach than I took with the other bench, and frankly, more elegant.

I had to replace an LED puck in an under-cabinet lighting system in the kitchen. The Amazon package contained 3 pucks. They were very inexpensive ($20) and have self-stick backs. They also have a dimmer unit. I decided that the shelf would be a great place to add some more lighting to this space.

Model Bench Upgrade

The above picture was (obviously) not staged. I rushed it as I quit work this afternoon. But it does show the cool new lighting, and you can now see that my tweezers, Needle Files and Pliers racks are now raised above the work surface enough so there's storage space beneath them. Right now I have my collection of machinist blocks that are used all the time in scratch-building. Other tools can be hung from the pegboard as I've just done with the digital. The shelf now contains all the bottled stuff that was clogging the back of the work space. I am pleased with how this improves the work flow in this space and am annoyed that I didn't do it years ago. All of the members butt against the tables edge very tightly so nothing can sneak down inside them.

I have just enough lumber left to add the new leg set to the other table top in the train room. I'll do that later this week.

As an interesting aside: I used the ultra-wide ability of the iPhone 12 to take the above pic. Notice how the wide angle distorts the perspective. That's a 2 X 2 in the corner, but it clearly looks like it 3" going into the picture while looking normal across the face. You all know that telephoto does the exact opposite by foreshortening everything going into the image. I was told that with a 35mm SLR camera, 50mm is a true representation of perspective that more or less conforms to how we see with our eyes.


Images (3)
  • Screen Shot 2021-04-05 at 9.55.20 PM
  • Screen Shot 2021-04-05 at 9.55.36 PM
  • Model Bench Upgrade
@Mark Boyce posted:

Myles, Yes the model plane guys do some fantastic work.  My uncle was an RC plane enthusiast.  He built the planes mechanically sound and very sharp looking, but didn't get into superdetailing because there were often repairs after flying.

The workbench looks great for all the 3D printing needs.  The blocks you are printing for Al look great.  I knew right off what they were.


Mark, I agree that when I build, dress up and fly R/C planes, it does find the scene of the crash in record time... negating a beautiful paint job, with perfect rivet pukka in the panels. Upside to short flight is that the walk to the wreckage is easy..

I've noticed that the walk to the scene of the crash on the layout is short as well. Less frequent, by a tad bit, more reliable none-the-less.


Images (1)
  • chaingang
Last edited by Miggy

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