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Post your non-O scale stuff here!

Drivel time!

Sometime ago I posted these pictures to various places here at OGR. Now I can't remember where. Seein' as these photo mini-essay's deal strictly with my KC&G Ozark Sub theme, I thought it good for me to place here in this thread so they're where they belong: In my KC&G thread.

Of course, I can't just post a pic. Nope, as typical, there's drivel that goes with the pics as I spin some yarns based on my prototype railroading career, incidents of railroading friends, etc, etc.

For those of you that haven't previously seen the pics or read the yarns, I hope you enjoy!

Dateline: 1964...

On this crisp, overcast autumn day, a rather road weary Kansas City & Gulf #255 sits burbling alongside the engine house at the small town of Ozarka, Arkansas.

Ozarka is deep in the heart of the Ozark Mountains and has the distinction of being situated at the foot of the worst grade on the entire Kansas City & Gulf: The 2.5% - 2.9% climb up through Possum Creek Hollow, then into Buck Hollow, and onto the side of Buck Mountain for the final assault to Piney Gap.

Many's been the time #255 has done battle with that grade, either as the lead unit, or a trailing unit, or as a helper... and it's pretty much a done deal that it won't be long and it's going to get into yet another struggle to get tonnage up to the summit of Buck Mountain. However, for now, there's a brief respite as the old Alco sits and idles the time away for its next assignment.


About the pic:

The basic scene (engine, track, engine house) exists on my current, 100% functional, HO scale "Ozark Sub" layout. The engine house is comprised of simplistic photos I pasted to poster board, then cut out and assembled. Start to finish, maybe 20 minutes for the engine house?

I can't remember where (or when) I got the foliage photo. It was simply one I had in one of my "Autumn" folders. I ended up de-saturating it so it wasn't so garish, for it seems that, typically, aspiring photographers like to "enhance" the colors in their autumn landscape scenes. The end result looks spectacular as an art subject, but way too intense and unrealistic for a model railroad layout. Thus, the de-saturation.

To be continued...


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Last edited by laming
AUTUMN 1964...

The cold, mist laden, Ozark mountains conspired against the Kansas City & Gulf once again. Along with conditions such this comes the bane of trying to move tonnage on a mountain railroad: Wet rail.

Fallen leafs on the rail is bad enough, but wet leafs... they're like grease.

Into the mist-dappled mountains labored train #44 as it struggled against that devil of a grade up to Piney Gap. The engines were pulling their guts out at about 15 MPH as they ground their way alongside tumbling Possum Creek, all the while working their way up the grade toward the summit. The misted wet rail was bad enough... and the wet fallen leaves were making it worse.

What lousy timing for sand lines to get plugged with wet sand.

Bereft of the sanders on the trailing unit, #44 didn't stand a chance.

Sure 'nuf, #44 stalled up past the crossing at Jack Fork, just as they were poised to round Chinkapin Knob and head into Buck Mountain Hollow.

The Mountain had claimed another victim.

The call went out from #44 to the 'Spatcher: "We've laid down... got anybody that can give us some help or do we need to start doubling up to the top?"

Doubling to the top would have been time consuming for sure... IF the engines could even handle that task with one engine not laying down sand. After all, they were supposed to meet southbound passenger train #11 up north of Mountain Springs. Though #11 isn't much of a passenger train anymore, it would still would not be wise to hold it up. (The KC&G is trying to get out from under the financial load of passenger service... but that hasn't been approved yet.)

Fortunately, the Jack Fork Turn was still in the small yard at Ozarka just finishing switching up their train prior to departure. Sure enough, the Dispatcher hollered at them, and the Jack Fork Turn's planned day was changed. They were now "Extra 412 North", and would be taking their GP7 out of town light, and head out into the misty mountains to assist stalled #44 up to Piney Gap. Once there, they would magically transform into "Extra 412 South" (said so on the flimsies!) and ease back down The Mountain to Ozarka.

After a quick comparison of the flimsies among the crew in the cab of 412, with a couple bloops from the Wabco E2, Extra 412 North eased onto the main, closed  and locked the switch behind them, and headed off into the mist.

In a few miles, Extra 412 North was gingerly coming up to the rear of stalled #44, and once a quick job briefing was held with #44's Conductor in the caboose, they tacked-on to the rear of #44.

"Grab me a couple, Hotshot" crackled 412's radio. (It was the head end.)

"Got a couple!" came the reply as the 412 nudged against the stalled train... sanders blowing.

"We'll let's git 'em movin' then!" came the response from up front.

It took quite a bit of doin' to get the stalled train moving again... but do it they did.

At the grand speed of about 8 MPH, #44, with GP7 412 shoving on the rear, the engines slipped and clawed their way the rest of the way up to the top of Buck Mountain at Piney Gap.

Easing to a stop at Piney, the struggle was behind them now. Engine 412 cut away, and train #44 was on its way to keep an appointment with Psgr #11.  In the meantime, GP7 412 eased back a short ways to the tiny little depot that still served the line at the small summit town of Piney.

Quite soon the sound of #44 was swallowed up by  the misty mountains... nothing could be heard but the distant sound of a Leslie 3-chime air whistle at one of the little mountain dirt road crossings. Now it was just engine 412 sitting by its lonesome in front of the little depot at the sleepy little town of Piney. Their next task would be to gingerly ease down the treacherously slick rail with a light engine and make it back back down to Ozarka to resume their scheduled job. No doubt, they would be using sand at times on their descent to keep from sliding down the rail at the worst sections. But under the capable hands of Hogger Extraordinaire "Hotshot" Chadwick, there was little cause for concern, for "Hotshot" had been in such situations countless times.

No, today was simply an all too familiar part of railroading on the KC&G.

The Picture:

Engine 412 idles its EMD chant in front of the little depot at Piney. That wood stove feels pretty good to the crew inside as they take a few minutes to swig down some hot coffee before easing back down The Mountain as Extra 412 South.


To be continued...


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Addendum to the above...

#44 and the tale of the stalled train: The myth and the truth...

The above essay of #44 that accompanied my second photo-chop job wasn't total concoction. It's actually based on a situation that happened at an op session (Dec 13, 2021) with a friend.

I was running #44 and was headed up to Piney Gap.

My set of power should have made it... but some of the cars were a bit heavier than expected, so as soon as I hit the grade (the long climb begins immediately after the north main switch at the town of Ozarka), I realized it was going to be "close".

Sure enough, the train pulled down before I got to Sawmill Spur to the point it was literally crawling along at 1-2 MPH (and slipping). At times, it would momentarily stop and sit, wheels still spinning, then get a bite and start creeping upgrade again!

It did this 2 or 3 times (getting up to maybe 5 MPH at times) as I struggled on my way alongside Possum Creek to the town of Jack Fork.  It was such a show that operating friend Jimmy had stopped what he was doing and had come over to enjoy the experience with me.

I was losing hope that I would make it on my own to Piney, and sure 'nuf,  just as the head end bent around Chinkapin Knob to enter Buck Creek Hollow... down it went and I couldn't budge it.

At that point I made the call for help, and op friend Jimmy (that had been working the Jack Fork Turn),  brought his engine up out of Ozarka to help me on up to Piney.

SO... as you see... the above yarn wasn't total BS... the circumstance actually happened in model form! From there I took the actual event, and extrapolated the incident so it was from a prototype perspective. (I really enjoy doing that.)

So... now you know... the REST of the story! (Said in my best Paul Harvey voice!)


P.S. Final mini-essay installment to follow eventually.

Last edited by laming

Final mini-essay installment of this series.

Autumn, 1964...

Up on the top of the the divide at Mountain Springs, small residences in the town appear above the train on the mountainside behind. Resident hoghead J.B. "Biscuit" McHollister eases tired old #412 along the rails headed for the cut of cars down at the end of the "Apple Track". The crew will be switching out any outbounds and re-spotting any cars still being unloaded, or being loaded, as the case may be. Soon as that's done, the #412 and crew will be heading over to the depot to go on spot for beans. Seeing as it's Saturday, the crew is hoping to catch some of the Arkansas football Razorbacks on the radio to see how they're doing in today's game. Word is the Razorbacks are in the runnin' to be National Champs this year!

And so it goes: A small slice in time on a fine autumn day  in 1964 out in the Ozarks along the KC&G's "Ozark Sub".


About the above photo:

Basic scene snapped on my current KC&G layout at the town of Mountains Springs. I then took the photo into my photo shop software and added the autumn background as well as some foreground texturing. Not a prize winner of a photo... but I certainly enjoyed creating it and sharing it.

All fer now!



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Thanks fella's.

Please keep in mind that the autumn background is only present in the digital version. I added the autumn backgrounds to the plain photos using my photo shop software. In reality, there is paneling behind the scenes. However, I will be tackling the first phase of fixing that issue "soon", for I will be packing away the equipment and clearing the bench work, then installing the backdrop boards, smoothing/priming same, then painting a pleasing sky blue.

I do intend to use photo backdrops... but whether I can pull off similar results in actuality as I did in the photo shop software, well, that remains to be seen.


I've been a busy little beaver the past week or so:

* Readied the BL2's frame so I can drop it off at the machine shop for milling. (See the crosshatch markings?


* Added some details to the BL2 shell. (Installed all 8 of the lift rings on the top of the long hood, and fabricated/installed the eyebrow grabs above the windows.)


* Finished setting up the op session for Sunday evening/Monday morning. (Long time friend coming up to spend the night and play trains.)

* Added a team track to the summit town of Piney. (Track on far left.)


* Installed new axle gears into a pair of P2K engines in the pipeline.

* Purchased a Stewart/Kato F3A Late that will turn into an F7A Early, and also picked up a Stewart/Kato F7B.

* Weighted/painted some more gravel loads.

* Also revisited a completed engine project that hasn't panned out as I expected. Perhaps more about this in a subsequent post later.

SO... I've really been burnin' the modelin' energy of late!

Ain't I sumpthin'???



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Last edited by laming

Autumn, 1964...

The late autumn air is quite crisp on this beautiful bright moonlit night in the West Bottoms district of Kansas City, Mo. as the crew of Frisco's Baldwin VO1000 #214 takes pause from its chores of switching the various industries therein. Inside the toasty warm cab, hot coffee and maybe a biscuit or two is being consumed as the crew talks about how the KC Chief's are doing... and isn't that Lenny Dawson something? However, it won't be long and it will be time to grab up the lanterns, hit those footboards, and get back to doing what they do: Earning a living workin' on the railroad.


About the photo:

As the mood moves, I'm in the process of mocking up my future KC&G "Riverfront District" urban industrial switching shelf layout. This current around-the-wall bench work (that was to represent the West Bottoms District in KC) will be removed, and the concept will be significantly downsized to a narrower, more simplistic L-shaped layout. Thereon will reside my new KC&G "Riverfront District".

I'm hoping to have my "Riverfront District" 100% functional by year's end. Going forward, I will be dividing the time spent on my model railroad layouts between my mountainous "Ozark Sub" of the KC&G which dwells in my 20' x 16' out building, and this simplistic shelf layout, the "Riverfront District" of the KC&G.

I'm super enjoying my KC&G theme!



It's been April of '22 since I've posted here? That's over a year ago!

Well, I haven't been letting the grass grow in regards to making progress on my Kansas City & Gulf "Ozark Sub" HO layout... but admittedly The Big Project took WAY longer than I thought would. (From June of '22 to March of this year!!)

However, I now have ALL of the basic hardboard backdrop boards in place, the seams/nails have been filled and smoothed, 2 coats of primer to seal the hardboard, followed by two coats of Valspar's "Morning Glory" blue, 100' or so of LED's installed, valance cut/installed/painted, fascia installed, as well as a bunch of other stuff. Here's some pics of the end result:

The upper and lower level live stage areas:


Looking toward the corner between the stage areas (left) and the towns of Ozarka (lower) and Mountain Springs (upper) on the right:


Looking at the towns of Ozarka (lower level) and Mountain Springs:


Looking at the peninsula from the Ozarka/Mtn Sprgs side:


Looking into the aisle at the towns of Piney (upper left), Sawmill Spur, (lower left) and Sweetgum (right):


Standing at the end of the peninsula looking toward the Chinkapin Knob (recently renamed Sassafras Knob) scene:


Still standing at the end of peninsula but looking at the summit town of Piney:


Since the above pictures, all the rolling stock is back on the layout, as also the stand-in structures (what I have), and even some temporary backdrops have been installed.

Once that was done, I hosted an "Open House" for my circle of model railroading friends, and I've been been operating trains ever since.

It is WONDERFUL to be able to run trains again after months and months of construction work!

All fer now!



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Last edited by laming

SO... now that I've remembered and am revisiting this thread, thought I might share with you something that, though I've enjoyed for eons, of late has really come to the fore: Creative writing concerning my layout.

I've always enjoyed creative writing, as well as experiential writing (i.e. experiences I've lived). However, I've really begun to enjoy blending the two into creative writing about my layout's theme as well as actual events on my layout.

Doing so is a way of breathing life into my imaginary theme, if only in text and photo.

That said... I'd like to share with you a lengthy narrative (in manageable installments) of a day in the life of the KC&G's Ozark Subdivision. It's entitled...


Editors Note: I was really having a great time during my solo operating session. It was time to make a dent in the through trains waiting to be moved over the line, so I started off with northbound train #30. Number 30, and its southbound counter part Number 31, are the "hot shots" or "express" trains that handles the fledgling (for the KC&G) TOFC business, as well as reefer business and other high priority freight. I'll let the regional train nut (and my imaginary 2nd cousin) Jimmy Don McCradden tell the tale... he's better at than I am.

So it wuz a beautiful autumn day in the Ozarks an' jist perfect fer gettin' out an' doin' some train watchin'. I wuz down at the depot at Ozarka talkin' with the Agent there, A.B. "Pappy" Yokum. (He got that nickname account of the comic strip in the newspaper funnies by the same name! All the KC&G's railroaders tease 'im and tellin;' him he's related to the Yokum's in the comic strip! He don't think that's funny. Shucks, though, at least the comic strip has put our part of the Ozarks on the map! Even heard tell there may be a ride park of some type that could be built nearby named "Dogpatch" after the comic strip! )

Anyway, Pappy told me that northbound hot shot #30 wuz headin' our way. Train #30 had drawn a couple of older engines instead of one of few of the better 'uns that the KC&G has. (Like them big looking Alco somethin' or others.) Seein' as none of the better engines wuz available, then the old plugs would have to do the best they could. Accordin' to Pappy, the power would be one of them re-motored Alco covered wagons, #203, and an older Alco. This ought to be "iffy" on The Mountain!

Soon 'enuf #30 come rumblin' into town. Goin' by the depot, I could hear the hogger notchin' 'em out gettin' ready to tackle the start of that long, hard ol' climb up Buck Mountain to that little summit town of Piney. This ought to be good! Pappy said the if needed, the Piney Turn crew would rescue 'em if'n they laid down on the mountain an' give 'em a shove to the top.

As soon as #30 wuz by, I decided to aim fer Piney an' meet 'em there to get a picture of 'em if'n I could. With that I said my byes to Pappy an' I's out the depot door to hop in my ol '50 Chevy pick up an' start bouncin' my way over the dirt roads to Piney. I did git to the Sweetgum crossin' in time to see 'em grindin' over it an' headin' fer Buck Holler.

Boy howdy... were them old motors wuz sure 'nuf workin' their guts out! They might'a been makin' 8 MPH!

Over the crossin', I started on up to Piney an' got there just in time to see #30 easin' to a stop on the main in Polecat Cut. Hard to believe they made it without a shove with them old plugs!

But stoppin' here at Piney? Hm. Must be a meet or sumpthin'? Maybe I need to head over to the little depot at Piney to see if'n I could find out what's happenin'?

Picture: Ol' 203 easin' 'em down to a smooth stop in Polecat Cut...


Pic: Before I tromped back over to the Piney depot to see what I could find out about what's goin' on... I fought some tangle briars in the drainage ditch and scurried up a bit on Polecat Cut an' got another pic of #30 sittin' on the main...


From here, I hurried my butt back over to the depot to talk to Agent J.D.(his nick name is simply "J.D."!) Clampett to find out what's goin' on with #30.

No sooner did I git there, then I heard a whistle blowin' fer the crossing and who'd a thunk? Looked like southbound hot shot #31 was meetin' #30 here at Piney! He done snuck up on me without a warnin'!

Now ain't that the drizzles! Here I had a meet on my hands... both hotshots at that... an' I'm in the depot with a standing train between me an' southbound #31! From what I could see, it looked like #31 had one of them EMD covered wagons an' a booster engine fer power. That ought to make a keen picture down at Sweetgum... IF'N I can beat him there! (He'll be a' ballin' the jack comin' off'n The Mountain with the hotshot.)

Shore wished I had some way of knowin' what all was a' happenin' out here on the line... (sigh). It'd be great if'n I could hear their radio chatter in some way... or maybe I need to git my skinny butt over to the depots faster or sumpthin'.

With that I fired up my ol' Chevy pickup an' headed down to Sweetgum, in the hopes I could git there in time to get a shot of em' bustin' Sweetgum Crossin' with brake shoe smoke just a' rollin'. It can be quite a show watchin' them boys drop these trains off'n the side of Buck Mountain!

After a few miles I bounced up to the crossing at Sweetgum (lands me these ol' dirt roads get rough!)... an' I saw the head light up toward Buck Holler... but...

He was stopped?

Now what in tarnation is this all about?

To Be Continued...


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Last edited by laming
@SantaFeJim posted:

Dude… You are rockin’ it!

Thanks Jim.

It seemed like it was going to take forever to finally be able to unpack the trains again.

BUT, after all those months of hammering away at The Big Project, at long last there's cars and equipment on it and it looks like this now:




I don't like disabling a layout to perform construction work. It becomes way too much like work.

But I had to stick it out and get it finished or I couldn't get back to the things I enjoy most about model railroading. Now that The Big Project is behind me, it's fun again!



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ONE AUTUMN DAY (Cont'd)...

So I hot-footed it up toward the standing engines an' as I got closer I could see they had one car behind them?

What what in Sam hill is goin' on here? One thing wuz fer shur... this probably wuzn't good!

Picture: The old EMD covered wagon and its booster engine sittin' on the main...


Not having any idee what this wuz about, I walked over on the hoghead's side of the engine to see if'n I could find out from him what the hold up wuz.

The hogger hung his head out the winder so's he could hear me. Turned out that ol' "Hack" Hawthorn was hoggin'... so I hollered up at him "what's goin' on?

"We got a shore 'nuf mess back there in Buck Holler! Cars are piled up somethin' awful!"

Whoa Nelly... I didn't expect THAT!

"Know'd yet what happened?" I hollered up to him. With that, Hack motioned fer me to climb on up in the engine.

Up in the cab with him, Hack continued...

"We don't rightly know just yet... I wuz bringin' 'em down in style an' things wuz goin' smoother than a baby's butt... then all of sudden bad slack pulled out an' my air dumped on me. We ground to a halt right here where you seen us. Before we's even stopped, ol' Fat Dog (the head end brakeman) had done hit the ground and started back to see what we had on our hands. He used that new "pack set" thing we've got now to holler at me that we wuz strowed all over Buck Holler and had a bunch of cars in the dirt and over the side. The hind end hollered at us on the radio sayin' that they's all good back there, but they took a lickin' when the back half of the train slid into and pounded the front half that was still on the rails. It's mess. A shore 'nuf mess."

Wow... I didn't expect this!

We talked fer just a bit more, and then I climbed down from the cab and decided to pound the chat back into Buck Holler to see what I could see.

Boy howdy wuz Hack ever right!

It was a shur 'nuf MESS back there in Buck Holler! They's cars piled up on one another on Sassafras Knob an' all...


No doubt 'bout it... there'd be no trains fer a spell now! This wuz gonna need what the railroad boys call "the big hook" to come up and get stuff cleared... an' it looked like the MOW was gonna' have to straighten up some track... an' I wouldn't be surprised if some big rip-rack rock would need to be dumped off the side of the curve to help shore things up.

Seein' this, I thought I'd git on back toward the head end... an' maybe go down to the Sweetgum depot to find out what I could from Agent "Tiny" Wright about what would be next. ("Tiny" is anything BUT "tiny". He's a shorter, somewhat... think I'll say "heavy duty" feller... that tips the scales near 300 lbs! Long as I've known him, he's always worn a thick mustache.)

Once I made my way over to the depot... THEN I could see there on the north side of Sassafras Knob that cars had even dumped off the sliding back half of the train and tumbled down the embankment onto the track are that Possum Creek Lumber uses to load their ties and pulp business! In fact, it looked like one of the car's frame got into a Possum Creek Lumber truck!

This was indeed a bad 'un!

Picture: Cars sprawled ever which way over off the side of Buck Mountain, even spillin' onto Possum Creek Lumber's tracks!


Wow. I never in a million years would'a thought I'd see somethin' this bad up here on the Ozark Sub. Shur, I'd heard-tell from the old heads of some of the pile ups that's been on this ol' mountain... but this is the first time I seen a really bad 'un fer myself. Hope I don't see more of 'em!

What a shame. The KC&G wuz just gettin' back up to speed after a bit of a shutdown an' things were lookin' good... but this mess is gonna' be really expensive fer sure. Such a shame.

I wuz out of time... so I didn't stop by the depot to holler at Tiny... instead I needed to pile back into my pickup an' head off for the house. I wuz hopin' I could git back up there in the mornin' and learn more.

To Be Continued...


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ONE AUTUMN DAY (Cont'd)...

So's the next mornin', I headed out to Ozarka to chew the fat with ol' Pappy to see what's the latest doin's on the KC&G an' their mess on The Mountain.

Before I hit the depot, though, I took a short hike up the nearby hill and took a pic overlooking the Ozarka engine barn area. Yup, shur 'nuf... there was that covered wagon and the booster. Don't see that often at the Ozarka engine barn!


That done, I moseyed on over to the depot to see if'n Pappy knew anythin' new.

"Howdy Pappy!"

"Mornin' Jimmy Don."

"Heard anythin' 'bout the the mess on the The Mountain?"

"Well, they's a Work Extra North headed our way with the hook. It ought to be here within the hour."

Upon hearin' that, I decided to piddle about an' wait to see if'n I could take a gander at the Work Extra. Me n' Pappy fell to chewin' the fat 'bout... what else? Railroadin'!

Sittin' there in one of them old wooden roller chairs talkin' with Pappy... I was agin hit with that "railroad" smell the ol' depot had. There's just somethin' 'bout railroadin' that I jist love. It has its own way of doin' things, it's own way of talkin', and boy howdy, it really has its own sounds... and fer shur railroadin' has its own smells.

Speakin' of which, there ain't NOTHIN' like the great smell when you climb yerself up into a cab.

Some folk say that those of us that love railroadin' are goofier than a run-over dog... but I jist can't help it. I jist love it railroadin'' have as long as I kin remember. Fact of the matter... I can't even remember when I didn't NOT love it. In fact, my mom says I've loved trains since I was a little tow headed toddler still piddlin' my diapers!

So, yup, I jist love it. An' some way, somehow... I'm a' gonna work fer 'im if'n I can. Gotta finish this school year an' get my High School Diploma first, an' soon as I do, then I'm a beatin' a path down to the depot like a hound trailin' a coon to ask Pappy where to begin applyin' fer a job. Though I love it all... I wanna' be on the trains... that's where I really wanna be!

Sure 'nuf... within the hour ol' Geep #418 eased to a stop i front of the depot with the hook behind. Seein' as they's restricted on how fast they can move the hook, it took 'im a while to get to Ozarka from Clarksville down south. Anyways... once he'd stopped at the depot to check with Pappy on anythin' new, I took a picture with my little camera...


Soon 'enuf the crew came back out of the depot an' climbed up to the cab and settled in, then the hogger whistled off and they eased out of town.

I figured they'd make a stop at the Sweetgum depot to see if'n Tiny had any new scuttle fer 'um as well as get in touch with the MOW Foreman that Pappy told me was already up there.

I figured with their speed restriction on pullin' the hook, I had plenty of time to beat 'em up to Sweetgum... so's I made my way over to the drug store an' got myself a so-dee pop an' a Baby Ruth to swig an' chaw on while I's on the way.

To Be Continued...


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ONE AUTUMN DAY (Cont'd)...

"It shur is another pretty day in the Ozarks... an' some of them trees are turnin' awful purdy." I thought to myself as I made my way over the dirt road to Sweetgum.

Some days my timin's just right... I pulled up to Sweetgum crossin' 'bout the time the #418 wuz easin' to a stop.

I parked my ol' flivver an' started over toward the tracks and then on to the depot. However, soon as I got out, I held up my little Kodak "Hawkeye Brownie" and snapped me a pic.

#418 idles as it sits at Sweetgum Crossing waiting for the moves to begin...


"Hey Jimmy Don!"... I heard someone yellin' at me.

Lookin' toward the motor... it was none other than "Goose" Hollum sittin' in the hot seat of 418.

"Git yer skinny butt over here!" he yelled with a "come over here" swing of his arm.

Walkin' over to engine I stopped below and looked up at him hangin' out the cab winder.

"What've you been up to, boy? Been a while since I've been up this way."

"Nuthin' much. Just workin' around the home place for Pa and doin' other jobs 'round these parts. Later this afternoon I'll be 'a helpin' J.B. Fulgum put up some hay against the comin' winter after he's started bailin'. You?"

"Me? I've been workin' south out of Clarksville on the Ouachita Sub fer a spell. Sometimes a feller needs a change of scenery! But... truth bein' told... I miss these Ozarks awful bad. May bid up this way agin' real soon. Say, we've got to run around this hook that's behind me... wanna' ride along?"

"Does a hog like slop?" I replied with a smile as I gladly climbed the steps up to the cab door.

I tell 'ya... that engine smell was grandest smell I've whiffed in a long while... even better than Pappy's depot back down at Ozarka!

"Take a seat... we ought to start moving here shortly!" said Goose with a big smile.

Sure 'nuf, over toward the depot, I could see the Brains headed our way. "Smiley" Morris, the Conductor, climbed up and him an' Goose had a job briefin' on what's what.

With that Smiley left the cab, and soon enough, the hook wuz tied down and with a motion of the hand from the Smiley... Goose grabbed a notch or two on the throttle then "PSSSSssssshhh" as he released the brakes to begin easing forward. Even that air off the brakes also has its own smell... an' yes... I like it!

It was sooo good to hear that engine revving and whining as Goose n' crew did the moves needed to get the hook on the north end. That done, and with Smiley ridin' the point... the hand signal went up to "bring 'em ahead". Behind me on the other side of the firewall that wonderful engine noise began agin. This time the ol' Geep had a load to shove... so it was revvin' a bunch higher than when it was makin' light moves.

'Ya know... now that I think 'bout it... I reckon it could be that us train lovers are a bit goofy... fer I noticed I had goose bumps on my arm from that wonderful noise that ol' Geep wuz makin'!

Yup, it just might be that us train lovers ARE goofier than a run over dog!

To Be Continued...


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Goose eased 'em into Buck Holler and inched 'em up where they wanted him fer now...


Once Goose had 'em where they wanted, all the fellers that would be involved in the lift talked it over to make sure they's all got a firm understandin' of jist how they's gonna' do this...


Them KC&G boys shur know what they's doin', 'cause faster than a gray squirrel out runnin' a squirrel dog... they had that car up and back on the rail!

I rode with Goose as they eased the hook back and tied it down. The MOW of way boys had the track behind the derailed car shored up enough that Goose was gonna' shove the righted car up to Piney an' set it against the rest of the train on the pass, but, he'd have to git over that section at walkin' speed. That done he was gonna' drift back down to Sweetgum and tie up until tomorrow morning.

Once the car was up at Piney, the Car Toads wuz gonna fix the brake riggin', bent air pipes, the missing angle cock (broke off), and get the steps n' grabs straightened out. In the meantime, the MOW boys hit that section of track that had been torn up good, and try to get it good 'enuf to get trains over it at 10 MPH. That's so's the line could git open again and the trains backin' up could get to movin' agin. They's gonna' work late today!

Once Goose cut away from the boom cars, I rode with him down to the south Sweetgum switch and up through the pass. Though he had offered to let me ride up there with 'im to Piney... and I would'a loved to... but I had to step off at the crossin' and go get in my pickup and head fer Mr. Fulgum's to help put up his hay. It was gonna pay pretty good though, I wuz gonna git 5 cents a bale... more than most were payin' for hay haulin!

However, I wuz going to get back over here first thing after Sunday School tomorrow mornin' an' see they's doin' next. From what Goose said, now that the main's open... they's goin' to git started on them cars that tumbled off the side of Buck Mountain an' git Possum Lumber's tracks opened up.

What a big doin' this has been! I didn't want miss a minute of it... but, dadgum, I got things I need to do.

Well... I couldn't help it... fer I'd give my word to Mr. Fulgum I'd be there to git his hay in... but I did stay long enough to see Goose easin' that bad order up to Piney!


To Be Continued...


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Last edited by laming

Just a quick update.

Amid running trains, I've started the long process of getting my undecorated fleet through the paint shop. This is the first time I've painted/lettered/weathered a model engine in 15+ years!

I chose to start with KC&G RS-1 #110. I had to re-learn a lot of things I'd forgotten or skills unused, but I got 'er done! For this one, I decided to paint it as if it was in its original paint scheme when delivered to the KC&G in mid-1945.

Here are some pics.

Right after finishing:



And on the layout...



The next two for paint (RS-1 #115 and GP7 #402) are disassembled and awaiting me having the needed block of time to start airbrushing. These will get the more familiar KC&G "Gulf Coast Blue/Mountain Mist Gray" scheme.

All fer now!



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Thanks Jim.

Your kind words are very much appreciated.

Ah, the RS-1. Never worked off one or ran one, but was around one. Plus, I ran Alco's almost exclusively for the last 11 years of my career as an Engineer. One thing about Alco's is they do have a propensity for leaking oil and developing oil leaks. Sort of the nature of the beast.

From what I've gathered, the RS-1 was one of the more durable and dependable of Alco's offerings. The McIntosh & Seymour series prime mover, the 539 in particular, was a tough engine (and later Alco's 251, also)... BUT... the 539 was prone to oil seepage as well as springing a leak at the drop of a hat.

I wanted to reflect that in my weathering approach with my KC&G RS-1 #110.

Likewise, the RS-1 in my paint shop (to be painted in the KC&G's later blue/gray scheme) will also reflect the RS-1's propensity to ooze oil.

All fer now!


Last edited by laming
@laming posted:

Thanks Jim.

Your kind words are very much appreciated.

Ah, the RS-1. Never worked off one or ran one, but was around one. Plus, I ran Alco's almost exclusively for the last 11 years of my career as an Engineer. One thing about Alco's is they do have a propensity for leaking oil and developing oil leaks. Sort of the nature of the beast.

From what I've gathered, the RS-1 was one of the more durable and dependable of Alco's offerings. The McIntosh & Seymour series prime mover, the 539 in particular, was a tough engine (and later Alco's 251, also)... BUT... the 539 was prone to oil seepage as well as springing a leak at the drop of a hat.

I wanted to reflect that in my weathering approach with my KC&G RS-1 #110.

Likewise, the RS-1 in my paint shop (to be painted in the KC&G's later blue/gray scheme) will also reflect the RS-1's propensity to ooze oil.

All fer now!


The RS-1 had a turbocharged 539, right. I ask because last year I bought a O-scale MTH Jersey Central RS-1, and I don't hear it. Sounds like the 539, but no turbo.

I have a HO Jersey Central RS-1 from Atlas with ESU Loksound, and I clearly hear the turbo winding up. Kinda cool sounding.

These are my only two engines that used that engine, so I'm not sure which is correct. Is that you only hear the turbo on these actual locomotives they are not running correctly?



Thank you for your kind words, Bob.


Airbrush some of it, powdered chalks and washes for the rest.

I'm currently just using my X-Axto to scrape powder off my pastel chalk sticks, but I'm contemplating trying Pan Pastels or AK Interactive powdered products. However, I'm comfortable with what I'm currently doing... so there is that.

Won't be much progress in model railroading over the next few days. It may be Tuesday before I have a chance to working on my current pair of engines entering the paint phase, then it will be later in the week.  Wild Child the wife and I are going to do a little road trip (including a concert by "Back To The Bee Gees" tribute band) in celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary.


Here's what's in the paint shop now:


The cabs/hoods are painted with my mix I call "Mountain Mist Gray", and the walkways/pilots are painted in my mix I call "Gulf Coast Blue". When I get my next block of time, the above hoods/cabs will get their pinstripes and end bow waves masked off and get their coat of Gulf Coast Blue.

The RS-1 will become Kansas City & Gulf #115 and the GP7 will become KC&G #402.

I very much enjoy my Kansas City & Gulf theme.



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Still in the process of painting/lettering/weathering the next two in line

Got the engines taped off, then shot the Gulf Coast Blue, and then pulled the tape:


The above GP7 is to become Kansas City & Gulf #402, the RS-1 will be KC&G #115.

Long process still ahead: Decals, then several layers of weathering applications to reflect a bankrupt railroad trying to reorganize, circa 1964.

All fer now!



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Last edited by laming
So I'm still plugging away at engines. There's been several non-model RR tasks and events that have been attended to over the past few days, but I've done what I can when I can.

I'm not making rapid progress on account of the above mentioned items, and also, I'm learning a new decal film and its traits/etc. However, since the above "Image Not Found" (??) post, I've taped off then shot the louvers/screens on the engines, and have begun lettering them.

Anyway, here's a progress pic of RS-1 #115 and GP7 #402 in process:


Also over the past few days, my pair I sent off to the sound guy were delivered, so I've added the HH660 #D-10 to the mix. Boy, oh boy... were those tiny boxcar data "LD LMT" letters/numbers a booger to cut/trim in order to get "D-10" from it! However, I persevered and I have "D-10" on both sides.
Oh, and another "lemons to lemonades" deal: Trying to remove the factory printed "50" from the those small number boards, the first one not only removed the numbers, but also the black background! Friend Jimmy said... ought to leave it that way and put black "D-10" on it. I kind of liked the idea, so I went with it. Now it looks like a number board glass got broke, so they used what they had on hand and went with it! Here's a pic:


Setback:  Yup, had a set back. Those Champ stripes I had trouble with (and thought it was the old Solvaset, which was replaced with new Solvaset), are just too old. They simply will NOT respond to setting solutions of any type. SO... I had to put together an order to "K-4 Decals" for a selection of white stripes that I will need.
In the meantime, I'll decal what I can, hand paint some of the details, as well as get the details and hand rails re-installed on undec RS-2 #254 (also received from the sound guy) and get it into service.
As you can see, I'm not letting the grass grow... just a process.
I'm hoping I can finish all these up before the next month's model RR luncheon. We've moved the monthly date to the second Monday of the month instead of the third, so I only have 2 1/2 weeks! (Moving to the second Monday eliminated a conflict where one of our attendees had two dining functions on the same day of the month.)
Anyway, hoping to have #115 and #402 finished in time for the luncheon. (And possibly #D-10 weathered and ready for "Show n' Tell, too?) If I do, then like I did with RS-1 #110, I hope to take these for another impromptu "Show n' Tell". By the way, those Altas packages work great: You can screw the model to the display base I can take the plastic sleeve off, and then they can pick up the base and look over the model without having to handle the actual model. (Avoiding greasy fingerprints, etc.)
All fer now!


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Hi Bill!

You've never seen a picture of that type of engine, or this is your first sighting of my "D-10"?

The prototype engine the model is based on was an Alco HH660 from the late 1930s.

My "D-10" is an Atlas "Silver" series model of an HH660 in which I had sound installed.

As of tonight, here's what "D-10" looks like:


I'm caught up on decals on the three engines that I'm working on. I can't go forward until my stripes arrive from K-4. So, I've shifted gears and moved over to the D-10 to begin prepping it for Dullcoat and weathering.

Tonight I got the cab off D-10, safely removed the windows, and found an offending part that (I hope) was preventing the cab from snuggling down like it should. (I think the part was fouling on the keep alive module.) I'm hoping I was able to remove enough material from the part to allow the cab to sit completely down onto the frame. We shall see.

While I was at it, I decided to do something about that backward leaning hoghead and see if I could get him to sit better in the seat and at the controls. Alas, corrective surgery was required. Both feet were snipped off, the front underside of the thighs were shaved to sit more level, and the lower left leg had to go. The result is that he sits up in a more natural positing and appears to be engaged with the controls as seen above.

Next I'm going to experiment with some 1000 grit sandpaper to see if I can create some fade/wear on the pinstripe boxes and on the hood.  We shall see how that works out for me.
Anyway, hope to start putting chalks on the D-10 by the weekend. It would be great if I could get it weathered, reassembled, and have put back into service by the end of the weekend? That'd be cool.

Thanks for your kind words about my weathering efforts.

I enjoy weathering effects tremendously, thus back in the 1990s when I created my "Kansas City & Gulf" freelance theme, I went with a "bankruptcy/reorganization" concept so I could model a struggling railroad with aging equipment trying to find new life in reorganization. This allows me to indulge in all sorts of weathering effects yet still have a plausible reason for doing so. Win-win.



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Last edited by laming

Wow. It's been a long time since I've updated this thread! I guess I need to update it so it doesn't run the risk of falling off the radar to the point the forum software deletes it. (If the software does that sort of thing.)

Anyway, small changes are still happening on the layout and at the workbench.

In the engine department, over the course May to September or so, I applied paint/decals/weathering to a total of six engines. I have two more in-process as I type.

I also installed temporary photo backdrops behind the mountain town of Ozarka. The difference that made was startling. To wit...

Here's Ozarka once the basic blue backdrops and lighting were in place:


And here's what Ozarka looks like now:


Those photo backdrops and photo tree stand-ins changed the scene from being a "flat lands in Kansas" look, to "buried in the Ozark mountains" look! (Which is exactly what I want.)

Huge visual difference. IF I had more photo resources, I would love to create more photo backdrops and install them throughout the layout. That one thing alone would totally transform the visual impact of the layout. My hope is to get out this coming autumn into the Ozarks near me and shoot gigs of pics for use in photo backdrops. IF I'm successful, then at my leisure I can start modifying the photos with my photo shop software and assembling them into backdrops for printing. Once printed, it doesn't take long to slap a backdrop into place.

Of late, I've been working on an a roadway overpass bridge to mute the way tracks of the stages butt into the end wall. Here's the stage of that project as seen on the lower level stage area that I've named "Clarksville, Arkansas".


Up next is to paint and weather the bridge. Eventually, I will use photo backdrops applied to the walls to aid the effect.

Once I finished installing the basic painted backdrops, lighting, and fascia on the layout about March of last year, I hoped to get more accomplished than what I actually did, but it's been a busy year.

Fingers are crossed I'll make decent progress this summer and the remainder of the year.

SO, there you have it, a quick update on my HO scale Kansas City & Gulf "Ozark Sub" layout!



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