My interest and involvement in the "3-rail scale" aspect of O-gauge model railroading has really grown as I've spent more time here on the OGR "3RS" sub-forum.  I've been very inspired by the innovative work of others in the "3RS" arena...and have been learning a lot along the way.  I always look forward to seeing new threads!

Along those same lines, I recently had a thought:  Wouldn't it be nice to have one thread that displays the work of anyone/everyone who wants to contribute?  Similar to "What did you do on your layout today?", or "Buy anything cool lately", I'd love to see an ongoing (and hopefully long-running) thread of "everything 3RS"!

By no means would I want this to take away from, or replace, individual detailed "How I did it" topic threads posted by OGR Forum members...let's keep those coming, please!  I just thought it would be cool to have ONE thread that captures examples of a wide array of great 3RS work in ONE place...sort of a "one-stop shop", catch-all thread.

Please contribute to this thread with some photos and descriptions of your 3RS work...or with any 3RS questions!!

So, to get things started, here are some before and after photos of a Jersey Central "plywood-sheathed" caboose (scratch-built for me last year by fellow Forum member "Brother Love") that I recently 3-rail scaled by replacing the standard 3-rail "claw" couplers with Kadee scale couplers and adding brake line hoses & glad hands.  Of course I had to weather it, too!

Malcolm was kind enough to supply Kadee-compatible mounting pads to the underframe, so installing the coupler boxes was very easy.  All I needed was a few Kadee shims (from Micro-Mark) to get the correct coupler height.

I made use of the air hose/glad hands from the 3-rail Atlas caboose trucks that Malcolm included on the car.  I made "mounting pads" for each end of the car from scrap styrene, and then trimmed and glued the brake lines/air hoses/glad hands in place.  A little bit of detail painting of the hoses and mounting pads, and they were ready for weathering!

Before:

DSC_0043DSC_0035

After:

DSC_0004DSC_0010DSC_0012DSC_0014DSC_0018

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

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Hot Water posted:

Very nice. But, how do you get those wheels with the big flanges to work on that beautiful 2-Rail SCALE track?

HW, that 2-rail scale track is part of a diorama that I built for photography purposes only...so no trains will be "running" on it.  I haven't taken the full-blown plunge into 2-rail waters...not yet anyway!

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

CentralFan1976 posted:

Just the same ole, same old. 

IMG_7971IMG_7278

Thanks!

Mario

Thanks for posting some photos, Mario.  I always look forward to seeing what you're up to!

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

Just not practical for me. Too time consuming, costly plus you still have the look of 3R thick toy HI rails.

I don’t notice couplers on operating trains anyway. Besides, you still have a more noticeable middle rail, thin axles no cut coupler bars and large incorrect wheel flanges. I don’t see the point.

 All model O trains should have always been 2 rail from the beginning.           

Sorry Joey, I just can't go with it.  

SIRT posted:

Just not practice for me. Too time consuming, costly plus you still have the look of 3R thick toy HI rails.

I don’t notice couplers on operating trains anyway. Besides, you still have a more noticeable middle rail, thin axles no cut coupler bars and large incorrect wheel flanges. I don’t see the point.

 All model O trains should have always been 2 rail from the beginning.           

Sorry Joey, I just can't go with it.  

Hey Steve, I understand!  This niche within a niche definitely isn't for everyone.  I'm not even sure where I'm headed with it.  But I am sure of two things: 1.) I like the looks of the smaller couplers a heck of a LOT better, especially on locomotives, and 2.) I won't have to worry about surprise coupler openings and having my locomotives ram into the back of their own train anymore...which only seems to happen when I walk away for a few seconds (like to grab a cold beer)...LOL!

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

Guys, I'm all for individual choice in how each of us enjoys this great hobby...and I appreciate and accept each person's opinion.  However, seeing how I started this thread on the "3-rail Scale" sub-Forum, I was (respectfully) hoping to create a thread to showcase members' 3RS work, not a place to debate the merits of 3RS.  We can start a separate thread to do that, either here on the 3RS sub-Forum or over on the 3-rail/Traditional/High-rail Forum!

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

Not quite finished yet but here's my current project. MTH SD50. I took some ideas from others as far as a "plate" to fill the pilot gap, but my own idea for the end sheets. I grind off all molded details then put thin plastic sheet over the face and add all the details such as the coupler pocket and rivets. Then add PSC MU hoses. I also redid the main electrical jumper from wire as the factory piece was just too small and this was a prominent feature on these. The rear is finished, the front just needs the 2 railings redone, then for a light weathering as these units were very new in the Chessie era. 

IMG_1752IMG_1753

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Well I could say the same thing to SIRT... why do you weather those cars with that big *ss coupler on them. You can’t see that there's 8' between cars ? Kind of defeats the point too  we all have our niche within a niche.

You have a point L.O.S but as long as people keep buying 3R, I will weather them. If I offered scale couplers, I’d be out of business. No one would buy cars that way. Like my collection, most of us are too deep into 3R to start over again. I’ve been into 3R trains since 1963. It is what it is.

I don’t believe the suppliers ever visioned how detailed toy trains would become. All you guys do great work and it looks nice but I’ll just have to just keep on truck-in as it is.

Ben Snyder posted:

Not quite finished yet but here's my current project. MTH SD50...

IMG_1752IMG_1753

Now THIS is what I envisioned when I started this thread...Forum members doing beautiful 3RS work and sharing it here.  Thanks, Ben!

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

PAUL ROMANO posted:

I would have to agree with SIRT on the time involved and for me its' either 3 rail or 2 rail.  Just my opinion, but anything in between is a mutation.   

I like it! Can we be mutants then? This thread should be called 'what have you mutated lately?'. 

 

"Lately?" It's been a while since I've done any big projects. Here are a few examples of mine, though:

IMG_7363

I fixed the pilots, added roof top details, re numbered, and weathered. Same for this SD 40, now SD40U:

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I started doing this about eight years ago, starting with my Superfleet Dash 8-40BWs, and GP60Ms:

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GP60:

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I've done some MTH stuff too. In the lead is an FP45, converted to fixed pilots, full handrails and added details:

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Rolling stock too, of course. Here's a Lionel scale auto rack:

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If I were to start over, it might well be two-rail. At any rate my attitude is that an unrealistic third rail doesn't mean I can't come closer to realism in what rides on it. These conversions have been fun and satisfying and that's what a hobby is supposed to be about. 

RM

Member of the [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/Archive]J&C Studios Archive[/URL] - building a permanent archive of great O-Gauge content!
Check out [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/BlogCategoryMain?catId=659]My Blog[/URL] on the [URL=http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/Archive]J&C Studios Archive[/URL].

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I really hope this topic catches on.  There's much more the 3-Rail Scale than just achieving the most true-to-prototype realism possible with locomotives and rolling stock.  When I look at a layout I'm not looking at scale couplers or how a loco or car is weathered; I'm looking at how well the structures and scenery are detailed and if the track plan has purpose and not how much track and switches one can fit into a given space,  That's where the real talent shines.  So for time being I'll just be following this thread for inspiration as I begin my new and final layout.  Thanks for starting this thread Joe.  

Wild Mary (AKA Nick) Retired & "Riding The Wild Mary"

 

 

Forum Member Since 24 Sept. 2004

 

Dave_C posted:

 Venturing into Diesels. Lot of trial and error making pilot spacers but well worth it. 2 MTH RS1's.

 

IMG_0043

Now this is an excellent 3 Rail Scale scene.  There's good attention to ballasting, a well placed small structure, nice rock formation and well done shrubs and trees.  All this attention to detail compliments a well done locomotive.  Nicely done Dave.   

Wild Mary (AKA Nick) Retired & "Riding The Wild Mary"

 

 

Forum Member Since 24 Sept. 2004

 

Here is an ongoing project. I fixed the pilot using Mario's parts. It still needs more detailing and weathering to be considered finished. I will be more focused on cutting trucks next time as this was a learning experience. The last pic is on a 48" curve so plenty of swing.PARTS1011121314151617181921232425F4

 

Best

 

Ray

     

 

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Ben Snyder posted:

Not quite finished yet but here's my current project. MTH SD50. I took some ideas from others as far as a "plate" to fill the pilot gap, but my own idea for the end sheets. I grind off all molded details then put thin plastic sheet over the face and add all the details such as the coupler pocket and rivets. Then add PSC MU hoses. I also redid the main electrical jumper from wire as the factory piece was just too small and this was a prominent feature on these. The rear is finished, the front just needs the 2 railings redone, then for a light weathering as these units were very new in the Chessie era. 

IMG_1752IMG_1753

Can we get more pictures of this unit please? I am curious about the end handrail mods. One of the reasons I stay away from MTH products is the hand rails. But this looks to be nicely done and would love to see more. I am also a closet Chessie fan so can never go wrong with more pictures

So many trains...so little time 

 

Just call me TJ...

TJ, I'll post some more pics when I finish this unit, and I'll include a few more detailed shots. I remove the short handrails at the last stanchion and cut the existing portion back into stanchion half way so I have a small hole to insert the new extended railing. I use the piece I cut off to get the bends correct at the top and then I bend the rest to shape by eye and pictures. They are super glued in at the stanchion but not at the bottom to ease disassembly. They're close to correct in most instances but I have learned not to sweat extreme perfection or things won't get done. I'm happy with this unit so far. Just need to weather it a bit when time allows later this week. 

Thanks for the compliments!

One of my favorite F units, these Atlas GM&Os come with a scale pilot and coupler that can be added. I also used the spacers given to me by Mario to lower the fuel tanks that really gave these a nice look.

Next project will be some K-Line NP F3s that will receive a new scale pilot to get rid of that Lionel PW look.

IMG_0643IMG_3942AA%20iDSCN3309IMG_5192 [1)

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Ben Snyder posted:

As requested a few detailed shots of the new railings, now complete. You can also see that I mounted the snow plow as close as possible. I should be able to weather this unit in a few days. 

IMG_1754

Thanks for posting the handrail photos, Ben.  What type/size of wire did you use?  I'm assuming the pilots/steps are metal.  What type of drill (and what size bit) did you use to make the new holes for the extended railings?

Sorry for all the questions!  I haven't attempted to make/install full-length handrails yet, but looking forward to trying it.

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

Joe, I use Tichy #1103 .020 phosphor bronze wire, it bends easy and takes brushed paint well. As for the drill I don't know what size, but it is slightly larger than the wire so that once the holes and the rails are painted there is some resistance to keep them in place. The pilot/steps are the original swinging piece from the model, with a spacer plate in between. Bending the new rails is challenging and tedious but to me worth the effort. I'll try to take more detailed photos of the next one I do like this. I need to order some more MU sets from PSC then I think my red/white WM SD35 will be the next one. Aside from that I do have a U30C that has the front end done and just prepped for the back end. image

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I've started a new 3RS project this week.  Although I've 3RS'd several freight cars so far, this will only be my 2nd locomotive.

I've been searching for a Lehigh Valley switcher for a while and came across an MTH Premier PS3 Baldwin VO-1000 at the "Big E" train show in Springfield, MA last month.  Needless to say, I brought it home!

MTH included Kadee mounting pads with this loco, but I want to give it the "full 3RS treatment", not just scale couplers.  It will receive fixed pilots, full-length handrails (my first try at those!), pilot grab irons, brake hoses, etc.

Oh yeah, it was missing one of the coupler cut levers, so I hand made a replacement and the 4 mounting "brackets" out of .032" diameter piano wire...an exact match to the size wire used by MTH.

Here are a few photos as the project gets underway...

As it looked BEFORE work began...

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Missing coupler cut lever on rear pilot and hand-made replacement and brackets, primed and ready for paint...

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Pilot shims made from .125" styrene sheet.  The one on the left is the final version, the one one the right is a "practice" piece...

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That's it for now.  I'll post some more photos as progress is made!

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

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 Joe, going to follow this project. Looking at the new FM H10 NYC that's due to ship soon. These smaller MTH diesels are really nice runners. Love the fact they feature 4 pickup rollers. The method of fixing the pilots and adding Kadee's should be somewhat similar. The aluminum spacers I made for the RS1's were tedious to make. I have my share of practice pieces still sitting on the bench.

CentralFan1976 posted:

IMG_7665IMG_7652

Looking at the two above photos, the first thing that I noticed was the lack of the hand brake bell crank and chain, the addition of which would vastly improve the car's scale appearance. This type of hand brake can't work without it.

Box Car

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Big Jim posted:
CentralFan1976 posted:

IMG_7665IMG_7652

Looking at the two above photos, the first thing that I noticed was the lack of the hand brake bell crank and chain, the addition of which would vastly improve the car's scale appearance. This type of hand brake can't work without it.

Box Car

I've been monitoring the lack of this detail for a while, do you know who makes these bell crank and part number?

Sweat the details!...



 

I haven't had much train time since before the holidays but my last few conversions only made it through the coupler process. Haven't weathered a thing but it's been cold and raining here, yes even in sunny southern California.

Lionel Legacy got the fixed pilot Kadee conversion

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Atlas Geeps

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Atlas GP60M & Bs, ABBA..... prolly wont do all the handrails unless I can buy them from Atlas

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Legacy GS4 got Kadees front and rear, along with some steam & air lines, a lot of detail painting

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Full custom MTH caboose rebuilt from the frame up

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Sunset 3rd Rail's SD7 Tigers, these just need weathered now

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O Scale Hauler is back! 

 

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CentralFan1976 posted:
Big Jim posted:
CentralFan1976 posted:

IMG_7665IMG_7652

Looking at the two above photos, the first thing that I noticed was the lack of the hand brake bell crank and chain, the addition of which would vastly improve the car's scale appearance. This type of hand brake can't work without it.

Box Car

I've been monitoring the lack of this detail for a while, do you know who makes these bell crank and part number?

http://www.choochenterprises.com/Oparts.html

http://www.choochenterprises.com/211.html

http://www.grandtline.com/prod...isc_car_details.html

http://www.grandtline.com/prod...es/quarter_inch/3000's/3049.jpg

 

 

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

Trying to help out an anemic Williams E7 that I upgraded to ERR TMCC, cruise and Railsounds. Took a cue from installing the fixed pilot that came with my Atlas F7's. Cut the pilot off the truck and used it as a pattern to make up a spacer. Attached the spacer to the chassis  and then the KD to the spacer. Also closed down the coupler pocket with thin styrene. I also removed the cab steps from the front truck and mounted them to the chassis (no swing). Lastly, I ground down the inside of the truck side frames and slotted the mounting holes. This closed up the large gap between the face of the wheels and the sideframe thus narrowing the overall width of the truck assembly. The rear KD was bolted to the boss that originally held the lobster claw. The rear KD swings with the truck.IMG_0845IMG_0846IMG_0847IMG_0848

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