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Old Dog, New Tricks 1/30/11


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#1 laming

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 08:55 PM

Well... got something to break to you. Are you sitting down?

Okay, here goes...

As you know, I like to build... um... "different"... kinds of routes. (Yeah, "different", that's the word!)

If you'll notice through these pages of my drivel, there seems to be one recurring theme that runs among my MANY route attempts: TOC19 steam. (Yeah, I'm a sickie, I know.)

Downside to this is: There ain't but a handful of equipment available for such a route ANYWHERE... with the largest selection available having been VSC commissioned (out sourced, to use a current "term") over the past several years.

This scarcity has really put the crimps on some of my creativity and desire to have a COMPLETE route theme, either personal or commercial endeavors.

WELL...

(Are you sitting down?)

I think I'm going to try to learn to build my own steam engines.

Yup, you read correctly. I want to learn how to build my own steam engines. I may crash and burn, giving up in frustration... but I won't know until I try.

Fortunately, the TOC19 era that I like most, the engines (for the most part) were simplistic: Stephenson valve gear, sparse plumbing, etc.

This weekend, I have purchased 3D Canvas Pro, have now downloaded the Paul Gausden plug-ins for it... and have some excellent tutorials available in which to commence. I am HOPING that I will be able to have the time tomorrow evening to install and start getting familiar with 3DC.

I already have my first subject(s) selected, and have amassed the data I need to get started. I haven't a clue how this will turn out... but man... I really want to be able to build my own equipment. Might as well jump in with both feet, eh?? biggrin.gif

OH... and below you'll find a pic of what I am hoping to build first. The gritty, mountain railroading pic taken at one of my all time favorite RR locations, Winslow, Arkansas, has been a temptation to me for many years. Now I'm gonna' try to replicate those hogs therein.

Wish me luck!!!

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#2 TheGrindre

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 09:26 PM

Andre,
I don't know how much 3D modeling experience you have in any 3D app but, if it will help any, 3DC will import a TSM .dst file as pretty as you please, less animations.
Meaning, anyone who has offered any source files from TSM could be a great start for you.
Something to think about.

Oh, one other thing, you do know it isn't 'proper' to try your hand at any rolling stock, especially a loco, while your are first learning how to model.
You should start with a scenery item like a building.

Enjoy your new endeavor.

#3 rfranzosa

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 04:49 AM

QUOTE(laming @ Jan 30 2011, 7:36 PM) View Post


I think I'm going to try to learn to build my own steam engines.



Andre,

This is a good thing. We old dogs applaud (bark?)! (I guess I should start route building rolleyes.gif )

Rick

#4 scottb613

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:53 AM

Hey - who opened that door and let in a breath of fresh air around here... LOL - and - don't let Rick #1 guy scare you - my very first model was a steam locomotive... Well - after making a whale that looked like a camel - while following the 3DC introduction tutorial - uggh... LOL - like the cow catchers in the PIX - my first cow catcher took me over a week to get right... My second one was a real bear as well - come to think of it... Between Rick and I we should be able to speed you on your journey - grasshopper... Just holl'r...
smile.gif

Regards,
Scott

#5 laming

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:39 PM

Rick:

As for experience in CAD, I've built my own route stuff since about 2003? I've spent countless hours (literally) in TSM. I could probably muddle through and do it in TSM... but I really like some of the functions available in 3DC.

So, I'm finally ready (willing) to learn a new CAD program (3DC), which will be an adjunct to TSM. Besides, with 3DC, I can export in SO many file formats (TSM you get: one), which I hope will come in handy eventually for Open Rails.


Scott:

Ol' Rickster #1 has my best interest at heart. After all, he's been there, done that... so just sharing some experience. smile.gif

I know what'cha mean about just jumping in and figuring things out! It wasn't long after my entry into the V scale hobby that I was blowing up routes and goin' under the hood of eng/wag files, etc, etc, etc!

FWIW, I have got 3DC installed... and the Train Sim plug-ins activated. I've already used Train Engineer to create a 4-6-2 frame/wheels for a look see via the plug-in defaults.

Frankly though, the mucking about in 3DC I've already done in regards to simple shapes (structures), as well as watching a bunch of video tutorials by an MSTS'er, indicates to me that TSM's approach is quite a bit faster for structures and scenery items. 3DC's is more cumbersome, like, for example, resetting the axis point(s). (About two clicks and TSM will do it for me.) I think simple structures are not 3DC's forte', instead, I think 3DC's strengths will be found in the plug-ins that help with the tough stuff about building equipment. That's the reason I've purchased 3DC Pro.

Welp... all for now!

#6 laming

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 09:13 PM

Just a little update...

I'm still working on the very basics of 3DC Pro. A big THANK YOU goes out to Scott613 for his tutorials and personal input to help me understand the various versions of 3DC, and get them up 'n going.

Whew boy...

I am finding TONS of Frisco steam locomotives I would LOVE to build!! rolleyes.gif

If you've never been a student of the Frisco's steam history, you can't imagine what a TOC19 steam enthusiasts JACK POT their TOC19 roster was! ohmy.gif

Consider:

* There were SCORES of of pioneer railroads that eventually were combined to form the Frisco Lines system. Further, these lines had their own rosters that were brought under the Frisco Coonskin.

* All told, the Frisco Lines was a polyglot of some 145 railroads.

This means Americans, Moguls, Ten Wheelers, Consols, and ?? (and all these by the scads), were a part of the roster... and very few alike! They had engines from all sorts of builders, including: Baldwin, Schenectady (ALCo), Rhode Island, Pittsburgh, Hinkley, Rogers, Cooke, Manchester, N.Y. Loco. Works, U.P. RR, Dickson, Portland, Taunton, Altoona Works... unbelievable!

Though the Frisco's modern steam roster was one of standardization and order... not so their roster during TOC19! Hodge-podge was the rule of the day.

Of course, this is EXACTLY what I can find fascinating about the Frisco and its equipment: Variety. After all, it's the spice of life, ain't it?

Say... can you tell that I am excited about trying to learn this final (for me) hurdle of building equipment?

Welp... all for now... later on I'll share some photos of little dandy's that would make an EXCELLENT model to use in the Ozarks and out in the Coal Belt!

(This is fun!)



#7 S. Weaver

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:05 PM

... and now yer snowed in. That should help! biggrin.gif

#8 Genma Saotome

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 06:04 PM

QUOTE(laming @ Feb 1 2011, 1:20 PM) View Post

Frankly though, {snip} ... TSM's approach is quite a bit faster for structures and scenery items. 3DC's is more cumbersome, like, for example, resetting the axis point(s).


FWIW, as a long time TSM user I find Google's Sketchup to be several times faster than TSM for any static model holding more than oh, say, 10-20 polys and anywhere between 10 and 100 times faster (and easier) for anything that's actually complex.

SU is certainly not a tool for every need but for architecture it's excellent... and it's free.

#9 laming

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 06:14 PM

Steve:

Nah, it never snows or sleets on the A&M. (i.e. We don't close.) Had a truly grueling trip home yesterday, and this morning it was pretty much a solid sheet of ice from Poteau to Fort Smith.

Not fun.

Plus, we have a chance for another round of it Friday night. Going on the forecast, they've already canceled the Springdale crew that was to come over the mountain and crew Saturday's psgr train. Now it's me again. Springdale crews were supposed to crew ALL the psgr trains this winter on account of they're not getting enough hours. I think Springdale has crewed one train so far? Yours truly has been on the rest, and is on the schedule to the middle of the month for sure and I suspect almost all of the rest of them. Hey... no mountain for a climber, though, huh?


Dave:

Have heard good things about Sketch-Up. Maybe "one of these days" I'll take the time to look it over.


All:

Got to go check the fire in the fireplace... may dig through and get some pics up later of some of my beloved Frisco.

Later gator!

#10 Frisco2

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:44 PM

Andre,

Speaking of sketch-up I took to it like a duck takes to water, I still have GMAX on my computer but For some reason I don't have the patience it takes to learn it. good luck with your new endeavor.

David.

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#11 laming

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 09:24 PM

Hi David!

Looks like you're having some Frisco fun in Sketch-Up! Keep up the good work!


All:

AS THREATENED devil.gif I have returned to type some drivel and post some pics. laugh.gif

Tonight's project was to digitize some of my favorite photos from a long-out-of-print paperback (on cheap paper, no less). It's a book that deals with the history of the railroads of northwest Arkansas. The spine is broken, fully 3/4 of the book is now loose pages. It's simply falling apart... fast. So, I wanted to get a lot of it on digital for later reference before pages are damaged or lost, and the cheap paper starts to yellow. That behind me, I thought I'd share some of the fruits of my labor!

Now, I want you to understand that my admiration for the Frisco is pretty much limited to the Fort Smith Subdivision, the Coal Belt region, and on down toward Poteau. (And maybe over Winding Stair mountain to Talihina, Oklahoma?)

Not just ANY portion of the Frisco holds the same spell over me as those mentioned above. Of course, when it comes to their TOC19 locomotives and rolling stock, well, that stuff was pretty much used system wide, so my interest level in THAT aspect is almost all-encompassing.

Not so the system itself. Needs to be from the above areas... or it goes to the "that's neat" category instead of the "WOW! THAT is SOOO COOL!" category as it does when it deals with my chosen areas.

Probably one of my all time favorite locations from within my chosen area would be Winslow, AR. If you've browsed this VSC forum for any length of time, you know I have typed prose upon prose concerning Winslow on many occasions. So, it should come as no surprise that I am going to grace you with some Winslow pics! (That you likely haven't seen before.)

Really, there's nothing truly extraordinary concerning either of them. (Aside from their rarity.) However, what is a bit unusual is the angle of the shots. Most TOC19 and later pics of Winslow were down closer to the tracks. These, however, show the pronounced gap that Winslow is situated within. Love it.

Few things in MSTS could thrill me more than for my Frisco project rails to arrive at the town of Winslow. Perhaps "one of these days", that will happen.

Until those virtual rails do, I will continue to get silly about seeing a cool pic of Winslow, especially during my good ol' TOC19 era.

Ah... ain't this V scale thing nifty?

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#12 Genma Saotome

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:08 PM

Andre, dunno how much this will interest you but Al Westerfield is retiring in a month or so and will no longer be taking orders for his HO scale resin kits. He has one such kit that will probably be of great interest to you....

He also has the 1912 SLSF sawtooth side sill boxcar. Orders are done at www.westerfieldmodels.com

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#13 hminky

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 12:08 PM

"Ah... ain't this V scale thing nifty?"

Yep, I tried for fifty years in "solid" models to build Nineteenth century rails and finally with MSTS and Open Rails I can do it.

Fun running Winan's Camels and pot hoppers around your railroads.

Thanks
Harold

#14 laming

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 08:46 PM

Hi Dave:

Though most things Frisco interest me, I would be more interested in drawings and such than actual workbench models. However, I do appreciate the thought!

Harold:

Know what'cha mean completely. As you know from being on various rail/modeling email lists with me over the years, I've tried to "solid" model the TOC19 years, too: Unsuccessfully. In fact, I've all but given up on workbench/layout modeling, regardless of scale. It's just become too expensive and it's much, much too restrictive.

I have come to accept the fact that my computer is my hobby as well as my recreation. I mean, via my computer I can: Learn, communicate with like-minded enthusiasts (as we're doing here), model, relax, research, conduct business, purchase toys (like 3D Canvas Pro!), and through the magic that is V scale... be able to get a glimpse of railroads and eras that are long gone!

All:

Gonna' leave you with a pic of Bridge No. 1 from about the 1880's. This is a photo of the original bridge. Note how light weight and lacy it appears? I suspect this will be the structure I would need to represent if I should ever get rails this close to Winslow in my virtual Frisco world, and not the heavier structure I will pass over come Saturday.

All for now!

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#15 laming

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 04:52 PM

Still plan on learning to "roll my own" steam engines and stuff... but lately I've been having way too much fun laying track and recreating my favorite line of all. If'n you want to, you can see it here:

http://www.3dtrains....showtopic=17570

#16 Genma Saotome

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:55 AM

QUOTE(laming @ Feb 3 2011, 7:27 PM) View Post
Hi Dave:

Though most things Frisco interest me, I would be more interested in drawings and such than actual workbench models.


Sure, who doesn't? But whaccha gonna do when you cannot find drawings? The model, plus some ORER data could serve. A few photos of components set against an HO scale ruler provide relative sizes.

Anyway, that Al made this model suggests there is a drawing somewhere (I suspect this was an AC&F car which would put drawings at the Mercantile Library in St Louis... not an easy bunch of folks to work with) how complete that might be... who knows? A lot of of the effort in making masters for resin kits involves use of photos and cross referencing multiple sources to estimate dimensions which is not that different from working off a resin kit to do the same.