HOn3 Mogul

When building dioramas, I sometimes want locomotives in the scene – an example being my roundhouse diorama.

These days, I can obtain some very fine loco models … “cheap” being in the hundred or two dollar range; better quality in the $300 and up range.

Can’t see spending the type of money necessary to have 5 engines on a static display. Nor being able to sell same even at cost.

I would love to see “cheaper” static models such as the apparently now-defunct “Derelict Shay” or “Derelict C-16” (although I see that model offered by Wiseman in On3).

I have a 3D resin printer … use it!

So I did.

Knowing it best to not show how the sausage is made, I continue on my merry way on not only the path less travelled, but occasionally proceeding where there is no path through thickets and hedgerows …

Here’s how I made the sausage:

The laser printer is relatively new; it had been well tuned in for one type of resin but that resin proved unsuitable. Working on this project is the first real pass with a new resin recipe. The end result of this recipe is a structure which may be drilled and sanded. However, the printer is capable of features small enough to be very fragile when separating the model from the process support structures.

For no particular reason, I selected a narrow gauge 2-6-0 Mogul type engine loosely based on the “Glenbrook”. The actual engine has been restored and is operational; I recall first seeing it stuffed and mounted outside the Carson City Mint many, many moons ago.



“Loosely based” … and intended as a background model as well. Many finer details are omitted.

So let’s see what I ended up with.

So … in tuning in the recipe at the same time as refining the CAD model results in several “missed-it-by-that-much” results.

Eventually, I got all the pieces to fit together well-enough to produce a “1st Draft”.

Paint was slapped on just to get a “flavor” of the end product. The boiler spent some time under a saw exhaust.

A model suitable for wa-a-ay in the background … behind the closed doors of a storage shed perhaps.

But it served its purpose from an engineering point of view

A few iterations later … and a marginally better paint job

I’m thinking of offering this as a kit. These are the parts as currently defined. One might call this a final draft; ready for beta testing. I need to find a moderately skilled railroad modeller that can attempt to put this engine together as a kit so that I can work the “user-end” bugs out.

Perhaps in the $60-$75 range … Unpainted.


Tichy Ore Cars

Although there no specific protype, this particular model is based on “turn-of-the-century” iron ore cars of the Lake Superior railroads. there’s no reason to believe these cars weren’t used for precious metal ores – the Virginia & Truckee used similar cars in the late 1860s.

I like these Tichy models; I wish their cars models included truss-rod era.

The kit includes these two cars; I have another set in the pipeline.


Athearn Stock Cars

Part of a grab bag at a garage sale. Although not “contest quality”, the quality of this model is suitable for the majority of model railroads and these dioramas.

The only changes were the couplers and some paint. The lower board on the door is white; the floor is white with weathering representing the condition of the floor of a stock car. It is assumed a lime wash is used to clean the cars. There should be additional lime staining on the lower sides of the car.

I had an “as-it-came” version for comparison. The differences are more noticeable “in-person”


Accucraft Fowler Boxcar

Just outside my main era but within my outer limits. First developed for Canadian railroads in 1908, they were built between 1909 and 1914 and some saw service into the 1970s. These would be new cars in my modeling world.

I didn’t modify this model other than a bit of paint on the roofwalk and trucks. I’m of Canadian descent (the “old country”) and the Grand Trunk ran through the town I grew up in.


Toll House

I once lived for a short while in Ouray, Colorado … and an even shorter stay in Silverton (both in the winter!).

I find the stretch of US550 between Ouray and Silverton to be fascinating for many reasons; one of my favorite places is the overlook at Bear Creek falls.

US550 was originally a toll road and the cleft in the rocks at the falls was an ideal spot for a toll station – there was absolutely no reasonable way to go around. Not many unreasonable ways either.

This picture caught my eye. Unfortunately, it’s not dated.

But in looking for other views, I found this:

which was probably taken from roughly this same point. The slanted gash in the rock mid-picture is a giveaway – some things don’t change much over time.

As far as I’m able to tell, the toll house was about where the orangish patch lies just above the bridge railing. Hard to tell; this area’s been worked over several times – the bridge is lower down and the road is at a slightly different angle to the falls.

I took the liberty of fictionalizing my rendition by incorporating this picture:

On the the Project page:

Toll House



I live on the edge of what was once serious gold mining country. Not far from where I live was a town of several thousand people in 1900 and by 2020, the only signs of anything were a few scars on the hillsides.

But I accidentally ran across this image and it immediately caught my attention:

This was a scratch-build. I even started venturing into 3D printing.

Within a few liberties, this is what I came up with

This is another long post … and should be (and will be) re-written. Someday.

On to the Project page:



The Roundhouse

I don’t know why I called this “The Roundhouse”; it’s an engine house but it’s not round.

I was cleaning off some shelves and came across a plastic bag of parts that my brother had obtained for me in a $10-takes-it-all box at a garage sale.

Nothing else but all the parts for what appears to be an Athearn engine house. Likely based on the Revelle engine house, this basic design was a popular kit.

It needed a few accessories

On to the Project page:

The Roundhouse


Colorado Stamp Mill

A 1984 Model Masterpieces kit. Long time to drag a kit around.

Actually not a difficult kit … but such a structure can’t sit on a shelf all by itself.

I didn’t tweak this one much.

This was an “as I build it” project so consider yourself warned

On to the Project page:

Stamp Mill


Toadsuck Canning Company

At least, that’s what it was sold as.

I tweaked this moderately hard. It was an early resin kit that seems to have bounced around different manufacturers – it appears to still be available. (listed in catalogs at $375 but Out of Stock so maybe not as “new stock”. But not cheap either. I paid $60.)

I have an early Jaks Industries (SS Ltd) version made of resin. When I opened the kit, most of the resin was workably misshapen except for one or two roof pieces.

Now I’m not blaming the manufacturer – this kit spent 5 or 6 years in an unheated, uncooled aluminum frame shelter on the Colorado Front Range. From well below zero to well above 100? Repeat 5 or 6 times?

Anyway, I worked with what I had.

I don’t know what this company does – certainly not a canning company. I call it Toadsuck Distribution Co. because as far as I can tell, it distributes stuff between a narrow gauge track and standard gauge.

On the the Project page:

Toadsuck Distribution


Delabarre Tool & Die

I bought this kit as a 1st issue release from South River Model Works in 1990 or ’91. As I recall, this was South River’s first kit. It became time to open the box.

I don’t know what it is, but I have trouble building a kit “as designed”. Same with this model.

Close but not the same.

On to the Project page:



The Crossing

I had the Campbell’s Curved High Trestle ever since I was young enough to be nervous about tackling such a complex project. Some many decades later, it was time to build it or toss it.

As I built this not-too-difficult kit, I couldn’t see it just sitting on a shelf someplace as “a trestle” – it needed “environment.

So I gave it “environment”

to the Project page:

The Crossing


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