Running Bear’s May 2021 Coffee Shop is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

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Well-Known Member
Good Morning all,

Pretty good night sleep, which is a rare treat for me. But means I woke early, 0530. Alarm set for 0730 this morning. I have pastor duties today: A funeral for a dear man. Really liked him - always cheery, faithful, encouraging. And another ex-Navy hand, so we are closing with "Eternal Father, Strong to Save." Thought I'd check in before getting busy on sermon prep.

WIth the golf rained out yesterday, I got the bicycle maintenance done. We will head to the Arboretum this afternoon to see the amazing tulip display. The lilacs are starting their bloom, but it's too early for the roses. We'll enjoy the grounds and have a picnic supper. So no layout work today.

Tomorrow wifeykins and our two daughters are planning a girls afternoon after church and all. So hoping to get some serious work done tomorrow. I am ready to get that TT installed and drive some stakes, as they say. I daresay no track plan is perfect, but I'm ready to start laying track.

Just how persnickety are the new Walthers Turntables (933-2860) with the controls and all? Will I be forever making adjustments and tweaks? Access is not great, but not bad either.

I have 8 of 12 track bumpers assembled and put some paint on some of the constructed ones. My weathering skills are not great yet, but trying to portray serious rusting.

Well, have a good day, all. ----Steve


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. I'm looking at partly cloudy and 59°. It might hit 80° today before the clouds roll in and the now nine days in a row of thunderstorms begins around noon tomorrow. If the forecast is to be believed, we'll get 6" of rain with 5" of it falling between Sunday and Wednesday. I wish that it was going to be warm enough to take the cover off the pool and take advantage of the free water. But that means dumping in chlorine and acid for two weeks that it won't be warm enough to use. The water right now is 61° under the black cover. It won't warm up without the sun shining. Ahead of the expected rain, I mowed a bunch yesterday, about 1.5 acres. I hope to do another 1.5 acres today.

Good morning Flo. Just make it as bowl of raisin bran today.

Thanks for the likes and comments yesterday regarding the bus station; Tom O, Guy, Karl, Hughie, Patrick, Ken, Gary, Jaz, Sherrel, Tom, Steve.

Limited time in the train shed yesterday, due to all of the outdoor activity and perfect weather yesterday. Now that the bus station is somewhat settled in, I devoted my time to some minor projects on the "to do" list instead of starting the other structure yet. With all of the rain days coming up, I'll have plenty of time for that next week. I noticed that a downspout had fallen off the Miracle Mfg, Co., so while it was on the workbench I applied weathering powders, a task that I had jotted down back in January when I went through that part of the layout.

Unfortunately I didn't get the roof into this shot, but it was done as well.
I made other non-photogenic progress as well. I tidied up some wiring under the lower deck and installed two more ground throws. Still have about two dozen left to do, all on sidings and spurs. I also prepared some street signs to go with the bus station scene.

Guy - I really have no preference between the altered photo and the original. I don't usually alter my photos either.
Steve - I can relate to being stuck with the restaurant bill when dining out with either of my daughters. My wife is very proactive about telling me to pay it, even though both daughters and their husbands make far more money than I ever did when I was working! And I am the one on Social Security!
12" fascia seems a little tall. I only made mine 4" to cover the 1" x 4" framing and 1/2" deck. It is about 3/4" higher in the few areas where the track is close to the edge. Most of my track goes "through the layout" with scenery and structures on both sides.
Patrick - I have a man with an Asian accent call me every day to check up on my car warranty.

I see that the government is quite freaked out regarding this Colonial Pipeline shutdown, but yet had no qualms about shutting another pipeline down earlier this year and putting thousands out of work!!! I hope that all affected see things back to normal real soon. I still can't figure out why gas prices went up in Texas other than the "don't let a good crisis go to waste" logic.

Everybody have a great Saturday. Stay safe and prayers for all who need them.


Well-Known Member
Willie: Forgot to comment that you precede me a little bit. My days of tearing up Belt Line road were in the late 70s. Boy, has that area changed! Every now and then, I get lonesome for Texas and start whistling, "I wanna go home with the Armadillo ..." but I've been in Minnesota since 2007 and do like it. If you've never been here, I noticed a keen similarity in the attitude of Minnesotans and Texans. Not the city-dwellers, but the real people. I think it has something to do with living in a place that can kill you within a few hours if you're not careful!

I'm thinking 12 inch fascia so I can fascia-mount TO and other controls. My track plan will have me very close to table edges, so I like the idea of the 3/4 inch proud. But for that + the 1 inch foam + plus the 1x4 + 1/4 ply, that's 5-1/2 inches already, and to have space to mount controls, I'm thinking the 12 inch will work. I need about 24 linear feet, so that's basically one 4x8 with some good left over for other projects.

Time to get ready. Heading to the VFW for breakfast and then to work. Cheers, all! ----Steve


Well-Known Member
Well, Howdy there railroad people.

A mostly sunny 45 degrees today in the Fort. High expected of about 70° f

Today was supposed to be gaming day. Our area was already relaxed masking status, so we expected ... but no... wives said FAMILY time. Then the CDC added their loosening recommendation.

And, my wife and SIL were heading to their Mother's house for the annual spring flower planting... but SIL called in. Wife is going on her own. And we only have one car. And the direction is opposite from the game store. So the cat and I will be out on the patio writing, then painting toy soldiers to play games with.

In other news, we booked a cruise for this coming January out of Miami. A little 5 day to Cozumel and Key West. Love the ship (NCL Pearl). Figured we'd book while the fares were low, before the rush that is about to happen. Here's me and some cute girl in front of the ship in Alaska a few years ago.

Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 7.47.03 AM.png

Got the call last night from the TA. Some organization has booked both sailings of THAT ship with THAT itinerary. My guess is a music cruise (concerts at sea). Or could be a Firefighter's ball, or whatever.

We get a refund and a 10% off (base cost only) cert.

After checking out what is currently available, still at cheap prices, we decided to switch out of my comfort zone and try a new ship. Slightly larger: the NCL Breakaway.

This is a big step for me, because I LOOOOOOOVE sitting in the Jewel Class ships's aft open air cafe (named "The Great Outdoors").
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I love sitting there watching the ocean go away. Enough so that as long as the weather is decent (on the Alaska cruise that meant am I warm enough with jeans and a coat?) I sit out there for about 60% of the time we're awake.

BUT, the Breakaway gets us to New Orleans for a longer cruise. Since we're taking wife's Sister and her partner, we were leery of both a 7 day and s ship wife and I weren't familiar with. But, everyone got excited about visiting New Orleans.

Waiting on a call from the travel agent to tell us he got it booked.


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Morning all,

Sorry for the delay, I was up at 5:00a this morning, but I'm currently at the office getting the updates started. Stormy (not severe or overly loud) overnight, so I know we got some rain. After rain a good chunk of yesterday morning, The wind picked up an by noonish, It was dry enough to attempt mowing, so I hustled and got it cut just in time for the rain and pea sized hailstorm to hit. If it remains dry when I get home this afternoon, I have at least 1 round of lawn fertilizer to get down before the anticipated rains over the next week. Not sure how much rain we really got, but the ditches weren't running full. We're expecting upwards of 6 inches over the next week, which means none to an inch. 😄

Troy: Nice photo of you and some cute girl. I wish I could get the wife to want to travel. We did a lot regional travel before we had kids, and over the past 10 years our travel had been limited to visiting relatives in Michigan. Since dad died in December and we moved mom back to Kansas, travel to there isn't going to happen anymore. I hope your cruise gets booked!


Living in Dreamland; not the Dream
Good Morning!
Thanks for the comments regarding my altered photo comparison. I believe I'll save the 'alter' techniques for special circumstances, and keep posting my regular photos. They seem to be liked well enough without putting on any make-up.

It's 43° here this fine morning, with 0% chance of rain. So, I suppose it's another good day to paint some stuff on the house that needs paint.
Firstly, though, I'll have a couple of coffee's to wake up my painting arm.

I put some weathering on the little HO boat skid yesterday. I suppose the blocks holding the boat have to change color so they look a bit aged.
I'm going to set it aside for now, though, until I can figure out a tiny ships wheel and other sea going trinkets to put on it. I'll get back to it later, and finish it to layout ready:

Have a wonderful Saturday, folks! Thanks for the likes on my simple to do posts.


Well-Known Member
Good morning from the wet of Wisconsin. No sunshine yet and with 2 unexpected downpours the morning plans have changed. I finished the last 2 of 4 raised beds for outside the kitchen. Terry has always planted herbs in pots but thought 4 raised beds would be better. The daughter purchased 2 last year for 70 each. This year they were 150 each. Yes, lumber is expense. But, everything is going up and there is no cost too high if Terry is happy.

Trains, the train room is empty but for the Paper Mill and the tree tunnel sections. All other framework pieces and finished modules are in the garage awaiting stripping down for a make over. I am unsure what I even want to do but beyond the PaperMill wasn’t it. Terry came down last night as I was cleaning up around 10:30 and I heard a gasp and then “what the hell did you do?” Told her I wasn’t happy with what I had. That she understood.

If the weather clears I will move the planter beds into position and help load the homemade planting soil. The neighbor about a mile down the road make awesome (per Terry) planting soil. Horse manure from us, manure from the sheep and llamas at another neighbor and then his 500+ cows creations. He picks up weekly and mixes and stirs piles every month. Free to us but costly I am told to others but very much in demand. He has mixing rows that are at least 500’ long and 20 of them. Says he makes more on the soil then he does from the milk from the cows. His workers though always smell like the earth!

Have a fun day.



Well-Known Member
Howdy ......

Sherrel .... Glad you are back with us, and I hope you recover completely.

Guy .... I like your model boat.

Troy .... That's a big ship.

Tom That's a very nice photo.

Willie ...... I like the background building.

Everybody.... Have a nice day.


Well-Known Member
If the weather clears I will move the planter beds into position and help load the homemade planting soil. The neighbor about a mile down the road make awesome (per Terry) planting soil. Horse manure from us, manure from the sheep and llamas at another neighbor and then his 500+ cows creations. He picks up weekly and mixes and stirs piles every month. Free to us but costly I am told to others but very much in demand. He has mixing rows that are at least 500’ long and 20 of them. Says he makes more on the soil then he does from the milk from the cows.His workers though always smell like the earth!

Have a fun day.
Sadly, that seems to be the case with dairy farmers statewide(FIL’s dad(“retired”) & 2 brothers are dairy farmers in Marathon County, between Unity & Stratford)


Gomez Addams
Staff member
Good evening. It's sunny and 70.
I spoke with Sherrel for a few minutes earlier this afternoon, and he seems to be doing okay. Some further wiring problems, courtesy of his resident mice, but nothing a pair of wire cutters can't temporarily resolve.
Moving on from that, I've decided I must be a crap magnet. The entire world can't be plotting to piss me off, no matter how it may seem that way. This afternoon, my wife decided she wanted some "store bought" fried chicken. She found the website of the local chicken emporium, and placed her order. She then directed me to said emporium to pick up her order. After waiting in the drive through for 30 minutes, I told them what order I was there for, and the fun commenced. They said they didn't have that order. Sorry. After a little nudging on my part, along with a pointed reminder they had already charged our credit card, they said they found the order. They handed me an appropriately-badged bag that smelled like chicken, and I took it home. Imagine my surprise when I arrived home, and discovered I had a completely different order, for a completely different person, and that order wasn't even complete, it had stuff missing from it. A phone call to the aforementioned emporium caused the situation to deteriorate further, when they claimed they don't even carry the items we ordered, and they assured us our order was complete and correct. After an even more terse exchange, I gathered up the stuff I had gotten, and printed out a copy of the order we had made, along with receipt, and headed back to the emporium for round two. Things kept progressing in the wrong direction when a hired hand tried to keep me out of the store and go back through the drive through.
No. YOU need to take care of this problem, HERE and now. The manager was called out. I presented my wrong, and rapidly getting cold, order, along with the confirmation of our order I had printed out, date stamped, with the location of the emporium on it.
Ten minutes later, I left with the correct order, along with the original wrong order, since it had left their custody, they couldn't take it back.
We now have about a four day supply of chicken, if we eat chicken for three meals a day. The excess has been separated, bagged, and placed in the freezer for future use. Like, the next time my wife wants chicken.
"Let's order online", she said.
"It'll be easy and convenient", she said.
"We'll save gas, because this place is closer to our house", she said.


Aka. Gary Russell
Evening everyone, as I know, my model railroading skills are yet to be
My hobby carpenter skills arent terrible though as I have my finished product.
It will be nice to focus on some track foam again now.....oh and the wife wants a greenhouse....

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Whiskey Merchant
Going top be quick. Haven't had the computer on for a few days but did manage to view the forum on the phone, but unfortunately couldn't respond because I don't have a clue what my password is. Been busy playing small engine mechanic for friends and neighbors now that the weather is warmer and they need their equipment running so they can work. Sure don't like what gas with ethanol can cause.

Terry - Sounds like Murphy has stopped by your place again.

Greg - Looks like there was a bit of s--t splattering by you. You hould have told him to cancel the order. Did that one time and got quite a discount being that I had special ordered the car. You could do that at the time.

- Like the photos.

Garry - Love your city scenes.

Sherrel - Sounds like quite the scare. Hope it is nothing long lasting or serious.

Willie - Your photos and layout cease to amaze me. Fantastic.

Troy - You and the better half enjoy the cruise. After 6 years in the Navy, mostly on destroyers and having visited 73 countries, I have no interest in a cruise. Thankfully my wife doesn't either. For her it is a matter of being packed on a ship with 5,000 passengers. I agree with her.

Gary - Beautiful work on the bed frame. Outstanding.

Been nursing a sick dachshund for the past 2 days.She has a bladder infection and it has knocked the crap out of her. Hoping she makes it.




Well-Known Member
Good evening.

Terry ...... Evidently, your chicken order was fowled up. 😀

Gary .... Your wood working skills are very impressive. I like the bed.

Chet ..... Thanks for the comment. .... I'm glad I don't need diesel fuel. ;)

Tom Cambria .... Looks like a very nice dog.

Everybody .... Good night.
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