Running Bear's December 2020 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
Staff member
Something in my photo albums that caught my eye while searching for something else were a couple from a car and rod show that they hold at the show grounds just down the road from me. There was this '41 Willys panel van reproduction in Fiberglass custom rod. I had bought a Willys of the same model as a runaround when I was about 20 that had had the rear bodywork from behind the behind the door removed (must have been a 4 door sedan as the door was straight up and down at the back edge), a piece of 1/2" plywood across the open back to make a closed cab (shortened, you sat bolt upright on a horsehair padded fixed cushion and backpad), with the luxury of column shift.

A full width wooden flatbed tray with stake and board sides had also been made for it plus a steel frame, canvas canopy. Looked a bit like a WW2 military truck. Had the 4 pot flathead 3 speed box in it and because it was converted for NZ'ds RHD, an intricate shifter system, from the column lever, down the column to levers, with rods back to the RH side of the box, more levers there onto cross shafts passing under it to the LH side. More levers with rods then up the LH to connect to the origins LHD levers on the box. Sloppy as all get out and only 2nd and 3rd synchromeshed, but you could not beat it downshifting into 2nd. It's greatest advantage was it had telescopic shocks, not the old lever type. The handling around corners and it's ride, beat anything built 2 decades later. I loved it. Unfortunately it got totaled with me in it between a refrigerated ice cream van and a municipal trolley bus in the rain, when the bus slid on the painted centerline into the back of it when trying to stop at traffic light. Luckily I only bumped my head a bit on the plywood panel. Being so close it probably saved me from whiplash. Anyway, here's the pic that started the reminiscence.


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Morning all,

Winter crap weather supposed to hit here just before midnight. I'll be in bed long before (man, I'm getting old). Currently 23° and clear before clouding up this afternoon in preface to the winter storm hitting overnight. Anywhere up to 1/4" of ice followed by 2-6+ inches of snow. The snowblower is ready!!!!

On a different note, I had my 6-month dental check a couple of weeks back, and had to have a filling redone as the old amalgam filling had worn out. So I had an appointment late yesterday afternoon to get it replaced. I asked the dentist what he did with his worn out dental tools. So when he said they tossed them, I asked if I could have some to use in model railroading projects. This is what he gave me:


I can already see uses for some of them already. And yes I am a Science Fiction fan. I was born too early as my dream job is an asteroid miner. lol


Founder, NHRR; Founder, Nathan's Crossroads
Good morning y'all.

Got some rain yesterday, so now on top of being cold it's also wet. Thankfully I only have one job planned for today.

Flo - Got any bacon left? It sound like a great addition to my coffee. No, I don't want it IN my coffee, beside it will do just fine.

Was Thinking more on the occupants in the building I posted earlier. I think I have settled on placing the shoe store next to the police station. The upper floor will be the residence of the town cobbler, one Mr. Jim Brown. The lower floor will house the sales floor and repair shop for The Sole Man.

Still thinking of a town name, but I did finally name the Railroad. It will henceforth be known as the New Horizons Railroad. It serves all transportation needs for the New Horizons Textile Corporation that will serve as the primary industry in town. Eventually I will stumble upon a town name that satisfies me, but until then I will revel in the joy of having an actual name for the pile of stuff in boxes and drawers. 🤣

Y'all have a blessed day and be safe out there. 2020 is coming to an end and there's no telling what it will throw out as it is forcibly removed from the premises.


Sprue-n-Glue Victim
I can't tell if the earth is already screwed and it's too late, or the tropical weather we've been having is just due to an odd year. As I visit you this morning, it's 22°F outside, and heading up to near 30. The sky is clear, as can be seen in this photograph of the setting 'Snow Moon', the last full moon of 2020 and the beginning of winter according to native lore:

That photo of my home was actually taken early yesterday morning. Today is the same weather, or warmer.

My wife seeks to go fishing every day during this lockdown; it's her favorite hobby next to flower growing. So, I go fishing with her every day it's nice out, instead of pursuing my preferred hobbies. It is necessary for me to accompany her, and be the mule. - So no modeling just now.
We are doing ok on the ice, though. She caught this nice little 3 pounder yesterday:
Carson_12-30-2020 (2).jpg

That's good for her, as she likes fish over my preferred beef. She was raised on fish; I was raised on beef.

Anyway, I likely won't be coming into the shop over the next few days.. Not until she goes back to work. We will be fishing instead of modeling. I don't think my friends want to hear about fishing.

Thanks for the likes on past posts, and I've read all of your posts. well done, everyone!

I can hear the lake calling; or is that my wife pushing me! Have a good one!


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Happy New Years Eve. Overcast and 36°, won't get much warmer today. Still a 100% chance of rain today. Yesterday's 100% chance pretty much fizzled, with mist and drizzle that ended by 0900; leaving just .3" in the gauge.
Went on the weekly grocery/beer trek yesterday instead of braving the anticipated New Years Eve crowd today. The slick highway resulted in a few dumb drivers going upside down on the side of the road. Saw three single car accidents, don't know of any injuries. On the way home we stopped at the local BBQ joint for some take-out. Normally I just buy the same repetitive BBQ as we like that, but I had read an article in the Texas Monthly magazine that touted their egg rolls? Yes, egg rolls in a BBQ joint. So I got a "Buffalo Chicken-Ranch Egg Roll to try out. Rather tasty and filling. A whole roasted chopped chicken breast, Monterrey Jack cheese, chives and spicy buffalo sauce, rolled up into a giant egg roll. Very similar to a large burrito or a Chimichanga. This thing must have weighed 12 ozs. Damn good.

My final breakfast of the year, make it Ham and sunny side up eggs this morning Flo. Caution Mel about breaking the yolks.

Thanks to all of you who commented or reacted to my progress photos from yesterday; Troy, Tom O,, Karl, Patrick, Joe, Chet, Ken, Chad, Tom, Curt, Gary, Guy, Hughie, Sherrel, Garry, Jerry.

Stay tuned for a train shed update, as I left the camera out there and I need to eat breakfast and freshen up before putting on clothes.

Jesse - It appears that you did some editing on your post from yesterday that I didn't see the first time around. I like your ideas on the businesses that you are proposing for that structure. I like mine, especially the second floor back porch on the center place. I am fully with you on having a backstory on businesses and scenes on the layout. I have many in my mind but haven't committed them to paper or computer.
Dave - You have posted the usual nice scene from the old layout.
Joe - Thanks.
Ken - My issue isn't that I have tossed something that I later needed, but finding where I stashed it when I need it later.:(
Garry - Yes it is sad that none of us remembered Jeffery's passing. Too much other stuff happening in the world that occupied our minds. I did remember around Thanksgiving when our E-Mail correspondence stopped prior to his demise, but failed to mention it.
Gary - Even at my young age, Mary Ann was my heartthrob!

Everybody have a great day. I'll be back in a little bit.


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Anyway, I likely won't be coming into the shop over the next few days.. Not until she goes back to work. We will be fishing instead of modeling. I don't think my friends want to hear about fishing.
I like your fishing reports. I can't ice fish here, although there were times we had enough ice in the 70's to ice fish. When I lived in Michigan as a youngster to mid-teens, I fished all the time. I really haven't done any fishing since mid-'98. Lost my fishing gear due to a flood and waited too long to get to clean it. Was given a new fishing rod for Christmas in '99, but it's still in the garage, never used. A couple of years ago, Dad gave me all his fishing equipment. It remains on the shelves in the garage unused.

So post the fishing reports. That's kind of the idea of the coffee shop!


Well-Known Member
Good morning from St. Paul, 14 and cloudy this morning.

About 5" of snow cover on the grass and 6" on the public streets. No more snow forecast for a week or so.

Ken - nice cleanup job in the train room

Willie - you sure have the people! Nice process you have for getting them done up well!

Patrick - I hope you don't get too carried away with those dentist tools.

THANKS all for likes and comments!

My better half will be staying with her sister and b-i-l over the weekend as one diagnosed with lung cancer and the other is in the throes of memory issues. She has to drive about 200 miles to give care in this capacity, hopefully we can get some home health care in place shortly into the new year.

My ebay issue got resolved. In my experience, the buyer is favored (sellers: must clearly and plainly describe item)

Here is todays layout photo. Not happy with the chains on the load, I spent way more time getting the grass in the foreground the way I wanted it than I spent with the chains!


See you next year!



Well-Known Member
Good morning this last day of a miserable year. A new hopeful beginning tomorrow and I am looking forward to it.

McLeod, write the fishing stories. Your wife looks so happy! I am not nor have been a ice fishermen but going to work I would see all the ice shacks on the lakes of North Central Wisconsin. Plus you add those RR pictures and everything is great. It’s always great to get a different outlook on life for us all. I agree with Patrick.

Dave, the chains look good but maybe more rust, they seem bright. Why don’t you like them?

Karl, burn those with a great blaze, be safe though.

Willie, no pictures from you is like not having breakfast.

Boris, you know how I feel about your great picture postings.

Everyone else, thank you for making me feel welcome here, so much so, I have dropped out of posting other places but 1. The diner here is interesting but also allows us to show our other interests, tootnkumin, great car and story. But, this forum is more then the diner, the other subject areas are what are keeping me here. Lots of good builds, good decent questions and honest answers. I haven’t really seen here as an answer, Google is your friend, and that’s great.

I guess I am really unaware of the story behind the Running Bear name.



Beach Bum
Good morning y'all. Last day of 2020, and last day for this coffee shop. lets Hope and pray that 2021 is better.

It's a Foggy, with light rain, and 50° at the Jersey Shore. At some point it's supposed to rain then get drastically colder. The weather lady, was so busy gushing about being on the VIP list for the Times Square gig this evening that she never actually talked about the weather.

December was the anniversary of Jeffrey Running Bear's passing. I did not see any comments about that. Did we forget?
Garry, you're right, we did forget...Sad, but other memories get in the way.

The workbench is equipped with casters
Ken, A great idea, definitely worth copying.

We use HR Block software on our computer.
Garry, I second the recommendation. I can't use their State program, but their Federal is superior to Turbo Tax. I understand their "Pro" version is better, but not worth the cost for one return.

Finally I decided that, since I just needed someplace to store the trains but not transport them, some thin-profile packing boxes would probably suffice. So I went to my local UPS Store and and picked up 4 of them sized 24"x18"x4", @ $6/ea. A tad deeper than I would have preferred, but they can still be stacked on a rolling platform and fit neatly under the layout. Tomorrow I'll head over to the JoAnne store to get some 1" thick foam rubber to pad the bottoms with.
Ken: You are so full of good ideas and great solutions worth copying, this morning. I have to bookmark your post.

the Seaboard grain cars got done today.
Tom, great job, (as usual), Keep sharing your work.

Note to self, "No more BLI locos".

Not for nothing, but I keep hearing others express the same resolution.

I have no testors paint and I called the LHS. He can get it but not on the shelf today.
Tom O: Try Hobby Lobby or Michael's. Walthers probably stocks it also.

A new hopeful beginning tomorrow and I am looking forward to it
Here Here!

And one more photo:
GE MUs at Media - T Hickey.jpg

SEPTA, ex PC, Ex Conrail GE MU married pair at Media preparing to depart for Philadelphia. T. Hickey Photo

MU coming off B to #4 at Six Roads - Bill Strassner.jpg

Trenton Local, westbound, MP54E MUs, Track "B: to Track #4 at Six Roads, in Woodbridge, NJ Bill Strassner Photo



Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
TOMo - A really great post and photo! Awesome sawdust pile - Going to need a "burner".
YES, GUY - You keep posting. When I saw the photo of yur better half there - the same thought came to mind - WOW, is she happy!
I grew up in the south and loved to fish and hunt, however the last serious fishing I did was living near Sparta, NJ. I had purchased a lot on a small lake there and a friend and I struck gold there. One frosty cold morning we were pulling in the 3/5 pound bass bang, bang, bang! After a promotion and move back to KC, I sort of slid away from it. FAST FOEWARD to CA and I have tried a couple times but just not enjoyed it.

ALAN - Your cartoon certainly sums up the year - WELL DONE!

Started the day at 36 out here going all the way to 62 later on. It is clear and sunny, and after yesterday's debacle on the sleep front - I put in a good 9 hours - only having to make the potty trip twice. Feel Good!


Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
JOE/GARRY Your post and photos always grab my attention - well done. That MU lashup looks like an intercity long distance makeup?

Thanks for the mention on the tax filing (is this political?) I will be busy today trying to see which way I wish to go. Guess my days of delayed filing may be coming to an end if I have a lot of extra paperwork to complete!
I had a friend in KC who was always 4-5 years behind and was audited every year. Said he liked doing it as it kept them from bothering someone else - lol.


Well-Known Member
Boris, I looked at all the usual places, Walthers, HL and Michael’s. If the LHS doesn’t have something my internet search always starts at Walthers, then Hiawatha Hobbies, Lombard Hobby, Michael’s and when desperate HL. It is shown at Walthers which is where my LHS will get it. I kind of was surprised that neither Michael or HL had it. The wife is out riding when she comes back the 3 samples I can live with await her decision. I wrote down the formulas for reproduction if she likes any of the 3.

Sherrel, thanks. No burners though. All wood chips are sent to the digestor for paper making, in this case the kraft brown towels you used to find in all commerical bathrooms before the air dryers. That’s what made Mosinee Papers famous and very profitable, too bad those days are gone!

Alan, that cartoon says it all.



Same Ol' Buzzard
As promised and so Tom O doesn't starve this morning, I'm back. Out in the train shed yesterday, I continued playing with figures and their placement. I added an additional figure in front of the Derry's Pub, just to give a little extra action along the sidewalk.
Then I added a Mom and two kids to the hobby shop next door.

Hmmmh! I need to dust that cobweb off the sign.
Then I concentrated on the pizzeria outdoor dining area. First a shot of everybody on the workbench.

Close-ups of two tables.

Now with everyone in place.

Then I pulled out the next batch for painting.

Note the sprue attachment points on all of the heads.

That's it for now, some of the other pictures didn't work out as I planned.


Well-Known Member
Good morning ....

Garry - Yes it is sad that none of us remembered Jeffery's passing. Too much other stuff happening in the world that occupied our minds. I did remember around Thanksgiving when our E-Mail correspondence stopped prior to his demise, but failed to mention it.
Garry, you're right, we did forget...Sad, but other memories get in the way.
It is never too late !

I dedicate this post to Jeffrey Wimberly Running Bear. AKA Dr. Frankendiesel .. .......

I will always remember his friendly and often humorous conversations. Jeff did a lot with his limited resources. He fit a remarkable HO layout in his small trailer. I recall his creations which included some unique locomotives he kit bashed. He had his own private name railroad with a black and white color scheme. At the moment, I don't recall the name he used for his fictional railroad. He had mostly diesel locomotives, but I remember he had a steam locomotive he painted black and white with the number, 007, on its tender.

For a while, he had an old van which he painted black and white with rattle cans of automotive paint to match his locomotives on his model railroad. He was volunteer with the local fire department until his health deteriorated to the point where he could no longer do that. Jeff was very proud of his Native American heritage. His mother was a Cherokee.

He had diabetes and his condition was worsening. I knew him from the Model Railroader forum. When he went into the hospital for his first leg amputation, I volunteered to post updates on the various forums he participated in. He told me all the forums, and I joined each of them. I talked with him in the hospital and posted info in the forums. At a later date, he went back in the hospital. I communicated with Jeff's father during his final hospital stay, and posted in the forums. Sadly, Jeff passed away. I would have to look up dates because I do not recall exactly when he passed away. I think it was middle of December 4 or 5 years ago.

I could not continue posting in all of the forums. However, I liked this one and all of you guys. So I stayed here, and you are stuck with me until I get kicked out.
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