Running Bear's May 2022 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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Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Growing up there was a saying we kids had,
"Hooray, Hooray ... the first of MAY!
Outdoor sc&*$ing starts today!"

We are looking at mostly sunny and mid 70's for the entire week.
Kate had a negative Covid test three days back and will test again today; if negative again today she had a very short bout with it. Irene, her older sister, really had a bad case; I pray that they both are better today as I have not had a report.
That's all my news for this morn other that my night was not very restful and I just feel sort of lousy and blah.

I thought the movies: The Replacements and Airplane both were very funny.
I guess that I just have a warped humor?


Snarky Old Fart (in training)
5000k 4 inch LED dimmable lights by Infinibright. Home Depot and Lowes both carry them. Now I can ditch the single 4 tube fluorescent lamp and the desk lamps over my old modules.

Karl: I use those too. Here's the best price I've found on them. There's a fixit handyman remodeler dude from the great white tundra (a Canadian I believe) who mentioned these in a couple of his Youtube HowTo vids.

Lights on Amazon

Just make sure you get the color you want. These are not color temp adjustable.


"retired" conductor
Karl: I use those too. Here's the best price I've found on them. There's a fixit handyman remodeler dude from the great white tundra (a Canadian I believe) who mentioned these in a couple of his Youtube HowTo vids.

Lights on Amazon

Just make sure you get the color you want. These are not color temp adjustable.
They look exactly like the infinibright lights look. Same wattage same connector same box. It’s probably just a re-packaging of the same product probably all comes out of the same assembly plant in China and just gets packaged differently. Either way they’re great little lights. I bought a 24 pack to use used every one of them and now the wife says she wants a few over her work hobby area. Guess I’ll pick up another four pack.

I will probably just pick up another four pack at Home Depot rather than order them from Amazon. I have a real issue with a CEO that plays Moon Man with the money that he could be spending on his employees.


Lazy Daydreamer
This just in: Looks like my turntable manual availability problem is solved, a friend of mine happened to have it in his digital library. Now I just have to go back out to the trainroom and re-program all 18 stop points; some of these are "ghost" tracks so I can point the opposite [non-cab] end of the TT bridge to the desired track.


Well-Known Member
Good Morning!
37F, with a very welcome rain happening. Hopefully, the rain will take care of the last of the ice. It's gonna be another nice one!

TomO - Here are some covered hopper photos I captured in 2020. Perhaps they can assist you with the 'look'. Hope they help in your efforts.
View attachment 145279View attachment 145280View attachment 145281View attachment 145282View attachment 145283

This is the time of year that folks are calling me to do this and do that with either carpentry or electrical work. Usually, they call me for one of two reasons: 1) They don't have the skills to do it themselves or 2) They are physically incapable or just too lazy to do it themselves; so it's worth it to pay someone instead.
I'm surprised this year; the calls are coming early, and in quantity. If I commit to them all, I might be able to afford some new locomotives to add to the collection.

Troy - I also feel for you with regards to mother and MIL. Most of us suffer through that pain at some point. It's never an easy thing.

Ken - Great to hear the open house went well. Very fortunate that you have members close enough to visit and participate.

Other Ken - Glad the birthday party went well. Birthday parties are important and necessary for children. Not so much for us old fellas.

SteveJ - I've always found it odd how offspring reach a stage where they figuratively backstab their parents. Mine did it to me, and I suppose I did it to my own parents a-bit. Suppose we reach a stage where we're just tired of the attempts at guidance, and decide to buy our own cow.
The thing is though, sooner or later they/we always come back; or are forever sorry if the coming back is too late.

A suggestion was made to correct my layout yards track-work somewhat. So, yesterday I removed a bit of track and I'm going to make corrections. I'll probably work on the corrections today, and I'll take some photos to share at a later time.

Right now, I need to feed and walk the dog. I believe she has her own dog sundial to know what time it is. She's never far off from being right about the time.

Enough yap! Thanks for the coffee; time to get on with the day!
Guy, thank you thank you. That is a huge help.



Well-Known Member
Good morning from Wisconsin where it is still dreary looking out but there thankfully is no rain.

I am trying to figure out how to weather the roofs on the 3 WC covered hoppers I have been working on. Had them covered Thursday and on Friday decided they weren’t right. On Saturday I power washed the weathering off using my airbrush filled with 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and the PSI cranked to 60. I might work on them today as I found a decent picture that almost shows the roof top. I have looked at many pictures of this type of WC car and this is the best roof view.
View attachment 145278

Not sure what the day will bring. Most likely we have the granddaughter till at least 5. The wife and g/d are out riding. Most of my energy is ebbing from lack of the thyroid replacement meds and as of today I cannot drive. Definitely no swimming either, so maybe a lot of time in the train room.

When I did my gray grain cars I used acrylic gray wash (from Walmart) to fade it down. After drying I used Monroe powders Earth to add the rust effect. I then use a 1" very soft bristle brush to blend. Last is to dull coat. As for rust on the hatch are burnt sienna acrylic wash works good too. The bottom of the car was a wash with the gray then some earth powder then lastly airbrush earth to blend.


Well-Known Member
Good afternoon. I literally can feel the energy leaving my body as the day wears on. On the 6th I can again take my thyroid replacement meds and by mid afternoon I will be feeling stronger based on past events I have had being off these meds. This morning I started the sodium free diet that I will stay on until my radiation treatments are completed in June. Sodium free ingredients are difficult to find in my normal diet so this is a huge diet change. Again I have previous experience with this diet but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Willie, based on what the son has mentioned in the past he loves the battery machine. He was shocked by its quietness and power. His acre surrounding the house is zero-scape but the other acreage is not. He says it’s much more versatile and quicker then the string trimmer. He has a large mower but a neighbor has goats that the neighbor hood uses to keep the pastures down. He mainly uses it around the electrified snake fencing. It doesn’t damage the mesh like the string trimmers can.

guy, those covered hopper pictures are printed out and down on the bench. Perfect pictures for my use, again thank you. Thipose hatch cover picture made my weekend. Yep, I am easy to please

cambriaArea51, nice weathering job Tom. I will be adding in the WC hoppers to my “Continous weathering thread”. But all I did today was print off Guy’s pictures and put them at the bench.

Troyphoto, lucky you. My wife wants nothing to do with painting inside or outside. In grade school (early 60’s) every year I painted the backyard fences of my Grandmother’s Chicago neighborhood. Chain link fences painted silver with a tarp under every section and a 4-6” brush. All summer. Walked 3 blocks to catch the CTA bus and go from 68th place to 63rd and Pulaski Road then walk another couple blocks around 9 every morning and back home around 3. Did that from ages 8-12, try allowing that now a days. Boy, I hate even thinking of painting a fence now.

hockey, the grandson and family are on the way back from Minneapolis. After getting destroyed in 3 straight games and only with 1 score in those games they won in a shoot out. 11-11 with the grandson scoring 4 times in regulation time and then winning the game in the shoot out with a goal. The daughter said that the parents are back in great spirits. The kids she said were fine about an hour after each loss.

The wife and granddaughter are in the pool. I am just watching from the deck offering moral support. No more swimming until the strengths comes back. I miss the water


PRR Modeler

Well-Known Member
Afternoon All,

Started out with some chores, then put a hobo scene with LED fire to make the wife happy. :) She's been after me to put it in for months. The area is already landscaped so I did. Got the three parts out of the washer with many bad words and slicing the top of my hand open. I guess it's good that I just finished a course of antibiotics. Tomorrow is parts hunting.

Terry- You never seem to catch a break.

Troy- Good news about MIL and not very good for your mother. I'm sorry. Exciting about your new book coming out.

TomO- Nice job on the hoppers.

IB Ken- I'm glad you found what you needed to fix your TT.

Willie- That's a lot of cool stuff.

Tom- Very nice weathering.

This is what I used for the hobo fire. I also used their welding light in the round house.



I hope everyone has a good night.

Jaz avalley

Station cat
Rabbit Rabbit
(it's a new month, so I gotta type Rabbit Rabbit)

Sigh... I feel for you, Terry. I get that all the time in whatever business I'm running. Save a little here, oops, this broke and drained the savings away.

In other news, MIL is doing well. She's starting to look at the clock when the daughters are over, and 4 pm, she locks up her phone in the "safe drawer" and gets her wrist-stretchy-bracelet with the apartment key, then sits staring at the girls.

D#1 "Do we need to leave, mom?"

MIL "Well, it's 4 o'clock."

D#2 "Must be time for supper..."

MIL "The girls are saving me a seat in the dining room"

Ds "Bye Mom!"

They laugh about how she has adapted to finding new friends and making sure she gets her meals on time. Things she seldom got right as a diabetic living by herself in the middle of Rural Corn and Soybean field Indiana...

Now, to my mother with the AFIB. She made it to the Cardiologist early because of a fainting episode when the visiting nurse was there....

The cardiologist wants to treat with meds, not with heart shocks. Sister pressed him and said he was guarding his speech in front of mom. But, her heart doesn't sound strong enough for the cardio-inversion.

Translation, we're in the last year or so with mom.

She's still having short-term memory issues. But is proudly announcing when she made the bed, walked down to laundry, that sort of stuff. My sister who checks on her daily says Sundowners is becoming more noticeable.

So, we're attempting to get our minds around that.

In other news, I'll be heading out to get GREEN paint to get rid of the yellow fence today. Just need to wait on the fence to dry out following last night's rain.

Oh, and I'm expecting the book with the railroad guest stars back from the editor this week. Once I get the final revisions out and back from my beta readers, you three (Willie, Smudge, and Sherrel) will get a message from me with a link to download a copy before it goes on sale. The question isn't just "Whodunnit?" but also, who has the biggest and fanciest railroad-themed BBQ Smoker?
My mum and dad both passed unexpected as did my father and mother in law, knowing you are going to lose someone seems very hard to me, mine were a shock but at least I was not left in the position of biting my nails waiting for the inevitable. knowing I was slowly seeing someone I love disappear in front of my eyes just seems…hard.
losing someone you love is hard…period.
My dad believed in ghosts and was convinced my mother could come and visit him, she never did, despite some truly eerie stuff when she was a live, 30 years without her, in his last days he said he would not mind dying as he would be reunited with her. I just hope that is the case, wish I was more religious, faith gives a lot of comfort.

1. she told my dad whilst she was in hospital he had to come collect me from school and we were not to go down the usual road under any circumstances, ok he said to ‘pander’ to her, then there was in the paper that that day just after school finished a lorry ran into the gates over a factory we would have passed, my mum never let anyone forget it either.
2 she predicted the death of a family friend a young man. she woke up in the middle of the night c,aiming this person had died and she had seen this happen, my dad went off to work upset that she should even think such a thing, came home early, I was off on college holiday, within the hour, he had arrived and heard this lad had died that night, we had not be close to these people, my mum died 30 years ago so no internet or other goofy info, coincidence? well if so she won the lottery of coincidences,
3. again whilst in hospital she had a seizure of sorts and for a week or two she was giving the newspaper seller tips for winning horses, she was not a betting person had never even looked at betting or such, the guy apparently won on every tip she gave, she did not always offer up the winner either, sonetimes she was saying 2nd or 3rd place, anyway a couple of weeks later she was given some drugs in the hospital which cause a second incident, and the betting tips stopped, much to the newspaper sellers dismay, he wasasking her to give him a tip and she said she could not do it anymore, he asked my dad why she wouldn’t help him any more and my dad was pointing out she had never ever done this before.
4. She also claimed on many occasions to see peoples guardian angels, she. Told me mine was a young red Indian with s single feather, why a red Indian I have no idea as I have no US connections at all. she would say she would see the angels before momentous happenings in people life, they would float behind and above the person, well I always thought it a quirk or hers, but more often than not soon after she would say she saw one of these floating apparitions, something would happen to them, the last time she ‘saw’ mine I had a bad car accident, luckily I was a walk away, barring a massive bruise on my thigh, but it was in the days when safety belts were not compulsory but she had been warning me to be really careful and I had worn the belt. A car ran into me from the side.
Now I have never seen anything eerie, and if someone else described any of this to me I would think them totally nutty, and frankly if you think what I am saying sounds total bullshit I would totally sympathise with your opinion. in fact when she was in the hospital when she did the racing predictions she was acting so strange they took her off the drugs they had given her, and admitted they were trial drugs, and my dad had not been asked permission, he should have sued.My aunt and my cousin both claim to have seen her as a ghost, but frankly if my mum was capable of reappearing she would have visited my dad or possibly her kids, she barely spoke to her sister or niece. Weird, there were other incidents but more complicated to explain. It is what makes me think there is more to life than we think, but other than her interactions my life has been nothing more or less than normal and mundain, and to be honest I prefer the mundane.


Snarky Old Fart (in training)
Well howdy there internet MRR People and those who were painting my fence (in spirit) with me

It's Troy again.

Fence is 95% complete

One section near the gate needs a second coat, and some minor touch-ups. Like at the bottom where the overcast day didn't help dry the wet boards enough to bother putting paint on them...

Here's a Panorama pic of the Not-so-spacious patio!

Screen Shot 2022-05-01 at 4.14.29 PM.png

and here are a couple of regular shots to give you an idea of what it really looks like

Screen Shot 2022-05-01 at 4.14.56 PM.png

I need to clear the stones out the area where the grey tub is, lay in patio pavers, and then move the gas grill over next to its Kamado brother. The stray pieces of white lattice will become a fence to keep the cat out of the plants to the left.

Screen Shot 2022-05-01 at 4.16.10 PM.png

From where the gas grill is over to the garden hose is where the spousal unit will line up her vegetable boxes.

I've gone to Culvers for ice cream. Now I'm going to park myself in the recliner and not do much for the rest of the day.


Lazy Daydreamer
Good evening Shop Dwellers!

I got my turntable re-programmed, so life is good again. Of course I wound up having to do it twice - I discovered while I running one of my GP9's onto a roundhouse track and seeing seeing it derail, that at my age, I should not be depending solely on my eyes to see whether I have properly aligned the rails. I tried to take the easy way out and just redo that one track, but that only produced an error code that the manual doesn't explain; so track #4 was rendered unusable and the subsequent track numbers were thrown off by +1.

I thought about just reprinting the operation diagram with different track numbers on it, but my OCD side eventually got the best of me so I just did a reset & started at track 3 once again. This time I placed a flatcar on the bridge and test-rolled it onto the adjoining rail as I did each position; a successful roll-on provided ready evidence of decent alignment, and if it derailed I could correct it the alignment right there before moving on to the next higher position number. Wish I'd have thought about this the first time...:rolleyes:

With the open house now in the rearview mirror, my next mission will be to help a friend of mine get photos of a layout by recently-deceased modeler who was regionally well-known, but reclusive and a tad eccentric. He always told us [whenever we asked him if we could do a photo shoot] that he'd "get back to us" once he could confirm his schedule, but of course he never did. Now his son has agreed to open the house to us for an afternoon in June so we can get as many photos as possible - before he dismantles the layout and puts his late father's house on the market.

Back to the weekly grind tomorrow, after what was all-in-all a pretty good weekend.

Good Night - and have a Pleasant Tomorrow!


Living the life in the heart of the Dairy State
Good morning, happy May Day. It's very foggy and 47.

If April Showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?

Terry- it’s either Pilgrims or movers.

Growing up there was a saying we kids had,
"Hooray, Hooray ... the first of MAY!
Outdoor sc&*$ing starts today!"

We are looking at mostly sunny and mid 70's for the entire week.
Kate had a negative Covid test three days back and will test again today; if negative again today she had a very short bout with it. Irene, her older sister, really had a bad case; I pray that they both are better today as I have not had a report.
That's all my news for this morn other that my night was not very restful and I just feel sort of lousy and blah.

I thought the movies: The Replacements and Airplane both were very funny.
I guess that I just have a warped humor?
Sherrel- glad to hear that Kate has at least had one negative test yet.
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