Running Bear's November 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.

Not open for further replies.


Well-Known Member
I got to blacken the pewter castings in the kit this evening. First time I tried this. Dip them in alcohol to reduce surface tension, then into the JAX Pewter Black, then into water. Rinse them out and buff with a soft cloth. This gives a nice aged look to the metal and if paint wears off or chips, you have "aged metal" underneath instead of shiny metal. Use some cheap tweezers and a cheap paint brush to swirl the solution around. Looks good I think!
Blackened Castings.JPG


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Clear and 42°. Finally got some rain last night along with severe weather nearby. We were under a tornado watch for an hour or so, just after dusk, when this system moved through. It's coming at you folks in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and the rest of the Southeast. While the highest winds here were around 30 mph, as reported by the Weather Underground station a mile away, they were recorded at 65 mph about 15 miles south in Krum TX. Damage from winds occurred further south in Dallas and Ft Worth. After all was done, I had .35" in the rain gauge, enough to settle the dust here. Looking at the extended forecast, we might hit freezing Sunday night and a couple more nights afterwards..
Not a particularly good day yesterday for me, as I suffered the ordeal of a kidney stone for a few hours. It wasn't a big one and passed from the kidney without pain, but took a few hours to finally expel it. Looked like about 1/8". Meanwhile the dog-sitting goes on. We went for the walk without the leash both of the past two days without incident.

A pair of sunny side up eggs with a pile of sausage patties and a toasted English Muffin for me this morning Flo.

Thank you to all who liked or commented on yesterday's post; Sherrel, Troy, Karl, Tom O, Hughie, Patrick, Curt, Ken, Guy, Phil, Tom, Garry, James, Jerry.

Minimal activity yesterday out in the train shed. Too many other things going on, especially housework! I posted a few days ago that I would post some tank car pictures, so here they are.
First is a tanker for corn syrup. These are generally smaller as corn syrup is heavy. This has a 19,600 gallon capacity and it is from Intermountain.

And now a molten sulphur tanker. Looks to be the same size, but it has heating coils inside the tank, and its capacity is just 13.900 gallons. It's a Walther's RTR model.

Here is an ethanol tanker. These are generally 30,000 gallon capacity. This is an Athearn RTR model.

An acid tanker. This one is also an Athearn RTR.

Here we have a LPG tanker. These are the largest on my layout at around 33.900 gallon capacity. It is an Athearn model.

And not all tankers are black or white. It is stenciled for 23,431 gallons and is made by Walther's. It's pressurized as is indicated by the fittings on the top of the car, but I am unsure what it hauls.

I wish that I could give a bit more information about these cars, but I haven't loaded that database on this new computer yet.
Never mind, I just hooked up the backup drive and got my info.

Patrick - I'd let the city manager handle the police parking as well. No use painting a target on your backside.
Willie: We have a lot of banners and flags for probably the same 2 candidates here as well. All others have been removed.
There were no others to be removed anywhere around here during the whole contest.
Sherrel - That's one sharp looking Frisco steamer. Sorry to read that your daughter won't be coming. Must have been a difficult phone call to make.
Joe - You aren't going to be the only one having a quiet Thanksgiving. I think many of us are also going to have a quiet holiday. I am really going to miss our family's traditional gathering of 40+ relatives since it has been cancelled. I'll actually be alone with the two doggies this year since my wife is vacationing with all of our kids and their families.
Willie: I wonder who that may be...Let the 2024 Campaign begin
They won Texas.
Curt - Best wishes for your daughter.
Ken - Am I putting too much detail in my posts? ;) I just get carried away sometimes!
Good luck with the solar panel company.
Alan - That's the first time that I have read of that method of treating white metal parts. Very interesting results. I have always just hit them with a few shots of gray primer from a rattle can.

Today is Drinksgiving Day, otherwise known as National Tie One on Day. If you celebrate, do it responsibly and do it at home where you don't have to drive or wear your mask. They do tend to get in the way.
Everybody have a great day and stay safe.
Last edited:


"retired" conductor
Good morning gang.

Coffee please Flo, and a western omelet sounds great right now!

IBKen Go get um, don't take no for an answer, call Jane Miller at WBAL if ya have to!

Willie, About details, the pics and the commentary were interesting until you got to the kidney stone. My stomach got tight and my eyes started to water a bit as my body contorted with sympathy pains.............thanks!! Its the same feeling I get when watching a video where a (usually a skateboarder) man takes a shot to the nether regions.

Alan, neat blackening technique.

EVERYBODY, in case I don't get a chance tomorrow, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! We're staying in this year, I will probably spend a good bit of it upside down under the dash of the S10 installing the final piece of the HVAC puzzle that got re-engineered this week.

25 days til Christmas, 37 days til 2020 is over!


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Morning all,

34° this morning and a little drizzly yet. Severe storm warnings in Doo-Dah last night which is rare for this time of year, other than a few trash cans blown around, not much to them. No leaves to add stress to branches causing tree damage.

Time for coffee and a blue plate special with bacon and rye toast. Just feeling different today.

I wasn't old enough to remember the Kennedy assassination, but do remember watching the moon landings and Apollo 13 as it played out.

Thanksgiving here will be quiet as well. Local kids staying away until Grandma is out of quarantine. We're doing an inspection of the boy's house Sunday, and the grandkids will come over and "help". They're excited about their "New Neighbor".

Ken: It is a B&O tower, going to be slightly modified as a GN tower in my yard area. Some details will be omitted or used in other areas.

Willie: The other signs to which I'm referring were of the same party for state and local offices.

If I forget, I'm out the next 4 days for the holiday, so online time will be nearly non-existent. So Hopefully You all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving day.


Well-Known Member

Got up at 4 because the brain wouldn't stop brain-ing. Had a cuppa (tea) because it was too early for coffee... ate my breakfast, read the internet. Finally made coffee at 6... and it worked in reverse. I needed a nap.

Just here for a moment, then off to Menards to spend the last of my wishlist "I oughtta get that" money while they still have the 11% rebate. (I think it's still active... if not, I'll be more careful.)


Sprue-n-Glue Victim
Good Morning!
I'll start out today with a photo of how it's been going lately:

Notice how there is nothing out there, except 5" of ice on a cold lake and a non-producing well site. There should be a few fisherman in that photo, but, there just isn't. Even though it was a beautiful day hovering around the freezing mark, nobody is coming out during this time of 2nd wave lockdown.
The wife and I were the only two people on the lake ice-fishing:

The real sad part is that the fish have made themselves as invisible as the elk!!!
It is good to get out, though. One would be hard pressed to find a sport more social-distancing than ice-fishing.

Now, I know the photos have diddly to do with trains; but, I don't come in for breakfast unless I have a couple of photos to share. These last days, there has been no modeling going on in my domain. So you'll have to put up with a couple of ice-fishing photos.

We are supposed to have a day in the sunshine; comes with a high of 30°F. I'll have to go out and sweep the driveway as there was a minor snow over-night. The weather is nice enough, though, for living in the 'Great White'.

Even though I've been a ghost lately, I have come in long enough to like the wonderful photos and modeling that is being posted. Well done everyone!

Don't have anymore for today, so I guess I'll go about my business. Have a good one!


Well-Known Member
Alan - That's the first time that I have read of that method of treating white metal parts. Very interesting results. I have always just hit them with a few shots of gray primer from a rattle can.
Some of these will get painted as well Willie, but with machinery like lathes and such, or with tools, this is sometimes all you need to do. A little rust over it, either chalks, or or a wash does very well. The chemical is a mild acid, a variant of Blacken-it, and if you order it in pints, there is no HazMat shipping surcharge. There is one solution for white metal, and another for brass. If you or anyone else wants to see it done, here's a short video (3 minutes or so) of the process.



Well-Known Member
Good morning everyone the day before Thanksgiving. Today looks to be a good day here to unpack some more hobby stuff I haven't see in 10 years.
Our tiny little rental looks like a maze with the addition of totes and boxes out of storage.
It is very disheartening to see how many families won't be spending time together over this darn virus. 😢

Our daughter lives in the dreaded LA county and we have opened our home to her for Christmas and to stay as long as she likes.
Our son is in a location unknown to us serving our country in the US Navy. Even though neither can be home for Thanksgiving we will be thinking of them the whole day.

Wille - I really liked the Walts Cafe picture, I never visioned having a cafe but maybe a small shop with brass locomotives and other goodies for the hobby!

Alan - great job on weathering the building exterior. That wood looks like 100 year old buildings found in Leadville and other colorado mining towns. I'm really impressed with the doors, I need to build some myself for a roundhouse but have been putting them off. Your pictures are inspiring and motivating.


Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Morning from the SW! We started the day here with 41 ° and up to 49 ° presently on the way to a 71 ° high with a cloudless sky and calm wind.
Hello, FLO, Bacon, eggs, hash browns, and toast this morning ... I'm glad to see that you have the heater on this morning - the 49 ° outside vs the 72 ° in here makes fir a comfortable ° temperature.
I'm trying to think of ways to add the ° sign since I have to preload it! ° ° ° ° Just because- LOL!

There will only be 5 of us at the MIL's for Thanksgiving tomorrow - down from the mid to high 20's something. I guess that maybe the thing to be thankful for this year is the fact that we are still on the green side of the grass?
Everyone in the family is all excited that the Marine SIL has orders to go to Okinawa - three year duty - come the July/Aug time frame. The Spousal Unit and her Sister are already making plans to visit - they are all ready to travel - no matter when/where?

GUY - I 've never ice fished, I think I will leave that to you ... just looks too cold for wearing my thong - shucks - couldn't find anything to put in it at those temps.

EVERYONE - I enjoy all of your posts and pics - I read and like/love/laugh at them all even if I don't comment on each one.
I wish all a pleasant and Happy Thanksgiving.


Beach Bum
They won Texas.
Willie: Sure did.

That was an interesting presentation on modern tank cars.

I really liked the Walts Cafe picture, I never visioned having a cafe
Walt: Not for nothing, but there was a Walt's Cafe in the old neighborhood. Had a stone facade, rater than the Art Deco tile front of the model. Guaranteed, thatyou would be better off running a saloon, than a hobby shop.

Today is Drinksgiving Day, otherwise known as National Tie One on Day.
Willie: That's why Pennsylvania pulled the plug on alcohol sales after 5PM today. Of course in Pennsylvania, some have been on the stool since 7AM, so they are missing a bunch. Drunks aren't good social distancers.

Ok, made some headway yesterday, all track in the revision area is down. Next step, connect the wires to the buss, install the insulated joints where the districts split, and run trains. Hopefully, I got the track alignment right. There is one questionable spot, but I won't know until I start operating.

Colorized photo of Raymond Loewy's Art Deco designs in 1939 K4 + 2 Studebakers.jpg

Can't get more Art Deco than this. Colorized photo, of Raymond Loewy's work for the PRR and Studebaker posed together in 1939.
Abrams Pit Track 11-25-1976.jpg

November 25, 1976 at Abrams (Bridgeport, PA), GP35s still lettered andnumbered for the Reading occupy the Pit track.

Last edited by a moderator:

Texas Hobo

Well-Known Member
Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. It will certainly be a different Thanksgiving for us, 2 instead of 20. That said I am thankful no one in my immediate family as come down with covid-19.
Everyone, enjoy the holiday as best and as safe as you can.

Flo, drumsticks for everyone!


Well-Known Member
Good afternoon from the Hawaiian Islands. just got off the golf course and had a good time as the game is getting better. My wife and the brother’s girlfriend went to the grocery store to see what they can find. Small turkey, ham or anything but fish or a steak will be fine.

The weather is nice, a bit of rain but maybe a 1/2 hour slight midwestern drizzle this morning. The daughter told us they landed Tuesday morning to 2-3” of white stuff but by 3 it was gone because of the rain. Not really missing So. Central Wisconsin because of the weather.

I have never ice fished but many times roared across frozen Central and Northern Wisconsin lakes on the snowmobiles. It’s a hearty soul that can sit outside below zero fishing on the ice. The guys in the ice shanties with heat were spoiled.

Great pictures thanks guys. There are lots of campaign signs still in yards here. My brother thinks those folks maybe traveling.

Have a great balance of the day.


Lazy Daydreamer
Good evening Shop Dwellers! 52*F with gentle south breeze, and cloudy - gonna be raining here starting in another hour, and lasting thru the day tomorrow.

Thanks everybody for the "likes" on my Tuesday post.

Today worked out well. After ~20 minutes on hold, a live person from the scheduling dept. of the solar company finally answered the phone - hot dam! (Usually have waited on hold for more than an hour before hanging up in disgust...) She got me a specific date and time when they will come out and do the temporary removal. That's the good news; bad news is, it won't be until January 20! She claims they just don't have enough available techs to send anybody out before that date. Oh long as a blizzard doesn't hit us during that time, they should be able to get the job done in spite of the freezing temps. At least I didn't have to exercise the LEGAL option after all - I was really dreading that!

* * *
Oh, and this just in: As of this afternoon, I officially became a grandad. Ten years behind schedule, but hey, better late than never... Healthy baby boy, an 8-pounder; mother and child are both sleeping soundly now, I don't think we'll be seeing them at the house for supper tomorrow...
Not open for further replies.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.