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.

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Gomez Addams
Staff member

Are you isolating the required rail? I seem to remember that was necessary.
They were on the layout when I got it. Nothing has been isolated, as far as I can see. It doesn't matter, they derail almost everything that tries to go through them, even if there weren't any electrical problems. Basically the same issues that prompted them being banned for club use.
I'm removing them.


"retired" conductor
Good evening gang
Getting ready for chili this evening. Spent part of the day putting up outdoor lights, leash traing the new pup, and generally straightening up the garage so we can get one car in it, maybe 2 soon!
Gotta catch up on threads, but scanning over looks like great pics as usual.
Oh, and I did get 1 train set up.


Lazy Daydreamer
Hi Shop Dwellers, it's 47*F with a light SE wind and a few clouds over my property; gonna be raining starting at 1:00am and lasting all throughout Monday.

Thank you everybody for the "likes" and comments on my Black Friday post: Chad, Karl, Joe, Rick, Tom, Jerry, Willie, James, Phil, Garry, Sherrell, Guy, Curt.

In between chores on Saturday, I was able to finish assembling the Dairy Queen. Thought it would be a simple task, but when it was time to join the front corners, this nominal 15-minute job wound up taking me two hours. The design of the kit, where the window panes are beveled to butt against each other, makes it very difficult to apply glue without having it get sucked-under the "glass" by capillary action.

First I applied a thin strip of the Testors glue along one side of the right front corner, and that seemed to work...for a while. The trouble started when I noticed the I couldn't get a "flush" joint between the two sides of the left front corner. Apparently when I glued the front-facing window pane in [with water-based WS Tak-E-Glue], I didn't get it in perfectly centered - it was an extra ~0.001" toward the left, and that was what was preventing the left side exterior wall corners from butting up clean against each other. That dried Tak-e-Glue wasn't going to release the misaligned glass without a fight, so I tried to simply shave off some of the excess window pane material with an Exacto blade.

Applying force to do the cutting caused the already-cemented right front corner to come apart - requiring me to apply still more Testors glue to that side. Soon, on both corners, the dark gray primer paint I had sprayed on the interior walls started dissolving in the Testors glue and seeping thru the cracks; not too bad on the right side, but the left corner looked horrible! I tried hiding that defect with Tamiya white paint, but it was the wrong shade and didn't match the unpainted white styrene. I would have to paint over all of the exterior white surfaces if I want to go that route, but I've already spent way too much time on this project so forget that idea!

Luckily the left front corner will be facing the backdrop so visitors won't see it. But I'm still pist at having it look so shabby after all the time I spent on this thing. If I ever decide to relocate the DQ to a spot where the left side has to face outward, I will first have to spend significant time repairing the left front corner.

So...FWIW, here are some photos of each of the four sides of the finished structure, starting from the right and going counterclockwise:



This last photo shows the DQ positioned in its [unfinished] intended location. I originally had an old LifeLike Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in that spot, but it was not only cliche' but an eyesore as well; it also obscured the view of trains at the crossing. The much-smaller DQ structure opens up the space considerably:

Unfortunately, this angle is what 90% of layout visitors are going to see - they will have to step rightward into a tight corner in order to see the detailed front.

...and with that, it's time for me to sign off.


Alright, I will start the excuses as to why I have not posted for the last 5 months.
My youngest brother had a s mild stroke on July 1st. No insurance. Two weeks in the hospital and therapy. Then he came to stay with my wife and me.
By early August. we got him signed up for Social Security and Medicare. And we got pension payments started.
Found out his mobile home at the lake was barely livable. The particle board subfloor was crumbling; carpet was shot; fridge, washer and water heater died; the propane heaters did not work and the three window A/C units did not cool the trailer enough to sleep on very hot nights.

We got a crew in to replace the subfloor with plywood and install laminate flooring. A plumber put in a new water heater and toilet. Found a good used set of washer and dryer, got a used fridge from another brother and the painters should finish this week. My wife and daughter are giving decorator services and advice on curtains and blinds for windows.

Since the state will not let him drive for 6 months after the stroke with a doctor's release., he will be with us until the new year at least.

In my spare time, we have been working on the club layouts to get them ready for the Holiday display at the McWane Science Center in Birmingham.
I have built a few car kits and put down some more scenery on the On30m layout.
Hopefully, I will be able to read the comments that go with all the great pictures I have skimmed through these last few months.
Ironbelt Ken- great job on the Dairy Queen.



Well-Known Member
Terry- Nice layout. Our club has Peco switches and we're slowly replacing them because of too many problems.
Ken- The DQ looks great.
Sherrel-The gondola load looks good. Cut up some of it to have some small stuff to mix in.(the pics) One is steel the other is aluminum. The small pieces help fill gaps and voids.


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Ol' School
Good morning all...2020 is rapidly becoming history...sheeeezzz..o_O
Guy, Curt thanks for the comments. ALL, thanks for the likes.
Mikey, I'd say that's a pretty good reason, not an excuse for your absence..... hope your brother is doing well!
Great pictures the last few days...
It was the marathon leaf raking this weekend, I kind of cheat a little bit, I wait until practically all of the leaves have fallen, with the help of the wind, which concentrates them in certain areas, I move in and rake 'm up. Of course I have a couple of storage totes full of leaves ready for ground cover when I get to that stage of the layout.
I mentioned the other day about starting a kit to stay in the flow of MRR'ng......this one here,

This is my first Ulrich kit, pretty simple compared to the Helium tank car or the Ye O Huff & Puff caboose kits.
The flashing was pretty bad on the gon. sides open frame work. Took me about an hour to get it cleaned up.


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. 31° and clear as I step out on the back porch this morning. First freeze of the season here, about ten days after the average first freeze. As usual, the wood burning heater is working flawlessly, like it has for the last forty years. Very low maintenance with only two moving parts, the door and the damper. Clean the chimney once a year and empty the ashes about every two or three weeks. The ashes are a very good source of potassium for the garden. But its days are numbered as my source of free oak 4"x4"'s has ended.
Retrieved my wife and returned the two granddogs yesterday and life is getting back to normal. Covid normal that is. Which isn't too much different than non-Covid normal out here in the boonies.

I'll take a bowl of oatmeal with a handful of raisins to start the day this morning Flo. Throw in an English Muffin and a side of bacon as well.

Thanks as always for the likes and comments regarding the layout scenes from the archives yesterday; Guy, Sherrel, Joe, Luke, Rick, Chad, Garry, Phil, Karl, Ken, Tom, Jerry.

Another day of minimal modeling activity yesterday, actually none at all. I did manage to make an "out and back" switching run on the layout to keep the crew on their toes. It's always great to have a thirty minute switching event without a derailment or any other issues.
Part of the run was in an industrial park that I scenicked about two years ago. As part of that scene, there is a vacant area behind an industrial building nestled between the tracks. Abandoned debris and a skunk occupy part of this area.
05-23-19 003.JPG

To the right is a concrete pad where there used to be a building.
05-23-19 004.JPG

This picture is from the archives, the ground cover to the right was completed after this picture was taken.
Here are a couple of closeups. Leaking oil barrel.
05-23-19 005.JPG

Skunk checking things out.
05-24-19 009.JPG

While searching the archives, I found two pictures of one of the eateries featured last week,
Rosa's Cafe is a Downtown Deco Hydrocal structure with a few enhancements (and cobwebs).
06-12-19 002.JPG

06-12-19 001.JPG

Sherrel - I wish that you hadn't reminded me of the Christmas decoration task. I need to start that project real soon. At least there is no need to decorate the outside of the house here. Speaking of Hallmark movies, they run their Christmas movies year-round. Wife was watching them last summer while recovering from the knee replacement surgery.
Karl - Nice train.
Ken - Nice work on the DQ. I had the same issue with the front window on mine. They don't always engineer their kits well.
Mikey - Good to see your post yesterday. I was beginning to wonder where you were. Prayers and best wishes for your brother, and for you in getting him back on the right footing.

Cyber Monday today. Doesn't mean much to me.
Everybody have a great day.


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Good Morning and I'm back after catching up on the news here.

Willie: Sorry to hear your neighbor isn't doing well. I also think I found some of your 40 lbs.

James: I'll be thinking of you next Monday, good luck with the procedure.

Thanksgiving was fine but smaller this year. I got everything ready (yes I made the turkey, stuffing, mashed taters, spinach and pecan pie) and we had a good day. It was a turkey breast half, so a little smaller than a whole bird. I used to be a sous chef in a previous life, so cooking is something I can do. Since the kids (other than the son who is still with us) weren't coming there were leftovers for dinner and turkey and noodles for Friday.

Stood in line at the local meat market on Friday morning (ok started the line) for cheap ground beef. 85\15 for under $2 a pound. Market opened at 8:00a and I was first in line at 6:45a. 15 cars along the main street running with folks inside staying warm. I walked up to the door and stood. 15 cars shut off and people got in line behind me.....There's always someone that starts this! 🤣 70# of hamburger in the freezer, now I need a bigger freezer..

They had 1/2 pork bundles, which were an equally good deal, but I knew there'd be no room. Besides I still have nearly that still in the freezer with all the chops, bacon, roasts and sausage that were still in there.

I did get some train time over the 4 days, and I am closer to having the rail tower completed. I forgot to take the camera downstairs with me, so no pictures yet. As I previously said, I was going to omit some details as they don't really play into the location I intend to use the tower. I also got some long #2 X 1/4" bolts to aid raising a tender. It's the one I previously raised, but it keeps dropping the #2 x 1/8" Mantua used to keep the trucks attached to the car. The shim washers added made the originals too short. I will say those tiny bolts are more expensive than larger ones. They are in good supply at the local ACE hardware store (along with metric).
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Well-Known Member
Good morning,

It looks like we are still using November. Good to see all the familiar people and some unfamiliar ones as well!

I have had several months to concentrate on work and life events, however am gearing up to start a new layout as our new house is under construction and we plan on moving in in March :):)

I am still working at a regular job however plan to slow down substantially when we move, dialing work back to part time.

Terry-- nice layout photos. This is something on the order of my new layout in planning,

Curt, Greg, Sherrel, Willie, Garry, Ken -- anyone else, great to see your posts.

Here is my boss along with the latest progress on our new home, being built near Sandstone, Minnesota.


The train room will be on your immediate left.

More later, Dave


Beach Bum
Stone Bakery. It's a DPM kit, now Woodland Scenics.
Willie: That is a really nice job on the structure. 3 story MOD with business on first floor Like the upper story bay windows. Do you recall which DPM kit that was? Like your details.

Ken: DQ is nice. I like the effects.

Karl: Looks like your all set. House looks good...I have to do mine as soon as the rain ends...

I made some progress doing the tedious background stuff that will become difficult to do once I start putting structures in. I also stained a couple of wooden road crossings which now look much better than they did out of the package. I also installed insulated joiners on the main track to create the separation for the second power district. Now, I beginning to think I really didn't need the booster, but since I bought it, I'll use it.

South Phila Pit 1978.jpg

South Philly Engine Pit 1978

Meadows, CNJ Alco, PC Cabin - Bill Strassner Photo Early Conrail..jpg

Drill crew in the Meadows, early Conrail PC Cabin and CNJ RS3. Lunch truck in the background. Bill Strassner Photo.


Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Hey Der! Started the day at 41 degrees this morning- supposed to go to 78 today with a clear sky. Happened to notice that we have only had .58 inch of rain total so far in this our rainy season. We are 1.5 inches behind and nothing in sight.
Flo - just coffee - I have to beat a path to HD this morning - the garage door broke last evening and I need some 1/4 inch nuts/bolts to put a patch on where the door mechanism pulled away from the door ... Idiot that installed the lift placed the arm on a knockout plug on the door panel - interesting that it has taken 12 years for it to break loose? Thats this morning project - this afternoon will be the lights and decor for the front of the house. We don;t do a terrible lot outside - just a lighted snowman and lights spread on the hedges and shrubs leading to the door.

The gondola load looks good. Cut up some of it to have some small stuff to mix in.(the pics) One is steel the other is aluminum. The small pieces help fill gaps and voids.
Thanks, TOM - I'll do some more adjustment to it! Yours look fantastic.

2020 is rapidly becoming history...sheeeezzz..o_O
Sure is flying by in a hurry!

Mikey, I'd say that's a pretty good reason, not an excuse for your absence..... hope your brother is doing well!
I'll second that - You certainly have your plate full at this time!

This is my first Ulrich kit,
I have built several of the Ulrich kits back in the 60's. I think they make nice additions if you are modeling that earlier time frame.

JOE - Great photos!

I'll check back later. Hmm, Patrick ... 70# of hamburger huh .. < $2 a # - good deal!
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