The Blue Ridge Stemwinder in On30

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Model Railroading' started by Doctor G, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    I have wanted to build this layout for a very long time. I have enjoyed On30 for about 10 years now. I have built two mini layouts that have graced the electronic pages of this fine site for quite some time. A sugar cane hauler set in 1920 Haiti and a primitive backwoods logging operation set in 1910 Kentucky and Tennessee.

    But the ET &WNC RR ,”Tweetsie” has always held a special place in my model railroading heart. When Bachmann came out with their magnificent Baldwin 10 wheelers I was ready to do a medium sized layout in On30!!

    So I moved a storage building in to the backyard and made my move to turn dreams in to reality. I have been reading everything I can on the prototype and joined the ET&WNC RR historical society. I live in Tennessee and Johnson City and the Doe River Gorge is not that far away. So field exploration is in the near future.

    I got two of the beautiful locomotives and started to take the plunge in building up rolling stock. Here is my first go at equipment…… the parlor car #10 “Azalea”.

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    A Bachmann On30 coach provided the donor mechanism and hardware and roof. The very nice laser wooden kit from Deerfield Laser was chosen to build up the coach

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    I scoured the internet trying to find the colors used on Tweetsie Varnish and used some gloss rattle can paints to do up my rendition.

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    Well it at least an approximation of the colors I think they used.[​IMG]

    I really enjoyed this shot from the prototype photos.....

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    ......so I found some O scale chairs and had a go at recreating the little scene.

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    Here is a "topside" view of the fabric roof.

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    The actual layout is still in the planning stages and while rolling stock is accumulated a Porter on the mini logging layout will shuffle cars around for pictures.

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    So here is what is coming in hopefully the near future:

    Iain Rice's nifty book "Shelf Layouts for Model Rail Roads has this plan for the ET&WNC in On30 that should fit nicely in the storage building out back.

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    So thanks for looking and hopefully you all can follow along as this adventure begins.

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    Doc Tom
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  2. swampdaddy41

    swampdaddy41 New Member

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    Amazing work here. Love the old photos as well.

    Have fun modeling, Swamp Daddy
  3. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    Wow! That sounds awesome, I hope you load up lots of pics!! One of the shed too! :)
  4. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    Thanks Swamp Daddy and Zathros. I do en joy getting in to the old photos as part of research. Here is the train house I dragged in to the back yard to build the new layout.
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    Doc Tom
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  5. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    I may be building a 10' x 12' shed, I have a 16' x 24' two story Gambrel roofed barn, but my shop is in there. If I built a shed that nice, my wife would stake an instant claim to it, a "she-shed". :yesyes:
  6. swampdaddy41

    swampdaddy41 New Member

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    That shed will make an excellent layout "room". Be sure to add heat and air before you start the layout benchwork.

    Have fun modeling, Swamp Daddy
  7. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    Hi. Heating, cooling,track lighting, sheetrock, work bench all installed.........ready for some modelling.

    Doc Tom
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  8. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    My latest creation for the upcoming On30 ET&WNC layout is one of Tweetsie’s iconic wooden hopper cars. My modeling buddy Bill Nelson scratch built the wooden body. I went to work adding detail parts, grabs, stake pockets , wheels and couplers. Here is the model in primer gray.

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    Next steps will be to follow the prototype and paint and letter the car. The original used a mixture of lampblack, linseed oil and japan drier to get the dark gray/black color. This according to the good folks in the ET&WNC Historical Society.

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    Thanks for looking. [​IMG]

    Doc Tom
  9. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    Oh I wish I could come over and play with your train set!! :)
  10. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    Thanks Z man. I've been taking photos on my mini logging layout in O scale. Still have to build the ET&WNC RR layout. But hope its coming soon.
    Doc Tom
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  11. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    Looking good Tom! Glad to see the progress you made with the hopper.

    I found a bag of cut wood. From that project, which would make it easier to set up the mini table saw, so If you need to make more, maybe we could fire up the sawmill and cut the lumber for more.

    Like the plan!
  12. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    Thanks for looking Bill. The hopper car you donated to the cause (mucho thankyous) is finished and only needs paint and decals. I bought two laser kits of the ET &WNC Hopper thst are pretty nice. Could go for a totally scratched model in the future to build more. These hoppers were ubiquitous in the era I am modeling and helped make the RR profitable hauling high grade iron ore from the mine in Cranbery N. C. So you can never have too many.

    Kit and I are going to the ET&WNC historical meeting at the end of May. Hope to score some decal sets for the hoppers. Tom
  13. Gandolf50

    Gandolf50 Researcher of obscure between war vehicles... Moderator

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    Makes me want to start the hobby again!! To many COOL things...so little time!!
  14. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    To build this little layout I have been researching the heck out of the ET&WNC RR. Heck, I even joined the ET&WNC RR Historical Society.....a very nice group.

    At the end of May they had their annual convention in Johnson City Tennessee and I had a ball.

    Here we are playing with ET&WNC lokie #12. She is 102 years old and guzzied up in Tweetsie RR livery.



    The engineers let us take as many runbys and photo ops as we wanted with the theme park closed for the time we were there.

    I have a model of number 12 ready to hit the iron when I get to building the layout.

    doc Tom
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  15. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    Cool to see the progress. My HOn3 State Line RR gets much of it’s inspiration from the Tweetsie. Glad to see what you have done with the hopper car, Mack got the other one; it looked real big next to my Americans.

    Got a deal on 5 Russian River On3 30 foot freight car kits for about $45.00. Turned out even better than I thought, as the previous owner had put trucks in 4 out of five of the kits. I got a box car, a high side gon, a low side gon, and two flatcars.

    I’ve started the boxcar. These On3 kits are something else with detail parts on the detail parts! 629FBE51-0949-4F64-8EEF-FDB13F0D9991.jpeg
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  16. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    Jumping in feet first, eh! :)