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The Airplane Model project

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  • 2 weeks later...
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The bad news was, I needed surgery for my broken wrist.

GOOD news is, I don't have to wear a cast and my recovery will be much quicker.


I can't quite work on anything really complicated, but I can still make bents! Guess what section the top row is is going to be?


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A couple of recent pictures:


ONE is the beginning of the lift hill almost connecting two of the turn-arounds.


TWO is what happens when my green-eyed partner gets upset because I gave MY phone number to an old friend who recently went homeless.


A broken wrist, a broken model. What to do...



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  • 3 weeks later...

Nothing Earth-shattering this time. Biggest news is my wrist is much better, flexibility still a little tight. I'm able to pick up where I left off 2 months ago which was building the Airplane's infamous whirlpool-dive.


Photo 1: Working towards closing up the spiral. It's not hard to imagine the entire track in place with a train zooming on down - swwiiiish!


Photo 2: Just an interesting angle, although I can see I need to tighten up and straighten some of the cartouches.


Photos 3 and 4 - Comparing an old photograph against the model. This process helps me determine what I need to adjust or tweak.





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Photo 1: At the car after an afternoon of working at the coffee shop where I finished the main frame for spiral's mid-section.

Photo 2: At home, trying it on for size.

Photo 3: Another angle that shows the two ends of frayed track that I have to 'weave' together. Making them meet is sure going to be an interesting challenge.


Next I have to draw a full-scale section of the complete spiral so I can be sure all the footers are landing in the right place.


At the car after an afternoon of working at the coffee shop where I finished the main frame for spiral's mid-section.


At home, trying it on for size.


Another angle that shows the two ends of frayed track that I have to 'weave' together. Making them meet is sure going to be an interesting challenge.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Making seemingly slow progress but actually quite a bit is done. The two halfs of this circle have been permanently connected and the rest of the ledgers (diagonal boards that immediately support the track and catwalks) have been installed. Next is to weave the track in between the two ends.



This is where the spiral bottoms out. The track in the background is soon to creep across the new ledgers in the foreground.


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  • 4 weeks later...

So what's in the bag? My cheap Target backpack has been faithful to me since 1988. It's had several purposes over the years, now it serves as my portable tool bag for my model.


Let's take a peek inside...


The Bag


All departments removed


From L to R, My trash bin for scraps, my sticks from Evergreen Plastics, my tool box which features a tin of paints and a box with tweezers, glue, clippers et al, and paint brushes, a black box of clips and clamps, a small "Warheads" tin where I keep track templates and clamps, and then my file folder full of mostly notes and photos.


I've finished the subtrack for the drop-curve off the trim brake (upper) and the lower portion of the spiral (bottom). Note the handrails too. The only thing that's keeping me from finishing the upper layers of track is the lack of track pieces, I need more scale 2 x 2s. Santa.....

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Looks like this would be a mishmash of total fun. The taller bundle o' bents leaning towards the left make up what will be the top crest over the lift hill.


This is also the very first photo I've downloaded on my new laptop!


Happy New Year Everybody!


Tim Cole


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  • 3 weeks later...

Carving in to the lift hill to create a path for some lower trackage that needs to barrel through there,


Photo 1) Before the carving. This would be the POV from the front seat towards its destination.


Photo 2 & 3) Carved.


Photo 4 & 5) The structure for the lower trackage.


Photo 6). The structure for the lower trackage merged in with the lift hill. (It is just set in there, its not affixed yet.)







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This shows how I transferred a sliver of structure from one section to another for the purpose of building accessibility.


The area I've been working on is circled in red. My goal is to construct the track (blue line).


This is how the train would approach the merge into the underpart of the highest part of the lift hill


A view looking the other way.


This lower run of bents were easier build by first making it as part of the lift hill structure. But trying to merge the track would have been difficult to manage due to accessibility issues. So after I merge the lower run in to the lift hill, I strategically cut out the merged section along with part of the lift hill.


And now it's merged with the lower trackage of the bottleneck. The track will be much easier to extend out of the this tight area. When that is done, I'll be able to place the lift hill back on top.


A higher view of this area.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone~


I'm back working on tracking the spiral. It takes a good savings of patience s every time I lay subtrack. It also takes a lot of patience to put the ties on exactly right or they can start looking slanted - there is an optical illusion where it looks right from one angle, but lopsided from another. Adjusting that all while trying to keep an exact 3' center distance between the ties was a bitch. So I came up with the following solution.


I make a centipede of 2x8 6' long ties glued temporarily to a 2x2 spine - spaced 3' apart on center.


This is the subtrack on which the ties will be placed. I think I'm getting better at the laminating. I've noticed on PTC, Allen, Dunn et. al. the ties are always on the bottom. Church's twisters required more of a spring acting subtrack.


Same section of track with the spine of ties added. It's SO much easier.


Weeee, I'm not far from finally closing up this gap!


Within the frayed mess of track sticks from where I left off, I have to start weaving in new layers. So I spread apart the rails and separated the layers.


Hmm, first merge encouraging.


Next I place on the next layer using three 4x4's as a substitute for 12 2x2s. I'm out of sticks I need to make the next layer, so watch out soon,

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I thought it would be easier to resume laying sub-tack from the bottom up. (boing).


I didn't leave much wiggle room to splice into the existing track so it was really hard to separate the layers.


But eventually I did and was able to make two pretty good slices.


I was able to merge into the two ends seamlessly! Much to my delight it was very easy.



I was finally able to start merging the boards of the new sub-track in to the older.


The blending of the two ends turned out almost seamlessly.


I think that if the Airplane had never existed, we would never know that an all-wood coaster could do a stunt like this.


Edited by hillflyer
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