Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Always Look On The Bright Side Of...

Jérôme finally tackled his long dreamed project of doing some improvement to his Proto 1000 Budd RDC. With Rapido working on a canadian and accurate version of this emblematic passenger equipment, we thought it would be not advisable to put lots of details and sound in this unit. But it doesn't prevent us to make it more fun to run.

The Budd car is now equipped with a pair of red marker lights on each end. In fact, it is optical fibers from a cheap Christmas ornament that carry the light from red LEDs installed in the car roof bulge. A very simplistic but efficient use of diodes makes the light reversible, which is a great feature for this car.

We were afraid the very small optical fibers would be too small to be realistic, but the results far exceeded our intitial expectations. It would be quite great to add this feature to caboose too.

Next step will be to add new couplers and probably some kind of screen to minimize light in the cab. Some faint lighting could also be installed in the passenger compartment to bring some life to the model... and add passengers too.


  1. Matthieu,

    Love the post on using the optical fibers, the room definately had a neat twilight feel. Do you have a how to process for your power poles that I see in the background? There are similar ones in Michigan's Thumb and would be a neat layer to add on the layout.

    I also read a post on Big Blue Trains about your Bunge elevator, have you completed any work on that portion of the layout recently?


    1. Greg, the twilight effect is a pure coincidence. Fluorescent lights are installed under the layout over our workbench. The indirect lighting gives a realistic night sky.

      The pole were built using 3mm x 3mm styrene H-beam, I think it was Plastruct. They are 30 feet high and crossbars are made of distressed styrene about 8 scale feet long each and glued on the H-Beam. I added nut bolt details. Insulators are Tichy but I reduced their lenght to fit my prototype. Unfortunately, I have no picture of them. They are quite straight forward to build. The one in Villeneuve were built in 1954 when the cement plant was erected. They carried, for a while, catenaries.

      The Bunge elevator is completed and weathered but stored. The location is now Donohue plant in Clermont. There's some talks with Jérôme about building a small switching layout centered about this particular prototype. Would be fun and I hope to do it. It would have been fun to keep it on the layout, but space was lacking.

    2. Greg,

      Take a look here, you'll see some better shots of these particular poles.