Phillips Water Crane (SR&RL)

I built this little water crane following plans and a write-up on the YahooGroup Two Foot Projects. This is the second one of these water cranes I’ve built and it’s based on a prototype that stood in the the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad’s Phillips, Maine yard. This picture from the Yesteryear Depot website shows the water crane in place.

Okay so you have to look a little. To help guide you the water crane in the picture is painted in the same colour scheme, so it is one of the most clearly defined structures in the picture. To the left of the workers is a ball signal (yup, those are lobster trap buoys used on that signal – I’ll be building one of these on the layout too!). Between the signal and the workers is the crane in the distance. I know I’ve seen better pictures somewhere but I can’t remember them.

My model was built using only cardstock, paper and some brass. The water pipe is a piece of brass tubing detailed with flanges made for small diameter brass wire. The brace is, again, brass wire and it is attached to two brackets fashioned from some brass shim stock. Some careful soldering used here for sure. This pipe is just placed into the model temporarily. Eventually I’m going to animate it with a simple mechanism so that when an engine pulls up for water, the crane moves out and over the tank. I still need to add a valve wheel on the crane’s deck to turn the water on and off. I could cheat here and use a freight car brake wheel, but I think it might be fun to try and fashion on from some wire.

I’ve extended the foundation on the model down far below the grade line – actually the full depth of the prototype’s foundation. For a long time I have been following the advice of the folks at the Pendon Museum. They recommend this approach: On the layout you create an opening for the building in the scene that fits around the foundation completely. Once happy with the opening the structure can be removed from the scene temporarily while the scenery is completed. This way the model is protected during all that messy gluing, etc.

This weekend I am really promising myself that I’ll get those last two switches done. I’m also hoping to avoid temptation and giving in to building some British narrow gauge models. I got a nice package today from what I consider to be ebay’s best online dealer The Favourite Spot with a pile of great On30 goodies inside. Now, let’s get off the computer and on to the workbench!


Categories: PEIR Structures

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