Author Topic: Fishermen  (Read 472 times)

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  • The Pitt
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« on: September 20, 2020, 07:24:48 AM »
This late addition is courtesy of some brainstorming on the Railwire. The odd thing is I don't understand why I hadn't thought of it, especially since Rick Spano did it for his Sceniced and Undecided. The effect is pretty simple: a low-RPM motor rotates a disc that has irregular bumps along the edge. A spring-loaded lever rides along the bumps, and a length of fine monofilament is attached between the end of a flexible fishing rod and the lever. For the Mountain Vista, the mechanism needed to be very compact, because the water level where the animation would go is only a half-inch above the layout base.

Subsequently I added a little twist that I don't recall ever animated, at least in N Scale. That's a fisherman holding up his prize, and the fish is wriggling. So, how would the fish wriggle? The fish is made of silicone, which is applied over ultra-fine wire that descends through the ground and connects to a gear. As the wire is turned, the rotating silicone creates the illusion of a wriggling fish. The principle of the mechanism is similar to that of the barber pole.


For the fishing figure, I had to drill a #80 hole endwise into his hand so he could hold the pole (above left). I bonded very fine nylon monofilament to the pole provided by Preiser and kinked it at the end of the pole. For the figure holding a fish, I had to drill a #95 hole vertically through his hand for the rotating wire (above right).

I made the mechanism with a low-RPM geared micro-motor, three gears and a cam ring (above). One end of a lever rides the irregular cam shape (below left); the other end has a screw mount to facilitate attaching the fishing line (below right), as well as to make it adjustable, since tolerances are surprisingly tight owing to the very small movement involved.


The figures are mounted on a base that will be incorporated into the scenery when the time comes.

Note that this scene is located toward the middle of the layout, so it's not up front for close scrutiny. Also, scenery will be strategically designed so as to help hide the wire that makes the fish wriggle.