Category Archives: CKH Kit

making of an EP Ripley

One of the CK Holliday semi-kit modeler, John, sent in his progress pictures to share.

He’s made use of existing parts from other models and kits to build himself an EP Ripley engine. No doubt: it’s going to be a handsome engine!






Leave a Comment

Filed under CKH Kit

kit’s booklet guide now available for online viewing

The model semi-kit also comes with a short booklet containing a guide on how to build the model. I think it’s a good idea to make this available for viewing online, so you know what to expect from the semi-kit.

So, here it is, the official semi-kit building guide (pdf file).

Leave a Comment

Filed under CKH Kit

San Diego show update

The San Diego show is off to a great start! We’ve met lots of fans and talked with Michael Broggie from Carolwood!

Leave a Comment

Filed under CKH Kit, CKH Plans, Train Shows

finished! the completed ck holliday model pictures








The kit comes with 10 pages of plan sheets, similar in quality to the Plan Book. Here’s a sample.


The model semi-kit is a collection of custom made parts to compliment the Plan Book. The parts were made directly from the designs in the Plan Book ensuring consistency and accuracy. The large 1:20 scale will showcase many life-like details, yet compact enough to be displayed proudly in any room. It features over 140 parts to help you build your very own CK Holliday, or your favorite 4-4-0 locomotive.

The kit is available for ordering at Please note that there is a lead time of up to 3 weeks from ordering to shipping.

Leave a Comment

Filed under CKH Kit

ck holliday semi-kit final parts list

Here’s the finalized parts list for the CK Holliday semi-kit.

The kit totals at 141 parts made of hard plastic and laser cut birch wood.

You can have a look at the list here (PDF file).

Leave a Comment

Filed under CKH Kit

pilot deck, cab windows, and getting nearly close!

The pilot deck is cut out from styrene sheet using a pattern from the plan.


(By the way, if you have the plan book, you might notice that there’s no drawing of the pilot deck. If you want this drawing for study or your own project, you can grab the plan book’s addendum here).

A long strip of styrene wraps around the edge of the deck to form the apron. Here’s the underside. I signed my name with a little drawing of a boat I sailed on, the Lady Washington. This is just one of the many Easter Eggs scattered throughout the model!


Here’s the deck fitted in its place.


The smokebox braces are added and the entire front details painted gloss black. The circular flanges have three “bolts” instead of five like it should because I couldn’t fashion bolts small enough to fit on the flange. Now I know I should have pressed the flange with metal point to create false revit. I use this technique later on the boiler apron.


Next, the cab’s window frames are drawn on a styrene sheet. Each window gets two frames, one inside (painted green), one outside (painted red), and of course the glazing pane in the middle.


In all, there are eight windows, four of which are operable by the cab crew (but not here).

After much tedious cutting and painting later, the windows are fixed into the freshly painted cab.

True to Disneyland Railroad’s tradition, I left all the operable windows opened. The cab crew needs all the ventilations they can get in the cramped space so you’ll rarely see the windows closed.

I fixed the windows in at about 90% opened to give them a sense that they are operable.




Next in the engine finishes, the bell. I bought it from tracksidedetail and it is wonderfully detailed. It’s part number TD10 and the bell itself is slightly larger than what’s required, so the model would wear a 13″ bell instead of 12″ but this is not visually noticeable. The yoke, however, require minor modification.

Here’s the yoke, casted from brass, painted dark red.


And here’s the bell. It also comes with its own striker!


Ok. Earlier I mentioned the boiler apron. It also gets cut from styrene sheet. And as I said earlier, I used metal point to press into the sheet to create false revit pattern.


The cab looks pretty realistic with the windows opened up.


And finally, the front shot of the nearly completed model!



Filed under CKH Kit

air compressor and headlight brackets

The air compressor is one of the appliances included in the kit, and comes completed as one piece. The only thing left to do is add some details to it and mount it on the boiler.

Here’s the compressor painted gloss black. Since the compressor operates on steam, the top part, where it receives the steam, gets hot, so a lagging and jacket is added to protect the crew. You can see the circular jacket at the top.


Then the brass bands and the builder’s plate (middle) were added. The brass lines on the side are steam condensation drain lines.


The headlight brackets are fashioned from the drawing in the plan book. If you have it, you might note that the dimension given for the bracket’s height, 11″, is given as the finished and curved height. (The front view shows that the bracket curves with the front of the smokebox.) So, simple math is used to obtain the actual height of the bracket, before the curve: the arc length is the radius times the angle of the arc, or:

s = r * Θ

Remember that Θ must be in radian!

Plugging in the values from the plan, the radius of 15.539″ and the arc angle of 44.72 degrees, or 44.72/180*pi radian, the arc length is 12.128″. So, starting with 12.128″ high bracket, bending it around the smokebox will give a finished height of 11″.

Taking those values and scaling them 1:20, the brackets are then drawn on a styrene sheet then cut out, and then mounted on front of the smoke box.



Meanwhile, here are some shots of the base and the beginning of cab painting.




The model is getting close to finish. Next week, I’ll work on posting detailed information like the parts included and price for the kit.

1 Comment

Filed under CKH Kit

san diego and sacramento train shows!! (and the finished cab head)

GOOD NEWS! and whiskeybeforebreakfast will be showing and selling at the San Diego and Sacramento “Greatest Hobby In The World” Train Show in February!!!


Come meet your favorite author of the CK Holliday Engine Plan! HAVE YOUR BOOKS SIGNED!!!

We will also sell the Plan Book at a very special discounted show price of $79!! This special discount can’t be found anywhere else!!!!


Exclamation Points!!!!

Also, Plan Book Special Edition will be available at a special introductory price of $84! By Grabthar’s hammer, WHAT A SAVINGS!!!

There’s more! Steve Degaetano’s No. 5 Ward Kimball book, From Plantation to Theme Park, will also be available at an incredible $20 only! Not only that, the books will be specially signed by author and illustrator!


And finally, the CK Holliday Model will be ON DISPLAY!! Come see the actual model in person! If you really like it, you can order the CK Holliday Model Kit right at the show!!! And, you guessed it, it’ll be at a discounted show price!! (TBA soon). There will also be a sample of the kit for you to look at!

So special!!

Spent all your cash at the Indian Casino?? No problem!! We can take CREDIT CARDS!!!


So, whacha waiting for?! Better start running now to San Diego or Sacramento! Pack up your wife/husband/lover because you’re going to go see (and buy!) the best CK Holliday Plan Book and Model kit in the WORLD!!!!!!

San Diego:
February 9-10
Del Mar County Fairgrounds
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd
Del Mar, CA 92014

February 23-24
California Exposition & State Fair (CAL-EXPO)
1600 Exposition Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95852

Oh also the cab head’s done:


1 Comment

Filed under CKH Kit, CKH Plans, Train Shows

modeling the base and siding

While I’m working on the train, my girlfriend, Lynne, was inspired to try her hand at making a model, too. I suggested that she could make the base for the engine. It would need to have a custom track laid on a wooden base. But instead of having a plain base, we thought it would be a good idea to make a diorama scene.

From there, we decided to model the scene roughly after the DRR sidings in 1955, with its bare decomposed granite ground, gray track ballast, and “ranch style” wooden fence along the track.

So, after planning out the scene, she got to work. Here’s Lynne’s progress on the base:





The tracks were dry laid just to see how it’s all coming together. The ballast is still being tweaked.







The fencing was built to be about waist-height, so that it doesn’t block the view of the engine. The next steps will be making the vegetation and weathering.

Leave a Comment

Filed under CKH Kit

plumbing first part

After the footplate and the sidesheets, the running boards then get set on their supports. The boards were cut out directly from a template made from the plan. With some money, the plan could actually be sent to a waterjet cutter and have meticulously cut running boards. But in this case, the template was traced over a sheet metal and cut with a pair of sheers. Then, brass strips were attached for the edges.

The detailing on the model will even include major plumbing. The first line to be installed is the air line from the forward air tank to the air brake stand in the cab.


Here’s a section from the plan with the air line highlighted.



The line gets stubbed up from the bottom into the cab and turn right into the brake stand.

Seen along in this shot are the first two valve handles to go in: the dual try-cocks. Also, the firebox door, handle (unpainted), and the oil-can shelf.

And on the left side the first line installed is the outside portion of the blower, which goes from the cab to the smokebox.


Here again, the line is highlighted.


1 Comment

Filed under CKH Kit