Wednesday 28 December 2011

Computer meltdown

My Computer gave up on me Dec 23, not long after my last post. The warranty ran out last usually the case. I am sending this post from my daughter home computer since I do not have a backup computer at home. You kind of miss those darn things when it is not around.

There was a lot that I had not saved on another hard drive plus I have a expensive photo editing program that can only be loaded on one computer and I cant get it out of the crazy thing when it is broken...also just spent $50 for the book so I can figure it out...I decided to get it fixed although it will be the same price as a new computer. I will not be able to post anything for a few weeks...that will give me more modelling time this winter season...till then...George

Friday 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
from the White River Division

I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year...will be back at it after the holiday...George Dutka

1952  poster "the flight before Christmas"

Thursday 22 December 2011

1939-1958 Posters...

Vintage Posters
one can use on a layout

The following posters could be added to a layout as a billboard or a poster attached to a structure. They are from the late 1930's to the late 1950's. Most are car advertising. There are a couple posters that were used on fruit crates and more from building sides...enjoy...George Dutka.

1949 Oldsmobile

From the side of a diner in 1958
Apple crates 1940

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Dannen Feeds

George's building is left and Peter's is to the right. We both used different details to finish off the displays.

Building a small diorama

I asked Peter Mumby to do a write-up for the Dannen Feeds kit we each built together this fall. I took the photos as construction progressed. The following are Peter's comments.

Over the last little while, George has been gently prodding me away from my lethargic role as an armchair modeller, and towards something a little more productive. To this end, during the winter months we have been getting together for a few hours each week to work on a number of projects of mutual interest. Last season, for example, we built a group of Branchline Models passenger car kits. The hours expended of this enterprise really made us appreciate the diligence of those assemblers in far-away China. At any rate, this year we elected to start with something a bit more basic - a couple of "entry level" laser-cut wood structure kits.

The main structure is assembled and ready for painting.

Our first project was the tiny Dannen Feeds "simple to build" kit from RailroadKITS. This kit consists of laser-cut wall section, two sizes of stripwood for bracing and trim, plastic widows and door castings, and signs printed on glossy paper...all packed in a little plastic bag. No instructions are included, but are available on the company website. The photos of the finished structure are the most useful part of this printout.

Construction started by removing the walls from the carrying wood and doing a little clean-up with sand paper. Nail holes were added using a pin on scale 2 foot centres while the sides lay flat (using a ponce wheel would make the operation more efficient if you could remember where you stored the darn thing!). The heavy stripwood (1/8" square) was added to the end of each side for bracing (avoid the front lower left corner where the large door will go). Bracing on the end walls was offset to allow the sections to interlock. Since we were not planning on the trim pieces having a colour different from the walls, we added the 1/16" trim pieces to the wall ends at this time and used the same material to frame the upstairs door and add the projecting support for the hoist unit.

White glue and a heavy square were used to assemble the wall sections prior to adding the sub-roof material. Additional trim material was added along the roof line at this time. George then sprayed the entire structure with Floquil caboose red tempered with a few drops of boxcar red. The window and door castings were sprayed Floquil antique white. Plastic glazing was then added to these castings prior to their installation with a dab of Walthers Goo. Window shades cut from brown paper bag material were then added. Since we planned to model the structure with a hint of interior detail, and all front doors open, cardboard floor section were cut, sprayed Floquil grime with streaks of roof brown and glued in at both levels.

We sanded the backs of the sheets with the signage as thin as possible.These signs were then cut out with a sharp hobby knife and glued to the building walls. We surmised that the "Purina" sign was metal, so it was mounted smoothly; the other signs were pressed into the siding material using the dull back of a hobby knife.
The feed house is painted with signs applied and ready for roofing. The slate roofing has been already added to George's building. We both used different roofing material. If you look inside originally the flooring was painted the same colour as the walls. Since the doors are left open I popped out the flooring and spray painted them Floquil grime, then streaks of roof brown, I then dry brushed a little reefer white on and lastly added chalk weathering. The floors now look more realistic.

We bypassed the enclosed "tar paper" material. George used Northeastern HO #SH63 gray slate material on the main roof, and BEST #3046 dark green 36" rolled roofing on the side roof. I used the dark green material throughout. Joint lines were scribed onto this material. A Durango Press #DP-26 smoke stack was attached to the lower side wall and a wire guy line was added to the hoist unit support.

A piece of foam core material was cut to provide a base, and basic scenery elements were added before the structure was set in place. Details such as figures, barrels, sacks and handcarts were used as teasers to suggest that the interior was complete and business was booming. With a final application of chalk weathering, we were off to find a suitable location for this little cutie on the layout! ...Peter Mumby

A look at the front of both buildings reveals a lot is happening. On George's to the left the twins (they are Juneco section men and are painted the same) are hard at work. One inside and the other hauling feed bags up using the chain and pulley system. The chain is a fine chain which I purchased in bulk and the pulley is out of my parts box. We used the same pulley on Peter's model although he needs some chain still. The second floor men are actually cut in half to make them fit.

A look inside George's building. Most of the detail parts are cast metal Juneco parts. Juneco still produce feed sacks, boxes, brooms. pails, milk cans and skids. The second floor employee is actually an engine man that was cut down to fit. The doors included with the kit were cut in half, painted then glued to the building in the open position using Walthers Goo.

We decided to leave this wall blank on both buildings although we did have another billboard to apply. To add some more interest to the building we added a smoke stack to the sides. George's building.

We used the Purina billboard as that is a common sight in our area. The Dannen Feed sign that should have been used here was saved for another project. All the small signs add a lot of interest to the structure. George's building

Peter used a coal box to add interest to one side of his building.

Peter also used a ladder and barrels to add interest to his building. He had a hand cart that looked better outside the building than inside so he left it out.

We really like the looks of the building with the doors open. You can cram a lot of details just inside the door as George did. The base is GATORFOAM. We had a small sample that was cut in half. It was just enough for both building scenes.

GATORFOAM, is a Luxcell surface with a core of extruded polystyrene that is great for use as a base. It is easy to cut and does not warp, twist or delaminate when painted or glue and water is added.

Tuesday 20 December 2011

WRJ Ball Signal

A look at the Four Ball Signal
at White River Junction

After my post 100 years ago which had a view of the ball signal with the old station in it, Don Janes sent along some photos he took of what was found at White River Jct. of the old ball signal during our visit  in 2005. We had been in Palmer, Mass the day before for the CVRHS convention and decided to drive up to WRJ to take a look around. I actually wanted a detailed photo of Twin States Fruits sign but the building had been torn down.

We visited with Steve Mumley at the station for a moment as he was part of the train crew on the White River Flyer that day and things were getting busy. He mentioned that while they were excuvating the grounds inside the wye for more parking they unearthed a portion of the old ball signal. It was under the station canopy for us to take a look at. Don and I took some photos of what they found and I took a few diamentions for future use. I did build a model of the ball signal not long after I got home from our trip. The wood post is 14" wide and the metal cylinder that the balls would hide in when not to be viewed is approximately 2' wide and 11' 7" long....George Dutka

ex-B&M ball signal at WRJ. Don Janes photo Oct. 2, 2005
As you can see the tubing that the balls once went through is flattened out due to being buried for decades. I took some measurements and calculated that the opening was approximately two feet. Don Janes photo Oct. 2, 2005

Another view of what we saw at White River Jct. Vermont. Don Janes photo Oct. 2, 2005
A view of the ball signal in use during the 1950's. The portion remaining that Don and I viewed back in 2005 can be clearly seen in this photo.

Monday 19 December 2011

Last Monday...

Last Monday morning Don Janes and I visited with Pierre Oliver in St. Thomas, Ontario, a short drive from London to check out his layout and workshop. Pierre models a 60 mile section of the Wabash called the Wabash Buffalo Division from Aylmer to Simcoe, Ontario. His layout is a double deck affair. Pierre currently is working full time at his business Elgin Car Shops, a custom model building services. Pierre is an awesome rolling stock builder and had done numerous kit reviews for RMC. He also is great at bench work construction. His construction talents being put to use as a set builder for theatres in the past.

Pierre models the Wabash in 1951. I have some timetable from the 1960's in my collection which shows this line.
The Wabash stations and scheduled trains in 1961.

On our visit it was work day on the layout and a group from the Toronto area were on hand working hard building track work, structures and scenery. The semi-regular work crew included Rich Chrysler, Trevor Marshall, Brian Dickey and John Mellow. Don and I had e-mailed Trevor many times over the years but have never met. So it was a treat to spend some time together. Trevor had on hand his S scale 10-wheeler, CNR 1532 built by Simon Parent from his own kits. The engine has a Tsunami decoder and two speakers - one in the tender, a second in the boiler. As I am not that knowledgeable about S scale it was interesting to see first hand. Pierre also showed us a couple of S scale CNR cabooses that he is building and painting for Trevor. As Trevor notes "people are always quite impressed by the presence of S, enjoying its heft advantages over HO while noting that it’s not as overpowering as O," and that is true.

Trevor's finished S scale CNR 10-wheeler model that he brought along for all of us to see. Trevor is currently building an S scale home layout reflecting the CNR Port Rowen branch.

S scale CNR caboose model built by Pierre from a Ridgehill Scale Models resin and photo etch kit with Black Cat decals.
 Pierre gave us the royal tour. The layout, paint shop, assembly area and his many finished models. Pierre can build and finish a craftsman kit in one day. To see his fine work first hand, Pierre will be set up at the Springfield, Mass. Model Railway Show near the end of January 2012 with a nice size display. Well by the time Don and I left I think we had cut into the work process as the gang was hoping to possibly have a main line link from the ends Trevor and Rich were each working from. Sorry guys if we delayed the gold spike ceremony.

On our way back to London I was thinking wow that was an impressive group of talented Canadian modellers that had gathered in Pierre's basement that morning. Each modeller  present that day brings to the table variable interests with high levels of talent and priorities not to mention the numerous articles that the combined group have had published in the modeller's press and historical societies over the years.

A great day had...thanks Pierre.

1948 Poster...

 Christmas tree deliveries on a 1948 poster.

The picture above which I had discovered is of a new Studebaker delivering Christmas trees in a 1948 poster...enjoy...George Dutka

Saturday 17 December 2011

100 Years Ago...

The station is still smouldering in this November 1911 view of the WRJ Union Station.
White River Junction Fire
Union Station burns in November 1911

It was one hundred years ago last month that the second White River Junction station burned down. The following photos show the station before during and after the fire.The fire that destroyed this station began in the ceiling above the ticket office on November 26, 1911. All 14 employees in the station at the time escaped without injury.

A temporary station was then built that was nicknamed the Junk-Shun and for many reasons became an interim facility for the next 23 years. It may have lasted longer but also burned down in 1935. It took two years to build the station that stands at WRJ today. During that construction period the passenger station was housed in the old baggage building...George Dutka

A postcard viewing the Union station in better days.

It appears as it may have been raining, but too lake to save the station.
Not much is left of the station once the fire was out.
An interesting view of the old station including the B&M ball signal already used during that era. A portion of that old ball signal was dug up a few years back while some excavating was taking place.
This postcard view has been published numerous times in books and periodicals. It does give you a great view of the station and surrounding trackage.

Friday 16 December 2011

Brewer, Maine Inspiration

The B&M daily slips by an old garage inspired by one found in Brewer Maine. My garage is located at the outskirts of Bellows Crossing, Vermont on the White River Division.
Adding a Brewer, Maine garage
a little MEC  inspiration

 During construction of the White River Division I left the structures to last. All the track and scenery was in. My stand-in structures were by now in place and a few paper mock-ups remained to locate structures still needing attention. As the big structures started to replace paper mock-ups a few smaller buildings were still required. The inspiration for one model came from a garage located in Brewer, Maine beside the MEC right of way which runs to seaside Bucksport.  I saw a photo of a neat medium size garage in the book Before Guilford by Preston Cook. The garage would be a good fit and as seen in the photo it would be track side. It seems that in Brewer the MEC Bucksport Job ran through everyone's back yard in town plus a  grave yard. So my garage although not a exact match is similar in appearance and colour. My model does emulate what I saw in the photo.

The prototype photo that I used for inspiration while building my own version of a mid size garage along the right of way.
When I began building my garage most of my big building were completed. Not wanting to waste the bits and pieces I had left I designed the garage to use my leftovers. Left over styrene and casting dictated the length and height of my garage. My garage has a lower roof pitch but the four panel door which first attracted me to the structure was emulated and also the small window above. The Maine garage did not have any side windows but I thought these would add some additional interest, plus I had a lot of windows left. I also included a small back door that I modelled in the open position. Track side the wall is a blank. The whole building is made of styrene except the roof which is a cast off from a plastic kit of unknown origin. I only used corner bracing that was waste strip wood. Take note...if I did it again I would use more bracing as there is some minor warping.

My garage was airbrushed Floquil  antique white on the walls and reefer white for the windows and trim. The roof is grimy black with lots of chalk weathering. The walls got only a light coat of chalk weathering. I had an unused Sylvan Scale Models Victorian house kit stone base. This I used to mount the garage on. It was painted with Floquil paints. Grime as the base coat then highlighted with dry brush white and washes of diluted grimy black. Some chalk weathering was also added. A lot of small details finish off the scene. In the future I may change the roofing to green tar paper as on the prototype. I purchased a package of green tar paper roofing by BEST models for another project and may have enough left for this structure....George Dutka

Looking down at the scene...many of the detail parts are by Juneco.

B&M #1208 rolls by my little garage set in the countryside of the White River Division.

Thursday 15 December 2011

NH & CV Gallow Signal

Newly constructed signal Oct. 2011...George Dutka photo
Newly Built 1854 Prototype Gallow Signal ...
Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum
Willimantic, Conn.

Oct 2011

 During my visit this Oct. to the Connecticut Eastern  Railroad Museum in Willimantic, Conn. the first thing that caught my eye was the newly constructed gallows type signal. The two-armed signal was nicknamed The Gallows because it represents a hanging gallow. Built in 1854 it was used into the 1950's at Bridge St. which was a junction location governing trains of the CV and NH. The signal allowed the passage of trains through the switches that would have to be lined for their intended routes. The signal was reportedly removed sometime around 1963.

For information about modelling such a signal take a look at the October 1963 Model Railroader which also includes plans for the signal. I have also included a few prototype views of the signal from my collection. The photos do not have any dates or information but I am thinking 1950's. The gallow signal on the ECRM grounds is not all that far from that original location...George Dutka

Newly built in 2011 gallow signal at the entrance to the museum.
Seems like a gang is gathering at the signal tenders shanty at Bridge St. Willimantic, Conn.

Gallow signal  looking north from Bridge St. at Willimantic, Conn. collection, George Dutka collection

Looking south towards Bridge St. George Dutka collection

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Check your baggage on the White River Division

A CNR baggage express car is spotted at the White River Junction station for loading prior to the arrival of the Vermonter. On the prototype lines in New England that was a common occurrence at larger centres. One could see one or a few baggage cars waiting loading.

Baggage Cars on the White River Division

Last year I finally began building the White River Division's passenger car fleet. Till then I had only ran RDC Budd cars. I  have collected a fair amount of passenger craftsman kits over the past decade but never had the time to build them. When the Rapido Osgood Bradley coaches became available things changed. I purchased a B&M and NH coach. I then began looking at the Rapido CNR and CPR cars. The baggage cars looked interesting and would be a good addition to the fleet. I purchased three. Two at once, a CPR maroon baggage car and the CNR 1954 green, black and gold car. I got a deal on a third car this past summer, a pre-1954 green baggage car. This one I am currently detailing.

The Rapido baggage cars look great right out of the box but I wanted to add some additional interior details, a little weathering and a grimy black roof. I don't like the shiny finish on most passenger car roofs especially as the roofs get marked up. I have unified my fleet with Floquil grimy black roofs. It give the car tops that gritty look that I saw on these type of cars during my railroad career. These roofs can also be easily touched up when scuffed up.

A comparison can be made between a finished and an out-of-the-box model.
The baggage car is ready for paint and weathering.

I began my upgrade by taking the roof off and adding the two batteries for the interior lighting. The lighting is really neat and if you add a load inside and open the doors they show really well. I was working on the CNR green, black and gold car first. I painted the roof, under body, couplers and ends grimy black. I then added some rust and earth chalk weathering to the parts I had just painted. The car sides I left as is. I added mainly Juneco metal detail parts to the interior. The figures added are the Juneco porters that I painted up as baggage men. I include Juneco boxes, sacks, milk cans and barrels to the interior. These were glued in with Walthers Goo before the roof was installed. The double doors were glued shut as they just don't stay closed when handling the car. I left the two single doors open so I could see in and through the car. I realised after the baggage car was all together that the floor had a bit of a sheen to it although the floor colour looked good.

A look inside the CPR car. The floor has been painted in the area that is seen through the door and details added.
 On the CPR and pre-1954 CNR baggage cars I have painted the area around the open door with Floquil grime then while wet I dragged some rail brown along the floor. The floor looks a lot better with this done. These two cars have grimy black roofs, ends and under frames also. A little chalk weathering was added to these cars. Once again I used my Juneco detail parts and porters to fill the car interiors. With the batteries added to all the baggage cars, the lighting when used really brings out the added interior.
A Rapido CPR baggage car awaits a Montreal bound train. A CPR E-8 holds down that run on the White River Division.
 Originally I was going to change out the couplers on each baggage car with Kadee Scale #58 couplers, but the couplers included worked well and actually look good when the cars are coupled together. So I just left them as is. On the pre-1954 CNR baggage car I added the tail end markers that are included with the cars. I thought this one might be seen at times on the tail end of my trains. The markers are made to operate like the real thing. One can remove the markers then move them to the other end of the car. On the White River Division the baggage cars that are to be set off at White River Junction are handled on the tail end. That way the cars are just cut off at the platform before the train departs the station. A really simple operational move.

This detailing project was a very easy one to complete. What I have done to these cars can be done to any coach, baggage or express cars that one may have in their fleet...George Dutka 

A before and after view all in one.
The details inside the baggage car door can be clearly seen.