Sunday 30 December 2012

West Barre Module - Installed on the WRD

An overall view of how West Barre looks today as one of three drop in diorama's I have for this location.
Another Drop-in Module Completed

My last post covers the refurbished West Barre station. Here you can take a look at it in use on the White River Division. I am very happy how this diorama blends in once again at this location. The seams are well hidden with ground foam weeds and fencing. The gap on the roadway was easy to hide by just placing a vehicle on the roadway over the joint.

A straight on view of West Barre station before the section house foreground building is added.

One detail I used to hide any gaps at the rear of the diorama was a short piece of fencing. It also gave me a place to add a CV billboard advertising Mt. Mansfield and the ski slopes near by.
On the layout I built a rectangular border for the area my drop-in dioramas is placed out of scarp Gatorfoam and basswood strips. I made sure it would be a tight fit. This area was all painted an earth colour before the scenery was applied to blend in the old with the new.

West Barre is now one of three drop-in diorama's that can be used at this location. I have a barn which I already covered, West Barre a CV style station and a B&M frt. house which I will post shortly. I still have a mill and fuel oil dealer to built that might be added to the mix. Having a finished smaller layout gives me the opportunity to build scenes that can be swapped out. I actually can run a train around the layout and on each pass change out the scenes ..later...George Dutka
A CV RS-3 heads a caboose hop past the West Barre station on the White River Division.

Saturday 29 December 2012

Upgrading West Barre - Completed

A close look at the station platform and station prior to installation on the White River Division.
The Station at
West Barre, Vermont

I recently finished my upgrade to the West Barre station. I began this project with my post of Dec. 2, 2012. Once the drop-in base was cut from Gatorfoam, the RailroadKits cobblestone roadway was installed as a platform. I used one and one quarter sheets for the platform. I gave the cobblestone a wash of Hunterline stain followed by red chalk weathering and Bragdon dark rust and black. The rest of the base got a coat of my earth mix paint followed by ground foam and crushed stone. I actually had the whole base completed before I got to deep into my station upgrade.

I spent an evening going through my New England books to come up with a new look for my station. I decided on an all red structure as many of the Central Vermont and GT-New England stations appeared in the 1950's. For the station signs I went with what I have seen on many of the smaller GT stations. Signs such as the REA and Western Union are what I liked the best. I also wanted a slate roof although many of the smaller station had tar paper by the 1950's. On my layout the location is CV although the structure also reflects what I saw in photos of GT New England designs. This same colouring and signage reflects the CNR stations very well for the 1950's.

The West Barre station as it looked once removed from the layout. As mentioned in my past post the rear wall is still the paper wall covering painted flat black. This side has never been viewed by anyone other than me till now.The old station signs have been added to the interior walls adding to the heritage of the building.
The drop-in diorama is completed but the station is at the beginning of a remodel. The old roofing has just been removed.
The station has been painted but the roof and signs need to be added.
Station Upgrades
 All the blinds and window glazing was removed and replace with new material once the station was painted. The roofing was removed and what remained was painted flat black. The walls, trim and all the windows are airbrushed Floquil roof brown, then boxcar red while still wet. I brushed red chalk over all the walls followed by Bragdon weathering powder, dark rust followed by a little more red chalk. The window trim was brush painted aged concrete. 

The same phone box was used. It was originally black but was chalked white. For the roof I used Northeastern Scale Lumber Co. Gray Slate #HOSHG 1B1. This is my favourite roofing material for slate. I used two packages for this project but have lots of leftovers for future projects. I made a template for each angled portion of the roof using heavy paper. This I used to mark and cut the roofing sheets. I used Goo to position the roof panels as this gave me time to move it around a bit. I glued the corners with white glue. I did add some chalk weathering to the slate roof. A big chunky cast metal chimney from Juneco was added. This was painted roof brown followed by black and brown chalk weathering.

My favourite slate roofing material is made by Northeastern Scale Lumber Co. Some of the roofing has been installed in this view. The paper template can be seen on the left. The roof took two packages but  I did have a lot of left overs.

The West Barre station signs were designed on my computer and printed on a laser printer. The Railway Express Agency sign was made from a reduced size colour photocopy of a print. I had photographed the sign on the Ely, Vt. station this fall. The Western Union sign I found on the Internet which Don Janes printed on his colour printer at a reduced size using photo quality paper. The arrival and departure sign by the front door is actually a CNR sign that I purchased at the Vermont and Essex Ry. model display in Montreal. They have a hobby shop on the main floor which has some nice right of way details. It is from STT and numbered CN138. The billboard found behind the station on a fence is a colour photocopy from a CV timetable which was reduced to fit the space.

In my next post we will see how it looks set in place on the White River Division...George Dutka

The drop-in diorama  is finished and ready for use on the White River Division.

Thursday 27 December 2012

The Chopper III - NorthWest Short Line

I am in the process of cutting and attaching the wooden decking to my Fairlee frt. house. As you can see you have lots of room to lay all your planks that need cutting on the base without them getting in the way.

Chopping through my kits

I had been wanting to get a chopper for a few years now. With a few wooden kits on the go, flat car decks to be add and a couple of wooden fences to be built for the White River Division, I decided to purchase one. The one I went with was the longer work surface, Chopper III version by NorthWestern Short Line. They make a mini version which is good if you do not have a lot of storage room or a small work space. Mico Mart also has a lower priced small chopper. Part of the reason I went for the Chopper III was I got a deal on it from Doug's Trains (Doug is out of these at the moment and Walthers is also out of stock) but the length of the unit makes it very easy for handling long strips of wood. As you can see in the photos you can cut and work on your project right on the chopper base. I actually just finished cutting fence boards and gluing them on the Chopper work surface. Sure makes some projects really easy. If you are thinking of purchasing a Chopper take a look at the longer base version...George Dutka

One of my larger projects this modelling season is the Vermont big barn by Creative Laser Design. The roof included with the kit just did not cut it so I just turned the roofing over and made it into a more prototypical metal roof found in northern Vermont. I did have to add ribbing's which was cut on my new Chopper. In this photo the ribbing is seen being cut on my Chopper. Some of  pieces are seen added to the barn. For longer cuts such as these I just reverse the guide to the other side of the base. These longer cuts can be made with ease. I will be covering the finished big barn in a later post.

I was in such a rush after purchasing the Chopper III  to try it out I did not  realise till after I cut all the flat car decking that I should have stained them.  It sure would have been a lot easier to stain them in one long piece. Arrr...boys and their toys.

Sunday 23 December 2012

Where Does The River Go?

The river in my new bridge scene narrows as it reaches the walls and supposedly curves out of sight...  Photos by Don Janes

A Disappearing Don Janes

   After I posted my article about my new river scene on the Green Mountain Division I received a couple of questions from Geof Smith.  One was where does the river go after the bridge and the other pertained to debris around the bridge abutments and piers.   Well Geof, as you can see from the photo the river narrows as it reaches the wall and is supposed to give the illusion that it disappears around a bend.  The tracks pass through a rock cut on one side of the river and disappear into the distance, in this case a hole in the wall.  I tried to block this hole from the aisle by adding lots of trees on the hillside. 
     Geof's other comment was in regards to adding debris on the upstream side of the bridge.  I guess it didn't show up in the other photos but these close-ups will show I added logs, rocks and a couple of old barrels washed down the river and jambed up at the foot of the bridge.  I hope these photos will shed a little light on the details added around the bridge.

These three photos show some of the debris lodged around the base of the bridge.

Saturday 22 December 2012

Candian Pacific S-2 Switcher

CPR S-2 7097 crosses the newly installed bridge en route to White River Jct ...  photos by Don Janes

 A New CPR S-2 For The Green Mountain Don Janes

     The Canadian Pacific Ry. had a strong presence through New England and Vermont in particular during my era the 1950s. Sinc I model New England and have a few CPR locomotives already I decided to add a CP S-2 to my roster.  To help complete dieselization on the Wells River line the CPR ordered three Alco S-2 switchers from ALCO in Schenectady, NY.  Purchased in Aug. 1949, these were the last three S-2 units built for CP and the only Alco S-2's owned by CP to be assigned to the USA.  They were numbered 7096, 7097 and 7098.
   I recently purchased a Bachmann Alco S-2 switcher with Soundtaxx sound from Micro Mark during their Cyber Monday sale at what I considered a great price.  Since they don't make an undecorated model I decided on a B&O model figuring it had the least amount of lettering to remove when it came time to repaint it CPR.   

This is a photo of the unit as it looked when I purchased it...Bachmann ad photo
         Having stripped and painted a couple of other Bachmann engines I knew that 99% Rubbing Alcohol was a good paint stripper  for these shells so I submerged the plastic cab and body into a container of rubbing alcohol for several hours.  A little scrubbing with an old toothbrush took off all the factory paint.  Unfortunately, while taking all the handrails off I broke one of the side handrail sections and one cab step railing.  As I have done in the past, I decided to use brass Smokey Valley handrail stanchions and end brackets.  I had to form all new handrails from .015 phosphor bronze wire.  Since the Bachmann models don't come with grab irons on the side and end I decided to use Detail Associates drop grabs and NBW castings for these locations.
     Once all the handrails and stanchions were done I washed the model in warm soapy water to clean any grease and oil of the shell prior to painting.

This is the stripped shell with the brass handrails and stanchions soldered together and set in place.

One thing I really like about this model is the LED's used for the loghts.  They are attached to the chassis so there are no wires to deal with when taking the model apart.  They have a very pleasing intensity and look very natural when turned on.  The light goes bright in the direction of travel and can be dimmed with Function 7. 
      The shell was given a primer coat of Floquil SP Lettering Grey.  Once that was dry I airbrushed the body with CN Lines CPR Diesel Loco Grey.  This paint is produced by Scalecoat.  After the gray was dry I masked the shell and painted the body,cab and side handrails with CN Lines CPR Maroon.  The black on the frame and chassis was painted with a 50/50 mixture of Flouil Grimy and Engine Black with some Glaze added to give a sheen for decalling.  I let the paint dry thoroughly before adding the decals.  Fortunately I had a set of Accucal Decals for CPR hood units on hand so that is what I used on my model.  Since these are out of production they may be hard to find but Micro Scale has a similar set (87-92) that can be used.   Once all the decals were on I gave the engine a finish coat of Floquil Flat Finish to seal everything.

The completed body, cab, handrails and trucks.



These four shots show the finished model with all the details added.
After all the paint and decals were dry I added all the details and re- assembled the model.  I still need to add class lights to the front of the engine but I did not have any on hand so they are on order and will be added once I get them.

This new Bachmann S-2 with Soundtraxx Tsunami sound is a real winner.
I have added a parts list for anyone who might want to do a similar model.

Parts List
-Smokey Valley 111- Alco Switcher end brackets
-Smokey Valley 132- Alco switcher handrail stanchions
-Precision Scale 39072- step lights
-Precision Scale 3150- brass air hoses
-Det. Ass't. 2202- drop grab irons
-Det. Ass't. 2203- NBW castings
-Det. Ass't. 2206- wire eye bolts
-Cal Scale 190-280- brass class lights
-A-Line 29201- short windshield wipers
-KD 158- short shank cat whisker couplers
-.0125 phosphor bronze wire from Tichy
-.015 phosphor bronze wire from Tichy
-Resin re-rail frogs
-Accu Cals 5829H CPR hood unit decals
-CN Lines 110-21 CPR Diesel Loco Grey
-CN Lines 110-22 CPR Maroon
-Floquil Reefer Yellow for grab irons and handrails
-Floquil Grimy Black and Engine Black
-Floquil SP Lettering Grey for primer

Friday 21 December 2012

B&M White River Jct. - Yard Office

I caught the WRJ to East Deerfield job departing from the White River Junction, Vermont Guilford yard, located south of the station. The old B&M yard office has not been used in years but still remains standing on May 4, 2000. The main line is found on the other side of the yard office.

The old B&M yard office is gone

On May 16, 2012 the Boston and Maine Ry yard office was finally torn down. It was located next to the main line in the old B&M yard. The yard office had not been used in decades but seemed to survive without windows and doors for all this time. It is kind of a neat structure that could work in many model yard locations. I photographed it many times over the years although I had not been down to that end of the yard in at least 10 years. I should have seen how it was holding up. I guess I thought it would always be there. I did have the sense to measure it back in the 1990's with the thought of building a model of it. At some point I just might. Well another piece of New England RR heritage is now gone...George Dutka

I took this photo on Sept 27, 1992. The awnings are still in place at that time and many of the windows. The main track is seen in the foreground.
B&M yard office at White River Jct. Vermont on May 4, 2000

Thursday 20 December 2012

Current CVRHS Ambassador

In the current Ambassador, Stephen Horsley details how he built his F&C CV milk car kit. On the White River Division we see a F&C, CV milk car  in action at my local creamery. This milk car  kit makes a great model with a little work.

I received the current Vol. 20 No. 3, CVRHS Ambassador yesterday. What a great issue. Under the leadership of Stephen Horsley each issue of the Ambassador is getting better. The main feature for this issue is the CV milk cars. Stephen really spent a ton of time researching and charting the comings and goings of the fleet. I did have an advance look at the text as he wanted someone to look it over. The milk car charts are a treat to see and great to have. He also covers modelling the CV milk car using a F&C kit. A short kit review is also included in the feature.

There also is an nice modeller's article on Central Vermont Diesel paints by Taft DeVere. He covers the options of model colours.

I was really impressed with a photo article of the Ambassador coming into White River Jct., Vermont in 1953. Stephen explains each car of the six car southbound train. The head end car is a MEC passenger baggage - smoker for starters.

To round out the issue there are four great colour photos on the two covers. Whitney Maxfield covers the development of the CV in Barre, Vt. and I cover the Gallows signal in Willimantic, Conn.

This is a quarterly one might want to consider if you are a New England fan or modeller. You can check out their web site for application forms CVRHS Home ...George Dutka

Monday 17 December 2012

Bridging The Gap

A southbound Canadian Pacific freight headed by a CPR RS-3 is crossing the newly completed bridge at the north end of White River by Don Janes 

Adding A River Scene To The Green Mountain Division

by Don Janes

 Once I finished the White River Jct. yard and the North Bennington scenes in my new layout room, I tore out the old layout, my Green Mountain Division housed in a 12 x 20 space. It was now time to finish the section of my layout that would eventually connect the two rooms together. This particular spot was right where guests enter my train room. I wanted the scene to really "pop" and give a welcoming first impression.  What better scene could one ask for on a New England layout than a deck bridge spanning a river with a typical old wooden mill along the riverbank.

     The major structural components used in this scene are stone and concrete bridge abutments and piers from New England Brownstone,  NEBS Carved Model Stonework | Miniature Stonework for Scale Dioramas three Micro Engineering 50 foot deck bridges and the South River Model Works, Whitney Bent furniture factory kit.  Follow along as I show you the steps I went through to complete this scene.

Above is the raw bench work with the bridge installed and levelled
      The first step in this project was to plan where the bridge would go and install the abutments and piers.
Once these were in place I temporarily set the bridge in to make sure it would line up with the road bed at each end, a very important step to ensure smooth operation later.

These water based craft paints were used to colour the plaster bridge components

     To colour the plaster bridge abutments and piers I first gave them a very light wash of India Ink and alcohol to stain them.  After that I added thin washes of the water based craft paints shown above until I got them the colour I thought looked natural.  Dry brushing the edges of the stone brought out the fine details and then I weathered them with chalks.  New England Brownstone makes fabulous castings with detail like I have never seen before.  I highly recommend that you check out their products if you are planning projects requiring stone elements.

Once I got the bridge positioned I built the mill kit and determine its exact location.
Seen here the mill was built on a base of wood and foam and set in its final location.  The stone retaining walls were cast in resin so I could bend it to follow the curve of the river.

The ground contours were built up by forming a cardboard web and adding Woodland Scenics plaster cloth on top.  The backdrop is a Sceniking kit that was glued to the wall  representing a rock cut.

Once the plaster base was done I added a coat of sand over the entire area.   This acts as a "primer" to cover the plaster and acts as a base for the rest of the scenery. 

The rest of the riverbank was built in the same manner. The riverbank had to rise to a height that would hide the track in the background.

I finished the surrounding scenery using rocks, ground foam, static grass, trees and various other scenery materials.  I wanted to obscure the background tracks making  the train visible but not the right of way.

It was time now to add the water.  I used a base of  Enviro Tex clear resin. Once that dried I added six coats of Mod Podge, a clear gel that gives great texture to the river.  As a final touch I used Woodland Scenics "Water Effects" to create the foamy water around the rocks and debris.  The tips were dry brushed with white to give a foam effect. 

The crew on CV 8027 have watched the daily progress as the scene  transforms from plywood sheeting (seen in the second photo of  this post) to a very picturesque scene shown here.
A southbound CPR freight is crossing the newly completed trestle as it heads towards White River Jct.
     I hope you've enjoyed watching this river scene evolve.  I really enjoyed working on this project and trying out a few new techniques and materials.  Now its onward over the bridge and through the wall to the next phase of layout construction.

Sunday 16 December 2012

Inwood Station, Model Review

The Inwood station in B&M colours. I stopped by the Passumpsic Ry this fall and took a group of photos from Route 5 including the station, Sept 2012.
 RMC's Craftsman Product Review
Creative Laser Design's Small Flag Stop

Currently RMC has on their web site a review of Creative Laser Design's Quincy Station. The small flag stop station model is based on the restored B&M-CPR Inwood station currently located on the grounds of the Passumpsic Railroad museum in Barnet, Vt. It serves as the RR's  ticket office. You can check out their web site Passumpsic Railroad

The Inwood station was located 2.7 miles north of Barnet by rail on the Lyndonville Sub. The B&M had ownership and control of the line in the early years. In 1926 the line through Inwood was leased by the Canadian Pacific for 20 years. When the lease was about to end the CPR purchased the line in 1946. The CPR Lyndonville Sub. extends from Wells River to Newport a total of 63.7 miles.

The review was done by George Riley who built the O scale kit for his review. There is a HO scale version available. The kit includes laser cut milled basswood sheeting, card stock shingles and bass strip wood. You can check out their web site for more details ...George Dutka

Saturday 15 December 2012

White River Divison's 200th Post

I am not sure who has the right of way as I have yet to write the rule book for the White River Division. One thing for sure, neither train will be backing up. I imagine the two conductors are looking after that.  Both my cabooses are new additions to the fleet this modeling season and are from True Line Trains.
Another Mile Marker Passed

This post marks the 200th entry into this blog...sure sounds like I have had a lot to say in little over a year. I just want to thank all of you for following along and for the kind words and e-mails that has been passed along. At last count the WRD has had just over 31,000 views in 13 months.

The White River Division during this modeler's season has seen a face lift begin in a couple areas. The scene at West Barre is over a decade old and was only to have been a temporary stand in. You will see what is happening here over the next few weeks. One scenario, a barn scene, I have already posted. I have a few more changes planned for the layout once the holiday season passes.

I do have a lot I like to cover, prototype and modeling and Don Janes is working away on a post covering his new CV bridge scene which is awesome. Don mentioned having over a dozen photo to be included. Well I guess we will see were my and Don's thoughts and energy will take us...onward...George Dutka

Here we see the end of the CNR Paines Spur near St. Thomas, Ont., Dec 2012. On our layouts we would place a nail between the rails to keep our engines and rolling stock from getting away or falling off our layout. On the CNR the prototype does it a little different. It may seem silly to place a derail prior to falling off the rail, but my guess this is to do with rule violations by train crews.