Wednesday 29 February 2012

Blog Update

B&M No. 1208's whistle is blowing as it crosses the Northfield Falls roadway en route to Bellows Crossing. The young lad is doing a good job keeping his flock together with all that noise. I see he can also count on help from his best friend trailing the gang. The Northfield Falls covered bridge reflects the look of the real thing along the Central Vermont Railway. The bridge still stands today. The sign on the bridge was removed from the station before it was torn down. It spent many years on the bridge. I copied this prototype feature. The CV station agent lived for years at a house next to he bridge.

Four Months of Blogging

Well it is now four months since I began this blog. Currently there are 68 posts and a total of 5,000 page views set this past weekend. I think things are working out well for my blog. I am trying to post at least three times a week which includes one model feature or photo plus a prototype inspiration. I have about a month left before I begin my spring and summer season projects. In early April I am up at the lake most days working on my sailboat which goes in the beginning of May. By then I will be down to one post per week. May through September I will be posts once or twice a month. There is no wireless connections at some of the places out on the lake.  I also have a daughters wedding during the summer which requires me to do as I am told. Once fall arrives I will begin regular posting once again. Additional post could happen at any time.

What is Next...
It has been fun documenting my projects. I currently am finishing off another RailroadKits model with Peter Mumby and will post this shortly. I have completed my drawing for the Polka Dot restaurant in WRJ. I also have the windows and walls on hand. I like to cover a bit of the history for that building. I am guessing this project will not be completed till fall. The Northeastern barn still has not found a good home on the layout. It was to be used by the Northfield Falls covered bridge seen above. I feel it takes away from that current scene. I plan to use the barn on a diorama till an extension is added to my layout.

Detailed photos, plans and windows are seen waiting for construction to begin. The Polka Dot Restaurant will be a foreground structure for my White River Junction station scene.

Ongoing Projects...
There is always a lot to do. I have two Central Vermont engines to work on which is taking more time to complete than anticipated. One, a brass etchings for a CV 0-8-0 will be my second attempt at etchings. My first was a HOn30 Forney many years ago. The other engine is my CV 2-8-0  that needs repainting, DCC and sound. Peter and I have a small ARR 40' boxcar fleet that saw construction beginning in January. We also are working on pre-painted Walthers CV cabooses in the maple leaf. We are each adding proper cupolas, stacks and end steps. This is a bigger project than first thought, since the trucks need to be moved, so the cabooses can actually operate. Peter is using a CNR Juneco caboose kit for details such as the steps and ends while I have cut up a CNR True Line trains model (painted up CV which is wrong for the model) for the parts I need. I picked up the caboose for a song. I hope to post these projects once completed.

Well back to my modelling while the snow is still flying....George Dutka

While in Florida this month we found someone just could not get away from the cold without a they decided to built one out of sand. This is in Siesta Key which is rated the number one beach in America with sand that is great for shaping into castles and figures. We had a great spot right on the beach.

Monday 27 February 2012

White River Division in Walthers

The chanting of EMD 567's idling away is a familiar sound along the White River Division. At West Barre, the single F7A idles during a station stop. This engine is one of my favourite's to operate and view. Don Janes built this engine some years ago and I was luck enough to add it to my fleet. This photo was the lead in photo  for Walthers 2010 Power Sound Smoke section.

Walthers Catalogue

Over the past few years there has been a few of my White River Division photos used in Walthers catalogues. In the current issue, 2012, there are three photos. I decided to post a few of my more recent views which gives you a look around the layout and some of my equipment...enjoy...George Dutka

It's a fall day on the White River Division as a caboose hop crosses the White River. The tail end brakeman gives the angler a wave as he leans off the steps to see what's in his bucket. The caboose is a True Line Trains model and the locomotive is an Athearn model. This photo was the lead in photo  for Walthers 2010 Adhesives section.
In a more contemporary scene than I normally model,  CV S-4 #8081 leads a string of cars towards Westminster Center on the White River Division. The engine is an Atlas model that still needs DCC and sound but has many details added. The outside  braced boxcar is an Accurail kit that has been modified to better reflect the prototype. The green boxcar was detailed and painted to reflect the CV by my friend Bob Hannah a couple of decades ago. This photo was the lead in photo  for Walthers 2011 freight cars section.
The Rutland Ry. rolled through stunning New England scenery. Quaint track side farms were often customers of the railroad. Seen here an Alco RS-1 rattles past a scene amid rock outcroppings, dense forests and rolling hills with only a van in tow. Traffic is way down by this point and even the farmer and his worker don't acknowledge the train's passing anymore, they're busy readying cans for the truck trip to the dairy. This photo was the lead in photo  for Walthers 2010 scenery section.
EMD E7 #3810 heads up a typical fall consist as it rolls through the diamond at Bellows Crossing on the White River Division. An express boxcar converted from an old Army troop sleeper is coupled ahead of a pair of Osgood-Bradley coaches, one each from the NH and B&M and a B&M Pullman heavyweight coach at the rear. This photo is the lead in photo  for the current Walthers 2012 passenger car section.

Friday 24 February 2012

Farmall tractors

 Antique Farmall tractors on display

In my post Loading up a Flat, Jan 17, 2012, I discussed how I painted and loaded a flat car full of tractors. I got away from the cold weather last week and spent some time in Naples and Siesta Key, Florida. On our last day we visited a local area flea market located in Bradenton called the Red Barn which has two Farmall tractors on display at the entrance. We had been to this flea market before but never noticed the tractors. Since I modelled two last month I thought I best take a closer look. The following photos may help you with models of your own...George Dutka

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Sea Port Model Works Display

 Sea Port Diorama

Dave Frary blog site Trackside Scenery has had some activity last weekend that maybe of interest to modeller's building waterfront scenes. He discusses how he built Sea Port Model Works diorama which is used at model RR shows to display products. I saw this diorama at the Peabody, Mass Expo and was really impressed. I have included some photos I took of the display with my pocket camera. I wish I took an overall shot though. Dave`s blog site is located on my sidebar or try

Dave also discusses Tak-E-Glue a new product by Scenic Express...George Dutka

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Williamstown, Mass. Coal

Williamstown, Mass. Prototype
inspiration for Railway Heritage Models Kit

Williamstown, Mass. is located one station west of North Adams, Mass on the B&M now PAN AM main line. The two structures that Don and I visited are the inspiration for a laser kit offered in HO scale by Railway Heritage Models of the N Scale Architect. There also is a N scale version available.

I did read a review for the kit in RMC some years ago. It appears that you can build either version seen in the prototype photos below. The Silo`s are one piece and the trim is peel and stick laser wood. The last time I checked the kit was still available through Walthers but one may find it on line also. I remember seeing the smaller silo of the two on Dick Elwell`s layout and as seen in the photo included. I don`t recall if Dick built it from the laser kit or scratch built his own version. Dick lives very near this structure making it easy for him to do research.

Today or should say in Jan 2010 when I visited the site both structures were still standing but unused. No trackage is seen in the area but the main line is not far off. Both structures do not look in that bad of shape. These coal silos make for some really nice inspiration for us modeller's to work from. I personally really like the look of the smaller one of the two...George Dutka

The smaller of the two structures is seen during January 2010. George Dutka photo

A look at the larger coal silo during Jan 2010. George Dutka

I took this photo from the overpass that crosses the main line trackage. I am looking south with the smaller structure to the west. The ex-B&M station is also standing on the south side of the trackage on the other side of the overpass, or to the east of me...George Dutka photo.

Saturday 18 February 2012

Coal Dealer Charlemont, Mass

Looking East during January 2010. George Dutka photo.

A building worth model...

On my way to Springfield with Don Jane in 2010 we followed the old B&M line from the Vermont border to East Deerfield. We did not see any trains but got some interesting views of neat old structures that would be great to model. In a contemporary scene the effects we saw of weathering would make this a neat layout structure to add. Of course if you model the 1950's you will need to add a little paint. The next  post will cover another structure we saw.

One stop was at Charlemont, Mass. population of about 1,200 along the Mohawk Trail.  Here we found a coal dealer just off the main line which was setback far enough that it has survived for years unused. It clearly appeared to have once been a rail customer. Looking at the end I found a few chutes which leads me to believe this was a coal dealer. It is not a large structure but one that reminded me of Crosby Coal in Vermont. Its northwest walls still remains covered in red paint while most of the other surfaces are weather beaten.

Our stop in January 2010 was on a very cold day. We had problems keeping our camera batteries warm enough to operate so only a quick few shots were taken. I hope to make a trip back this way in better weather and take a more detailed look around as I did not tromp through the snow to see the north side of the structure...George

Looking east along what once was B&M trackage and today's PAN AM main line. The mountain in the rear is Todd Mountain. One can see the setback of the coal shed which probably helped in it's longevity.

There appears to be a coal chute on this end. Jan 2010

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Decal Coating Repairs

Old decals are new again

I was finishing up an overhaul on my Central Vermont RS-3 before Christmas when I got to the point were some new decals needed to be added in certain areas. The decals I wanted to use are Accu-cals and they are old, very old. Some of the edges were beginning to turning brown. When I did a test on a number it released from the paper, but in too many pieces to count.

Peter Mumby came over shortly after my test. We discussed trying some Micro superfilm he brought along and my regular go to product Microscale Micro Gloss. The Micro superfilm worked not bad but I did get a few breaks. Both products were brushed on the decals I was going to use. I would normally spray the sheet areas to be used but with two products and one sheet it was easier to use the brush.

The Microscale Micro Gloss worked best with no breaks in the decals although the film left by the coating was thicker than that of Micro superfilm. This might have been the difference in the products or my brush coating technique.

The decals were saved, the application went well on my engine and I am happy with the overall appearance of the final product...hope this information helps you with your own broken decal jobs...George Dutka

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Central Vermont Caboose Models

PFM brass caboose painted and lettered  by Don Janes. Photos by Don Janes

Brass and F&C - CV Cabooses
built by Don Janes
If you follow the CV yahoo group posts you would have seen a flurry of posts a week ago regarding colours of CV cabooses. Don Janes was looking for the correct colours used during the 1950's. Well he got everything he needed and in short order completed his model plus touched up a few others. Don has allowed me to post some of his photos and the following is his comments about the process.

A comparison in colour and weathering of Don's brass model and a earlier built F&C kit. Models and photos by Don Janes.

"After compiling all the information I received about CV caboose colours, I buckled down and painted my PFM CV wood caboose.  But first I had to spend a lot of time with the resistance soldering unit to repair a lot of very poor solder joints including re-attaching three of the 4 steps and end ladders.  Everything is good and solid now.

I used Badger Modelflex CN #11 orange for the body and CN Lines CN#11 boxcar red for the under body.  The roof is Floquil Grimy Black.  CN Lines also has a nice CN #11 orange. While I was at it I repainted the bottoms of my two  F&C (Funaro & Camerlengo CV cabooses kits) CN #11 boxcar red.  These cars were painted with SP Daylight Orange some years ago before the CN #11 Orange came out.  It looks like a faded weather beaten orange which I guess is OK too.  I took a series of photos of my new caboose along with a couple of the older models.  I’m not weathering the brass CV caboose right now as I want to put it into my display case...Don Janes"

Don's F&C kit

Prototype CV caboose colours...the final consensus regarding the colour of the cabooses in the 1950's was black roof and roof walk, CNR orange similar to CN #11on the body and ends. The trucks, end platforms,  box and underframe are all boxcar red. This can be clearly seen in photos when freshly painted, but as time goes by they get dirty and some are really dirty. If one had painted the areas mentioned as boxcar red in grimy black paint, not to worry, the heavy weathering as time passes makes the under body appear that colour anyway. Maybe a light coat of CN boxcar red dusted over the black would make one feel better about the final appearance also...George Dutka

PFM brass caboose model freshly out of the shop. Don Janes model and photo.

Saturday 11 February 2012

A New Barn for the White River Division

Northeastern Scale Models Inc.
STS Series Dairy Barn

My new addition for the White River Division is a third barn. As I like an open rural feel to my layout, farmland and farm structures dominate the White River Division. I picked up a Northeastern dairy barn at a train show I attended in January. It is a nice small laser kit. In N scale this barn would look great as a background scene. I recall seeing this done on Dick Elwell's layout a few years ago and it may have been the Northeastern kit. I guess in O scale a HO scale barn would do the same near the backdrop.

I did actually read the instructions before I began, but as usual I did not follow them all that closely. My model was going to have three of the 5 doors open so they were assembled and set aside till the structure was finished. I began the main structure by staining the floor and walls inside and out with Hunterline original (now Creosote) weathering mix. I did have to press the parts till they dried, as they began to curl up. I glued the main assembly together adding the windows and doors that were left closed. Everything was given a coat of weathering mix. I did leave the roof off till the walls were painted. White glue was used for most of the attachments during construction.

The walls have a coat of Hunterline weathering stain applied and the roofing is painted black. I used the roof panels to keep the ends from warping by temporarily attaching a few. They came off while painting and adding interior details.

The corner bracing and door track was added but not yet stained.

For the walls once the weather mix dried I added thin washes of Floquil caboose red, followed by grime and reefer white. I then did a little dry brushing of the red followed by some chalk weathering with red first, then white and Gray. The window trim got a wash of reefer white. When I say wash I mean I dip my brush in the paint only applying a little then dipping it into lacquer thinner. I then apply this to the trim or structure. If the wash is to strong I just dip the brush in more thinner and apply over the area I just brushed.

The Hunterline weathering mix alone looked good, even before I added any paint which could have worked for a really weathered barn. But I like some colour and two sides were done with a lot of colour showing or the shaded side of the building and two sides have just a hint of colour as the weather side of the structure.

I added the glaze to the windows before the roof was applied. I also added some interior details at this point also. Details are found just inside the doorways since one can not see all the way inside.

The paint is applied and interior detail can be seen through the open doors.

The interior details can be seen at the other end of the barn when the doors are applied in the  open position. The roll roofing still needs to be applied.

The roof sections all got a coat of black paint before application. I was going to use my BEST black rolled tar paper but realised I did not have enough. I went with BEST 36" steel Gray #3036 rolled tar paper roofing. I needed almost two packs to complete the roof. Once applied I added some black chalk on the seams. I did also scribe some additional seams before chalking. The roof then got a very light spray of Floquil grimy black to blend it all together.

I added the doors that I wanted to leave in the open position. They are attached with Walthers Goo. At first I was not going to build the cupola since I liked the look of the barn without it on, but thought it would give the barn a more New England feel with one on. Once built I weathered and painted the cupola the same as the rest of the structure. I did give it more red then the wall since I wanted it to stand out. Included with the cupola is copper self adhesive roofing. This was cut into 8 triangles and applied. The copper roof was given a light dusting of Floquil grimy black and some chalk weathering. I have in other occasions sprayed a hint of green to reflect the effects of weathering in copper. This was done with Penn Central green. Walthers Goo holds the cupola on the roof.

The cupola is underway and the roofing is partly applied.

The cupola is completed and weathering mix has been applied. The copper cupola cover is cut using the roofing cutouts. 8 triangles are needed.

The last bit of chalk weathering is added with streaks of black, brown and white from the roof lines and windows and doors. Now I have to decide which area of the layout can handle another be continued in another blog post....George Dutka

Thursday 9 February 2012

Vermont Barns - Part One

Sept. 8, 1991 almost within view of the Central Vermont main line near Richmond, Vermont this locally known monitor style barn is one of two found on the property. Locals call them "monitor style" because of the distinctive clerestory of windows and louvres running the length of the roof. They were constructed in 1901 and 1903 for a prosperous dairy farmer. They actually are of a Vermont design called "Bank Barns", barns built into the sides of hills. This design was used from 1870 to 1915.   George Dutka photo.
Barns that would look good
 on a New England layout

The barn photos seen in this post are only a few variations I found in Vermont over the years. A couple are similar to a barn I just completed for the White River Division. In my next post I will explain how my Northeastern Scale Model Inc. barn went together. In the views you can clearly see which side lay to the weather. Most models should have one or two sides more distressed due to the elements.

The first two barns viewed below are similar to the one I have just finished modelling. The style is called "Ground Stable Barn" sometimes called Midwestern barns. They are easily recognised by their double-pitched, gambrel roof. This gave the barn more room for hay storage above. The regular row of windows found at ground level lights the lower area which normally had a concrete floor.promoting a more sanitary area needed for dairy operations. Most of these barns were built between 1900 and 1965 and were built according to mail-order plans.

I am in the process of scanning a few more Vermont barns from my photos. These will follow as a part two in the not to distant future...George Dutka

May 17, 1992 near Milton, Vermont. This barn has similar lines to those of the Northeastern dairy barn kit. The barn has a newer steel roof added.  George Dutka photo.
 This  five storey barn is a larger version of the one I modelled but similar in character. Vermont, Sept 1999, George Dutka photo

West Hartland, Vermont,  Sept 17, 2002. The barn makes an interesting model with missing boards and window, plus the variation in weathering. What a roof line. It is located within sight of the Central Vermont main line. George Dutka photo.

Along Route 7 in Vermont Dec. 3, 2005. This barn has various degree of weathering and paint which made it an inspirational candidate for  my model weathering. George Dutka photo

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Hunterline Stains and Kits

Hunterline stain display at the WOD Paris, Ontario 2012 train show.

Many New Stain...

One of my go to weathering finish for bare wood is Hunterline original weathering mix. When I purchased it years ago they only had one. As I found out while visiting their booth at the 2012 Paris, Ont. train show (you may have seen them at the Springfield show last month)  I was surprised at the many colours they now have. They had just added 5 new colours. I spoke to Rick Hunter about the stains. It seems the stain I have and really like is now called creosote black and is a popular colour.

Rick showed some interesting new mixes that he has come up with. One is Barnboard Gray which is a mix of three stains. I really liked the look of this finish. Barnboard Gray begins with light Gray stain, then a sporadically coating of blue Gray stain, followed with a dry brushing of medium brown stain. No need to wipe any of the stains as you want varying degree of colour.

The other mix using two stains is called Barnboard Red. You begin with light Gray stain then dry brush barn red stain over top. This finish would be great for many of my New England red structures.

Hunterline has a good selection of bridge and portal kits. The WOD (Western Ontario Division) of the NFR-NMRA is having a hands on clinic day next month which Peter Mumby and I plan to attend. We will be building a Hunterline wooden timber tunnel portal and finishing it with Hunterline details and stains. Although I don't really need a timber portal at the moment it will be nice to learn and experiment with the kit and stains. The WOD clinic fee is an unbelievable price of $10. You can't beat the price since the kit is worth $13 plus they are throwing in lunch to boot. The WOD has come a long way as a group from the time I was involved as editor of the WOD Dispatcher. That was during the early 1980's. I will take some photos at next months clinic and report on what we did in a later post.

Check out the Hunterline web site...they have some neat stuff...George Dutka

Hunterline Craftsman Kits - model train bridges and trackside structures