Sunday 30 September 2012

CNR wooden caboose - Doors Open London

Drew Jolliffe's mint CNR wooden caboose on display at his home in London, Ont.
 CNR wooden caboose 
No. 78491
 on display at Doors Open London
Today I took in a portion of Doors Open London Ontario - a look at historical points found around the city. One stop on the tour was Drew Jolliffe's mint shape wood sheathed caboose. Drew also has a great display of other railway artifacts placed around his property worth taking a good look at. The main feature though is a CNR caboose re-built in 1943 from a box car that was built in 1913. In 1983, it was retired from service. At this time, it was purchased from the railway and restoration began by Drew. The interior had plywood walls which needed to be removed and the old interior had to be stripped of may layers of paint. New cupola chairs were also fabricated using an old one as a pattern. At one time this caboose was used on the Ft. Erie Auxiliary. The inside is now totally restored with most everything used in a caboose set in place. There also are numerous additional artifacts found inside for viewing....George Dutka

Much of the artifacts are what one would find in a caboose.

A few years back a pole barn was constructed to help keep the weather off  Drew's caboose.

Friday 28 September 2012

Antique boxes and crates

Basketville - Putney, Vermont

On my way home from WRJ Glory Days I followed route 5 as far as Putney, Vt. before getting on the freeway. I decided to stop at Basketville to pick up something to take home for my wife (brownie points). Basketville is a neat store if you like baskets. On the second floor I found the rafter full of neat old boxes that would make nice signs. One could possibly reduced the size to add on crates or whatever on a layout. Since I always carry a pocket camera when travelling here are a few of the views I took...George Dutka

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Barn across the tracks.

This barn is located just north of Windsor, Vermont on Route #5 along the old Central Vermont Ry.
A barn along the Central Vermont Railway
Windsor, Vermont

In my last post one could see a barn partly hidden behind a sign in the title photo. It is a structure that makes a great backdrop for a prototype photo. It also could make a great background scene for ones New England layout...what else can be said...enjoy...George Dutka

Monday 24 September 2012

A yard full of barn parts

A yard full of barn parts can be found just north of Windsor, Vt. along the old Central Vermont Ry. In the background just beyond the tracks is an interesting looking barn that would make a great model. We will take a closer look at it later on.

Leftovers Again?
- an idea for those extra barn parts -

This fall on my way home from Glory Days I followed the old Central Vermont Ry tracks south from White River Jct. Just before I arrived in Windsor, Vermont I saw a barn salvage yard across the road from the tracks. It was kind of a neat scene. I took some time to look around and snap a few photos. One can also view a barn scene across the road that would make a great if only a train came along I could also have a great photo.

A couple of the cupolas found around the yard can be seen here.

This parts yard scene could make an interesting addition to a layout and a great way to use up all those extra little details. What you do not see in the photos and can also be added are the old barn doors leaning against the side of the barn, windows that have been saved and piles of slate shingles. It was kind of neat to get up close and inspect the roof details that I have admired for years from down below...George Dutka

A variety of details can be found there.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Waterbury, Vermont Inspirations

My White River Packaging has many of the frontal features found in a structure across the tracks from the the Waterbury Vt. station. Features such as three level with centre doors, wooden clapboard white siding. The tall and narrow dimensions reflect the feel of the Waterbury structure .
 Similarities and Inspirations
Waterbury, Vermont

While looking at Marty McGuirk's Central Vermont Railway blog I noticed in the header similarities of the old feed warehouse found across from the Waterbury, Vt. station to my White River Packaging. At least in the front elevation. I have always loved the scene at Waterbury including the trio of station, freight. house and feed warehouse. The Railway Design Associates kit I built features three levels, centre doors or windows on each level and wooden white siding similar to the structure in Waterbury. The tall, long and narrow look reflects what you find in many New England buildings. I guess that is why I was excited to purchased the RDA kit to begin with...George Dutka.

Note the similarities of the structure to the left of the CV train to my White River Packaging.

Sunday 16 September 2012

Johnson's Loft and Boat Works kit - Part 2

The day is long over and the night shift is hard at work getting the packages ready for the next day. I decided to add some lighting to this building since I had a good amount of interior details to show off.
 White River Packaging
Completing the Railway Design Associate kit as a warehouse

The summer is over and I did accomplish some modelling on those hot and humid summer days.  The beginning of this project can be found in my June 23, 2012 post. Most of the basic construction is covered there. Here the painting and detailing finishes the warehouse project.

The Johnson's Loft and Boat Works has become my White River Packaging a warehouse to be used on my layout extension. The finished structure has been mounted on GatorBoard and has interior lighting to accent my interior details and figures. I added a length of HOn30 narrow gauge track to the scene with a flat car waiting to be loaded. I found standard gauge rails and boxcars just dwarfs the building. In my layout scene there will be standard gauge trackage running near the other side of the building giving the impression it could be loaded from either side although no loading doors are found on the rear.

Once all the walls were secured with additional bracing added to the interior I gave all the walls, cupola, windows and doors a coat of Floquil reefer white. I should mention the cupola did not go together as the instructions mention. Although they are laser cut wood, they are a very poor fit. I did a lot of sanding and cutting to get the basic shape. I then added additional trim to dress it up and hide the gaps. I added a finial to the peak. The cupola roof also looked rough so I used leftover copper roofing from my NorthEastern Scale Models barn kit. The copper roofing got a dusting of Floquil grimy black and jade. I only added some light chalk weathering to the walls and cupola at this point.
A truck has backs up to the loading dock were it will be loaded with local deliveries.

An overhead view of my completed diorama. A short length of narrow gauge rail is used to bring in shipments as required.
The stone base below the walls got brush painted with washes of Floquil pine stain, thinned Floquil black over  a coat of Floquil gray primer. I then used some chalks to highlight some of the stones and the bolts and rods under the loading doors.

The roof needed two triangular supports to hold things together. It was painted Floquil Lark Dk. Gray #132 followed by a coat of Floquil dust while the gray was still wet. I used a heavy dose of chalk and Bragdon weathering to finish off the effect. Three seagulls are added giving the roof more interest. These are #85006 Sheepscott Scale Products.

I added the large pulley wheel which is laser cut wood. I stained and chalked it to resemble old wood. The chain added is 42 links per inch and is painted a rusty black colour.

The building has three floors to detail. I added as many details as I could cram inside each door opening. Most of the details are from Juneco but I also used some laser cut Bent chairs from Full Steam Ahead which look great. These were sample give aways at last years Fine Scale Model Railroader Expo. I also added the sample give away press from RailroadKits, also from last years Expo.

The packaging house is set on the Gatorfoam and the ties for the siding are already laid out.

The structure is mounted on Gatorfoam. I painted the base an earth colour then added mainly Woodland Scenics ground foam and Scenic Express weed tuffs. In some areas near the tracks I actually used some real cinders that I found some years ago in the Bellows Falls yard. The tracks are hand laid painted and weathered. I used crushed limestone screenings for the ballast. The stone steps are added at one end of the structure. The stone loading dock that should have been located at the double door loading area on the buildings side was moved to the far end for truck loading. To make the scene come alive I added a truck for loading and as many workers as I could squeeze in between the details. I still have to add the sign but that will come shorty once I get my laser printer operational.

White River Packaging is going to be a happening place now that it is finished...George

A look inside during a regular evening shift.
The back side of the structure is all windows.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

WRJ Glory Days 2012

NECR 3857 is seen out front of the WRJ station the day before Glory Days. It would shortly depart to switch the NECR yard.  By the day of the festival it was found once again parked out front but with a small NB train.

20th Annual Glory Days
Sept 8, 2012
White River Junction, Vermont

This year I made a last minute decision to attend the 20th annual Glory Days. It was to have a interesting collection of locomotives including the Pan Am heritage B&M Geep. The railway equipment portion of the event was arranged by ERN, Eastern Railway News 20th Annual Glory Days of the Railroad Festival | Eastern Railroad News Online Magazine and was to include a night photo session which sealed the deal for me attending...I love doing night photos. I had only attended one Glory Days and that was the 6th Annual in 1998 so I really was looking forward to this day.

If one likes train rides a bonus for the day was a $10 train ride on the White River Flyer...a short 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back trip.

I arrived the day before, about noon, to get some photos of the equipment before the crowds arrived. I was not the only one with this idea as there was a good group of rail fans coming and going during the afternoon in WRJ. The engines in town included:

Montreal, Maine & Atlantic #8592
Green Mountain #405
Pan Am - B&M heritage Geep #77
Claremont Concord #104
NECR #3857
C&P #306
VTR #307
MEC #305
Amtrak Heritage unit #156 on the Vermonter

One of the highlights of the day was the arrival of the Vermonter with Amtrak Heritage unit #156 on the lead. The Pan Am heritage B&M geep #77 was posed in a position so one could get at nice shot of the engine, station and Vermonter in one photo. I found a spot that I took a similar type of photo back in 1996 (it was published in Railpace back in the day) about 45 minutes before the arrival of the Vermonter. Well a photo line started to assemble shortly after.

The Vermonter is departing WRJ with Amtrak Heritage engine #156 specially selected by Amtrak for the train through town this day. The photo line stretched from the edge of the track to the back yard fences of the homes nearest the tracks. A big gang got a great shot with a vintage B&M engine in the foreground.

Montreal, Maine & Atlantic #8592 spent the whole day on the Wye.
MMA  B39 8E, #8592 is tucked away on the Wye while a set of VTR power including GP40-2 #307  is seen tucked in the middle. Green Mountain RS-1 #405 can be seen on the White River Flyer near the station. I took this photo about 8am the day of the festival.

Night Photo Session
As the day portion of the festival ended the rain began, around 4- 5pm but became a light drizzle by 9pm. Unfortunately the organiser decided not to show up for the night photo session and was not answering his phone. It appears he had already done his own night photo session the night before. The engine man also could not contact the organiser and had put the equipment away in an undesirable spot for photos but good for lifting over the next day or two. He originally was to stay and stage the engines.

At 9pm there was at least a dozen guys standing around in the drizzle deciding what to do. With the night photo session lighting guy, Shaun McGinnis on site and most of the gang having flash unit and tripods it appeared no one was going home without a few night it became a kind of  free for all. There was small groups all over the place taking photos using whatever lighting they could muster up. The generator for the flood lighting ran out of fuel after the first round, although it was a very long one and I think everyone came away with a good group of photos of a trio of engines. At one point I was taking photos using one flash unit plus two sets of auto interesting night that I don't think anyone could or ever wants to replicate again...George Dutka

Pan Am heritage B&M GP9 #77 during the night photo session lighted by Shaun McGinnis.
Shaun set up his lights so we could get a shot of the three units tucked back on the Wye. It was a hard shoot as we had to stand at times in waist high weeds and brush.
This photo I took using available lighting, a flash unit and headlights from two cars. You really have to get creative when there is no other options. I have never been to a night photo session like this before.

Monday 10 September 2012

Historic Deerfield Village

New England Heritage Structures
Historic Deerfield Village

March 20, 2012

Back in March 2012 I spent a night in South Deerfield with the intentions of driving up to Millers Falls and East Deerfield the next morning. As I started out in the morning I realised I was only a few minutes away from Historic Old Deerfield Village. I decided to drive through and take a quick look around even though it was the off season. Well I was really impressed by the types and sizes of the buildings found. All the buildings have been saved and refurbished beginning in the early 1950s. Over 11 of these homes since then have become part of a working museum. There are plenty more in the town too with a lot of modelling inspiration to be found...check out their web site below...or visit...George Dutka

A lot of modelling inspiration can be found in these homes.

There are many smaller structures that have been saved and moved to Old Deerfield

Saturday 8 September 2012

20,000 Page Views

A Rutland Ry. milk train heads to Bellows Crossing diamond. The first car behind the engine is a B&M 4 door can milk car designated for the Brookside Creamery. The car is destined to the Co-op creamery by the Bellows Falls, Vermont station.
Milestone - 20,000 page views

In ten months of blogging the White River Division has had 20,000 page views or visitors checking in as of today. I just want to thank-you all for stopping by and hope you have been enjoying what I have to blog about. I try to balance my modeling project past and present, aspects of my layout and historical railway ramblings...onward...George.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Harvest Time - Pumpkin Patch

Central Vermont RS-3 passes behind a local pumpkin patch on the White River Division just outside of White River Junction, Vermont. The pumpkins are now ready for picking in this early fall scene.
Harvest Time
Creating a fall agricultural scenic effect
The Pumpkin Patch

One fall scene I really wanted to add to the White River Division since I model early fall was a Pumpkin Patch. I have crossed many such scenes along New England ROW's during my visits. I did take some photos so I had some idea how I might incorporate one on my layout.

My pumpkin patch scene took longer to plan than construct due to the fact I could not find a ready supply of HO scale pumpkins. I began by building the barn and adjoining sloped field which remained crop less till I could locate or scratch build pumpkins.

The pumpkins are by Master Creations #20702 and sold by BTS. Each package has six pumpkins made of white cast metal in two sizes. They also have O scale pumpkins if that is your scale.

The pumpkin patch is set on a bit of a hilly rise which is actually how they are best grown.

I purchased 15 packages of pumpkins. Around 100 pumpkins are used to fill my 7 by 8 inch field. Before planting, the pumpkins are spray painted Floquil reefer orange and the stems are dabbed with dark green on some and rail brown on others.  I just randomly place the pumpkins around the field. The vines are made from the very fine ends found on golden rod weeds harvested during the winter months when totally dried. The vines I just scattered around the scene and attach with diluted white glue.

Take a close look at Don Janes patch below, he also added some ground foam and green weeds between his pumpkins. He did not use as many pumpkins as I did but he did get the same effect. The green weeds Don added brings additional realism to the scene...I just might add that to my patch. I did add some ground foam on mine but the colour is closer to the vine colours. A white wooden fence distinguishes the end of the pumpkin field near the face board of my layout.

This particular scene grabs the most attention by visitors and a load of questions. More than I ever anticipated...I am really glad I found my pumpkins and added the scene to the White River Division...George Dutka

Inspired by my pumpkin patch, Don Janes ordered a few packages of pumpkins for himself. He has since built his own patch just outside of White River Junction on his Green Mountain Division. Don Janes photo.

Monday 3 September 2012

Harvest Time - Apple Orchard

The tail end of a Central Vermont Ry. freight passes an apple orchard on the White River Division. The apples are ready for picking and a local farmer is hard at work making sure none are wasted. This scene is located very near to the Northfield Falls, Vt. covered bridge.

Harvest Time 
Creating a fall agricultural scenic effect
the apples are ready for picking

Well as we are now into September and the apples are ready earlier than usual this year lets look at harvests that are taking place on the White River Division. This short article I wrote back in 2009 with the thought of it being used in some sort of publication. Instead I have decided to add it to my blog. Here we have  the first of two posts covering Harvest Time.

On the White River Division the towns are small and the countryside is large. My original design thoughts included adding as many farm scenes as possible. I have two farm scenes that regularly get a lot of attention and questions by visitors.  The first is my apple orchard, a typical scene I have seen while travelling through Vermont during my fall visits.

Modelling an apple orchard is a very simple project thanks to the products available from Woodland Secnics. My apple orchard is located at Northfield Falls, Vermont. At this location a farm scene exists including a scratch built barn and a farmhouse kit (Sylvan Scale Models) providing a perfect location for the apple orchard out back. The actual area I used for the orchard is 10 by 12 inches. I decided on 5 trees to be placed at the rear of the farmhouse and along the ROW. This sort of scene adds greatly to the visual effect of trains passing in the foreground.

The apple pickers have their hands full if they want to get the crop picked before they all land on the ground. Two tall ladder help with their job.
The orchard's base is a layer of ground goop covered with fine green ground foam. To make the trees I begin with the trunks which are small garden shrub branches that I trimmed to shape. The trunk is covered with sheet foliage (Woodland Scenics medium green F52) which I pull over the trunk till it looks like a tree. I made mine as round and full as possible and also brought the foliage close to the ground. Once all five trees are done I sprayed a light coat of Floquil green (or you could use Dulcote) and immediately sprinkle the apples on as one rotates the trees. The wet paint holds the apples on. I had to be careful spraying the trees...too much spray can discolour the apples being applied. For the apples I use Woodland Scenics fruits and flowers package T47. There are plenty of apples in each package leaving me more for future trees and to sprinkle around the base of the trees emulating fallen apples. These fallen apples are held down with a light spray of diluted glue. I also added a few crates of loaded apples made by Juneco suggesting harvest is well on the way. Tall ladders are also set near the trees.
If you look closely you can find  a full skid of apple crates ready for shipment plus a few part full crates scattered around the orchard.
To speed up the process one can purchase ready built apple trees and just plant them in an orchard setting. I believe Woodland Scenics now make some.

It has been a number of years since I finished the orchard and the trees still look good. I know over time the foliage will begin to dull. I plan on solving this problem by just re-spraying the trees with a light coat of green paint and apply more apples. The apples that would be painted would just blend in and would be apples still not totally ripe.

If you are interested in seeing a S scale apple orchard take a look at a recent post by Trevor Marshall, Back orchard planting on his Port Rowan in S scale blog...well I think it might be time to make an apple pie...George Dutka