Friday 31 October 2014

Year Four Begins

Back to modeling once again. Last week I spent an afternoon adding the face board, and some of the scenery webbing. I fit in a curved roadway and placed the Elwell general store at its future site. I will cover the construction of the store shortly.
Today marks the beginning of my fourth year blogging about my White River Division. It is hard to believe I have been at it for three years now with almost 650 posts. With my modeling season well underway now I have a lot to share with you. Seems as if I have built a lot of structures the last year or two. Most of what was first installed on the layout as I built it was what I had on hand (or already built from previous modules). These structures helped me complete the layout in a few short years. Since then I have been going back and replacing most of what originally was used, adding much more detailed scenes. I have also changed the track plan a bit and currently am working into the next room. Even when one finishes a layout with everything running great the appeal for change is always in the back of ones don't be in a hurry to finish your layout.

I spent another afternoon drawing up the White River Jct B&M yard office from my measurements and notes that I took a decade ago.
Peter Mumby and I got together last week to discuss what we might work on this winter. During my modeling season we get together once a week for an afternoon of model building, layout railfanning, DVD watching and running a favorite or new engine. After last weeks discussion our winter is looking like we are digging into our stockpile of rolling stock kits...some resin kits and some other interesting hodge-podge efforts, including using True Line Train shells....well back to the workbench....catch you later....George Dutka

I purchases some wooden laser cut chimney's from Monster Models that I plan to use with my WRJ yard office.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Snapshot Oct.2014 Don Janes

Although this photo does not depict a New England barn scene as in George's Snapshot, it does have another thing in common.  An old Volkswagen van "down by the river".  This scene was captured on UP's Moffat Line between Denver and Moffat Tunnel.  The coal train in the background won't be going too far as the line wash washed out the previous night and would remain closed for several weeks. If only there had been a dilapidated barn in this scene.  At least I got a train!

Another Industry for Wells River

This old wooden factory is under construction in Wells River.

RUGG MFG. Co.- an Old Wooden Don Janes

     The final large trackside industry for Wells River is slowly progressing towards completion.  It is the RUGG MFG. Co., a kit from South River Model Works that was released many years ago.  I purchased it from a friend, Lou Sassi, when he was liquidating his inventory of structures in preparation for a move from New York to North Carolina.  Rugg had always been one of my favorite kits and I couldn't pass up an opportunity to grab it when Lou offered it for sale. I first saw the finished model on Dick Elwell's beautiful layout in Adams, MA and hoped that someday I might have this kit on my layout also.
Dick Elwell's finished model was my inspiration to add this structure to the Green Mountain Division.
     What really impressed me about RUGG was the many different roof lines and the fact it has two different elevations which make for a very pleasing scenery effect.  As you can see from Dick's model, the scene can be loaded with details.  My structure will have a siding to a loading dock in the same area that the red truck is sitting in Dick's scene.
    I decided to build the kit on a two level base of one inch foam insulation board to serve as a base for building the kit and forming the terrain when it is placed into the layout. This is a very complex kit with many small sub-assemblies that fit together to form one large factory complex.  Bracing, painting and weathering all the individual walls, painting and adding clear styrene "glass" to what seemed like a thousand windows took about two week of works. Check out the following photos to see my progress to date.  I will be adding the roofs next, then some of the details.  After that will come the job of cutting it into the layout and trying to make it look like it really belongs there.  Stay tuned for updates as I progress.
This is the front of the building with the sub roof glued and pinned in place on the main building.  Note the different construction materials used.
The building in the foreground will have a large wooden loading platform built onto it for serving freight cars.  You can really see all the different roof lines in this photo.
This is a close-up of the trackside loading area.

This is another overall view of the structure looking at the other side.  You can see how it will be on two levels.
This view of the rear of the building shows the warehouse area.  The slots in the floor will have small rails leading outside on which small carts travel with the finished products for either storage or loading.

Monday 27 October 2014

BEST - The Skanky Yankee

The Skanky Yankee has a handful of offering from the BEST catalog.
This spring I picked up from the BEST booth a package of men doing what they do...normally it is in private though. I am not sure were they will turn up on the WRD yet. They come unpainted. I primed then coloured my guys with Floquil paints....George Dutka

Sunday 26 October 2014

Snapshot - October 2014

This barn just in front of the old B&A main line is looking pretty poorly at this point. I can remember one of my first visits down this road and thinking how nice the barn looked. This photo I took using Don Janes digital camera in 2008. At that time I was still shooting slides and was testing out Don's extra digital did not take long to change over.
When traveling through the Palmer, Mass. area I seem to always make a stop at the railway diamond. On these same occasions I normally would take a short drive over to Warren, Mass. and Tucker's Hobbies. Along the way, on Route 67 or better known as Boston Rd. one passes a rather large nice looking barn next to the tracks. The barn is unkept and over the years has got run down. Don Janes and I on our last few passings of this barn decided to document how it looked. As one can see there was not much left of it on our last visit. I am thinking it is totally gone by now...but I might be surprised....George Dutka

A look down the driveway toward the tracks. This side of the barn looks much better than the other in 2008.
A similar view as above looking down towards the tracks 5 years later. A little differed maintenance reveals a lost cause in Nov. 2013.
Here we have a straight on end view in 2008.
A straight on view in  2013 actually shows you the rear wall as the front wall is now gone...might be a neat scene to model on a contemporary layout of this area.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Coy's Garage - Hoosick, NY

A neat looking garage with a nicely weathered sign.
A Ghostly Sign
On our trip to Vermont this month we passed through Hoosick, NY and a stop at the interesting Big Moose general store at the crossroads. While my wife was inside I took some photos outside. Across the road I spotted an old garage which has a Texaco sign that has a ghostly or well weathered image (I call it that since it is now near Halloween) but what a neat look at a sign on a brick wall that is well worth modeling...not to mention the neat looking structure. Oh by the way the old B&M line is a stone throw away if one wanted to include it on a New England line....George Dutka

This weathered sign is great inspiration for such a project.
A straight on view of the main structure.

Thursday 23 October 2014


CPR E-8 1802 handles a passenger train over the White River Division.
If one models a CPR passenger train though New England an E-8 would be nice to have in the fleet. A few years back I purchased a few CPR coaches and baggage cars. I then needed an engine to pull them along my layout. CPR used three E-8's for this job, 1800-1802.

At a local flea market I got a deal during the winter of 2011 on a Proto 2000 unit already finished in CPR colours.  Unit 1802 ran and looked good. The factory paint job was quite nice. Since my layout is DCC I needed to add a decoder. I had a Digitrax DH121 on hand. It has no sound, but I can live with that. I was fairly new to adding decoders to engines and with all the room inside it would be a good unit to experiment with. The decoder went in well. I added a LED headlight which required some drilling to add a styrene tube to hold and aim the headlight.

DCC has been added and a styrene tub added to house the LED headlight behind the plastic lens.

Details Added
While I had it apart I decided to paint the engineman and fireman. Kadee true scale couplers are installed, the horn was painted black, the wipers are painted silver and class light jewels by Juneco are added. I added a Detail Associates #2807 speed recorder and repainted the handrails. I thought the yellow plastic handrails just did not look right. I used a mix of Floquil DRG&W yellow and reefer yellow...about 50-50. I just dabbed the brush in both paints and mixed it a bit on a board before applying it on the handrails. I lightly weathered the unit before putting it into service on the WRD. I did dirty up the trucks a bit more than the body. At some point I may replace the decoder with a sound unit....George Dutka

CPR 1802 the last of a group of 3 E-8's is seen at WRJ on the WRD.
Coasting through Middlesex Center on the White River Division.

Monday 20 October 2014

More New England Trip Views

A lookout point along the Mohawk trail above North Adams, Mass.
I always love taking photos in Vermont and New England in general...trains or no trains on my visits...thought I would share a few more with you to set the fall mood....George

Don't bring your car to down town Bellows Falls Vermont for repairs. This garage is not for cars.
Can you guess what South River Modelworks kit prototype is seen in the background of this view. A little clue, this is Shelburne Falls, Mass, the town used to film two recent movies, The Judge and Labour Day.
A misty morning in Quechee, Vt.
Wood carvings along Route 7 NY not far our of Troy, NY
A morning walk along the main street in Old Deerfield Village, Massachusetts. Parts of this town is over 300 years old.

Sunday 19 October 2014

Coasting through the Countryside

It appears as the B&M has two units on the local today. Although it can be clearly seen to the rear of the flag stop at Inwood the B&M train actually is approaching the diamond at Bellows Crossing on another line.

Saturday 18 October 2014

New England Trip

This is the only train photo I took over the span of 5 days in New England. Susanne and I were at the Vermont General Store a short distance away. I wanted to get a few photos of Robertson Paper since I have purchases the kit. It turned out the Vermonter was due within 5 minutes. Kind of got lucky here as I did not have a timetable to check train times.
Just got home Friday from a few days in Vermont and Massachusetts. The weather was interesting to say the least, a mix of sun, rain and heavy clouds each day. Most days the temp. was around 80 degrees with extra humidity added in. On Tuesday it topped 81 which the news mentioned was almost the record set in the 1890's. As we headed home they were calling for snow at night in the mountains around Stowe, Vt. Hard to believe it is changing from shorts and tee's to winter boots in just a day.

Anyhow it is good to be home again so I can get working on the layout once again. It has been almost 5 months since I last did anything to it...although I did finish a few smaller projects on my workbench last  month. The break was great but I am ready for the snow to fly and hide out downstairs....George Dutka

On our last day in Vermont it was raining heavy off and on but on occasion it was good enough for a short stopover. This one views the completed Taftsville covered bridge I had posted on earlier.
Majority of our trip to New England was spent checking out the sites and shops along the way. On this morning we walked the streets of Old Deerfield, Mass. checking out the heritage homes decorated for the season.

I took this photo from inside the covered bridge at Quechee, Vt. as it was raining at the time. A local TV station reported the conditions are just right to produce the best colour in years throughout the state of Vermont and this past week appeared to be the peak of the season in the areas we visited.

Friday 17 October 2014

More Vermont and Essex Ry.

Here we see another poster found on the site of the Vermont and Essex Ry. One of the bridge scenes is viewed on this poster...kind of like one found at White River Junction. I did take a photo of the bridge on my visit...unfortunately I did not have proper lighting or a train in my view...George Dutka

A bridge scene along the Vermont and Essex Ry. This view is the same scene that once was staged for a V&E publicity shot.
I took a photo of the scene found on the poster.  It was a great scene that any layout could use.

Sunday 12 October 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

An October kind of day on the White River Division.
This weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, and today I am at my daughter's home for turkey. Next week Susanne and I are leaving for a few days in Mass. and Vermont...or maybe a week if the weather works out in New England...I may send you an update while I am away if there is anything to report...I was already informed by the superintendent, no railfanning, just leisure time, but you never know what one might come across....the camera is already packed....George Dutka

Saturday 11 October 2014

Westboro Fuel Rack

The Westboro fuel rack on my White River Division layout. It appears there is not much for the shop staff to do at the moment.
I took some photos once I was done constructing my fuel rack at the Westboro shop track last spring. I had enough views from various books that actually were close-up views, detailing the engines. These photos showed enough of the shop details for me to model the site pretty well. Thought I would share them with you....George Dutka

It was easy to figure out what was located at this location in Westboro as one could see close up part views in shop track photos of locomotives in for servicing...and in colour too. There always seemed to be a supply of brooms around for engines requiring one...or off engines with too many. Also found on site are MU hoses laying around the platform. I noted the fire hydrants were yellow at this location.
In some of the photos a blue pail was located next to the second fuel station. I decided to add it too. I used the passenger platform from my Atlas station model for the base. It was the only part left from a kit-bash of a Rutland station. Always like using everything up. Most of the hoses and lines are wire bent as need be. The ends fuelling connectors are parts from my engine detail box. I just picked pieces that looked similar.

Friday 10 October 2014

CNR Boxcars on the White River Division

A trio of CNR boxcars as seen along the White River Division.
The Central Vermont Ry., a subsidiary of the CNR is one of the railroads I model. Since the CV handled a lot of CNR boxcars, a good size fleet of parent road cars are needed on my layout. It also appears the CV interchanged a large number of CNR boxcars at White River Junction, the main town and yard I model in the mid-1950's. So lets see what CNR boxcars I currently have on hand for interchange on the WRD and if I think I need more....ha ha you always need more...George Dutka

This boxcar is the most accurate model of a CNR boxcar in my fleet. I have two different versions produced by True Line Trains. It only got a light weathering job before being put into service on the WRD, a very nice model.

This is the oldest CNR boxcar in my fleet. It is an old Cox or Tyco car I built in the 1980's. It had new stirrups, door and guide, grabs, trucks and couplers added when redone back then. It is heavily weathered as back then I brush painted most of my rolling stock. The lettering is CDS dry transfers. It still looks good on the is the middle car in the first photo of this post.
This is the second most accurate car in my fleet. It is an InterMountain model which I gave an over-spray of boxcar red and some powder weathering. In this photo the boxcar is just out of it's package.
This car is an Atlas model which is actually just a re-vamped Branchline model. I covered it's construction in a post (Dec 11, 2012). For the price this car is a good fill in when one needs a big fleet of CNR boxcars.
I purchased this Branchline Trains, yardmaster series boxcar back in 2009 which is similar to today's Altas offerings. I did add cut levers, grabs and Kadee's before an over-spray of boxcar red was applied. Some chalk weathering is also used.
This is my other TrueLine Trains model. They are very nice cars and I feel worth every nickle one may spend on it. They look great. The down side is if you need a small fleet of these be prepared to sell off some of your retirement stocks.