Sunday 30 November 2014

More Scenery Completed on the WRD

Most of the scenery is in around the general store. Ballast and crossing planks still will have to be applied. I also have a CV boxcar section house to be added to the scene.
I took these photos this week of the portion of the layout I have been working on. I got a lot of scenery down last weekend with very little progress since then. I hope to get back at it once again today. I also need to get a few spotlights added to the ceiling for highlighting.

On another note I recently purchase some more cinder Highball ballast. I took a good look at it before purchasing. It appeared to be what I feel is HO scale. There was old stock on the shelf still that I could do a comparison with. There was a distinctive difference. The old stock looks a lot grainier such as what I purchased last fall. They must have bagged  HO stock with O scale ballast by mistake...just my thought...George Dutka

I have yet to ballast this curve which continues through the wall into the next room. I am waiting till bench work and track alignment is completed between the two as I may have to adjust the trackage a bit. I am sure I have it right but you never know till all the spikes are in.
A CNR caboose is about to go under the bridge which hides the hole to the next room and the future yard at Bellows Falls.

Saturday 29 November 2014

Robertson Paper Co. - Bellows Falls. Vt.

Robertson is a large complex. As one can see only a small portion of this building is modeled in the Monster Modelwork kit.
I got a chance to stop by Bellows Falls, Vermont this October and photograph the Robertson Paper Co. These views will help me with getting the brick colour close to that of the prototype on my model. This structure is actually very large. A small portion of it is modeled in the Monster Modelwork kit... that being the portion that can be seen from the station....George Dutka

A good look at the brick colouring.
Looking at the opposite end of what is found in the kit.
One can see a concrete stop block in this photo. There must have been an additional siding on this side of the building.
This probably was one of the main entrances years ago.

Friday 28 November 2014

What's in the Box No.10

The all wood kit comes packaged really well in individual sealed plastic bags.
Robertson Paper Co. - Bellows Falls, Vermont
I got my newest kit a few weeks ago from Monster Modelworks and thought I would show you what was inside. I should start out by saying they keep you in the loop once you place an order. I first got an e-mail stating the kits are cut, and boxed as orders come in...and are done in sequence first ordered, first shipped. They tell you that they will e-mail you when order is shipped, and they did. I got my order very quickly once mailed.

The building is an all wood building although the model is of a brick building. The wall look great, the windows are fine material that looks good also. The instructions appear to be easy to follow with a good amount of photos. There are some signs and good looking roofing. They also included a set of window bars or grates that one could use on the structure...this was an extra for ordering early. I will set them aside for another project. There are no metal detail casting of any sort include...or I don't see any yet as I have not opened the bags till I begin the kit....will fill you in once I get going on this project....George Dutka

The window safety grills are in the lower portion of the photo. The window bag is above.
The box, sign and roofing packages are seen here.

Monday 24 November 2014


Not sure if you noted in the December MR "News&Products" an interesting product that might be worth trying to make small molds and castings. It is a one-part reusable heat-and-pour mold making material. All you have to do when another mold is needed is put the product in the microwave and reheat. It appears that one can get about 35 uses from one container before it is toast. I checked there web site and found  the best deal is on Amazon (better then purchasing directly) at $10 for 10 ounce container and $20 for a 20 once container. They do sell kits and so on. There also is a food safe mold maker. They mention Micro-Mark does carry this product also. Link is below...George Dutka

ComposiMold logo ComposiMold


Sunday 23 November 2014

CPR Boxcars - White Division Fleet

Here we see my small fleet of CPR steel sided boxcars. The one next to the caboose is my new True Line Trains 1937 Minibox  offering.
After being over at Don's I decided to purchase one of the CPR True Line Trains cars. I picked the Spans the World logo as that is my favourite. I actually have a couple other CPR boxcars in my fleet. I had to dig them out from the back of my display case. One is a PS-1 International of Maine car I painted and lettered and the other an Athearn blue box kit that I built back in the 1980's to represent the same cars True Line released.

CPR 240007
This boxcar is a True Line Trains model that looks great. There is not anything one needs to add. I normally over spray my cars with Floquil boxcar red to tone down the shine. Since I was not planning any air brushing last week I gave the car a coat of Bragdon powders. Mainly dark rust but a bit of soot is also applied. I think the car looks good and the powder appears to be staying in place well while handling the car.

CPR 223235
This car I built sometime in the late 1980's. It is an Athearn blue box kit that I added wire grabs, bleed rod, air hoses, uncoupling levers, styrene roof walk, stirrups, Kadee's, brake piston and chain and cut down the door with a new track. During that era those were the changes most of us did to improve the looks of our cars. It was painted Floquil boxcar red and CDS dry transfers are applied. I believe all the weathering was chalk applied at a much later date. I took a close look at this car as I could not remember if it was brush painted or air brushed. The finish appears smooth, so it probably was one of the first cars I airbrushed.

CPR 269479
When they first came out I bought a load of McKean PS-1 boxcars (still have a half dozen un-built kits in my drawer today...not sure why). One was painted and lettered for the International of Maine Division. Although they are a better detailed car than the early Athearn cars were for that era I still did add operating levers, Kadee's, new stirrups, air hoses and bleed rod. I used a CDS dry transfer set for this model which was applied after I air brushed it boxcar red. For some reason back then I did not paint the ends black. It is on the shop track waiting for the airbrush to come out....George Dutka

Here we see a comparison between a True Line Trains boxcar, left and an Athearn blue box kit, right.

This CPR boxcar number tells us it was built in 1939. I used an Athearn boxcar to emulate it as best I could in the early 1980's. It still remains in the WRD fleet but is used infrequently.

My recent addition to the WRD fleet is a CPR 1937 Minibox car.  All I did before putting it into service was add a bit of Bragdon powder weathering.
CP International of Maine Division boxcar is a McKean kit I built back in the 1990's.

Saturday 22 November 2014

Landscaping the White River Division

Westminster Center section house has been replaced by my Rutland Ry. style Petersburg, NY station. The open area across the tracks will be the home of a feed mill. All the ground cover in this area had been freshen up. Some areas got flocking.
Over the last week I have been working on landscaping the area near the old duck-under. In the process I removed Westminster Center and have added Petersburg station to that location. The station is a drop in so I can always change it back, but I really like the new look to the scene. The creamery is gone also. I have used that creamery on every module and layout I ever built...I think it needs a rest. It will be re-detailed and used as a diorama for now. A BEST NH feed mill will be the replacement. The marble quarry is staying with some added details. I reused the Rutland section house which is a drop in mini module and also my milk shed module. These two can be switched around when needed. The BEST general store is ready to go also.

The grass is getting long around the edge of the recently plowed field. Its fall and the corn is now cut and the stalks plowed under. Not sure if the farmer used that old sure looks pretty old to me. I purchased some fall golden rod that will be applied shortly to this scene.
I have a lot of airbrushing to is actually starting to piling up now but with having grand-kids over almost every day lately (I don't want to smell up the basement) our grand-kids play room is down stairs also. Don always says that it should be my layout room. The grand-kids room is twice the size of my layout room...not sure what happened there. Anyhow in between visits I have been working on scenery. I did some flocking last winter on the layout (my first attempt) and was not all that pleased with the results. I decided to try it again using advice I got last winter from Don Janes and Pierre Oliver during visits...guess what, I think it looks great now....more on that later...George

The rough scenery is in. The ballast will be applied shortly along with detailing The three structures seen here are all drop in modules that can be changed out when I get tired of looking at them. The section house will get a new slate roof shortly.

This view shows some improvements from the one above. I spent last night working on putting this scene back together. The siding got a new layer of Highball cinder ballast, the marble loads and crane are back once again. Looks like the main line needs some work also. It has been a long time since the siding has had any traffic on it.

Majority of the foreground has received a layer of flocking while other areas are refreshed with ground foam. Highball ballast still needs to be applied to the main line. I actually added a few more apples to the trees this fall and one can see the cows sure appreciate the taller grasses to graze on.

Friday 21 November 2014

Monday Visit to the Green Mountain Division

A look down the road at the end of White River Jct. yard on the Green Mountain Division.
This past Monday Peter Mumby and I took a drive over to visit with Don Janes. Although Don and I get together quite often I had not been over to see his layout for some time now. We picked the right day as the rest of the week sucked weather-wise...not as bad as Buffalo thank God. We had a nice visit and got a good look at the most recent additions to his layout. I really liked Don's finished South River Works models. We also got a good look at a couple of Don's newer rolling stock acquisitions. The photos tell the story...George Dutka

One of the newer offerings by True Line Trains is this great looking CPR boxcar. Don's model is right out of the box. It looked so good I decided to add one to my WRD fleet.
Bowser has a line of hoppers that come assembled and extremely well detailed. Don picked up these two ready-to-run covered hoppers recently, a nice addition to his fleet.
The end details are extremely fine on these cars.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Algonquin Railway Blog

Algonquin Railway blog might be interesting to follow along for anyone interested in Northern Ontario during 1977 or just to see some really nice modeling. Ryan Mendell started his blog up in the spring and has recently been doing some regular posting. I drop in from time to time checking out what he is up to. Lately he has been posting about his modeled rolling stock fleet. There is a link below and also in my sidebar so check it out....George Dutka

Algonquin Railway

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Snapshot - November 2014

Our first stop was at CN (formerly WC) Soo yard in Sault Ste Marie Michigan. The sole occupants of the yard were these two former Canyon Tour Train domes, GBW 901 "Agawa Country" and ex-WP California Zephyr car "Spirit of Superior." 
Peter and Luc's Excellent Northern Ontario Railfan Adventure 
Photos and Narrative by Peter Mumby

By early 2014 I was aware that CN intended to terminate its passenger service on the Soo Sub (Algoma Central) on the last day of March.  I didn't give it a lot of thought until I got a call from my friend Luc Sabourin in Sarnia.  Apparently the Algoma Central "Tour of the Line" (Sault Ste Marie to Hearst and return) was on his bucket list, and it was now or never.  Did I want to go along?  By the time minds were made up, CN had announced a one month extension, so we settled on the first week of April.

A room was booked in Hearst for the evening of April 3 (a necessary pre-condition  to reserving a train ticket) and return tickets were purchased for April 3/4.  Cost was $237.65 each.  We planned to go north through Michigan, then return through Ontario with railfanning stops in the Sudbury and North Bay areas.

This sign at Soo yard detailed the yard's ownership prior to the CN takeover of Wisconsin Central.
After staying over night in Sault Ste Marie Michigan, we arrived at Steelton Yard on the Ontario side about 30 minutes before the scheduled 09:00 departure.  This gave us time to watch the train of F40PH CN 104, baggage AC312, coaches AC5654 and 5655, and power car AC78 being assembled.  We departed on time with about ten passengers, a crew of two in the locomotive, and conductor Kelly Ross with us in coach 5654.  By the time we reached MP 119, all passengers had detrained except for the four of us who were bound for Hearst.  Our only other stop was for two minutes at Hawk Junction at the request of the railfan passengers!  CN 631, scheduled to arrive at Hearst (MP 296) at 18:40, actually arrived about 1.5 hours late.

We were up early the next morning with CN 632 departing Hearst (the most northerly point on Ontario's highway system!) at 08:00.  We left with four passengers and made no stops until we arrived at Sault Ste Marie about 30 minutes later than the advertised 17:40. 

The next morning we set off for Sudbury, with several stops along the Huron Central Railway on the way.  Our route to London was hardly direct, with stops at Capreol, North Bay, Englehart, Huntsville, and Washago to photograph CN, OVR, ONR, and CN trains and equipment.  I'll let the photos and captions tell the rest of the story.
All the HCRY and OVR vehicles and structures we saw were nicely maintained and branded.

Huron Central 3802/802 in the yard at Sault Ste Marie Ont. April 02, 2014.

Power car AC 78 at Steelton yard in SSM. April 03, 2014.

CN 104 has backed onto its train and is ready to take #631 to Hearst.
The train stopped at mile 96.5 where this interesting sign was located. The first passenger getting off had snowshoes; the other two ladies stepped off the coach and sunk into snow up to their hips.

CN #631 at mile 165, Hawk Jct. 9.
CN #632 at Hearst. April 04, 2014.
ONR 1801/2200 waiting to return to Cochran later that morning.

Sault Ste Marie Ontario as viewed from the American side. Steelton yard would be located at about 11:00 in this view.
CN 5415N with 5420 and BCOL 4609 head north into the yard at Capreol. April 05, 2014.
Leased power on the OVR at North Bay. April 06, 2014.
ONR 2101,2103 outside the North Bay shops.
TNO 701 at the Englehart station. This view has been greatly improved with the elimination of the tall pine tree that used to stand right in front of the locomotive's pilot.
GEXR outside the ONR shops in North Bay. ONR solicits a fair bit of contract work at this site.

CN 2254N/5263 at Washago. April 07, 2014.
A couple of weeks later the snow is gone and HCRY 802 and DESX 107 are visible at the shops in Sudbury. April 20, 2014.

As a postscript, I should mention that CN has subsequently announced that Algoma Central passenger service has been extended for another year.  Care to make some plans?