Saturday 28 February 2015

Posts - A Busy Month

Here we have a very busy scene at Westboro...kind of like this months posts on the WRD.
It has been a real busy month posting on the White River Division. This is the 34th post in 28 days for this month far surpasses any month in the past. Please don't expect this to be the norm. I just had a lot of material to share with you and it is the dead of winter with no chance for me to spend time outside. It has been record cold this month. I also had some good help by Peter Mumby and Don Janes to keep things rolling. Thanks guys. Well onward into March...George Dutka

Friday 27 February 2015

Bar Mills - Utility Sheds display

This is a great little kit to begin with and the Bar Mills display looked really good.
These two views I took with my pocket Canon of the Bar Mills display at this years Springfield train show. I will be posting shortly more views of my two models. There was a preview a while back if you check my Wordless Wednesday's..George Dutka

Another angle of the display seen this year at the Springfield train show.

Thursday 26 February 2015

Bar Mills Twin Utility Sheds - First Shed

My new little shed is put to work at the WRD local marble quarry.
The Bar Mills twin sheds is a neat little kit which is very simple to build. The first shed is for my marble loading scene. I pulled up a few boards, then gave it a coat of Hunterline weathering mix followed by a coat of Hunterline Cottage White. I then dry brushed some Floquil grime and reefer white followed by some white chalks and Bragdon powders.

The roof had groove marks that looked good just painted black with some dark rust Bragdon powder. I did not apply the tar-paper roofing included. The windows are painted grime with white powder. I dulcoted the plastic and added paper blinds. The platform is just Hunterline stain. The kit has some really nice details included that I used...George Dutka

The basic wall are assembled.
Hunterline weathering mix has been applied. The bottle of Cottage White is ready to be used.
The awnings got a good coat of Bragdon dark rust over black paint.
The roofing without any shingles added look good as-is and simple to paint and install. I pulled up a good number of boards on the walls.
The main colouring on this tiny structure was an experiment with a new colour for me. Hunterline Cottage White which is a neat white-wash that could look good on fences or barns. I used a light coating of this stain on this structure. Don Janes also picked up a bottle of this stain. Will be interesting to see what he comes up with.

Blogs to Check out

Two blogs that cover some interesting railfan views, mostly of a Canadian theme might be of interest to you....George Dutka

Peter MacCauley`s blog Rymal Station in HO Scale mainly covers his layout construction, but one can find some of his nice railfan shots called Wordless Wednesday. Peter also has a Throwback Thursday featur├Čng older era views. Peter has spent his summers working at Procor while schooling here in London at the University of Western Ontario.
Steve Boyko owns and maintains the web site and frequently updates his main blog Confessions of a Train Geek. If you are a railfan you might want to check this one out...I really like the wild goose chase view.

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Inside looking out on the White River Division

I took this photo with my little camera set on the interior trackage...a view from the inside looking out I guess.
When I was photographing these CNR engines on my layout last month I decided to use my pocket Canon and take a couple extra views by setting my camera right on the tracks. I think they turned out well and gives one a railfan's view...enjoy...George Dutka

Once again a down low trackside view...maybe a railfan view of the WRD.

Peter's New Acquisitions

Two new acquisitions to Peter Mumby's boxcar fleet seen yesterday on the WRD. I think I should have taken close-ups of each car as his weathering really turned out well.
Yesterday Peter and I had a short model work day. If you remember from past posts I should be in Florida right now. About 3 hours before we were to leave, or 3am, my mother-in-law had a major heart attack. The last 8-9 days has been spent at the hospital. She is recovering well now for being almost 90.

On his visit Peter brought over his two new boxcars which I photographed on the layout. These two new acquisitions Peter found at the Brantford model train show on Sunday. They are nicely detailed rolling stock that he gave additional weathering to using Tony Koster's one minute Pan Pastel process...Peter actually took his time or about 20 minutes to get it right on both cars. His Pan Pastel weathering process is getting to look great these days...George Dutka

Monday 23 February 2015

Snapshot - February 2015

It is really hard to get a bad shot of a train at this location...Waterbury, Vt. is one of my favorite stopovers. You may note the Amtak station attendant, Andy and I are the only fools standing out on the platform this bitterly cold January day. Green Mountain Coffee has a store in the station that Andy and I could get a coffee and warm up after the excitement was over. The attendant gave us the scoop about the extra power and the layover of a train in St. Albans.
Back in January Andy and I found ourselves trackside at Waterbury, Vt. not long before the arrival of the morning SB Vermonter. A great place to get a shot of the arriving train is just south of the station on the newly constructed passenger platform. A new long platform has been added for better wheelchair access and to keep the crossing clear just north of the station. The day before we noted the Vermonter tucked in behind the St. Albans roundhouse hours before its arrival time. As it turned out due to engine problems the train did not run that found their trip was aboard a bus. Amtrak did deadhead extra power down for the SB trip we viewed that morning...George Dutka

As one can see the stopped train with a good group of passengers rushing to board on a cold day. Seems they did not care who would be first boarding, they rather wait inside the warm station till boarding was to take place.

Sunday 22 February 2015

Ex-Lyndonville Frt. House - Prototype

I followed the line south from Newport to WRJ back on May 13, 1994 stopping at a good number of the station locations. The frt. house in Lyndonville was in really good shape.
After viewing the model, here we have a few views of what the prototype looked like when I stopped by Lyndonville back in 1994. I have also included a view by Gary Pembleton from his last visit not that long ago...enjoy...George Dutka

Gary took this photo of the frt. house on his last visit not that long ago.
ROW view May 13, 1994. Note the black and white station sign which still remained back then. Most of the platform is removed.
From this view I copied the ice cream sign and used it on Gary's model. May 13 1994. If one looks closely you can see the stone foundation it rests on.
Gary took a photo of what one might enjoy if they visited the frt. house these days.
A last look down the main line at the Lyndonville frt. house, 1994.

Saturday 21 February 2015

Rock Crusher Relocation

This is the quarry scene with the rock crusher as it appeared on my earlier version of the Green Mountain Division

An Old Structure Moves To A New Don Janes

    A few years ago when I tore down my original Green Mountain Division I had a lot of structures left over.  At first I felt that I had to use them on the new layout because I had spent so much time and money to buy and build them but as I got into the construction of the new layout I was finding that most structures weren't going to fit as I had hoped. I struggled with selling them even though I knew I wouldn't have a spot for most of them. I finally sold the Bellows Falls freight house and an engine house to George as he was going to model Bellows Falls on his new layout expansion and I was not. After that it wasn't so hard and since then I have sold quite a few of the older structures with a few more to sell.  One structure I wanted to keep was a rock crusher I had scatchbuilt.  I like the idea of a stone quarry with a large crusher and sorting building to add some operation to the layout. As you can see from the above photo it only had a small rail car capacity but was a busy little scene.
A CNR 2-8-0 hauls a freight by the quarry

The new location has two tracks, one for loads and another for empty car storage.  The center track runs through a rock cut to the hidden staging behind Waterbury. The foreground track is the visible mainline through Waterbury
      When I discussed placing this structure on the new layout George thought it might look a little more like a W.Virginia or Pennsylvania coal loader than a New England rock crusher but I think with the right scenery and signage I can make it look at home in Vermont.  I added two tracks this time for a little more operation and more car capacity.  There will be a section beyond the crusher where the stone is being dug out as well as a conveyor representing another quarry further away.

A couple of more shots of the roughed in crusher and open quarry area
       So far I have located the rock crusher, roughed in the scenery and carved the rock. I will have to do a little backdrop painting then start adding ground cover, trees and details to the scene.  I think the scene will also need a couple of smaller building like an office and storage shed.  I hope to make this a busy location on the layout which will provide local switching and pick-ups and set outs for mainline trains.  I have a little Rutland 70 Tonner that will likely be the quarry switcher.  It has a Loksound decoder and will sound great shuffling hoppers around the quarry
Rutland #500, a 70 Tonner will be the Quarry switch once the scene is complete.

X-29 Boxcars

My two finished Train Miniatures from decades ago will be joined shortly by another X-29. This time a Reading car. I have the car shell partly stripped down and ready for some details.
To date I have completed only two X-29 boxcars. One a Maine Central boxcar built from a Train Miniatures kit following an article in the Feb 1986 RMC. The second a CNJ boxcar following a Nov. 1988 RMC article. Peter and I decided to build a Reading X-29 each since my F&C Reading double door boxcar came with enough decals to do four cars. I am using a TM/Walthers car and Peter has a nice looking Red Caboose model on the go. This project is coming along well and should be done before the snow goes...George Dutka

The CNJ car was lettered with CDS dry transfers.
The doors are cut down and new door guides added. The roof walks are thin styrene although I used the stock roof corner boards.
I believe I used A line stirrups on this model. A wire bleed rod and wire grabs are also added.

Friday 20 February 2015

Back in the Day

More than half the TVC members were present for this group photo.  London was George Dutka's home terminal and he was able to use work contacts to arrange a club tour of the Rectory St. roundhouse and servicing facility.  Standing on the steps was Jim McAllister.  Other members (left to right) included Dan Robilliard, Dave Harding, George Goddard, Fred Sachse, Larry Hugill, Peter Mumby, John Kanakos, George Dutka, and Bob Hannah.      Peter Mumby collection
Bob Hannah and the Thames Valley Peter Mumby

Once you start reminiscing, one thing invariably leads to another.  Case in point: in our Dec. 19th post on the Woodchip Train 25th Anniversary, the caption for CN 9526 north refers to the construction of the unit "in conjunction with our mutual friend, Bob Hannah."  That started us thinking about the other units in Bob's roster, and about how Bob, George, and I originally met circa 1980....and this is where the Thames Valley Central Modular Railroad Club comes in to the picture.

 The TVC was a London, Ontario area club which periodically showcased its modular set-up in local shopping malls.  The large oval display consisted of club-owned corner sections and member-owned side units.  The length of the display depended on how many members were able to participate in any particular show.  In addition, regular meetings at members' homes featured discussions, movies, and clinics.  The TVC still exists today, albeit in a much different form.  No longer modular in form, the group now displays a fixed-form portable layout, and has regular meetings in its Thorndale, Ontario clubhouse.

Doesn't every kid wish at some point to be a locomotive engineer?  On this fine fall day, Bob Hannah got to live out at least a small part of this fantasy.  Now, why do you suppose he chose to eventually build a model of CN 4507? Peter Mumby photo
Here is an over all view of the Rectory St. facility.  All of this railway infrastructure has now disappeared.  In its place today stands a large indoor soccer structure.  Peter Mumby photo
The TVC was originally established in the 1970s by Fred Sachse, and had developed the modular concept by the time George, Bob, and I joined.  My modules were built in partnership with Larry Hugill who worked as a welder at General Motors Diesel Division.  Larry provided us with a good connection with prototype happenings through GM.  Larry retired to Seaforth, and at last report was still working on a home layout.  Chris Martin, who worked for CN at the time, was another source of valuable prototype information at a time when I was just getting my feet wet in the hobby.  Today Chris is still a top notch model builder and a railfan photographer par excellence.  He is an authority on all things Penn Central (with special emphasis on the Canada Division). George Dutka at that time was a young engineman with CN, so you can see we had lots of opportunities to tend towards prototypical modelling practices.

TVC 5409 is a bit of a rare bird.  Prior to a club meeting at my house I volunteered to mount a clinic on decalling rolling stock.  Members wishing to participate provided me with a car in advance which I painted for them.  Decals were acquired from Champion Decals.  About a half dozen members participated.  This particular model is based on an old Lionel HO product.      George Dutka photo
Club member Dave Rodwell developed an interest in helping me with my tables at local train shows.  So too did Bob Hannah, and our discussions at train shows led us to do some model building together, including the CN 9526 mentioned earlier.  We each started a model, and I agreed to do the final paint work.  My (unfinished) model still languishes in a drawer near my work bench to this very day, but Bob's unit became an integral part of his HO locomotive roster.  Over the years Bob has continued to construct models, although not always of the railroad variety.  It was during one of his "non-railroad" phases that his locomotives became part of my collection.

Here we have a meet at the WRD diamond between engines built by Bob Hannah.  George Dutka photo.

The models featured in the following photos appear on George's WRD layout of today, although they were built more than thirty years ago.  The Thames Valley members were photographed at CN's Rectory St. shop area in October, 1982.

In this photo we see Bob Hannah's entire model locomotive roster as of the early 1980s.  This 1:87 fleet was based on Atlas and Athearn products.  Shown are CN GR-17h GP-9 number 4507, GS-9c SW-900 number 7235, and GF-430b GP40-2 number 9526.  Both prototypes and models were proudly assembled in London, Ontario.      George Dutka photo

Thursday 19 February 2015

BEST Castings

Oh my god not there...I did put outhouses on the layout for a purpose...hard to keep those BEST casting in line...George Dutka

Casting are painted!

As one saw BEST castings are taking over the WRD...and when the layout now needs cleaning it really needs cleaning. Wondering the location of No. 2...George Dutka

Monday 16 February 2015

Lyndonville Frt. House - Second Look

An aerial view of the Lyndonville, Vt. frt. house.
Here we have a good group of photos that gives one a good look at the N scale scene at several different angles. The scene was modeled on a piece of Gatorfoam...George Dutka

The only details on this diorama that were purchased are the single and group of tires which are available from Micro Engineering. I also added a figure supplied by Peter and a barrel, everything else I concocted from my HO scale scraps. I planned on using purchased skids but they are out of stock when visiting our local hobby all these are made from scrap stripwood.
The driveway is made of beach sand while the grass is a Scenic Express offering of 2mm short static grass. I leaned a few weathered boards here and there also. Some HO scale signs are added such as the no parking sign. The doors got a coating of red brick powders which made them stand out a bit better than the walls. At the far end one can see two additional blue signs that are from Wells River and Barton. As this frt. house is at the lines headquarters all this trash seems to show up here. I photocopied and reduced views of the originals.
This end view views some clutter and weeds next to the loading ramp. The tree is an N scale evergreen I use on my WRD layout as background scenery. The Lyndonville sign I photocopied from a late 1940's view of the original. This structure was also in the photo and showed one end of the building with white or cream trim while the other end had a darker red trim. I went with the white trim. The roofing at that time showed as dark gray, but I could not tell if it was shingles or tar paper.
The loading dock has some fresh lumber stacked and scattered below that is just 1 by 4" HO scale stripwood.
My Atlas weathered boxcar seems to fit in well in this view.
All around this structure I scattered newspapers which are reduced from HO scale papers I have. I was pleased how well they reduced to N scale. I just crumpled then up a bit before adding them to this scene.
I left all the doors open on the trackside side. I thought by adding a bit of details inside the doors the scene will become more interesting to view. The sacks are made from brown paper bags. The skids are stripwood and most of the cans are just plastic spur's cut into small pieces with some powders added. I added some stripwood lumber laying around and some brass wire as steel rods.
A final view of this old time freight house that still stands today.