Thursday 31 December 2015

MEC Covered Hopper - Hatch Spills

In service on the WRD a MEC cement service covered hopper is an Athearn model.
One of the cars I picked up this fall is for my modern modeling era. An Atlas MEC covered hopper that was used to deliver cement. If you remember my B&M covered hopper got a dusting of limestone powder around the hatch covers secured with Floquil flat finish. On this one I actually used fine mortar mix as spillage which comes in a bucket. I had a few house repairs to finish in this years balmy December...most did get done before it finally got the same time I used a bit of this cement on my MEC hopper roof. It does not look all that bad but I really like the limestone dust a lot better. Bragdon powders are also applied to finish off the car...George Dutka

Mortar mix cement is used around the roof hatches as spillage.
Quikrete fast-setting cement was used on this hopper.

Monday 28 December 2015

Ads on the Buses

By Peter Mumby
The next time you step to the back of the bus, check to see if your local train show is being advertised!  Anyone for building a model of this Belleville Transit conveyance in 1:87?.......Photo by Chris Callan.

Sunday 27 December 2015

Toronto Railway Museum

This display on the turntable was easy to view and photograph on an Aug 2015 visit.
Back in August I visited the TRM railway display at the old CPR John St. roundhouse which is near the CN Tower and the Skydome. Visiting these displays are best in the off season and through the week. I found it hard to get good views with the volume of visitors, many with children crawling all over the equipment. The Blue Jays game was not that far off also bringing in more than usual passers by. Another visit will take place at a future point for a better look....George Dutka

Under the coal tower.

CPR S-2 near the entrance to the indoor display.
The backdrop of downtown Toronto is totally different from what it once was when this car was still in service.

All the equipment is in very good shape. Note the ladders are blocked off to keep the kids at bay.

A CPR crossing shanty.

The Don station.

Cabin D

There are train rides during the summer months for all to have.
An overall view from the steps near the CN tower. Note the display from the summer games.

Saturday 26 December 2015

Wells River Station - In "N" Scale

Bob Mallette's N scale Wells River station

A Scratch-built "N" Scale Don Janes

     Back in 2012 I posted an article about the B&M HO scale Wells River Station kit I built for a kit review for the Modellers Notes section in the BMRRHS Bulletin.  Not long after,  I got an e-mail from fellow modeller Bob Mallette from Kingston, ON asking for some more info on the structure as he was planning on building an N scale version of the same station.  I sent Bob a bunch of photos I took during construction.  I didn't hear from Bob again and had forgotten all about it until a couple of weeks ago when I received an e-mail from Bob with some attached photos.  When I looked at the photos I was really impressed with his scratch built version of the Wells River station but was even more impressed knowing it was in N scale.  He said the delay was mainly waiting to find a good source of shingles for the structure.  He finally found some great looking shingles from Rusty Stumps.  Having built in N scale a farm scene for my layout I can really appreciate the skill that Bob has put into this station.  I find it incredible the amount of detail he was able to add to this structure, all scratch built.  I think you will have to agree that Bob did an amazing job on his Wells River station.
An end view of the station
This is a view of the track side of the station.  Note the nice stone foundation Bob has added to the station.

Thursday 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas - 2015

CP Christmas Train at London, Ont. Dec 2015, Peter Mumby photos
Wishing all our modeling and railfanning friends a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year....Don, Peter and George

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Christmas Trees

Don Spiro Collection
Last week an e-mail arrived through Jim Dufour regarding Christmas Trees...well a bunch of us on his list got on board and e-mailed some related photos of Christmas tree rail are a few of those passed along...mine will be seen in this weeks Wordless Wednesday...George Dutka

Chris Butts, Oregon 1977

Chris Adams collection.
Bill Schaumburg collection

Sunday 20 December 2015

Engine House Storage Shed - using a Bulls Salvage Kit

A Bar Mills kit is what I used to add a storage shed to my engine house scene.
I put my storage shed this past week on a piece of Gartorfoam so it can be planted in my engine house scene. Refer to posts What's in the box No. 8, Sept 19, 2014 and Construction post Sept. 27, 2014 for more information regarding construction and what you get in the to get the scene done...George Dutka

I added more details than are included in the kit. Many of these are from Juneco.

A look at the rear of the structure. All four sides will be visible on the layout.

Static grass, Scenic Express weeds, limestone screenings, real dirt from Westboro and some newspapers are also added.

Saturday 19 December 2015

Snapshot - December 2015

January 2016 Trains Magazine photo taken by Brian Solomon on January 2014 of a Amtrak Heritage unit leading the way through Warren, Mass.
My Turning Point - Slides to Digital
I was looking through the January issue of Trains when one of the photos caught my attention. It was an angled shot taken at the station in Warren, Mass. similar to one I took back in 2008. The story went the same as a visit by Don Janes and I had. We stopping first at Tucker's Hobby Shop and then heading over to the station when informed a train was due. Back then I was taking slides and prints although I did have a early version of a digital camera that I believe was a 2 mp which had a long delay while taking photos...only good for stationary images. It was an overcast day and not great for slide film so Don suggested I use one of  his two top of the line digital camera's. The photo below was taken with one of Don's camera's...not sure which one but a Canon. Since then Don has upgraded to two newer versions. After the trip Don e-mailed me the shots I took with his camera throughout the day. The photos turned out very well for such a dull day. This really got me thinking. A year later in 2009 when I retired I gave myself a gift, a Canon Rebel and retired from film...George Dutka

This is a view on a gloomy spring day of a WB from a similar spot as seen in the top photo, taken with Don Janes Canon digital camera. May 3, 2008.

Friday 18 December 2015

What's in the Box - No. 19

This is a very basic kit which does not actually need instructions as all is straight forward. The prototype is of the section house at McIndoes, Vermont.
Creative Laser Design offers a nice small New England section house which is quite simple to build. Don Janes an I both purchased one over the last couple of years. While visiting Don last week his finished model inspired me to build mine. I had the whole thing together in short order (one day). Now to find time to get it painted and detailed. The two photos of Don's model I took with my pocket camera with available is a great looking model...George Dutka

Don Janes version of this kit is seen above and below. He changed out the roofing for slate by Northeastern and added a chimney. He also placed a lot of details on all sides...a great looking model.

Thursday 17 December 2015

Farm House in Place at Northfield Farms

My New England style farm house is finally set in place after about 6 months of wobbling on the old foundation of my last stand in home.
Northfield Farms
The Mount Blue Model Co. farm house I built last spring and featured in the What's in the Box No. 17, posted May 15, 2015 has been finally set in place. It has been just sitting on the layout for some time now but the Gatorfoam base and all the details are now added. I have yet to cover the construction of this kit which should happen this winter...George Dutka

Mail is on the way while a farm girl moves some pumpkins to the shed.
The Northfield Farms rear of the home near the apple orchards.

The back door seems to be a busy spot and has a good track side view. This kit came with some nice screen doors and windows. I will fill you in about construction of this kit during the winter.

Monday 14 December 2015

December Update

The Gatorfoam bases for my replaceable structures are in place. Cardboard is being laid out to form contours. Since taking this photo the plaster cloth has been applied.
Now that my modeling season is in full swing and next to the rolling stock and engines I have showed you I have been back working on the layout. The farmhouse scene is being upgraded with a new home, the Westboro engine house scene is coming along and yes I finally started building the Bellows Falls yard. The bench work went up a couple of weeks ago. I had problems tracking down a code 83 diamond but Don came through with a few in code 70 which I will use. The yard will be a mix of code 70 and code 83 track using some transitional joiner or pieces...will see were this goes. The 12' long yard is set in place on two braces from Home Depot that Don mentioned and wooden wall  supports screwed to the wall. I made the yard so it can be lifted off and moved if need be. It is not attached to the wall or brackets. A real good idea Don passed along. I will be involved in the London April 2016 layout tour, I best get the layout into back to work...George Dutka

A piece of Gatorfoam is cut into the farm scene and edges plastered to level out the scenery. The apple trees are also removed to make it easier to lay down new static grass. A good face lift.

The 12 foot long yard's bench work is now in place.

The two center brackets are seen in place holding up the benchwork. My work area that Peter and I use on our Monday work session's rolls under the layout. I will be coving the corners shortly.

Sunday 13 December 2015

Elwell General Store - The Green Mtn. Version

Elwell's General Store seems to be a gathering place for the locals

 A New Store at White River Don Janes

   Back in November of 2013 George and I attended the Model Railroad Expo in Pittsfield, MA.
 While in the vendors room we stopped at the BEST  table to check out their offerings.  We always buy some detail castings and other goodies from them.  On display was a great looking little general store and small freight station diorama.  Every year BEST offers a show kit.  This year it was Elwell's General store, named in honor of legendary modeller Dick  Elwell, owner of the incredible Hoosac Valley layout.  Dick lives just up the road from Pittsfiels in Adams, MA and had his layout open for EXPO attendees.  George bought the kit right away and then along came fellow CV modeller Marty McGuirk and his friend Stick Harris who both also bought  a kit.  They all asked me when I was going to buy the kit as I was really trying to resist the urge to spend $100 plus on a general store.  Finally I gave in a pulled out my wallet.  In the long run I am really glad I spent the money because one, it is a great kit and two, Dick Elwell has been a good friend of mine for many years and has inspired my me more than anyone else in the hobby.  Once I saw George's finished model on his layout any doubts about buying this kit vanished.
       Over the last few weeks I finished my Elwell kit and have found a home for it in the foreground at White River Jct.  It is finally in place and open for business.  I won't go into what the kit consists of or construction as George covered that in a post earlier in the year.   I did weather mine a little more than George using techniques like the rubber cement trick to create a peeling paint effect and using chalks to age the store a little more.  Since the structure is in the foreground I modeled the double door on the side in the open position to show some of the crates and boxes inside.  Like George I substituted Northeastern slate roofing sheets for the metal roof in the kit and used Builders in Scale green rolled roofing on the porch and post office roof.  With the addition of some Central Valley board fencing, extra details and figures from my parts drawer the scene is now complete.  Now the locals can do their shopping and hang out and shoot the breeze at Elwell's General Store.
A B&M freight is heading into the yard behind the bustling little store.
The side doors were modeled open to add detail. Here we see a local farmer delivering fresh vegetables to the rear store room. Below the B&M freight has finished its work and is heading out of town

Saturday 12 December 2015

Athearn Blue Box Geep's

My old GT New England GR-17 heads a freight with a freshly painted CN Geep trailing.
One of the conductors, Tom Sanders I worked with regularly on locals and in the yard (we both are retired now) asked me if I could add the handrails to his Athearn blue box CN Geep. He had it for a number of years and wants it for on his desk. He is not a modeler but a railfan who spent his younger years railfanning in the Montreal and New York City areas. Anyhow the engine is painted CN and adding the handrails is an easy addition. I did have some extra details on hand that I thought would give it a better finished appearance for Tom. It turned out to be a nice little project since it has been decades since I built my own New England versions.

Parts Added to CN 4563
Most of the parts are by Juneco. C-10 high hood bell, C-4 spark arrestors, C-32 antenna, C-83 horn. I also cut off the brake stem and added a Precision Scale Co. #3247 brake wheel. I had two extra Details West SL-172 step lights which are added. Lastly I added class light jewels, B-11 or B-6 by Juneco. There are more I could add if available. Some additional decal work would also improve the looks, such as number board numbers...unfortunately I could not find my stash before finishing the project...George Dutka

The GP-9 engine out of the box with a few of the detail parts I had on hand.

Parts added and ready for some touch up painting.

Ready to go.