Sunday 31 January 2016

Boxcar Roof Weathering

The roof of my just completed  boxcar #151 is seen with the weathering mix applied. The two rear cars are the same style cars without the mix.
I did something a bit different with my B&M boxcar roof, a technique I had not tried before. A couple of years ago a two boxcar display by Kip Grant at the NE Prototype meet caught Don's and my eyes, the roofs weathering looked amazing. I asked Kip how he did his is his comments about his car roofing.

"It was a take-off on the alcohol over dullcote effect.  I dullcoted the car’s factory-painted roof which came painted silver to make it appear galvanized.  Not wanting just a dull silver roof (duh) I decided to try giving the roof (keeping it off the sides) a bath in the old Sellios stand-by, alcohol/India ink mixture.  The effect provided by the alcohol is enhanced by the blacks and grays that come with the India ink being a part of the process...Kip"
Kip's Rutland Ry boxcar roof  is very impressive...more so in person.
Kip Grant's Erie boxcar roofing looks great also. These two views inspired me to try this technique.

What I did...
Using Kip's lead  I began by applying a coat of Floquil flat finish (you can also use Testors Dullcote) then about a half hour later added a brushed on coat of India ink-alcohol mix. I used a top brand India ink (Higgins) along with a dollar store bottle of 70% alcohol. I don't recall how many drops I added to the full bottle of alcohol but it was at least a dozen or maybe 15 drops. What I did was add a few drops of ink to the bottle then applied a bit to a piece of stripwood...applying more drops to darken the mix and applying it once again to the stripwood. I think it took 3-4 attempts till I got a colour I liked. It does not need to be all that dark to complete the affect. As an experiment I thought I would give the mix a try on a silver roof without flat finish. It did not add any affect to the final the flat finish or Dullcote is the base one needs...thanks Kip...George Dutka

The roof is dullcoted with the center section moments after it got a swipe of the weathering mix. You can clearly see a difference  above the door even before it drys. Higgins ink and 70% alcohol is what I used.

Saturday 30 January 2016

More - B&M Detail West Boxcars

A group of 4 cars from this series is seen here or 40% of the B&M fleet. Peter's model is seen first up followed by me current transformation.
Since my February 3, 2013 post on the B&M Detail West 50' plug door boxcars I acquired an additional finished model. Peter has one also in storage which he pulled out and assembled. Mine was finished with all ladders shortened. I could not find any photos in this small series of 10 cars with the hand brake and ladder lowered, so I modeled mine with the brake wheel and ladders as delivered, up high. The other ladders are cut down low in a rebuild prior to coming over to the B&M. Peter did cut down all his ladders as many other car style are. The photo captions tell the rest of the story...George Dutka

Peter used a good dose of PanPastels on his model. In these kits the shells come factory painted. He also changed out the number so it falls into our small fleet, no. 156.

My car got a bit less weathering which was done using Bragdon Powders and some white PanPastels for lettering streaks. My model had all the ladders shortened and brake wheel moved down.  I removed and replace the brake wheel and ladders needed to get up was seen in my photos.

The kit came numbered 154 or the same as my other car. I scraped away parts of the four till it looked like a one. Here we see the car before I detailed the roofing (which I will cover in my next post) and adding Bragdon Powders.
B&M blue en route on the WRD.

Although these two particular cars are not the same as the plug door cars Peter and I modeled, one can see 50' B&M cars did find there way to St. Johnsbury, Vt. This May 1975 photo was taken by Ellis Simon and used with his permission...thanks Ellis. I will be doing a post on additional B&M blue boxcars shortly.

Friday 29 January 2016

CP Company Service Models

The short train of CP company service equipment is posed in front of the WRJ station.
 CP Company Service Equipment Visits WRJ
Commentary by Peter by George Dutka.

Every so often visiting equipment shows up on the WRD; case in point - this short train of CP OCS equipment.  George's camera is always at the ready, so let's take a look at what showed up last Monday afternoon.

CP Engineering Services van 420989 is an acquisition from the recent Woodstock model train show.  An unknown modeller did an excellent job of weathering this piece, nicely toning down the bright white finish on this Rapido Trains model.  When I got this car home I went looking for a couple of companion pieces and found two cars built by London-area modeller, Ron McClocklin.  I had purchased them from Ron at the time he was dismantling his layout and selling off his equipment.

Jordan spreader CP402386, built from a Walthers kit, is a fairly generic model.  It's number series should probably be changed - I found that a CP402886 exists, although the style of CP402863 would more closely approximate this model.  The next time I am in a decaling frame of mind I will consider this change.

Here we see the opposite side of the crew transporter car.
CP 420927 is a scale test car built from Sylvan Scale Models kit HO-1098.  Best known today for its line of vehicle kits, Sylvan's 2004 catalogue included quite an extensive line of Canadian prototype freight cars, including vans, slab side hoppers, barrel ore cars, tank hoppers, and box cars.  A line of freight car detail parts and structure kits appeared in the catalogue, along with the beginnings of his vehicle line.  I guess the market for his Canadian freight car kits was simply too limited, and the larger American market for his vehicle kits caused him to phase out the rest of his line.  Despair not, however, for the Sylvan freight car kits still show up at local train shows.  They do build into a nice model, although they are labour intensive.
The distinctive body style of scale test car 420927 deserves a little explanation.  The prototype car was originally built as CP 381933, a slurry car designed to transport material to the Falconbrige smelter in the Sudbury area.  These cars are somewhat reminiscent of the CNR/ONR barrel ore cars, some of which were converted into scale test cars by CN.

George must be a man of some considerable influence.  He was able to get the local switching crew to move the flanger around to take best advantage of the available light for this photo.

Here is a nice broadside of the Rapido van.  Someone really spent some time on that weathering job!

I like the looks of the flanger, although it is not a strictly accurate representation of a CP prototype.

CP 420927 is a scale test car built from a prototypically accurate Sylvan kit.

Thursday 28 January 2016

CN London East

Throwback Thursday: CN London East.
Photo and Commentary by Peter Mumby

This photo, looking across Egerton St. in March of 1983, amply illustrates the many changes to the railway scene which are the hallmark of this "Throwback Thursday" series.  London East is located at MP 76.5 of the CN Dundas Subdivision which cuts left to right through the centre of the picture.  To the right (east) of the photographer is London Yard; to the left is the RIP track and the carman's office.  Further west is the Rectory St. locomotive facility.  The downtown CN London tower and depot is situated at MP 78.2, which is also MP 0 of the Strathroy Subdivision.

All of the structures visible in this scene have disappeared; the crossing tower is long gone, and the yard office has been replaced with a more modern building located north of the double track mainline.  The roof at the upper right belonged to one of the remaining buildings of the London Car Shops; three decades earlier workers at this facility were busily repairing passenger cars and converting old boxcars into wood-sided cabooses.  Today this whole area is part of the Western Fair complex.

Other relics of the past visible in this image include a CN end-cab switcher, orange coloured maintenance vehicles, and the cross bucks with the spelled out "railway crossing."  Also, notice that the cross arms wear the older black and white paint.  A later October 1987 photo shows these arms painted in the current red/white colour scheme. 

North of the mainline we can see several 40' boxcars parked on storage tracks which have subsequently been removed.  Slightly beyond these boxcars is London Junction (MP 76.7), the place where the Thorndale Subdivision curved away towards Stratford and Kitchener.  At this time this trackage was under the jurisdiction of the CN London "K" dispatcher.  Today this part of the line is supervised by the London yardmaster and is the connecting track to the Goderich Exeter Guelph Subdivision.

Monday 25 January 2016

Snapshot - January 2016

I have been here many times to catch a similar view, but this was my first time in the winter. Jan. 25, 2015.
Last winter after the Springfield train show Andy and I headed up to East Deerfield and Brattleboro for a quick stop. We actually arrived in Brattleboro just before the Vermonter arrived. We found a spot just south of town where in better weather would be a water shot. There was a lot of ice houses out on the ice but it was hard to find a location that one could see the train through the brush and stay warm in the car...I have seen many shots over the years from this location...with a few through the winter is mine...George Dutka

Sunday 24 January 2016

A Look Back At The Old Green Mtn. Division Layout

A CV Passenger train is passing the White River Jct. yard office as a Grand trunk 2-8-2 is taking coal on the shop track

Memories from My Previous Layout...By Don Janes

     While I was having my Sunday morning coffee I decided to sit down at the computer and browse some photos of my old layout.  As I looked at the various scenes I found it hard to believe that I had accomplished all I did in the time I had.  Now it is all gone and the room is filled with mostly bare benchwork and track.  I had a wonderful time building the original Green Mountain Division but there were just so many new things I wanted to incorporate into a layout that I decided to bight the bullet and tear it down and start again.  It was really hard pulling up that first section of handlaid track and removing all the structures that I had so carefully built and added to the layout but once it was gone and I started with fresh ideas I am glad I made that decision.  I am really enjoying the challenge of building my new layout with new scenes that I had always wanted to add.  The first layout was a true learning experience since I had never built a layout before and the knowledge that I gained over those twenty years was invaluable.  
    So, I decided to pick out a few photos of some of my favorite scenes and do a post. Some of the structures are gone now and some have found a home on other layouts. I am heading to Arizona for a couple of months so this will be my last exposure to modelling for a while.
Crews go about their daily chores at the WRJ engine terminal as
This shot of Rutland 2-8-2 #37 is one of my favorite photos from the old layout.
Here we see a couple of trains at Bellows Falls
In another Bellows Falls view, a B&M RS-3 spots a milk car at the creamery.
A Rutland 70 tonner spots a gondola at the quarry.  This structure found a home on the new layout.
The Bellows Falls freight House has found a new home on George's White River Division.
A pair of B&M F units are being serviced at the WRJ engine terminal.
Another view of the WRJ coal dock.  SAdly, this structure is gone now.
A CPR freight rounds a curve as it approached Bellows Falls.
CV GP-9 4548, built in 1957 occupies the crossing at WRJ as a 1957 Chevy waits.The scratchbuilt Pillar and Post Inn will find a home on the new layout.
This is Essex Jct. where  a CV freight powered by a pair of CNR C-Liners has been given the route while a B&M freight waits patiently.
The wood stove in the cabin is going as a Rutland freight passes on a cool Oct. morning. 

Animation on a Layout

I found this amazing video clip on the NEB&W site today that I though one should check out. The animation of model railroad figures is great...the video link is found below...George Dutka

Jayme De Souza Filho

CN Juneco Kit

Juneco kits once came in orange boxes now they are in plastic packages still including some orange packaging. Some of the metal details I will use to build my CV caboose are seen here.
Last weekend while helping Peter at a local WOD - NMRA train show I took a closer look at a CN  Juneco caboose kit he keeps in stock. At one time other than brass this was the way to go if you wanted a fleet of CNR cabooses. I did build one back in the 1980's. Since then I used some of the detail parts offered by Juneco for CV kitbashes. One detail that is hard to come up with are the end steps for the CV caboose. Sylvan Scale Models once offered brass etched steps and if you are lucky you may still find a set at a flea market. I realized the CNR Juneco caboose kits come with the CN-CV version of these steps as seen on Bob's model. If you take into consideration the end handrails, smoke stack, battery box and markers can also be used in a CV kitbash the $14.50 Candian price is not all that bad for the details. Better if you are from the US with the low Canadian dollar...your cost is well under $10. I will fill you in on my next CV kit-bash once underway...George Dutka

The caboose on the right is the Juneco kit model.

Saturday 23 January 2016

Wooden Cabooses - CN

An overhead view of three CN caboose's on the WRD or as Peter calls this, "the drone" shot showing the group of cars featured in this
CN Wood Cabooses in the WRJ Yard
Commentary by Peter Mumby...........Photos by George Dutka.

CN cabooses often show up on the tail end of WRD trains; check, for example, the post of Dec. 19, 2014 featuring our anniversary woodchip train.  The next day George posted examples of more modern CN Hawker-Siddeley vans.  This time we will concentrate on wood-sided cabooses wearing both the noodle and earlier leaf emblems.  Featured are George's contemporary True Line Trains model, Bob Hannah's van built from a Juneco kit, and Peter's unit constructed from a vintage kit by Custom Trains of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.  These cars cover a span of about 35 years,  illustrating a bit of our modelling history and the history of the hobby itself.

In this view we see Bob's Juneco model.  This kit is still available today.  George recently acquired a current copy of this kit and plans to use the metal end platform castings for an upcoming project.

Here we see a close-up of Peter's Custom Trains model.

Friday 22 January 2016

Antique Shop

An overview of my new antique shop.
This structure once was the cabin along the waterway below the causeway on my WRD. Since it is not needed now I turned it into an antique shop.  The structure is actually the rear wall add-on for the Sylvan farm house I posted about last week. With the home still not needing the add-on I made a new roof out of some picture mat board. The walls are brown that I added Bragdon powder dark rust. The green door and windows get some green and white highlight powders. I have a good collection of antique signs. I went through them and added those one might find at a shop such as this. A bit of fencing, flowers and weeds are applied. The model is added to a small piece of Gatorfoam that has ground foam and dirt added. Now to find a use for this scene...George Dutka

Some F&C blocks are seen in this view along with many antique signs I have copied from sheets included with kits I have built.

The flowers, weeds and golden rod are from Scenic Express.

I used picture mat board for the roof. Although it is a bit thick, it takes paint well and has a texture that adds interest to the roofing.
The garbage can and milk can are Juneco castings. The barrel lid is from Tichy.

Thursday 21 January 2016

CP Job Cuts

I got an interesting e-mail from my friend John Kanakos converting CP's real life cuts to his modeling equivalant.

"With CP just cutting another 1000 jobs bringing the total of job cuts there up to 7000 since 2012. Does that means that all model railroaders that model CP must stop service to some of their sidings, only operate passenger service on Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays and park 1 or 2 locos on a siding until they are scrapped of I ever glad that I sold off my CP stuff when I did...I feel bad for Brian Hallam since he just invested in digitrax and now must reduce CP service on his layout."

CN 5700 - St. Thomas, Ont.

Throwback Thursday: The Elgin County Railway Museum
Commentary and Photo by Peter Mumby

St. Thomas, Ontario, refers to itself as The Railway City.  Google "Railway City Tourism" and you'll learn a lot about the mid-sized city.  The moniker, however, is based more on a past, rather than a present, reality.  Since 1856, more than 25 different railways have run to or through St. Thomas.  The railfan of the 1950s could, within the space of a few city blocks, see trains from CN, CP, Wabash, C&O, NYC (CASO), and witness the  electric operations of the London and Port Stanley Railway.  Today, the CN Talbot Spur hosts one nocturnal turn per day, and Ontario Southland visits town several times a week.

The major route through St. Thomas for most of its railway history was the Canada Southern (CASO), operated by Michigan Central/New York Central.  In 1985 the CASO ( by now the Canada Division of Conrail) was sold to a consortium of CN and CP interests.  Assets were gradually sold off, removed, or abandoned.  The 1913-built Michigan Central Railroad Locomotive Shop was taken over in 1988 by the fledgling Elgin County Railway Museum.  It developed a nice collection of equipment and memorabilia, but the star of the show is definitely CN K-5-a Hudson 5700.  This locomotive had been built as 5703 in 1930.

In the early days of the museum, CN still had limited operations on the trackage just to the north of the building.  Donated equipment could arrive by rail, and visiting units could appear for the Railway Heritage Days held in May and August.  Along with the outdoor displays, a model train display and sale was held inside the building.  A deteriorating roof gradually curtailed the size of the indoor displays, and the removal of CN and CP trackage eventually left the museum land locked.  Visiting equipment no longer appeared, and the Railway Days show disappeared from the railfan's calendar.  The museum is still very much in business, but displays are now limited to the collection on hand.

For two or three years, while the Railway Days show was still in existence, night photography sessions were held for the benefit of local rail buffs.  Opportunity was provided for photos to be taken of each of the locomotives on outdoor display.  On the warm evening of August 21, 1999, CN 5700 posed for this particular image.

Monday 18 January 2016

My Work Bench Five Year Ago

Looks like my B&M RDC was getting a DCC chip in it while I worked on my CV caboose. I see a B&M combine in the background along with a milk car. A quick weathering is being added to a flea market find. Guess that was the year I detailed my On30" Forney. Also noticed my WRJ coal tower was not yet completed, it can be seen to the right.
January 2011
I was going through some of my older photos the other day when I came across this view of my work bench back in Jan 2011...or five years ago. Interesting to look back at what I was working on and how I was seeing them. Those are my 1x cheater glasses, now I use 2 1/2x...seems like I had a lot of projects on the go that winter...George Dutka

Sunday 17 January 2016

My Old Farm House

This Sylvan Scale Models kit was a stand in farm house for many years on the WRD. A much more prototype structure has taken its place.
Here we have my old farm house that has been changed out last year for a Mount Blue laser kit. I originally got this Ontario home offered once by Sylvan Scale Models and built by my friend Bob Hannah. I did add shutters and squared off some of the window trim to give it a less Victorian look.  The photo captions tell the rest of the story...George Dutka

When redoing the scene I had one leftover apple tree which I decided to add to the scene. I also modeled a stump as a second tree which had been chopped down.
An overhead view shows my old model on a Gatorfoam base. This model can easily be dropped into any layout scene.

The front door has some fall pumpkins and flowers in display. The milk can is by Juneco. The fence is out of my leftover box painted black with some Panpastel white powders.

The back wall is a mess. One can find barrels, tires, old newspapers, boards and signs. The garbage can is full since the lid if lifting up. A couple boxes and baskets of apples are also at the door. Most of the details are Juneco castings.

Another look out back shows some apples down on the ground under the tree. The roof got Bragdon soot weathering while the walls got a brushing of PanPastel white. The shutter got some green chalk and Bragdon green to brighten it up a bit.