Monday 29 February 2016

Snapshot - February 2016

A Green Mountain freight nears Chester, Vermont on Sept. 26, 1996.
During a fall visit I spent part of a day following the Bellows Falls to Ludlow, Vt. freight during the fall of 1996. One location that I decided to stop at is a side road within site of the highway and just east of Bartonsville, Vt. It is a really scenic spot with a nice fence in the foreground and a layer of hills in the background. For this photo I used my 50mm lens and slide film while taking in the whole scene not just the train, as I wanted it for modeling reference. I did get some close-ups of this train at other locations that day but it is always nice to back up a bit...George Dutka

Sunday 28 February 2016

Bellows Falls Yard - Some Progress

I used aluminum sheeting attached with contact cement to cove my corners. Drywall mud is applied and sanded smooth before painting.
Over the last few weeks I have been tied up with renovating a bathroom and family matters. Monday workdays with Peter have been the most active, but I have been able to steal an hour or two here and there. I got the cove corners installed and painted. I also mounted my two Bellow Falls structures on Gatorfoam. Now back to work...George Dutka

The cove corners are sanded smooth and painted. Now to wire the yard for power.

Robertson Paper Co. is finished and installed on a piece of Gatorfoam. The frt. house is also on Gatorfoam. Both are drop in modules.

Saturday 27 February 2016

1932 AAR Boxcar - The Sequel

Here we can see the completed car decked out in its WM speed stripes.
Commentary by Peter Mumby - Photos by George Dutka.

When you attend a model train show, you either find things you were really looking for, or things that make you think " that's interesting - I think I could do something with that item!"  The cars under discussion in this post definitely fit into the latter category.  We were at the January 2016 Paris, Ontario show when George spotted a pair of Atlas 1932 boxcars on a table close to ours.  Master negotiator that he is, he soon had worked out an attractive "2-fer" price, and we were on our way towards another of our Monday afternoon projects.

The design for the prototype cars was developed after World War 1 and adopted in 1932 by the American Railway Association (ARA).  Soon after, the ARA morphed into the Association of American Railroads (AAR), so we can comfortably refer to the design using either moniker.  George and I each have extensive files on prototype equipment gleaned from years of clipping articles from modelling magazines.  I referred specifically to articles from Mainline Modeler (Jan. 1993) and Model Railroading (Aug. 1988).  If you see copies of these magazines at the train shows, give them some consideration - they often featured the type of in-depth articles on rolling stock that you just can't find in today's more generalized modelling magazines.

By cross referencing these articles and others with with sets available from my decal collection, we settled on the Seaboard car (with plate ends) for George and the Western Maryland car (with ribbed ends) for me.  On Feb. 20, in his post "Atlas- 1932 ARA Boxcar," George has already illustrated his half of the project.  Now I will add a few words about my car.

Champ decal set HB-306 was perfect for the 1953 repaint of this car in the WM speed lettering.  Getting the speed stripes over (and under) the side ladders was a little finicky, but the rest of the application went well.  A coat of flat finish set the car up for PanPastel weathering, supplemented with several colours of Bragdon powders.  It is my understanding that the next Atlas release of the 1932 cars will include the WM car, but I certainly don't feel my effort was wasted - I had an enjoyable project, and at today's prices, I saved a theoretical 75% off the purchase price of a similar car!

Our two 1932 boxcars have teamed up on a transfer run on the WRD.

Friday 26 February 2016

What's in the Box - No. 20

This is what I found in the box Gary sent over the other day. The instructions have some good views but limited instructions which is not a real problem.
My friend Andy dropped of a part built structure for me to complete for Gary Pembleton this week. Gary is a N-Scale modeler who really likes Creative Laser Design kits and New England modeling. So CLD kits which are copies of New England Prototypes are a good match for him. This one, Milt's Woodworking in N-Scale as George Riley notes in RMC, "is a model that is so familiar that I would swear that I had actually seen its prototype." This model represents structures that were commonly associated to light manufacturing or warehousing and something that has a New England feel to it.

This kit is all wood with small windows that need to be assembled which could be a problem. CLD supplied Gary with build-ups. Some of the trim and features are a bit over-scale but do work out well. This kit appears to be one of the better CLD kits to date. As seen in the photo Gary has already assembled the main body while I will add the smaller details and finishing touches...George Dutka

CLD sent Gary some built up windows which was a nice touch making my job a lot easier.
Gary sent over some paint for the trim. I have yet to try this product so a test wood strip is in my plans.

Thursday 25 February 2016

Tom's Model Railroad Scrapbook

Tom's micro layout is a one industry town.
Here is a blog I thought one should check out. Tom Conboy's blog Tom's Model Railroad Scrapbook has an interesting mini layout featured which he just finished, the Wetterau Food Services Micro Layout. It is a one industry switching layout. The staging is past the bridge in a hidden area. There are three tracks with a set of crossovers. No room for building flats so Tom just painted his backdrop with local home and so below...George Dutka

Tom's Model Railroad Scrapbook

The mid layout crossovers. The only industry is seen at the rear.
No room for structures so Tom just painted them on the backdrop. The staging is hidden behind the road bridge.

Marmoraton Mine

Throwback Thursday: CN Loading Spur at Marmoraton Mine.
Photo and Commentary by Peter Mumby.

I was fortunate during my university years to have excellent summer jobs in heavy industry in Central Ontario.  The summer of 1968 I worked at Lake Ontario Cement in Picton; the next four summers I was employed by Marmoraton Mining, an open pit iron ore mine at Marmora, Ontario.  Most of my time at Marmora was spent as a shovel tender arranging for the dump trucks to safely and properly park under the 6- or 11-cubic yard shovels.  I occasionally spelled off the truck drivers, running the 55-ton Sicard Dart trucks from the bottom of the mine to either the dump or the primary crusher.

The magnetite ore body at Marmora was discovered in 1948 and owner Bethlehem Steel started stripping overburden in 1953.  The first shipment of iron ore pellets took place in 1955.  Daily except Sunday 25- to 30-car trains moved over the CN Marmora subdivision to Picton's 1200 foot ore dock.  Here the pellets were loaded onto 25,000 ton ore boats and moved to Lackawanna, New York.  The entire operation shut down in March of 1978; the trackage, especially the section from Trenton Junction to Picton, lasted a few years longer.  The mine is now a man-made lake and the roadbed is now a hiking trail.

The photo shows CN 343020 and others waiting their turn to roll under the pellet loader at the mine.  At the time of my employment there I had not yet developed an interest in railfan photography.  We always seem to get started a few years too late!  This photo was actually taken in the summer of 1974, two years after my final year at the mine.  I hiked in along the rail line and took the shot as part of an afternoon's outing.  I regret that I never did any photography of the ore trains as they wended their way south across the Trent River and on to Picton.

Readers who are interested in more information on the railways of Central Ontario are encouraged to look up Keith Hansen's excellent book, Last Trains from Lindsay.

Tuesday 23 February 2016

B&M Athearn GP-7 arrives on the WRD

Another addition to the WRD fleet.
Yesterday a package arrived which Don Janes had arranged from Arizona. Two B&M Geep's. Don ordered two B&M GP-7's (one for each of us...better deal on two) some time ago from an area dealer. Mine #1555 looked great right out of the box. A few minutes on the program track and off to work it went. It sounds as good as it looks. It is amazing the difference a few years have made in MR technology...George Dutka

A bit of weathering will be applied shortly.

Monday 22 February 2016

B&M Station - Norwich, Vermont

Looking north at the station and the freight house in the rear.
Back in the Fall of 2014 my wife and I took a trip through Vermont. We spent one night in WRJ after visiting King Arthur Flour just north of town. A great place for bakers or someone wanting something great to eat. A couple of miles north of there is the station and freight house that I missed on my trip up the line a few years prior. Well I got my shots...George Dutka

Trackside view of the station on Oct. 15, 20014.

Sunday 21 February 2016

Woodland Scenics - Road Grader

Not sure were this piece of equipment will end up. But for now it is in an open area on the WRD.
I picked up a built but unpainted metal road grader offered by Woodland Scenics as a kit. It needed a few pieces of wire added and a bit of glue to hold it all together. The model got a coat of primer followed by a wash of Floquil CN yellow. The tires get a coat of Floquil grimy black. A thin wash of black is also added to the engine compartment. SP lettering gray is dry bushed over the tire treads and the bottom of the blade. Caboose red is painted on the tail lights. Bragdon powders are dusted over the whole grader...George Dutka

Ready for priming...a nice little model.

A CN yellow wash was the main colour, but the other two colours used are seen here also.
Might make a nice flat car load if I get the siding cleared out.

Saturday 20 February 2016

Atlas - 1932 ARA Boxcar

On this Atlas 40' car I added a note on each tack board.
Earlier this winter I picked up two used Atlas ARA boxcars that Peter and I would re-letter. We did not like the stock lettering so Peter went to work digging into his decal collection. We came up with a Seaboard and Western Maryland as the two we would go with. Peter went with the ribbed ends car which left me with the flat plate ends. The only prototype photos I could come up with was for a Seaboard boxcar found in the Sept. 2005 RMC article by Ted Culotta. Check out Ted's great article for more details and photo. It appears Seaboard had 1,000 of these cars built in 1934 followed by a second batch of 1,000 in 1937.

This 54" emblem replaced the 40" one beginning in 1947. This car was built in 1934. This car's details are pretty nice right out of the box although the couplers are over-scale.

The cars are repainted Floquil boxcar red followed by a coat of gloss. I used a set of Champ decals HB-8 which is good for 40' and 50' cars. Since the set did not have the classic "Orange Blossom Special" I went with the as delivered look to the car, but with the larger emblem. Although my car is finished at some point when I track down this slogan and the built dates...they will be added. The car got a coat of flat finish followed by Bragdon powders. The powders are not sealed so they can be washed off if I ever find this slogan...George Dutka

Builders photo found on-line views as-delivered with the 40" emblem.

Friday 19 February 2016

New Air Compressor

Here is my new small tank-less air compressor.
Back in December Peter and I visited our friend Bob Hannah which lead to a visit to his basement. Bob is a really good modeler who has just got out of modeling trains. He still is into HO scale trucks and various scale race cars. During the visit we talked about air brushes and compressors. Bob gave us a good look at his tank-less compressor. I found it a great way to go. These is almost no sound when running, the air pressure is good and it is tiny. Bob called a week later to let me know that they were on sale. I picked one up in the Sarnia Canadian Tire store on my way home from a visit with tell the rest of the story...George Dutka

I am using my old airbrush hose with quick action couplers. I purchased a regulating valve and reduction fittings at Princess Auto to complete the project. Sold my noisy old compressor on Kijiji which really dropped my final outlay of funds. I have been happy so far using this setup. It is great as I can carry it around to anywhere I need it with no effort. It also stores away in a tiny space.

The air brush I doubt I will use although all the other parts will come in handy.

Here is a look at the box. I found Princess Auto had a similar compressor, less the air brush and I would think Harbor Freight tools in the US have something similar.

Thursday 18 February 2016

Westboro Engine House - More Views

Looking towards the engine house from the layout faceboard. My Westboro scene is on a short peninsula.
Here we have a few more images of my WRD Westboro engine house scene. My detail drawers are now half empty...cheers...George Dutka

Looking at the back wall of the engine house. I piled up a lot of details that the shop staff needs to sort out.

A closer look at the rear door.
We are at the end of the roadway. A B&M Alco appears to be on it's way out.

Once again another wall loaded with details. Appears some directions are being given to a B&M RS-3. That engine is actually my Atlas un-powered dummy engine, I can only imagine how that conversation is going.

Monday 15 February 2016

CP Caboose

After reading Peter's post on the weekend...the one with the CP caboose model, Luc Sabourin sent me this prototype view he took at Agincourt yard Toronto on July 29, 2012. Thanks for sharing Luc...George Dutka

Sunday 14 February 2016

WRD - Engine House

With lots of details and figures added Westboro sure looks like a busy place.
As mentioned in past posts I acquired Don Janes B&M engine house about a year and a half ago. I finally got it into service. It reflects the appearance of one found in North Conway. It clearly is not anything like what stands in Westboro but with less than two feet of room it works really well to end my B&M scene. The engine house roof had some stains and the doors were off. I decided to dig out my weathering powders and add some extra character to Don's great model...George Dutka

The roofing got a good dose of Bragdon soot to hid some of the sins that have occurred through the use on Don's layout and in a few years of storage.
A comparison photo with the two doors at the end are as removed from the engine house The two middle doors have started to be weathered a bit with dark rust powders and some rust on the hinges. There still is some work to be done will be a bit of soot (black) applied before being rehung.

Don built this whole structure from styrene. It is nicely painted but I wanted to reflect the look of the rest of my B&M structures. The bottom section gets a dusting of  Bragdon dark rust. The top walls is dusted with dust bowl brown. The nail holes are highlighted with some soot powders.

These walls are now done.

The rear of the engine house has a lot of old junk piled up along the wall.

Saturday 13 February 2016

Flea Market Finds

I thought this model was reasonably priced, but the fellow who tagged the prototype must have spent double that figure on spray bombs!
Flea Market Finds, Ancaster Show, January 2016
Commentary by Peter Mumby......Photos by George Dutka.

It is nice to attend a train show and make a few sales, but it is often the items you bring home for yourself that make your day.  My eye is easily caught by good looking pieces of rolling stock - nicely finished with extra details like fine stirrup steps, cut levers, and brake components.  Two weeks ago I came home with three boxcars which are era-appropriate for George's WRD layout.

CP 269546 represents a US-built PS1 car operated by the railway's International of Maine Division.  The model was possibly built from an old McKean kit and lettered with CDS dry transfers.
Coupler cut levers have been added.  CN 526298 was similarly finished, with added cut levers and air hoses.  Proper Canadian-style end ladders, with attached lower stirrup step, have been added.  Both these cars received a light dusting of PanPastel weathering before posing for George's camera.

This PS1 boxcar is probably the most mundane model of the lot, but it has been nicely finished.
CN 506701 is a car which I overlooked at first, not immediately realizing what it was.  Fortunately it was still there when I made my second round - a very well built CNR 1929 boxcar which began life as a Sylvan Scale Models kit.  I will have to keep an eye out for more examples of this kit at future shows - I suspect I could talk George into building one of these as well!

CP 434704 is definitely a model of a car from a different era.  I was not aware of this model's existence, but according to the box label it came from a limited run ( one of 200 ) of Rapido cabooses custom made for George's Trains of Markham.  It represents a former mainline caboose which CP transformed into a shoving platform by covering over the windows and welding the doors shut.  Apparently the prototype for this car sat in one place long enough for a tagger to roll a lighter shade of yellow over one side before completing the colourful "Canadian Pacific" script.  I am not always a great fan of graffiti, but this car definitely wanted to come home with me!

This side of the model shows the shoving platform as CP intended it to look.

I am definitely glad I took a closer look at this Sylvan scale model.  I promise to give it a good home!

In addition to the visible details, this CNR boxcar features cut levers and fine brake components.

Friday 12 February 2016

Stock Cars on the WRD

My lone B&M stock car is being pushed back to the yard.
For a bit of a change I pulled out my small fleet of stock cars the other day. I gave them a run over the WRD and at the same time took a few photos...enjoy...George Dutka

My recent Accurail acquisition that I posted about on Feb. 1st.

A Yankee Clipper, B&M model built by Warren Dodgson. Warren never weathered any of his cars. So when I added this one to my fleet some weathering was applied using Bragdon powders and PanPastels.

This is my Westerfield kit that I blogged about in the fall. Since then the lower section got some PanPastel white while the boxcar red has a dusting of Bragdon dark rust.

A trio of stock cars are headed to the stock pen on the WRD...they better take their time so I can get one built.