Thursday 30 June 2016

Creative Laser Design - Section House

A new section house for the White River Division.
North of White River Jct. along the Connecticut River line one finds a small section house that Creative Laser Design has made a model of. I have seen very similar section houses here in Ontario on the CPR. I purchased this structure at Springfield a couple of years ago as I always thought it was a neat little structure...I actually had taken photos of the prototype a couple of decades ago. After visiting Don Janes last fall and seeing how his model turned out I pulled my kit out and built it in short order last December.

The kit is very basic. All that one needs is seen here partly assembled.
I pulled up some of the siding boards, added bracing and gluing the whole structure together with Canopy glue. Not included but added is trim under the eves. The interior base got a coat of Hunterline weathering mix followed by Floquil Grime. The walls got a wash of Folquil tuscan red with a dab of caboose red. I then rubbed some Bragdon dark rust on the walls. I added the nail holes at this point. I just use a pin and eye ball the rows. I find they stand out better if I do this after the powders are added. The roofing I changed out with Northeastern Scale Lumber Co. gray slate HOSNG1B1. The stack is a CNR Juneco caboose stack similar to what I saw on the prototype many years ago....George Dutka

A square and canopy glue is used to assemble the four walls.

The structure is assembled and ready for paint and stain. As the whole structure is the same colour, painting will be easy.

The platform is ready for installation while the roof edges are painted black along with the underside.

A smoke stack similar to what I saw on a visit decades ago is applied.

The door is modeled partly open.

The pulled up boards are seen on the side wall. The nail holes are added after by eye balling the rows.

Monday 27 June 2016

New Baltimore and Fair Haven RR part Don Janes

Here is a photo of the group at Greg's layout on June 13.  From left George Dutka, Mark Olstyn, Don Janes, Peter Mumby and Greg Rich. Peter Mumby photo

A Second look at Greg's NB&FH RR

          When I posted the photos of Greg's layout last week I had a hard time choosing which ones to use so I decided to do a part 2 so you can look at some more scenes on this beautiful layout. I will try to include a few wider shots but am going to concentrate more on close-up shots to show the detailed scenes. All of Greg's scenes are fully detailed showing what you would see if you were standing there looking at them in real life.  Where he excels is adding just enough detail to make the scene look real but not so much that it is cluttered.  When you look at the photos notice how he has attained the perfect balance of detail for any given are.  To me this is an art and Greg has obviously taken the time to note what would actually be present in a scene and knows when he has added enough.  
In this mini scene note the details Greg has added but has not overdone it.  He even added small pieces of wood along the edge of the tarp.  Something most of us likely would have missed.
This scene is right beside the one above.  The detail in the scene is just right to tell a story.

The above two scenes were taken at the small engine service facility at Coffee Springs at the end of a branch line. Greg got a deal on the engine house at a flee market and modified it to fit his needs at this location.
This iron road bridge at Ste.Clair started as an Atlas railroad bridge.  Greg re-worked it to its present appearance which really captures the look of old iron road bridges that were very common in the period he models.

These two photos show the tracks running through the heavily wooded area of La Moore.  There are only a handful of well detailed structures in the area giving it an isolated feeling. Greg has really done a great job of representing autumn in this area.
The Union Brass Foundry is another fine example of a small  trackside industry with just the right amount of details added to make it look real.  This structure is cobbled from commercial and scratchbuilt components.
This harbour scene is at Potominac.  It is loaded with period appropriate detail that brings the scene to life. You can almost hear the busy waterfront activity going on here.
This scene really gives a sense of depth and the impression the road continues on beyond the factory in the background. This road separates the cities of New Baltimore and Fair Haven. 
When we returned to Sarnia we headed for the VIA station and got there just in time to catch this eastbound CN freight that had just come out of the St.Clair tunnel winding up a perfect day of railfanning.. 

More Views From Rapido Trains

An upcoming model that will need a bit of work by the purchaser but well worth the effort. Peter Mumby photo.
On Thursday Peter and I took a lot of photos while visiting Rapido. I thought you might enjoy seeing a few more...George Dutka

A view of Rapido's programming station...they can do eight at a time.

Peter Mumby poses with the new release's on Thursday.
The RDC's are all out on display and looking good. Peter Mumby photo.

One of the many display's Peter photographed.
I take a break during our tour of  Rapido while Peter snaps a shot. Our personal tour guide is one of the newer employee's who really knew his stuff.

Sunday 26 June 2016

Erie Harlem Station Blog

Matthieu's Erie layout as it looks a few weeks ago.
If you follow Matthieu Lachance  Hedley Junction blog you may have noted he also has a second blog which covers a very interesting small Erie switching layout along the Harlem River. Check it out at the link below...George Dutka

Erie Magazine 1952

Track plan 1928.

Saturday 25 June 2016

StJ&LC a Smokin' on the White River Division

A pair of 70 tonner are kicking out the smoke as they pull hard on the White River Division.
Bruce Douglas fooled around with a few St.J photo I sent him...he calls his favorite railroad the Slow Jerkin' & Late Comin' RR...George Dutka

Rounding the curve onto the causeway my St. J power is working hard as there appears to be a good amount of smoke pouring out of the stacks.

Friday 24 June 2016

A Visit to Rapido Trains, Inc.

The front entrance to Rapido Trains, Inc. shows an obvious VIA influence.

by Peter Mumby, with photos by George Dutka and Peter Mumby.

About seven or eight weeks ago I received a notice that Rapido was going to hold its first ever dealer open house at its "Galactic Headquarters" in Markham, Ontario.  There would be tours of the facility, announcements of two new product releases, and food and drink at a late afternoon barbecue.  Sign me up!  George agreed to keep me company, and the road trip was pencilled in on the calendar.  June 23, 2016 was the date.

With a full day of activities planned, we left London at 09:30.  Railfan visits were made to Ontario Southland at Salford and to CP at Guelph Junction.  Hobby shop stops included Credit Valley and our first ever visit to George's Trains since the move to Markham.  As it turned out, Rapido's location was just across a side street from the parking lot at George's, so our final move was the 100 foot journey from one parking lot to the other.  We joined the crowd at Rapido at about 3:45.

We were greeted by Jason, the two Dans, and the whole Rapido crew.  We were given a tour of the facility, including the VIA-themed lounge area at the front door and Dan Darnell's CNR orange office.  In addition to pre-production RDC and FA models, there were displays of detail parts, Noise Killer roadbed, and Railcrew uncouplers and switch motors.  A representative from ESU Loksound was test driving the new Loksound/Rapido GMD-1 sound module.  Sweet!

Here we see the early test shots of the cylindrical hopper and the stack car.  Oh, and did I mention their new vehicle line?  It will kick off with a model of the GM fish bowl bus.

The new product announcements both referred to new freight car models.  In the Prime Movers line, a 53' Husky-Stack car and containers will be produced.  A car with two containers will have a list price of $59.95 Cdn.  As well, a 3800 cubic foot Canadian Cylindrical Hopper will be joining the regular Rapido line.  Finally, modellers will be able to stop relying on the bigger cylindrical hoppers to masquerade as THB 1500-series cars!  Single cars will list for $59.95.

By 5:15 or so we had had a pretty good look around and were pleased to note that Jason was breaking out a new set of bbq tools.  By then a pretty good crowd had assembled (including our friend Jeff Grove from Railway City Hobbies in St. Thomas), and we were all treated to a great meal.  It only got better when a large railway-themed cake was rolled out.  Good food, good trains, and good fellowship.  Thanks, Rapido!

Dan in his office with a bright CN orange wall full of memorabilia.
Jason had no difficulty finding volunteers to assist with the bbq chores.  The cooks were entertained by three CN freights which passed by on the York Subdivision which skirts the Rapido parking lot.

After dinner in the board room Jason served a really nice tasting cake.
Comfortable ex-VIA/CN coach seats appear in various locations throughout the Rapido location.

The N-scale display featured the New Haven FL-9 locomotives. This is their photo studio when needed.

June 23 postscript:
On an entirely different topic, I was saddened to learn that noted Kitchener/Waterloo area modeller and CN authority Dan Kirlin had passed away.  Dan was well known as a DCC/sound expert, sometime importer of brass models, and enthusiast of first generation CNR diesels.  CNR railfans/modellers have lost a well-versed fount of knowledge and a good friend.

These two CN SW1200 RS units from my collection were built by Dan Kirlin over 30 years ago from Athearn blue box switchers.  Cosmetically, they still compare quite favourably with some of today's offerings.

Thursday 23 June 2016

Pan Am - North Billerica, Ma

Pan Am Railways offices, North Billerica, Ma.
During my spring trip Peter and I spent a rainy Saturday afternoon checking out locations along the old B&M. Mainly locations we could get shots of commuter traffic. We made a stop at North Billerica, Ma. The station is still standing and refurbished (will cover this later) and a Boston bound train was in the picture. Once we got our shot we decided to stop in at the Pan Am offices which once was a big B&M and Guilford shop area. Today it is nothing...many of the buildings that are useful are rented out. Here is what we saw. This weeks Wordless Wednesday was a view looking inside one of the building....George Dutka

One of the abandoned shop buildings.

A look inside through the open door...looks like it is about to fall down.

Across from the main office building.
Although there is the no T sign here there are some small industries that one has access to within the shop area. We took all our photos from the car though since it was raining and also did not want any conflict.

Saturday 18 June 2016

A Visit To The New Baltimore and Fair Haven RR. by Don Janes

The car ferry Hercules is loaded and ready to depart the ferry slip at East Bay on Greg Rich's New Baltimore and Fair Haven RR.

A 1920's Layout Designed for Operation With Beautiful Scenery

     Last fall I got an e-mail from fellow CV modeller Mark Olstyn inviting George, Peter and myself to visit Greg Rich's model railroad.  He included a link to some photos of Greg's layout and to say the least I was blown away by images of an awesome 1920's layout loaded with fantastic scenery and endless detail.  We had to make this trip.  Not long after that I was in Imlay City, MI at an operating session on my good friend Bill Moore's B&M layout and struck up a pleasant conversation with a fellow and happened to mention Mark's invitation and this beautiful layout we had been invited to.  As it turned out I was talking to Greg Rich, owner of the layout.  Greg also extended the invitation.  In the meantime Greg's layout was the cover story in the June 2016 Model Railroader.  Finally the stars aligned and George, Peter and I headed down to New Baltimore, MI this past Monday to visit Greg and Mark.
Greg scratchbuilt this old garage/apartment building from a single photo he found in a book.  Each porch is loaded with fine detail
        The layout looks awesome when seen in MR and other photos but to see it in person was a real treat.  It is located in part of Greg's nicely finished basement and features wide flowing aisles and lots of lighting that really highlights Greg's work.  There are long mainline runs as well as several well detailed city scenes.  What really impressed me was the number of scratchbuilt structures and scenes and also Greg's ability to modify kits to fit his needs and vision. I could go on and on about Greg's beautiful work but instead sit back and enjoy the photos and see for yourself.  Make sure to get a copy of the June MR to read all about this turn of the century work of art.
Here is another view of the yard and ferry slip at East Bay.
The city of Fair Haven is at one end of the point to point layout. Greg has done an excellent job using mirrors to extend the scene.
This photo shows three mini scenes, each loaded with exquisite detail.  Note the large poles holding up the water tower that has a lean to it.  Also note how the 3D scenery blends right into Greg's hand painted scenery in the background.
The new Baltimore engine facility is at the other end of the layout.  Again, the scene is loaded with details. You could not possibly see all the layout detail in one, or even two visits.
The Red Top Dairy located in New Baltimore is an example of Greg's kitbashing talents.  This is a old Magnuson Models kit that was built to fit into the available space.  Below is part of the harbor scene at Potominac.