Sunday 31 December 2017

Adding Layers To Photos

Bill Gill's magic on display.
On the NEB&W Facebook page recently there was a photo posted viewing the magic of Bill Gill. Bill took a photo taken by James Lauser on the NEB&W layout and converted it to a Christmas card scene. He did a great job of it so I contacted Bill regarding this photo. I would love to be able to do this at some point myself. Here is the information one needs to get going that Bill passed along.

One needs to play around with GIMP which is a free program, open source software similar to Photo Shop. The picture is a combination of the original NEB&W photo plus 8-9 photos taken around my neighborhood and then fiddled with and mushed together. This view is a layered photo. I used a photo of a tree on top of a car to replace the canoe on the Woodie seen in the original view.

Thanks Bill, guess I may have found another hobby...Happy New Years...George Dutka

The original photo taken by James Lauser that Bill played around with.

Saturday 30 December 2017

December 2017 - Update

Here is a group of nicely weathered covered hoppers I picked up this fall. I will give you a closer look shortly.
With 2017 all but over I thought I would give you a peek at what I have planned for 2018. I do have a lot of topics to cover some dating back a  little check back from time to time...George Dutka

I have my New Haven station finished. A closer look at what I did will follow shortly.

The past few years Peter and I have been working off and on (more off) to complete our N scale modules. A big push this fall found mine completed. More on this shortly.

Another Athearn boxcar turned into an on-line shed. All the details are glued to the shed. This one was built for Brian Smith. I visited Brian this week and photographed his layout...more on Brian's layout also in the New Year.
I modeled both sides of the shed differently so Brian can choose a side. This side has the freight door open with details found inside the door.

Friday 29 December 2017

GTW Caboose Model

Rolling along the WRD. This model is a Roco model.
At a recent train show Peter had a box of his personal rolling stock that he was looking to unload. Downsizing is a good thing with all the kit the two of us have accumulated this year. Anyhow I recognized the GTW caboose as one I built and sold to Peter probably 25-30 years ago. I once had a fleet of GTW cars, engines and cabooses that I ran on the Thames Valley Central Modular Club when we both were members. Once I dropped out of the club I sold off  the GTW equipment as I was already into modeling New England. Peter was kind enough to give me back the model. I have since updated it a bit and added it to my caboose collection.

The Prototype
The oldest steel cabooses on the GTW roster was 34 former Santa Fe cabooses built by American Car & Foundry. They were numbered 75000-75033 and built in 1928. GTW 75010 was the last in service caboose in this series assigned to yard and transfer service. One could see it as late as 1992 working the yards...George Dutka

The first thing I did was paint the roof walks with acrylic wood coloured paint. When built these cabooses got wooden roof walks.

A conductor has been added and some PanPastels are applied. I also added wire supports to the caboose stack. Some tub acrylic's are also used. I also added a Black Cat CN style brass etched caboose screen door.

For a short while my old caboose got some runs in on the WRD. It might come out for additional posts that view my caboose with some of Peter's GTW engines on the WRD.
This caboose has the steel panel covering the rear window as was common on the GT versions. This one is on display at the Lapeer, Mi station. June 10 2000, Chris Martin photo, Peter Mumby collection.

I crossed paths with this style of caboose at Port Huron, Mi. Oct. 16, 1988. I believe this was one of the trips Peter and I took back in the day when one could wander the yard in certain locations but with some restrictions. I remember being able to look at the equipment in the car shop area but was not allowed to photograph anything there. Note the end window on this caboose is not closed over, but the cupola windows are. It also has a CNR style stack added. This one might be a good model candidate.

Thursday 28 December 2017

Contoocook Lives On!

Contoocook was built into Dick Elwell's layout following his move to a new home in 2002 and is now called Cheshire.
Don Janes and I visited Dick Elwell's layout during the late fall of 2013. One of the scenes I took a few photos of was built by Lou Sassi for his book "A Realistic HO Layout For Beginners" 1998 Kalmbach Publishing. This portion of the layout was then incorporated into the Hoosic Valley Ry...George Dutka

Looking down at the town once called Contoocook. The station is the Rutland Ry. New Haven kit. I will shortly show you my take of this structure.

Sunday 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas from the WRD

Looks like some last minute deliveries are needed.
A Christmas wish from Don, Peter and I. We hope you enjoy the holiday season and under the tree is all the goodies your layout needs...have a safe New Years!

Saturday 23 December 2017

Athearn Express Reefer - Rust Bucket

This 50' wooden express reefer got some heavy weathering to make it stand out from the crowd. Since the only place rusty metal would be are on the doors, the roofing and sills...they got a good dose of acrylic tub paint in rust, browns and black. Some white acrylic is drybrushed down from the sign and roof hatches. Once that was done some extra PanPastel was applied to tie it all together.
I had taken this Athearn express reefer to sell at a couple of train shows last year with no luck. I was only asking five bucks and it had been PanPastel weathered. It is one of a few I have on hand for a CV milkcar kit-bash such as Bruce Douglas had done. I had blogged about that car last summer. Anyhow I spend about 30 minutes on this car with my acrylic tube paints. I did a real rust job on it. Well it never made it to anymore shows as one gentleman that was over to pick up his new layout structures (some of my extra's) noted it on my table of train show candidates last month. He gave me fifteen bucks for it...surprising what a little extra work yields...George Dutka

Friday 22 December 2017

Edward Ozog New England Views

Newport hill Vermont.
On June 11th 2017 I posted a view at Brattleboro taken by Edward Ozog back in the 1950's. Since then I had corresponded with Edward and found out he has a site one can check out for many more great steam views of New England. Many of the views are Ed's but he has also included other photographers. I selected a few views. He also has a B&M and New Haven section. Check out the link below...George Dutka

Bellows Falls, Vermont

Bellows Falls, Vermont
CV 450 Horton Cove trestle, Montville, Ct. April 1957.

CV 706 White River Jct. 1948.

CV 472 White River Jct, 1954

Thursday 21 December 2017

What's in the Box - No. 28

Everything that comes in the Railway Design Associates kit box is seen here. Not a hard kit to assemble.
I finally pulled out my "New Haven," Rutland Ry. style station to build. I am doing two sides as abandoned for summer time use and the other two as in the 1950's. Only two sides can be seen at any given time in the location I planned....George Dutka

There is some clean-up to be done to the details, walls and windows.
Located in New Haven, Vermont the prototype photo was taken March 2012. This is actually the rear of the structure.
Don's completed station model on his Green Mountain Division. Don did closely follow the prototype by cutting in the train order signal. Note the cut into the roof. He also added downspouts following the actual station. Don Janes photo.

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Green Mountain No. 305

It seems the only time I crossed path with Green Mountain #305 was on Oct. 2, 2005 at Bellows Falls, Vermont
Since I now have a model of this engine I thought I should dig out a few views that will help with any changes required. The most obvious is the headlight location. I scanned a few of my prints from that visit for you to check out...George Dutka

Monday 18 December 2017

Abandoned Tower - Jim Sloan

The interlocking tower's roof is removable allowing one to see the mess inside the abandoned tower.
During our visit to Jim Sloan's layout I had a chance to look inside the completed Monster Model Works B&M style tower. Jim modeled it abandoned and did a really nice job of it. The interior looks like one would think an unused or abandoned tower would appear...nice work Jim...George Dutka

Monster Model Works B&M style tower.

A look at the graffiti on the end wall.

Sunday 17 December 2017

Another Mill ForThe Green Mountain Don Janes

The old stone mill finally has some scenery around it which helps it blend into the layout

An Old Mill Finds A New Home

     The old stone mill shown above has been around the green Mtn. Division a long time, one of the first structures to be place on the original layout back in the 1990's.  It's beginnings were not the traditional kit but two lone hydrocal castings  that were used as masters for RTV rubber molds. Once the molds were made I poured several copies of each wall section using hydrocal plaster and set out to cut, fit and fill the castings into many different sections to form the finished mill structure.  
    Let me backup a little and explain.  Many years ago I was in Adams, MA visiting my friend Dick Elwell's Hoosac Valley model railroad.  I was admitting a stone mill on his outstanding layout when I mentioned I would love to build a version of it for my new layout.  He said that he could give me the castings to build the mill and all I had to do was buy the Grandt Line windows that fit the window opening in the castings.  Easy I thought.  Well, not quite.  What Dick really meant (and if you know Dick you will understand) was here are two castings, go buy some RTV rubber, make some molds and pour a bunch of those castings and have at it until your mill is finished.  You see, this is just common practice for Dick to come up with a structure that he wants for his layout.  He builds lots of great kits but you would never recognize them when he is finished.  He just has a talent to create unique structures.
     Anyway, I took the castings home just wondering what to do with them. After all I didn't even know what RTV rubber was and had never made a casting.  After about $100 worth of RTV rubber and plaster I came up with the needed castings and set about to cobble up this mill.  Once the mill was finished I placed it in my old layout and it became a focal point in that area of the layout. 
This is Dick Elwell's mill. It was this structure that inspired me to try to build one for myself.
The outlined are in white shows the original two castings I started with to build the mill
Here is the mill in its new location on the new layout. As you can see it is quite a large structure.
Another view of the mill on it's own little island at the end of the room
This view shows the boiler room end of the mill with its coal supply.  The office on the end was made from a  hydrocal brick section on the bottom and scribed siding on the top.  The stairs and windows are Grandt Line parts
Here we see a B&M switcher spotting a boxcar for loading.  The retaining wall is made from a plaster casting of a stone wall and the fence is from Central Valley.
A Wabash hopper loaded with coal for the mill's boiler house is spotted at the coal unloading pit. From here it will be trucked to the coal pile at the other end of the building.
An overall shot of the mill. The brick section in the middle is a modified DPM plastic building kit. The tall smokestack is from Sylvan Scale Models.
This view from the other end of the mill shows the Bar Mills water tower and coal dump.  The trees in the background are Scenic Express Supertrees.
The brick woodworking shop is a building which was part of South River Model Works "Lamson & Goodson" kit.
    Looking back this was a fun project that provided a unique mill for my layout.  It has yet to be named.  If you take in any layout tours in New England I would bet you will find some variation of these two castings on quite a few layouts. By the way I still have the molds and lots of hydrocal if anyone wants to "have at it".

Saturday 16 December 2017

Tichy Kit Complete

The finished model with a PanPastel weathering job. The door is actually black but I made it look distressed with Bragdon rust and dust. The door on one side is modeled open with some scrap paper, banding and a skid.
Peter and I each began working on the same Tichy kit back in the spring. When summer arrived we each decided to continue on our own. The kits were by then built and painted...all that was needed was decals applied and some weathering. The car sides are suppose to be a silvery colour. I painted them a mix of Floquil old silver with some concrete added. The PanPastel gray also helped toning it down even more. My car did not get the decals applied till this fall and the weathering a few weeks ago. Once Peter's car is done I will show you how it looks also...George Dutka

On the layout the car looks great but in photos I found the roof looked just too weathered. I toned it down a bit with a light coat of Floquil grimy black.
The toned down roof.
A look at the weathered door and the scrap found inside the finished model. I also added a bit of chain to the brake piston below.