Tuesday 29 November 2022

Before and After!

A finished model and the kit it first would have been, all in one view.

Here we have a before and after view all in one photo. I updated a Branchline Yardmaster series kit I built years ago this past summer. A few simple additions were added at the time, I pulled out another NH kit that is new and still requires assembly. Maybe this winter? Who knows...it has been collecting dust for some time now...George Dutka    

Sunday 27 November 2022

Postcard - Kincardine, Ont.

A view of the harbor in Kincardine, Ontario. Note the CNR station in the view. The note that came with the image mentions the boat being loaded with salt.
Today Bruce Douglas sent me this neat view of the harbor area of Kincardine, Ontario which was the end terminal of a CNR branchline. The station was right on the beach and next to the harbor as seen in this view. The station has been torn down many years ago, but a kind of replica beach change house was built maybe 100 feet away from where the station stood. Too bad they did not see the worth of saving such a structure on the beach...George Dutka   

Saturday 26 November 2022

NYC Bulkhead Flat

I really worked on getting the wood deck on this model looking like it had been used.
Last Christmas Peter Mumby gave me this nice Intermountain bulkhead flat. There was nothing to do to it other than some weathering. The sides and ends got a light coat of PanPastel Raw Umber Shade. 

I wanted the wood decking to be the highlight of the model. It actually was not that hard to accomplish. I began by a full coat of AK neutral grey followed by a coat of AK wash for wood. I then applied a coat of Hunterline creosote black. The deck was looking good by now, but some highlights are needed. I dry brushed a coat of acrylic white followed by some PanPastel raw umber shade...George Dutka 

Friday 25 November 2022

Snapshot - November 2022

Don and I were up close to the tracks on the morning of May 30, 2019, while ex-BC Rail with a weather-beaten cab switch's the west end of Utica, NY yard.  It was sunny to boot. Don Janes Photo
This month's snapshot is a view taken by Don Janes on our way to the New England RPM. We stopped and spent the night in Utica, NY. In the morning we decided to take another look at the station and yard to see if there was anything going on. To our surprise the MA&N was switching the west end of the yard. There is good access here trackside to get us our best view of this particular engine. Any other views over the years were telephoto shots across the yard towards the engine house. I also took a group of photos thinking how great it was to get a few up-close views on a sunny day. My luck ended when I got back into the car leaving the scene and realized my camera card was still in my computer and not in the camera. Thanks, Don, for sharing your views with me...George Dutka   

Thursday 24 November 2022

Throwback Thursday - CN Power Snapshot, Part B

Sitting at Rectory St is 4101, another member of the GR-418d class (General Motors, Roadswitcher, 4-axle, 1800 hp).

By Peter Mumby.  

Here is a second look at some of the power used on CN freights in and through the London area during the 1980s and 1990s.

Here is our "Sweep" photo of the day, exposed at London East.

Blue units with either GT or DWP markings were quite common on through freights at this time, although most were of the 6-axle variety.  GR-417a 4607 had been rebuilt from locomotive 4550.

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Hosac Tunnel, West Portal


Finishing the Hoosac Tunnel West Portal Scene....by Don Janes

     Back in 2015 I drove the last spike on my Green Mountain Division mainline and it was just outside the west portal of Hoosac Tunnel.  Fast forward to Nov.21, 2022 and I have finally finished the scenery for this area.  I had been putting it off as I wanted to finish up some of the more major scenes on the layout and having done that it was finally time to finish Hoosac Tunnel.
      This small one foot by three feet shelf is just outside the furnace room from where the mainline exits and crosses the doorway.  On the other side of the door, I have a replica of the east portal of Hoosac Tunnel that I will finish next.
This 2015 photo shows the small shelf where the track exits the furnace room and crosses the doorway. The tunnel portal has been put in place.

This train made the maiden voyage around the layout once the last spike was driven.
This is the same set of power making its maiden trip through the finished tunnel scene.

     The concept of adding Hoosac Tunnel to my layout came about many years ago when I was visiting my friend Dick Elwell in Adams, MA.  Dick owned the famous Hoosac Valley Railroad.   While visiting the layout I noticed Dick had a model of Hoosac Tunnel on his layout and I asked where he got the portal casting. It turns out he had a friend that made a master then rubber mold of the portal then cast them in hydrocal and Dick was kind enough to get me one.  I held onto that casting, waiting for the time I could incorporate it into my layout.  This turned out to be the perfect spot.  Dick passed away recently and will be missed by the model railroad community.  He was a true gentleman and was a major influence in my modelling.  I will miss Dick a lot.
A B&M EMD FT A/B locomotive exits the tunnel with a freight train in tow.

A pair of EMD F-2's lead a passenger train out of Hoosac Tunnel.

    I have been to the East Portal of Hoosac Tunnel several times and it is very easy to get to, but I have never been to the west portal and from what I have heard it is very hard to access.  Fortunately, an internet search brought up several good photos of the west portal area, so I used them to base my model on.  
This is an old postcard showing the west portal shortly after it was completed.  This postcard came in handy when I started the scenery. 

     The scenery was done by first using strips of cardboard to get the general landscape shape then that was covered with plaster cloth.  Hydrocal rock castings were added next and coloured with various coloured washes. I painted the hydrocal shell with earth coloured paint and added dirt that actually came from Dick's backyard which was not far from the tunnel.  Various static grass and ground foams were used for the vegetation and Scenic Express trees were used for the deciduous trees and Grand Central Gems pine trees were used for the evergreen trees.  Highball cinder ballast was used on the tracks. The photo backdrop trees are from Sceniking in Barrie, ON. 

The small shanty to the right of the train is a B.E.S.T laser cut wood kit.

     The prototype tunnel was originally double track but was reduced to one track in later years. My model has one main track.   The tunnel had large wooden doors which were replaced in later years with a roll up door.  I wanted to include the wooden doors but I thought they would overpower the portal in HO scale so decided to leave them off.  
    This was a fun project, but I am glad it is finally finished. It makes a very interesting scene in a small space.
A pair of B&M RS-3's lead a westbound freight out of the tunnel

Compare this photo with the one near the start of the post when this was just an open frame with tracks on it.

Tuesday 22 November 2022

CN Proto Switcher

The weathered engine is ready to roll. I used acrylic gray as a wash with an outline of rust to emulate the peeled effects.
Peter Mumby was selling off some of his train stock this fall (I was manning his table). One of the offerings was a new Proto CN switcher that I thought should have sold well but for some reason it did not. I asked him if I could take it home and work on some weathering with it. I was planning to do the cab roof paint as a peeling effect and add some overall shoot. The stacks and around the car body doors on the walkways would get some oil staining and spilling. The brake shoes are rusted up similar as to what one would see on the prototype. I think the switcher turned out well and who knows it might go quickly at the next show. If not, maybe I'll keep it in my own collection. Having a low-cost engine to practice weathering on works well for me...George Dutka  

The engine how it looked when it arrived on the workbench.

A closeup of the oil stains and brake shoe rust. Most of the engine was overcoated with Bragdon soot (black).

Monday 21 November 2022

Ghosting Wall Signs

Downtown Chesterton. The downtown area has some great structures to model. The tracks are just across the street to view the trains passing by. A railway junction location is a few blocks over too. Chesterton is a great midpoint to stop on the way to Milwaukee when one is taking their time.
Back in 2019 when Don Janes and I went to Trainfest we planned on a two-day trip to Milwaukee taking in some railfanning and hobby shop stops. We stopped for the night in Chesterton at the bottom of lake Michigan. A trip downtown was a good thing as there is a refurbished station and railway equipment on display. What caught my attention was some really neat looking structures. This one viewed today had some neat looking advertising that is more of a ghost effect that would be great to emulate on a model...George Dutka   

A closeup of the signs that overlap each other on the sidewall.

Sunday 20 November 2022

Broden's Butter Dish Milk Cars

Seen in Dover NJ in 1949 from the Bob Bowes collection.
I was going through the Bob Bowes collection of photos recently and realized he had two photos of Borden's butter dish milk cars mixed in where I would not expect to find them. One of these cars I had not seen a view of as a butter dish milk car. BEIX 522 has been added to my list. Also, I have not seen many views of the earlier paint scheme (red) on these cars. My updated (2022) list of cars known to me to be butter dish cars are BFIX 503-508-516-520-521-522-523-531-534-537. It is good to have a proper number if one is modeling one of these cars...George Dutka 

BFIX 522 is seen in Deposit NY in 1937. Bob Bowes collection.

Saturday 19 November 2022

CV Milk on the Move

The CV is running a milk train over the White River Division on this day a few years back. My CV  RS-3 is a AHM engine I built back in the early 1980's. About a decade or two ago Peter Mumby suggested that maybe I could chop the shell and install it on a Stewart frame and drive. The drive is actually made by Athearn. So here it is AHM shell mounted on a Stewart drive. I also added a non-sound DCC decoder in there a few years later. It runs well but the shell really does not sit on the body as well as I would like...still a neat little engine. Oh I did purchase a new Bowser version which is great...George Dutka

Friday 18 November 2022

WOD-NMRA Meet - Pt Dover

Roger gives his presentation about Pt. Dover. This view is of the CN station which still stands but has been moved down closer to the beach. A portion of the station was also removed, and I believe the operators bay was also moved to a different location on the station.
Last Saturday the Western Ontario Division of the NMRA gathered in Pt. Dover, Ontario for their fall meeting. The day began with a morning visit to Mt. Albert Lumber and Fast Tracks located in town. The group of about 18 gathered at the Beachfront restaurant for lunch and a presentation by Roger Crysler about Pt. Dover. Three layouts in the area were open for the group to visit. Pt. Dover is a small community which has a lot of retirees in newer homes with great basements. As it turns out there are at least 8 model railroaders in town...George Dutka  
The WOD group also brought models to display which everyone had a chance to tell the group about what they have done.

The Pt Dover CN station as it looks this past summer.

Thursday 17 November 2022

Throwback Thursday - CN Power Snapshot, Part A

CN 4113, class GR-418d, was a road switcher rebuilt in the 1990's

By Peter Mumby
Today we will take a look at a few run-of-the-mill locomotives operating on CN during the 1980s and 1990s. All photos were shot at or near the CN yard in downtown London, Onatario.

CN GP-9 4506, shown here on one of the shop tracks at Rectory St, was a member of the GR-17 class.

"Sweep" 7106 was another product of CN's rebuilding program.  I never got tired of photographing members of this small group of locomotives.

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Twin State Fruits - The Model

My rendition of Twin State Fruits had to be a building flat of sort with the length reduced to about 80% of the size. I had measured the building back in the 1990's with plans done for the CVRHS Ambassador at that time.
I built this model almost two decades ago and last winter it needed a bit of repairs. The walls is a plastic textured material that had come apart at a few spots. Some Walthers Goo and two clams seemed to do the trick. A bit of dusting and touch-up painting and all is good for maybe another decade...George Dutka 

Some glue and clamping fixed the areas were lifting had occured.

A view looking down at the structure. I am still looking for a roof vent that look more like the prototype in size and shape. I used a small commercial item from decades ago.

Monday 14 November 2022

Pennsyvania X23 Boxcar

Interesting the car door opens to the left side. Also note all three cars have different style of doors.

A few views I researched for a model I am building. These photos are from the Bob Charles collection. No other details are known. These views will be really handy while building my model or should I say rebuild. The car is an old wood kit that someone put together decades ago which I feel could look a lot better with a few changes. I have had the model for maybe 20 years and just am getting around to it...George Dutka  

Plug doors are found on this car.

Sunday 13 November 2022

Twin State Fruits - Two

A look at the ventilators and billboard support rods. Matt Flynn photo Sept 19, 1993.

Some more views from my collection of the Twin State Fruits at White River Jct. I used these to build my model maybe 20 years ago...George Dutka     

I took this photo in Sept 18, 1993 of the sign. I used this for a number of years on an angle on the model till Jim Sloan did some computer magic and squared it out for me.

Above and below are up close views by Matt Flynn 1993

Saturday 12 November 2022

Twin State Fruits

WRJ 1953 view of Twin State Fruits and of course CV 602, Bob's photos collection, Bill Brigham CVRHS collection copy.
I have been working on an article for the CVRHS Ambassador about the Twin State Fruit structure and how I modeled it. I was digging through some of my views when I came across the Bob's Photos copy which I took a photo of at WRJ Glory Days. Bill Brigham was manning the CVRHS booth and collection. This view presents the billboard sign in very good shape. Too bad I could not find a full-size view of the sign from the 1950's. Looks like a reefer full of fruits or vegetables are spotted there...George Dutka    

Friday 11 November 2022

London's O Scale Club Layout

The O scale club in London is up and running again.
On Tuesday November 8, 2020, the O gauge club here in London held its first open house in a long time. The club has been around for decades but dismantled the layout for a move to a new location. To my surprise it looks nothing like the old version, a good thing, change is good. The layout is now operated using NCE and the handhelds are phones. The guys running the trains were quite young compared to those in the club in the past. It is good to see the club has modernized and is up to current practices, and to see youth in the group is a good thing...George Dutka