Sunday 30 April 2023

MEC Section House - Completed

I had mentioned that I was working on two MEC style section houses that are interchangeable on my layout. Here they are. More on these shortly...George Dutka  

Saturday 29 April 2023

B&O "Wagontop" Covered Hopper

A B&O wagontop which has been nicely weathered by Bob Bowes. All I had to do was clip the trip pin on the Kadee couplers. A really nice car once offered by West Shore Line.
Back last fall I picked up a few kits that were completely by Bob Bowes. They were from the estate of one of my modeling friends Mike Yurek. This one a is a West Shore Line kit offered years ago by Central Hobby Supply in Syracuse NY. They had a really nice line of kits back in the 1990's. I did purchase a couple back then that I surprisingly built considering I have a large pile of unbuilt kits...George Dutka      

The other side of the covered hopper.
In service and on the move on the WRD.

Friday 28 April 2023

Rotterdam Jct. - Visit

The light was getting weak when I stopped by Rotterdam Jct. on Sept. 11, 2016 on my way home after 5-6 days railfanning and attending a convention.
One of the stops I usually make on my way to or from New England is Rotterdam Jct. It usually is a first or last stop with a peek at what PANAM power is being used on the west end. Not sure how excited I will be going there to see CSXT units...George Dutka

Thursday 27 April 2023

3-D Printed CPR Rolling Stock

Jeff's completed 3-D printed CPR boxcars all vary with some having 5' wood doors while others are 6' steel or wood. The ends differ also with some wood and others steel.
Jeff Pinchbeck who models the CPR during 1938 has been busy 3-D printing CPR  boxcars that were rebuilt in the 1920's. Some of these double sheathed boxcars have steel ends and steel doors while others have smaller and larger wood doors. These cars might be available in the future through Black Cat check their web page later this year...George Dutka    

The 3-D printed boxcars are ready for paint and lettering, Black Cat decals are what will be used.

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Steel Town Railway Prototype Modelers Meet

This past weekend there was a RPM meet in Hamilton, Ontario that I did not hear about till once it was over. From what I was told it is now replacing the past Copetown RPM  two day gathering that normally happens in February and was always the highlight of my winter modeling season. I will have to watch for this meet next year as I really enjoyed the Copetown show...George Dutka  

Monday 24 April 2023

B&M 1824 - East Deerfield, MA

Four all blue B&M engines are laying over in East Deerfield yard during 1982. George Melvin collection.
Another view from the slides I purchased from George Melvin at the NERPM a few years back. This view has B&M 1824 on the lead in East Deerfield yard during August 1982...George Dutka  

Saturday 22 April 2023

Modifying a Rapido CPR E-8

CP E-8 1800 is getting under way after a stop at White River Junction

Improving the Rapido E-8

     I recently purchased a Rapido CPR E-8 from Otter Valley Railroad in Tillsonburg.  These are great looking models. I chose #1800 in the original paint scheme.  This model looks great and runs extremely well.  After studying the model I saw a few things that I thought I could improve on.  One thing I thought needed attention was the headlight.  This model has a lightboard in the front on which several LED's are located.  They shine up through clear plastic lenses to illuminate the headlight, class lights and number boards.  The number lights and class lights looked good but I felt the headlight needed improvement.  It has a very nice shiny silver reflector in the headlight casting but the actual light is behind this and when turned on only shines through a small hole in the headlight housing  producing a very weak light that can only be seen when looking at it head on.  After I removed the body shell I was able to remove the inside of the casting.  I decided to use an 0804 SMD LED mounted right inside the casting.  I fed the wires through the hole in the casting and used Microscale Kristol Klear to hold the LED in place. I then added a two prong plug to the end of the LED wires so I could unplug the body from the chassis.  The wires for the other end of the plug was soldered to the headlight terminals on the lightboard and run under the cab interior back to the middle of the chassis.  I tested the headlight and it looked a lot brighter than before. 
This photo shows the LED installed in the headlight and how it reflects inside the shiny casting.

This photo shows the front light board and LED's that illuminate the number boards. The clear headlight plastic was removed so the ne LED wires would sit in its place.
         The next change I made was to remove the Rapido front pilot and coupler and replace it with a passenger pilot from a Highliners F unit kit I had on hand.  The Rapido pilot is fastened to the chassis and is held in place with two screws. Almost every photo I have seen of these engines in the original paint shows this type of pilot with the coupler covered up.  The new pilot is simply glued to the front of the body shell.  It fits perfectly without any modifications. I just had to file a bit of plastic around the coupler pocket so the new pilot would slip over the chassis.  Before I installed the pilot I added the necessary grab irons and locking levers to the pilot.  I then painted the pilot a grimy black colour.
This photo shows the Highliners pilot with the necessary grab irons and locking levers in place. photo by David Hutchinson

The photos above show the new pilot installed on the shell

      With the headlight and pilot modifications done, I turned my attention to the speakers.  My model came with DCC/Sound. It sounded good but I have been using speakers from Scale Sound Systems lately and I feel these speakers are far superior to anything else on the market.  Scale Sound makes replacement speakers for the Rapido E-8 so I decided to order them.  They make a large speaker designed to fit at the rear of the chassis and a smaller one for near the front.  I decided to use both on my model and see how it would sound. I was not disappointed.  These new speakers have more bass and give the throaty growl of the dual 567 engines in an E-8.  These speakers are a little more than other speakers but well worth the money spent.  They were mounted with double edged tape

The two Scale Sound Systems speakers can be seen mounted on the chassis.

Rear Speaker above, front speaker below

     One other detail I wanted to change was the addition of a Cal Scale Nathan M5R2 air horn which is quite visible on these units.  They were delivered with two single trumpet air horns but at some point these were replaced with the new horns.  Looking at prototype photos,  it appears that the original horns were removed and the new horn was installed in one of the original spots.  The 1800 and 1802 had them on the engineers side of the roof and the 1801 had it on the fireman's side.  I painted the horn black and installed it on the roof.  The hole from the other horn was filled with with a tiny piece of gray plastic sprue material and cut flush with the roof.

This is the new Cal Scale brass M5R2 air horn installed on the cab roof.

       The final modification I made was to mask of the body and roof and paint the glossy black areas with grimy black.  This greatly helped show off the great detail of the trucks, fuel tank, pilot and center roof detail.  As the model comes from the factory, these details are all but invisible to see because of the black paint.  I will add some light weathering to the trucks and roof at a later date.  I also added the separate rear door diaphragm that is included with the model and add Kadee #58 couplers.

These two photos show the finished model

     Once everything was complete I decided to overwrite the Rapido sound file with an ESU sound file for a dual 567 engine.  Sound file SO761.  I did this because it has more sound effects that I like than what are included on the Rapido file.  These include flange squeal, cab door, hand brake, isolation switch, independent brake and several other sounds.  It does not have a steam generator sound but I can live without that. 
      This was a fun project and really improves an already great model.


Friday 21 April 2023

Era Swapping

Era swapping is something I do at times. Here we see a big jump from the 1950's. This scene is similar to what is seen today on the prototype.
I wrote an article for MR just over 4 years ago on era swapping on the WRD. I had no idea when it would be published and speaking with others that have sent material in to MR and was accepted have found there is a long wait too.  

I had not seen this years MR Planning available in our area this year. I was wondering if one was produced. So back in March I checked their web site to see if MRP was actually published. To my surprise I saw my name on the site with a link to my article on WRD era swapping. I guess it was published early March on their web page. If I had not checked their web site I would have never known this as MR never contacted me. Anyhow it was nice to see it was used and one can read it on line. If you have an article accepted by MR maybe keep an eye on their web site.

Another surprise was I could go directly to this years MRP and download it to read at a later date without any cost...I am not a member of their site so no log in was required...George Dutka

This scene reflects the 1960's on the WRD.

Its the 1980's and a meet at Bellows Crossing is completed by two trains both handed by MEC equipment.

Thursday 20 April 2023

London Car Shops

It is 1938 and some touchup painting is required to a CNR coach. The car shops in London was a busy place. I remember them but never did get inside the complex.
There was a time here in London, Ontario that the CNR had a large car shops which employed a lot of wood craftsman. My wife's grandfather was one that worked there living a couple of blocks away. I actually have his old RR jack that at one time with a 4 by 4 post was holding up the center of her uncles house which was across the street from her grandfather. I got it once they sold the house. I think having the jack holding up the house was not a good thing to promote when selling a home. It actually worked well as you could adjust the floor level when needed...George Dutka        

Tuesday 18 April 2023

April 2023 This and That!

Its official and the signs are up. 
Here we have a mix of photos that I thought I would share with you. I attended the Ontario Narrow Gauge Show held in Hamilton. It was the first time in 4 years the show has been held. More on this topic on my narrow gauge blog...enjoy...George Dutka

Bruce Douglas passed along this colour view of the interior of the Stratford shop. Not many colour views are out there of the interior.

Kevin Smith sent me this view of the chair factory. The view appears to be a postcard and similar to the one seen a couple of weeks ago on Wordless Wednesday. Kevin believes that this is the L G Fullam Chair Co. factory circa 1903. The company was founded in 1889 and  is noted for their hand made rocking chairs.
At the Ontario Narrow Gauge Show Mt. Albert Scale Lumber had a nice selection of lumber for sale. The bundles are off cuts that are priced right. Some laser cut O scale tools and hinges sold well too. The tools were gone before the show began.

Schomburg Scale Models has its bits and pieces for O scale and larger structures. Most of this was gone before the show was over.

 B&M 0252 is a sawdust service car which is a MOW boxcar. Note the Fox trucks. Photo from the Tim O' Conner collection.

Monday 17 April 2023

N Scale - Boxcar Weathering

My Atlas N scale boxcar before weathering begins. The boxcar got a coat of flat finish a few days prior to applying the finishes.
I weathered this Atlas N scale USRA single sheathed boxcar roof the same as I normally do my HO scale boxcars. This was my first N scale roof. I think it turned out well being a small area...George Dutka   

A wash of AK Nato tanks rainmarks has been applied over the entire roof. any gray will work. I have also been using dollar store acrylic paints too but have been getting away from these products.

PanPastel Raw umber shade and has been coated over AK gray followed by a coat of red iron oxide extra dark, which was a light coating. It is a bit tricky working on such a small area.

The completed weathered boxcar has been weathered heavy on the roof but light on the sides. The sides have PanPastel red iron oxide extra dark lightly applied. I think the weathered roof makes the car appear more realistic in my fleet. I also added some finely sanded paper on the tackboards as notices and placards.

Sunday 16 April 2023

B&M 1230

A fall day finds B&M 1230 at Pownal, Vt. George Melvin collection
A view from a group of slides I purchased from George Melvin. I am not sure if he took the photo or it is something he picked up somewhere. Anyhow a nice view of the B&M switcher is seen at Pownal, Vt. on 2-9-1965. Being a single engine it probably is working as a local...George Dutka  

Saturday 15 April 2023

MIG Paints - Rail Center Colours

I have been using my Rail Center paints on structures to see how they work. On this structure I used their white on the walls.
I have been playing around the last while with some of the new tones of railroad paints offered by MIG, Ammo Rail Center colors.

I painted a strip of tuscan on my test car to see how it matches my go-to boxcar red. As you can see it is much darker. The tuscan seems to match the NS boxcar picture on the box.  

I found tuscan was a pretty good match to CP maroon on my new Rapido E-8.

Friday 14 April 2023

True Color Brushable Paint

True Color brushable paints come in CN colours and also engine black plus a few more tones. I also noted Paris Junction Hobbies are also carrying True Color paints, but did not notice brushables. For those that have not used these paints it is an acetone base paint.
Don Janes and I spent the day on Tuesday railfanning, visiting Peter Mumby and picking up Don's orders at Otter Valley hobby shop. They have added more paints to their stock lately and I was surprised to see brushable paints in CN colors. I had to pick one up to see what it was all about. My quick test, the paint flowed well and covered good. I noted a slight gloss to the paint when dry. One would still have to apply a gloss coat prior to decaling...George Dutka    

I also purchased MEC pine green which is their normal paint ready to spray. Brushable paint fall in the 800 series. I did a test square to see how it flowed and covered. It covered and flowed really well when applying by brush but I made a mess of them when I dropped my paint cloth over both test sheets and made a mess of them. The lines and smudges on the squares are my custom work.

Thursday 13 April 2023

CV RS-3 - Bowser

Modelers that worry about getting the CV green and gold coloring correct not to worry as you can see with a bit of weathering the green begins to change its appearance. If your coloring is a bit off try your hand at weathering.
Back in December while visiting Don Janes I snapped this view with my phone of the hood of his new Bowser CV RS-3. He had it weathered and the roof looks great...George Dutka