Monday 19 December 2016

Grand Trunk Work Cars

For the last few months I've been collecting kits and detail parts to construct a typical 1960's era Grand Trunk Work Train.  From the information I gathered, a typical Work Train would consist of the following:

Bunk or Camp Car
Tool Car
Several, 40' Flat Cars
Small Crane
Hopper or Side Dump Car
Jordan Spreader

Here is a picture of the first car completed.

  The kit is a Tichy 40' Flat car.  The Grand Trunk owned very similar flat cars to which the Tichy kit represents.  The main difference being the type of stake pockets.  The kit is supplied with cast style stake pockets, with three ribs cast into them, on the sides and face of the pocket.  The prototype cars had stamped steel stake pockets, with only one dart centered on either side of the pocket.  To accomplish the conversion to a stamped pocket, I sand the face of each Tichy stake pocket and then carve off the four left over ribs on the top and bottom leaving only the center two ribs on either side.  This conversion takes about an hour to do all 24 stake pockets.  The GT flat cars also only have 11 stake pocket but changing this is more involved an not worth the effort in my opinion.

  I also added cut levers and air hoses, wood side stakes and wood boards on the B end,  but other than that it's built straight from the kit instructions.  After reviewing a prototype photo I can see that the sill steps are to short, and need to be replaced with longer ones, as this is a typical feature of the Canadian built version of these flat cars.  I painted the car with True Colour CN Freight Car Red #11.  Decals came from an old Herald King GTW Set, Black Cat 40' flat car set and a Microscale number set.

  I detailed the car with drums, a scratch built tool box(with pic axes, hammers, crow bars), ties, torch and a welder.  A quick Google search led to some great photos of welders from the 1960's, yielding what colours to paint it.

  The car still needs a coat of clear flat and weathering, but I am gong to wait until the other cars are done so I can make the weathering similar on all the cars using the same colour palette.

  I think the deck turned out great. I used my own spin on the Tichy Method.  Here's the steps if you want to try yourself.

  First I paint the deck with an earth coloured paint.  I used Polyscale Rail Tie Brown thinned 30% with water.  Don't worry so much about using Polycale just get something close.

  Second I thinned some Polyscale Concrete and Valleo Model Air Medium Grey about 50% with water and painted individual boards.

  Third, I thinned the Rail Tie Brown about 80% with water to make a really thin wash and painted everything again.

Fourth I lightly rubbed the whole deck with fine steel wool.

  The final step was to flood the deck with Hunterline Creasote stain.  I use a wide fan brush for this so I can apply it very quickly and evenly across the deck, as it dries quickly.

I have some other stuff on my bench that I need to finish up but then its back to these Work Train Cars.

Monday 12 December 2016

Board Fencing

While most of my modelling efforts of late are focused on building rolling stock for my future GT layout, work on the Algonquin continues.  I've decided to add a fence to the yard scene in the town of Whitney.  I want it to frame an area where the railroad stores things like ties, tie plates, rail etc. next to the MoW shed.

At first I considered buying strip wood and making it myself, but after comparing the cost of the strip wood, to the cost of a Blair Line laser cut fence kit I quickly bought the kit.  The strip wood, would've cost about a third more and I'd have to cut it all myself on the chopper.

I assembled the fencing in sections, with the posts spaced so they would be evenly spaced after installation on the layout.  I stained them with a Hunterline Red stain.  I wasn't pleased with the look, so I tried the kits instructions instead. The kit says to prime with grey (I used a rattle can) and then brush paint the colour of your choice.  I think they came out great.  I dry brushed the top coat to give a weathered look.

Next up is to install the fence and take a few photos. 

Monday 24 October 2016

Van, Caboose and Wood Chip Hopper

Its been awhile since my last post.   Summer has been very busy in our household and not much modelling has taken place.  I've been back at the bench for a couple of weeks now and have a few photos to share.

  First up is the MEC Cabosse 663 from my previous post.  I manged to put it together and get it weathered.  I used an Oil wash and Pan Pastels to achieve the look I was after.  I may still add a bit of road grime to the trucks with my Airbrush, but my paint booth is out of commission right now so that will have to wait.

  The trucks also need some attention.  The Gould Caboose trucks from Proto are nicely rendered; but the brake shoes included snap on poorly and they rub the wheel tread.  I need to decide if I'm going to remove them or try and trim them down so they don't rub.

Next up is CN Van 79150.  Its an offering by True Line Trains.  I replaced the plastic running board with one I made from wood.

 I used a technique of Trevor Marshall's, gluing wood strips (scale 1"x 6") onto  a 0.01" styrene base plate.  I then stained the boards with Hunterline stain.  This was followed by panting the entire running board assembly with flat black paint.  I sanded the boards to remove most of the paint, leaving a nice weathered look to the boards, but everything else remains black to blend with the roof.  This is the first time I attempted this technique and will be using it again.

 Weathering was a dirty brown oil wash on the body, with Pan Pastels on the trucks.  Full strength artists oils were dabbed along the bottom of the side with a tooth pick and pulled up the side with a dry brush to simulate dirt and road grime working its way up the tongue and groove siding.

The third car is a kitbash of a GTW Wood Chip Hopper.  I'll write more about the car history in a future post, after I get it painted and decaled.

 It started out life as a 70 Ton Accurail 3 bay offset side open hopper.  I scratch built the extensions from strip wood and styrene. Wire grabs, NBW's and a whole whack of Tichy rivets added hours of enjoyment building it.  I bent up some cut levers from phosphor bronze wire and added tow hook loops to match the prototype.  I even made up strengthening panels along the sill where the tow eye loops are attached.  These are fastened with rivets on the prototype, so more Tichy rivets here.

 Other details include a Kadde brake wheel, DA brake housing, chain and etched Brake Platform cut from a left over chunk of Apex style running board.  I think I'll add a Train line also.

 If anyone knows the function of the 3 pockets on the side of the wood chip extension, I would be interested in learning their purpose.  My best guess is they might be needed to accommodate some type of car unloading system. 

Monday 9 May 2016

A Van for a Caboose

Got it, got it , need it, got it..... I remember trading Hockey Cards as a kid.  The Hockey Cards are gone these days but I still have some stuff to trade.  This is a great way to recycle train stuff we no longer need.

So I made a trade.  I traded this CP Van. Which was the first kit I ever built, to my father in law whom is modelling the CP operations in Prescott Ontario. Its a Juneco Wood Kit.

 For this...North Eastern Style Caboose.

 This thing started out as a bargain bin Proto 2000 NE Caboose.  It was brush painted black with a red cupola.  Into the paint stripper it went.  A quick sand, Tamiya Surfacing Primer and a Coat of Tru-Colour Reefer Yellow to match a photo started this project.  The roof got a coat of Tru-Colour Black.

  Its going to become MEC 663 painted for 1966.  The MEC acquired 4 of these Caboose from the Western Maryland, I think.  I will need it for the Rigby to Bangor Trains running through Danville Junction.

  I was surprised that the roof was black in the photos.  I thought it would have been MEC Pine Green.  I have a few photos of these Cabooses from the late 60's and they all have black roofs.  Maybe they got green roofs later when they were rebuilt with different windows.

This is when this simple project got more difficult.  I ordered some MEC Caboose Decals from Microscale, as well as some boxcar decals from Microscale and Highball Graphics for other projects.

  So I'm thinking great, only a couple of decals to put on and I'm ready to roll.  So I cut out the Caboose Herald and here is what I got.  The yellow in the decal background is supposed to be much darker than the yellow paint on the caboose.  Prototype photos show it as almost Orange.  I don't think I could paint the caboose a light enough yellow, for this decal to appear orange compared to the caboose paint. So I started looking at the other decals I had.  The Micoscale boxcar set has the correct Orange looking decal, but it has no green on it for the words or outline. It was the only option though, so I printed my own green background decal to go behind the Microscale decal. 

I used a CAD program called Draftsight to design the background decal and printed it on Laserjet decal paper using my colour laser printer.  The laser printer, printed a high resolution image but it left a bit of texture to the surface.  The laser printer worked fine for this application, but I don't think it would work very well for small lettering do to the surface texture.  Here is a picture of the Microscale Orange MEC boxcar decal being applied on top of the green background decal.  The fluid is Walters Solvaset. 
  Its still not as orange as I would like, but much better than the Microscale Caboose decal.  I do not understand why Microscale uses different colours on their MEC decal sets.  I can find no photo of a MEC logo with such a light yellow on it.   The caboose decals should have been printed with the more Orange Harvest yellow of the boxcar set. 

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Trimming the Stash, Future Layout Plans

  I completed two more cars from my Stash.  Both are kits from InterMountain and came factory painted.  These are the first two cars for my future layout.

  The new layout will be the Grand Trunk Eastern Lines in 1966.  Centered around South Paris Maine and the branch line to Norway.  I hope to include Danville Junction as well.

 This is all a couple of years off, but since the Algonquin layout is pretty much 98% done, I need something to work on.  Building the rolling stock, locomotives and structures for the future layout will keep me busy for a couple of years, while I plan it all out.

  I am working on modelling Train #748, The eastbound Way Freight out of Portland to start things off.  These two cars represent ones I have found in photos of this train.  If you have any knowledge of operations, industries, photos, waybills etc I would love to here from you.

  First up is CN 527172.  40' PostWar Boxcar.  This is a 10'6" IH Car.  I added full under floor brake rigging as well as Kaddee grabs irons, Yarmouth running boards and brake platform, cut levers with Yarmouth eyelets (these things are small!), Tichy 8 rung ladders with attached stirrups and finally A line stirrups.  Trucks are Kadde National B-1's, that match what was installed when this series of cars were buillt.

  I sprayed a thin wash of white paint to give the car an initial fade followed with PanPastels and an oil wash applied using capillary action.  The Pan Pastels were removed from the lettering by rubbing with a tooth pick.

 Next up is a 40' PS-1 painted for Norfolk and Western 53327.  I used the kit included brake parts sprue, and an etched roof walk I pillaged from another Intermountain kit.  The brake platform is from Yarmouth, as are the eyelets mounting the cut levers.  Kaddee grabs finish off the substitutes to the kit parts.  Trucks are Kato ASF A3 ride control. These cars appear fairly clean in photo's from 1966 so I kept the weathering to a minimum, using the same techniques as the CN car.

Friday 1 April 2016

BAR 4517 and CP Reefer

I finished up the first two cars from my Stash of Kits.

First up is a Bangor and Aroostock 40' boxcar.  The kit is from Intermountain and the decals are from Highball.  I scratch built the door from Styrene sheet and strip to match the prototype.  I need to swap the trucks with a set of ASF A3 ride control ones from Kato.  I painted and weathered them but they seam to have gone into hiding in my workshop.

I weathered it using Pan Pastels, an Oil wash and a black coloured pencil for the panel lines.  To fade the boxcar red paint,  I mixed a few colours of Pan Pastels together and brushed them on.  I wiped the Pan Pastels from the Road Name, Car Number and Shield with a wet Q tip. This was to get them to stand out again.  The roof has a black oil paint wash.  A coat of Testers Dullcoat and that's about it.  I really liked how this car came out.

Next up is the CP Reefer.  I fixed up the car numbers and reporting mark using some leftovers decals from a MicroScale CP car set.  I need to find and apply a 50 foot roof walk, but its done other than that.

 Weathering was an oil wash applied with a fine brush using capillary action to highlight the panel lines, rivets and door features.  Pan Pastels were applied while the oil wash was still wet to give it some texture.  I used some Pan Pastels on the car ends, the roof got the same oil wash as the highlights.  Burnt Umber artist oil was applied to one of the roof panels to simulate a rusted out panel, and just lightly on two others by stippling.  I followed up with some rust streaks on the side of the car under the heavly rusted roof panel.  This car is a stand in for the prototype at best, but I think it turned out great for a simple blue box kit.

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Working on my 'Stash'

Ok not this type of Stash

Rather the other Stash, the one all Railroad Modellers have have hiding away, under our layouts, in the closet etc.

All those unbuilt freight car projects.....

Heres part of mine.

I'll admit it, I'm a freight car junkie.  Boxcars in particular.

I've got another 2...... ok 3-4 piles about the same size.  The photo above shows my Stash of undecorated Intermountain Railway 40' boxcars.  There's PS-1's and 10'6 Modified AAR Cars.  Two of them may be factory painted.  I'm going to kit bash these into various CN, CP and NorthEastern Roads. Most will be CN.  Most if not all will be painted and weathered for 1965-1966.  This is about 10 years earlier than my current layouts time frame.  There all for a future project that's in the planning stages.  More about that later....

I started this whole exercise by going through my entire Stash and deciding what I can use on the Algonquin, what I can use on the future project and what I should just sell or give away.  

Before I get to the pile here, I pulled out 5 other kits, to get things started.  Two Blue Box kits           (1 Reefer and 1 50' flat car), a Tichy Flat Car, an InterMountain PS-1 and a Walthers CN Newsprint Car.  These will all be for the Algonquin Railway, except for the reefer.

Here are a few progress photos.

Athearn Flat with Tichy staff brake wheel installed.  I added wire grabs and A-Line Stirrups and sanded the ribs off the top of the stake pockets to better represent ones used by the Canadian car builders.

 Athearn Reefer with brake rigging added.  I moved the fuel tanks to the middle of the car after the picture was taken.

 I added a sill extension to the reefer to better represent the prototype CP car.  Wire grabs and Tichy Stirrups were also added.  I left the moulded on ladders, and removed the roof walk and filled the holes.  I masked the car with Tamiya tape and then painted the ends and the lower sills black.

 The masking tape removed some of the car numbers so I will have to use decals to replace them.

I added Plano walkway end platforms to the CN Newsprint car.

I painted the flat car black and started to weather the plastic deck, to look like wood using the "Tichy method".  I also cut off the brake wheel stand on the flat car and filled the side and added rivet decals to replace the missing ones, where the break stand was.

I plan to add cut bars to all of the models also.

My plan is to blog regularly,  showing the progress on my Stash and hope it encourages you to dig out your stash and get working on it.

Friday 26 February 2016

Track Plan and Layout Tour

I've had numerous requests for a track plan.  So here it is.  I never made a track plan before I constructed the railway.  I just put flex track on the bench work and moved things around until I was happy with it.

The plan shows the industries switched on the layout but none of the other structures.  Some Details about the layout.

Modelling Date April 9,1977.

Room Size about 11' x 11'. Scenery including structures ~90% complete.

DCC Digitrax, all Locomotives are SoundTraxx Equipped. SoundCar is mounted under the layout with two Rail Master Speakers.

Maximum Grade 0%.

Track work is Micro Engineering Code 83 and 70 flex track.

Switches are Walthers Code 83 modified with PCB ties to replace the huge plastic throw bars.  Cork road bed on Main and run around.  Track dips down to the foam on all other sidings.

Bench work is box frame, with plywood tops and pink foam.  Hills are made with florist foam.  All mounted on adjustable shelf brackets. Bench work is 52" off the floor.

Backdrop is Masonite with made by me Photo Backdrops on 2 walls and painted backdrop on the third.  I wanted to learn how to do both methods.

Staging is a removable 2 track staging yard with 8-9 car capacity including Locomotive and Van.

The layout tour travels from West to East along the line.  I have completed the feed mill since these pictures were taken.  I will post about it in the short future.  Enjoy..

Sunday 17 January 2016

Propane Supply

    I just finished painting and decaling the propane tank for the Feed and Supply dealer in the town of Whitney.  The tank is a GLX model.  I painted it with Proto Paint.  This is an acrylic based paint.  It says its ready to airbrush on the bottle, so I gave it a try.  It went on kinda lumpy.  For the second coat I thinned it with Tamiya acrylic thinner and it went on better, although not as nice a Valleo Model Air paint.  I'm not a huge fan of acylic paints other than those by Valleo.  I've had enough experimenting with paint I'm going to stick to Valleo Model Air or Tru-Color from now on.  I've had excellent results with both.

Here's the recently finished Propane Tank Truck backing in to fill up the tank at the Feed and Supply dealer.  Soon to be ready to fill up all the Cottagers BBQ tanks.  I mounted a small BBQ tank sign on the out building behind the Feed and Supply as well as a "Shur Gain" Grain Dealer  Sign.

Algonquin Van

I just finished up this Van.  Its kit bashed from a Atlas ICC Center Cupola Caboose.  I modified it to look like the Cartier Railway Vans built by Morrison Knudson.  In my version of history the Algonquin ordered these at the same time as the Cartier.
I weathered it with Oil Washes and PanPastels.  It features scratch built steps to increase the number to 3 steps vs. the 2 steps the model comes with, along with scratch built brass end hand rails to match the prototype.  I also changed two of the windows on each side to represent the large windows with the aluminum trim on the prototype. It also features a complete brake rigging system.
AGN GP7 #711 is preparing to leave Whitney Yard in Northern Ontario with a single empty Wabash Boxcar that just delivered a load of Grumman Aluminum Canoes to the Outfitter in town.