Saturday, 20 July 2019

Factory completed !

Well, this is the way things looked for this industrial building about 6 weeks ago. It hadn't always looked this way of course, but with some "questionable" original kitbash type construction, plus one thing leading to another, this building basically went ahead ans re-kitted itself quite some time ago. I can only imagine what anyone visiting must have thought when they saw it.

I had never heard that term "re-kitted itself" until quite recently on another forum.  I chuckled to myself as I thought how it certainly applied to this structure.
This was the scene back on May 28th, maybe 3 weeks or so before I actually got started on re-building this major layout industry, which is served by the Grand Trunk.

I don't know how much time I spent on this reconstruction project, but a couple of hours here and there and it all adds up to quite a bit I'm sure. So, to re-cap what's went on as far as the re-build goes...

All of the failed glue joints (several of 'em) have been cleaned up and re-glued and the corners are reinforced.  I re-built a balsa frame for the back of the building and epoxied the base of the entire structure to a 6" x 48" piece of MDF.  The building is just under 50 inches in length though, so I had to add on a small piece of the MDF base at the right-hand end.

I re-built the roof with styrene, and added about a dozen or so details from the Walthers kit.  Across the front facade, I put a few vents, added on some piping, some of which came from a kit and some are just made from scrap sprue material of the same diameter.  All of that has been painted to appear to be rusty.  There's also some conduit made from steel wire and some from styrene rod.

I decided early on in this project that I'd like to blank out a bunch of the individual window panes to simulate fiberglass panes. To do this I cut up blue and white trim film and laid that over random panes. That sure took a while, but I like the appearance it gives.

The spur track is code 83 now, ballasted, with weeds growing, and there's a fair bit of litter scattered along it as well.  And I made and added about 44 inches of chain link fencing to run along the property line as well. I also printed "No Trespassing" signs and put them on the fence.

So, all that said, here it is...

Still on the workbench in this view, but the re-build is finally finished up.  That is unless I decide to add lighting or something in the future.

I successfully transferred the structure, intact, from my workbench back to it's place on the layout. I'd expect that the GT should be along anytime now to spot some cars at this valuable customer.

And just like that, 6210 magically appears, right on cue.

And here is the building, back in business with two 60 foot and one 86 foot boxcar spotted

I've got my sights set on cleaning up the area in the foreground next.  But, the first step for that will be to get a replacement switch for the one we see here. I guess that will have to be my priority on my next trip to the local hobby store, 60 miles away.  In the meantime though, I've got lots of other projects to look after.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Industrial Plant Re-build Continues

So my time this week has been spent working away at my industrial plant re-build, adding rooftop details, some piping, that sort of thing.  I put together the Walthers Rooftop Details kit and painted and weathered the parts before I started adding a few of them to the building.
The details kit, very simple to assemble, but no, you don't get the building pictured on the box with it.

I used orangish-rust coloured craft paint and Vallejo Rust Texture, along with Vallejo's black wash to weather the vents.

All 37 pieces from the Walthers Rooftop Details kit, after assembly and rusting and weathering. I haven't put all of them onto my industry, as it would be ridiculously crowded on the roof if I did, but I did use quite a few pieces on it.  The extras can go on other structures.

Here's the industry still sitting on my workbench.  I've added some vents and exterior rusty piping running below the 3rd storey windows.  Difficult to see in this view, but there are several vents on the roof as well. I've also randomly blanked out many of the windows with blue and white fibreglass inserts (decal trim film actually).

I've placed a couple of 60 foot high cubes and an SD38 onto the spur to give me a better idea of the way things might look once I get this re-build finished up.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

The JSSX Engine Shed Just Got a Little Bit Safer

3 weeks ago, I showed some photos taken around the Goderich & Exeter Locomotive Maintenance building up in Goderich, Ontario.  I had noticed then the safety striping at the sides of the large roll-up door and thought maybe I'd try to do something similar on the JSSX maintenance shop as well.

Good friend Chuck - a talented modeler - volunteered to send me an assortment of red and white striping decals that he had to spare. They arrived in the mail last Friday. So here's how the locomotive doorway is looking now at the JSSX shop
The safety stripes are a small and subtle detail of course, the kind of thing that might not even be noticed, but I thought it was kind of a neat idea for the layout.  My thanks to Chuck for the decals, and also thanks again to Ian Cryer whose photos of the GEXR maintenance building gave me this simple idea.

That's an SD40 leaser from NREX beginning to roll out of the JSSX shop.  I started the safety stripes at about 4 or 5 feet off the ground and they run up to almost the top of the door.  I spaced just a few of the stripes a bit randomly.

And speaking of the GEXR, I dug out these old photos that I took in Goderich in about 1993 of 3 of the original GEXR GP9s. At the time, I believe that the railway was owned by Railtex.  I've always thought of this cream and emerald green colour scheme as one of my favourites.
GEXR 180, 179 and 177 are working the Sifto Salt mine in Goderich in about 1993. And there's my old '86 Chevy Blazer at the side of the road too.  That was a great little truck. I always liked the old-style square headlights it had.
GEXR 180 along with 177 and 179.  Hard to see, but 180 has the Shakespearean character name "Falstaff" painted below the cab. Another was "Titania", But I don't remember the names on the others.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Industry Repair Progress & Track Replacement

Back on June 8th, I posted this photo of an industry building that had been in need of repairs that I'd been wanting to get around to working on.  The building itself is repaired, but while the code 100 track spur was functional, I did want to upgrade it to code 83.
This industry building is situated in a corner of the layout, which makes working on it difficult. So, the whole thing, spur included, is mounted onto a 6 inch wide piece of MDF. so that I can (hopefully) lift it up and move it more easily from the layout to the workbench when needed. So far, that idea has worked out fine. I've got replacement code 83 flextrack for the track in the foreground, but I still need to get a code 83 switch to replace the one in the foreground here.

The building is over 49 inches in length, and about 3.5 inches deep, except for the bit at the far end which is 5 inches deep.It's made up of 3 or 4 of the Walthers Armstrong Electric Motors kits. The code 83 track for the spur is in place, ballasted and weathered. There's a bit of greenery and even some cardboard that I've littered along the track as well.
The building still on the workbench.  There sure are lots of windows.  Four 60 foot or three 86 foot boxcars can be spotted at this plant.

I've purchased this Walthers kit of rooftop detail parts to add more interest to the structure.

The kit is made up of 37 detail parts, some of which have to be cemented together.  I don't know if they'll all end up on the roof of this building, but we'll soon find out.

Lastly, Monday will be Canada Day up here.  Scruffy, the Deputy of Security, keeps watch as I photograph some of the Canadian flag decorations that I made up for family and friends this week.
Happy Canada Day!

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Fibre-Optic Markers, Plus a Couple of Covered Hoppers

You've probably seen those white marker plastic or vinyl stick-type things with the orange coloured tops alongside a roadway or ditch and never gave them a second's thought, and just continued on with your day. I have too, but one time I saw some and wondered what they are.  Well, come to find out that they're markers for fibre-optic cable lines.  Hmmm...that's an idea...

So, I decided to make a up few and put them on the layout,  I cut some .005 thick styrene into a strip about 3 scale inches wide.  That was just a best guess.  I cut the strip up into pieces about an inch long or so, allowing for roughly half of that to be stuck down into the the "ground", leaving more or less a scale 4 feet visible.  This all seemed about right. 

I quickly painted the top end of the pieces with some orange craft paint and pushed the other end down into suitably sized holes I drilled into the tabletop. I've spaced my markers about 150 scale feet apart, which also seemed a reasonable guess - at least to me anyway.
I know they're very difficult to see in this photo, one is way down there by the brown boxcar on the left and another beyond the fire hydrant. Sorry, but that's the limitations of the depth of field of my camera.

Here you can see one of my fibre-optic markers much better.

I also busied myself this week with some freight car weathering

Above are a couple of cylindrical covered hoppers that I've weathered this past week for Jamie Barron. Wheels, trucks and couplers are painted, faded paint, some vertical grime and rust streaking, wear on the discharge bays, and a light layer of rust from the walkways onto the car bodies. 

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Around the Goderich and Exeter Locomotive Shop

My former neighbor, Ian Cryer sent me these photos, which he took a couple of weeks ago near his new home in Goderich, Ontario.  Thanks Ian !

I haven't been to Goderich in several years, but back then this GEXR maintenance shop is where I got the idea for the steel sided engine shed, instead of using a Walthers kit brick 2 stall engine house on my JSSX. I notice the random red safety striping beside the large door as well as the many other details leaning against the wall.

GEXR GP38 with Operation Lifesaver and Zero Injuries Is Our Goal decal.  Some real heavy grime streaking down the sides of this loco.

Southern Ontario Railway (reporting marks RLHH) has similar stickers/decals as the GEXR above.  I wonder what's in the pails at the left in the foreground.
I prefer the red,white and blue of the previous RailAmerica scheme on this GP40 to the orange and yellow used on Genesee and Wyoming subsidiaries.

This is the scene outside of the engine shed on the JSSX. Workhorse GP 38 #815 is to the left and ex-Conrail Dash 8-40B #5068 in the doorway.  I'm going to see if I can add those red safety stripes similar to those that the GEXR has by the door, 

Saturday, 8 June 2019

GTW 86 Foot Boxcar 1:1 and 1/87

I've got a shoebox full of photo prints that I took a number of years ago, before  I ever had a digital camera.  With a new printer here, and the scan feature set up on it (finally), I've scanned a couple of prints to show here.  I used these to help weather an 8-door 86' boxcar of the GTW persuasion.

These two pictures are not of the same car, but I used them for reference for one side each on the model.  I think the 2 pictures would be a good 20 years old now. I'm not good about keeping track of the dates.

The Athearn blue-box model.

The two sides of the model.  Next time this boxcar goes past the workbench, I think I should add the black patch at the reporting marks, as well as the barcode and a couple of other paint patches that I missed.

Last week I showed the kit-bashed building that had pretty much come apart on me when I had moved it. I got it put back together this week, with better glue joints.  Also, since it's in the corner of the layout, it's much more difficult to reach to work on.  I've got it mounted now onto a piece of MDF so it can be lifted out and taken to the workbench without damaging things again.
This industry can hold 3 86 foot boxcars on the spur, but I normally just have 2 in there. I have a couple of pieces of code 83 track that I'll put here, which should look a lot better than the code 100 that's placed there temporarily.