Saturday, 11 August 2018

New Industry - a little progress...

Four weeks ago (boy, that time went fast) I posted about a new industrial buildiing I had started working on for the layout. Here's an update on how work has progressed since that time.

On the rail side (of course) of the building, I've cut in a recessed area to hold the plastic pellet storage silos. This brings the silos closer to the covered hopper cars, and I think it simply looks a little more interesting.

The silos are from a used set of 4 that were given to me about 3 years ago by Brian Smith. They were plain white plastic, so this week I finally spent some time cleaning them up a bit, and then spray painted 3 of them ( I took them outside to do this) with Krylon Ivory. The Ivory colour helps to break up the white of the long wall of the building. I think 3 silos is enough for this building. With the building roughed into position for now, everything will have to receive some light weathering at some point.

I've also got a bit of a start on scratch-building a long "steel" rack to support piping and hoses that would be used to unload the covered hoppers. Still in white plastic, you can kind of see it roughly in place in this picture, leaning against the two covered hoppers. The idea is that the track and freight cars will run between the building and the piping rack.

In this nearly identical, but uncropped photo, I try to show the size of this stub ended peninsula of the layout. It's about 7 feet from the wall at the left to the right-hand end of the peninsula. Those tracks in the foreground go another 12 feet or so to the right and then loop back around to allow for continuous running. For the pictures, I have removed another warehouse building that sits between the front edge of the layout and the GT boxcar.

Looking a little worn, the bulk carrier Labrador is entering the St.Clair River at Sarnia, Built in 2010, the Labrador is on it's way to Montreal and then on to Dominican Republic.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

HS Coil Steel Car

Apologies to anyone that tried during the day last Saturday to use the link to the Industrial Paved Street Track that I included in the post. I hadn't actually posted any links here before, and didn't do it properly.  I got it figured out though and fixed the link later Saturday night.

I have a few coil steel cars that appear every now and again on the layout. The JSSX does serve a small fabricating shop that receives this type of car occasionally. I added to the collection a couple of years ago when I picked up this covered coil steel gondola on a trip to Florida.  At that time, this model (Atlas) kind of stood out to me because it was the first one I'd seen one painted in this light grey scheme.

This freight car took quite a while to make it's way into the weathering lineup, but it's done now, my weathering inspired by this Erik Edmonds photo that I ran across online.

I chose to leave the reporting marks just as they were.  I painted the cover flat black, and added the rust streaks and patches.  The patches are pretty light and hard to see in the photos, but they are there. I'm kind of wrestling with whether or not to put the graffiti on it. Maybe I'll give it a try. The rusty weathering on the lower portion of the car is done with burnt sienna oil paint, thinned and streaked using a wide, flat brush. The trucks and wheels are done with Krylon Camouflage Brown (Ultra Flat). Some rust powders were added to colour the wheels a bit.

I lightly weathered the cradle inside the car and set some coils inside just for the picture. 

The weight for the Atlas coil car is located inside the cover, glued in.  The cover won't be able to go back on unless these coils are removed.

Last week I posted a photo of the Algoma Corporation lake freighter Innovator.  Here is a going away shot, taken this week, of CSL Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin northbound into Lake Huron. Named after the former Prime Minister of Canada, this self unloader measures 726 feet long. Mr. Martin was the President and CEO of CSL beginning in the early 1970's, before becoming Finance Minister and then Prime Minister.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Odds and Ends

First off, I've updated the "About Me" section on the blog.  You'll find it over at the right-hand side of the page, just beneath the "Blogs I Follow" section.  And also, just for the record, it wasn't me that came up with the "TrainGuyJim"  name, which I think sounds a little dumb.  That was my computer guy, who helped me get this thing started last September.  He had to put something in there apparently, and that was what he used.

I think maybe things would have been soooooo much easier, and probably a little more precise too, if I'd known about this product last year when I was starting to work on my paved street trackage. The link below works now.

There are only 3 track switches in my street section, so it wouldn't have been much more expensive. I think my work in that area looks good and all (I do sometimes get compliments on it from my occasional visitors), but this might well have been even better.

Back in June, at the Cargill facility in Sarnia was this well-weathered CSXT covered hopper.  I was interested to see the ghosted previous lettering of the RF&P at the left-hand end.

I've seen a number of lease engines come through Sarnia recently.

I'll close this week with a total change of is the nearly new Algoma Innovator downbound at the mouth of the St.Clair River.  Delivered to Algoma just last year, this 650 foot self-unloader has it's boom uniquely mounted at the bow. This was the first time I'd seen Innovator, but hopefully not the last!

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Just Upgrading a Small Patch of Scenery

I did a little bit of a scenery upgrade this week.  I had mentioned in my June 16 post that I thought the area at one end of the JSSX yard could use some trees and bushes.  It's the foreground area between the layout's edge and the front of that old warehouse. I figured some overgrowth would help to evoke the sense of abandonment of that building, so I've added a little bit of greenery, and a length of fencing as well.

Below, is the scene as it had been until now.  The JSSX frequently seems to use the track in front of the building to hold their crane and and a couple of flatcars for their maintenance department.

Here is just about exactly the same view, but with trees and bushes made from Scenic Express "Super Trees" added to the foreground, plus some scratch-built fencing made from steel wire and "tulle", which is fine fabric mesh used for bridal veils.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

A New Industry for the layout

I've been wanting to add an industrial building to the layout...something that would receive covered hopper loads of plastic pellets. We have hundreds of them running around here in Sarnia every day, in and out of the local petrochem plants. I've got a few of these cars for the layout now, and really no place for them to go to. Maybe a company that takes the pellets and turns them into rolls of plastic wrap...something like that for the layout.

I've had two or three false starts trying to figure out how to use this space, but the white building to the left in these pictures is what's underway now. I'll work with this for a while and see things go.

Looks like the spur will be able to hold two 4-bay covered hoppers, maybe three at most, but I'd like to be able to spot a boxcar in there too. I've got a couple of ideas to tweak the building a bit to make it just a little more interesting,  Maybe a covered outdoor dock that would also be used to load that trailer at the right hand end. And I think those storage silos need to be closer to the covered hoppers. 

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Dual Diameter Tank Car

Found this pretty well weathered whalebelly tank car temporarily spotted on the street just outside of the location of my future Midwestern Plastics plant. There must be a switcher working around here someplace, because they wouldn't just leave a tank car out in the street for very long...would they? Oh well, maybe this one's empty anyway because the hazmat placard is blank.

I'm not sure why this type of tank car has disappeared from the railroads. This one is an Atlas model, and I've got another one like it in the storage cabinet, but it's not as weathered as this. I like this one better than the other. I entered this one in a weathering contest 3 or 4 years ago.  Came in 4th out of 7 entries I think. It really should have "shelf couplers" in place of the regular KaDee's, and brake line piping below the tank would really make it look good. Maybe I'll get those couplers one day...I'm less sure about doing the piping.

I've found in the past that getting "rust" to show up the way it should on a black model freight car is not easy. The same thing can happen on brown or boxcar red cars. My solution to this takes quite a bit more time, but is worth it in the end.  All of the rusted areas that I've done on this tank car - tank, walkway, and handrails - were done first with white. Then, once that was thoroughly dried, I went over it again with burnt sienna covering all of the white, and then emphasized heavier corrosion with burnt umber.  The white layer gives the rust shades more "pop" than just burnt sienna over black.

Looks like the switcher is just coming down the street now...

Same car, back at the freight yard.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Balmoral Bulldog

In Point Edward, Ontario, beneath the Bluewaster Bridges, there's an old drinking establishment called the Balmoral Tavern, know locally as "the Bal".  The place has been closed down for quite a few years now, which I think is really too bad even though I was only ever in the place a couple of times - yes, really. It was kind of one of those places that was part of the local fabric.

I used to pass by the back side of "the Bal" on my way to and from work. The rear wall is covered with a sports themed mural.  One day I stopped with my camera and took a picture of the mural. I had kind of an idea to put on the layout.

I printed that picture, with just the bulldog sized to cover the side wall of one of the commercial buildings on the JSSX.  My building is made up of 2 City Classic Iron Front building kits combined, with the lower section of one of them cut away and supported by concrete pillars and footing.  The JSSX passes through it on the way to the auto parts and printing plants. I should add that the City Classics building looks absolutely nothing like the Balmoral.

 I cut out just the bulldog from the picture, and glued it to the side wall of the building ( I used 3M Super 77 spray adhesive).  I did this quite a long time ago, and still have much more work to go on the rest of the building, but here's how it turned out so far: