Saturday, 23 October 2021

A little more progress

 A little more progress on scenery on the layout to show this week.  The photo below shows the roadway guardrail is installed at the curve outside of the rail-to-road transload site.

And on the far side of the gravelly driveway into the transload, is a length of chain link fence that I've made.  I could use a bit more, but this piece used up all of the steel wire that I have at the moment.  The closer section of chain link is from a Plastruct kit, but looks quite out of scale when compared to the stuff that is scratch-made with the steel wire and tulle.

And this railing at the end of the street was made by the railroad.

I think this rail should probably have a little rust on it. And probably some of those yellow reflector stripes too.

And another couple of looks at look at Jamie Barron's weathered GTW coil car.


I've also been working on this Union Pacific coil car for Jamie. The original grey paint - sorry, no photo of that - is faded using concrete gray, followed by some light rusting.


Those triangular shapes on the hoods are shadows from the lighting .

Saturday, 16 October 2021

This and That This Week

 I've assembled these 3 items, although they're not placed out on the railroad yet.

Top is a guardrail made from a short piece of rail by the railway shops, although it still need some yellow paint. In the middle is a roadway guardrail (Rix kit) with reflective stripes as it's to be placed at a curve, and at the bottom is a length of old chain link fence that will separate JSSX tracks from the transload property.

Also still on the workbench is this GTW coil steel car I've been working away at for Jamie Barron.

Not quite done yet, I still have to paint the wheels and add the hand rails to the sides of the hoods.

And one more thing...is this very cool night time photo taken by my former neighbor and friend Ian Cryer. This is the lake freighter Algoma Sault (that's pronounced Soo) entering the harbor at Goderich, Ontario.
Ian points out that in his photo, both of the navigation lights are lit, which is a challenge as they are each lit for differing lengths of time and for different intervals.


Saturday, 9 October 2021

Railbox Train

Not a whole lot going on with the layout this past week.  However, I couldn't help but notice this string of Railbox cars moving along the GTW.  I actually thought this photo would turn out a bit bigger than this, and give a better view of the train. Using Paintshop, I have cropped out everything below the layout, so that's the reason it's turned out this way.

A short JSSX train made up of two tank cars and an empty gondola is also visible switching in the foreground.

The first boxcar in the GTW train is RBOX 1505.

I have recently sort of begun a program of adding the FRA reflective stripes to many of my freight cars.  The ones I've put on this RBOX are the peel and stick type produced by Smokebox Graphics.
I don't know how many individual strips there are on a sheet, but it's certainly quite a few, and the package only costs about 5 bucks!  The label says there are enough to do 40 cars.

And one more thing...

CSL Thunder Bay taking on a load of grain at the Sarnia elevator dock last week. The freighter is in Quebec City unloading as I write this.  I think it sure would be fun to build a model of something like this, but even if I had one, where would I put it?

Saturday, 2 October 2021

A Little Work On The Layout

Last week I wrote here about starting to work on an area of layout as a break from doing more freight car weathering, so here's just a little bit of progress on that front...

I had never done any work at all on the crossing that I intended for this location. The road just sort of ended at the edge of the track. The black part of the road is 1/8" foam from Michaels, and the white portions are .020 styrene.

I painted that white styrene with "weathered black". I'll also spray that on the black foam as well to fade that down a bit.  I think I might have just barely enough ballast on hand here to fill in that track switch at the left.  I don't have any crossing gates or warning lights to put here.  Hopefully sometime.

I submitted this photo (below) from the layout to Model Railroader magazine recently, to see if maybe they would use it in the Trackside Photos section of the magazine.  I very quickly received a nice reply back from the editor explaining that although they would like to use the photo, they are unable to do so because of the short depth of field of focus.

And you know what? He's right.

The engine is in focus, which it should be of course. But the industrial building goes out of focus, and the foreground including the overpass is way too blurry also. My little camera doesn't allow me to change the aperture setting, so controlling depth of field is a problem.

So, I sent in a couple of other pictures to MR that have better focus, and quickly received a note back telling me that they should be able to use one of them. My fingers are crossed that sometime in the future one of the two will appear in the magazine.

Saturday, 25 September 2021

This and That this Week

Decided to finally take a bit of a break for a while from doing so much weathering of freight cars, and get started on some long-delayed work on the layout.  I'm going to try to do some scenic type stuff on this area first.

The GTW line is on the right, and the JSSX on the left.  Both need ballasting, and I'll put gravel and some weeds in the sort of triangular area between them.  And a level crossing over the GTW track too where the SD38 is visible.  Plus whatever else I happen to think of as I go along.

Scenery is not my favourite thing to do, and this is as far as I've gotten so far.  Well, at least it's a start anyway.  More to come on this.

Following the big wind and rain storm Wednesday, we had lots of yard clean up to do. The city contractor wouldn't pick up the several bags full of sticks and twigs we had, so I took them down to the local composting site myself on this gloomy and rainy Saturday morning.  On the way back home, I swung by the station, where I took this photo of ICRX covered hopper #123839.

See, I told you it's rainy. I quite like this picture.

Then, for just a little more clarity, I took this next photo too...

Two different coloured patches, a little graffiti, some very subtle rust streaking, and those reflective stripes, shouldn't be too difficult to model.

And one more thing...I took this nifty photo last week of the freighter Cuyahoga as it sailed northbound into Lake Huron, on it's up way to Thessalon, Ontario to pick up a load of stone.



Saturday, 18 September 2021

Soo Line Locomotive

Hey, the blog is four years old this week...I just realized.

I have a few looks at a Soo Line, formerly Milwaukee Road GP38-2 locomotive. The model belongs to Brian Smith, but I've had it here for weathering for some time. It's actually the 2nd time I've weathered this Athearn Genesis model for Brian.  He told me he wanted it to be dirty, as in really dirty.  I wasn't happy with the way it turned out the first time so I asked him to let me have a 2nd crack at it.

I really like the look of this patched-out engine, and think one like it would be well-suited for the JSSX.  I've searched online a few times for one recently, but haven't been able to come up with one so far.

Soo Line simply painted out the Milwaukee Road logo in the orange portion of the long hood with black paint, which Athearn did. They also put the SOO reporting mark on the side of the cab of course.

No pictures of the previous weathering, but the problem was trouble with my old airbrush caused the spray to not be "fine" enough.  The spray from the airbrush was too coarse, leaving small specks on the model, rather than the fine mist that it should have been. I carefully removed all of that, and sprayed it again with much better results this time.

There's also some rust that has developed on the cab roof and at a couple of spots at the top of the long hood as well. Oh, and I don't have that troublesome old airbrush any more.

Headlights are on as the locomotive begins to leave the JSSX maintenance track

Okay, so I cheated a bit and used the 5-finger turntable to show the Engineer's side as the locomotive left the JSSX yard with 2 boxcars in tow.

And one more thing...This link below is to a photo on page 64/65 in the September issue of Model Railroader, showing an extremely well done maintenance shop.  The building, the locomotive, and just look at the asphalt ! The layout belongs to Rick Sutton, who also took the photo.  I hope we'll get to see more of Rick's layout.

https://www.trains.com/mrr/how-to/model-train-layouts/a-busy-engine-shop-a-peaceful-river-crossing-a-river-in-the-steel-city-and-other-model-railroad-photos/

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Maintenance Department Vehicles

 Luc recently gifted me with this really nice customized heavy duty hi-rail truck, doubling the JSSX's fleet of maintenance vehicles. I thought that we'd have a look at them this week.

Parked outside of the maintenance building in this photo, the truck is equipped with a crane, welder, hose or cable reel, tool box, and traffic cones.


The new maintenance truck, rumbling along Hardscrabble Road

A look at the various items aboard the truck


And, Brian Smith gave me this smaller, modified pickup truck quite some time ago. The truck comes equipped with an extendable bucket, and as can be seen in this view, was originally lettered for CP.

I removed that lettering quite easily this week with a Q-Tip that I had dampened with isopropyl alcohol. Doing so took about 10 seconds on each side.
The work truck pulling into the maintenance yard.  I wonder if the DOT would be upset that there is no DOT number on the doors of the trucks.

The two maintenance trucks at the switch to the metal recycler.  Seems kind of funny that there's no workers in sight though...