Saturday, 16 January 2021

This and That

 If you have an interest in modelling urban industrial railroading, as I do, maybe grab a coke and watch some of this video of the Florida East Coast and CSX in Miami, Florida.  39 minutes long, there's lots of trains and all kinds of interesting trackside stuff to see in this video.  I found this video through Lance Mindheim's excellent blog, but the link below should take you directly to the video.  You can link to Lance's blog here through the sidebar.

Got a vacant space on your layout?  How about giving something like this a try...

A vacant lot, an old 26 foot trailer, roll-up door (well, what's left of one) with panels in two different shades of colour, no license plate, 2 or 3 broken out tail-lights, no tread on the tires, rusty frame, not to mention the junk laying around inside...could be a winner.  This scene is located about 100 feet from the Sarnia VIA station.

Brian Smith sent along these two photos of gondolas that he saw at the CP yard in London, Ontario a few weeks ago.
Not quite sure if this is a match for the ExactRail gondolas or not, but it must be close.  I always liked the eagle graphic of the Missouri Pacific.

Here's the 2nd photo, DJJX (Joseph Transportation) 9912
Lots of tagging to look at here, but the blue one in the centre panel is the David J. Joseph label/sticker.  This looks like it could be another Exactrail model as well.

I took this photo of CSX 2799 (GP38) the day before Christmas 2020 at the CSX terminal here in Sarnia.  The array of pipes and framework are part of our local Imperial Oil refinery.  It would all certainly make for an interesting scene on a model railroad.

Meanwhile, as for the JSSX layout, this next photo was intended to feature an industry building that I've recently gotten back to kitbashing.  I guess I never realized just how "busy" the area around my workbench truly looks.

Here's the (slightly out of focus - sorry) view of that same new building in place on the GTW line of the layout, with two boxcars spotted and a Schneider Transport trailer at the truck dock.
That open area at the left side of the photo has had a machine shop located there, but I'm finding that the height of it interferes a bit with reaching and even viewing the newer building.  I've removed the machine shop, at least for the time being, while I try to decide just what to do about the problem.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

A Tangent Southern RR Auto Parts Boxcar

The auto parts boxcar that I've posted as the header photo at the top of the blog is one of the Tangent cars that they released last year.  Terrific models, I was fortunate to get it (and one of their Conrail releases as well) as they were a pretty hot item.

I also feel fortunate that I didn't have to take out a 2nd mortgage when I bought them.  Shipping charges, customs fees, HST (a 13% tax on pretty well everything up here in Canada) plus currency exchange made the final cost per car just a shade under double the actual USD sale price.

Here's a look at the 86 foot car, as it appeared out of the box:

I found a photo online of the real SOU 52438 and used that as something of a guide for weathering. First step was to mask off areas of the car that would appear to have been painted over.

I faded the overall boxcar, then masked around the double doors and faded them even more.

With the paint fading done, I set about adding the grime streaks down the panel lines, and following the prototype photo I painted on the rust and various scratch marks.

The roof, originally silver, was rusted up by brushing on 3 coats of Vallejo's Rust Texture, one of my favourite weathering products to use.

Here's my finished auto parts car, off of the workbench and out in the wilds of the layout...

And a couple of looks at the other side.  I didn't have a picture of this side, so I just free-lanced how I thought it might look.

I like the low angle view of this photo...

Saturday, 2 January 2021

From the past year

Have a look through this somewhat random collection of a few JSSX accomplishments and scenes from the past year...

A new trio of weathered storage silos for my MidWest Plastics plant 

HLCX SD40 leaser running on some local industrial street trackage

One of my favourite projects of the year, a kitbashed abandoned manufacturing building

Scratchbuilt this loading conveyor to create a new industrial spot for older covered hoppers

GTW 6210 & 6212 working at the metals recycler

Dash 8 40-B exiting the JSSX locomotive shop

This storage trailer for the metals recycler industry yard.

Ghost lettered and patched RBOX 31916

Saturday, 26 December 2020

SSW 65003 Exterior Post Boxcar

 Back in September of this year, I posted about modeling an exterior post auto parts boxcar that I'd been working on, but wasn't finished at that time. Hopefully this link to my September post will work if you wish to have a quick look at that.

I've finally just finished up this 86 footer a week ago, so here it is.

An Athearn car, this one has sort of been 20 years in the making for me. This, along with two similar Southern Pacific cars, were inspired by an article written by Mike Budde and published in September 2000 in Railway Modeler magazine.

Here's a few looks at the completed boxcar...

From what I've read, the SSW had 30 of these 86 footers.  Modifications include adding the exterior posts, remnants of the roofwalks that were removed from these cars, and I replaced the stirrup steps with wire ones.

My original plan for the "COTTON BELT" lettering was to paint over a Microscale decal set, but that wasn't really working out too well for me, so Sean Steele had these done for me.  All of the other decals, including the grey stripes, were from Microscale sets. The stripes, as expected, were far and away the most difficult and time consuming part of the project.

This is most of the paper backing from the decals that I cut. From past experience I knew I wouldn't be able to get the grey stripes to settle down over all those ribs and posts correctly in one piece, so I cut them into short pieces.  Lots of short pieces.

Here's SSW 65003 coupled with my pair of similar Southern Pacific cars that I've modeled previously.

Having the 3 cars coupled together like this is something I've wanted to see on my layout for quite a long time. Finally done!

Saturday, 19 December 2020

BRAR Rolling Stock

 A few of Luc's custom painted and weathered rolling stock to show this week.  Lets start off with this triple threat of modern Trinity high cube freight cars, lettered for Luc's Brownville and Ashland.  I had these on the workbench for a few days to do some light touch-ups to some of the paint that had worn off or been chipped during shipping.

We'll begin with this view of the three Trinity cars coupled together on Industrial Boulevard along the JSSX...There's HLCX leaser number 5556 getting set to hook onto the 3 very sharp looking boxcars and drag them back around to the JSSX freight yard.  Note the large custom BA with the nifty pine tree graphic on the right-hand sides of the boxcars.

A closer look at the 3 individual cars is below...

The yellow reflective stripes stand out nicely along the lower sills of these modern boxcars.

Having the fresh graffiti on them certainly supports the modern theme that Luc is portraying with his rolling stock.

I wonder why the graffiti artist "X'd out" his work on this one.  Maybe he decided he's not such a fan of graffiti after all?

And then there's this RBOX fifty footer that I think Luc purchased through ebay.  One coupler pocket was broken off, and the wheels didn't turn very well.  The reason that the car didn't roll well appears to have been one coupler box rubbing on an axle. That's been fixed, and both couplers are replaced with Kadee number 58's, and the trucks/wheel sets have been changed out with those from a donor car as well.

The boxcar features ghosted Railbox graphics, lots of graffiti, remnants of some notices or seals by the door, and modern FRA reflective stripes.

The finish on the car was pretty shiny, so that's been flattened down too. 

And this view of the opposite side of RBOX 31235.  This side features stencil style lettering and numbers at the reporting marks.  A nice extra touch.

Saturday, 12 December 2020

A Soo Line Colormark Car

 Have you ever seen one of those white Soo Line boxcars?  The kind with the large black herald lettering and the bright red door? The ones that always seem to be rusted and blistered beyond belief. Well, about five or six years ago, I bought myself a Fox Valley Models Soo Line boxcar at the train show in Ancaster, Ontario with the intention of weathering it and of course using it on the layout.

 And then I tucked it away out of sight...on purpose. The idea of weathering the white paint became intimidating to me. Then, earlier this year, Jamie Barron brought the same car (different number) for me to weather.  And I procrastinated doing the weathering on it too.  Well, the wait is finally over for these two.

Here's the "before" picture of my boxcar...These Fox Valley boxcars are super sharp looking straight out of the box, although I think that the stirrup steps seem a little large.  I like where it says "A Soo Line Colormark Car" to the right of the door.  It was apparently some kind of coding system for the car's use.

So, here's Jamie's after it's become weather-beaten...

And the other side as well. I sure hope he likes it.

This next one is mine...the same one from the picture at the top of this post.

And the other side as well...
I practiced a little bit of weather-beaten graffiti on it also.

And here are the two boxcars together in the JSSX yard...
As I said to Luc a few days ago, I think a string of several of these would look real sharp in a train.  I think I'll start looking for a few more for myself.

Saturday, 5 December 2020

RBOX 31916

A bit of a milestone today, as this is post Number 200 for the JSSX Railway blog.  And not only that, I'm writing it on a new laptop since my old one crashed so mercilessly last month.

I received an Intermountain Pullman-Standard 5277 cubic foot RailBox boxcar last week from a friend. He didn't want it, and wrote that I could do whatever I wanted with it.

Challenge accepted...
The boxcar as it was when I received it, doors off, and the wire grab irons were removed too.  They had been included in a small bag in the packaging.

99% alcohol and a Q-Tip made quick work of cleaning up the sides of the boxcar.

From here I'll jump straight to photos of the finished boxcar

I darkened down the shiny yellow with some thinned brown craft paint.  I really like the way the roof turned out.  That was done by brushing on 2 coats of Vallejo Rust Texture, and then going over that with AK Interactive Dark Steel powder, followed by Rust powder.

Rust along the various seams is AK Interactive Railroad Wash.  Great stuff, just a light touch of it and it flows right along a seam just as I wanted it to.

The RailBox graphics and the numbers are all from PDC Decals RBOX Ghost Lettering Set 4.  These are top-notch decals, but they are very thin and handling them can be tricky. The black parts of the graphics are my handiwork, as I used a fine-tipped brush to paint on some Flat Black to represent areas of the graphics that have not yet peeled away due to age and weathering.

Now, about that graffiti...I only put that on one side of the car, and I wanted it to look like it had been there for a long time. The graffiti to the left of the door is a decal from some set or other.  

Once that was all settled down into place and dry, I cut some masking tape and masked the basic outline of the graffiti on the right hand side. I airbrushed that area with some grey craft paint and then carefully removed the tape. I used some pink and beige paint to colour it in a bit.  The entire graffiti area was then faded out with grimy black, as was most of the rest of the car.

Found in the freight yard, this is the other side of the boxcar.  The black patches are black decal trim film, and the numbers and data are from that same PDC decal set I mentioned earlier.