Saturday 25 August 2018

Lots of Pieces. Everywhere.

About 4 weeks ago, Brian Smith and Gary Crowther presented me with the opportunity to look through the model railroad estate items of Bob Bowes.  I didn't know Mr.Bowes, but from what I saw I'm quite sure he was a fine modeler and I'd be willing to bet that I would have seen him at train shows in the area.

I purchased a couple of items from the estate, one of which was this triangular-shaped kitbash of the Roberts Printing plant made by Walthers.  This is an excellent kit.  I have already kitbashed versions that I have done in two other locations on the JSSX.  Pictured here on my workbench is the one that Bob had put together when I first brought it home. After taking this photo I set it aside as I went about a couple of my other projects.

I didn't know if I could make the triangular shape work on my JSSX, but Mr.Bowes building looked so nicely done that I had to bring it home with me, even if I had to make a change to the shape. 

I'm a little unsure about the KenNor Toy Company sign.

Here are pictures of the two other kitbashes of the same building that are already on the layout.

Back to the story: Last Saturday I brought the building back over to the workbench to look it over again, and maybe try to figure out just how to fit it into the layout. On Sunday, Brian called to say he was in town, and wanted to stop over for a visit. Sounds great, so I started scrambling around to straighten things up a bit in the layout room before he arrived, and thought I'd set the building over in what is currently an empty corner of the layout.

Having something there would look better than having nothing there, right? Well... just hold on to that thought for a minute.

I picked the building up from the workbench, turned around with it, and then, in a heartbeat it all went wrong. Really, really wrong.

The factory hit the floor. Hard. I don't know how it happened. But there were pieces.

Lots of pieces.


And me standing there looking like Wile E. Coyote after his dynamite blew up in his face.

Here's the building, and it's associated parts, sitting on the workbench the next day.  I believe I found everything that was broken off, and I've got them separated into 3 piles of like parts.  By my count, there are 24 windows and doors, 14 rooftop details, and 8 pieces of fire escape to be re-attached.  Did I mention that the 2 roofs were also jarred loose on impact? Surprisingly though, the rooftop water tank remained firmly in place on it's roof section.

And so now, (sigh) the rebuild begins.  I'll get the windows and doors back in place.  That will be no problem.  Even if I've somehow lost one or two, I've got spares stashed away in my scraps box.  But it'll probably be a few days before I re-attach the roof details.  The roof is dusty and needs to be cleaned off anyway. However I think I'll probably trim off part of the roof and the right-hand end wall, as I've not been able to find a suitable triangular area on the layout. But, if I reconfigure the building to be square across the back, it could then sit flush against the backdrop.

Saturday 18 August 2018

BKTY Boxcar

This ex-MKT boxcar gave me the inspiration to weather a car from my cupboard in a similar manner.  I ran across the prototype picture, taken by Robin Thomas, on the website.

My favourite things about this particular boxcar are the black patch that the "Plate C" label is placed over, and the black patch on the door. I didn't even try to replicate the faded out and rusted over graffiti.

Of course this boxcar is the older Athearn Blue-box variety.  The green is faded by use of light coats of Proto-Paint Flat Haze.  Thanks to George Dutka for telling me about this product.

And a roof shot, taken from the local highway overpass.

And here is a shot of a short GT train, with the BKTY car, about to make a reverse move on the street trackage.  Even on the JSSX there's a telephone pole that manages to get in the way...

And lastly, there's lots of grey in this photo of the freighter Tecumseh as it passes below the Bluewater Bridges on it's way to Thunder Bay. Grey stones, grey bridge, grey freighter, and reflecting the grey sky even the water looks grey this afternoon.  Interesting too are the horizontal "weathering" marks on Tecumseh.  Usually on railroads most weathering marks are vertical.

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.