Saturday 30 January 2021

Tool Shed and Used Ties

 I received an email from Imagine That Laser Art (I'm on their list) a couple of weeks ago highlighting this new laser cut wooden Line Side Tool Shed structure kit of theirs, and decided I'd give this one a try.

I thought the $12.99 price for the kit seemed pretty reasonable, so I ordered one, which arrived in the mail about 5 days later.

Here's a look at the kit's parts...

And about an hour or two later, the assembled building on the workbench.  I assembled it with one door left slightly open. I painted the shed with a craft paint called "Barn Wood", and then brushed on a little bit of black weathering powder. I didn't paint the darker trim pieces at all.

And so now, where to put the shed?  Well, at the end of the JSSX yard, I've had this jumbled pile of plastic track ties sitting there and I'd wanted to do something with them (often thinking I should just throw them out already).

I took the ties over to the workbench and cut them apart and also trimmed off all of the little plastic nubs that represent spike heads.  Tedious?  Yes, and it didn't get any less so later on.

With the cutting and trimming all done, I dropped them all into a cardboard tray and took them outside and sprayed them all with Testors rattle can flat black.  Following that, I randomly misted the ties with grimy black and a lighter gray craft paint.

And back to the tedious stuff, I brushed each tie with a bit of Pan Pastels burnt umber and/or burnt sienna where the tie plates would have been.  And then I glued the ties together into a long, low pile.  This all took quite a while to say the least.

Things got a little more fun though after I cut a piece of foam board to fit the intended location on the layout.  I painted the foam board brown and marked on it where I wanted the tool shed and used tie pile to go.  Then applied sifted dirt (thanks Brian), gravel, and ground foam. There's a stack of rail that I also added just to try to balance out the scene a little bit.

Still on the bench of course, but pretty well finished up.

And so here's a few looks with the shed and used ties scene in place at the far end of the JSSX yard.  I've added some ground foam and gravel to hide the seam/gap between the foam board and the rest of the layout.

And a couple more looks...

Saturday 23 January 2021

I took about an hour or so this past week to complete a simple job to make the layout look just a little bit better.  I finally got around to painting the fascia along the peninsula that makes up the South Industrial Blvd. street running area.  I've had the paint and roller sitting out waiting on the floor of the layout room for months.  

Below is a look at the way the fascia in the area has appeared until this week...

I moved that warehouse that sits along the front edge of the layout out of the way before I painted.

So here's a look after I've finished painting to match the rest of the fascia...

Well, at least it cleans things up a little bit. Now if I would just find somewhere else to put the stuff that's underneath the layout.

So with the warehouse removed, I've got the idea of making another drop-in scene for that location...a bare-bones transload facility that could take in tank cars, etc., that would transfer their contents to trucks.  Nothing done regarding that so far, but I think like the idea.

Elsewhere, along the GTW line, sits this foursome of 50 foot boxcars waiting to be spotted into a spur somewhere.
I've shown the SOO car at the right and the RailBox on here before, but the two SOO Line cars with the red lettering have just been finished up and are newer additions to my fleet of weathered rolling stock.

And below is another link to a YouTube video, again featuring the Florida East Coast railroad in Miami.  I find the trackside and scenery details to be every bit as interesting as the trains themselves.

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