Saturday 24 April 2021

Addams Avenue

 This structure is the Addams Avenue Part 1 plaster kit produced by Downtown Deco. The kit is intended to represent four separate storefronts. It was the first of two plaster kits I've ever done. I put it together some years back, but never did anything much more than put together the basic walls and try to paint them.  There were some signs included with the kit, but I didn't use them as they don't fit in with the era of my layout. The building has sat more or less neglected in it's place on the layout ever since.  

I had been noticing recently that the once-black paper that makes up the roof surface had faded - really faded - to whatever colour this is (below). I should try to fix that up, at the very least.

Here goes...

Here, I've masked off the top of the structure walls, and the roof above two of the 4 storefronts.
The paint colours I chose to repaint the roof with are SP Lark Dark Gray, and the lighter shade is Craftsmart Gray.

The tar lines at the left hand end are drawn on with black pencil, 4 feet apart.  A bit hard to see, but I masked off the roof area above each of the storefronts, and gave them different amounts of paint to try to make them somewhat distinguishable from each other.

I have a bunch of spare rooftop vent and air conditioner details, so I put several of them on the roof as well.
The blotchy areas of the lighter coloured roofs happened by accident. As I removed masking tape, little bits of the paper pulled away.  I liked it so I left it.  I have a couple of more upgrade ideas to work at for this structure that I'll try to show another time.

Changing gears now, Brian Smith kindly sent along these next couple of photos taken in St.Thomas, Ontario, so I thought I'd share them.

April19th photo of BCOL 60496 adorned with some pretty interesting/remarkable graffiti.  We're both guessing that this might have been done on a loading dock somewhere.

I'm thinking the graffiti on this gondola must be fairly recent, given that it shows no real sign of wear.  Thanks for the photo contributions Brian.
I can't quite make out the reporting mark on this one.  The car number is 54086 though.

Saturday 17 April 2021

ACFX AirSlide Covered Hopper

 Several months ago, I was given this ACFX AirSlide covered hopper by Luc Sabourin. It has finally made it out of the box for weathering, and that's how I spent much of my modeling time this week.

The model fresh from the box has very nice graphics

The Atlas model's roof lifts off quite easily

Taking the roof off made it really easy to also remove the metal walkway.  The acrylic paints that I use don't really stick to bare metal very well, so I sprayed the walkway with Dullcote first.

The walkway is rusted up a bit.  I just used a business card to screen off two of the sections as I sprayed the roofwalk with Rust and RailBrown colours.  As I think about it now though, would the walkway be aluminum on the prototype cars, and therefore not actually rusty?

The car is back in the same location as it was in the first photo above. The blue graphics now appear to be just a bit faded with time.  Rust down the panel seams, as well as some from the roofwalk supports.

Thanks for the project, Luc.

Saturday 10 April 2021

I think of it as a machine shop

I think of it as a machine shop...

Quite a long while ago now, I scratch-built a curved building to fill in one corner of the layout. I think of it as being a machine shop. No rail service, but the tracks run right past it. Located just across the tracks from the JSSX locomotive maintenance shed, this structure actually turned out better than I had thought it might.  The tracks are probably a few feet too close to the building than might be prototypical, but I didn't think of that at the time, so I live with it.

The base of the building is cut from a piece of scrap plywood, and the walls are basically 1/8 " MDF with concrete block sheet that I've laminated onto it.

This view below through the back shows that I've braced the curved wall from the inside with scrap pieces of 1x2.

Taking a lesson or two from the well-known modeler Lance Mindheim, the large roll-up door is a photo I took of a door on a welding shop here in Sarnia.  I framed around it on the structure with some narrow strips of Evergreen styrene.

That trash dumpster is a free printable download from Lance Mindheim's website.  A little tricky to fold and glue because the printout is little, but it turned out well.

The windows on the machine shop are from another photo that I took of a local building, which was actually a former spark plug factory (Presto-Lite Spark Plugs) built for the WW2 war effort. I lost that photo when my laptop crashed last year. The windows on the prototype structure have all been replaced with new modern ones.

On my structure, I cut out the concrete block sheet to fit my photo's printouts. I also framed around the windows with styrene. The pipe that runs along the top and the brackets it's attached to, along with the drain pipe provide a little more "relief" to the structure.  The graffiti all along the bottom is a about dozen or so Microscale decals

And since you've read this far along, there was a link posted on this week to a pretty nifty virtual tour of the Blissfield Model Railroad club layout in Blissfield, Michigan.  Their layout appears to be triple-decked, and there's lots to see. Use your cursor/mouse to navigate around the layout, in much the same way as you would on Bing or Google Maps.  You can also click on target points of interest for a better view and a written description.  It's really pretty cool.  Link to the Blissfield club's virtual tour is below...

Blissfield Model Railroad Club Virtual Tour (

Saturday 3 April 2021

GP 40X

A bit late with the post this time, owing to Bell Canada's use of failure prone "refurbished" equipment, in this case our modem, which very annoyingly failed again and required replacement for the 2nd time this year.  Thanks Bell.

GP 40X waits outside of the JSSX shop for the start of the workday.  The burgundy and blue paint scheme that Helm Leasing applied to this leaser looks really sharp. Note the flared grilles at the top of the back of the long hood.

Wikipedia shows that EMD built 23 of these locomotives in 1977 - 78, to test new technology for use in the GP50 and SD 50 series.  The distinctive HT-B trucks were experimental, but apparently not used on those subsequent models.  The prototype 4300 was built for Southern Pacific in February '78.

Here's a drone view from the back of the JSSX maintenance building

And a higher drone view of the building.

The track at the bottom of the photo is the GTW line, the one nearer to the building is the JSSX.

And at the back corner of the lot, sit these 3 old trailers used for storage.  I keep thinking that I should patch over the logos, and weather them, but I've just never gotten around to that yet.

Took this photo of JLCX switcher #1515 this past Wednesday afternoon as it was idling outside of the Lambton Diesel Services shop in Sarnia.

JLCX 1515 has the Lambton Diesel Services logo as well.