Friday 28 October 2022

This and That for October

I don't think I made mention of how much I like this month's header photo up at the top of the blog. Taken from underneath the Gratiot Avenue overpass, which accounts for the shadowy area in the foreground, the picture is one of my favourites from the layout. But I do wish that the headlight on GT 5931 had been turned on. There always seems to be something that should or could be better.

Some time back, I re-painted one of my older Athearn blue-box 86 foot boxes into the Norfolk and Western, number 860180.  I'm sure I've shown it here after I'd painted it, but here's a look at it again with a very little bit of very easy recent follow-up work as well...

Below is the prototype photo I used as a guide for the model.

I used this John Huey photo from as my guide. I don't know why I omitted the "K" code and red patch at the ladders from my model.  I noticed it this week when I was getting ready to add the Smokebox Graphics FRA reflective stripes, so fixed that up with some Microscale trim film and a decal letter set. Took about 20 minutes to do.

I don't really know what the "K" signifies...maybe a car routing thing, or some loading or destination code?  Nor do I know why the lettering beneath the car number is in red on the prototype.

And here's the model afterward

With the "K"-code added, and the reflective stripes also. I know the differences with the "before" photo of the model are kind of subtle, but they make the model a bit better and more modern as well.

Next up this for this-and-that, I picked up a Roberts Printing (Walthers) kit while ago, and I've gotten a good start at putting it together.  I like the design of the model, and I've built the kit as well as kitbashed it before.  For this one, I've painted the brickwork "Honeycomb", just to make it a bit different from the more commonly used red brick.

This might sound a bit odd, but I'm not even sure I have a place for this building on the layout.  It may very well just go on a shelf, at least for the short term.

Here's a look at the major kit parts laid out on the workbench after the initial painting and with the windows installed.

Two coats of the Honeycomb colour brushed on.  With weathering to follow.

I got a little further along, so here's some of the initial weathering done, along with beginning the assembly as well.  Dark grime streaks running down from the window areas are done with Ivory Black water mixable oil colours (Winsor & Newton).  Just a light dab or two, then a dampened (not wet) flat brush pulled straight down.

I should have more on this next the meantime though, Happy Halloween.  Try not to eat all your candy at once.

Friday 21 October 2022

LTEX 9293 Lease Locomotive

Saying farewell this week to LTEX 9693, an SD45T-2 tunnel motor, which I sold a couple of weeks ago through Canadian Railway Modelers Buy/Sell on facebook.

I had the locomotive for a few years, and had weathered it and patched it to Larry's Truck and Electric.  My friend Sean had the LTEX decals made for me. I like the idea of having some leaser engines for the layout, and the weathering turned out quite nicely on 9693, but this one never really saw much running time on the layout.  That was mainly because it just never really seemed to "fit in" on the JSSX, which is generally oriented toward industrial switching, using a lot of GP 38's.

So, 9693 has a new home in Quebec now...

Top view

And a few more, taken around the maintenance building area

9693 out.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Southern 86 Footer

 (Almost) fresh out of the box is this Southern boxcar model made by Tangent.  I'd already brushed on some of the white below the lettering to represent a bit of chalking running down from the letters before I took a picture.. 

Here's the boxcar finished up. Mostly sprayed with rail brown, but I think I've gone just a little too heavy with it. 

I do like the way it's turned out, but I do kind of wish I'd kept it just a bit lighter in colour.

And the other side...

I haven't decided yet, but I might try to lighten this up a bit with some really thinned Flat Haze.
The boxcar is going to stay this way for now at least.  Also though, I'd like to put the FRA reflective stripes on it if I can find photos of them on a similar Southern 86 footer.  It's funny, has no photos of SOU 42415.  They have 42416 and numbers above that, but they are the 4-door style of car.  I wonder what Tangent went by when they chose the number.  They must have had a photo somewhere, right?

Elsewhere, it's been three or four years since my next door neighbor, Ian Cryer, moved to Goderich, Ontario. Ian is quite a photography buff, and he sent me this photo from the Goderich freight yard.

Super weathering on this plow.  The black has faded way down to a light grey, and the streaking along with the bits of rust. Makes me kind of wish I had a reason to put a plow on the JSSX. Thanks Ian !

Saturday 8 October 2022

Yard Finds

Noticed this boxcar at the GTW yard on the layout, and thought we'd have a look at just a few yard finds...

A look at the other side. Did you notice that some of the white lettering has "chalked" and streaked down the sides?

  Some of the graffiti are decals, some of it is my own work

An old DT&I gon, dirty, but in good shape

And the other side of the DT&I gondola

This "drone view" let's have a look at the inside of the gon, weathered with Rust Effects.  The darker areas have also had a light touch of Tamiya's black Panel line
The Tamiya Panel Line products have a pretty fine brush built right into the cap.  Just a light touch of it was applied to the floor panel seams.  I also apply heavier amounts along the corners (lengthwise) and let it run along all the way from one end to the other.  I really like the colour variation effects it adds.

And just down the track a short distance sits RBOX 31916 looking somewhat weather worn.  The tackboard beside the door is weathered, so that adds a nice, subtle touch that could be easily overlooked.
I would think this covered hopper, owned by CIT (financial) Group would be fairly straightforward to emulate as a model 

A pair of new carbon black hoppers down at the yard in Sarnia

And Brian Smith sent along this photo of gondolas loaded with new ties at the St.Thomas yard.  The tri-axle hi-rail truck is nice.  Kind of looks like it's "poppin' a wheelie" !

Saturday 1 October 2022

Woodland Scenics Paint Pen

I just picked up this Woodland Scenics "Track Painter" paint pen this past week, with the intent to use it to paint the rails around the layout.  You know, just a sort of minor upgrade to the appearance of the railroad here. I chose the Rusty Rail colour, a reddish-brown. They also have a steel rail colour and weathered tie colour.

I use all code 83 track here, and the tip of the pen is too big to fit into the web of the rail.  It lifted away from the rail at each of the molded rail spikes, so that was disappointing.

The Rusty Rail paint colour at the tip of the pen.  The little yellow object is a spare tip that is included  in the package
A little bit closer view of the paint pen.  I'm going to try using an Xacto blade to trim the tip down so it can fit into the rail web.

I posted about this on as well to see if anyone had any advice.  Going by the replies, it seems that the tip gets torn up rather easily by the moulded track spike details.  One reply showed spare tips that could be bought separately at Hobby Lobby.

Here's 5931 rolling along past Midwest Plastics. Long ago I painted the rails around this area before the scenery went in.

A couple of weeks ago I missed noting that it was more or less the 5th anniversary of the JSSX Railway blog.  Something else has happened over the last few weeks though.  That is the viewership here has dropped off.  By quite a bit.  It's down to less than half of what it normally has been.

Luc mentioned to me that he'd been having some trouble getting onto the blog, and that the links to the "Blogs I follow" had disappeared.  Then that same thing happened to me over at George's White River Division.  So, I wonder if others have had trouble too.

If you've been having any sort of problems on the JSSX Railway blog, I'm sorry for that, but I don't really think it's anything I've done or not done.

Moving on, here's a brand new Nova Chemicals covered hopper down at the Sarnia freight yard on a cloudy day last week: