Friday 12 April 2024

Business Signs for the Metal Recycler

Made a couple of signs for the metal recycler on the GTW.  I have a couple of gondolas that I  lettered ZVBX, which is railroad speak for the Ferrous Processing and Trading Corporation.  I searched online for photos of that company name, and came up with this example of the company logo.

The company has locations in Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario, which fits right in with my upper midwest setting for my layout.

I saved the logo image as a file, and then opened it in my Corel Paint Shop program in order to size it to the 8 mm height that I thought would be suitable. The program then automatically figures out the corresponding width for the printout.

I printed 2 copies at 8 mm on our ink jet printer, one copy for each side of the sign. I then trimmed them both with an Xacto blade, and glued them to a piece of plain .010 styrene.  Attached a couple of styrene posts and a piece of scrap styrene for the top and bottom of the sign.  I brush painted all of the styrene parts with Vallejo Rust Texture, and then glued the posts to the back of fence at the recycler site on my GTW.

I repeated the process to make a 2nd sign for the other end of the recycler site, but for the 2nd one, I increased the size to 10 mm.

Here's a couple of views of the new business signs, finished and installed:
This is the smaller of the two signs, placed at the right hand end of the metals recycler's site. Looks pretty good. 

And at the left hand end of the site is my 10 mm high print.

And we might as well have a look at the two ZVBX gondolas that I mentioned above.  I wasn't  quite able to figure out an angle to see the gondolas and business signs in the same photo, as the tracks don't really run close to their locations.
ZVBX 97337 is loaded with non-ferrous metals, aka scrap aluminum

ZVBX 97324 loaded with the rusty ferrous scrap

Have a great week.

Friday 5 April 2024

Utility System Poles

Decided to (finally) install a set of Walther's Utility System poles on the layout.  This is a set of four single cross-arm "utility poles" that come pre-wired in the package.

There's only four poles in the set, and I wish it was five.  The instructions sheet suggests spacing the poles 11 inches apart.  I spaced them 15 inches apart because I wanted them to run the length of my South Industrial Boulevard peninsula street trackage.

Here we can see the line of poles and wires in place.  The set was quite easy to set up, and didn't take me much time at all.

I felt like the wires should go to or come from somewhere, so I dug out an electrical substation kit from my storage cupboard that I had assembled previously.  The small plot of land that I made available for the substation was too small for the footprint of the whole model, so I cut off 1/3 of it to make it fit into the space.  I can probably make use of the other 1/3 some other time, perhaps at the side or end of an industry building.

I actually made a mistake when I made the cut to reduce the size of the sub-station, and so then had to add some add a piece on to the base.  The chain link fence is made by Alkem Models.  I had never assembled a photo-etched metal kit before.  I used tacky glue to put the fencing together.

Here's a look at the sub-station in place. I weathered the fence by airbrushing it with ModelFlex Rust and followed that up with Roof Brown.  The framework of the substation got a bit of the Roof Brown and Tamiya Panel Line Brown.
The pole in the background with no wires running to it yet will carry power lines to the building across the street, but I haven't gotten that far along yet.  I still have to do some scenery work around the substation too.

Switching gears now, out in the 1:1 world locally on April 4, 2024, down at the Government Docks, this is a view of the Cargill grain property.
Left to right, we see a clean new covered hopper, a not quite as clean covered hopper, an even less clean covered hopper, and a you can judge for yourself covered hopper

Have a good week

Friday 29 March 2024

Jersey Barriers

Quite a while ago, I picked up a package of Walthers concrete barriers, also often called Jersey barriers, from the Otter Valley Railway store.  Molded in grey plastic, these should make kind of a nice detail to add to the layout.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to find a use for 24 of these, but that's how many are included in the Walthers package.

6 parts on each of 4 sprues.  Walthers Part # 949-4175

I'm not sure if I'll be putting all 24 out on the layout, but I've weathered 12 of them to begin with.

I first sprayed 6 of the barriers with AK Interactive's chipping fluid, and then airbrushed yellow overtop of that - I used ModelFlex Railbox Yellow, which is of course a water based paint.  The other 6 barriers were sprayed Concrete Gray.

To remove some of the yellow paint, I simply rubbed those barriers rather gently with a damp paint brush, which revealed some of the original colour underneath, making a nice weatherworn appearance.  The grime that I then added to the barriers was done by brushing on Burnt Umber and Ivory Black overtop of the of the remained yellow and gray.

Blocking vehicle access to the closed down interlocking tower are two of the yellow barriers

Here, a trio of Jersey barriers separate trailer docks from the rail spur at a warehouse along South Industrial Ave.   

We'll close out this time with a bit of a post script to last week's post about my pellet hopper, Brian Smith sent along this photo from his travels somewhere down there in Fla.

Built by North American Car Company, the MWCX reporting marks indicate the car is owned by MidWest Railcar Company. Looks like this one is showing some age with it's interesting rust pattern.

Friday 22 March 2024

Plastic Pellets Hopper

I picked up this new-in-box (Walthers') National Steel Car plastics pellet hopper from Craig on one of the facebook groups last weekend.  With this new purchase in mind, I took a ride down to the Sarnia station and freight yard to see if I could find some inspiration for future weathering on this freight car.

I'm very pleased that my new pellet hopper arrived in brand new condition.  No broken or missing parts at all, although it did come with plastic wheels.

My last remaining set of metal wheels quickly and easily replaced the plastic wheels, and I set the pellet hopper out on the layout for a quick picture. 

I didn't see any trains actually running down by the station, as is my usual luck, but C-Yard certainly appeared to be pretty full of cars, also as usual.  Besides the dozens of tank cars, I saw three pellet hoppers coupled together and took photos of them. These may not be the exact type of car as my model, but they're similar enough for me.

Sure, there's lots of graffiti on this ICRX car, but I like the rust streaks

Speaking of rust streaks, this car has some that maybe I could emulate on my model

Very limited rusting here, a paint patch, and a little bit of graffiti

And on the next track over...

This one looks to be a pretty clean pellet hopper, but there are four or five darker grey patches, at least on this side.

So I found lots for me to consider when I get ready to weather my new model.

Have a good week.  Happy modeling.

Friday 15 March 2024

JSSX 7000

I liked this closeup photo below and thought I should share it.  The locomotive is a GP40X. The high hood at the cab end makes for a nice change on the layout.  It was Sean Steele that said something to me several years ago about I should get a high hood engine for my layout.

Some might remember that I got this one a year or two ago, discovered it to be mechanically damaged, and went through some effort finding the exact trouble, then sourcing parts, and carrying out repairs.  Now, it's one of the smoothest running engines that I have.

JSSX 7000 hooked onto an ABOX type boxcar, now owned and repainted by CN

A view with the 7000 as it pulls the boxcar away from the loading dock and toward the JSSX yard.

One more look at the 7000, this time as it's switching high cube boxcars over on South Industrial Blvd.

I took a quick run down to the Sarnia station this rather dreary March 15th morning, getting there just as this train was slowly approaching.

A closer look at the colourful CN 3115

And a "going away" view of this General Electric ET44AC

 That'll do it for now.  Thanks for looking in.  Have a good week out there.

Friday 8 March 2024

This and That in March

I was a day late last week updating the top of the blog with a new photo for March. Sorry 'bout that. Anyway, the photo for March features my JSSX 5068, a personal favourite of mine, as it hauls a short train beneath the Gratiot Avenue overpass.

My friend Chuck sent along this photo of that he stumbled onto while on facebook

It is a nice looking boxcar, belonging to Jersey Shore Steel.

It's not trains, but here's a photo that I took on March 1st, 2024 down at the local government dock anyway.  Lake freighter Algoma Guardian has been berthed here at the government dock for maintenance over the winter.
With the boat sitting this high out of the water, it kind of makes me wonder how it doesn't just roll over.

Less than 10 minutes after taking the Algoma Guardian picture above, I took this one of CN 4125.  It was shoving a short train into the grain elevator property over on the north side of the government dock

 One of the covered hoppers that were being shoved into the grain elevator that day
Notice that the patched reporting mark letters and numbers aren't quite straight

And on the layout, I thought we'd have a few looks at JSSX 813 as it goes about switching out freight cars

JSSX 813 switching cars at a local warehouse.  I've never actually put a name to this industry.  Not yet anyway.

Different day, same engine just down the track from the 1st picture

Although parts of the engine are blocked from view, this is actually one of my favourite views of my 813.  Maybe it's because of the location.

And to finish up for the week, I'll attach this link to the Truck Stop Hobbies site, which features lots of interesting and helpful details that we railroad modelers might find useful, particularly those of us that lean toward more the modern type of railroading:

Friday 1 March 2024

ABOX Style Boxcars

I thought we'd have a look at some ABOX freight cars that seem to show up on the railroad here from time to time.  These 50 foot boxcars are easily distinguished from RBOX cars by their featured double doors: one sliding door and one plug-style.

We'll start off with ExactRail models of the FMC-built 5277 cu.ft. boxcars
This model has less grime build-up below the door track areas.  The rusty scratches are burnt sienna artist oil paint.  A little wear can be seen on the red and blue arrows graphic.

(ExactRail) ABOX 51108
Some older notices at the door and tack board, this one also looks like there has been a little more rust that has run off the roof and stained the side panels with a reddish tone.

(ExactRail) ABOX 51114A
Seen here outside of the Tri-State Paper plant, the tack board on this one is a bit worn looking, and notice the wheel spray on the end of the car.  A bit more difficult to see is the grey sealant applied along the roof edge and seams.

And ABOX  52237 is my most recently weathered model, having just come off the workbench.  This boxcar is from Athearn's "Primed for Grime" series, which featured faded lettering, logos and graphics, and a "replacement" plug door in a shade of yellow that is different than the car body as it came straight out of the box.

 (Athearn) ABOX 52237 is posing for a finished photo shortly before it lands on the rails...
Note the difference in the logo lettering on the plug door.  I faded the paint using concrete grey through the airbrush, applied all of the graffiti with decals, weathered the black door with a few drops of Panel Line Brown, and of course added all of the rust. 

And a very similar angle of view of 52237 at it's first customer spot out on the layout
  A proper setting like this make it appear much more "real".

Have a good week of happy modelling

Friday 23 February 2024

Maybe a Flat Car Load

A look at JSSX 50 foot flatcar 11150.  This one started out as Athearn's blue-box SP model, which I painted and lettered for my shortline, and then of course weathered as well.

I'm thinking of putting a short pair of rails on the deck of the flatcar and now that the hot metal car is finished up, using that as a load load for it.

The hot metal car was a different little project for me. Overall it went pretty well, but I'm not so sure I like the look of the trip pin from the coupler.  Looking closely you'll see short lengths of safety chain dangling from the ends of this model. I brush painted the whole car with Vallejo's Rust Texture paint.

I put a couple of patches on the outside of the tank, just to show that perhaps the at some time molten metal had burned through the fire brick that would line the inside of the tank.  I've left the orange coloured piece that mimics the appearance of molten metal inside the tank, but I can't imagine that the 50 foot flat would support the weight of such a load.

I ordered some 3D printed parts from Phil's Train Layout Store in London, Ontario.  I had seen his postings on facebook, and thought I'd ask him to print some outdoor surveillance cameras for me.  I thought they might make a neat little detail for the outside of some of the industries on the layout.  They might, but I wasn't expecting them to be as small as they are. 
It also occurred to me that maybe some traffic cones might be a good detail as well, so he printed a dozen of those for me as well. They turned out quite nice, and I'll get to painting them soon. Scattered in the foreground of the photo are the surveillance cameras. Painting those white could be a bit of a challenge.

Friday 16 February 2024

Some Street Running Views

A look down South Industrial Blvd as a day cab hauls a 53 foot trailer
A couple of TBOX's will have to get picked up by the JSSX

And sure enough, the next day the high-hood GP40 happens along

Here's another look with the 7000 on the street, with the crewman getting ready to step down
I notice all the equipment is black in this view.  I had been trying to sell the two NW cars a while ago, but had no takers.  That's fine.  They look good here.

Former CNW GP38, now a leaser engine just entering the street trackage
One of my favourite models in one of my favourite locations on the layout

On facebook this week, I happened across this interesting view of street running in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The picture really held my attention with all the details.

Looks like a CF-7

And here's a video of Susquehanna in Utica, NY, street switching at the brewery.  Includes views of the crew member throwing the switch that's hidden in the street.  Fun to see the train emerge from and then run back inside the building again.

I hope you do some model railroading this week.

Friday 9 February 2024

Along the GTW Line

The GTW line here can be a fairly busy area, but on this visit there really was not a whole lot going on as far as I could tell.  Just a couple of boxcars seen along here today.  The building is the Tri-State Paper plant recycling plant.

A look at Tri-State Paper on a rather quiet day as far as rail shipments are concerned.  Looks like an AOK high cube boxcar sitting down there at Door #1.  
Bales of recycled paper are stacked up and slightly visible through the open doors.

In this look, we can also see the rail entrance gate to a scrap metals recycler
The gondola appears to be loaded with non-ferrous metals

That green LRS boxcar is sitting off-spot, likely intended for MidWest Plastics, a plastic molding industry at the next spur

I'm thought I'd also post this link to Lance Mindheim's latest YouTube posting, which I think he put up just on this past Wednesday. Lots of scenes of his Downtown Miami Spur layout, and narration by Lance as well.

Oh, and one more thing (a late entry, and nothing much to do with trains)...Brian sent along this photo of one of his new neighbors.

Be careful out there Brian.

Have a good week everyone !