Monday, July 31, 2017

First train in Aylmer!

Well that only took 2.3 years!

Today I managed to run a way freight from the St Thomas yard, into Aylmer.
Now all those customers in Aylmer can start getting the rail traffic they've been hollering for!
Still have so much to do in the town, mind you.
Canning plant, stock yard, freight house, coal dealers, milk condensing plant all need to be built.
And then there's all that ground cover.
But that's all for another day.
Today, I rest on my laurels a bit.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sill Steps for PRR X37 & X38

Today we have a guest posting
Eric Thur has taken one of Yarmouth Model Works sill step designs and applied them to a car we didn't even consider at the time.
Thanks for sharing Eric!

While browsing Yarmouth Model Works HO Photo Etch Stirrup section, I came across YMW-220. This Stirrup set, (sold as a replacement for Tangent’s GSC Tank car RTR Models), can be easily modified to replace Funaro & Camerlengos PRR X37, a, b, X38 kits. Most resin cast Stirrup Steps from kits are fragile and can break easily. Also they are much thicker than prototype Stirrup steps. By cutting one step leg, you can make a prototypical looking Stirrup with the correct looking thickness as well as the strength of metal.

As seen in the photos, from top to bottom:

First, carefully cut the Stirrup part from the sprue (I highly suggest using XURON #440 Photo Etch Scissors). Sand the edge carefully with an emery board till smooth.

Carefully cut off the vertical leg closest to the angled leg (See Photo) the one with the point at the end. Do Not cut the vertical closest to the angled corner support (the one that bends 90 degrees (no point on end).

Don’t try to cut too close to the joint; you can leave a little metal there which can be trimmed with a Xacto blade. Carefully cut downward with the end of the blade to remove excess metal (Do not try to shave the metal off by slicing sideways) you will damage the part.

Next, bend the angled corner brace leg carefully at an angle 90 degrees. Test fit the part to the underbody. You want the outer vertical leg to be as close as possible to the end of the car body so that the angled brace lays flat against the end sill under the grab iron’s inner side. Adjust angle if needed.
Mark your drill points and drill with a #70 bit.

Check your step is straight and the corner brace fits level with the body end.
Carefully attach with ACC. Check alignment and let dry. Remove any excess ACC if needed.  Paint your model.

Although the YMW-220 is slightly shorter than the original prototype, they give a much cleaner and authentic appearance than the kit parts.

Happy Modeling!

Eric Thur
Little River, SC

Sunday, July 23, 2017

That's a lot of Orange!

Now I've built a lot of reefer kits over the years now. Sunshine, Westerfield, Tichy, etc.
These 5 were a new experience for me.
These kits were created by the late Stan Rydarowicz, to recreate the Hormel company steel reefers.

The kits use an Intermountain PFE reefer kit as a core, and Stan created resin ends and sides to accurately model these cars.
I had to do a little digging to discover the correct shade of orange for these cars and consensus was the orange you see on the models.
I mixed Scalecoat reefer orange and reefer yellow, 50/50, to tone the orange down a tad. And they're still pretty bright!
Decals and flat finish will calm things down I'm sure.
Another day of paint curing and I can apply decals, and put away my sunglasses!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

No NBWs on this bad boy!

Just finished this lovely O scale caboose kit, from Mullett River.
These are such well done kits, it's a shame the Glenn can't continue to produce them. A nice mix of laser cut and photo etched parts.
I've built a number of his cabooses now, and they've all been a pleasure to work on.
And my soldering skills get a bit of workout, on the underframes, end railings and ladders. Which is not a bad thing.
Now I can clean the work bench and try and catch up with all the HO scale freight cars I have waiting here

Saturday, July 1, 2017

350+ should suffice

I'm almost done assembling these 2 Mullet River Models boxcar kits.

And frankly I'll be happy to get paint on them soon.
These guys turned out to be more work than I'd anticipated, but the end results are well worth the effort.
Theses O scale boxcar kits come with a lot of details to add.
It's taken me days to add the over 350 individual nut/bolt/washer castings. 2 for every grab iron, 80 on the lower belt of the Great Northern car, etc.
But I can honestly say, I've had my fill of NBW castings for awhile.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A small change of pace

Just shipped out this model to a client;
Such an interesting car to build.
And my how things changed in the early half of the 20th century with car appliances.
Look closely.
No side ladders.
End ladder inset from the edge quite a bit.
And the statements, compared to mid-century, these guys are over the place.
But for me the biggest deal was the colour.
Fortunately I was directed to this blog;

Which describes this orange colour rather well, and I find the colour rather appealing.
I know, I'm a little odd with these things.

I really should start looking more closely at early freight cars, they are plain cool.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Next stop, Delhi!

After too many interruptions, distractions and other delays, I've finally been able to get the benchwork and roadbed built for the sections that will connect into the space that will become the Town of Delhi.

Nothing fancy. just simple benchwork framing around the walls of the furnace room.
I'll be able to use up the left over flextrack from the old layout in here. Not much point in handlaying track in here.
With this done, I'm now seriously motivated to figure out how to tackle Delhi.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

If you bought a CPR autobox kit from me in Enfield

Please check the body casting.

If it looks like this photo;

With no shelf at the end for the floor and the notches for the crossties  and bolster close to the edge of the side sill,

You have a bad body casting!
There are only 4-5 of them out there like this, but I need you to contact me so I can send you a correct body casting.
Email me at and we can discuss getting you the right body casting .

Friday, June 2, 2017

Operators are standing by!

The newest kit from Yarmouth Model Works is now for sale on the webste;

I will start shipping orders as soon as I return from the RPM in Enfield, CT

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Nerves of Brass!

While I know how to work the material and I have the tools, there is still a touch of trepidation everytime I look at soldering brass parts together. That's mostly because, there's really no turning back once you start.
Yes you can unsolder, however the brass usually gets mangled in the process, and then the frustration level rises, and then temptation to toss things across the room, etc.
I'm currently building some O scale kits from Mullet River Models. A nice mix of laser cut wood parts and etched brass underframes.
It is the underframe of the one boxcar that I'm going to show you.
Here we have the wooden stringers and the etched bits cut from the fret and folded into the C channel shapes. The centre flanges had to be shortened to accommodate coupler boxes

The various pieces are slotted together and lined up on the wooden floor . This was easier than trying to pin all these parts to a board. I could keep the assembly square by aligning with the scribed floor planks.
I lightly tacked the joints with my conventional soldering iron, holding the parts with my fingers and tweezers. And once that was done I tinned the top flanges of the bolsters for the bolster caps, along with the back side of the bolster caps.
Now I could move the assembly onto my resistance soldering base plate and firm up all the joints and sweat the bolster caps in place.
Finally the queen posts were soldered in place.
I figure I spent all most as much time thinking about what and how I was going to tackle this task, as I did actually executing it.
I really don't care for going back if I can at all avoid it.

Friday, May 26, 2017

It's just a Sweetie!

Just finished this lovely little tank car for a client.
The kit is made by Precision Scale Company, and is offered in the catalogue as a HOn3 UTLX frameless tank car, but is easily upgraded to a standard gauge car.
Some adjustment with the couplers and a larger K brake cylinder and reservoir and your set.
Add in decals from Speedwitch Media and what more could you ask for?
It's funny from an historical point of view, the frameless concept was resisted by the railroads for some time in the early 20th century and today that's all you see.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I call BS!

Fair warning here. Undiplomatic language coming!

This is the kind of shit that really pisses me off about the NMRA and its "judging" system for modeling contests.
Go have a look at George Dutka's blog post about the Grand River Express convention.

I'll wait.
Down at the bottom is a amazing model of BX tower, that still stands here in St Thomas.
From what I can see, the model is nigh on perfect. Drawings, full interior, even the colour is right!
And yet it can't earn enough "points" to warrant a "Merit Award"?
Likely it was missing graffiti, or ad signs or such bullshit , that was kept off of the prototype.

If an almost perfect recreation of a prototype can't earn enough "points", maybe it's time that whole scoring system be revisited. This is not the first time I've heard of stunning models being denied their proper due because of an antiquated scoring process that rewards caricatures of the world rather than faithful renditions.

And the NMRA wonders why it's not attracting more members these days.

I'm done for now, on with your day.

It takes more than just train models...

To make a model railroad.

Structures, scenery, and vehicles are all part of the mix.
Which is why I share these 2 models with you.
CMP dump truck and wrecker.
CMP? Canadian Military Pattern trucks. A unique cab design that was applied to a variety of vehicles during the war. And a significant number of them were sold to civilian use after the war ended.
The dump truck  will be used in the local coal dealer and the wrecker likely part of some garage in Aylmer or Delhi.
I've always loved the look of CMP trucks and have waited for years for HO scale models of these iconic vehicles.
So isn't typical of this hobby that I had to go to Holland to purchase  kits of a Canadian prototype?
Artitec offers a large range of resin cast HO scale military vehicles. Very nicely cast models that do require a little work to clean up , and make up into very nice vehicle models.
I'm glad I finally found these.
One more item off the wish list.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Crews complete tunneling on the Cayuga Sub.

I can here it now!
"What the heck are you talking about? It's flat land country out there. There's no call for tunnels in South Western Ontario."

Well there is in my version of the Cayuga Sub.

Layout progress as been stalled of late, in part because I couldn't decide how best to get into the other part of the basement, to create the town of Delhi and the east end staging.
After much thought and rethought, I settled on going through the furnace room and coming through the masonry wall, rather than around the fireplace that's down here.
As a result a 4' dia concrete coring bit and a large rotary hammer was rented and the hole seen above was blown through. Noisy and heavy BTW.
But now I can move forward with benchwork for the rest of the layout. Benchwork for me is a summer project since I can work in the garage without freezing.
Looking forward to getting the last of the benchwork done.
Which means we're one step closer to running trains.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Man These things are tiny! PT 2

Well there they are.
Painted, decaled and ready for the layout.
4 of the tiniest cabooses I've ever laid hands on.
And I'm very impressed with the design work that went into them. They went together very well.
But I did learn one very valuable lesson. I won't be converting to N scale anytime soon. Way too small for my tastes.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Over in the other Hobby Shop!

I've said it, my friend Trevor Marshall has said it, and a few others have said it, but I'm going to say it again;
There's a ton of stuff over in the military, plastic, figure modeling world that we in model railroading should be looking more closely at. Particularly in the weathering/finishing products aisles.
Mig Productions has a large line of enamel based washes for a variety of effects
So far I've used only these 2, but I'm really pleased with the results. The rust I applied on a gondola just to see what would happen, I have more work to do on that, so image to come later, but the "cold grey" wash I had a lot of fun with.
First was this project,

A couple of Woodland Scenics, plaster culvert castings.
They were primed with concrete from Scalecoat, then given a number of washes with Tamiya greys and deck tan colours, but they really came to life with the application of a wash of the "cold grey" Mig wash.
Next I tried the same wash on a freight car.
This car as only had the Cold Grey wash applied, to help high light the planking and other details. And I'm really pleased with the results. I may add some other dust effects later, but for now, this car looks great.
Next is some neat things from Vallejo
These are acrylic washes for rust effects and really meant to be used in rather different manner than I did, but again the end result turned out well.
Instead of applying like a "pin wash" I used these washes over the entire surface of the cars, and let it dry.

And then sprayed a very thin, darker colour over the rivet lines and other areas where dirt may have collected.
Again, I'm super pleased with the results.
I encourage all of you to check out these products and the other weathering products in the armour section . You may be surprised at what you find.
In fact next week I'm going back to Toronto, in part to see what else I can find in the land of weathering washes.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

And here it is!

Painted, decaled, and moderately weathered.
The CPR 40' Automobile boxcar.
This kit will be available for sale at the NE RPM in Enfield CT, June 2 & 3. And then on sale through the website. $55.00 USD
The kit features, a one piece body casting, laser cut running boards, photoetched ladders, rungs and other details. Tahoe Model Works archbar trucks and Custom decals from Black Cat Publishing.
The kit was designed to give the modeler the choice of 3 different door sizes.
As we stated before, we're very excited about this kit. It being the first one YMW has produced from modern CAD and 3D printing technology.
Looking forward to making more kits available with these modern tools as time progresses.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Ready for Paint

Well there it is. In all it's unpainted glory!.
The CPR single sheathed autocar.
I just finished the assembly of this pilot model, and it's in the paint shop with a coat of CPR freight car brown curing.
In a couple of days I can add the decals and we'll be set.
In the meantime, comes the ever so much fun process of writing instructions.
If resin casting production goes as I hope, I 'll have this kit ready for sale at the NE RPM in Enfield CT on the first week of June. And after that it will be available on the website.
This kit is the very first one for us that the pattern was fully developed on a CAD program and the parts rendered on a 3D printer. This technology has much to offer if handled properly. We had a few object lessons on the way. It turns out that an inch is not always the same from printer to printer. Big shocker there.
There will be more kits coming this year taking advantage of the 3D printing technology.
The ACL O-18-B and a few of the AC&F boxcars with proprietary roofs and/or ends. And a few surprises along the way as well.
As always watch this blog, the website and various Yahoo groups for announcements.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Big News at Yarmouth Model Works

Not huge, just big.

Yarmouth Model Works is now the owner of the old line of resin car parts that were marketed by Sylvan Scale Models and originally created as the Canadian Railway Model Part Guild(CRMPG).

This line of parts includes ends, roofs, doors, and other bits and pieces.
At this time it is uncertain whether or not the entire line will be resurrected or only certain items.
This is where you, the customer , comes in.
Please let me know which parts are of interest to you.
Here's a partial list of items under consideration;
4/4 dreadnaught end
NSC-1 10'0" end
NSC-2 10'0" end
NSC-2 10'6" end
NSC-3 10'6" end
4/4 Improved dreadnaught 10'0" end
4/4 Improved dreadnaught 10'6" end
Hutchins All Steel Roof
Murphy Flat panel roof

Please email me and let me know what may work for your projects.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Man these things are tiny!

I'm in the midst of building 4 N scale cabooses for a client.
These are American Model Builders laser cut kits. And they're pretty impressive.

I've handled a lot of HO scale laser cut to date. The precision available is remarkable.
And "peel and stick" can greatly speed assembly.
But in N scale it's whole new world!
I can't get over how well the parts all fit. Never mind the cleverness of the designs.

The only real challenge I'm having is seeing all the tiny tiny bits and pieces. Never mind trying to keep track of which side is the sticky side.
I'm looking forward to seeing these guys painted and decaled.

And this project has served as a reminder that I need to get my eye glass prescription reviewed

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Frugal Foamer

I was visited yesterday by 2 good friends, Ryan Mendell and Doug Currie. While Ryan's Airstream was being serviced, the 2 of them came over and helped out on the layout.
With their assistance we filled over 30' of benchwork with foam to support the scenery layers that will be coming. Such a huge leap forward!
Now Doug, to his credit, likes to play with styrofoam.
Maybe even a little too much.
Points for not wasting foam and creating landfill, but really?
It would have been easier to cut a single piece methinks.
My heart felt thanks to Ryan and Doug for a good effort, and they were well rewarded with my wife's cooking and drinks afterward.
Now to buy a case of Sculptamold.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The process seems to be working

If you've been following this blog, you'll know that I've decided to include etched ladder rungs in all new kit releases.
I've been adding the etched ladder parts to custom built cars now, at clients request, and I'm here to reiterate that the etched rungs are a vast improvement over the idea of using commercial grabs.
And of course I'm applying the etched parts to cars that I'm building for my own fleet.
I'll admit that at the onset I resisted the idea of etched rungs. But having done a few cars now, I'm fully converted to the idea.
Always striving to improve my processes and products

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Coming soon from TMTV

It's been a hectic few weeks for me. Mostly been working out of the house with shows at the Budweiser Gardens. Last week we had 5 shows in 7 days. Those are long days without much sleep. Getting a little long in the tooth for that.
But we're back in the shop working away again.
Currently this is taking up some space;
I've got 4 Sunshine Wabash rebuilds in various stages of decaling.
We're going to be doing an episode on Train Master's TV on decaling. And to save studio time I'm prepping the cars to various levels of decal completion.
We'll be looking at other things as well during that day of filming, but I don't want to spill all the beans.
Check in TMTV often for lots of new and useful episodes.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Coming soon from Yarmouth Model Works

Yesterday I was handed another pattern for an upcoming kit. And I'm super excited.
This ACL O-16-B has been in the works for awhile now. And I'm so pleased to finally have the body master in hand. The sides, and ends were all developed in Solidworks and then printed in high resolution 3D printer. The 2nd kit for us developed this way.
The kit will include everything that you've come to expect from Yarmouth Model Works. Laser cut running boards, photo etched ladders, rungs and other detail parts, custom decals from Black Cat Publishing and Tahoe Model Works trucks.
This kit should be available for sale in a few months.
Watch the blog and the website for release annoucements.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Over on another blog

There's been an excellent description as to how to use Yarmouth Model Works ladders etchings.

Nelson Moyer has offered up a very well written posting about he's processes for creating ladders using our parts. Give it a read;

Friday, February 24, 2017

Ask and you shall receive

A couple of souls have asked for more detail about supports, etc for the lift out section I just built.
Well it's pretty rudimentary. I'm a big fan of gravity for most applications. and this item simply rests on some cleats and one clamp will be required to insure nothing moves at the wrong time.

The right side

And the left side

The unit lifts up and over the backdrop and will store under the layout.
Nothing fancy here at all.

Bridging the gap

I occasionally wonder if the people who designed this basement, and the protective cover that is over it, were model railroaders at heart. Nice big open space, finished walls from day one, suspended ceiling, and a second staircase up to the garage, allowing the layout builder to trek up and down to the garage shop while cutting bits of wood needed for creating our miniature worlds.
But the extra stairs called for a liftout section and that task was tackled today. With the unseasonably warm weather, the garage was comfortable to work in. So we went from this;
to this;
and then to this;
in a couple of hours.
With a little effort I can now lay track and will be able to run way freights from the St Thomas yard into the town of Aylmer.
Progress is good

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Saturday last

I had the pleasant duty of assisting my friend Brian Dickey with his Lovely British O scale layout.
I'll let my pal Trevor Marshall tell you all about it in his blog,
He does it far better than I could, but then again he's a professional wordsmith.
From me I'll just share a few pictures with you;

There's something wonderful about British trains.