Thursday, April 30, 2020

What's on your Workbench?

Here in the bowels of Yarmouth Model Works we're working away on the pilot models of the soon to be released D&RGW Pressed Steel Car 40' boxcars.

We're still on track for a mid-summer release date, barring any delays with decal printing and as long as the etched running boards make an appearance.
With the current pandemic, the mails are hugely delayed. There are piles of Apex, Gypsum and Morton running boards somewhere in the Canada Post system. Hopefully they make an appearance soon.
There will be 5 versions of the prewar, 4/5 end cars. The options will be wood , Apex, Gypsum or Morton running board and the iconic "Cookie Box" version.
There will be 2 versions of the post war car with the IDE ends. Apex or Gypsum running board.
And of course the 15' door version.

I am not taking pre-orders, but rest assured there will be plenty of kits made available when the time comes
In the meantime, stay safe everyone.


Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Last Spike?

It's a banner day here St Thomas.
Or at least my little slice of it. The last spike has been driven into the right of way, theoretically.
Hard to believe that it's only been 2 1/4 years to get to this point.
My only regret is that my friends who've helped along the way, couldn't be here to celebrate with me.
But I know once the world returns to some semblance of normal we'll be getting together to what I hope to be many operation sessions.
I still have to connect the electrical and mount the turnout controls, but that will take a only a couple of hours and then I can torture test this last bit.
Rather pleased with myself right now!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

The last Tie!


He said hopefully.


The last of the ties have been glued down in what will be Pinedale and the CalCot warehouse facilities. This is a major leap forward that I was not expecting to be able to achieve until the end of the current Zombie Apocalypse.
I was in need of one more sheet of Homasote to finish the benchwork and the company I buy Homasote from closed their doors the day I called to arrange pickup. I was fully expecting to have to wait months to be able to continue moving forward, when my new best friend, Robin Talukdar(aka Mr Murder) contacted me, letting me know he had some large pieces to spare.
So I leapt into the van on Monday and made my way to Robin's and came home with plenty of Homasote. So grateful Robin, thanks again.
Today it'll be tie staining and ballasting.
If I get the time, I have 4 turnouts to build and we'll be laying track. Might have that task done by the weekend.
This is going to be a neat scene once I get the warehouses sorted out.
Stay safe everyone.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

This is exciting!









I'm sure some of you are thinking, "It's just a turnout in the furnace room. What's the big deal?"
Well the big deal is that this is the turnout for the Pinedale branch and the last bit of of track and benchwork required for this layout.
I took the time on the weekend and built the last bits of benchwork for this branch.


Space is tight between the furnace and the water heater, but I managed to squeeze in there. And I did plan ahead and there's a removable bit should the water heater ever have to come out.

We have this bit of narrow benchwork before we got to the actual peninsula.

On this peninsula will be an important customer on the branch, The California Cotton CO-OP  better known as CAL-COT. From what I've been able to determine large amounts of baled cotton was shipped out of this facility.
And it was quite a large facility in it's day, as can be seen in this wartime era photo;

 The CAL-COT buildings are the ones at an angle to the camera. As a matter of historical interest, the buildings closest to the camera are barracks. Built as temporary holding facilities for Japanese Americans before they were shipped inland to internment camps.
I've been very fortunate in getting a large number of photos of the buildings from a Jeff Johnston is is modeling the same buildings in a different era. Early in the 20th century the buildings were built to be the sawmills for  Sugar Pine Lumber Co.
Here's a view of the exterior of the planing mill;


Big, long, sprawling buildings.
And here's another fun fact I was recently told.
One of these buildings was the first home of Cal-Scale. Cool, no?



Now all I need is half a sheet of Homasote, however due to Covid 19 , the supplier is closed for the duration.

Friday, March 27, 2020

For the forseeable future

Just a quick note to all out there in Model Railroad land.

The mail continues to move across the US/Canada border unimpeded.
While I'm not going into the post office as much as I may have in the past, I am still fulfilling all orders that come to me via the website or by mail.
I'm restricting my trips to once a week for now

Now is a great time to be building those models you've not had time to.

We're all in this together, and it will get better

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sometimes the stars align



The current major project on the bench right now is 8 coaches and head end cars for the Milwaukee Road.
They are a mix of older Branchline kits and NKP  Car Co kits.
The paint scheme is rather striking. Brown roof, orange sides with a vermilion band across the top of the sides. Something like this;

2 of the cars are actually sleepers and those particular cars, the window sashes were brass on the exterior. All of which makes for a bit of a challenge for masking.
So yesterday I set myself down to tackle what I expected to be a rather tedious task. Masking 74 windows. I grabbed the roll of 10 mm wide Tamiya masking tape and TA DA, the windows are mostly 10 mm high. The gods were smiling upon me for sure






Not having to cut the tape to the correct height saved a considerable amount of time, the whole job took less than 2 hours to complete.
The vermilion is now applied and curing, orange in a couple of days

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Covid 19 and Yarmouth Model Works

I don`t know about you, but I've had my fill of living the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times!".

First the good news. We're all healthy and safe here. To date there are no cases of infection in this small South Western Ontario city, but the road out front sure is quiet these days.
I'm spending my days in the basement working on various projects, with the main effort being a string of Milwaukee Road coaches for a client, once they're out of the way various freight car builds await my attention.
Might even get caught up with custom building projects if this goes on into the late summer.

Now the "bad" news.
There's a really strong likelihood that my supply chain will get interrupted.
The USA- Canada border is being closed to non-essential traffic today. As far as I know this will not affect the mail or other commercial traffic. So I will still be filling orders for kits and parts as long as inventory is able.
My caster is unaffected, and there's a reasonable supply of detail parts and decals. The problem may come from the parts that are etched in Germany and decals printed in Italy.
The upcoming release of the D&RGW PSC built cars may be affected if I can't get etched running boards. However , right now I am moving forward, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

So in the meantime, stay safe, find some fun projects to immerse yourself in at home, and above all else, STAY HOME. Please.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A sneak peak for you






Here's a peak at what we've been working on at Yarmouth Model Works this winter.

The D&RGW 10'4" IH, 12 panel boxcars.









Shown here are the 3 body masters,
6' door with 4/5 ends
6' door with 3/4 IDE ends
and of course the iconic 15' door variant.
The 6' door kits will be offered with a choice of Apex Tri-Lock, Gypsum or Morton running boards. All of our etched running boards are being redone this spring to correct some minor errors we've discovered and it will be the corrected running boards that will be included.
The 6' door cars will have the choice of either Youngstown or Superior doors.
And we're really excited to announce that we will have created an all new set of Duryea underframe parts.
In conjunction the etched details  currently in production for the underframe, we believe that this will be nicest Duryea underframe yet seen in the resin kit world.
And as usual the kit will include our etched ladders and other details as you would expect from us.
Speedwitch Media is working on the decals for us. And we will be offering the as built scheme, as well as the famous "Cookie Box" scheme.
We are hoping for a mid-summer release date, price is yet to be determined.
If the stars align as they should, I hope to have these for the St Louis RPM.





 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Pierre's New Years Levee!

So a couple of days later, but who's counting?
Jan 4, 2020, I had 4 friends come over to run the layout in it's fullness. At least as full as it is right now. There is still the Pinedale branch to build, likely this summer.
The plan was to run 2 trains, the regular daily way freight and a reefer block extra.
Gerry, Robin(AKA Mr Murder), Trevor and Stephan all had accepted the invite, so I got to sit back and observe and revel in their joy of running the layout. And the layout performed brilliantly. The operating concept was proven to be a solid one. I foresee many years of operating pleasure out of this layout.
And while it is now in full running mode, there is still much to be done. Many more structures to build as well as orchards and vineyards. But with it now running I can ease back a touch and enjoy the efforts of the last 2 years.
Stephan has posted a few short videos on Youtube
https://youtu.be/8bJCLVpuSp4
https://youtu.be/66PIP00LMI8
https://youtu.be/9OXHpqOhh3I
https://youtu.be/iy0wrfSmkqo
 
And here's a selection of stills from the day





It's been a very long time since I've had an operating layout, and I'm so pleased with this concept and design. Thanks so much to Trevor for dropping this idea into my lap and thanks to the guys for coming out and bringing the dream to life.
 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Years Day 2020


What better way to pass the day than working on the layout?
Or more precisely, styrene cores for 3 structures for Clovis.
First up, Clovis Lumber Co.
I don't recall how I found this image, but I was super pumped when I did.
This being the warehouse for the company and the tracks would have been to the left in this photo and the photographer standing on 3rd St.
I built the core out of 0.060" styrene and will overlay scribed siding once it's delivered. The plan is to affix the wood using industrial transfer tape, which is a high end double sided tape.
The roof will be some form of metal, likely a standing seam style.


The other 2 cores are for the Superior Granite Co.
These 2 are an educated guess, based upon the Sanborn map and aerial photos I've found online. Both will be sheathed in corrugated metal and standing seam roof material. The 2 walls facing each other will have large rolling doors added, thus no window openings.
The concrete bases is simply 1/2" MDF cut to size, the edges sealed with sanding sealer and painted "Old concrete".
Short of finding oblique aerial photos of Clovis, this is as best a guess as I'm going to make on this.
I've had no luck yet finding online oblique views of the area from the '50s. Feel free to let me know if you know where to find this resource.
I'm now ready as I'll ever be for Saturday and the first full ops session with a few friends. 2 trains out and back switching most of the entire layout.
It's gonna be fun!