Sunday, December 22, 2013

Such a week I've had!

Looking at the last 6 or so postings, it's been quite a week.
A couple of new products, some large jobs completed, and an argument of sorts with Yahoo Groups.
Time for some me time.
I played around yesterday afternoon with some scenery effects and I very pleased.
First was wild flower blossoms in the long grass east of Jarvis. I used a few of the colours from Scenic Express and very lightly scattered them on top of the static grass. I had sprayed cheap hair spry before hand for adhesive and it's holding rather well.
Feeling emboldened, I tried another idea I had. There was a bit of an ugly line under the RoW fence so I hid it with some tufts of Poly Fiber and some red blossoms. I think it works.
The row of generic shrubbery along the backdrop needs to be extended more to the left, I know. Maybe tomorrow.
Then it was tree planting time. My favorite, Super Trees. And here I tried another new thing for me. Behind the tree line, I tried a technique from Lance Mindheim. I used strips of a sanding medium, Mirlon, to add depth to the tree stand and soften the edge. I really like the effect.
Now to add RoW fences and telegraph poles and add the final ballast on this stretch of main.
I'm thinking tomorrow will be a scenery day after I get back from the post office.

12 more

If you've been following this blog, you might recall this posting,
Well today the other 12 got packed and will be in tomorrows mail.
There were some trials building these cars, I don't mind saying but I'm certainly ready should anymore come my way.
24 coal gons! That will make for an impressive train.

Another first

I just finished building an HO Mullett River caboose kit.
While I've built a few of his O scale caboose kits, this was the first HO kit I've done.
The kit is every bit as good as the O scale offerings. Just not all the detail that one can have easily in O scale.
The laser cut plywood makes for a very solid and stable car body and everything goes together just like it should. Looking forward to doing more of these.

A slighty different kind of job

Recently I was contacted to create a piece of promotional material for a grain handler in the Mid-West.
They wanted models of their leased 67' Trinity hoppers with the addition of the logo and the full name on the side.
Fortune was on our side.
Walthers have a large array of Trinity hoppers available. I chose a style that had minimal lettering to remove and ordered 6.
With the cars in hand, I lightly sanded the factory lettering down and painted over the affected areas. This is where having a wife with a good eye comes in handy. We had gone to the local military modeling shop and chose a grey that matched the factory paint job. Gotta love Model Masters paint!
With the cars painted I applied the custom decals I had created by a friend.
Ta Da!
I'm very pleased with the end result and I expect the client will be as well.
BTW, 67' covered hoppers are huge!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

More data on the ACF Type 3 covered hopper roof

A full description of the AC&F 1958 cu ft covered hoppers is available in the RP Cyc #27.
The version we are offering is on a "Murphy" style roof.
Over 950 were built for 13 different railroads. Some had the open side configuration and some the closed side option.
The roads using this car were,  ATSF, CIL, D&RGW, DMIR, DPCX, EJ&E, GN, I-GN, LS&BC, M-I, M-K-T, MP.
And it appears the CB&Q built a version in their shops which was very similar to this car.
 Built in the CB&Q Havelok shops I believe.

Friday, December 20, 2013

How about a sneak preview?

These are the first samples of our new etched running boards.

from top to bottom,
US Gypsum,
The first 2 etched running boards are 0.012" thick, closer to scale thickness and the Morton is 0.015" thick. The detail is as close to scale as the etching process will allow, in fact we managed to bend the "rules" for etching with these running boards.
Brake steps will also be part of the parts we'll be offering.
I suspect that initially the running boards will be offered in some boxcars we're working on, but they will be available separately eventually. Something for you to look forward to.

And the casting elves are catching up,

I now have a few of the ACF covered hopper roof mini-kits available to ship.
And will have more after Christmas.
The mini-kits will sell for $15.00 USD ea. Contact me for postal rates. With the hullabaloo at Canada Post these days, it's tricky to predict their rates.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How many can you use?

Say hello to our latest detail part.
Etched replacement stirrups for the Intermountain PFE reefers. These won't snap off like the factory supplied plastic ones.
They will be available soon through the Yarmouth Model Works website
If you can't wait for the webmaster, contact me direct via email and we can work from there. The fret has enough for 2 cars and sells for $3.00.
More etched stirrups for plastic cars are in the offing. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Crazy, maybe...

But the ends justify the means.
Have a look at my buddy Aaron's latest effort.
Doesn't register well in the first image.

But with a little low angle illumination the effect starts to register.

What's it all in aid of?
Our next resin kit offering.
The Wabash 12 panel welded boxcar.
We're trying to replicate the panel warping that occurred when the steel sheets were welded together. That's the beauty of resin casting, you can recreate these kinds of effects fairly simply. I certainly like the results.

Built in 1948 by AC&F, 400 of these cars were added to the Wabash roster. Not a large fleet by any imagination, but an interesting car that could easily have roamed the continent. The kit, when ready, will also feature another new item from Yarmouth Model Works, all new etched running boards. The etched running boards are correct thickness and have finer detail than we've been used to in etched running boards.
I hope to have the beginnings of the pilot model for show in Springfield/Amherst this coming January.

Monday, December 2, 2013

And Weather to Taste

And here they are in their finished glory. 4 series 1 CNR 8 hatch reefers decaled and weathered and ready for service on the layout.
Built between 10/39 and 4/40, the first batch of reefers were painted mineral red with white lettering. All of the early series cars were shopped and repainted into what is seen here. The red leaf was applied up until 1946 when it was replaced by the green leaf with the tilted herald. Given that I model 1951, I felt that it was reasonable for both leafs to be represented. Makes for a nice mix of colour in the consists.
I find that light coloured cars can be trickier to weather than "brown" cars. And most of the images I have of these cars in service indicate that they were kept in good condition. Understandable when you consider what went into the cars. So I exercised a little restraint with the weathering.
After they were flat coated a wash of black india ink thinned in alcohol was applied. Really caused the details to pop out. I then sprayed a very thin Railroad Tie Brown down the rivet lines as well as on the ends for wheel splash and between the rivet lines on the panels a very thin spray of earth was applied. The underbody and trucks and wheelsets were heavily dosed with thin black for all that grunge that accumulates.
They are now dirty but not overly so. The right balance for me.

York Railway Moldellers

This Sunday past with my buddy Trevor Marshall in tow, I took my 2 nephews to visit the York Railway Modellers layout.
1600 sq ft of some of the finest modeling one can hope for.

The layout is a freelance design based upon locations in South Western Ontario, with both CN and CP trains well represented.
The freight car fleets are, for the most part, very accurate models of what one would expect to see on prototype inspired layout. Lot's of 40' Canadian boxcars with the unique roofs, ends and ladders. The steam fleet draws heavily upon brass imports, something that Canadian Modelers were blessed with for a time.
The scenery in the "completed" areas is skillfully done, as are the many kitbashed and scratchbuilt structures.
This is indeed the kind of layout you would want to take a neophyte to, in order to demonstrate what is possible within the hobby.
Well done to my friends at the club.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Antiques almost

I just finished these 2 O scale resin cars. Both are from the mid 1980s. Back when they were still figuring out what could and couldn't be done in resin.
Both of these cars have stood the test of time.
The SP Auto car was one of Chooch's early offerings. The resin is brittle and exudes a diesel fuel odour when sanded or drilled, making the process a tad unpleasant , but the details are well represented. Those are even the 30+ year old decals.
The flash was rather thick and with the resin being as hard as it was I was compelled to take the model parts to the belt sander on the rear porch. But in the end a very satisfactory model results.
The second car is a model of a 1932 ARA design boxcar for NC&StL made by Lee Turner. Lots of customer supplied after market parts were applied to this car, as you can see.
It's waiting for paint because I've decided to try a new paint line. Tru-Color have taken over the old Accu-Paint line and have added a array of freight car colors that are meant to be accurate versions of prototype road colors. So I've decided to try out their colors on this car and a ATSF Bx-12 from SC&F that I'm building right now. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Something for me

 In part inspired by the S scale 8 hatch reefers and as part of the ongoing stocking of Manifest #402, I've built 4 F&C HO 8 hatch reefers for my fleet.
Armed with knowledge gleaned from the car history included in the S scale kit I altered a number of details in the F&C kit.

The bracket grabs were upgraded to Kadee bracket grabs and the kit ladders were replaced with 8 rung ladders with integral stirrups offered by Des Plaines Hobbies.
For brake levers I used my etched levers and Tichy turnbuckles were cutoff and used to replicate clevis' on the brake rods. You will note that the reservoir is in an unusual position. This is correct for the early series of CN reefers and 40' boxcars. I also made all my own mounting brackets for the brake components from styrene. The braces for the heater were fabricated from strip brass.
The most involved detail change was for the hatch rests. You'll see that there's a pair of little angles attached to the carlines of the roof for each hatch. The kit does include cast resin parts for this, but they're a tad lumpy and there isn't enough of them. Each car requires 16, the kit had only 14. So I made my own.
To insure that I wasn't caught short I made 80 hatch rests. 80 pieces of 1x3 6" long and 80 pieces of 1x6 6" long. Glue them together in an L and attach to the roofs.
The things we do!
But they look good, so I don't regret the effort. The car body was painted with CN Grey #11 and the floor was painted with CN Red #11.
The cars are waiting for decals. I had purchased 4 sets of decals from Black Cat Publishing, but do you think I can find them? So I reordered which means the errant decals will surface any day now.
And there's lots of other things going on here as well. Pictures and posts as projects get completed.
Now back to removing the 2' of snow that was placed in my driveway last night.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Models like this

Make my job a pleasure.

These 3 cars are O Scale Chooch resin kits. Sadly no longer available, but they do show up on Ebay and at swap meets.
The FGEX reefers are particularly stunning pieces. Jim Zwernemann, who did the original patterns for this kit, did a stunning job. The T&G plank sheathing shows the lighter middle groove in the 1x6 plank, suggesting 2 1x3 planks. My friend Bill Welch is working on replicating this in HO scale for an upcoming project.
Custom ladders and other Delrin parts were created and cast for this reefer as well.
The Soo Line sawtoothed Fowler is a long time favorite of mine. Both the prototype and the models. Again another very well executed offering from Chooch.
While the Chooch line is no longer sold, Southern Car & Foundry is working at offering O scale resin kits, as is Rails Unlimited. Good thing I'm well set with HO scale. O scale gets tempting at times.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

AC&F covered hopper roof with Type 3 hatches

Finally, the test assembly of the parts is done.
And I'm very pleased with the final result.
I won't lie to you. The assembly of the latch rod supports and the hatch hold-downs is very, very fiddly. Certainly not a task to be undertaken after 3-4 cups of coffee. But a little patience and perseverance and a very satisfactory result will be attained.
Kits will be for sale in 3-4 weeks, just as soon as the casting elves get up to speed.
I would urge anyone interested in the model to get a copy of the latest RP CYC. The issue covers all the variants of this car. Lots of great photos and useful prototype data.
No decals will be offered by Yarmouth Model Works. But I do know that a number of people are working on correct decals for this car.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pesky software

If you've been trying to purchase from my other site, Yarmouth Model Works, in the last few days, you'll have noticed trouble with our Paypal shopping cart.
It certainly is not working the way it should be and for that I apologize. We are working on getting things back to normal.
Hopefully not more than a day or 2.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stuff I shouldn't have to do

I just mailed back to the client his 12 Southern coal gons. They were here in the shop for remedial work to address a problem.


This all started when I was almost finished these cars. I had mounted them on their trucks and gave them a push on the layout, where they promptly flung themselves to the ballast. Repeatedly!
A little investigation revealed that the bolster cap was resting on the truck side frame and that there was a gap between the bolster base and the truck bolster. I created a washer from 0.060" styrene, which was what was required to create a sliver of clearance between the sideframe and the bolster. From there I had to shim the draft gear down by an equal amount to get the coupler to the right height. Not an elegant solution but it worked.
Once the client received the finished cars, he did a little research and discovered that the bolster shape in the kit was fundamentally wrong. It should have curved upwards towards the floor to create space for the sideframe and allow the car to sit over it's trucks.
We had a conversation about this and I offered to alter the cars to get them to sit right.
The change required that the bolster cap be trimmed back and the bolster flanges shaved down to give the required clearance for the sideframes.


Not a big job, but one that ought not to have happened. There's no doubt in my mind that the kit maker was aware of the issue and did nothing to rectify it or advise his customers. Am I being fussy? No doubt. But this should be basic stuff.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The 20th Anniversary RPM in Naperville

Hard to believe that it's been 20 years.
Martin Lofton started the Prototype Modelers Seminars all those years ago. A gathering of like minded prototype modelers who shared ideas, techniques and prototype data in the interests of creating more accurate models and model railroads. People travel from all over to enjoy the camaraderie and the exchange of knowledge. From far away as Hawaii and Germany at times.
This year's meet maintained the tradition of fun and excellence.
For me, the event is as much about the clinics and the display models, as it is about catching up with old friends.  I can email the many fellows I get to chat with, but nothing compares to actually sharing a beer and having a few chuckles.
And a big thank you goes out to Bill Daranby, who again invited me and a few other friends to operate on his Maumee Route. That alone is worth the trip. 10 scale miles of model railroad! Awesome!
You know that I'll be going back next year.
Thanks to Joe D'Elia for making this happen.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Power to the Pan Pastels!

I love my Pan Pastels!

These three cars were all weathered with various colours of the Pan Pastels weathering sets. I did also use the airbrush for spraying the black oil and crud all over the underbody and onto the side sills, but everything else is Pan Pastels.
Cleaner and easier to use than chalks. Super easy to control.
The packaged sets also include applicators, but I've taken to using flat  artists brushes for finer control.
I will continue to play with this medium and see what else I can do, weathering effect wise. I'll still be using the airbrush and oils, but this product just can't be beat for ease of use and the end result.

Now next Tuesday I leave for the annual RPM in Lisle/Naperville.  Wednesday will be spent operating on Bill Darnaby's spectacular Maumee Route. Very much looking forward to that! Hope I remember all the rules. Thursday and Friday I'll take in clinics as well as deliver my own. Saturday I'll be setup in the sales room with my new kits and my other products from Yarmouth Model Works.
And of course much time will be spent reconnecting with friends.
This event is one of the high points of the year for me. Just entirely too much fun.
Maybe we'll see you there.

Friday, October 4, 2013

CNR 8 Hatch Reefers

These 3 cars just got their flat coat this morning. I can now hand them off to Trevor. He will apply real wood running boards and weathering. His choice.
In the end these S scale models from MLW Services  rate an "OK". I haven't worked this hard and long on a resin kit in quite some time. But the potential is there. The etched components are first rate. The extensive instructions demonstrate a desire to help the modeler great a quality model.
There are just some speed bumps in the kit that need cleaning up. I have been told by the business owner that improvements and changes with  the castings are underway. Part of the challenge was that I had the "honour" of getting some of the first run casting sets.
These are going to look great in a layout setting. The prototype is unique and striking. I'm very much looking forward to switching them on Trevor's layout soon.

Monday, September 30, 2013


Painted, decaled, weathered and brake parts in the right locations!

I'm very pleased with how this car has turned out. Aaron has done a superb job on this pattern. Thanks buddy!
We are also going to be offering a supplemental decal sheet to back date the lettering to pre-war styles. Ask us about it when ordering or see me in Naperville.
Not for sale just yet. Sorry.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

You'd think that by now,

I'd instinctively know where brake parts go.
Having built over 1000 resin kits to date, placement of components should be second nature. But apparently  not.
So there I was feeling pleased as punch with myself. All the etched parts are fitting just as I'd hoped. The A frames for the brake levers are working out exactly as designed. Everything's looking delightful.
All the photos for the instructions have been taken and the car is ready for paint.
As I'm starting to spray color onto the car I get this odd feeling that something's not right.
Palm to forehead moment. I've put the brake parts on the wrong side of the car. Dooh!
Fortunately it's an easy fix. I finished painting the car, tomorrow I'll move the brake parts to where they belong. Take new pictures and move forward some more.
Silly me.