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.