Monday, December 30, 2019

The ongoing struggle to be organized

The world of model paint as undergone quite a few changes in the last couple of decades. There was a time where my paint rack was 90% Floquil, with a few Model Masters enamels thrown in for variety. However with the demise of the Floquil line, changes have been forced upon us.

Scalecoat paint is now my paint of choice for freight cars but acrylic paints are now being used by me more and more. For structures, scenery and weathering. I still don't trust acrylics to adhere to resin. And we are blessed with a plethora of model paint manufacturers. Tamiya, Vallejo, AK Interactive, Ammo Mig, etc. However all these options for paints creates a small problem. Storage. There's not a lot of commonality in the actual paint bottles. Which for me meant that my paint space was getting out of control.

This just wasn't working anymore.
I've been pondering this problem for sometime now and decided to solve the problem by throwing money at it. Enter . This company offers a large array of work space storage solutions, including a variety of paint racks.

Such as the one shown here, sized for Tamiya paint bottles. There are other sizes to accommodate most of the currently available paint options on the market.
So I sat down and counted paint bottles and sizes, did a little planning and placed my order. Very quickly it was delivered.

The racks are made from MDF and Masonite, precision cut by CNC routers. Assembly is straight forward requiring only carpenters glue and the occasional clamp. The engineering is clever, resulting in very sturdy units that are modular in concept, allowing for an easy time mixing and matching the different bottle sizes.
I assembled the various units over a couple of days and finally bit the bullet and attacked the mess of paint bottles.

The only bottle I'm having an issue with is the very large Scalecoat 2 oz bottles, but I think I have a solution in hand.
All in all, I'm very pleased with this investment and would urge you to consider this system for your own needs.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Peak Vinegar Tank Car?

Three more of these Sunshine kits have just been finished and will be mailed to happy customers in a couple of days.
I've lost count of how many of these kits I've built over the years, but I'm sure it's now over a dozen. And I think I've had enough of them.
I know that a number of people are intimidated by the sheer number of parts that are in this kit, but it's not that bad when you step back and think through the process. But it is a lot of work.
The tank wrapper alone takes a couple of hours to get right, and it's only that quick because I figured out a long time ago to have metal cores milled upon which the wrapper is formed and fitted.

I'll think long and hard before taking on this car again.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Who's Next?

In response to my last blog post,
Chris Vanko sent me this image;
I really like his weathering style.
Anyone else want to share images of assembled Yarmouth Model Works kits?

Friday, December 6, 2019

Don't get enough of these

In yesterday's email this photo was sent to me,

It's from my friend and fellow resinator Bill Darnaby. As he describes it, it's his resin efforts for 2019. It's of special significance to me, since other than the "Southern" Double Door car, all of the cars were built from Yarmouth Model Works kits.

It's heartening to see modelers get the kits they buy out of the boxes and onto their layouts. I would love to see more of this kind of thing from my customers.

Thanks for sharing Bill.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Proof of Concept!

My first "official" ops session is in the bag!

Hunter Hughson and Robin Talukdar dropped by this afternoon and they ran the layout. I had them run a reefer extra out of staging, to Clovis where they switched out the loaded reefers and replaced them with empties. A bit of a challenge as space is tight in Clovis and if you don't plan your moves well, you'll be in the weeds before you know it.

Now the whole process took them almost 3 hours to execute, but they are new to the layout. I've done the same job in 2 hours, but I have slight advantage of being able to look at the track arrangement on a regular basis.

Neither Hunter nor Robin had seen the layout before in it's totality, but I was delighted at their reactions as I gave them the tour. Once they were familiar with the basic plan, I gave them the train to run and let them loose.

I think that rather than try and describe their reactions I'll just share a few quotes from the session with you.

Hunter- "This is really cool, really neat!"

2 minutes later, upon reviewing his assignment,
"This is going to be a f***ing pain in the ass!"

Within 1/2 an hour
"This is freaking neat!"

Robin, acting as engineer, was neglectful on occasion about whistling for the level crossings in Clovis, which earned him an admonishment from Hunter.
"Maybe some whistle, Mr Murder?"

I suspect that they both enjoyed the afternoon. I know I'm super pleased that the layout operates as planned and will easily keep a number of operators busy for a few hours. Now I just have to refine a little more paperwork and get a few more cars built and regular sessions can now be planned.

Friday, November 22, 2019

I've been looking forward to this

It's taken over a year, but this finally arrived in today's mail
It’s the new Crystal River Products laser cut stock pen kit. I’m so excited I already acquired 3 kits.

The delay was because the Crystal River product line was purchased by Randell Johnson, and he is in the process of resurrecting and improving the product line.

Randell and I have been in contact with each other for over a year. He and a partner were working through the CAD drawings and learning the nuances of laser cutting. Based upon the photos I'd seen, I was quite prepared to be patient.

I had been directed to this kit by Trevor (The Enabler), as a really good-looking, well executed stock pen kit. And now that the kits have been delivered, I'm happy to say, at first glance, I'm not disappointed.

The laser cut parts are crisp and clean, a base is included which will make construction much easier. There's a 13 page instruction sheet, which appears to be very thorough.

I'm very much looking forward to building this little gem, and actually it's not that little. 6" x 11" will make for a respectable looking stock pen. The other 2 will be modified to fit into the allotted space in Friant, once I build the first one stock.

Step one... gotta head to Michaels for some finishing products.

This is gonna be fun!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

And here they are!

The pilot models of the 5 new kits from Yarmouth Model Works to be released this October at the Chicagoland RPM.
YMW #121.1- N&W B-5 with raised panel roof. $65.00, includes the Buckeye Cushion trucks
YMW #121.2- N&W B-5 with interior carline roof. $65.00 includes the Buckeye Cushion trucks
YMW #122 - Rock Island ACF postwar 40' boxcar $60.00
YMW #123 - Reading ACF postwar 40' boxcar. $60.00
YMW #107.1 - Northern Pacific modified '37 AAR 40' boxcar. $60.00
All kits feature all the things you've come to expect from Yarmouth Model Works.
Etched details and running boards, proper trucks included, custom decals, one piece bodies, etc.

The kits will be available on the website right after the RPM

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

And the other new kit for the fall

For all you Northern Pacific fans
How about a resin kit of the modified '37 AAR 40' boxcar?

Starting in 1957 and going through to 1965 the Northern Pacific rebuilt all of their 40’ ’37 AAR design boxcars by adding a solid side sill made from a length of C channel.
The as rebuilt paint scheme used the 60” monad, and some of these cars were repainted BN and lasted well into the 1970s.

The kit will feature all the usual things in a Yarmouth Model Works kit, one piece body, etchings, custom decals, etc.

The kit will be released at the Chicagoland RPM this October

Friday, August 16, 2019

For Aaron

Cause he's bored at work and needs inspiration.

The evolution of a small dry ditch.
Perfecting my static grass technique
Details to come

Friday, August 9, 2019

New kits for the fall of 2019

Here's a few of the HO scale scale resin kits we're working on here at Yarmouth Model Works.
We're projecting a release of these kits at the Chicagoland RPM in Oct.

First up.
What I expect to be the last in our series of postwar ACF built cars.

Reading 107500-108499, 1000 cars built in 2 lots. 12 panel welded sides with ACF roof and ACF corrugated end.

Rock Island 23000-23999, 1000 cars. 12 panel welded sides, 6' door, Carbuilder end and ACF roof

And then there's these cars, which we're very excited about.
The N&W B-5 boxcars
Love those massive side sills
These cars were built in 2 lots, 48000 – 48999 has the square panel peaked roof, while the 49500 – 49999 has the rounded roof with recessed end panel and internal car lines.
We will be offering both versions. We will be including Buckeye Cushion trucks in these kits.

All these kits will include the quality castings and etched details, etc, that you've come to expect from Yarmouth Model Works.
Retail price to be determined.
And we'll have a surprise kit for you NP fans.
Back to the kit making!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Getting the ice to the Ice House

On this layout, the town of Clovis has an icing facility, which incorporates an ice deck and an Ice Transfer Plant(as the PFE termed them). Rather than an Ice Manufacturing Plant, where ice is both made and stored for use.
So there was need to be able to move ice from Manufacturing Plants to the Transfer Plants.
This was done by using older reefers which were designated for this specific purpose.
For my layout purposes, I took 3 Red Caboose R-30-9-12 kits, built them and used the Microscale decal set which as the "Ice Service:" statement included.
The colour heralds were pillaged from Speedwitch Media's PFE decal offerings.
I weathered them fairly heavily using oils and some overspray.
I think they look pretty sharp.
Running loads of ice into the Transfer Plant in advance of harvest season will make for a nice variation of traffic.
Now to decide if I want to do 3 more.
And here's the Transfer Plant and Ice deck for your viewing pleasure
4'6" of deck, small by PFE standards

Saturday, July 13, 2019

I consider it a privilege.

I get to do a promo for my pal Ryan Mendell and his new company, National Scale Car.
Ryan, who has done much of the pattern work for Yarmouth Model Works of late, has branched out and created his own model business creating bits and pieces for those of us who like to build accurate freight car models.
I just finished 2 cars for myself using his new "10′ Height 7 panel Superior Doors with Union Duplex Fixtures" parts.

The door set also includes a very nicely rendered etched door track which is fairly simple to install.

Simply shave the lower track off of a IMWX/Red Caboose boxcar kit, create standoffs from styrene and secure to the back of the etching aligned with the etched holes.

Trim the standoffs flush to the track edges and secure to the car side.
Drill through the holes with a #79 and add short bits of wire and clip them flush and you'll have a very secure attachment that suggests rivet heads.
From there you can detail the car to your hearts delight.
In this case I was modeling SP B-50-20 boxcars.
I tossed the factory brake gear and used Tichy parts, and did a full underbody detail, rods, air lines, etc.
The ladders were replaced with YMW ladders and rungs.
An Apex running board from YMW was used as well as the brake step.
Kadee bracket grabs were added
I managed to find some Detail Associates Equipco hand brakes.
The paint is Scalecoat Boxcar Red 2.
Decals from Speedwitch Media.

My fleet of SP '37 AAR design boxcars grows.

Monday, July 8, 2019

And the ends are now connected!

This is Tarpey. Or what will be Tarpey and the home of the Italian Swiss Colony winery.
A rather busy place, which will see large numbers of multi-compartment tank cars coming and going, as California wines get shipped to points east.
As you can see below, it'll be a neat structure to recreate once I get to that task.
But the real big news is, with the track finished in Tarpey.
All the main line is done. In fact all the track work for the layout is done, with the exception of the Pinedale Branch, which can wait while other tasks get completed. Like wiring, turnout controls, testing, etc.
It's been a year and half since I undertook this layout project and I'm impressed with myself as to how quickly I've gotten to this point.
There's some wiring to do, and some decoders to replace(another story for another day), but soon trains will be running.
Happy, happy, joy , joy

Monday, July 1, 2019

And there it was, gone!

It took a couple of days, mostly waiting for glue and paint to dry, but the track scale in Friant is nicely blended into the landscape now.
 First ties were added and base colour applied over the black styrene base.

 The ties were stained and ballast added. The base texture cover of dirt was sifted over a coat of white glue
 The dirt was airbrushed with Tamiya colours and then static grass was applied.
There will be more refinements and weeds etc, to come, but right now the scale  looks right at home on the layout.
Thanks again Trevor

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

When Trevor comes to visit...

Something good always happens.

And today it was track scales!
On occasion Trevor gets inspired to create wonderful models of things that may not be of use on his own layout, but certainly useful on others.
As the design and planning of this layout evolved, it became quickly apparent that 2 track scales were required.
One at Friant, at the end of the branch for weighing the ballast hoppers that were hauled out of the Rockfield quarry, and a scale at Tarpey, right in front of the Italian Swiss Colony Winery. Clearly for weighing the loads of wine being shipped out.
The scale at Friant;
And the scale at Tarpey

Now it's worth noting that Trevor went to the trouble of making the points work on both scales so that cars can be rolled over the "live" rails, while the locomotives can be kept on the "dead" rails, thus not overloading the scale.
Another smart idea that will add to the work to done by the train crews as the perform their duties moving cars around on the branchline.
Clearly there's much to be done yet for ground cover and ballast, etc.
But with these 2 items installed the last bit of rail can now be laid and test runs of trains can begin up and down the entire branch.
Thanks Trevor.
Your help is invaluable.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Wandering down Tulare Ave, Part 3

How about that?
The whole thing actually works!
I spent a few hours this morning tweaking the flangeways in a couple of places. There were a couple of tight spots.
In the process of troubleshooting the track work, I discovered that the brake shoes on the tender were shorting out against the wheels, so off those came.
As Trevor rightly points out, "You never find these things until you can run the layout. So the shorts are a sign of milestones achieved and progress made!"
I also lost my mind for an hour the night before trying to track down a short in the track wiring. Given that it's about as simple as it can get, you can well imagine the choice bits of language that was being used before I found the cause.
Some idiot soldered the wrong colour drop feeds on 2 adjacent pieces of rail.
I'll leave it to you to guess who the idiot was.
Huge milestone here, and an even bigger one is looming for this coming Tuesday.
Trevor is visiting and he has some goodies in hand.
You'll have to wait to see what's going on!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Enabling the Enabler?

If you're a reader of Railroad Model Craftsman, you will have noted that my good friend Trevor Marshall just had an article published in where he created an SP SW-1 with trolley poles.
In the preamble of the article, Trevor relates that him enabling me to build this Clovis Branch of the SP, enabled him to build the model of the SW-1.
Once the model was completed, Trevor came to visit and took many photos in preparation for the article.
With his permission, I'm sharing a few that did not get into print;

I'm tickled that I was able to offer up an appropriate setting for the loco.
2 big take aways from this photo session;
I need to invest in proper photo lights for my own purposes
My buildings need more weathering