Tuesday, December 7, 2021

In the works

 It seems that some of the jungle drums, rumour mill, etc, have been speculating, incorrectly, about an upcoming set of kits from Yarmouth Model Works
So I feel the need to set the record straight.
Along with a few other things, we are well into the D&RGW stock cars kits
We are planning 4 kits

36000-36099 Double deck car

36100-36199 Double deck stock car

39100-39199 single deck stock car

single deck stock car 

 The patterns are well underway, and a release in the spring of 2022 is hoped for
And hopefully no further serious interruptions to our supply chains.

Sunday, October 10, 2021


 I was reminded the other day that it has been 10 years this month that I have been manufacturing HO and other scales resin freight car kits.
It was 10 years ago that Aaron showed me the pattern for the Wabash stock car that he'd been working on, and after very brief consideration I decided to make the leap and market resin kits. And I'm glad I did!

So far it has been over 35 kits including variations and S scale an O scale offerings. Lessons have been learned and changes have occurred.
Over the years I've used 4 different casters, with varying results, before the loss of my other income stream was ended by Covid. So I've learned the fine art of resin casting and can now say with confidence that many of the previous issues with castings are now a thing of the past.
I'm using a harder resin which cures much slower, which reduces stress on the molds and reduces warpage of finished castings. Given that I'm not trying to crank out dozens of castings a day, the slow cure time is not a concern for me.
I learned the hard way that consistency of mixing is critical. I had some issues with some of the X31f body and floor castings. Sticky surfaces and weird bubbles arising days after demolding. I realized that I wasn't doing a proper job mixing the resin, so now with stop watch in hand, it's 2 full minutes of vigorous stirring before pouring.

Subtle changes in which material to etch certain parts has occurred. While brass is easy to bend, it's not a great choice for sill steps, so that ended fairly quickly.

We have done a fair amount of work with 3D printing for both masters and certain detail parts, and will continue to do so. But we have found that in some respects it's easier in the long run to hand make car side body patterns. If for no other reason than to eliminate the need to sand away the print lines.
Printer technology is getting better everyday, but print lines are going to be with us for awhile yet.

The disruptions to global supply chains is impacting Yarmouth Model Works as well. There are major delays from my etcher in Germany. I can't get Kato ASF A-3 trucks. Mail in North America is still chaotic. And worst of all, I can't get to RPMs as yet. The land border is still closed to travelers.
But through all that work continues as best as we can.

New projects are under way as well as, (are you sitting down?) after 10 years the Soo Line stock car pattern is almost done!

It is hoped that this kit and a couple of others will be ready for the Indy Junction RPM and NMRA show next May.
Fingers crossed.

So a heart felt thanks to the hard working people in my supply chain and giant thank you to everyone who has supported me with the purchases and words of support.

Sunday, September 5, 2021


 From time to time, I'm asked to paint brass rolling stock. Particularly O scale brass cars.
And man, there are some nice offerings out there!
So I don't mind taking on the task, except for one pesky detail. Getting the factory clear coat off.
Soaking in lacquer thinner is the way to go. Immerse the model for a day or day and the stuff floats away.
The trick is finding a sealable container, large enough for an O scale car and either metal or glass, so as to be impervious to the lacquer thinner. And sealable so that the fumes don't overwhelm the garage.
Yesterday I went to 4 different stores searching for an appropriate container to no avail.
When I got home I noticed that my neighbour was having a yard sale so I wandered over just for fun and voila, there was the answer.
A large glass vase, that may have been marketed originally for storing dry macaroni or some such with a cork plug. The plug was missing, but that was easy to solve.

As  you can see, lots of room for an O scale 40' boxcar.
It takes 2 gallons of lacquer thinner to fill.
Sealing was easy
Tinfoil and a rubber band

So that now sits in the garage and the lacquer thinner does it's magic, and I can still move around in the garage without inhaling the fumes.
I am pleased!
Just in time, there are 4 more brass cars to strip.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Delightfully astonished!

 Nothing like a success to make ones day.

The initial production run of our O scale PRR X31f has sold out. In a little over a week!
Not to worry
More are coming.
I am running another 20 kits.
It will take about a month for all the required items to be rounded up.
If you have yet to order and still want one, let me know

Thanks to everyone so far for their support.
Now to decide what the next O scale offering will be

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Our first O scale kit!

 Now ready for sale
The O scale PRR X31f

 The kit features;
A one piece body casting, with the iconic roof having been rendered in 3D
Laser cut running boards
Etched ladders, sill steps and other key details
San Juan Car Co injection modeled brake parts
Custom Decals from National Scale Car

The kit retails for $165.00 plus postage
Currently there are only 46 kits available.
More if demand warrants.

Correct P48 or O scale gauge trucks can be had from either Protocraft or Rich Yoder

Saturday, August 21, 2021

A bit of a Covid reprieve

 After over 18 months of  "social distancing" and other necessary precautionary methods, I finally had another ops session on the Clovis Branch.
Gerry and Robin made the trip for a session of "banging cars around".
As to be expected a few glitches arose. Pierre has a few bits of track to tweak.
Otherwise a good day was had.
Followed by a lovely repast of BBQ.
Meat, Fire, Good!
We'll be doing it again soon

Thursday, August 12, 2021

New kit from Yarmouth Model Works

 In spite of COVID 19s best efforts we've managed to get this new kit ready for sale as of today

The ACF built Armour reefer

This was the only reefer built with the unique AC&F Proprietary roof design, and using modern CAD and 3D printing resources we've manged to accurately reproduce the roof and other details of this reefer.
2000 were built in mid 1947
The kit features a one piece resin cast body, custom etchings, 3D printed parts and decals from Black Cat publishing.
The kit sells for $60.00 USD, less trucks and couplers
Now available through the website

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Done, Done and Done!

 And there we have it.
3 CPR vans ready for service.
I'm very pleased with how these turned out. They are lovely kits to work with,the multi-laminated laser cut sides and the photo etched brass underframes, ladders and end rails are a nice change of pace for me from all the resin I usually work with.|
Shortly I'll have 2 CNR vans to build from the same company and I'm currently working on completing 4 SN/WP cabooses for another client.
Many of the SN/WP details need to be reworked from what was provided in the kits. Namely the end railings, tops of the ladder stiles and cupola braces.
More on that as work progresses

Friday, July 16, 2021

I'm ready for my decals Mr DeMille!


And fortunately for our purposes, Black cat Publishing offers an excellent decal set for this car.

I still have to mask out the front and back cupola windows so they don't get fogged over with flat finish and weathering effects. But that will go quick tomorrow.
Hopefully I hear back from one of the customers shortly so I can find out what number he wants on his van

Once these are done, it's a quad of Sacramento Northern cabooses for a client. Also from kits from Mullett River with lots of additional details

Funny thing is, the colours will be rather similar

Friday, July 9, 2021

Almost ready for Basic Black

 The cabooses have entered the awkward adolescent phase.
Lots of time spent, not a lot of evidence of progress, but we're close.

The car bodies are almost ready for black on the roofs. I just have to add the cupola roof grabs and I can paint the roofs. Good ole tissue paper was used for the canvas roof cover. Grimy Black will round it out nicely.

  All the underbody detail is done. A few hours of fitting and soldering here.
I'm happy to report, no burnt finger tips!

The end railings are coming along. The curved bits need to formed and attached, along with the hand brakes. That should be done tomorrow, which will allow me to paint the underframe.

Once that is done, I can focus on the body mounted grabs and final assembly.
I do enjoy these models, but it's always nice to get them done

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Caboose progess and a new skill/technique/material

 As the photos will attest, great progress on the trio of CPR vans.
Interiors painted. Who doesn't love that nasty, nasty green?

 And the bodies and cupolas fully assembled

To be able to fully assemble the cupolas, the sliding sash had to be glazed before it was sandwiched within the laminations.
For this project, at the request of one of the clients, I decided to try glazing the windows with microscope slide covers.
The slide covers and the diamond tipped scriber were acquired easily off of Amazon, and delivered in such record time.
I had discussed the process of cutting the glass with my pal Trevor and I went for it.

I have to say I'm a convert.

The process is easy and the results are stunning.
The key is a very clean work surface under the glass being cut and to make one pass only with the scriber. The glazing was secured in place using Microscale Crystal Clear as an adhesive

Nothing looks like glass, other than glass.
There will be a lot more of this in my future.

Now for the brass frames, and all the fiddly bits underneath

Friday, June 25, 2021

The Joy of Model Building

 I build a lot of models.

I'm always struck by the shear volume of model kits that are available. A huge variety of scales and subject matters, as well as an array of modeling mediums. Wood, plastic, resin, metal, 3D printed, etc.
And of course, there's a wildly variable level of quality.

Some of the best model kits I've had the pleasure of working on are the O scale caboose kits created by Glen Guerra of Mullett River Model Works. Very carefully designed laser cut wood kits with etched brass underframes and a collection of appropriate investment castings.

The late Dave Nadeau commissioned Glen to create a CPR and a CNR  wood van for Dave's company, Northern Models. I've built both a few years ago, but now I have the joy of building 3 of the CPR vans for some clients.

I'm going to try and blog about progress on these 3 as I progress.
3 O scale cabooses at one time will fill the bench quickly.

In this image the car sides have had the 3 layers laminated together as well as the car ends.
Under the steel weights are the cupola sides and ends, and to the back are the 3 floors with their 4 layers of laminated plywood parts.
And to the right you can see the pile of etched brass parts for the underframes, which will assembled within the floor and soldered together.
As these cars have full interiors as well, careful planning is called for as to when to prepaint things like the interior.
It all seems clear in my mind right now.
We'll see how that goes!
More to come

Friday, May 28, 2021

2 new kits from Yarmouth Model Works

 We've just added 2 8' door 40' boxcar kits to the product line

YMW #129
CPR 40' boxcar , NSC-3 ends, PS-1 roof.
The kit includes both block and script decals


YMW #130
PGE 40' boxcar, NSC-3 ends, PS-1 roof and Improved Youngstown door


Both kits include TMW trucks, etched running boards, custom etched ladders and some 3D printed details

Kits retail for $60.00 USD, plus postage

Sunday, March 14, 2021

New items from Yarmouth Model Works

 Not terribly exciting, but if you're looking for these roofs, you'll be happy to find them

HO scale

YMW-4445 40' Diagonal panel roof

YMW-4547 40' PS-1 roof

Both are $8.00 USD, plus postage

Current state of affairs

 So it's one year on since the global pandemic was declared.
We are closer to seeing the end, but we're not out of the woods yet. I thought I'd provide a bit of an update from my end.

There are 2 major hurdles affecting the smooth running of Yarmouth Model Works these days.

1- The mail in both Canada and the US continues to experience disruptions. A package containing 2 kits took 62 days to travel from Ontario to Michigan recently. The major sorting plant in Toronto had over 100 workers go down with COVID. I can only imagine how bad it has been in sorting plants in the US.
So bear with us if your item is not delivered quickly.
Even tracked packages are taking inordinate amounts of time.

2- My supply chain is, as you might expect, rather disrupted. I tried to order trucks from Kato last week. No inventory and no projected restock date.
Shipments of etchings from Germany are hit and miss, etc.
Add to that the need to limit my trips into the US to collect items at my PO Box, and you can see why certain projects are taking longer than we would like.
There are 3 pairs of ends and a new roof waiting to be printed for some upcoming kits, but we can't get access to the printer we use at this time.
It all piles up.

Rest assured that we are doing all that we can to fulfill all the orders that come in, and work is proceeding on new kits.
So I thought I'd share a sneak peak for you
This is one of the new kits coming in a couple of months.

Following on the success of the AC&F boxcar kits, we decided to tackle this reefer. It used the same proprietary roof stampings as the boxcars.
The patterns are done, the pilot model is started, just waiting for the etchings to arrive and I can finish the model.
As usual, there are etchings, 3D parts, and decals created specifically for this car.
Hopefully May release

Stay safe everyone

Saturday, February 6, 2021

What hath Covid Wrought

 It's been a difficult year for all of us, and it is far from being over.
Lives have been turned upside down, careers ended, economies shattered, etc, etc.
But within the upheavals, opportunities exist.
For me, my longtime career working in live entertainment is done. There will not be a return to live performances on any large scale anytime soon, so for me the life as a arena rigger and stagehand is over.
Retirement was approaching anyway, but the loss of a major income stream came at a bad time. Last March I was on track for an entire season working at the Shakespearean Festival in Stratford, Ontario. Instead I got one week and 2 hours before  it all shutdown.
Fortunately I have my custom building and kit businesses to fall back on, and they now make my sole source of income.
Part of the pivot forced upon me was a rethink of out sourcing my casting needs.
I have spent the last 2 months learning the fine art of resin casting, aided by some very talented people.
And I'm pleased to say that I'm now quite comfortable with the processes.

A little bit of stirring the shop and investing in pressure vessels and vacuum pumps, as well as learning about tin cured rubber vs platinum cured rubber and the idiosyncrasies of various resins has put me in a position where I will now be doing the lions share of my casting.
It's actually been fun learning a whole new skill set at my age, and I've had some good teachers along the way.
Now I'll only have  myself to blame. lol