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Sunday, 5 May 2019

Cool Tricks part 1

In the 2nd week in April I was invited by Rob Badmington to come down to Calgary and he would arrange for me to be able to tour some layouts... four in fact. When I was at Rob's I asked him how he painted the vehicles on the road in the photo above and his response was he had not painted them but used the process he describes below. They look just as good in person as they do in the picture. The one thing he did not point out in his description was that the truck at the front in the picture above and the truck on the right in the picture below, was that he placed an extra piece of this card stock behind them that just moves them off the backdrop and gives them an ever greater 3D effect. I have used printed pictures a lot for signs, window curtains, textures for walls and floors and building interiors but had never thought of using this trick before.

This  is Rob's description of how he did it.  He begins the process with photos.  " I painted a road on the backdrop to blend with a 3D road on the layout - see the picture above and the picture below. For the record, I used Google Street View to provide an image of what I wanted on the backdrop and painted it myself. From the ( third picture) I used various vehicles captured by Street View and printed them out in a appropriate size, cut them out and then glued them on the backdrop. In the other picture, I used a Street View image from the South Fraser Perimeter Road (4th picture) to give me an idea of what to paint, and again used cut out vehicles to fill the road."
So give it a try... play with it a bit and see what you can make happen. If you use a program like Inkscape which is free, the scaling is really very easy with just a small leaning curve. For era's before Google Street there are main street pictures that you can find and do the same trick with. To stick them to the  backdrop just use a kids glue stick and if you do not like it you can just wet it and remove it with out hurting your paint.
Rob has another cool device he created that I will cover in another post.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Sask Pool Livestock Pens

I just finished this structure. It was built from styrene and my own drwings from memory. There is about 80-90 hrs in to it from the start of the drawing process. The loading can accommodate 2 36' stock cars at the same time. As a Sask Pool facility it would have normally been on the same track as the elevator but because of space I placed it at the east end of the yard opposite the loading platform.

The picture below shows part of the drawing showing spacing and position of the posts.

This shows the whole drawing. I had to punch in all the post holes for the front fence and loading platform into this piece of foam on my bench because the loading platforms had to be built in the standing position. I then used the same drawing to punch the post holes in the layout. OH... to make the holes in that nasty foam!! I first punch them with a compass that I have because it has a sharp point and then with a piece of pointed dowelling to make the hole big enough to get the post in without too much fighting. All the posts are 6" except for the ones on the front to the loading platform which are 8" so the 4x4" stringers to sit on.

This is the pattern I used to make the sides of the chutes and the associated fence going back. I also used the pattern on the right to make all the gates from. You also get to see one view of how the loading platform goes together. The picture is shinny in the middle because I put glue from a kids glue stick on the paper to hold the posts in place while I attach the the 2x10" boards. The hole in the top is where the pattern for the loading chute floor was.

This is the pattern I used to make most of the fences as the post spacing is the same for just about all of them. Again it is shinny from the glue. I just add a little more glue each time I make a different fence and when it is done you can peal it off without tearing the paper. I go through a lot of paper for any build I am doing.

You can see the completed platform on the left and the one in progress on the right. You can also see the marks on the front 4 posts that shows ground level.

Here I have added the stringers from the sides of the back posts to the top of the front posts forming a V. Then the joists are placed on top of the stringers. Once that is complete the top boards were added. Once this was done it was painted and weathered and moved to the layout. Each section of fence was built at the bench and moved to the layout and then glued together in the corners on the layout. This type of build had it's challenges.

All the gates are movable and the slides in the loading gates also slide back and forth. For the gate hindges I used eye bolts and a bent piece of wire for the eye to slide on to. The piece leaning up against the gate is the spacer that goes between the platform and the car.

Each board (2x10") was cut and then glued on. Once glued, nail marks were added in the board against each post. Even the gates have all the nail marks. They were then airbrushed white, weathered with either paints of chalks. This facility only has maybe 4 years of life left.

Here you can see the portable truck unloading chute that can be moved into place if a larger truck needs to be unloaded. Next to the chute there is a hydrant and hose for watering animals.

The feed troughs were made by cutting styrene 1/2" tubing in half. Ends were added to these pieces and then angle iron legs were added. The water troughs are made from 1/4" styrene tubing, painted , weathered and then had water added to them using white glue. Because this was a local facility it was the farmers responcibility to feed and water his own animals.

A 36' stockcar was able to hold 10 cows. The first pen on the left will hold 20 cows, the middle pen will hold 13 and the last pen will hold about 8 but is really for small stock like sheep and pigs. As I was adding the scenic material to the pens I used a horse and a cow to stomp them around to make the marks in the dirt before it dried.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Grain Elevators part 3

Here are some pictures of the completed National elevator. That leaves only 5 more to finish. The office for this elevator is beside the elevator because of a lack of space on my layout. It is not a common position in Western Canada but did appear. You will get to see it better installed pictures in a future post on the scenery for Waldron. You can just make out the lighting rod above the roof hatch. There will be an annex that will go on the other side and will be done in the next month or so.

Here you can see the Rear of the Ford 1 Ton on the lift. The decals are custom made. The driveway in to this elevator is at ground level because of the depth of the cut that the tracks run through. This was not very common but did occur. The small door at the bottom of the wall leads to a small walkway between the bins on the inside.

In this picture you can see the front of the Ford 1 Ton that is on the lift. The pipe coming out the side is for loading grain in to a truck outdoors. Could be clean grain or screenings from the cleaner floor.

Shows the driveway floor and the outline for the scale. The edge of the scale usually has a piece of belting to fill the gap between it and the main floor. The grating over the pit was done with scale 1"x2" glued in on edge. There is a pit under the grating .You can also see the beam for the scale

This show the cleaning floor. Maybe some day I will get around to detailing this floor but I would first have figure out how to build a Carter Day 245 and disk cleaners. Maybe a larger fanning mill. There would have normally been stairs going up to the cleaning floor but because I have cut this elevator down to 35' the stairs would have been to steep, so the ladder was installed.

This shows the back leg and hopper along with the chutes coming from the bins.

Shows the truck hoist in the raised position without the truck on it. The LED is mounted between the floor joist on the cleaning floor. The pipe that is tied up is for loading trucks.

A look at the black board shows that most of the bins have grain in them. The tool between shovel and the broom is a flat piece of metal with a handel welded to it and is used to clean out the corners of the truck box without having to reach over the back of the truck with a shovel. You would just go through the tailgate and pull out the grain.

Here is look inside the office. The agent is helping the farmer fill in his permit book for 1959. That is the LED in the corner by the door. Everything in the office is scratch built.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

CNR 150T Coal Tower

I scratch built this from CNR plans with modeller liberties.These plans came in a bundle from the CN Lines. I drew up the tower on my Cad program. I draw in Cad at 1:1 and then I printed it off at scale. See How I scratch build At the time there were no kits or plans for wood towers for CN coal towers that I could find. There was a nice kit made by Kanamodels although they have closed their business. I do not have any pictures during construction as I didn't take many of those pictures back when I was building this structure.
This is built from styrene except for the wood retaining wall. This dock is at the end of it's life and will be retired in 2 more years with the end of steam.

This is a view looking back from the ash pit on the west side of the yard.

The CNR plans were for a 300 ton 3 track plant. When I drew it up I cut it down to only a 150 ton with two tracks because of space restrictions. In the plan there would have been 2 tracks going underneath the tower. The model is build from styrene sheet and some wood 12x12 beams on the roof of the unloading shed and the retaining wall. There is also steel supports that hold the beams in the roof in place.The stucco is made using the same methods as I used for the 2nd class station. The roof tops are sandpaper representing a tared roof. The doors, windows,walkway railings, chain drives and coal chutes are Tichy. The windows were reworked a bit to be more accurate for CN. There are little cleats on the concrete pillars to tie back the chains. The unloading grating was built from some screen that I had around and I added 2"x12" planks to it so workers could walk on it to open chutes on the cars. The upper walkway grating is from Plano and the chain is from A-line. There is a light in the unloading bay and on the poles at the outside corners of the walkways using SMD LEDs. The track to the unloading bay and under the tower is code 55. The rail on the outside chutes is code 70 same is in the yard tracks. I then did weathering on it using my air brush and chalks. Not really too tough a build except for getting slops on the hoppers right on the bottom of the tower and the unloading hopper. The structure was formed from .04 plain styrene and some tubing for the hopper concrete posts. The raised ground level for the pit was made using foam insulation. This model has to be movable so that I can access the track work behind it if repairs are necessary. I have not yet completed the scenery behind it including painting the backdrop.

This view shows the unloading pit. There are planks 2"x12" that are movable for the workers to walk on to get out to open chutes on the hopper cars and the grating spacing is closer on the left side. There is also a pit under the grating.

This is looking at the entrance to unloading from the east. The rise from grade to pit level is 5'. The unloading track then starts to descend to the ash pit which is just behind the top of the passenger car. There is room to unload 4 cars at a time. The cars are not spotted because of the grade, it is easier for the yard crew just to dump the cars while still coupled to a locomotive. There is a yellow height restriction signs on the support leg on the left. There are also signs further out on the approach track that passes the left side of the tower. There had already been one incident of a transformer on flat car taking out the side chutes.

This shows the back side. This picture is very difficult to get when it is in place on the layout. The chutes will go up and down but I do not move them very often as they are very delicate

This shows the night lighting

Any questions my email is on the about me page.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

CN Water Tower

I just finished this CN Water tower. It is scratch built from styrene. I used plans from CN Lines along with some notes and pictures that I have found. the windows, water level indicator and chimney were what I used from a Kanamodels kit I got at the swap meet. Someone had tried to built it so most of the parts were not usable. This octagon was a tougher build than I thought it would be. I drew it out in CAD and still had to make adjustments to wall width a couple of times. I had to develop a plan to get them all together to see if the would work out to the right width in the end. The roof worked out better but there is a little more latitude to the roof for some room for error. The one thing that I never did check was the height of the water pipe when it was in the down position. On the OH-SHOW-ME drawing it said it should be 10' above the rail. I knew how high my road bed and rail is so I added that and built away. What I should have check was how high some of my Vandi tenders are. So in the end it will sit on a small hill to gain the 40" needed to fill a 4-8-2. These buildings are like grain elevators when you start looking at pictures there doesn't seem to be 2 exactly the same. The walls are .04"x.06" spaced Evergreen siding. The windows are salvaged from the kit and the door is scratch built. The level gauge and chimney were also salvaged from the kit and everything else is my own material. I did add the plastic window material with the mullions painted on but I think I will take them off as most of the windows that broke over time were changed to just plain single sheets of glass. Less maintenance and cheaper. This water tower lives in Atwater on the layout.

This shows the base and walls once it was glued together.

This picture shows the walls and the bracing for the water spout. I added bolts to the bracing.It is masked because the foundation has been painted already.
A closer look at the bracing for the water spout. In the end the bracing should have been moved up to one board below the window. Then I would have had to only add 20" of fill under the base of the tank.
Here it is withe the painting (CN red #11) done and the windows installed.and the door finished. I use Catwisker yellow for all my CN cream colour.
Here is the completed model with the tar paper roof and fascia boards installed The tar paper is just masking tape and the fascia is scale 1"x6" styrene. There was 1'x8" and 1"x6" used on the door. The foundation is from Styrene strip. The water spout was also salvaged from the kit.

I will add a picture of the tower in place once the scenery at Atwater progresses.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Farm Details 3 "3D printed models"

  I would encourage you to go take a look at Shapways for farm equipment and tires. Shapways prints 3D models that customers have drawn up. Look at farm equipment in all scales because you can ask any of the shops if they would print it in HO scale. This is very easy for them most of the time to change scales within their drawings. There maybe the issue that it is too small for HO but if you look at some of the Z scale items I doubt it. Over the past year there has been a lot more models added and the site is getting easier to search than it used to be.
  Pay attention to what material it is printed with and the fact that a lot of the models do not show a built model just the 3D rendering. Once you see a built model you will understand. "Smooth fine detail plastic" is smooth and "natural versatile plastic" has a sand paper texture but costs less. You can see the difference between some of the pictures. It is your choice how to have it printed most of the time. Pay attention to what scale you are looking at as scales larger than HO scale will cost less and N and Z will cost more to have it printed in HO.
Just do a search using Farm Equipment to start with. You will then go through builders pages to see what they have. There are some things from Europe that look interesting but need translation. There are some models that are listed as HO.
  If you are scratch building the amount of tractor and implement tires that are out there is huge now. There are even a few motors now being printed like flat head V8, V6 and small diesels.
  I wish that someone would do a 12hp Briggs and Stratton that I need for the Mayrath grain auger I want to build. The next thing would be a plain old 15" tire and rim. There was lots of equipment that used this type of tire. It was common to put 2nd hand questionable tires on certain things.
  The pieces that I am most interested in and looking at are the thrashing machine, Ford 8N snow tractor, the bale elevator if it can be done in HO, some horses with harness, birds, some interesting older Gleaner combines, NH side delivery rake and combine headers.
  I wish I could draw 3D because there are some other smaller things that I would like. I now have access to a laser cutter so there are some things like my diamond harrows and cabs for the JD 4010 tractors that I will get done using that. Yes I am cheating with the 40 series tractors for my era by a year.

Here are some links and by no means this is all of them but it will give you an idea and a start.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Grain Elevators Part 2 National

As I am working my way around my layout finishing the scenery from the small shelf up to Waldron. Waldron has two elevators a P&H and a National that I have to complete by adding the driveways and some other details. I thought I would give a post on these as they get completed. I  finished the CAD drawings for the driveways.
Here is a picture of what they are or have been for a while. I didn't get the rest of the building built because at the time I at least wanted the main body modelled so that a train passed something. You see that the National has a square false front which really was not that common. The National decal was custom made and the decal for the P&H came from a Microscale set. Other details of note are the wood roof hatches. Agents would shovel the dust that accumulated on the floor at the top of the leg where the distributor was out this opening. On the National there are some singles that have been patched. I put a piece of tape over that section of shingles before I air brushed the weathering on the rest of the shingles. The body colour is light iron oxide which was used a lot because it was cheap and held its colour well. To paint an elevator today it would cost $$$$. This scene is loosely based on Ernfold Saskatchewan were the track went through a similar kind of cut so the entry to the driveway was at ground level which is not very typical in Western Canada but is more common in the US.

Here is a picture of the back side. The only disadvantage to having the elevators set up like this is uncoupling cars can be a bit of a challenge but it does put the driveways next to the isle. You can see the folding platform that is at door level with the car. The rail above that is the track for the doors.

Here is what my cad drawing for the driveway looks like. Some of the parts on the right are for an extension that you see on some driveways and will be on my next elevator. My drawings are not meant to be professional as they are not for sale.

Here are the pieces laid out after being cut out. Going clock wise from the top left. The paper cut out for the back hopper, the black piece is the 4'x8' chalk board, the driveway floor with the metal slats installed over the unloading pit, the doors for driveway entry at both ends, the roof for the little extension next to the scale and the driveway roof panel with the paper with the shingles line glued to it. The same is on the little roof. The stick on the little roof I glued on so I had a handel when I was spraying the styrene with glue befor attaching the paper.

This picture shows the outside wall for the driveway with the man door and extension installed, the back hopper and the template that it was cut out from, the front leg from the unloading pit, the end walls of the driveway and the center section that has the hole for the leg and the walls for the bins.

So I drew out the hopper in CAD, printed it, cut it out and glued it to .01 styrene sheet and cut it out. Then folded the hopper and glue it together one side at a time. I also then added a scale 12" high extension to the top of the hopper that is not shown. I just cut out another paper to show what it would have looked like. The one that was glued to the styrene is lost when I wash it off.

In the next post I will show the painted, shingled and partially assembled parts along with other details.

Cool Tricks part 1

In the 2nd week in April I was invited by Rob Badmington to come down to Calgary and he would arrange for me to be able to tour some la...