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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

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.

Friday, 4 January 2019

"Model Railroads" the book 1954

My friend Brian gave this book Model Railroads that was printed in 1954 which would have been nice to have a long time ago. Brian thought I would find it interesting and a good fit to have a book writen close to my era. Having said that, if I had seen it for sale I most likely would have dismissed it as being too old and maybe plain. Here is a picture of the cover and on the spine the only words are Model Railroads. The copyright is 1954 and the Library of Congress number is 54-12466.

The part that amazes me about this book is that the operations portion of the book could have been written in the last 10 years. It is amazing to see the vision Frank Ellison had for modelling operations that advanced back then. The only thing that would give this books date away to the reader would be some of the rolling stock and some of the scenery techniques.
I guess my point is that if I had had this book I could have skipped a lot of the other reading that I have done around track planing and operations. I also could have skipped the fatal error that just about everyone makes by not paying attention to operations.  We really have not invented anything new over that time period, Frank Ellison really had a grasp of this topic with his diagrams, text and pictures. It is too bad that it is not available as an ebook or PFD because every person who is starting a layout or rebuilding one should get to read this book. It did use some reprinted material from Model Railroader magazines from 1949, 1950 and 1951. It is another gem that I happen to have in my collection of books. I have started putting it out during operations sessions for ops to look at during down time.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Sources for building plans

This is just a quick post. Since I scratch build a lot I have always been on the look out for building plans. These apply to my era but some of them can apply to new more resent eras. Now not all these plans give you every measurement but you can easily fill in any blanks if needed. I redrawn some plans from these sites, I just haven't had the time to build them yet. They will get built as I, work my way through the rest of my scenery.

North Dakota State University Has a lot of farm building, tools, livestock equipment, grain and some house plans. You will notice in one column the year the plan can out.

Colorado State University This also has a lot of farm building, tools, livestock equipment, grain and some house plans. You will again notice in one column the year the plan can out.

Sears House Plan Archives This one is interesting if you are looking for older house plans plus you get some history about Sears also.

Shorpy Photos are just really nice pictures that can show you details of older eras that you would not normally get to see.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Farm Details 2 Combine

I had a couple of questions about where I got my John Deere 12-A combine from or did I scratch build it. The combine comes from GHQ Models and happens to look like a 12-A. It is a nice little combine. The actual machine was built from 1940-1951. So this model fits my 1959 era.  It has a PTO drive but the real combine also came with a "ULC" independent motor if your tractor didn't have PTO or live PTO.
John Deere then released the model 25 from 1952-1955 and then the model 30 from 1956-1961. The 30 combines are slightly different as they can have a pickup and have a table auger with enclosed  feeder house.
In this  era John Deere also released the model 65 in 1958 but there are no HO scale models of this machine currently available.
During this era John Deere also released 3 other self propelled models. The 55 1947-1959. The 45 1954-59. The 95 round back 1958-59. There are no HO scale models of these at this time. There are models in S scale so you could build a model taking measurements off of one of these.
Finding historical information on farm equipment is not very easy. Finding info on tractors is much easier. All of the above information applies to what you would have seen on the Canadian prairies. I am just scratching the surface of this topic as there are other manufactures such as Massey Harris which was a Canadian company that was a power in combines.

GHQ has some other nice models - as you will see on their page - that happen to represent real life machines.  North American farm equipment in HO scale of any kind is hard to find. To build this combine you just have to remove a little bit of flash from the metal parts and glue it together using CA or 5 min epoxy. The reels are etched brass and look really good but you have to take care working with them. I painted some of the drive belts black which takes a steady hand. I have a very small brush, you could also try using a tooth pick to paint with. The feeder house on this combine is canvas with wood slats. same as swather canvas. It is a light grey colour when new and the slats were unpainted wood. I had the decals custom printed as none come with the model. The model dosen't come with the straw spreader so I am considering building one. Because it is a 6' straight through I doubt the speader did much. I have added the straw deflector and the table lift arm though. The color of the reel bats are hard to tell as I only have black and white pictures - they may have been painted green. You can see in the John Deere add above they show reels and bats painted yellow. I painted mine plain wood with a little green colour as much of the paint would have been worn off by 1959.

Here are some pictures of the 12-A that is in Camrose at the museum. This has tines along with wood bats on the reels. It also has the independent ULC motor to drive it. The other thing of note when looking at this combine is that the combine is set to the left of the hitch. If you look at the hitch of a JD 65 the combine is on the right side of the hitch looking at it from the back. This change of rotation from going counter clockwise to clockwise around a field occurred on other towed equipment in the 40's and 50's. You can find lots of pictures and a few videos on the internet of any of these combines. I just can't post them because I do not have permisions.

 In this picture you can see where the motor is mounted on the left side in the picture. The hitch is swung over to the transport position. The canvas feeder is not installed. 

This John Deere add shows the model 30 with a motor drive. Note the pickup and table auger.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Scenery part 2

 I am now working on the scenery from the edge of the small shelf  up to Waldron which is on the right side of my layout drawing. The buildings will be covered in different posts on there own.
 This is what it looks like at the start and how it has been for a while.
 In Oct I added the page wire fence on both sides of the right-of-way and painted the first coat on the telegraph poles to make them look aged. Some have the white paint on the insulators. They will get translucent green next to highlight the glass insulators.
That is a diamond harrow draw bar in the field at the back. I have not built the harrows yet but have them drawn in CAD. I am thinking of building a pull type rock picker to add to the scene also. I have made the drawings for it.
 You can see the white sign for Waldron, the small one further back is the whistle sign and the one closer to the bridge is the flanger sign.
 I also have just painted the backdrop. This field has just been seeded.
 The field in the front will be stubble that is being summer fallowed.
 There is a barbed wire fence that will get added coming out to the front. And one going to the back on the other side of the track.

This shows where the oil pump jack is going to go. Not really a Saskatchewan thing but I spent a lot of my career in the oil patch be it in large plants. But back in 1978 a farm kid from Sask worked for a year for a company out of Nisku Alberta that repaired these and we traveled all over the province. The steel bins are just resting there for now. These bins model 1650 bushel 5 ring Westeel or Rosco bins. They are actually Rix N scale bins that scale out really well. If you take 1 row of rings off you would have a 1350 and if you add a row you would have a 1950.
I have painted in the road on the back drop. The monument and sign just to the right of the bins is where the last spike went in back in 2010. You can also see the flanger sign.

Also painted some more back drop and built the snow fence in Oct

The elevators have to be finished, an anex for one or both and a coal shed. I find it interesting in this photo that the road at the back that is painted actually goes in the other direction at about the same angle when you look at it straight on

This photo shows how far this series of posts will go. The rectangle drawn on the scenery is where the station is going. This will be an E Class GTP. That is a passing siding on the right.

The 2 red bins are scratch built and represent plywood bins that were relatively common and hold 1350 bushels. You can now see how the painted road has changed to the way it was painted, although the angle is a little steeper than it looks straight on.
There is a loading platform where the boxcar is sitting. The thing at the coupler on the gondola is the brakes. It is a pin with green tape on it. If a car will not sit still the crew can apply a brake. Still need to add the wheel stops to the ends of the rail. The idea is there will be a steel scrap pile where the gondola is currently sitting. Also still need fence on the right hand side of the right-of-way.

Here is closer look at the snow fence. It is all styrene with 1x4 and 2x6. The posts are 6x8. The grass it seems to photograph really brown so I will have to fix that. It is a light green but you just do not see it.

I will continue to add posts until this piece of scenery is complete.

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 ...