Working on a Freight Shed

It seems like just yesterday, but it was in fact May, before the summer even arrived that I wrote about a structure kit for the layout I had started, and building my first mold for casting parts to replace damaged ones from the kit.

IMG_9887Four new resin roof supports, as the majority of the castings in the kit were garbage. I built the master, and my friend Ryan did all the castings as he was making parts for kits he sells from his company National Scale Car.

Having not been in a rush, I didn’t bother to ask when he’d have the chance to cast some of the replacement parts, but we got together for dinner a few weeks ago and he had them ready for me. Today I decided it was a day to advance and project and feel like I was getting something done. I had the deck completed, other than painting/staining the deck. To do this, I decided to use some of my supply of cheap art acrylics from Michael’s. I pick them up when I need a cheap paint, as I’m trying to create the appearance of wood having different ages and levels of wear and aging on them.

Painting the deck using cheap acrylics and watering them down to spread them on the surface of the deck for the freight shed.

I used a brush that was about the same width as the boards on the deck, and watered down the paint as I went. I didn’t want a heavy amount of paint, just enough that it coloured the wood. Once I was done with the paint, I put on a wash of a golden brown stain. I am still considering a second stain of isopropyl alcohol and india ink that I keep for weathering wood. The undersides of the deck are only coloured using this alcohol/ink mix. It was a technique that was in the instructions for a kit I built years ago, and I really like the effects you can create with it, as over time the ink settles, so depending on how much you shake the bottle after its been on the shelf, you can adjust how much ink there is, and thus how dark/beaten up the wood looks.

Installing the roof trusses and roof beams. Lots of weights and little clamps being used to hold everything together and square while the glue sets. I just did all of the gluing on this with good old fashioned white glue. It soaks into the wood and has lots of working time to get things adjusted and aligned. It does mean you need to be patient as it hardens though!

I enjoy projects like this, they are a good way to shake the cobwebs off after I haven’t done a lot of modelling later. while I’m making little adjustments here and there, mostly I’m building it right as the instructions provide.  It means that I can just work away and use skills I already have. I find doing things I know I can do after a break helps me be ready to make it up as I go doing things that are pushing my skills. Strangely, working on a kit helped me advance my cleanup that I’ve been doing and trying to organize my workspace, as it showed me where some things I thought I had found the right home for, weren’t the right place.

IMG_9898End of the day’s progress. Reached the point where I don’t have the right glues to work with the cardstock material for the roof, so stop while I’m ahead and it’s looking like I want, rather than pushing on and making a mistake.

Tuesday Train #165

“Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me”
(Bernie Taupin/Elton John)

4245The sun proverbially set on an era yesterday (September 2, 2019) with the last runs of the TTC’s ALRV articulated streetcars. Long after their expected lifespan, they kept trundling along serving the people of Toronto. The final two in service ran on the Monday of Labour Day long weekend giving free rides through the core on Queen Street, their primary home. I didn’t go out, I wanted the day off from doing anything that required leaving the house, and knew they’d be crazy busy, but it looks like those who go out did had a great time.

And as is always the case when I abuse music in my posts, I give you, the actual song in context…Ladies and Gentlemen…George Michael and Sir Elton John:

Closet Organization

One of the things that makes me crazy in life is things being disorganized, and not being able to find things. I haven’t been getting much work done on top of the benchwork of late. It’s late summer, and I’ve been busy enjoying the good weather. That said, I put some time into getting under the benchwork organized, in particular in the closet. Everything was being stored in 80L plastic totes, great for moving, less great for being able to find things in a hurry. I was getting really tired of having to drag out all the tubs to find one tub that was at the bottom where inevitably model railroad stuff was.

My solution, was to use a modular IKEA Shelving system, the IVAR, its a simple unfinished pine system that comes in different depths, widths and heights, and with all kinds of accessories like drawers and baskets. Its perfect for what I wanted in the closet, and fits beneath the benchwork without eating precious space in the already tight closet.

IMG_9814The closet is hard to photograph, but three segments of IVAR from Ikea in place beneath the benchwork for storage.

Setting up the IVAR’s let me get most of the boxes for rolling stock out of plastic totes, even things that aren’t on the layout, just so I can find the boxes and manuals if needed. There is a space for my general toolbox where I can get at tools when needed, a space for my drill set, dremel, etc, instead of having to dig under a desk to find them. I’m still working on figuring out where I want everything to be, but one of the things that IKEA systems are good for, is they are systems. If I decide I want another shelf or a hanging basket, its easy enough to go back and grab them.

Again, photography in the closet isn’t easy, but you can see the supplies and tools organized beneath the layout.

Another days thought on where I want to put things on the shelves, and hopefully I’ll be back to wiring and laying track on the layout.

Tuesday Train #164

IMGP5385RawConvRailway Safety, its not that hard, if the gates have started to go down, and the lights are flashing, don’t cross the tracks. There is a little bit of forced perspective from a telephoto lens, and VIA Train 85 is moving very slowly as it departs Kitchener’s station heading west as the crew waits on the gates activating and going down, but this kid rushing the lights is putting themselves squarely in harms way, they don’t know that a 2nd train isn’t coming by faster on the other track, or they could have misjudged the speed of the train. As a railfan, every time I’m out at the lineside (and always off railway property, but thats a rant for another day) taking pictures near a crossing, seeing people run the crossing signals gives me a lump in my throat, I can only imagine the feeling of the crews in the cabs of a locomotive knowing that there is nothing they can do to stop or avoid a collision if someone misjudges running in front of them or stops.

If you’re an educator or a parent, and you run across this post, pleast teach your students or your children railway safety. Operation Lifesaver is out there, talk to them for info for your classroom or your home:

Tuesday Train #163

The Plinthed Locomotives of Eastern Ontario, 3/3 – Cornwall Street Railway 17

IMGP5260RawConvCornwall was once served by an electric freight and streetcar line. Centre Cab freight motor 17 is all that is left of that in the City. It is also facing an uncertain future, as while the City has set aside money in the budget to stabalize and start restoration, it may be moved from where it is, to another location in the City. There is also interest from other museums in Eastern Ontario in aquiring the locomotive if it is to be disposed of.

Tuesday Train #162

The Plinthed Locomotives of Eastern Ontario, 2/3 – Grand Trunk Railway 1008

IMGP5288RawConvGrand Trunk Railway E-10a No.1008, a Pre-Canadian National Ralways locomotive built by the Canadian Locomotive Company in Kingston in 1910. This locomotive is preserved on a stretch of track with a wooden baggage car and coach near the Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg. And it’s on the verge of becoming homeles. The St Lawrence Parks Commission which manages the parkland along the St Lawrence River in this area is looking to dispose of the locomotive as they are no longer able or willing to maintain it. Hopefully one of several reputable groups looking at the locomotive is able to aquire it and keep it close to where it is in Ontario.