All Aboard for 2017!! Things to come in the new year

The Guard waves a green flag to send off a departure from Bridgenorth, and for this post, to another year of model railroading projects.

In one of my recent posts, I looked backwards at what I’ve done in small-scale in 2016.  This post, is the flip side of that, a look ahead to 2017, and things I would like to achieve in my model railroading endeavours.  I don’t know if I will get any of these done, I suspect I will, but I also know I won’t get all of them done, or potentially even started, and I know through the year, I’ll likely pick up other projects here and there, and move things about.

Projects Underway

There are a number of projects which I’ve started, that I would like to finish.  I’ve tried to keep this list to “major” projects, there are a bunch of little things I’m working on, or which are really sub-details to a larger project that I haven’t included.

  • Dominion of Canada Shipment – Now that I’ve got the replacement flatcar deck, I need to paint and decal that, then I can move on to finishing the project.  This is one project that everything I need is basically in hand, I just need to find the time.
  • DAR “Nova Scotia” – If I had the railings for the observation platforms, this car would be very close to done.  Once I resolve the railing issue, I want to build at least a temporary interior partitions (I’ve never been able to source a floorplan of the car in its pre-restaurant days, or as it was in service from the 1950’s to the UCRS days before retirement).  I can guesstimate an interior based on general knowledge of car layout and the window pattern, which is what I’ll wind up doing, but it would be nice to some day have an accurate floor plan to work from
  • Talyllyn – I’m basically done the modifications to the original model, now its a paint project.  Since it’s too cold to paint on my balcony at this time of year, I’m building up a stack of projects that need painting to make a trip to my alternative paint booth worth while.  Once a bunch of things get painted, I can make all kinds of progress on a bunch of projects including this one.  If this one gets completed satisfactorily, Bachmann is releasing a 2nd Narrow Gauge Thomas & Friends loco, scanned from the Talyllyn Railway’s No.2 “Dolgoch”, which may wind up coming into my life in 2017.
  • Railway Village Diorama – Trees, trees, trees.  The biggest thing I have to do here is make the canopy for the six trees located behind Don Station.  I have made armatures that I’m mostly happy with, but can’t seem to bring myself to try to do the canopy so they don’t look so bare!!  Everything left other than this is just cosmetic cleanup on landscape/ballasting and detail.
  • CNR D-1 – I’ve got my HO Scale one to finish the interiors for the two trailer cars C-1 and C-2 for, and maybe add some better looking underbody details to D-1.  Things that haven’t gotten done mostly because I have had other things going, and lacked motivation to disassemble a setup that looks so good on a display shelf!!  But, on top of this, i have work to do in both N-Scale and S-Scale on D-1 models.  For N-Scale, after many requests, i’ve reworked D-1 to be available, and have moved on to the coaches, which should be ready early in 2017.  In S-Scale, everything is done and ordered by my friend Trevor Marshall, but I’m on call for any help he may need in dealing with the 3D printed material, and I can learn a lot about the material by seeing how much larger prints than I’m used to behave as he works on them.
  • Test Track Scenery – Years ago in my old apartment on Bloor St, the first attempt at something to have to run trains (about a 1m back and forth run), was a HO scale switchback layout with some isolated sidings where I could display several locomotives at one time, and run one.  I’ve never fully finished it, and it’s on its second version of “scenery”.  The first was just ground cover and ballast (that never got completed), the second, is converting it into a bit of a diorama of a colliery railway yard in the UK to display a number of structures and models I’ve built/acquired in the past couple of years of National Coal Board locomotives and wagons.  It’s another of the projects in apartment limbo, as I have to take it down from its cat-safe location to work on, and if I don’t have hours of time and motivation, taking it down, and getting ready to work on it becomes a limiting factor.  At this point, it’s really just an extended test board for learning scenery techniques and displaying some stuff in the apartment, but it would be nice if it was presentable rather than a mix of unpainted sculptamold, incomplete groundcover and un-ballasted track with partially placed buildings!!
  • Mystery Narrow Gauge Locomotive #1 – Something I’ve been working on, a 3D printing project of an oddball narrow gauge locomotive, not operational though, just as a static detail.  I haven’t been able to write about it yet, but it’s actually been hiding in fuzzy spaces in pictures on a few recent posts.  I should be able to write about it early in the new year, but its one of the projects in paint booth limbo at the moment.
  • Mystery Rail Vehicle #2 – Another project, this one a joint project with several other modellers.  We are working on another rail vehicle that has never been modelled accurately  (or at all in any commercial means, people have made models of it, but that’s starting to get into semantics and word games).  It will be a 3D printed body shell, designed to either fit on a commercial chassis, or potentially on its own 3D printed chassis.  We’re kinda working on both paths at the moment, and may bring both versions to sell.  I’ve got the first print of the body shell on my workbench, and it generally looks good.  There are a couple of designer errors, and a lot of thought and additional details to go before it’s anywhere close to being ready to be offered to other modellers.  Thankfully, its a welded body, so no rivet details to add!!

Projects to Start

There are a number of projects that I’ve been doing prep work on, buying kits, preparing drawings, producing 3D models for 3D prints, and so on, but haven’t started actually building them.

  • Freight Car Kits – I have two in hand, a CPR Fowler boxcar from Kaslo and a 40′ flatcar from Tichy.  I also have two kits on order from Yarmouth Model Works.  These are all nice kits, that should provide some enjoyable evenings of building the kits, then some days of painting and decalling.  Finishing four freight car kits in a 12 month period is reasonably doable!!
  • 587 Yonge Street/Bar Volo – A bit of a diversion project.  I’m building a model of my favourite bar that closed this year.  It’s an excuse to work on some traditional structure building skills that are rusty, as not having a layout, I don’t need to be building buildings as they take up space I don’t have!
  • British Railways Mark 1 First Open (FO) Diagram 73 – Last year I bought a Hornby K1 and re-numbered it to the preserved 62005, which is one of the regular locomotives on the Jacobite service from Fort William to Mallaig in Scotland.  The Mk1FO I am modelling is the West Coast Railway Company’s car “Florence”, which is the first class car in service normally on that excursion, and which we rode when we did the trip on our honeymoon in 2014.  I have the kit for the car from Southern Pride Models in the UK in hand, I just haven’t started building it!!  I’ve already re-numbered/decalled a BCK Brake Composite for the Jacobite along with the locomotive.  Eventually, I’d like to do at least one RMB Buffet and TSO Tourist Second Open so I have a miniature Jacobite that includes at least one of each coach type.  I don’t think I have space/need for a full consist including 4 TSO coaches!!
  • Narrow Gauge Layout – Some sort of shelf diorama to display and be able to run (at least back and forth a bit) the OO9 Talyllyn I am building.  It will be some kind of mini switching layout where I can at least shuttle the engine and a wagon of some sort about, and build some basic scenery onto.  I’ve been working on designs, but haven’t come up with one that fits my space that I think actually works


I’d like to continue to work on improving my skills in a variety of areas.  Some of these I can hopefully convince friends to help me learn through bribery (lunch/dinner and beer following a session are handy tools to offer in our hobby!), others will need more formal learning opportunities at clinics or elsewhere.

  • Weathering – I don’t generally weather my models, not because I am opposed to it, but because i just don’t have the experience in weathering techniques or the knowledge to be comfortable doing it, and to risk damage to an expensive RTR piece of equipment, or something I’ve spent months building.  I want to learn, and there are classes offered by one of my local hobby shops from time to time, and some of my friends in the hobby would be classed as experienced/experts at it, so I could also try to learn from them.
  • Soldering – I can solder, in a sense.  Well enough at least that my wiring projects get done, but it’s certainly not pretty.  I’d like to work more with etched brass and other materials, but I don’t have a good enough understanding of how to solder to do so efficiently and with long-term success.  I spent money on a good soldering iron in 2016, so 2017 will be the time to really learn how to use it properly!
  • Track Building – I’d like to at least try my hand a building a switch by hand.  Several of my friends swear by FastTracks system.  It looks good, and seems straightforward, and building my own turnouts especially will be a useful future skill for a layout, and something I can learn now and improve on over time.

Thing’s I’m expecting to arrive in Stores or Order

Yeah, buying stuff is a thing too, I don’t build everything!! The way the hobby is now, most models, especially locomotives are pre-ordered as the manufacturers have switched to a build to order/pre-order system to stay alive, rather than guessing and hoping they can sell what they make, they set an order deadline and make what they’ve got pre-orders for assuming that’s enough to cover the cost of the project.  It’s not perfect for either party, but you make do.  I may not wind up buying all of these, and I’m sure there are things coming that I’m interested in but am forgetting (my bank account would appreciate me not buying them all!!), but these are models where order deadlines or deliveries in 2017 will come.

  • Rapido Trains Royal Hudson – The first in the “Icons of Steam” line.  I’ve already ordered a 1939 Royal Train version of #2850.  I’m torn on buying a second normal workaday version.  I don’t see me needing it for a future layout, but you never know, and the price will be better now than down the road.  This is one I should just stick to the locomotive I want most for the display case, the Royal Train version!
  • Heljan Lynton & Barnstaple OO9 2-6-2 – These beauties are now due in Februaryish. I’m planning on buying one in the Southern Railway paint scheme (either “Taw” or “Exe”), along with Peco L&B coaches to go with them.  They’ll find a home on a Narrow Gauge diorama of some sort with Talyllyn, and hopefully eventually a more realistic L&B diorama.
  • RealTrack Class 156 DMU – I’ve preordered one.  One of my childhood toy trains is the last major version of this, done by Lima in the 1980’s!!  It still runs, but it doesn’t hold up to modern detail standards.  That one was a gift from my Grandfather.  I could upgrade it,  but i want it the way it came as a gift for sentimental reasons.  My new one will be in FirstScotrail’s Saltire Flag Dots paint scheme, with a Glasgow Central-Newcastle destination blind.
  • Rapido Trains New Look Buses – I’ll be buying two, one in TTC Maroon, and one in TTC Modern look.  The test samples look fantastic.  The modern will go on the 587 Yonge Diorama, not sure where the Maroon will go for now, but they look too nice to pass up.  If Rapido does a fundraiser version of their own bus, I may wind up ordering that instead of the TTC Maroon one.
  • Mike McGrattan Memorial Gondola – An N-scale freight car which is paid for and due to arrive in March or April.  A project to raise funds for Mike’s 12 year old son’s RESP.  Mike was a fine modeller and employee at Rapido Trains, who lost his battle with Cancer in 2016.  More on the car & Mike at this link.


So lots to come in 2017, and that’s just what I can think of here in the closing days of 2016 as I’ve been working on this post.  Happy New Years and all the best to you in your modelling endeavours for 2017!!

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