Hawker Siddeley GO Transit Cars (aka the Mystery Rail Car Project)

This is it, the big project that has been causing me to stress with Shapeways and Airbrush Compressors and all kinds of things.  My current project for a low volume model to be available through my Shapeways Shop is the Hawker Siddeley Single Level Commuter Coaches in HO Scale.  These were the original coaches constructed in Thunder Bay Ontario for the launch of GO Transit, the Toronto area commuter railway service in 1967.   Most regular readers of my Blog could probably have guessed what this was from my hints and the knowledge that a lot of my models are of vehicles preserved at the Toronto Railway Museum.

IMGP8489RawConvThe prototype.  GO Transit Cab Car 104, purchased and restored by Metrolinx and donated to the Toronto Railway Museum for GO’s 50th Anniversary in 2017.

They came in three varieties, but I am only designing two. I am designing models of the Cab Car Coach and the Regular Coach.  I am not modelling the self propelled cab cars which were a part of the initial order for 1967.  In total, GO Transit owned 123 of these cars, 9 self propelled (later converted to just cab cars), 8 cab cars, and 106 coaches.

Following their replacement by the now ubiquitous Bi-Level Cars on GO Transit, the cars found new work with MBTA in Boston, MARC in Maryland, the Ontario Northland Railway and AMT in Montreal.  The cars were in service with AMT until 2010, and several remain in service with the Ontario Northland Railway.

3D printed Body Shell for the Cab Car (with a coat of primer so details are more visible).

Through a combination of drawings of various quality found on the internet, and the ability to literally walk up to the existing car to take measurements, this was the kind of project that makes sense for me as a non-manufacturer doing 3D models in my spare time.  One that I can literally walk 15 minutes from my office after work and get a missing dimension or a picture of something to make sure I’ve got a shape right or a detail in place.

The first attempt at 3D printed Trucks (not very successful), the underbody/frame piece, and the car interior.

The cars are a little ways away from being available for sale.  There are some technical issues to be overcome, including a reliable source of wheels to direct people to.  I know there is a market for these, though they won’t be cheap, and certainly won’t be for the faint of heart when it comes to assembling and running, but I’m hopeful in the coming months that I can work out these issues.  In the short term at least, I will be looking to prepare a short train of coaches for display at the Toronto Railway Museum as part of the ongoing GO 50th Anniversary Display (though it will likely be several months before they are available for sale to others, as I find time to work through issues and test things before offering them up for sale).


Tuesday Train #74


With all due apologies to The Proclaimers… I would not walk 500 miles to see the CPR… I was in the Cleveland Ohio area last weekend railfanning, for the Steam in the Valley event at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway, and another private tour of a railway collection which is not open to the public that I will write about in the future.  After the private tour Saturday morning, we returned to the Cayuga Valley to railfan Nickel Plate Road 765 hauling the steam tours.  We then went to Berea Ohio. a location where the Norfolk Southern and CSX lines meet (both are former New York Central lines).  In a three-hour period, we got 13 freight trains, almost a days haul anywhere you railfan around Toronto (excluding GO and VIA).  Included amongst that traffic was my bane, the Canadian Pacific Railway, or those who remain afraid of the sun near home.  CP 143,  a container train to Chicago from Montreal takes the CSX from when it crosses the border from Canada to the USA.  Interesting motive power for the locals we were hanging out with, but not what I travelled 500 miles to see.

And with that, I leave you with a ditty from the album Sunshine on Leith

Toronto Railway Museum at the Brampton Model Railway Show (Sept 30-Oct 1 2017)

This coming weekend, Saturday September 30th and Sunday October 1st 2017, I will be at the Brampton Model Railway Show with the Toronto Railway Museum/Toronto Railway Historical Association.  I will be there with the Museum and Volunteer Association to help promote our association and the museum.  A big part of the display will be my models of the TRM Collection in HO Scale.  I will also have the first print of a new model there with me to show off to those who want to see it!

IMGP6241RawConvLook for our big banners and drumhead sign at the Show this weekend and come up and say hi! (Picture from the 2017 Barrie-Allandale Train Show)

The show is the largest Model Railway show in the Greater Toronto Area, featuring vendors, manufacturers, operating layouts and historical societies.  On top of this, the show offers a range of clinics on different aspects of the hobby to help newcomers get into modelling, and experienced modellers learn new skills.

Both the Stall 15-16 (left) and Railway Village (right) Models will be on display at the show.  This is the first time both dioramas will have had an outing together (and yes, I’m nervous about having both these major projects out, but promoting the museum and letting people see them is a big part of why I built them in the first place!).

This will be the first time that the TRM/TRHA has attended the show, we will have our full display with information on visiting the museum, volunteering at the museum, and models of the equipment you can see at the TRM.  Our friends at Rapido Trains (most of whom are TRHA Volunteers) will have their restored GM New Look Bus inside the show venue for you to explore as well.

imgp6475rawconvOur crazy friends at Rapido Trains are bringing their full sized bus to the show.  Wonder if we can convince them to bring their full sized RDC in the future!

Show Details:
Brampton Model Railway Show
Brampton Fair Grounds (Pavilion Building)
12942 Heart Lake Road (at Old School Road)
Brampton Ontario

The show is open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday September 30th and Sunday October 1st, 2017.

If you are coming from most locations, take Highway 410 north from Highway 401 to the Mayfield Road Exit, turn left at the lights at the end of the ramp.  Turn right at Heart Lake Road (2nd set of Lights), the Brampton Fairgrounds are about 5 minutes up the road on the left and is well signposted.

A $1 off coupon for adult admission is provided, and your admission on Saturday includes admission on Sunday if you want to attend both days of the show.  Admission prices are reasonable anyways:

Adults $7 NMRA member $6
Seniors and Teens $5 Children (6-12) $3
Children under 6 free

2017 BMRS couponPrint out and bring with you to get $1.00 off your admission

Please come by and say Hi! We’d love to talk with you about everything that is going on at the Roundhouse and invite you down to visit us in person!

Workbench Musings – Paint Storage

Inspired by my friend Trevor Marshall’s post on his paint storage woes, which was inspired by several other bloggers he follows, I thought I’d add my two cents to the discussion.  I store paints in two places as shown below, in the drawer of an Ikea Micke wheeled cabinet (product discontinued so no link), and in plastic project tubs inside the main cabinet for anything that doesn’t fit in the drawer.

Paint Supplies in my workshop.  The drawer has jars/pots of paint, and spray cans and larger bottles are in plastic tubs in the cabinet.

Inside the drawer, I have a number of Rubbermaid Drawer Organizers in different sizes.  These have clips that hold them together when you put them in a drawer, and allow you to mix and match to fill your space.  They come in black or white, and are sold at Wal-Mart in Canada at least.  Within the drawer, I have compartments for Acrylic Paints, Enamel Paints, Testors Enamels, Humbrol Paints, washes, and some general storage of little used tools and paint/detailing supplies.

Spray cans, crafting/artists acrylics and either extra jars or overflow of paint is in plastic tubs, given my limited space, even these are overlowing at the moment with more cans that fit in the two tubs worth of space, some space is eaten by the fact that the one tub which also has scenery and glue bottles in it doesn’t close.

In a perfect world, my workshop wouldn’t double as our spare bedroom.  Since it does, it needs to be configured such that most of the model making stuff can be safely hidden away quickly, especially as we are reaching the point where our nieces and nephews are getting old enough to potentially come and visit.  Need to make sure the room is reasonably kid proof, at least insomuch as a room full of expensive model trains on display can be!!

Oh for the simple days when all I wanted for Christmas was a red Testors enamel paint spinner to hold all the colours and brushes I thought I could ever need when first starting out building plastic models as a kid!!

TestorsStand.jpgAll I thought I would ever need as a kid starting out, 18 Testors enamels on a spinning tray!! Happy Days! (image scoured from the Googles)

From Zero to a Million Miles an hour…

What happens when a much delayed shipment of 3D printed Goodies from Shapeways arrives.  I go from not being able to advance any of the projects on my workbench, to shooting forward with a handful like it’s going out of style.  It’s exciting to get things you’ve designed but never seen and don’t know if they worked until they arrive.  Waiting is definitely the worst part of the 3D printing process with Shapeways to find out if your design worked as you planned and envisioned.

In this case, parts for three different projects, one ongoing (587 Yonge St), one new (detailed below), and one that I now know I can actually announce September 30th (Mystery Rail Car Project) all arrived in one big order.  The biggest problem was the ever helpful people at UPS.  Because my order was delayed, Shapeways upgrades the shipping, for Canadians, that means going from US Post to UPS Courier.  This is good, as UPS is faster, but bad, as they are really hard to deal with.  Little things, like for instance say, you get an email Tuesday morning saying you have to pay tax on the shipment, and then you go and pay it online.  Then your package vanishes and doesn’t scan or show signs of existing for four days.  After much chasing, it magically appears where you wanted it to go, the UPS store two blocks from your house.

It’s a mighty big box for the relatively small 3D printed parts inside, but was packed well and all arrived safe and sound.

When I picked up the package Saturday, I promptly opened it, checked everything was there and appeared good, and took off to go watch the Toronto Argonauts football game.  Cleaning could wait till after the game, and doing anything else till Sunday.

When I got home from the game, all the parts were given a good but gentle clean in soap and water to remove any remaining support material from the FUD parts.  Once clean, they were allowed to dry overnight so I could prime them on Sunday morning.

One of the projects in the order was something new.  I don’t normally take requests for models being resized, but in this case, for some reason I did.  I received a request from a modeller looking to have my HO Scale Fairmont M1 re-sized to S Scale.  I’m not sure why I agreed, other than knowing that it wasn’t going to be that much work compared to some requests.  There was definitely some re-design and thought needed to change what was a 1 piece print in HO scale into 2 for S, and maybe its a simple as I have a friend who models in S so I know it will have a home to go to when I’m finished painting it.  It also gave me the opportunity to try a lot of things, and making a model bigger certainly exposes every little sloppy design error that smaller scales can hide!!

Fairmont M1 Speeder in S Scale being painted, and in yellow.  The model was modified so I can insert actual wood bars for the lift rods, which can be re-positioned as desired, rather than being part of the print in HO Scale.

Overall, aside from the fact that despite my best efforts to have the wheels and axles turn, it appears that the clearance was just too tight, and the support material hardened the axles to the frame, I am very happy with the print.  As you can see from the pictures, it’s now bright yellow waiting on me hand painting the details and weathering.  I didn’t try to get a perfect yellow coat.  Its thick and thin in places, as these cars had rough workaday lives, and having an uneven paint surface will help with weathering and making it look used.

I’ll post again with pictures of it fully painted, and hopefully looking natural on an S scale layout in the next couple of weeks when I get the chance for a get together with an S scale modeller.

The Problem with Putting things off

I currently live in a 12th floor 2 bedroom apartment.  I don’t do a lot of airbrush work, but when I do, my paintbooth is our balcony, 12 stories up in the air.  This poses a lot of problems, climate control and dust to name a couple.  Another, is noise, or more appropriately, making noise and not doing things to make it and disturb your neighbours unnecessarily, at least this is something I believe in.

IMGP6559Not the prettiest paint booth in the world, but it gets the job done of allowing me to quickly setup and tear down on or 12th floor balcony for airbrushing and spray painting.

For years it has been part of the reason I have never bought an airbrush compressor.  The airbrush I have, a Badger Universal 360 can be used with canned air sold by Badger.  This has, until now been readily available at Michael’s Arts and Craft Stores, with the added bonus that they almost always have a 40 or 50% off one item coupon happening.  As of this week, I’ve been told that the Badger Propel is discontinued, whether by the Manufacturer or the store was unclear from the very helpful clerk who looked into the matter for me.

Badger Propel cans.  Perfect for airbrushing a few small projects, and super quiet on the balcony (image courtesy Badger Air Brush).

I don’t for a second believe that I own the best airbrush out there, but what I do believe in is knowing your tools.  I have had this airbrush since around 2009, and I know its quirks and tendencies, and like to think I’m half way decent painting with it.  I also know, that I can go out on the balcony at 7am on a weekend and beat the worst sun and humidity using the canned air and not make noise and disturb my neighbours.  This can be a godsend in extending the spring and fall seasons in Toronto where it isn’t too humid all the time to try to paint outside.  It also makes packing up and going to my winter paint shop easier than lugging a compressor.

Where am I going with this?  That I am in the middle of several projects, all of which need airbrushing to complete, and my can of Propel is running down, nowhere near enough to finish one, never mind several projects.  As it now seems I cannot get the Propel, I am in a bit of a hurry to finally get a compressor so I can learn how to airbrush with a more constant air supply.  The problem is, while over the years I could easily have bought a top end compressor with the couple of hundred dollars I’ve spent on propel, spreading out the cost is a lot less painful, now I find myself needing to make a decent sized outlay to get back to work on projects.

My inital thought for a starter compressor is one that my brother-in-law recommended.  He uses is to make custom fishing lures that he sells by the pile.  I’ve seen it in action, and it’s not crazy noisy.  It also hits my cheapness price point for a rush purchase at around $100 on Amazon.  Much like my airbrush, I don’t think its going to be the best out there, but at the moment, it looks to be the immediate solution to a problem to let me get back at painting.

AirbrushCompressorAirbrush Compressor on Amazon, has all the key pieces at least with a pressure regulator and moisture trap (Image from Amazon listing).

It’s yet another lesson in the bizarre cheapness of people in this hobby (as I know I’m not the only one whose lamented this).  We’ll happily spend hundreds of dollars on a locomotive or something else, but won’t spend money on the tools to let us do a project right.  Sigh, back to trying to figure out if there are any other options for an emergency supply of Propel in the Greater Toronto Area, before I inevitably order a compressor tonight so that I can hopefully be back up and painting by next week.

UPDATE: Sept 22/17 @ 11:00am – Amazon has delivered the compressor to my apartment.  Hopefully when I get home from my weekend Foaming in Ohio I can get going with it next week and post an update on my painting endeavours/review of the compressor.