A Smokestack for Hinde & Dauch

There are four buildings on my layout that have large industrial smokestacks for boiler houses that powered the plants. Each is a different shape. The two round ones I am using off the shelf products to get two different looks. I’m not above using things off the shelf if they work and are close enough! I’ve got two that are different shapes. The chimney at Canadian General Electric is a gorgeous octagonal chimney, tapered, and with the sides two different widths, four wide sides flanked by four narrower sides to create the octagon. That one’s gonna take some doing to model!. The fourth at Hinde & Dauch is square, so I built that one tonight.

I got the chimney built so fast, I didn’t take any pictures as I went. I built it using brick sheet from the N Scale Architect. I decided not to laminate the brick sheet to a backing, I don’t think the chimney needs it, we’ll see if I regret that down the road. The sides are 1.25″ at the bottom, and 1″ at the top, so it gets a slight taper. I used a 0.125 square styrene rod to form the corners, and glued it with styrene cement. I built a top to enclose it with 0.08×0.250 styrene, and then added 0.03x.250 styrene around the top, with brick sheet layered over that to create the capping. I haven’t finished the bottom as yet. Once I see how the rest of the building comes together, to set the height I may need to build an extension base to get the height right, but for an hours work I have something that is close to the chimney’s appearance, as opposed to a piece of dowel with some wood disks screwed into it!

Before and after, the wood dowel is replaced by a styrene brick chimney in the slowly progressing Hinde & Dauch factory complex.

Not bad for an hour at the workbench where my workbench looks like some kind of explosion. Turns out taking everything off the top shelf to rectify an oversight from when I built the desk two years ago does that. I never sealed the top shelf, its been find, but its rough and it collects dust and grime, and is hard to clean. So this evening I took everything off it, sanded it, and put a first coat of sanding sealer on it. I’m going to sand it and re-coat it tomorrow. Then, after the Canada Day holiday tomorrow, I’ll go out and pick up some varathane clear coat to apply on Thursday and get a nice clean finish. This should help that top shelf stay cleaner by having a coating I can easily wipe off. This isn’t an issue on the main bamboo work surface, though its probably due for a cleaning and oiling as well to keep it in good condition after two years. Another thing for the list!

Top shelf of my workbench cleaned and with the first coat of sanding sealer drying.

Tuesday Train #201

BCR05The one photograph of BC Rail when it was an independent company that I ever took (actually, to be honest, its literally the only photograph on BC Rail I’ve ever taken that wasn’t of the Royal Hudson!). RS18C 630 (Check out the huge extra headlight over the cab) switches the yard in Squamish British Columbia on July 6, 1996.

Tuesday Train #200

The last Retro Canadian Steam shots I found. The one time I actually rode behind steam in Canada. The British Columbia Railway’s CPR Royal Hudson 2860 trips from North Vancouver to Squamish which ran as a regular scheduled excursion service 1974 to 1999.

BCR04Royal Hudson 2860 runs around the train in Squamish British Columbia. This was on the Saturday of our trip, we rode the train on the Sunday.

In July 1996 my dad took me with him on a Business Trip to Vancouver. I was sold as we were going to be there over a weekend, which meant after much pleading and good behaviour, he agreed to get us tickets to ride on the BC Rail excursion behind the Royal Hudson 2860. This was something I’d wanted to do for years, as many of my Canadian Railway books growing up were full of pictures of 2860 in her role as British Columbia’s steam ambassador.

On Sunday July 7, 1996 we arrived in North Vancouver, and rode the rails behind the Hudson to Squamish. The day before, we had driven up the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler, and stopped in Squamish to visit the West Coast Railway Heritage Park, which is now the permanent home of 2860 where she’s been restored and occasionally operates for special events.

Shots of the Royal Hudson en route from North Vancouver to Squamish out the vestibule windows of the train.

Tuesday Train #199

3/4 in my retro Canadian Steam

P1150229Ex-CPR D-10 No.1057 when she was in service at the South Simcoe Railway.

I’ve said this before, I’m really really bad at this sometimes. What limited opportunities to ride behind steam there are near me, I’ve never done any of them. I’ve seen both 1057 and 136 in service at the South Simcoe Railway, but never actually ridden it. I really do need to remedy this someday. Until then, this shot is 1057 in happier times when she was operational will have to do, she’s currently in need of an overhaul to hopefully return to steam again.

Rebuilding the Water Tower for Hinde and Dauch

Last year I built a kit for the water tower on the Hinde and Dauch factory. The longer I’ve looked at it, and especially now that I’ve started to get the building and its compression/scaling sorted out, some of the things I did per the kit are both not going to work physically and were bothering me visually.

The JL Innovative Red Rock Water Tower built as per the kit in place at H&D and on the ground for sense of scale. It is sitting high in position behind the mockup as I couldn’t find a shorter box.

The kit, while nice, was designed to sit on the ground, the legs splay out and get wider at the bottom than the top. When I look at my pictures and those of the building before the tank was removed for storeys to be added when it was turned into a residential condominium, the legs are clearly straight on this tower. For it to fit on the top of the building in the space available, I needed to disassemble the legs, and get them straight, and either take a couple of inches off, or modify it so it sits hidden inside the tower at the corner of the plant.

With the leg bracing from the kit ripped out, and a new base to hold the feed square, starting to get a much better look.

As much as it pained me to start pulling apart the legs, which were a real pain to get together and get braced the first time, within minutes of getting all the bracing out, and gently prising the tops of the legs loose from the tank, with legs being vertical up and down without any angle to them instantly looked better, and fit better on the building

The water tower in 2005 (with giant sign added) and with the legs straightened and getting more to right height on the layout mockup of the plant.

I’ve since ordered from styrene truss material to re-do the support frames to better match the real world pictures, and once that arrives, I can finalize the height of the tower and start the re-assembly process, and then re-paint to have it back to layout ready. I’ve also ordered some new styrene handrail material, the more I’ve looked at it, the less I like the laser cut wood handrail around the platform from the kit. Such is the way of the modeller trying to recreate accurate representations of real buildings, sometimes, even when you start with a kit, you wind up replacing half of it (or more) to get you to the finish line you were seeking. I’ll post again about this in a few weeks time whenever parts have come in and I’ve made some progress.

Hindsight 20/20 – A Virtual Railway Prototype Modellers Meet

So, in a world where we do almost everything online now thanks to Covid-19 and various levels of lockdowns and isolating we are doing, three modellers decided to organize a virtual Railway Prototype Modellers (RPM) meet to bring modellers together/apart. Ted Culotta (Speedwich Media), Ryan Mendell (National Scale Car) and Hunter Hughson (The Niagara Branch) organized and hosted the event called “Hindsight 20/20” today via Zoom. I have had a weekly zoom call with fellow modellers in the Toronto area where we basically hang out at our workbenches, have a virtual drink, work on projects and chat. A virtual RPM is a totally different beast, this was an organized and structured event, with modellers from across North America (and I thought I heard at least one person say they were from the UK), presenting on prototype history/research, modelling techniques, and all kinds of things related to being better prototype modellers. With lockdowns and travel restrictions, in person RPM’s across North America have been cancelled, so this is a great way for modellers to still get together and learn from each other while we sadly stay safely apart.

Scenes from a Virtual RPM. The attendees panel and chat between presentations, and shots from a couple of the presentations.

The event had nine half hour long presentations between 12:00pm and 8:00pm, with 15 minute breaks in between presentations and a 45 minute dinner break. I noticed a high of 178 people showing as being connected, which for a first effort at a free event was incredible. Hopefully everyone else got as much out of it as I did. It sounds like they will run more events, there is a Groups.io site for the event, where they have posted information on the presentations from today, and where they will post information about future events when they are planned. It was a great opportunity, and I certainly learned a few things that will definitely help in my work in building the freight car fleet for my layout.