Internet Garage Sale!




So, in the absence of Train Shows (and frankly, I don’t have enough surplus stuff to justify a table at the moment if there were shows), These are all items I’ve bought over the years, I’m the original owner for them all. They were bought/built either before I had a layout, or for my old layout in my parents basement. I have resisted trying to sell things online, but, I would like to both free up some storage space, and find a home for these items that aren’t needed for me and which have lots of life left in them, so here goes nothing!

I am going to try this here. I am also listing these items on the HOSwap list over the weekend, same prices and terms in both places. This is an early offer for anyone who reads the blog just in case before I post them on an open forum. Because the forum has some specific rules, they apply here too. Sales are first come first serve. Email me at sjgardiner [at] hotmail [dot] com if you are interested. I am in Toronto Canada, ordinarily, if you were local I would say we could meet in person, with Covid, that is tougher, but we can maybe work something out. For anyone in the US, I’d ordinarily have offered to drive to Buffalo if you were willing to wait a couple of weeks to save on shipping with USPS, but hey, we are where we are. I don’t really want to deal with overseas between shipping cost and current mail uncertainties, but if you really want something, we will see what we can do.

Payment from Canada is email transfer or PayPal. Payment from USA is PayPal only.

Shipping is with Canada Post ONLY. Rates based on estimates from measuring/weighing boxes are below:

  • For items to addresses in Canada, it is $20 for non-locomotives, and $27 for locomotives, shipped by Expresspost.
  • For items to addresses in the USA, it is $20USD for non-locomotives, and $25USD for Expedited Parcel (6-9 Days).
  • The Detail Part/Lights should fit in an envelope. Based on that, it would be $15US/$15CDN for shipping and a padded envelope for them.
  • If you want multiple items, I will combine shipping, it should be cheaper to send multiple items.

So with that, the listings, Prices provided in US and Canadian dollars for everything:

Life-Like Proto 1000 RDC (DC) Canadian National D-250 Item LL239715- $50US/$65CDN

Life-Like Proto 1000 RDC. Has had safety chains added across end doors, and CNR Style Triangular number board on one end as per prototype. DC. Runs well. All original packaging, instructions and manuals in box.

Detail Parts/Odds/Ends Batch(s)

Various Diesel and Passenger Detail Parts – $20US/$25CDN

This is an odds and ends dump. The following items are in the picture and included:

  • Keystone Locomotive Works F Unit Cab Interior. Item HO3301
  • Prototype Model Industries, VIA Rail Operation Lifesaver Decal Set
  • Etched Grills for AMD103
  • Cal-Scale 626 – Nathan K6LA Horn with Shields
  • Incomplete Details West Part 271, Athearn AMD103 Detail Kit
  • 2x Details West AF-308 Air Dryer Filter Box for GE/GM Locomotives
  • Details West PL-378 Amtrak P40/42 Plow
  • Details West BE-127 Frame Mount Bell
  • Details West RA-274 Sinclair Antenna Long
  • Tomar H-161 Heavyweight Tailsign (“CP”)
  • American Limited Models 9150 – Athearn/MDC Diaphram Kit

Miscellaneous Trees (Woodland Scenics Armatures) – $20US/$25CDN

A variety of Woodland Scenics Trees salvaged from my old layout. Mostly deciduous, there are a few small pines mixed in.

Slow and Steady Scenic Process

Every little bit helps. As I talked about at the start of the year, little projects, not even projects, tasks. Add some gravel road here, some contrast dirt/powder there, some static grass over top. Just whenever I have had the urge, I do something small to advance the scenery. The result of many little tasks is that it is starting to look like something in places.

Bringing the peninsula slowly to life. contrast powders on the gravel driveways, scruffy grass cover on the dirt areas.

There is always more to do, but each addition of scenery brings it a little more to life. Every time I walk in and see a pop of colour from some grass, or some little project done, it makes me feel good and keeps me motivated. All the static grass I have applied has been 2mm basing, I will go back over time and here and there add longer, scruffy grass in places where it would have gotten longer and scruffier, but even just the basics helps bring it to life. It also drives home how much I need to get some paint on the structures, but that will be a springtime job, as they are too big to paint in my paintbooth, so it needs to stop being cold and snowy outside so I can paint on our patio again (nevermind I have at least 2 buildings to finish building for my eastern end in 2021 goal!).

Bringing the permanent way to life, some scruffy grass adding some colour and texture to the dirt cover and ballast.

Every little bit of scenery, I improve at what I am doing, I learn things, and I apply them to the next bit. Its nice to keep plugging away, and it gives me something to do to keep the mind of everything else in the world I can’t control.

Blowing up a decoder doesn’t stop a project moving forward

Back in December I wrote about the start, and abrupt end of a project as I detonated a DCC Decoder part way (well, at the final stretch) of an installation here. This could have been the end of the project, but, It’s not, as I’m not letting myself making a mistake defeat me. There are still lots of other things on this locomotive I can do, like strip off the Canadian Pacific “script” paint scheme so I can backdate it to “block” lettering, and correct a major error I didn’t notice when I bought my project locomotive. The Alco S-2 came with two types of radiator shutters, vertical and horizontal. The CPR bought almost all vertical shutters, and all the ones assigned to Toronto were vertical. The model I bought, CPR 7013 has horizontal shutters in the body. Sigh, I had a choice of two road numbers, and I chose the wrong one, that to Atlas’ credit, they got the shutters right!

Alco S-2 Radiator shutters, my CPR 7020 with vertical, the 7013 shell with horizontal, and a donor shell with vertical ones.

So, what to do. what to do indeed? There is of course, only one answer. Replace the shutters!!! To do this, I went online and found an undecorated Atlas S-2 body shell surprisingly cheap on Ebay, and bought it. Using the replacement shell, I cut out one of the shutters, and used it as a master to cast a replacement from. I could have tried to use the S-2 I have and made a press mould or something from it, but that felt way to much like trying to mess up a second locomotive that was just fine thank you very much!

Making replacement S-2 radiator shutters. I kept the frame, though the plan is to sand these down and cut openings so I can use the frame on the keeper locomotive to help hide the join between the casting and the plastic body.

The casting of the new shutters was pretty straightforward once I had the donor body to cut them out from. I’ve cast a few, just so I have some spares for the filing and fitting phases, resin is relatively cheap after all.

The next phase of work I can do, is I can strip the paint and paint the body shell so it is ready as a Toronto numbered locomotive when I eventually get around to replacing the fried electronics and making it work again. I also need to get the old paint off so I can see what I am doing cutting the openings for the shutters and for fitting.gluing in the replacements.

Atlas paint strips “easily” in a 99% Isopropyl Alcohol bath. Shown after the first bath, then after the 2nd.

My paint stripping technique, at least on Atlas locomotives is relatively simple, a 99% Isopropyl Alcohol bath. The shell doesn’t even need to be fully submerged, I find getting alcohol on it in a closed tub for half an hour softens the paint, and it will come off when rubbed gently with a toothbrush. I find the first pass gets off most of the paint, and a second go around with fresh alcohol (it eventually collects the paint and stops working) finishes the job. This is a messy job though, the toothbrush can flick chunks of paint everywhere, trust me, I’ve made that mistake! Move the brush in one direction into your tub, make sure you lift so it doesn’t pull and flick back towards you, and cover where you are working with a shield, even just a piece of paper towel will do. At my old apartment, I coated large parts of my workbench in painty crud once, it took ages to clean up, don’t do that to yourself! Areas that have pad printing on top of paint, like stripes and numbers take more passes to get the paint off. With the paint stripped, I can move on to cutting out the wrong shutters, and installing the right ones!

To install the new shutters, first up was to carefully drill holes in the four corners of the existing ones, and cut away between the holes. The holes are drilled inside the frames, so when I was finished cutting away, the frames would be there, and the finish work could be done by sanding. Similarly, once the holes are cut in the body, the cast resin shutters will be sanded and filed to fit before being glued into place. Once they are in and glued, its onto primer and paint. In all likelihood, the body will be ready long before I have sorted out the wiring, but that is hardly the end of the world.

One S-2 Body shell missing its radiator shutters, ready for the replacement resin castings to go in with some more filing and tidying up of the openings.

Don’t be afraid to undo things

This is a new one for me, having never built a larger layout before, rarely have I been in a situation where I am looking at a piece of scenery and track that just doesn’t work. Generally speaking, my dioramas are small enough that by the time I have affixed things, I’ve worked out the kinks. That was not happening on the layout, as one corner of the layout has been bothering me since I laid the track. There is a dead-end spur onto the Toronto Carpet Factory site, its not a piece of track that will ever see much, if any use. If I’m honest, I still haven’t decided if I’m even going to actively tag cars to be switched there, but, the way I originally laid the track, limited the placement of a building and the scenery around it in a way I didn’t like the longer I looked at it, so a change was needed before I got much further with scenery on the layout. Making the decision to rip up track and try to change it is a big one, and after some deep breaths today, out came the tools and away we went!

Before, a straight piece of track into the backdrop, forcing the building to the right.

Toronto Carpet is an odd area on my layout. I have room for the full scale footprint of the building, but because of the limits of HO Scale equipment taking curves, the trackwork is actually pushed away from the main factory building further into the courtyard than in real life. Because my benchwork is narrow, there is not a lot of room there for bending the track in a way that is usable for locomotives, but a freight car should take the tighter curve still as a loading spot.

Taking up the building foundation was the first challenge. I glued them down with NoMoreNails construction adhesive, and this stuff works, but gently, with a putty knife, I got in and separated it from the foam underlay. Important lesson, thank goodness I only put a thin bead around the edges, if I’d put a bunch in the middle, this wasn’t coming up without great risk to track I wanted to keep!

Separating the MDF building foundation from the foam, taking up the track, and realigning it with a curve. The new alignment of the track is then glued down with Alex Clear Caulk.

Its now sitting with my handy dandy brick on it keeping the track in place while the caulk sets, but its a good nights work done and I am already much happier with the area. I think I am going to narrow the building base to pull it back to the backdrop from the tracks, as that will give me a bit of room for the yard and a fence around the carpet factory yard to improve the appearance in the long run. This bit of tearing up track and foundations has bought me a 4″ by 4″ area where I can create good looking scenery, rather than trying to hide the weird angle of the track running straight into the backdrop and building at the same point.

Aside from that, an update from last weeks post, I am keeping on with little projects and tasks. In the past week, I’ve done a bunch of scenery on the peninsula, to help make it look a bit more done. This is making me feel good, as I expect the large buildings on the peninsula are not going to get built any time soon, at least not until I am back at the office more than in work-from-home mode, as I need my full workbench space back to have enough room to build them, rather than giving up the 1/3 of my space that is my overflow for setting things aside being my office desk. The good news is, there is still lots to do before I need to worry about the big buildings, so on we go!

Just a little bit of work at a time and scenery starts to appear on the peninsula.