Tuesday Train #336

Amtrak 100, wearing a 50th Anniversary paint scheme is seen at Sunnyside in Toronto heading west/east as VIA Train 97/Amtrak Train 64, “The Maple Leaf” from Toronto to New York City on Sunday January 22, 2023. The loco seems to be in rotation on this run now, possibly till its next maintenance inspection having shown up in Toronto every other day for a couple of weeks now.

Hinde & Dauch Finally Built

Sometimes projects just become, a drag. I knew this was a risk choosing to model an industrial area with early 20th century buildings that have lots of windows. One project in particular has become a bog down. It eventually drove me to scrap the work I had done and buy a Cricut to try a new approach to cutting the windows. I basically tossed the walls I had started, and re-did the cores with the Cricut. This turned out, to be about the smartest thing I’ve done in a long time, but the actual finish trimming still took a very long time, as you can see, there are a lot of windows in the wall, and making an ugly cut or messing up an opening became a bigger pain the further into the wall I got.

On Friday this week, I decided this was getting done. I had 17 window openings to go. I started working on them during my breaks during my work day. By the time I was done work, between my breaks and lunch, I was down to 10 to go. I hit a bit of a hurdle as the last 8 resin castings for the windows were not well cleaned, and had a lot of flash to clean up. Once that was done, and the windows complete, it was on to actually trying to get this thing together and standing on its own.

Starting a Friday with 17 windows to finish trim and install frames, and working through them as the day goes (the first image was after I’d done a couple).

I had the tower interior and the western wall attached to the base, and done work to add stiffeners to the base in the hopes that this would actually have strength to be handled. The building gets as narrow as 0.5″ where the layout wraps around a door frame into the closet. As the walls started getting together, I had bought some 0.100″x0.500″ styrene for building bracing, and it worked perfectly between the upper two rows of windows to add strength to the building and make it totally rigid when handling. This is good as I have had visions of this building flopping itself to pieces while being handled for painting and detailing.

Definitely free standing!

I started the CAD work for the 3D printed windows and wall templates in June 2020 (June 1 to be exact according to the dates of photos and files), so its now been a 2.5 year plus project to get here, and I still have painting to go. Because of the size of this building, I can’t paint it until the spring and weather to let me work on our patio!. It is too big for my paintbooth! Since I can’t paint it, I’ve taken my printed draft signs and taped them onto the building to at least help finish the scene a bit. If nothing else, all the pins holding the walls up and blocking tracks are now gone, so the layout is at least looking a bit more complete, and It can be operated without equipment running into the pins in the tight clearance on the factory siding.

All the structures on the east end of the layout are now assembled and at least partly painted. Since I can’t paint Hinde & Dauch till spring on the patio, I’ve taped my test sign printouts on to help the look for the next few months.

This is 100% a mental hurdle cleared. This building was one that has been staring me in the face, taunting me. It wound up however, driving me to buying a better too in the Cricut and improving my building making techniques so that I advanced a bunch of other buildings in 2022 while it stared at me, daring me to finish the windows. Well now I have, and boy am I happy with how it looks. Already on to the work of drawing the next building, so more to come.

Repaving a Ripped out Crossing

Finally getting back to doing some layout work. Decided after work on Friday to tackle a quick task, repaving the crossing I ripped out in early December. Now that the check rails are adjusted to hopefully stop derailing cars, I was ready to repave the crossing. My chosen way for paving is using deep hole drywall putty, tinted grey with acrylic paint.

For fixing the crossing, I used some 4×6 dimensional lumber wood strips to protect the flangeways, and give me guides for the “tool” i made from a bit of heavy wood block, a brick of wood just wide enough to smooth the drywall compound. One of my lessons from the first go round of road paving, was that I did a terrible job keeping plaster off the rails. I don’t want to have to spend as much time scraping the rails clean again.

The road crossing ready to pave, mixing up way too much plaster for this small fill, my “tool” of a small block of wood and finishing the crossing.

It felt good to work on the layout. I’ve written many times about my motivation ebbing and flowing with how I feel. I’ve been feeling I really want to work on the layout, but haven’t been able to figure out what to work on.

Tuesday Train #334

First Train of 2023! After a long period of grey wet weather to start the year, we finally got some snow in the GTA, and the promise of a Sunny Day. It was still cloudy shortly after official sunrise on January 14, 2023 when I caught my first train of 2023, Canadian Pacific Train 133 climbing the hill on the Galt Subdivision at Mile 37 beneath the wooden farm bridge at Canyon Road. As a bonus, the trailing unit was Heritage “Script” SD70ACu 7012.

A Dash 8 of a Different Kind…That’s no Train Part 14…

Yeah, I know, a railfan joke. I’ll show myself out in shame, but this is a Dash 8, just not of the 6 axle diesel locomotive variety. This is, a Bombardier (De Havilland) Dash 8 Q400 Turboprop, and the 3rd 1/144 scale aircraft I have written about and built after my first “That’s no Train” post and my 10th. You can read about the other “That’s No Train” projects here on a page where they are all collected.

This is not going to be a heavily detailed post. I basically built the kit straight from the box. In searching several years ago when I did the CFL 737 (That’s No Train 1), I bought decals for it from V1Decals, a small business run by a fellow Canadian who makes custom decals for commercial airliners. His decals are gorgeous. I was really happy with the CFL set, and in looking, I saw he had a set for a Porter Q400. Porter, for those who don’t know is a small airline based out of the Toronto Island Airport, where jets are not permitted. Their entire fleet up until February 2023 is the Q400. I have flown them to Ottawa, New York and Chicago, and their service and in-flight experience is excellent. When I discovered I could build a model of one of their aircraft, it went on my list of “that would be a fun” diversion project.

A handful of construction photos. The kit was nicely injected, not a lot of flash, went together reasonably well and straightforward. Also a size comparison with the 737 and Lancaster.

The Q400 kit (Ed: never said the scale, 1/144th!, about 8”x9” in size) is from Eastern Express Models, a Russian company. I am, not thrilled by this. I bought it from an Ebay seller. There is apparently another resin kit out there, that is both hard to find and apparently not as nice a build. I did not do anything strange, this was a straight from the box build. No lights, no modifications other than tossing out the Air Canada Jazz decals it came with and using the Porter ones. This was something easy to work on at downtime through Christmas. It was a good easy distraction that didn’t need my full attention, like most of my current layout projects do.

Gallery of the finished Q400 along with the 737. You think of jets being big and turboprops small, but the Q400 and 737-300 are really almost identical in wingspan and fuselage length.

I’ve taken a break through December and into January here from the layout and trains, but I am feeling the urge to get back to working on the layout, which is entirely the point of me doing these occasional no train projects. Build skills, practice skills, do something different just to stay fresh and motivated. I actually don’t have any more non-train projects in the house (but I might have ordered some yesterday…).