Barrie-Allandale Train Show 2019

This weekend, February 16 & 17th is the 49th annual Barrie-Allandale Train Show at the Bradford Greenhouse just west of Barrie. I will be there with some of my models of the Toronto Railway Museum collection and the museums display. If you are in the area, come by and talk about the museum or the models, I’m happy to discuss both!!

The show flyer is below with a map and more information. Hopefully see you there!

Advertisements

Wiping out Safety Stripes

With my layout being set in the 1950’s, I’m working on collecting or modifying models to be accurate representations of what would have been seen in Liberty Village. Back in the fall of 2018, I picked up an Atlas S-2, it was already in CPR paint, but paint for an era that was just a bit too late for my still not quite pinned down 1955-1958 ish layout era. The shell for the locomotive has been sitting on my workbench for months waiting on me getting a paint booth set up at the house so I can airbrush. Haven’t gotten there yet, but the 1950’s being the way they were, there was one more aspect of the Atlas S-2 that I realized had to go, the bright yellow safety stripes on the pilots at either end.

IMG_7305Safety Stripes on the pilot, recommended for a switcher to help it be seen, but not there in the 1950’s in the paint scheme i’m applying.

Fortunately, I’ve discovered that paint on Atlas locomotives is easily removed using 99% Isopropyl Alcohol. Which is great as it’s readily available at the drug store, and compared to a lot of other chemical paint strippers sold in hobby stores, or things like brake fluid that some people swear by, its paint removal qualities on models its relatively benign. Relatively benign doesn’t mean don’t take any precautions. Well ventilated spaces, gloves, masks and the like are all still important when working with any chemical for any length of time.

In this case, a little bit of alcohol poured into a paint mixing cup, and some Q-tips and toothpicks are the tools needed. Applying the alcohol with the q-tip and gently rubbing will start to loosen the paint from the cast metal pilot, and as you rub, you can eventually see places where the paint is holding tighter in corners and around details. This is where the tooth pick comes in to gently rub at more stuck on paint, then go back at it with the q-tip moistened in alcohol again.  It took me maybe 20 minutes total to do the two ends.

More or less finished project to remove the stripes. Because the locomotive will be fairly heavily weathered representing a hard-working locomotive at the end of this paint scheme, it doesn’t need to be perfect, just good enough. (right photo of 7020 by Dom McQueen, 1952. From the Bill Sanderson collection. Scan From Here.

This was another of those I need to do something projects where I was watching car racing this afternoon, and realized the only reason I hadn’t gotten rid of the safety stripes was because I was being lazy. Another check mark on this project. Now to finally get around to sorting out that paint booth!!

Never Stop Learning…But Never Forget Past Learning – The Tale of the Blue Bendy

I was working in the corner of the closet on “Parkdale Yard”, my faux staging tracks, and I wanted to put in a mockup 3rd track behind the two I laid, there is room for about half a width of track. Rather than cut a perfectly good piece of flex track in half, I have some spare rail from the supply I bought for building switches, and a giant bag of pre-cut wood ties, but before I get into what I’m doing track laying, a lesson in the importance of never stopping learning, but also never forgetting learning you’ve already done!

IMG_7239.jpgHow do I get the shape cut on this strip of ties to squeeze into the corner of the backdrop?

My lesson for tonight is in the latter, I was trying to figure out how to get a template for cutting an arc through a batch of wood ties tacked together with tape so they would perfectly slide into the corner of the benchwork, then it came to me, PLAN 110 in January 1999….The Blue Bendy!!!!

img_7238The Blue Bendy in action in the corner.

OK, so no, I haven’t had a blow to the head. But as I was thinking of how to create a pattern, I remembered something from the Introduction to Graphics course in the second semester of the first year of my Urban Planning Degree at the University of Waterloo. The “Blue Bendy” is a tool designed for transferring a line or shape from one drawing to another. It’s a plastic bar thing that you can bend to shape, and it holds the shape when you move it from one sheet to another. If you’re interested in picking one up for yourself, its real name is even less creative than Blue Bendy, the Staedtler Mars Flex Curve…. I’ll admit, the name isn’t super creative, but it does at least do what it says on the box!!

Easy does it, position the Blue Bendy where you want it, trace the side with a pen/pencil etc, then cut along the line with a sharp hobby knife.

With a cut line made from a ruler that conveniently changes shape to that of the corner, it was easy to mark the line, cut the ties with a sharp knife, and then make some minor adjustments. I can’t go any further, as I don’t seem to have any HO Scale Tie Plates or spikes to actually put a piece of rail on the ties. I guess I can probably glue them to the roadbed so that’s done at least, but another step forward on a Sunday night.

IMG_7243.jpgCut and fit into the corner to create half a 3rd track in Parkdale Yard.

Brunswick Balke Collender Power House

This weekend, in my process of constructing the Liberty Village Line, while I am still plugging away without laying track, I decided to start converting the large remnant piece of 0.060″ Styrene from the backdrop into the structures for the layout.

img_7205Not the most convenient work surface, but when I was dealing with an 8′ sheet of styrene, the floor is all I’ve got to get rough cuts done at least.

With the big chunk of leftover styrene, I have enough material to make a serious dent in the internal cores of a large number of structures on the layout. I decided to start with the only structure I’ve mocked up (I’ll mock-up the others once the track is laid and final alignment known). The first building to start taking true physical form is the power house for the Brunswick Balke Collender company, which made pool tables and bowling alleys and other entertainment/games. The buildings are both still there, the powerhouse (now modified to be a bank), and the factory building which houses offices and restaurants.

Wall cores cut from 0.060″ styrene sheet, cutting corner braces from 0.25″ square styrene, and gluing the first corners together.

With the space I have for the layout, my boilerhouse is about half the size of the real building. I’m compressing it by shortening the building, so that I can fit the main wall of the factory onto the layout as well. This is a pretty simple building for the main structure. Four walls, for my purposes, only three openings, two doors and a window on the south wall adjacent to the tracks.

This is a simple building, only the “front” wall adjacent to Liberty Street has any openings in my selectively compressed version to fit the layout space.

The Chimney will be a bit more complicated. I’m still working on how I’m going to creat it. I also don’t have nearly enough patterned brick sheet for building the larger buildings or the chimney. I’ve got a show coming up next weekend where I’m selling more stuff from the collection (I’ll post an update about that mid-week). The Chimney has a taper from bottom to top, and then a flare at the top. Fortunately, the Chimney is a down the road problem. First things first is to build the main part of the building.

Working on adding trim around the doors and window, the wall with a brick veneer added, and then with doors and window in place.

This is being built-in “traditional” ways. Sheet styrene, injection molded styrene doors and window from Grandt Line (now out of business, all their tooling has bought by a new company, the San Juan Model Co.). It was a nice simple structure for my weekend, four walls, a roof, a bit of detail around where the chimney will be. After working on and off between other household tasks, the walls are all together, with brick, the window and doors are in place, and the roof is rough cut in place. I held off on attaching it as I am debating best order of operations for attaching it, detailing it, etc along with the building walls so I don’t take a step that then makes painting the walls the buff beige/yellow colour that the brick actually is, as opposed to the red of the styrene sheet.

img_7235Replacing the cardboard structure with a taped on printout of an architectural drawing (of the modernized building) with some styrene and a cardboard chimney (everything in due course).

While I doubt that I will have been able to paint it before the Copetown and Toronto Railway Prototype Modeller meets at the end of February/Beginning of March, I suspect this will be one of the few things I actually bring with me to these get togethers, if only because I haven’t been building much else that’s portable in the past year with the house move and layout construction!

Pending Shapeways Store Price Increases

UPDATE, JANUARY 30, 2019 – Shapeways emailed today saying the pricing adjustment for FUD plastics like my models are in is temporarily on hold while they try to work out some pricing issues with the changes. They are saying a few weeks, I will update this post again when a new date is announded.


I’m not sure how many people who stumble across my blog wind up being the ones who buy things from my Shapeways Store, but it seems only fair to warn people about an impending price increase. Shapeways told designers/sellers some time ago that their pricing structure was changing to factor in more things into the costing, which is a mix of material, machine space, and part handling charges. When they first told us, they said anything already on sale as being grandfathered at its current price until sometime in 2019. That time has finally arrived, and on February 4th, the new prices will go into effect. For most of my models, the price changes are not significant, and to be fully honest, a few things like the CNR/CPR Don Station and Cabin D signal boxes will actually go down a bit in price, but some of my top sellers, the S Scale Speeder Cars will be going up in price $3-4 US depending on the car and the material choice made (Smooth vs Smoothest Detail Plastic). The S Scale Speeders are currently between $18-$25US depending on the material.After February 4th, they will be between $22-$28US, so get them while they are a bit less.

 

Getting Cheaper, Don Station, getting more expensive, CNR D-1 components and Speeder cars in HO and S.

S Scale Speeders – M14, S2

HO Scale Speeders – M14, S2, Woodings CBI

I’m not happy about this, as they are really good sellers, but there is also no value in selling them as the couple of dollars I make on each fund me doing test prints for other projects that are in the work, unfortunately, as with everything, the cost of production is going up, and some of that has to get passed on to the end user. We will see if it affects sales. I’ll have to revisit this in say six months time, but its so hard to know with S Scale whether a change in sales is because I’ve literally sold to every S Scale modeller who wants them, or if the small price increase has driven people away.

 

First Track Laid for Liberty Village

Another week, another layout milestone. I was having a rough day the other day, lots of things going on with work and just got home feeling beat. I was looking for something to put a smile on my face in the layout room. I’ve held off on doing any track laying until my switches are built so I can make sure everything lines up at the staging sliders. Despite this, I realized there is some track I can lay in a corner of the room that is scenic only. To hide a corner in the closet at the east end, I have room for a couple of fake tracks to represent the Canadian Pacific Parkdale Yard.

img_7184Cutting foam roadbed and track to fit in the corner to represent Parkdale Yard.

To do this little bit of trackwork, I decided to use up some old Woodland Scenics Foam Roadbed roll. I used this on my previous layout built circa 2003 in my parents old house in Georgetown when I lived at home for a couple of years after finishing university before I was sure my job in Toronto was going to work out, and to let me pay off some student debt before paying rent.

The roadbed in place, with DAP silicone caulk and then track put in place.

The foam roadbed was glued down using Gorilla Wood Glue. I had done a series of tests with a bunch of adhesives to check that it would bond to the pink foam and not melt it with spare off cuts of foam and roadbed. I decided that the Gorilla Wood Glue was the best for these materials. I have to do the test again with the cork roadbed for the working tracks, but that’s a down the road matter.  I have room for two full tracks across the angle of the corner, which I can put some freight cars on to be a visual block for the join between the benchwork and the backdrop. The yard was obviously much bigger than this, but a couple of tracks provides a bit of extra staging and a visual filler for the space.

First rolling stock on the layout on track actually affixed to the benchwork (and yes, I know it’s a CNR Caboose in a CPR yard, I’m lazy and couldn’t be bothered to dig in the tubs of stored equipment to find a CPR caboose!!)

While I wait on my switches being finished for the serious track laying to commence, the next time I feel the need to do something, I have a bit of track I can practice painting, weathering and ballasting before the main layout work starts. Happy start to my weekend as well writing this post!