Thursday, January 28, 2021

Model Railroading During a Pandemic II

It's coming up on a year since my first Model Railroading During a Pandemic post back at the start of the lockdown in March. And I will be glad when this pandemic is someday gon. Athearn's  gon is one of my most reliable, favourite cars to operate on my Kingston's Hanley Spur HO layout. Fortunately, I have at least four industries that receive them, and a couple that ship commodities these cars can handle. So I keep accumulating them! My 1970 modelled era saw the advent of several bright railroads' paint scheme, while the steam-era holdover boxcar red schemes predominated.  I have a hard time deciding whether I prefer them weathered or unweathered, though I'm trending toward the latter. Since most of my layout is visible from the 'inside', I have kept one side pristine (below) and the other weathered (above) on many cars. 
These cars are in steel and scrap service so they're not kept pristine. It seems realistic to me to keep some of the cars' lettering almost illegible to match the prototype! I've made a point of painting the interiors. They don't stay bright red and bright green in service! You'll notice I added some bits and pieces to a couple of the cars' interiors. I wanted to do more...
Watching a real train from above, many details become visible that we don't traditionally see trackside. Spilled grain on covered hopper roofs, boxcar roof weathering, and gondola interiors. For some reason, I'd kept a whole plastic parts drawer full of wood bits (below). They were about to come in handy. Also, when I 'Dremel' a structure kitbash, I've filled a scrap metal truck with the little melted plastic bits that adhere to the cooled styrene and have to be broken off. Also in this photo, to paraphrase Monty Python, "Sir Not Appearing In This Film", that is a Frisco MDC (non-Athearn) gon that has also received the weathering and interior treatments:
Here are my pre-positioned raw materials for the cars I was doing: Dremeled styrene bits, scrap wood, and black magnet trimmings to represent metal banding. 
After gluing and painting (below). If they're hard to discern, that's OK. I want the effect to be subtle. No man should be left behind, and no gon should be left completely emptied!
One important reminder: I have some sheet steel loads made of styrene, as well as several RBT's, and if the debris is too 'tall' then your loads will not sit level. That's why I kept these low-profile!

More pandemic modelling I've been doing over the last month or so, that you may not have seen:
That illustrated list makes it seem that I have been busy. Or that I have a panoply of pandemic modelling projects to do! Watch for an upcoming post on operating the layout - CN 4530 and an end-cupola van switch a lone PC boxcar (back when it stood for Penn Central, not Politically Correct!).

Graphics guru and fellow modeller Randy O'Brien vastly bettered my meme of 'Eric/Bernie' riding the 4530...
...and enjoying the nice weather on the Bajus Brewery loading dock! Thanks, Randy!

Running extra...

I'm looking forward to presenting a program to the Toronto Railway Supper Club this coming week. It's entitled Kingston's Hanley Spur - An Industrial Approach. A topic near and dear to my heart and more fully profiled in my new, seventh book. The combination of an interesting talk and Supper just can't be beat!

Let's keep on fighting that war,
You know the WAR that I mean,
I read it on a tank car, 
Its ON 'BUG COVID-19'!
If you woke up this morning and jumped out of your rack saying, "I don't think I'll see a A.V. Roe metal plate today diagramatically depicting the oil system of the Avro Anson", well, you were wrong:


Vincent McKenna-Collings said...

Good Evening,

I'm trying to track down the original of a photograph that was taken of my late step-father Doug Biggs, I found your blog through Google and it mentions him, as well as you working for CN, so I believe you were coworkers.

It's a picture of him in his orange work jacket, standing beside a train. It was posted to the memorial website, but I'd like to find a larger version so I could have it printed and framed for my mother.

That's the photo in question.

If you can reply to this, I'll figure out a way to get you my email without posting it out in the open.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Eric said...

Hi Vince,

You can email me at mile179kingstonATyahooDOTca

I think you're looking for Mark Perry now of Winnipeg. I can get you in touch with Mark. The post is one profiling Mark's career with, and retirement from CN.