Site update – November 29

I’ve been laid up the last two days due to some (hopefully) simple skin surgery to remove another unusual mole. Being unable to lift or move too much this week gave me some much-needed time to catch up on some modelling that I’ve put off for far too long. Today’s work has been added to the weathering section, and shows Atlas O’s completely incorrect model of the Cotton Belt 40 foot Hi Cube.

A little history

The real SP & SSW cars in SP class B-70-36 are both small in number and used in captive service for high volume – low weight appliance service from major appliance manufacturers to distribution centres. The cars were 40′-6″ long hi-cube box cars; they were all built by Pacific Car & Foundry in 1966 and had 5001 cubic foot capacity, Hydra-Cushion underframes and 10′-6″ Youngstown sliding doors.

Image courtesy T. E. Cobb via

They came to be nicknamed the “Ugly Ducklings” due their awkward appearance. Built for appliance service and used later in their life for other roles the SP cars in class B-70-36 were numbered as follows:

  • SP 659100-659111 and had DF-B loaders

The Cotton Belt cars (the highest number) in class B-70-36 were numbered as follows:

  • SSW 36014-36126 DF, DF-B, Car Pac loaders

The car being weathered, as provided by Atlas, is car number 36000 which was a wooden sheathed car of a completely different class. The car is actually a Pullman-Standard built Hi-Cube boxcar built for the D&RGW in November of 1967 (see image below). Built for Whirlpool appliance service D&RGW’s 67422 (shown below) had Equipco load dividers and was assigned to load on the Erie Lackawanna at Marion, Ohio. 67422 was also equipped with Pullman-Standard’s ‘Damage Free’ Hydroframe and was painted in the Grande’s contemporary ‘Action Road’ livery.

Image courtesy of James Belmont via

Weathering the model

On this model I’ve tried a multi-disciplinary approach. I’ve used just about everything in my weathering tool chest. Oils, Acrylics, RustAll and Weathering Powders. It’s a bit of an experiment in seeing how to integrate all the different techniques I’ve used. You can head on over to the new page now or take a look at a couple of images of the work today.

Early afternoon shot of the weathering on the roof
Early afternoon shot of the weathering on the roof
Lower resolution image showing the weathering on the floor
Lower resolution image showing the weathering on the floor

I’ll be posting more photos tomorrow as I work on finishing this car. Enjoy the full-page.


It’s Choice Joyce!

It’s not often that you get great service. Most often you get frustration, not satisfaction. Rarely if ever do you get to be pleased, surprised and delighted. This week I can report however, that after much frustration and a lot of emails I was very pleasantly surprised when not only did a vendor fix my problem they knocked me over with their offer to make it right.

Before I provide the details I want to make it plain that I receive no support, endorsements or other business related freebies from this vendor. This was a case of simple customer service, done very well, and thoughtfully resolved for a customer who was having trouble with some video downloads.

I’ve mentioned Model railroad Hobbyist here in the past. As a free (as in beer) online monthly model railroad magazine they set the bar for what an online e-zine in our hobby should be. They provide great content and have outstanding columnists and content each and every month.

The other side to that enterprise is the commercial video store. You can buy videos for download on several subjects. In the past I’ve mentioned Mike Confalone’s Allagash Central and the excellent modelling involved in the layout. I like his modelling ethos and style so much I’ve bought several of his videos. The most recent his weathering videos on locomotives and freight cars. It was during the download process from the Model Railroad Hobbyist store that I noticed I had some problems with the files.

Joe Fugate the proprietor could have said “righto here are some replacement files” and left it at that. I’d have been happy with the service and moved on. What prompts me to post is what happened next. I got another email from Joe telling me that no one has ever had this many problems with downloads. He supplies me with new links to the source files in the Amazon cloud and offered a 6 month membership to their flagship Train Masters TV offering.

This came completely out of the blue; like a bolt of lightning. I was literally thunderstruck. Not stupefied however. I took Joe up on his offer and yesterday got my free six month membership started. I’m not trying to get you to join. I don’t want you to give over your hard-earned to Joe and the team on my say so. I do want you to know about the excellent customer service I’ve experienced and think when next you go to purchase hobby related items about the customer service you get.

Will I continue to give my money to MRH and their video store? You bet. The story above is the reason I’ll continue to do so. It’s old-fashioned customer service. Making right what’s gone wrong and then adding a bit more for your trouble. Thanks Joe and the team at MRH for your support in getting the problem resolved and for the sweetener too.


Site update – 14 November 2016 – A new Kendallville Indiana image gallery

A big thank you goes out to Charles Malinowski who recently offered me photos of the Kendallville Terminal Railway Co to post here on Andrew’s Trains. I’ve added a new gallery page in the USA Gallery section for his photos of the line. I’m hoping that there are more to come for this great and very modellable shorty shortline railroad.

Update 1: New Gallery Page


The new gallery page link above takes you to Charle’ image set, at what appears to me to be West Rush Street. The image above is full of Autumn (Fall) detail and I just love the time worn look of the railroad. There does not appear to be a single straight piece of rail in the photo, great stuff. Enjoy the link and let me know if you like Charles Malinowski’s images.

Site Update – 13 November 2016 – Ballarat Tramway #18 Page

During 2016 Ballarat Tramway museum’s number 18 has undergone some major mechanical work to keep her running. Among the works being undertaken are motor rewinds, wheel reprofiling, work on the axles to bring them back into true, work on the Brill truck, journals and bearings. All of this is normally underneath the tram and out of the public view.

During our regular Tramway Tuesday working bee members have been involved in preserving the tram, and thankfully preserving the skills involved in maintaining trams like Grandfather used to. It is only one benefit of volunteering at a working Tramway Museum.

I’ve updated the number 18 page with a gallery for the work being undertaken. I’ll add photos as I take them over our Southern Hemisphere summer as she gets put back together. These photos are a rare and interesting chance to see under the skirts of a tram. I hope that you enjoy them.

Drop me a line or post a comment on the page if you find something you like.


Site seeing – November 7th – The rusty presentation edition

If you’ve not run across the work of Tim Warris before then let me introduce you to his excellent work. Tim is the person behind the Fast Tracks range of track jigs. You can read more about Tim’s day job here. Let’s take a look at his excellent layout and the work on the display aspect of the layout.

Site 1: Duplicating the CNJ Bronx Terminal in HO scale

Tim’s layout is a masterwork of track, operation and layout design in a small space. The layout shows what can be achieved with the right prototype and the ability to see a project through to completion.

It has not been without its challenges however. Among them the trackwork for this great little location.

All of the layout switches were handmade by Tim for the layout. And they work a treat too. Head over to his YouTube channel and look at the posts in uploaded videos section that begin at 6 years ago. There is a lot of information there on the layout, build and other processes.

Site 2: Rusty Layout Edging – links below

The picture below is from a post on the Free Rails forum from 2008 showing the thought put into the design and execution of Tim’s layout (above). He put a lot of thought into how the layout should look, and the way it should be perceived. What water scene does not have rusted metal after all?

You can view the original posts on the Free Rails forum. To see the effect being created Tim shows the process of creating the fascia design in the video below.

Take note of what he did there; the effect is simple, eye-catching and convincing. The drill that he is using is a Forstner bit. Not cheap but well worth the value and something which you’ll use in the future I’ve no doubt.

Site seeing – November 4 – The ‘I got track plans coming out my ears’ edition

Small layouts are my thing. Like most modellers in Australia space here is at a premium. So a small space layout, offering lots of operating potential, is the way to go.

Recently a long time model railroad friend Shortliner Jack shot me several links over to look at. We’ll be coming back to look closely at those this month. For right now though let’s take a look at a downloadable and one of Shortliner’s links.

Site 1: Designing small shelf Layouts for operating fun

Presented back in 2015 at the NMRA’s Thoroughbred Limited 2015 MCR Convention in Kentucky I felt that this download (in PDF format) provides a great overview of small layouts and a bit of learning about the why and how along the way.


The details shown on the Inglenook drawing on page 4 are wrong (you can find out more about Inglenooks in this post); besides that however there are some exceptional small layout designs that should inspire the modeller in you to get out there and make something.

Site 2: Railroad Line Forum – Layout Design Ideas

This is the site that Shortliner Jack pointed me to as a source for his next layout inspiration. Being in the far north of Scotland, buried in snow for 9/10ths of the year, and surrounded by only boxes of Whisky for company he has a lot of time to work on layouts. One layout in Proto48 caught his eye specifically:

There are so many more designs in this thread large and small that you’ll spend several hours looking through and pondering them all. Great ideas and thanks to Robert Chant for sharing his design on the forum.


Site seeing: 01 November – Model Railroad Hobbyist Painting EBook

The nice folks over at Model Railroad Hobbyist have available for download (to MRH Subscribers only) the Guide to acrylic painting … in a post-Floquil world. Written by Joe Fugate, this 42 page PDF (zipped download) provides a means for railway modellers to work beyond the end of the Floquil model railroad paint era.

Designed to get you where you need to go when repainting Floquil railroad colours using paints from the following manufacturers:

  • Vallejo Model Air / Game Air
  • Badger MODELflex, and
  • Model Master

This guide provides a timely and useful map to help get the right colour for your next model rail painting project. You can find the download location at:

Keep in mind though that you need to be a subscriber. No payment required so if you are not already a subscriber, you really ought to be. Each month the MRH team produce an outstanding free magazine packed with great stories, information, and resources. Plus there are the forums. Yep you guessed it – I’m a fan and have been since day one.