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Site Seeing – The David Barrow fan boy edition – September 24, 2018

We moved back to Australia in 2006. So, I have to live through others when they visit David Barrow in Austin Texas, my wife’s hometown, and where we spent 10 years from 1997. Trevor Marshall visited recently and came away with a great post on the man and his layouts – including his new small (comparatively speaking) O scale layout which really piqued my interest.


David Barrow’s layouts

Hi – my name is Andrew – and I’m a David Barrow fan boy tragic…

I first remember reading about David Barrow’s Cat Mountain and Santa Fé layout in the 1980s in Model Railroader magazine. As a young man, dreaming about my large future model railway plans, David’s layouts (there were at my last count about 17 versions of the Cat Mountain) were my ideal. While I dream of those massive layouts still I took another path to small layout designs.

Recently David Barrow has followed down that rabbit hole, this time in O scale, with a new layout. You can read more about that in the second link below by Trevor Marshall.

David’s layout design and presentation skills are unique in the hobby. Not to everyone’s taste I’ll grant, yet having seen and operated on the layout once in 2005, I did not notice its minimal scenic treatment. I was too interested in the operational side of things.

Image 1: Davids Barrow’s entire O Scale layout – battery-powered and operated by radio

Once again the layout design is the centre of attention and the scenic treatment is classic David Barrow – minimalist. However, you can use the design and then scenic it to your heart’s content. Hmmm – now let me see – I have 3 boards in the garage on which that layout design would fit perfectly…

You can out more on this layout in the Model Railroad Planning 2018 publication from Kalmbach.


Resources

Site update: 02 December – More weathering photos

I’ve completed the remaining weathering of the body of the 40 foot Hi-Cube. There may be one or two more minor tweaks that I’ll make to get that just right look, overall I am very happy with this cars look. As an experiment using multiple techniques that I’ve not used altogether before I’m very happy and will try this next on a HO scale car. Where are we up to?

Flash on showing most of the car completed
Flash on showing most of the car completed

The second round of body and roof weathering has gone on. Keeping in mind that this car ran mostly in the dryer states and most of that in Texas in my modelling location there is a preponderance of dust and rust and not a lot of rain weathering. I believe that I have another of these cars in my O scale stash and will document the weathering as I go in the next week for all of you.

Interior shot showing the walls and weahtering
Interior shot showing the walls and weathering

I am particularly pleased with the internal look of the car. I hand painted the interior since I wanted a little tooth on the interior of the car, adding some Acrylic Painting Medium to the cheapo acrylic paint to thin and help it settle.

Close up of the wall and floor weathering
Close up of the wall and floor weathering

Minor touch ups to the door openings remain, to add the dings and rusting, prevalent around boxcar doors. Overall I’m pretty happy with the outcome. There are still the trucks to do, but we’re getting close. More again soon.

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 railgoat.railfan.net

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 railpictures.net

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.

Site Seeing – October 10 – Hornby’s new Peckett W4 Saddle Tank

First off I’ve got to give a shout out to Oly Turner and Chris Matthews’ blog for highlighting this model; one of their recent posts bought this little gem to light. Many of you may have guessed that I focus more on the North American and Australian scene in HO and O scales than the UK. However, I have a deep love of the UK industrial steam era and especially the four and six coupled locomotives that served these industrial railways for many years.

I don’t get very excited, very often about new releases from Hornby in the UK. I am getting very excited however by the release of their new 0-4-0 Peckett W4 Saddle Tank in 4mm ‘OO’ scale. If you are into small layouts, and or industrial layouts in a small space then I think that you should be too. And here’s the reason:

What’s not to like. It’s small, well proportioned and perfect for the type of small industrial layout that most of us can afford and fit in our homes these days. They are all DCC ready and would appear to be able to fit sound – if through a somewhat small speaker.

They look like they’ll be a red-hot seller. In fact I noticed that all the pre-orders have already sold out. Here’s hoping that Messrs Hornby ramp up production and keep this item in the catalogue for some time as it will form the basis for many conversions to come.

Like to see it running in engineering guise?

You can find out more about the development of the model from Hornby.

Atlas TrainMan releases O scale 20′ ISO Containers

As of August 5, 2016 Atlas TrainMan are shipping 20′ ISO shipping containers in 0 scale (1:48) in four paint schemes. The containers are sold as a two pack for $24.95 US. Each container livery has eight numbers (four packs of two containers); theoretically that is 32 containers available with individual numbers. Reality may depend on your location and stocks available to non-US residents.

The details from the Atlas site are as follows:

  • Scale length, width and height
  • Prototypical paint schemes & lettering
  • Non-opening doors
  • 20’ based on corrugated design with logo panels
  • Accurate painting and lettering for steel 20-foot containers
  • Two containers will fit end-to-end in the Atlas O Gunderson Twin Stack cars.
  • Eight road numbers are available per road name. Each item number is a 2-pack, with two road numbers. Four 2-packs per case

You can visit the Atlas page by clicking this link.

Industry news – Atlas buys BLMA models

I got a media release from Atlas this morning announcing that effective immediately they had acquired BLMA Models.

The email is copied in part below:

FOR RELEASE ON JANUARY 6, 2016

Atlas Model Railroad Co. Agrees to Purchase BLMA Models Inc.

HILLSIDE, New Jersey: Effective immediately, Atlas Model Railroad Co., has agreed to purchase BLMA Models Inc., of Fullerton, California. Founded in 2000, BLMA manufactures quality HO, N, and Z scale rolling stock and accessories. Upon completion of the acquisition, Atlas will own and release all current tooling, inventory, and will continue with production plans outlined by BLMA, prior to the sale.

Craig Martyn, Founder and President of BLMA Models, stated:

“What started as a hobby business 16 years ago has turned into something larger than I ever expected. The experiences, knowledge, and most importantly, the friendships gained through developing BLMA have been life changing, and I will be forever grateful to the many that supported my endeavors.

As to the changeover process Atlas stated that:

Paul Graf, Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Model Railroad Co, stated:

“BLMA’s reputation for detail and prototypical accuracy is compatible with Atlas’. The HO and N rolling stock will fit seamlessly into the Atlas Master line of product. The details and accessories are a perfect complement Atlas’ existing product line.

“We have known Craig since he first entered the market, and have had a good relationship with him and BLMA through the years. We are happy that Craig will be able to work with Atlas over the coming years as we incorporate the BLMA products into Atlas’ line, as well as bring some of BLMA’s planned new products to fruition. We plan to make the announcement of the first product from BLMA’s existing products as soon as the purchase is completed.”

On January 6th, 2016, BLMA will stop selling product direct, in preparation of shipping the inventory to Atlas. During the transition, BLMA will process open orders for pre- ordered rolling stock, though Atlas will physically fulfill the orders. These models include:

  • N scale GSC 60’ Flat Car (Run #2)
  • N scale ACF 52’ Gondola (Run #3)
  • N scale Trinity 31K Crude Oil Tank Cars
  • HO & N Trinity 5660 Covered Hoppers
  • HO & N Trinity 64’ Modern Reefers – Tropicana
  • HO & N Bx-166 60’ Box Car – BNSF

In the coming years, Craig will work as a consultant to Atlas, ensuring a smooth transition, assistance on development and help with marketing. Atlas expects to release many popular BLMA items with all-new numbers, paint schemes, and more. Furthermore, Atlas will develop and release items already scheduled internally by BLMA.

For further information, please visit www.atlasrr.com or www.BLMAmodels.com

Interesting times.

Rapido trains in releasing a brand new model of the RDC

Introduction

I think that the RDC is a great addition to any layout. For those who model passenger operations anywhere from the late 1950s on, these little beauties fit right in. I believe that even in the USA they’re mostly gone now from day-to-day service.

Rapido’s new RDC-1

Thankfully they’re going to be remade by Rapido. And the work they put into this is amazing. Apparently they’ve scanned the real thing, and then worked off the scans and the blueprints to decide what was as-built, and what was in-service.

These cars also ran as is here in Australia. The Commonwealth Railways bought three of them for service in South Australia. I believe that ComEng (Commonwealth Engineering – Granville NSW) also built a set or two under license for use on the South Coast Daylight trains running from Sydney to Bombaderry (Nowra) and return daily but they never worked right for the NSWGR.

Eventually they had the motors pulled and became loco hauled (which is how I remember them in my youth on runs down the coast).

In chugging around their site I noticed that Rapido will produce units that are painted but unlettered. Hopefully this gets some of the Australian modellers interested.

They’re not cheap at CN$325 (especially with our rapidly sinking currency), however, I just checked and the Canadian Dollar is worth slightly less than ours at the moment (0.97 as of writing) so with shipping I’d expect landed costs to be under AU$375 mark..

Resources

The product information page: http://www.rapidotrains.com/rdc1.html

The versions page showing all the versions being produced: http://www.rapidotrains.com/rdcus.html