I’ve been watching the Boomer Dioramas’ channel for over a year now. I never cease to be amazed by his skill, dedication and most of all, his artistry. This two-part series is a standout.
I hope that you’ll enjoy learning the skills, tips and tricks that Boomer uses to build this mixed media kit. Apart from being a beautiful little kit, there is a lot of scratch building that elevates the kit from good to brilliant.
Building Showcase Miniatures Wrecker
This two-part series is an absolute must-watch. I’ve learned so much about building mixed media kits just watching. And I’ll be referring back to them regularly to increase my skills as I have several kit builds that have stalled because of my limitations.
I wrote back in December 2021 that I caught “the virus” and was hoping to be over it in short order. Yeah, well that didn’t happen. Read on…
Recovery and Delayed Posts
“What doesn’t kill you gives you a set of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a dark sense of humour” – Unknown
So, what started out as an optimistic case of COVID-19, turned into a 7-week absence from work, including 5 weeks (solid) of 24 hour-a-day coughing fits, being as weak as a kitten, and 2 plus months of continual work to get back to my fitness level. I get that everyone’s story with COVID is different. I was lucky not to have ended up at the hospital, but it was a close-run thing. Thankfully, Australia’s public health system held up and is outstanding; I had a fantastic team on my side made up of my GP, The Royal Melbourne Hospital‘s COVID triage team, Nurse-On-Call, family and friends to help out. Seems that raising a child is not the only thing that requires a village.
I’m still finding that overwhelming tiredness at the end of the day remains. Each day that goes by, thank the fates, I am still here and getting back toward normal. While my wife caught COVID, it was less aggressive with her than with me. It would have been better not to have caught it at all. I’ve now had my 3rd vaccination and hope not to catch it again. Let’s just hope that it turns more benign as time goes on and as we become used to having it in the world at large.
If you’ve been through it I hope that you are O.K. and that your family and friends likewise are on the mend.
Needless to say, posting has been delayed as life, in general, has taken priority. I hope that you will stick with me as I get back on track to work on finishing the last post in the “Operations on a Maintenance Centre Layout (Part 7 – Op till you Drop)” series. In this post, which I’ve begun working on again will take us through an op session on the layout. I aim to finish that soon.
Chain-Link Fence Tutorial
Boomer-Diaries on YouTube has been a must-watch, that I found during my time watching ‘everything’ on YouTube during my convalescence. He recently posted what I feel is the best Chain Link fence tutorial I’ve ever seen or read. I’ve linked it below. Watch and enjoy as you get a masterclass in how-to modelling, painting and dressing a great scenic item.
Once you go down this rabbit-hole though, you may be some time, to misquote Capt Robert Oates (of Scott’s doomed Antartcic expedition) as Boomer diaries has a big collection of outstnading videos on the current layout build.
I posted a while ago about a flour mill, here in Melbourne, that showcases a loads-in, empties out flour milling operation. Today we’ll look at another operation, this time in Montpelier Ohio which is an empties-in/loads-out facility for grain. This is truly first/last-mile railroading at its best.
Switching the Montpelier Ohio Elevator
We’ll talk about modelling a facility using the track layout and operations featured in this post next time. For now, I’d suggest that you watch this outstanding video from YouTuber Scott Taipale. With WAER 223 an SW 1200 switcher (ex IHRC 223, ex TRRA 1223) working a unit grain train at the elevator in Montpelier Ohio.
This SW 1200 switcher was built for the Terminal RR of St Louis in 1955. Later owned by the Indiana Hi-Rail and successor Wabash Erie, it is now used exclusively by the Edon Farmers Co-Op to handle the bulk car movements you’ll note in the video.
A couple of notes on the video from Scott:
The line furthest right (North) used to be Wabash’s 1st district which ran from Toledo to Montpelier (now truncated, it ends 4800 feet behind/east of the camera)
The branch line connects to the former Wabash yard in Montpelier (now Norfolk Southern)
In my next post, we’ll look at how you can model a layout based on the track diagram and how you can fit this facility into your space and time limitations. Thanks for reading along. and if you get the chance please like and subscribe to this blog, and to the Facebook page. Your support is greatly appreciated.
It’s not often that you get to see internal (in-plant) company railway operations today. Thankfully “Saginaw Terminal Docks” (Facebook and YouTube) posted a video from Reid Machinery in Lansing, Mi showing how they use old freight cars to store valuable machinery on their site prior to sale.
Reid Machinery’s internal railroad
Reid Machinery Inc of Lansing Michigan have specialised in moving machinery, primarily in the forging industry, throughout North America since 1992. And while that may not seem like the most worthy thing to write about on the third Tuesday in July – I urge you to hang around a moment longer. You see they also hold their large (as in big – not lots of) inventory on and in their own railroad assets.
Yes – they have their own switching layout.
Thanks to Saginaw Terminal Docks we have a front row seat, and a cab ride on one of these switching moves. I asked him about connections to the rest of the world. He tells me that the in-plant line connects to the JAIL/Adrian & Blissfield on over a mile of old track through Lansing’s south side.
And this is so modellable…
Some of the things to watch out for in the video are:
The three person crew (Engineer, conductor, and digger – and yes it’s a guy with a shovel)
Slow switching speeds
At around the 18 minute mark – opening the boxcar door with the forklift forks (we often model the result but the actual operation is rarely filmed)
So sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy the show.
I’m always looking for better techniques to model rust weathering. This video comes courtesy of a post I found on the MRH website by YouTuber MarklinofSweden. He shows how to create a realistic corrosion effect very simply. Take a look at the video I’m sure you’ll be impressed.
Modelling realistic rust
Got another technique that works for you? Please share it with me and if you found this post useful please like and comment. I’m really interested in what you’re up to with your weathering journey.
This video came to my notice thanks to a post on the Australian Model Railway Magazine’s (AMRM) Facebook account. And while not Australian in any way shape or form, Geoff Taylor’s Barmouth Junction layout is a visually stunning model.
Well worth the time to travel over the line and listen to it’s creator tell you about the layout. It’s a masterpiece and while not a small layout it is so well modelled and I imagine it is just as good to operate on that I wanted to share it with you.
Well done Geoff and the thanks also to British Railway Modelling (BRM) magazine for showing us the layout.
I enjoy going down the rabbit hole that is YouTube, on occasion, just to see what there is to find.
Recently I came across Marty’s Matchbox Makeovers where Marty (obviously) reworks classic Matchbox vehicles, bringing them back to their showroom best. In a couple of recent videos he’s increased my knowledge on two topics that have been on my ‘get to know about‘ list:
The use of Brake Fluid (which I’ve always wanted to try but had been afraid of using) to take hard to remove paint off a model (in this video uses it on a clear plastic piece) and provides a fair bit of information on the types of brake fluid (who knew there was more than one – I’m no car guy…), and
If you’ve ever wanted to know how to use these interesting techniques I can recommend Marty’s videos. He achieves great outcomes with commonly available products (if you’re not in ‘Straya’ then you’ll have something similar available. Enjoy watching and talk to you all soon.
It’s officially Australia Day so I thought I’d share more work done weathering the Southern Boxcar underframe and sides. It’s interesting to see how the added brake gear (see more about that here) has become just another part of the model, and no longer seems to dominate the underframe, just as I had hoped it would.
Southern Boxcar 36188
I’m relatively happy with the work so far. There is work to be done on the patches to tone them down “just” a touch.
Beyond that though the underframe weathering is what I now consider to be just right (considering that it will be hard to see). I had to add a bright white background behind the model for it to show up. Very pleased with how this work has come out. It looks perfectly functional, and most importantly, looks the business.
I’ve weighted the model appropriate to my needs (that’s roughly the cube root of the on rail weight). This is heavy by the ‘normal’ standards, but with the Kadee sprung and equalised trucks under them my cars run like dream.
Rust spots need adding on the side, especially on the sliding door (right) side of the car as this area takes a real beating in service. There’ll be less on the left side. I’ll be using Ken Patterson’s oil weathering process, as outlined in the video in the resources section below. I’ve not used this particular method before so it will be interesting to see how it works for me. I’ve weathered in oils before and enjoy them very much, this will be one new technique for quick and dirty rust weathering.
The roof needs to be attached to the car and I’ll be weathering it to match the side weathering. I always do the sides before I do the roof because much of the run off ends up on the car sides.
Danny Harmon spends a day out following a railfan friendly switch crew of the Florida Central as they switch customers around Orlando, Florida.
First Mile / Last Mile
This is where I believe that real railroading happens. It is where the customer meets the railroad. It’s also where modellers with small spaces, budgets and time allocation get the most bang for the buck when designing and building a layout. There’s a lot of great locations and close up detail shots of the crew working and the locations for inspiration.
Sit back, put on your headphones and enjoy the sights and sounds of a couple of vintage locomotives as the train crew prepare their train, run out to, and then switch, the customers spurs. (Clickable video below)
Make sure to like and subscribe to Danny’s channel. Recently he’s been doing a lot of switching videos. I hope he does a lot more to come. Supporting him might just get him to do more too.
Imagine an industrial 7mm narrow and standard gauge model railway with radio controlled crane and lorries. Then look at a great video and see it in action.
Built by a group of four during a three-month period for a club exhibition. This layout is in 7mm scale and uses both 16.5mm (3.5mm HO standard gauge) and 32mm (7mm O scale gauge) track. Scenic area is only 2’2” x 6’, with an overall size of 2’2” x 9’ including fiddle yard.
Of particular note are the working features of the layout including:
standard and narrow gauge trains
working gantry crane, and
radio controlled lorries
The gantry crane had apparently been on another layout and manually controlled. When moved to the yard it was converted to radio control. The lorries, which I believe are the work of Mr Giles Favell, (see the resources section below for more) were in use on other layouts. The rolling stock came from other layouts also.
Control of trains is by DCC, while point control uses MERG canbus.
See more about the wonders of Giles Favell’s radio control 7mm scale lorries and his layouts at: