Friday, January 31, 2014

Kalmbach publishes article by WMRC member

   WMRC blog editor Paul Ullrich has had an article published in the March 2014 issue of Classic Toy Trains. The article is featured in their "Tips, Tools and Techniques" column, and it takes up the entire page. It includes three photos that Paul took. Paul's article is about using brass door hinges and inexpensive magnets from Radio Shack to weigh down O gauge locomotives.

   This is the third time Paul has had an article published in a Kalmbach publication in the past nine months. he has also had another piece published in the "Tips, Tools and techniques" column in the July 2012 issue of Classic Toy trains, and had a story published in the September 2013 issue of Trains magazine, titled "Upper berth Blues".

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Klinic Karnival silly business

    Who would've imagined that when we elected Larry Leavens as WMRC President that he'd be such a demanding taskmaster? Larry discovered a little known clause in the WMRC constitution that allows the President to employ corporal punishment against his minions, and he's using it to its fullest extent!

   Investigative photographer Suzanne Lemon (working undercover, disguised as a container of ground foam) caught this shocking scene of Larry beating Lantern Editor Robert Weaver at December's Klinic Karnival over a spelling mistake that he made in the last issue! Suzanne also provided a transcript of the incident:

Larry:   "It's I before E, except after C, you dolt!"
Robert: "AIEEEEEEE!"
Larry:    "And how do you spell AIEEEEEEE?"
Robert:  "A-I-E-E-E-E-E-E-E!" (followed by muffled sobs)
Larry:    "That's correct! You put the I before the E! Now go forth and sin no more!"
Robert:  "Yes, Master!" (more muffled sobs)

   Of course, this was all in fun. This was the second in a series of silly images that WMRC photo contest chair sent, with the challenge to create an equally silly caption. This post serves as a reminder to all our readers that we like to have fun at our meetings, and at everything else we do as a club! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Silly business at the Gateway Western

Neil Carlton looks on as Morgan Turney snacks on Gino Kost's compressed air hose.

    What you're witnessing here is a cruel practical joke played on Morgan Turney.

    There's only one thing Morgan loves more than model railroading, and that's seafood. He never without a tin of oysters in his pocket, and once a month Ed Mulholland bakes him an eel pie. Every Tuesday when he's at the Gateway, he orders a bucket of calamari from KFC (That's Kanye's Fresh Calamari) but he never shares it! Morgan can be very shellfish when it comes to his seafood.

    Someone switched glasses on him and shouted, "The Calamari's here!" and handed him the hose. Morgan likes his calamari rubbery, so he didn't notice the difference. He was so famished that he bit right through the hose and swallowed so much compressed air that he blew up like a beach ball and floated around the room for a while. Fortunately, Dave Downey caught him and squeezed all of the air out of him before he could do any damage to the layout. It's a good thing that the roof was finished, or else he'd be floating somewhere around Kleefeld by now!

   As you might have guessed, this post is a complete fabrication. WMRC Past President and Photo Contest Chair Suzanne Lemon submitted this photo, with the challenge to come up with an equally silly caption to go with it. 

   The Gateway Western MOW crew will be meeting this Tuesday, January 28 at 7:00 PM at the Winnipeg Railway Museum, which is located on the second level of Via Rail's Union Station at 123 Main Street. There won't be any Calamari served, but if you'd like to pitch in an help put together a great model railroad, you're more than welcome to join! The structure is heated and insulated, so you'll be able to help work on the railway in comfort.

Friday, January 24, 2014

More of Ian Plett's layout in a truck

Would you believe that there's an HO model railroad layout in this truck? You've got to hand it to WMRC member Ian Plett for his sheer ingenuity! Nothing can stop a dedicated model railroader from pursuing his hobby, not matter what the space limitations! Below are some more images of Ian's remarkable layout.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ian Plett's layout in a truck

   Winnipeg Model Railroad Club members have built some remarkable layouts throughout the years. But there is truly none so unique as the one built by Ian Plett. Ian, a long distance truck driver, built a layout in the bunk area of his truck!

    By Ian Plett
    When someone says that they have a model railroad, the image that comes to mind is: what type, how big, is it steam or modern diesel? Where is it located? Is it one of those basement empires or up in the attic, or a shelf layout in a spare bedroom?

     Not all of us have the time or the space to work on such a layout. My job doesn’t give me a lot of home time. I’m a long distance truck driver and I’ve found the way to incorporate my job and my love for model railroading into one. With the kind permission of my boss, I built a shelf layout in the bunk area of the truck that I drive.

     I first got this idea about 8 years ago when I joined the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club. The idea came from one of the members, who had built a John Allen Time Saver module.  Since then the idea has grown from a switching layout to a full loop with sidings. In planning the layout, I used Bachman E-Z Track. I measured the space available in my bunk area, then started laying out different track arrangements on my living room floor. I had the plywood secured and Styrofoam glued down, then I laid the Bachman E-Z Track in place. I traced the outer edge onto the Styrofoam to give me a edge for laying down the cork roadbed. When laying down my track I glued it down and then soldered the track joints to give them strength. 

    The truck I drive has brackets for a second bunk, which is where I bolted down my shelf layout. The basic construction is a 2'x4' frame bolted to the truck's upper bunk brackets. I laid down 3/4" plywood to give the layout some strength, as the truck bounces and vibrates a lot. The layout had to be built for easy removal. I used L-Brackets to secure the plywood to the 2'x4's. I built it in two L-shaped pieces, plus a ridge piece which I secure using C-clamps.  I also used c-clamps to hold the bridge span to the rest of the shelf.    

 I take the bridge down when I’m driving. I made a special space on the front of the layout to hold the bridge span so I wouldn’t have to move it every time I needed to get to the lower bunk. If I kept the bridge in place it would bounce up and down as I drove. The noise would drive me crazy, and the truck's vibrations would cause it to break eventually.         

  Prior to building this layout, I hated to do scenery. When I attended the TLR's "Steam on the Prairies" convention in 2010, I went to a scenery building clinic. I was surprised at how easy it was! Now I enjoy making scenery.
 I’m modeling the north central plains of North Dakota. The layout is pretty flat, except for a few hills in the back corners. The scenery includes a pond, cuts through hills, trees, roads, buildings, and a parking lot. I use Digitrax DCC or DC depending on what type of engines I bring along. Wiring is pretty basic. My turnouts are manual.  Operation is also basic. I have only one siding.

  I haven’t done much exhibiting, but I've shown the layout at the No. 1 Northern Division's first train meet, held in Winnipeg in November 2011. I also exhibited at "Steam on the Prairies", but at that time it was still a “Plywood Empire”.  
   This layout it gives me the opportunity to run my trains away from home. It’s a good way to relax after along day behind the wheel. And who knows, I might be rolling through your town soon!

     Ian has since sold his truck layout. He's now working on a N scale version, as the truck he presently drives doesn’t have much space to build anything larger than 2’x3’. Below are some images of Ian's layout. More images will be presented in future posts.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Larry Leaven's January model display entry

   Winnipeg Model Railroad Club President Larry Leavens also had an entry in the monthly model display. He built a Walthers Ontario Carbonate tank car and added a few extra finishing touches.

   To weight the model, he added lead shot in a white glue matrix, according to NMRA recommended practice. He replaced the horn hook couplers with Kadees and replaced the plastic wheels with metal ones from Intermountain Railway.

   Plastic stanchions were replaced with metal ones from an Athearn diesel. The end railings had a stand-off support added to the middle, as per the prototype.  The safety bar along the side had standoffs added mid-way between the end sill and the ladder. The safety rails were brush painted with stencil white.

   The faces of the wheels were painted a dirty rust colour and the side frames were painted with grimy black.

    The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's monthly model display is held at every meeting by the No. 1 Northern Division of the NMRA. To qualify for the monthly prize, you must show that you've done some assembly or weathering. Each entry must include a short write-up describing the work that has been finished to date.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ron Einarson's January model display entry

    The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's monthly model display is held at every meeting by the No. 1 Northern Division of the NMRA. To qualify for the monthly prize, you must show that you've done some assembly or weathering. Each entry must include a short write-up describing the work that has been finished to date.

   This month, Ron Einarson submitted a very unique model, which he freelanced out of several pieces from his modeller's "junk box", and describes how he created it.

Cast Boiler Remnant

By Ron Einarson

   I came across this cast boiler one day when I was rummaging through an old box of bits a pieces I have where all the remnants and left over parts go or if someone gives me a box of their old goodies. I never throw anything out…just ask my wife!

   This casting was perfect for an area I have on the south extension of my layout. The extension is 6” x 6' and bolts on the right side of my layout. It is a rural area with an L&N maintenance shed, grade crossing and a field with grazing cattle plus a wooded area with a still.

   I applied a coat of Accuflex Dark Rust paint (note: Accuflex paint is no longer commercially available) as a base to the boiler as well as the short retaining wall that holds it up. Once it dried (read that as several months ago) I took out my daughter Louise’s old water colour set and applied a half dozen coats of various browns, reds, oranges and yellow combinations to give it a well weathered look just like it had been dumped in the woods and deteriorated over several years or more. I streaked on the paint using both a cut off brush as well as a very flexible long bristled brush. This gave it a very well worn rusted appearance. Once I was satisfied with the appearance I gave it a dusting of dry pastel and chalk dust.

   The next step was to locate a suitable chimney as the parts box did not have one. It was probably in parts box #239 and I have only search through 1 to 76 so far! But I did find a suitable replacement. It wasn't a big flared unit like the old time steamers but a plastic pipe that would fit and resemble a unit that had replaced the original. I painted it up as I had done on the boiler, glued in on and it looked like the perfect match. A little more dusting of dry pastel and chalk dust and it was ready to find a spot.

   As the boiler sat on my drying shelf I kept thinking I should add more detail to it (read that as I could use some more parts from the remnant boxes). I came across a box of old plaster casts I had made from some moulds the WMRC President Larry Leavens had loaned me. They were for a "Dungeons & Dragons" type of game where you could make your own castles. I had made some copies of the walls and have used parts and pieces over the years. Now I thought would be a good time to build a brick attachment to the boiler, sort of a mechanical room. I picked out four pieces and glued them in a square and painted them a dark brick red. Once it dried put on a white chalk dust for the mortar. Next I added a Grandt Line door, roof vents, pole with light, and several plastic rod pipes running out of the shed - to where I don’t know, but it seemed like a good idea and looked great when it was done. A few castings thrown around outside added more to the scene.

   The last step involved adding some scenery. I glued the boiler and shed to a small first aid splinter I had in the garage and gave it a coat on brown paint. Then I sprinkled on various types of ground foam and bits of foliage. The next day I applied a wash of diluted glue over the scenery to really affix it to the diorama. A few extra junk pieces were also added to give a clutter look to the scene.

   Now I just have to add it to the module when I bring it in from the garage in the spring. Right now it is buried in the back of a pile of stuff and it is too cold to move everything, especially when the main garage door would have to be wide open. Later in the spring will see this project finish up.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Godfrey South's presentation at our January meeting was a hit!

   Godfrey South, one of our newest but most active members, delivered a remarkable presentation at the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's meeting, which was held On January 10, 2013 at Westworth United Church.

   Godfrey showed how he and a group of dedicated rail fans resurrected a two foot narrow gauge industrial rail line in his native Britain. The group rebuilt a beautiful steam engine from what was literally a pile of rusty scrap metal. Godfrey, who is a blacksmith by trade, was heavily involved in re-tooling many missing parts.

   The presentation not only included many images documenting the rebuilding of the engine from start to finish, but also included a video of the engine all fired up and rolling down the track!

   The second presentation was by WMRC Secretary Cliff Davidson, titled "Cliff's Western Canadian Adventures", which documented his trip to Calgary last year. Cliff, who knows rural Saskatchewan like the back of his hand, took us way off the Trans Canada Highway and into a rarely seen land where grain elevators still exist.

    There are quite a few of these prairie giants around. Some are abandoned, but many still serving their communities. Some are standing next to former rail lines that were torn up long ago. Cliff took several images of trains passing them by that were hauling nothing but oil tankers, a sure sign of the times.

   Below are several images from Godfrey's excellent presentation. Good work, Godfrey!

This is what they started with. Can you imagine building a locomotive from this?

Progress was slow but steady. It's really coming together now!

It's almost finished! All it needs now is a good paint job.

Success! A beautiful restoration job, and well worth the effort!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

WinNtrak's N gauge modular layout at Kildonan Place this weekend

Our good friends at WinNtrak will be displaying their spectacular modular layout at Kildonan Place Shopping Centre. 1555 Regent Avenue West in scenic Transcona on Saturday, January 11 and Sunday, January 12. They'll be there from 9:30AM to 6:00 PM on Saturday and from 11:00AM to 6:00PM on Sunday. If you're a fan of N scale and have only seen their layout at the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's annual open houses, the Great Canadian Train Show or at the Manitoba Mega Train Show, here's your chance to see them again, and perhaps do some shopping as well. it's a win-win situation!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club is now on Facebook!

It's official - the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club has joined the 21st century! Not only do we have this nifty blog site, but we're now also on Facebook for all the world to see! If you wish to "like" us on FB (And why not? Everybody likes the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club!) please go to this link:

December meeting's model display

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's monthly model display is held at every meeting by the No. 1 Northern Division of the NMRA. To qualify for the monthly prize, you must show that you've done some assembly or weathering. Each entry must include a short write-up describing the work that has been finished to date.

 Ron Einarson, the modeller's modeller, displayed an L&N coal unloading trestle.

 Ron also displayed some steel drums which he hand-painted in prototype colours. Is he going
 to put them on his layout, or is he going to start a miniature Caribbean steel drum band?

 Ron displayed a Walthers logging truck, which was a resin kit that he assembled mostly at 
Gooch's open house in November.

 Gino Kost displayed a 50' Canstock car. This type of car was designed specifically to
 haul aluminum or steel coils for the manufacturing of canned food products. 

Virginia Braun displayed this well detailed hen house, complete with chickens!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's annual Klinic Karnival: Part four

There were so many excellent clinics at December's Klinic Karnival that four posts had to be made on this site just to get everything in! This is the fourth and final post featuring all the things the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club does best: Educate, inform, share and have lots of fun doing it!

 Richard Mikolayenko shows Tommy Kucera what Z scale modelling is all about. 
Good thing Tommy is wearing his glasses!

 Michael Leader, the undisputed master of the John Allen Timesaver Module
demonstrates how to shunt those freight cars in record time to his sister Rebecca. 

Past WMRC President and Photo Contest Chair Suzanne Lemon held a clinic on how to 
create aged wood and peeling paint.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's annual Klinic Karnival: Part Three

There were clinics galore at December's Klinic Karnival! The even was well attended, despite it being held so close to the Christmas season, and during one of the coldest decembers on record! There was plenty of expert advice from some of Winnipeg's finest model railroaders on all sorts of subjects!

 Merlin Loewen and Gerry Stempnick watch Dennis Rietze holding a clinic on DCC decoders. 

 Godfrey South listens to Doug Kathler as he conducts a clinic on custom switch stands.

Roger Kiendl at Ian Plett's freight car maintenance clinic.