Monday, September 18, 2017

New Layout Space

Bernie Kempinski and I had lunch today, and spent some time thinking through possible benchwork footprints for my new layout. 
So here, for the first time, is the very, very preliminary sketch of the Richford Branch in my new space. I'm not going to attempt a critique of this sketch - it's obviously just that - but it is a starting point and shows that a "spread out" Richford branch is certainly a workable theme in this space. 
I've included labels showing some key dimensions that got buried in our pencil work, as also show where Richford and some other key pieces might fit. 
I'm not sure we have the ideal arrangement. Perhaps Richford would be better on the other end of the line - staging could be located in my workshop accessed via the open space behind the powder room wall? And, though obviously not drawn to scale, the "squares" we worked with allow for 30" radius curves. But the peninsula lobe may be too close to the stairs. 
I'll likely try a few different benchwork footprints over the next few days and weeks. Obviously, detailed scale drawings should wait until there's an actual basement!
I will say we did discuss a Essex Jct - Richmond - Waterbury plan - I might pursue that a little more, just to see what it would look like, but immediately after broaching the subject the same old issues with minimum radius, the need for two staging yards, etc... all reared their ugly heads.  
So, for the moment I want to pursue the Richford branch plan to, as Mr. Spock would say, it's logical conclusion. 
My plan is to sketch out a Richford Branch plan, perhaps a CV "mainline" plan or two, and a fresh new look at the Southern New England, and see where that leads. 

I can put together a "brief book" with information on the Richford branch and some various must have's, nice to haves, etc.. for anyone who might be interested in taking a stab at a layout design for this space. Email me directly at mjmcguirk AT comcast DOT net....

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Westerfield I-GN boxcar - ready for weathering

I finished dealing the Westerfield I-GN boxcar, and added an overcoat of Future floor polish followed by a coat of Vallejo Matte clear. I think it makes a nice addition to the "late 1920s" roster. 

I think I'm going to hold off on weathering the car until I get some other half-finished freight car projects completed. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Westerfield I-GN boxcar

As I was sorting and packing some of the smaller items that reside in various small plastic containers, I came across the decals for a Westerfield International Great Northern 40-foot single sheathed boxcar that I'd built almost two years ago.
Having no idea how the decals ended up separated from the car, and knowing full well that it would happen again if I didn't take drastic measures, I opted to spend a pleasant hour or so this past Sunday evening getting the decals on one side of the car. Side #2 has since been completed.
For the record, and my reference, the car was painted with a base coat of Vallejo "Boxcar Red" sold by Micro-Mark. The Vallejo labels reveals they refer to this color as "Rust." The paint was allowed to dry completely (although the 26 months this paint dried may have been excessive!) before I hit the model with an airbrushed coat of Future clear acrylic (or whatever they're calling it this week).  
When this photo was taken I hadn't yet "snuggled"* the decals in place, which is why there's so much decal film showing.
When I decal a car I like to leave it on the modeling desk for a week or so - every evening I'll add another application of Microscale setting solution. After a few days of this most of the film disappears. The next step will be another coat of gloss, followed by a coat of clear flat.
Sharp-eyed freight car fanatics will note this car is lettered to reflect lettering styles that predate my typical 1950s roster. 
No further comment on that at this time.  

*When I was on the Model Railroader staff we were always debating the best way to describe of process of softening decals using settling solution to get them to conform to the various details, ridges, rivets and the like. Somehow, someone (likely Jim Kelly, it sounds like something he'd come up it!) suggest the term "snuggling" the stuck.

Friday, April 28, 2017

SNE Wiggle Worms

Over the years I've had folks who model a later era that I've ever really modeled ask what the lettering for my Southern New England would have looked like post-1961.
A few months back, Bernie Kempinski and Otto Vondrak worked with me to develop the initial concepts for a “new image” SNE “wiggly worm” logo. The graphic challenge was how does one “link” the letters “S,” “N”, and “E” - try it - it’s not as easy as linking two letters like “CN” or even “CV.”
The answer lay in the approach the DWP took - the graphic designers for CN way back in 1961 obviously had the same issue linking the letters together. The solution was to not even bother trying!
I have to give Mike C credit for suggesting the DWP possibility - and all the credit (or blame if you don’t like it) for the logo goes to Otto.
Thanks to all, here, for the first time, is a poor color rendering of what this scheme might look like on one of the SNE’s GP9s after repainting in the North Providence shops in 1965….

And here's the Green and Yellow version:

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Southern New England Railway Maps

A few years ago at one of the CVRHS conventions (in Palmer, if I recall correctly) Jim Murphy displayed a series of original, color Southern New England plat maps. Jim (and another volunteer) were kind enough to hold them up and let me photograph the series of maps. I had them on my old computer back up hard drive and ran across them a couple of weeks ago. Thought it would fun to share them here. 
These are one of the few sets of originals we know about - and are more than 100 years ago. 
Obviously there's some overlap between the photos of the maps - these things were big! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

SNE 40-foot PS-1s - some background

I recently received this email:
At Christmas my wife gave me a Kadee box car from the SNE, #48010. I model 1957 so I have a few questions about this. What reweight stenciling should there be on it? Would the roof paint be pealing at this point in time? And finally, were these cars used in any specialized service?


Here's my response:
First of all, let me congratulate your wife for her exceptionally outstanding taste when it comes to Christmas gifts!
SNE 48010 would be part of number series 48000-48199 - a group of 200 boxcars ordered in 1950 and delivered in 1951. Like the CN and CV, the SNE doesn't have specific classes assigned to boxcars, so there were simply "48000-series" cars, and you'll find them referred to as such in company correspondence. They were all delivered with the square herald, green with "Southern New England" monogram to the right of the door with "Southern New England" spelled out to the left of the door above the reporting marks. Kadee did an exceptionally good job on these, and they are quite accurate when compared to photos and paint samples from the prototype cars.
About 50 of these cars are in assigned paper/pulp service - transporting market pulp from integrated and pulp mills in the northern sections of New England to the finishing mills located along the SNE. Considering the nature of the cargo we try to keep them in that service and they're labeled "Clean Lading Only" to the left of the door. They are regularly spotted at mills along the Atlantic Great Eastern - although I've heard rumors they may have been spotted on the Allagash RR as well.

The remaining 150 cars are in general pool service - and can be seen anywhere.
As far as reweigh dates, I use "XA" (St Albans, VT) for many of the cars, but use "XP" (North Providence, the SNE's shops) for most. Of course, some of the cars have been weighed off line at various other points.
Very few of these cars were repainted into their original scheme prior to the introduction of the maple leaf herald in 1954. So, in your 1957 era the cars with the square heralds have been in service for seven years, and the paint on the roofs would certainly have failed in some cases. I'd also say at the very least the cars roofs would be quite dirty.
The maple leaf cars are from one of two groups - the original 48000-series cars repainted into the maple leaf scheme starting in late 1954, or they are from the series of 50 additional PS-1s delivered new to the SNE in 1954 with the maple leaf monogram. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

SNE RS-3 no. 1854

Southern New England Ry. RS-3 no. 1854:

One of two RS-3s currently in service (third is in paint shop for lettering). 
Atlas RS-3 with Soundtraxx Tsunami Alco 244 sound decoder. 
Custom Finishing steam generator stack and vent. 
Miniatures by Eric CPR RS horn and bracket and winterization hatch. 
Detail Associates m.u. hoses. 
Frame: Tru-Color Steam Power Black
Body/cab: Tru-Color CN Green
Decals: Microscale CV RS/GP decal set for chevrons and frame stripes. 
Microscale custom "Southern New England" road name banner.