Friday, September 27, 2019

On Temperance, and Permanence

Model railroading is a curious hobby of fascination and vision, and one that involves an interpretation of time and purpose.  While the trains take center stage, it is their movement that sets this hobby apart from the majority of other modelmaking hobbies, and the operation of these models in concert with each other and with a plan of some sort that brings life to it.

Temporary structures 'place hold' on a layout so as to get operations started, and give crews some visual cue of why the cars they are moving are placed there.  Such has been the case with Doelger Brewing on my Minoa & Euclid. Here's an overview of the temporary structures:

These are pieces of different kits I'd had from other parts of the layout, and several building flats that were in boxes people had donated to me over the years.  Cobbled together they make a scene look industrial, and with a sign or two that is all that was required to deliver the visual clues I was looking for.

Author Tony Koester has reflected in his writings over the years on the sense of purpose in operations, giving the railroad a sense of time and place in the greater transportation network that makes railroading in general so compelling.  Tony has made the argument that temporary structures pending the permanent models add a great deal to operations, and I agree.  

So, as the brewery continues to be part of the operation I have finally begun construction of the 'permanent' buildings for the industry.  These are from the Heljan kit for the brewery, to which I will add some modern structures and additions.   First step was the brick mortar, which was applied by painting all the brick sheets with acrylic paint in a mortar color, and then wiping the brick faces clean.

Once dry, window frames and doors are installed.  Window glass will come later, once weathering is completed.  I like how the paint is uneven, suggesting bricks laid in different courses by different masons.  The windows 'pop' with the drab brick around them.   Finishing details will include painting random bricks different shades, and I think it will be convincing. 

Since the structures will be lit, I sprayed the interior side of all walls with a dark gray color so as to prevent light leaks, and used magnetic clamps to hold the glued seams square while they cured.

Testors plastic cement worked very well here so far, and with the clamps I am getting nice tight joints that are so far lightproof.  I will use shadowboxes inside the structures so that certain windows are lit and others dark at night.

For the interiors, I am also planning to install a brewhouse, so that you can see through the large windows into the tanks and kettles for the brewing process.  I think that will be especially striking at night.

The architecture part of model railroading is one of many subject areas, and each offer areas to learn and explore.  More to come as this process continues!


Monday, September 16, 2019

Rapido Visits, Again!

A nice surprise on September 9 was another evening visit from Rapido Trains to the Onondaga Cutoff!   This time around, Josh and Jordan of Rapido reached out to see if they could visit as part of a larger trip doing some research on upcoming projects.

They were mum about most of those, of course, but I did get to hear about Jordan kissing a Rohr Turboliner later that same week.

If that Turbo comes to be, you can bet you'll see one on the Onondaga Cutoff - Amtrak used those regularly on the Chicago Line between New York City and Niagara Falls in the 1990's!

No matter who I've met from Rapido, they have all been fun, informed, and wacky in that happy model railroader / railfan kind of way, and it feels like I've known these guys forever.  The three of us share some modeling interests, especially Jordan and I who have a lot in common in Conrail and in SP interests.   After a tour of the 'OC' we took a few photos of the guys in the layout room.

Employees from Rapido all seem to love layout visits, and Jordan is a Conrail fan. Here's a group shot of all three of us next to CP282.  Rapido's presence on the layout is growing.  Later this year Rapido's much-anticipated B36-7 models are due, and several are headed to the Onondaga Cutoff to bolster the 4-axle fleet.

Speaking of 4-axle GE's, here's my custom-painted B23-7 #1931 working the Cazenovia Industrial Track a few months back.  I put a few photos into Helicon to stack them resulting in a nice depth-of-field, and I liked the result enough that I wanted to share with it you all here.

This caps off a busy summer on the Onondaga Cutoff and I'm excited for the fall.  Next targets include some work to finally finish up the Doelger Brewing complex - as always, plenty of things to come here soon!