The Woodstock Model Railroad Club invites you to come along with as together we build an empire. Stay tuned for progress updates, tips and techniques. All comments are welcome. Email

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Handy painting tool by Jim Long

Jim uses an old chair coaster as a container to mix small amounts of paint. It is heavy enough not to get knocked over and easy to clean. (editors note, watch out what chair you sit on at Jim's house as it may be wobbly).

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Spotlight on Trent

It is nice that we have some young members in our group. He is always eager to learn and help out (except vacuuming). Trent has a small N scale railroad at home and hopes to apply things he learns at the Huff and Puff.

Jim Long helping Trent with scenerey
Trent has added and painted rocks to the wall and is adding grass along the track

Trent can be proud of his new skills.  I know he likes the vines on the tunnel portal

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tuesday at the Huff and Puff

New buildings were brought in, track work continued and of course ballasting.  Scenery is also being added, it seems like everything is coming together.
Jim Long built and painted this unnamed building

Jim Long built and painted the new power plant and sub. station

Coal mine in place

I added a stone wall at Jutland

After three nights and a group effort new track work is in at Lincoln

Doug, Don and Matt have the track in at Miller

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

An industry for Wellington

The town of Wellington could use a building like this one Richard Harden kit bashed from an Atlas kit, Middlesex Mfg., into his Brown County Warehouses Inc. (thank you  Richard for allowing us to use the photo you posted in MRH). It would sit against the end wall near the door.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christmas Train

Don Pearce sent us a reminder that the CP Christmas Train will be stopping in Woodstock on Dec. 1st about 6:30 to 6:45 pm.

Transformer car in Woodstock CP yard

Transformer car in Woodstock CP. yard photo by Don Pearce.

Transformer car built by National Steel Car many years ago.

Spotlight on Ralph Tayler

Ralph works on the track in the staging yard
Picture a 7 year old boy  walking in the erecting shop at Turcot yard in Montreal. I was with my grandfather who was a boiler maker by trade and he had taken me to his place of work to show me what he did. Standing next to the drive wheels of a locomotive was awe inspiring to me. Perhaps this was the begiinning of my modeling . For many years I lost track of  modeling until in the early 70"s I was involved in a work related injury and was off work for several months recouperating.  My next door neighbour asked if I would like to help him with his layout and  this relit the spark. Over the Years I became involved with several RR modelers such as Don  Pearce and John Schell also Jack McJannett all these individuals have influenced me a great deal. My preferred scale is HO but I did build an N scale layout in a suitcase for a co-worker who was retiring . This layout ended  up as a glass covered coffee table . I prefer to model in the transition era with late steam and 1st generation diesels, I enjoy scratch building and I would say that bridges such as the Fife River bridge at Don's was probably my biggest endeavour.  

Fife River Bridge on Don Pearce's OWR

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hills at Miller

Hills with wash applied

With the wall painted I moved on to the foreground hills first covering them in a wash of leaf green and yellow following the contour of the hill cutouts. Then wetting the brush some, I put a thin wash of green and yellow on the bottom of the blue, distant hills.  With the base coat dry, details such as the suggestion of distant trees and field outlines we're added. After two hours of painting the wall and half of the hills at Miller, I called it quits and put back the town cutout, so far so good.

Trees on the top of the hills

The town of Miller, nestled in the hills

Friday, November 22, 2013

Storm approaching Miller

Well Don you said you wanted storm clouds. First I mixed black and white paint to get a light grey. I used this to paint the bottom of the clouds. Then the uncleaned brush was dipped in pure white and dabbed on, above the grey, blending as I went along. More and more white was applied to build the upper layers of the clouds. More grey was added to various locations in the cloud formation. The brush was cleaned and pure white was used to highlight the upper edges of the clouds. With a little water on the brush it was dipped into the grey, most of the paint dabbed off, and then lightly dragged down at an angle from the bottom of the clouds to indicate rain, worked better than I thought.
Distant mountains added to the backdrop

"Yup, theres rain in them there hills".

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Unbreakable crossbucks

Magnetic tape punched, screw and crossbuck

Railroad crossing signs are always in danger of being broken, especially the ones close to the edge of a layout.  My solution is to drive in a concrete coloured, flat head screw in the location you want to put the crossing sign.  Then, using a one hole paper punch, punch out a circle from a magnetic tape strip and paint it concrete.  You cannot use two magnets, one on the sign and one on the screw as they jump to one side or the other.  Drill a hole in the punched out magnet to accept the post of the sign and glue it in.  The sign can now be positioned on top of the screw.  The wayward arm will now just knock it over, not break it.

Screw painted and installed


Crossbuck in place

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Glen brought in Glacial Gravel to test fit it, Ralph brought in a mill he had built, a lift bridge had been installed in the port at Miller, on going track work at Lincoln and ballasting continued.
Glacial Gravel test fit

New building by Ralph

Ok, what will it be and where do we put it?

Jim must have been putting in extra hours

Ditch and culvert at the Power Plant

Unloading area at Power Plant

As seen by the old lines, things have moved at Lincoln

More landscaping progress on the branch

Lift bridge added at Miller Harbour

Ballasting continues

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Paints by Glen McDonald

I tend to favor acrylics because of their flat tones and because they can be thinned and cleaned up with water. I was using craft paints such as the Ceramcoat bottle until last year when I noticed that Home Depot had Behr Ultra acrylic flat base available in in 273 ml. jars for less than $5. Paint personnel will computer tint the base to any desired colour you bring in and will retint to a darker shade at no cost if you don't like the original colour. Have them put a fingerprint of the paint colour on the lid as otherwise the jars all look alike. I use small plastic yogurt containers to mix specialized colours. I  also use aerosol flat colours even though I have an airbrush which I dislike cleaning so use it seldom. But I mainly use various brushes for both paint and powder. I use damp cloths or even my fingers to smudge and mix paints and am not afraid to use patience and experimentation to get what I want. You can always cover it up if you don't like it. I go to visit actual scenes of what I'm modelling and take photographs to work from. I seal things either with Dullcoat or with Minwax spray polyeurothane [cheaper] to avoid handling problems.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lincoln reworked

Doug starts to remove track at Lincoln

The main line track arrangement was thought to be lacking, so it was ripped up. The main run a round tracks were straightened and the third run a round was moved to put a station inbetween them. Of course all the sidings had to be move also. There seems to be alot of intrest in this project. By the end of the night it was about half done.

Everyone is in on the project except Rod ballasting in the background, Don looks like he is listening in on the other side of the wall.

Must be an important discussion

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Lots of huffin and puffin on Tuesday. A new storage shelf for building supplies was constructed, which removes more clutter off the layout. Work on the coal branch progresses and ballasting continues. More details added to the blanch line harbour and the branch line is covered in webbing. It was decided to change the track arrangement at Lincoln which will take another Tuesday nights work.

Inspectors are smiling, thats a good thing

Jim has to vacuum after cutting in the bridge and the two inspectors seem pleased.


Matt works on the harbour at Miller
Stone harbour walls added, this is a foam product with embossed rock surface

Monday, November 11, 2013

Glacial Gravel by Glen McDonald

Early construction
Glacial Gravel Here are two shots of a Walthers Cornerstone kit Glacial Gravel being constructed for the Woodstock Huff n' Puff model railroad. It's now in the weathering stage and I've chosen to portray it as a heavily rusted and dirty structure sitting in a quarry amidst gravel dust and dirt. It is sheet metal roofing and siding sitting on a concrete base. Over the years the galvanized metal has had its zinc coating replaced by rust. I favour acrylic paints because they clean up with water. When complete, I give my weathered projects a light spray of Minwax Poly-urethane to seal them which dries pretty flat. I've also used Dullcoat for this as well. I enjoy building model structures and I am very impressed with the fit and detail on Walthers Cornerstone kits. Glen McDonald

Weathered building

Friday, November 8, 2013

City plan

John invited me to come up and do some work at the Huff and Puff. We installed a shelf under the layout, cleaned off the area for Wellington and laid out some track to test fit it. John continued wiring feeders.

A three track run-a-round is probably a good idea
yard ladder and tracks to industries

In this arrangement some factories need to be cut at angles to fit. The station would be in the narrow middle part.

Thoughts on Model Railroading Part 3

Funny thing, I was in the process of writing on a topic but MRH beat me to it. In Don Hanney's "The Art of Model Railroading" he writes "A key to the art of modeling is to trust your eyes ---- we instinctively know when something doesn't look right". I think "knack" (an ability or skill needed, or a clever trick or way of doing something) is a better term. Some may have a knack for one or many aspects of model railroading, of which there are many. And I agree with Don, that we can't all be masters (personally I would be happy to be really good). But doesn't it go deeper than that? When a layout is completed and all the "art" is done, what then? Well, some people have the knack of being fun to be around and I for one, can't wait for our Tuesday night sessions at the Huff and Puff, with a great bunch of railroaders, and that is what model railroading is all about.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Old time harbor wall

For one of the clubs harbors we wanted a wooden retaining wall.  A strip of card stock (from a cereal box) the height of our roadbed plus ties, was cut to the needed length.   Three alternating rows of wooden coffee stirrers were glued to the card stock strip and stained.  Then wooden pilings were randomly glued to the face of the retaining wall.

The retaining wall stained and set in place