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, March 29, 2014

Ice House

Don gave me this kit to build. Upon opening it, I was surprised to find that most of the structure was made of card stock.  After assembling the walls and putting in all the bracing it made a rigid building. Even though it had some type of exterior coating, it was repainted, even the bottom, to help seal the card stock. A nice touch was that it came with office furniture.  I took it into the layout to test fit it and found that the icing platform and loading dock will have to be relocated to fit it's location in Lincoln. The only part of this kit I don't like is the cooling tower, will see how it looks painted.

Inside of building

completed structure

Friday, March 28, 2014

Adding Animals to the Champion Packing Plant

It didn't seem right to have Champion Packing Company without the source of their revenue stream, especially since there were four carcasses hanging on the front rail. Hence there was a need for some 1:87 scale [H.O. in model rail terms] animals to place on the ramp from the stockyards up to the second floor killing area of the plant. What to use??? Fortunately, I recently went in to the Eurocan store on Dundas Street, next to Union Burger to look at the small stock of 1:87 mainly European vehicles he currently carries. When lo and behold, I spotted an 8pak of 1:87 Holstein cows in varying positions on a shelf behind the counter. They are a Dutch product from Globe and cost $7.99 + tax.  So I purchased several packages and had to do some surgery to the Holsteins`udders to transgender them using my bandsaw into steers. I then repainted the animals brown with white markings from the tradition Holstein black and white. They were then glued as a disorganized herd going up the ramp into the packing plant. Just another little trick to make a model scene seems more realistic.

Block Wall Detail

Jim used his bandsaw to cut a rock outcrop into a block stone wall, one of many ways to breakup the straight line of this wall. The top of the wall was also stepped down to follow the contour of the land above it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Meat Packers

Glen built the Champion Packing Company meat packing plant by Cornerstone and brought it in. A very impressive building with a large foot print, so much so we had to move the Hay Co. over to make room. (It was the cattle ramp up the back of the building that took up the extra room.) We could then slide it further away from the town which in turn moves the soon to be attached cattle pen further away also. The hanging beef is a nice touch.

sides of beef
this ramp is what took up the extra room

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday Night at the Huff & Puff

Even though we were missing a few members, a lot got done.  Cable for the DCC system arrived, runs were pulled and some of the plugs were installed.  Glen brought in the completed meat packing plant, looks impressive, in fact it was so large we had to move the Hay factory over to make room for it.  Scenic details like grass and shrubs continue to be added to the branch line.  A whole forest grew up around Miller and buildings were put into position.  The look that this town is located in a backwoods area is what was strived for and achieved. Roads were finished and vehicles are already trying them out. The sawmill still needs to be set into place and the log pond and log ramp will then be worked on. Trent finished up the plaster base on Trent's Hill and positioned a few buildings, he proudly showed off the layout and his work to his parents.  He even started a rustic path, up to the jigger shack, using old ties as steps, nice touch.

Spool of cable for the DCC system
Jim works on the DCC plugs

Hay Co. moved over for the meat packing plant

Scenic details at Miller

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Clean Up

After ballasting the track, we will have to go back over it to clean off stones on top of ties and in flange ways.

Monday, March 24, 2014

New River Gorge

Unlike the real New River Gorge, our New River is just a stream in a gully.  The same cast stone walls being used along the lower track, we're used as the bridge abutments.  Glen has filled in the joins between the sections.
New River gorge with a railroad on either side of the river

new river gully

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Nice to see a new stage in the layout, trees and grass are popping up everywhere, must be Spring.  I had been working with Glen and stopped to take some pictures and found that Ralph had applied scenery to areas on the branch line. Trent, Don and Doug were adding trees at Miller. Jim and Don had done an area on the upper loop and Tom and Jim added plaster to the quarry wall, nice to have Tom back from Florida as we were running out of rocks.  Then I found John at work soldering leads at Springbank. Two yards got ballasted and glued down, Cliff and Rod have become very proficient at this task. I returned to help Glen and found a whole rock cliff I had just installed was gone, OK a little rock ledge, but it was gone. Apparently an executive decision had been made in my absence that this would look better as a sloping hill, and I think that they were correct. Jim brought in a bandsaw, wow that makes short work of cutting plaster rocks, thanks.Didn't mention it before, but Ralphs cutoff saw has also been a great time saver especially in the original building of the benchwork.
Trees along the hills of Miller

folage on the branch line

folage along the cut

another yard ballasted

Jim's bandsaw

Tom Rocks are Us is back

Trent's Mom checks his work, smiles are a good thing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Clearview Station B&B

This may be a neat thing to do in the summer.
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I added a Butcher Shop to my Grants Pass Railroad. I appears the meat is supplied by Dexter Meats,OMG.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Train shows site

Train Show <> wrote:
Attention all Collectors and Vendors: We have a new website that lists all of our shows (Model Train Shows - Toy And Collectibles Shows - Nostalgia Shows).  It has just been updated and it now lists all of our shows that are currently scheduled thru June.  Please look at it when you get a chance and save it as a favourite for future reference.  Please send the link to everyone that you know that would have any interest at all in our shows.  We are trying to get as many hits as possible so that we can get it further up in the search engine rankings.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Boiler House

Glen brought in the first part of a meat packing plant, the boiler house.  Because of the large windows, he decided to put in a boiler and some piping. While considering what to make the boiler out of an empty yogurt container fell to the floor, humm, and so a boiler was born.  Another trick he tried after studying a brick building in the area, was to use thinned plaster to highlight the grout lines in the brick walls.  The dilute plaster is spread over the painted walls and the wiped off.  If it looks over done, a damp cloth will remove the excess plaster.  After the plaster dried the structure was over painted with a black wash. Can't wait to see the rest of the factory.

boiler house windows reveal interior

interior details

Friday, March 14, 2014

Turning the Throw

The throw on Atlas switches can be switched from the through side of the switch, to the curved side, if clearance is needed on the through side.  Simply lift the black plastic tabs on the top of the throw, that hold the switch points, and slip the rails toward the centre (from under the tabs).  The throw bar can now be pulled out, turned around and slip back into place.  The rails will now snap back under the tabs with a simple push.  Don Pearce was the first to explain this to me.
throw in normal position, you can see the tab at the point of the rail

throw removed note hole in tab on the switch point this is what the throw tab locks into

throw now on opposite side

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sedum Tree Production Line

Two boxes of dried Sedum flowers were brought in to make trees. An area was set up and a crew gathered with deluted glue and ground foam at the ready.  Each flower head was dipped in the deluted glue, sprinkled with ground foam and put into foam board to dry. Some toy or bottle brush pines also got this treatment, and although many trees were produced, many more are needed.  Good work guys.
box of dry sedum

production line

shaking off excess glue

shaking on ground foam

sedum trees

bottle brush trees

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tuesday night at the Huff & Puff

More track was ballasted on the main and branch line. A group of members was formed to made up some trees, more on that later. The yard at Lincoln was spiked down and wired.  Rock and wall castings are being applied in a few areas and more land formations are developing. In one area, to get away from the table top effect, a section of ceiling tile and the plywood under it was cut away and lowered. This may be developed into a swamp or rural area later on.  Rock castings were added in the quarry area. Jim's technique to apply rocks involves fitting two sections together and refining the mating edges by running a hacksaw blade between them to remove material until the two section fit.  He then glues them in with construction adhesive. Plaster will be added to blend the joints.  Meanwhile Glen changes from rock formations to a thinner block stone wall, because this section narrows down. Small pieces of rock and a lot of plaster, bridges the transition area.  Another stream area is added further down this line, at the other end of the block stone wall.  This will again help diversify the look of this long, narrow, straight length of track. Even though this is a small stream it will require the addition of four bridges and a culvert.
Area lowered to add scenic intrest

construction adhesive used to hold large rock pieces

changing from rocks to a stone wall

small stream being added

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tall Grass and Reeds

First cut lengths, about three inches long, of regular sisal twine to fit into a small container (I used a test tube).  Slightly twist open each piece of twine to help get the stain to each strand. With three or four lengths of twin in the test tube, add a few drops of dark green paint to it and some water, then shake it up to stain the twine. Stain other lengths of twine with other earth tones. Remove the twine and let it dry. Grasping one end of a piece of twine, untwist it with your fingers of your other hand and cut it to about two inches long. Holding it at one end, lay the twine flat on your scenery (this will only work if you used foam or ceiling tile or other soft material, otherwise you will have to drill holes in the plaster) and using a small, flat screw driver, put the blade of the screw driver on a few strands of twine and push the twine down into the scenery. Then pull the rest of the twine away and repeat the process until the twine is used up. By not centering the screw drive on the length of twine the grass will have different lengths and by varying the angle of the blade and not working in a straight line the grass/reeds will look natural. You can also make dense stands or a few sparce clumps.
stained lengths of twine

cut to length and untwisted

pushing the twine in a few strands at a time

tall dead reeds on my Grants Pass Railroad

various colours

shorter green grass clumps

Friday, March 7, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Implied History

By adding a section of ties left over from a section of flex track, along side of the mainline but separated by a new ditch, it will show that the mainline has been moved.  The ties should be well weathered and partially overgrown with weeds and brush. A little scenic addition like this gives the railroad an implied history.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tuesday Night at the Huff & Puff

With almost all of the track laid, our focus has turned to scenery. The first layer of plaster has been added to many areas and rock cliffs abound. Miller gets some trees and the yard in Wellington gets ballasted.  A meeting was held to give a Treasurer's report and sum up our DCC order, so much for business let's get back to modelling. The yard area at Lincoln was refined for better traffic flow.  Another area of concern is the looks of a long straight section of track, to add some visual impact a bridge spanning a gully was cut into the area. Changes to the elevation of the terrain between the flat town areas, will go a long way to enhance the realism we are trying to achieve.
yard changes at Lincoln

plastering at the quarry

trees grow in Miller

ballasting the yard

cutting in a bridge