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 B&M Eastern Route progress

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
jbvb Posted - 01/31/2008 : 8:10:46 PM
I'm modeling the Boston & Maine's Eastern Route in HO standard gauge in my 207-year-old house's attic. The attic has its pluses and minuses - plenty of space, just up the stairs and finished, but the combination of the sloping ceiling and a 36" minimum radius meant I could only do an around-the-walls plan. Also, it can get a bit hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

The layout incorporates my Rowley MA modules, presently the only finished scenery, in the rural northern half of the attic. The southeast corner is where I'm building my compressed version of West Lynn, MA including the General Electric River works and the West Lynn creamery.

This photo shows the mainline curve passing the future creamery (spur under the file) and the Saugus Branch (long staging tracks) coming in from the left. I'm spiking rail on the branch, building the switch comes next. The flying plywood is actually pretty rigid with the flange below and the backdrop partially installed, it will get better when I bring the backdrop around to the left edge of the photo.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Orionvp17 Posted - 10/10/2019 : 2:50:40 PM
Looking good, James!

As for the headlights. turn the room lights on... Instant Daylight and the headlight issue goes away.

Nice progress!

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 10/10/2019 : 1:44:54 PM
Pete, I think before the real-world bridge replacement, B-15 2-6-0s (the origin of the 'Mogul Country' tagline, for B&M novices) were the largest engines allowed. But I actually built my whole RR to clear Plate C; that gives me enough of the 'that's why clerestory roofs are so low and modern steam locos look so scrunched' flavor.

Jim, I think that was a solvent cement bottle. I've never bought Al-Clad, though I have read a good deal about it. All my 'stainless' roofs and ends to date are Floquil Silver plus weathering. I do have one set of non-plated car sides (NYNH&H 14-4 sleeper), with Bare Metal Foil stashed alongside them.

My stepson and I did more work on Franklin St. over the summer. Here's the color original of the B&W shot in The Gallery:

Headlights could be added, at the cost of making the vehicles tiresome to move.
BurleyJim Posted - 10/02/2019 : 1:40:22 PM

I detected a bottle of AlClad paint in the photo of the passenger car (it's a beauty!) That Alclad was recommended to me by Bill Gill, is great!

Get going on that Cars AP, mine drove me a little , but it's just a short putt for me.

Orionvp17 Posted - 10/02/2019 : 09:59:25 AM
Tight indeed! Taking a K-7 or K-8 through there must have been a cultural experience. Wow!

Cool shot, though! Looking forward to the "finals."

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 10/01/2019 : 10:52:01 PM
Thanks, Michael. Whichever conventions I attend next year (my presence is pretty much obligatory at the Columbus Day NER convention in Westford, MA), I will bring an entry or two and see how I do.

I'm showing my layout after the Oct. 12 Seacoast Div. Fall Event, so I did a lot of cleaning up, some of which turned into 'finishing projects so I can put parts & tools away':

This tight-clearance underpass was built in the 1870s to get the City RR branch under High St. I hadn't realized it was dry-laid until I set out to model it. The batter is as large as I've ever seen on a RR structure. But the span itself is clearly much newer, either just before or just after WWII, and allowed much larger freight cars down to waterfront customer.

My stepson carved the rocks in meat-tray styrofoam. I built the railings from cut-up Rix parts. I will clean up the shaggy edge on the hardboard before visitors. I may go back and model the blank panels, but not this week or next.
Michael Hohn Posted - 09/25/2019 : 09:31:18 AM
Congratulations, James, on a fine model and the Achievement marks.
jbvb Posted - 09/24/2019 : 10:22:08 PM
Pete, my first scratchbuilt car might be a Western Union materials car like the one that survived into the 1970s at East Deerfield. That could be put here and there to annoy any excessively cocky operators. And kind fellow modelers sent me copies of the old Ambroid kit plans. Though I'd probably use styrene.

My second thought had been a 104000-series narrow monitor caboose, but checking my stash I find I only need to paint the brass model I already own.

So I'm back to the idea of building a few Laconia cars in O scale while I can still get the milled wood stock called for by the Ambroid/Northeaster HO plans. Of course, they'll never run till I paint the O-scale P-2b and find a receptive layout owner.

Regardless, scratchbuilding is simplified by any Merit awards I get for cars already on hand.
jbvb Posted - 09/24/2019 : 10:13:54 PM
Andy, I have one of the original Walthers 90' turntable kits installed and operational at my Bexley yard. It sounds like a tired kitchen mixer but does the job. 90' is enough for the 4-6-2s and smaller locos on trains that turn there. I forget if it will turn my T-1a 2-8-4; that has the original 4-axle tender. I know R-1 4-8-2s and the later T-1b 2-8-4s with 6-axle tenders won't fit.
Orionvp17 Posted - 09/24/2019 : 10:09:53 PM
Nice work, there, James!

And with OOB earning a Merit Award, you need three more for the Cars Certificate. But you also need four scratchbuilt cars. Thoughts on these?

I had a ball with this certificate once I got past the "Gaaa--this is hard!" concept. It's no more difficult than any of the other cool stuff you've laid on us, and it was a whale of a lot of pure fun.

Keep going!

in Michigan
cajon Posted - 09/24/2019 : 10:00:38 PM
Do you have any steam engines that need a turntable?
jbvb Posted - 09/24/2019 : 9:33:01 PM
Thank you, Pete, Dave and Dave. I haven't posted in three weeks because 1) my HS reunion, 2) Hub BoD meeting and 3) the Northeastern Region's Syracuse Jct. convention.

The latter also stimulated a change in my focus. Before I got started on making a 'complete' layout, I'd been building and painting cars and locomotives for years. I'd taken breaks to build pieces of the Hub Division Modular Layout, but I always came back to B&M passenger equipment, plus a 'Green Dot' (NEB&W style) freight car fleet. Enough so when I started formal operations, the Eastern Route only needed a couple of diesels and three commuter coaches to be completely equipped. While 6 additional storage boxes provide a B&M presence at Module Group events.

Since 2009, I've been working on the NMRA Achievement Program. I got my 6th and 7th certificates in 2017, but I still needed either Cars or Motive Power to obtain Master Model Railroader. I'd tried a few Cars contest entries but only one locomotive achieved Merit. And the layout didn't need scratchbuilt cars or locos - kits and paint jobs would provide almost everything the B&M owned.

But then I reconsidered: I have quite a few high-quality passenger and freight car models. Turning my Judge's Eye (Jr. Grade) on them, several might be brought up to the Merit level with reasonable effort, and without compromising their usefulness for op sessions or module shows. This rang true to me; my AP is less important than the layout, but I have put maybe 10% additional effort in to document things I'd have done anyway, to get the AP award.

So I re-started work on B&M #32 (Old Orchard Beach), 6-4-6 Pullman-built lightweight sleeper for a contest entry. Back in the '90s, it had started out like this: Brass sides and a car core kit, except where this old slide shows a finished combine next to diner/bar/lounge sides and an Eastern Car Works core kit, #32 used a then-new Train Station Products core kit:

ECW's roofs were often warped, so the TSP core was a pleasant surprise. This was also the timeframe when TSP and Red Cap Lines introduced a dozen or two products aimed at accurate passenger car interiors. So I got #32 to the point where you couldn't see through it any place you weren't supposed to, and it spent 20+ years in the fleet.

Below, gray parts are from Red Cap Line, brown seats are Rix, white is scratchbuilt styrene. First I added the partitions, sink enclosure, toilets and water cooler internals to the common bathrooms next to the sections.

I hadn't had an underbody plan, so I'd guessed about the generator, water tank etc. based on what I could see in broadside shots. But now, to achieve Merit I'd have to show plumbing. So I extrapolated from plans for other cars. In retrospect, I could have also installed the 14 toilet chutes with confidence.

The toilets, sinks and bedroom interiors represent a lot of styrene fabrication and hand painting. The only short cut available was not modeling hidden features. So no bedroom toilets. But yes, the stainless strips around the other toilet lids/seats appeared in 1955 builder's photos.

I didn't have color photos of the original interior either, so more guessing. And a few of the original details had been lost to derailments and handling, so I made new air/signal/steam connections from phosphor bronze wire:

Happily, the judges accepted my guesses and awarded 90 points. So now I've picked out a Tichy reefer and an F&C boxcar I'd built with full brake plumbing etc. to polish and see how I do next contest season. And a tip of the hat to Ted Culotta and his excellent photography for his Essential Freight Cars articles. He really made it clear how the plumbing should be modeled.
Grubes Posted - 09/09/2019 : 9:44:23 PM
Looks great James. Alway amazed at how much progress you make.
deemery Posted - 09/03/2019 : 08:44:25 AM
Those old Alexander kits were quite innovative for their times, I have one or two of the tank kit stashed away from when I start the refinery. As i recall, they were a challenge, and I see you rose to the challenge. I remember that open spot in Bexley, it'll be good to see something besides plywood there.

Orionvp17 Posted - 09/02/2019 : 8:58:49 PM
Good progress, James! Keep' em rollin!"

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 09/02/2019 : 8:23:44 PM
It's been a while, but the new school year has begun, putting an end to summer travel etc.

Mr. Slovacek has heard Alderman Iannella's story about his aunt's fiancee dying in the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 more than once. So rather than hearing it again at City Hall, he told the contractor to include containment in the proposal for the tank. There wasn't room for a berm, so he sighed and paid for a concrete wall.

The 'primer coat' is latex house paint, which did a good job of hiding the plywood grain and cracks visible below. I'll finish it grayer, so it doesn't suggest most of the aggregate was beach sand.

I also got Newburyport's westbound platform mostly finished. Following a picture of Kennebunk's similar arrangement, I used 1/16" x 3/32" tie stock with the ends cut to 45 degrees.

Next will be Slovacek's tank car unloading spot and truck loading rack.

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