SW1200RS Project Revisited: Cab-end Details

I shot hundreds of photos during the year-long build of my two CP SW1200RS models in HO. I’ve gone through some photos and arranged them to show the progress of the cab-end of the locomotives, from resin to rolling.

These are the first photos of the rear of the locomotives. It shows the models still in bare resin. The pilots and GMD cowcatcher are attached, as are the side handrails, bottom step etchings, and lift hooks on the sides of the hoods.

Neat photo of the etchings that form the footboards and pockets for the M.U. hoses.

Slightly out of focus, this photo shows the footboard/M.U. cable pockets added. Both models have been sprayed with primer at this point.

Both models shot with CP Action Red. The cab roof is temporarily in place. The roof would end up being the last part to be attached.

Both models with a fresh coat of black on the rear of the cab and from the walkways down.

Stripes applied to the rear of both cabs.

Both models with the rear headlight details and all of the decals applied.

Handrails and grab irons around the rear door applied. The cab interior and roof are temporarily in place for this shot.


All of the handrails on these models were bent by hand.

More handrails, drop step, M.U. hoses, coupler lift bar, and train line details added.

Rear handrails and two stanchions applied.

All rear pilot details applied and painted.


Both models with all end details applied and painted.

Window frames and glazing added to the cab.

All-weather cab window on engineer’s side added and painted.

Roof details added: antennae and air horns.

Finished. I don’t keep trip pins on couplers for equipment that runs on my home layout, where I shot this image. These models run on the WRMRC layout so, for now at least, the pins stay.

Both models, in service on the WRMRC.

Hogs & Hay on the Leamington & St. Clair Railway

My crawl space will soon be occupied by a series of turn-back loops to get trains into and out of staging on my layout, so I’ve been going through a round of purging some of the stuff that’s been stored under there. Along with a nice set of TH&B employee timetables from the 1970s, I found some old waybills and other assorted documentation. I’m not even sure where I got this stuff.

Here are a couple of neat pieces documenting the loading hogs and hay at Blytheswood Ontario, on the Leamington & St. Clair Railway, in January of 1889.




Brags: RMC, New Blogs

It’s been a busy time for me over the past few weeks, so this brag post comes a bit late. I’m excited that two of my photos and an article that I wrote have been published in Railroad Model Craftsman. I’ve been quietly published in the past, but this is particularly exciting for me because it’s the first time I’ve had my photos and a humble article about model railroading in print. I encourage you to buy the January RMC because… I’m in it!

Next piece of news: I’ve started a new blog to clarify the confusion between the title of this blog and the content. When I started writing Ontario In HO Scale, I was primarily modelling at the WRMRC layout. Last year, I started building a layout in my house. Writing about my home layout has come to dominate the content of this blog, and it was obvious to me long ago that I would eventually have to change things. To that end, I’ve created The Niagara Branch. I’ll keep Ontario In HO Scale up and running, populated with posts about projects that are relevant to the WRMRC. There’s a third piece of news about my CP Sudbury Division content, but that will have to wait.



For Sale: SW1200RS “custom”

As I accumulate better quality models for my layout, I’ve been going through the very last remnants of the models that I built many years ago. This one was dear to my heart, back in the day. GMD’s SW1200RS are uniquely Canadian, and were ubiquitous in southern Ontario at the time that I built this model. But I’ve since built two of these from Kaslo shells using Proto drives, and this model no longer stands up to the standards that I’ve established for my hobby. I hope I can find a new home for CP 8109. For anyone interested in adopting, here’s what you get.

I built this model some time back in the early-mid 80s. It’s built from an Athearn Blue Box “SW-1500” which, at the time, was a mis-labeled SW-1200(ish) model. Additional parts came from a Juneco conversion kit comprised mostly of white metal parts. I can identify other parts that were not in the Juneco kit. Best to refer to the photos below.

I probably painted the model with Floquil that I mixed by eye to approximate faded CP Action Red. It looks like I used decals for the cab numbers and perhaps CDS dry transfers for “CP Rail” lettering. The multi-mark was done with either a dry transfer or masked/airbrushed. It’s been a while since the mid 80s and I’ve lived some since then, so the details of how I built this thing elude me.

The photos are VERY tightly cropped and taken in hi-res, so you get to see the model “warts and all.” This is a DC engine with Athearn’s old open frame motor and cast metal flywheels. It has Kadee #5 couplers. I know it runs, but I haven’t run it very far. Its new owner would be well advised to disassemble the drive, clean off all the lubricants, and give it a thorough inspection before reassembling it.

I see that there are some people out there who still enjoy Blue Box models and ‘vintage’ Juneco kits, so I decided to post this as ‘for sale’ to see if anyone is interested. Asking $70 (Canadian). Surprisingly, this model sold within an hour of writing this post.

Structures Update

I made some progress on the layout over the holidays, so I’ll post a few updates to bring things up date. Check out the photo for some details.


In this scene, you’ll see two structures that have replaced stand-in shells. In the centre of the image, the concrete building is the powerhouse. It’s not finished, but it took a great number of hours to get it to this point. I feel that it’s far enough along to give a good impression of how this scene will proceed. This is the powerhouse building, loosely approximated from aerial photos of the plant. It is currently sporting the base colour that use for approximating concrete structures. It’s entirely scratch built, except for the shed building in front of it in grey primer. That building uses a Tichy kit for the side wall. I’ll scratch build the end wall and roof. This will be the enclosed building into which hopper cars are spotted for unloading of coal into the storage silo.

Behind that building is a concrete structure with brick curtain walls. This is the end of a building in the area of the paper machine, where bulk solids are delivered by boxcar. This building is finished except for the final details and clutter. Here’s a photo featuring this structure.


The building to the right is a mock-up/core of the next structure on my to-do list. Also in this photo, you’ll see that I’ve painted the facia. Next time, I’ll post more details about the facia and valance.