Ore Car Assembly Line Continues


I haven’t worked on these cars for quite some time, but progress on the scenery at the Victoria Mine Switch scene on the Webbwood sub of the WRMRC layout inspired me to push ahead.

Jurgen Kleylein suggested a novel approach to weathering these cars. Following his lead, I’m proceeding to apply a grungy colour to each car, from the underside up to about halfway up the car. This will go onto the car before the lettering. I’ll work on these again later in the week, so there will be an update on the details. Stay tuned.

More: Track as a Model

My previous post was about track as a model on my layout. This time I’m posting some pics of another area on my layout where I spent some time trying to build track as a model.

In this case, the rails are embedded into concrete. I’ve posted a photo of this same space previously, but I hadn’t finished the concrete yet. My aim with this scene is to represent a space deep inside an industrial plant where the concrete pad has been in place for a long time and repaired with concrete, asphalt, and cold-patch. In other words, I’m going for a pretty worn appearance. I spent some time weathering the concrete pad with a couple of different media. Have a look at the finished product:


The photo above was taken from what I consider to the typical “photographing” angle, or the angle I’ll use most often to photograph the layout. This is slightly above HO scale eye-level.


The photo above is the same location as the first photo, but the camera is slightly higher. This represents how the operator would apprehend the layout.

Obviously, the front edge of the concrete pad has yet to be blended into the surrounding scenery. When I was preparing these photos for the blog, I noticed that the colour temperature seems off. I’ve learned that off-white or bone colours are difficult to accurately reproduce with the equipment I have. But for reference, the tank car in both photos has very small areas that are painted white.


NYO&W 822

This is a blast from my past. I custom painted this stock Stewart F3A right around the time that these first came onto the market in the 90s. This was long before they were offered in this scheme from the factory. I probably used Floquil paint and Microscale decals.


I vaguely recall toying with the notion of modelling a 1950s location featuring a DL&W and NYO&W interchange point. Maybe Utica NY? The model brings colour to my layout, no doubt, especially in comparison to my Penn Central locomotives. But as pretty as it is, I’d like to sell it rather than have it sit in a box on my shelf, so I’ve added it to the ‘For Sale’ page of my blog.


It has wire grabs, Kadee #5s, and has been lightly weathered. This is a DC model with no connector for a decoder, though I’d be surprised if there isn’t a DCC decoder that is a direct replacement for the factory circuit board.

I’ll consider selling the shell and keeping the drive. I’ll be even more motivated if you have a Highliner shell to trade. Email me at hhughson@me.com if you’re interested.

Recent Project: Penn Central N5G 18403

According to information that I’ve gleaned from a number of sources, including the Penn Central Caboose Archive, Penn Central was experiencing such a desperate shortage of cabooses that they purchased a number of them from the Lehigh Valley, of all roads. They classed these cabooses N5G, and put them in yard and transfer service.

My model of 18403 represents ex Lehigh Valley car #95119, which Penn Central purchased in 1968. I have no evidence of this caboose ever operating in the Niagara area. Regardless, it makes a nice addition to the caboose fleet.


My model of 18403 started as a factory painted Proto 2000 Northeast Caboose. Here’s what it looked like out of the box.  IMG_9542

I had a hard time imagining how to tone down the glowing plastic appearance, and I’m just not a fan of the way it was lettered. The lettering is correct, by the way, but the whole thing just wasn’t sitting right with me.

After I did some research, I discovered that there are some discrepancies between the model and the prototype. The end windows at the platforms are wrong, and the steps should have three rungs instead of two. There are other issues as well, but to my eye, the colour, lettering, and those particular issues with the carbody are the most glaring. I decided that a simple repaint of the model might produce a satisfactory representation of the prototype, and perhaps I could live with the other issues.

After the car was disassembled and stripped, I repainted it with a colour that I mixed from Polyscale Penn Central Green and NYC Century Green. Incidentally, Penn Central used NYC green on the earliest caboose repaints. The photos don’t capture the difference in colour between this car and the ones painted with Polyscale Penn Central Green, but it’s apparent in person.

After painting, the car was lettered with decals from Microscale and the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society. I replaced the knock-off coupler with a Kadee “scale” coupler and weathered it with a combination of airbrushed colours and powders.

This model was finished a few weeks ago, but I didn’t have time to post about it until now. Here’s a photo of the other side.


New Project: Penn Central N5B 22923

Another project has moved from the workbench to the layout. This time, it’s the first of three ex-Pennsy N5B cabooses I’ve been working on.


To build Penn Central 22923, I started with an undecorated Bowser N5B kit. I removed all of the molded-on grab irons and replaced them with Bowser detail parts from their N8 kit after drilling all of the necessary mounting holes. I plugged the holes in the roof where the roofwalk would have been and used small pieces of strip styrene to represent supports left behind when the roofwalk was removed at the car shops. I installed brake rigging and air lines underneath using Cal-Scale parts and brass wire., then and modified the coupler pocket to more closely resemble the prototype. The model is painted and lettered with Pollyscale paints and decals from Microscale and the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society. Weathering powders provided some grime and dust.

Two more to go. I’ll post pictures of them as they come off the workbench.