March Madness

Yearly Motive Power Inspections:

Yes oh yes its that time of year. Motive Power Inspections! Once a year usually around March I take all my power off the layout and inspect every locomotive on the roster for damage. I currently roster a whopping 12 CN locomotives 😉 lol and another 10 on the CPR. Not much in terms of motive power compared to other layouts but good enough for my needs. Anyway the process in question is quite simple..

image1 (1).JPG
Here we see gp9 4411, 4493 and 4769 in the shop. 4769 received some repairs to the railings due to chipping paint. All the couplers on these units will be replaced with Kadee #158 scale head couplers once the inspection is completed.

Each locomotive shell is removed and the motor and gears checked for wear. Parts are oiled if needed and the shell goes back on. Next is the shell. The shell is inspected for damage and if the damage is found it is corrected. For example my Athearn Genesis locos have a tendency to loose paint on the railings. A quick touch up and the locomotive is cleared to proceed to the wheel cleaner. Once the locomotive passes its yearly inspection it is tested on the layout and either kept out or boxed.

image2 (1)
9675, 4789 and 9601 await inspection in “shop bay one”. Looks like my wide cab fleet is due for weathering and will be receiving a light coat some time this summer. 9675 is a GP40-2W, 4789 is a gp38-2w and 9601 is a GP40-2l all are Athearn Genesis models. 

This year I’m currently in the process of replacing all the couplers with Kadee #158’s. So far all my rolling stock has them installed. I bought two bulk packs to make sure my fleet has the same couplers. One thing to add to that. I usually cut the trip pins off to avoid them getting caught on crossings and speeder platforms. I don’t use magnetic uncoupling blocks so they’re useless to me..

Ugh.. Waiter? I asked for medium well: 

Lessons in the model RR world come in all shapes and sizes or depths of dirt for that matter. I was recently looking at some photos of CP 4507 on Flickr the other day when I decided to try my hand at weathering my bowser MLW c630M. I copied a picture of 4507 that was taken in the summer of 1990 somewhere between Sudbury and Levack Ontario. At that time 4507 was demoted to trailing unit status and had a pretty hefty collection of  grime on it. As a modeller I said PERFECT! But as I soon learned that its easy to over do it when it comes to weathering. “Weathering is like cooking. If you leave it in for too long. You’ll burn it!” Like I did with 4507. My initial coat of grime was too dark. The whole side of 4507 was wayyyy too dirty compared to the pics on flickr. luckily I didn’t seal anything with dull coat yet and slowly rubbed off the black soot (acrylic paint and powder) with a Q-tip till I was happy with the end result. 4507 had the wintery grime look to it where the rain washed off certain spots and the salt built up on others.


image1 (2).JPG
I used a mix of powders, acrylics, oils and airbrush to capture the grime that collected on 4507 over the years.  

After my issue with the grime was corrected I proceeded with airbrushing the kick up spray on the trucks. I painted the bearing covers light blue and added fuel spill on both sides of the fuel tank. I also added some oil spill on the walkways and re-decaled all the safety labels fire extinguisher, first aid and finished it off with a torn ACI car trak. As of now I would call this unit about 70% complete. I still have to add the MU stands and wheel slip detector’s on the engineers side. For now she goes back into service on the layout. All in all a fun one night project..


CN GMD GP40 #9316:   

CN 9316 has been in the shops for almost a year its the first of 3 CN 9300 series GP40’s that I’m currently working on. CN 9316 started out life as a undecorated Atlas gold line model with DCC and sound. I custom painted and detailed it according to prototype photos. 9316 represents the prototype in its 1990’s form with the exception of the early high mounted ditch lights and the striped rock plow. The plow and ditch lights where in that configuration on the prototype unit pre-1990’s however I decided to make an exception with this model. It just looked too good to change.


9316 good

 With 9316 finished I’m turning all my attention to my current Kaslo shops GP9RM project that has been in the works for a little over a month now. Both will be at the Toronto RPM meet at Humber College on March 17th. So come on by!


Toronto RPM Meet:

The fact that its march doesn’t only mean spring is around the corner or that its time for my yearly locomotive inspections or…my birthday etc etc. It also means the Toronto RPM meet is just around the corner.


I really enjoy this event. I’ve been going for a couple years now and I’m always impressed with the level of modelling on display. From boats, stations, live steam and brass the RPM is must if you model any kind of prototype anything not to mention a way to learn new modeling techniques from the two clinics they put on.


image1 (3)
These are some fine examples of some of the work on display at the RPM meet. This I believe is Ryan Mendell’s work from 2015. Really liking the the CN tank hopper and refer. Above is a CN Alco/MLW s4 built and painted by Sean Steele.


With that said this year I will be bringing the following items to present:

  1. CN GP40 #9316
  2. CN GP9RM #7278
  3. CN/CP Fairmont speeders
  4. CN Fairmont tie crane
  5. CP US&S co. relay mounted intermediate signals

I also want to note that CN slug #223 will not be at the show due to a repaint. I will cover this in the next update. All in all I’m pretty excited to put #9316 on display. She’s not perfect but still one of the best locomotives I’ve built so far. Anyway. Hope to see you all there. That’s it for this update happy modelling! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s