Seeing spots...

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by doctorwayne, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    or, some random views of a switcher, spotting cars in the mid-town industrial area of Dunnville.

    The first shot shows CNR 8414, on lease, pushing a load of anthracite into the bin shed at Creechan's Fine Fuels. Unseen, between the loco and P&M Languay Ltd. in the background, is the elevated double track main line of the Grand Valley.

    Later in the morning, we find the crew hard at work on the lower tracks, this time pushing a reefer of produce towards National Grocers' food terminal.

    Next, A B&O boxcar, loaded with bearings, is being spotted at the John Bertram Machine Tool Works.

    The Bertram complex occupies an entire city block: the gable-roofed structure to the right is the general offices.

    The next stop is the Coffield Washer Company, destination for a shipment of electric motors. During WWII, this plant will be converted to produce anti-aircraft guns, although that's still a few years in the future.

    On a different morning, the photographer manages, barely, to catch the 8414 coming off the wye at Airline Junction. Ahead of that idler flat, just visible at the left, is a carload of electrical equipment, destined for Wilkinson-Kompass, a wholesaler of hardware and mill supplies.

    Another view: the car to be spotted had to be wyed due to an "Unload Other Side" placard on the door originally facing the loading dock. That's Bertram's main offices visible over the flatcar, with the Grand Valley's Dunnville Central Station in the background.

    While we don't see the actual car being spotted at Wilkinson-Kompass, the reason for the idler flat is readily apparent. In the background, National Grocers, destination of the Milwaukee Road URTX reefer shown in an earlier photo.

    Finally, here's an overview of part of the Dunnville mid-town industrial area, courtesy of Barney Secord's Aerial Survey Services. In the foreground is part of the Grand Valley's Walnut St. freight terminal, a team track for companies with no direct rail access. Behind the short work train is part of Bertram's, and across Liberty St. from Bertram's main offices is the yard of Creechan's Fine Fuels. At left rear is the Post Office wing of Central Station, and across Liberty St. from that, the Pump & Compressor Division of P&M Languay. In the distance is the water tower supplying the standpipes on the elevated mainline, and beyond that, some more of the downtown area.

    I hope that you've enjoyed this little tour of part of Dunnville.

  2. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Yes!!!, Thank You Wayne!

    Wayne, hope the tour was enjoyed? HA!, words can simply NOT, describe it!:D its no secret i find your work to be, IMPECCABLE!!!:thumb: the roads, grass, trees, buildings, oh heck, YOU just make it ALL, look so dog-gone REAL:thumb: :thumb: :D . you leave out NO DETAILS, i am TRULY AMAZED by your work! YES, i THOROUGHLY ENJOYED the tour:thumb: :D , and anxiously await the next one;) . THANKS WAYNE!:D -Deano
  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Impeccable is a great choice of words for your work Wayne. Gorgeous pics! The ones taken at street level are so realistic! Lots of industry on the layout. I forget, have you descried your operations approach? Do you use cards or waybills ,etc?
  4. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    Your attention to detail in your modeling (and photography) is mind-blowing...... at least, it BLEW mine ! Thanks for a awesome tour.

    Bob :thumb:
  5. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Wayne, this industry complex is awesome. Like others already said - everything fits: The buildings, track layout and appearance, vegetation, and... and... and...

    I really enjoyed the tour - must be fun switching your layout! And with such beutiful models! :thumb:

    BTW: The idea to use an idler flat due to restricted clearance is ingenious! Would you mind if I steal it for my layout? I really have a spot where I'll have very tight vertical clearance - but this solution never occurred to me before! :oops:

  6. cn nutbar

    cn nutbar Member

    hi doc---you never fail to amaze me---every time i look at one of your threads,i swear i'm looking through the pages of ian wilson's books
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Thanks, folks, for the positive responses.
    Ralph, operations at present are on a "when I feel like it" basis. The northern 1/3 or so of the layout is not yet built, so any traffic headed that way ends up on a long, uphill, dead-end. Plans call for one town at the top of the grade, and a fairly large city near the end of the modelled line. This will include an engine terminal, and beyond that, a staging yard. I hope to operate with a car card and waybill system, when and/or if I get to that stage.
    Ron, the use of an idler car, while an interesting operational wrinkle, is not my idea. Most carfloat and ferry operations used them, in addition to areas that were off-limits to locos due to weight or clearance restrictions. In the photo showing the flatcar part-way into Wilkinson-Kompass, there is a "Restricted Clearance" sign, hidden behind the loco's tender, just to the left of the billboard. Here's a view taken at GERN Industries in Port Maitland, showing the same type of sign just outside of the silo track. That boxcar will fit into the loading area, but there are some that won't. When in doubt, employees refer to the rulebook, which notes the restrictions pertaining to all on-line areas protected by a "Restricted Clearance" (R) sign.

  8. Harpo

    Harpo Member

    Hooo Rahhh
    Man that is some nice work...and the photography as well. Thanks! Now I have to start rethinking again. With pleasure!

  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    You really should give us a how to thread on how to do the scenery and all of that!
  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Again, thanks for the compliments, guys. g_e_cab, if my methods were different from those of anybody else, I'd be glad to pass along any tips or helpful hints, but I'm just learning as I go. Other than a very small area on a previous layout and a photo diorama, these are my first attempts at scenery. If I ever get my new computer and scanner, I'll post some pictures of those earlier attempts: you'll see then that what I learned was some of the "what-not-to-dos". How about tree foliage from steel wool?:thumb: Great stuff to use around electric motors.:rolleyes: The same can be said for structures. Those earlier efforts had almost none. My very first layout, close to 50 years ago, had scenery and structures, but that was built by my Dad. I'll post a picture of that one, too, not so much for the scenery (hey, it was a long time ago) or the structures (remember cardstock and balsa wood?), but more for the trackplan, which crammed a lot into a 4'x8'.

  11. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    If there isn't a doctorwayne scenery "how to" thread...well there should be. What always stops me is the almost perfect lighting...the shots look so real because of it. The smallest details jump to life (like doors being numbered, building details, various colors on the ground). The modeling is really impressive to look at because it just feels real. And that's probably what we're all shooting for. Thanks for the tour was a pleasure (and instructive).
  12. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    Awesome set of shots, Wayne!:thumb: :thumb:
  13. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    That would definitely be helpful, because i'm finally going to get around to scenicing my layout when all of it gets here, lol. Its funny you mention the cardstock buidlings, because last month my grandparents dug a whole book of cardstock HO buildings from 1983 out of their basement and gave it to me. The first thing they said is "DON'T CUT THEM OUT!". apperently its valuable to some extent.
  14. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Thanks, Herc Driver, but that's mostly the work of my daughter's cheapie digital camera. Room lighting is 4' double tube fluorescents, more or less over the layout and spaced around the room. Total room size is about 560 square feet, with a total of 16 lighting fixtures mounted above a suspended ceiling. When and if I build a second level over part of the layout, there'll be another 8 fixtures mounted on its underside. An earlier layout used tubes that were colour balanced for photography: a good thing that there were only four fixtures over that one, as each tube cost $16.00, and that was over 20 years ago. The lights used on the present layout are Cool White. While I'm not overly fond of the light quality, they do offer the most light quantity. The camera seems to compensate for the quality, while the general brightness of the room obviates the need for a flash.

  15. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    Wayne, I love the sight of this gondola in your last pic, which has not been cleaned up properly. The battens and pebbles left in the car look ultra-realistic. Great photos and modeling :thumb: . You mentioned the "Restricted Clearance" sign. I would like to learn more about these special signs. I think, I spotted some more on your layout. Is there a book or a link you can recommend, or even better, can you tell me more about these signs?
  16. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    I guess those cool white lights account for the absence of shadowing on the layout. I have nothing but regular light bulbs and some afternoon sun which produces some unwanted shadowing for pictures. I try to compensate for this with two halogen lights.

    All your structures look really great. As do the attention to the grassy areas and ground cover. It's always a pleasure to see pictures of your layout.
  17. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Wayne those are fantastic shots!! :thumb: It's not just the buildings and loco's that make your photo's look so good, it's the sightlines. The way there's so much going on behind and between the foreground action gives the sense of realism IMHO.

    Speaking of engines...(was I?).... I'm curious about that 0-8-0 switcher in the first couple of shots. I'm familiar with Lifelike's switchers. If it's one of their's you've obviously moved the headlight, added a CN style numberboard, and those look like brass numbers on the cab (from the CN I assume). If you did move the headlight, how difficult was it?

    I'm considering getting one of the new release LL 0-6-0's with DCC and sound, but the position of the headlight is putting me off. Any pointers?

  18. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Thanks, Herc. I've occasionally used a "trouble light", hung from the ceiling, in order to impart a few shadows to the photos, but if I'm moving around the layout taking pictures, it's a bit of a nuisance. And while sunlight can give some really nice effects, you can't always count on it to be in the right place when you need it. My layout room is in the basement, and was deliberately built with no windows: partly to maintain control over the lighting and partly to avoid prying eyes.:D Back in the days before digital cameras, I used to take photos with a 35 mm camera for which I had built a pinhole lense attachment. When I get a new computer and scanner, I'll post some of those pictures. Most were b&w, shot with long (15 to 60 second) exposures. Colour photos were done with the room lights off and the lense open. I'd add light by manually firing a strobe flash at various points around the scene, hopefully out of the camera's view. The problem with both types was that you couldn't see the subject in order to compose the shot, so it was really "hit or miss". Pretty expensive, too. A digital camera is a real boon for me: I have about 600 photos in Photobucket, of which about 300 have made it here to the Gallery. In addition, probably 300 more were deleted from the camera immediately after they had been shot, and another 300 never made it past the CD. So, one useable shot for every four taken, and at no additional cost. Quite an improvement over one or two out of a roll of 36, and a lot of money for developing and printing.:)
    Kurt, the "Restricted Clearance" signs in any area of my layout each have their own reason for the restriction, so you could use one anywhere you want to add a measure of control to the situation. Some time ago, I went on a sign building binge: here are a few, with explanations.

    The use of the Railroad Crossing signs is obvious, and those plain white posts at the roadside are simply to mark the edges of the road. The two black signs with the yellow stripe are warnings for a plow or flanger operator to lift the flanger blade for an upcoming obstruction, in this case, the road crossing. The backside of a similar sign for locos going in the opposite direction can be seen beside the first loco's tender. The yellow signs with the numbers are speed limit signs: the upper number is for passenger trains, the lower for freights. The "RS" on green, above the numbers, means resume speed.

    Here's another example:

    From left to right (some of the signs are shown from the back):
    The black oval (between the bridge and the stock pens) carries the name of the river over which the train is about to cross. The small black sign on the telegraph pole is a "No Trespassing - Keep Off the Bridge" sign. The chevron-shaped sign, again seen from the back, is a warning sign for operators of plows, spreaders and weed sprayers and below it is a flanger warning sign, similar to the one seen in the first photo. This one, and the chevrons, have two yellow stripes on them, indicating that there are multiple obstructions ahead. For the flanger warning sign, the bridge guardrails are the obstacle, and for the chevrons, obstacles include fire barrel platforms, and the above-track structure of an upcoming through-truss bridge. The chevrons can be used singly, left or right, or in pairs, as shown, and warn an operator to retract plow or spreader wings or sprayer arms. The speed limit sign is the same as in the earlier picture, without the "Resume Speed" part. Finally, that small "C", on the sign visible just below the loco's headlight, is a "Clearance" sign. It is the counterpart to restricting signs seen by crews of trains moving in the opposite direction to the train shown here. In this case those signs are plow and flanger warnings at the opposite end of the bridge. Because the two yellow stripes on the warning signs indicate two or more obstacles, the "C" sign is the indication that all of the obstacles covered by the warning sign have been passed. Our train will encounter a similar sign when it reaches the other end of the bridge.

    Only one sign in this next picture, but it's a doozy. It's another of those "R" signs, but his one is on the main line. (It's visible just to the right of the crossing sign)

    The next picture shows part of the reason for the sign:

    First, the two tracks are much closer together than normal, which means that excess width cars, like plows, etc. can't safely pass equipment on the other track. They can still use this track, but only if the other line is unoccupied. A further restriction is for the station platforms: no equipment with extendable arms may operate past passenger platforms with the arms extended. (In truth, some cars of this type actually hit the platforms, even with the arms retracted :oops: ).
    Most of my signs are based on prototype practice, some with added embellishments;) , so don't be afraid to add some to make your operations more interesting. While plows and such are seldom run, making the signs useful only as scenery, the "R" signs are posted to protect against various mishaps, and the speed limit signs let operators know when they need to slow down, or open up the throttle.

  19. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Thanks for the kind words, Val.
    You're right about the origin of that switcher. Changing the light was the easiest part of the makeover, although I'm not a big fan of working lights, so mine is fitted with an MVP lense. I think that the headlight casting is from Cal Scale and probably the bracket, too. It shouldn't be too difficult to drill a hole in the back of the casting before you install it, and a corresponding hole in the smokebox front, then feed the working light through. (I can't recall if it's a bulb or an LED, but I think that there should be enough wire for it to reach this new position. A little epoxy on the rear of the headlight casting should hold it in place, and a little black paint on that should seal any light leakage.
    I was going to get rid of mine when I found how poorly it pulled, but when I took it apart, I discovered all sorts of places to add some lead weights. That's one of my reasons for getting rid of working lights. :D It was also a good reason to get rid of that puny little flywheel: the loco runs just as well without it. I managed to double its pulling power, so I felt that it was worth my while to "doll it up" a bit. Thanks to my friend cn nutbar, I had plenty of photos to work from. Because I wanted to copy a specific loco, I removed all of the piping. (While it looked nice, I felt that most of it was undersized, anyway). To get the proper look for the CN-style front end, I had to lengthen the front of the frame, and the rear of the frame has some parts added to better simulate the built-up frame which these locos had. I fashioned new footboards for both the tender and the pilot, using brass bar and parts from the stock footboards. The running boards were lowered to match the prototype (probably the hardest part of the rebuild), and new air tanks were fabricated from brass tubing, filled with lead. These were mounted much further inboard than the stock airtanks, as per CN practice on these locos. I added all new piping and a few new details, like the front-end throttle, scratchbuilt number boards, and an etched brass number plate. The cab got raised brass numerals and a reworked roof. The tender was given the CN handrail treatment, along with a new (non-working :D ) back-up light. The fake coal load was cut out and a coal bunker built for a "loose" coal load. I also replaced the "drawbar" with one a little more solid, and am awaiting a pair of Bachmann tender trucks so that I can add tender pickup (this is an older version).
    I did a quick makeover of another of these locos for cn nutbar. If I recall, the headlight was moved, CN-style number boards added, along with the front-end handrail treatment,
    and a few changes to the tender, mostly for the extra handrails on the deck. Of course, I've got him converted to the MVP lenses, too.;)

  20. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Thanks for the explanation Wayne. That sure sounds like a labour of love. I would be afraid to try what you've done - I'm sure I would mess it up, or otherwise get frustrated and quit halfway through. In fact, I have an engine in exactly that state - a Mikado I was trying to convert to an all-weather cab.

    I really admire the attention to detail and accuracy your conversion displays. This is worthy of a thread all to itself, or even an article in Canadian RR Modeller or MRR.


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