The Whiskey River Railway

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by gbwdude, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

    My first attempt of casting turned out to be a failure. I decided to experiment instead of using the kit supplied cast material, the substitute being gasket RTV. Needless to say it just clung to the plastic door I tried to make a copy of. Lesson learned there.

    The wonderful old eBay has supplied me with three more passenger cars. They are truly relics, as a little research showed they were old Selley cars. In this lot two were unbuilt and one was mostly assembled, I'm thinking one will remain a master for casting parts. They are neat looking cars and should paint up nicely in WRRy colors. Stay tuned for pics, and Bill and Tom (and whoever else) should check out for out of print magazines and to connect with other railheads.

  2. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Keep trying you will get the hang of it soon .....and then you will be the expert at casting. I need to cast multiples of sugar cane cars for my On30 layout and await your mastering of the learning curve.

    Ebay has been good to you.

    I just bought my second ever train model on Ebay the Large Scale makings of a 4-6-2 Prarie locomotive to bash a model of Little River RR #110. The model and mechanism was inexspensive. The shipping of these heavy Large Scale beasts was $19 though.

    Thanks for the tip on the train website. I will be checking it out.

    Doc Tom
  3. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I did some castings of small parts in the 1970's using open faced molds and steel filled epoxy. I made some porch brackets, wood stoves. never did get to the big stuff, other than my scenery rocks, and my Iron furnaces in plaster.

    I want to learn how to do a two sided mold sometime

  4. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

    Castings and display shelf


    I've been slacking at updating in the WRRy world. To be honest, not much has happened. I did bust out my casting kit in early July and attempted to cast new parts using a old Roundhouse outside braced cast metal boxcar kit that was partly disassembled. Soon after making the molds I found out two things: tinfoil is a decent alternative to building boxes for your molds and either my kitchen table is not balanced right or the floor is off kilter (I'm guessing the latter). The parts came out well detailed but heavy on one side due to the uneven surface the mold laid on. It was a good learning experience, and now I know what not to do.

    Lately I've rekindled one of my other projects. I wanted to have a display shelf made back in May so I cut up the wood. Just yesterday I started sanding down everything and getting it ready for stain. I'm going to try to stain it the same colors as the wood stuff in our bedroom as that's where it'll go for now.

    Attached are a few pics of what I've done so far, both in the casting and the woodworking world.


    Attached Files:

  5. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Very good start on the castings. I like the display case you are building for your fleet. Looks good.

    Dr Tom
  6. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

    Thanks Doc Tom, it took me a while to make time but I'm finally getting back into finishing projects before the weather is less in my favor. The shelf is almost done now, it just needs a few nails in the shelves to hold the weight of cars or locomotives and to be stained then clear coated in polyurethane. Since all the wood was cut in late May and it's almost the end of August, some of the wood has warped leaving a few gaps. When the day comes that I get a dedicated train room or area, this shelf will probably be for stuff that doesn't have boxes or stuff I don't have room on the layout for but might use since I didn't design this one with a door of some type.

    Less than a week ago I found the baggage car I've been looking for. A longer time ago I did find a similar one on eBay, bid on it and won it, but then received a message from the seller saying that the baggage car had been sold already and somehow it got relisted. I've had that issue happen before with selling stuff so I knew where he was coming from. This time around I scooped it up and for a awesome price too, all thanks to his lack of spell check (Bill, take notes on this). I'm not sure what a baggae car is, but that's what I bought for $3 plus another $3 on shipping it to the WRRy shops. All in all I now have my 34' BAGGAGE car that the crews have yearned for.

    Lastly before I reinforce my display shelf, I'm having a birthday dinner at the original Burrito's location (across from Riner Furniture and Grandpa's hardware store) at 5:30 pm. Gifts are not required as it's mostly just a social gathering on my birthday. If you've never had Burrito's, they have burritos as big as infants for $8. And they're freakin delicious too.


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  7. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Tyler, that is an MDC shorty overton. MDc made a combine, coach, baggage car and a observation. They are basically a freelanced car, designed to be happy with extra tight radius's; but they were loosely based on Sierra Railway Prototypes. The Sierra Railway's Angels Camp branch had some tight curves and a switchback that made traditional coaches impractical, so the Sierra Railway had a shorter coach and combine built for that branch.

    I have one each of the baggage, combine and observation, and three coaches, and that makes up my HO mainline passenger train, (except the observation, which is at the club.) My branch line passenger trains consist of a Labelle coach an combine shortened, but not that short, and a combine caboose kitbashed from a Manuta 1860's combine.

    I have converted lots of the MDC shorty overtons to HON3 as well
  8. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

    More cabooses on the way

    (Imagine this first paragraph said by James Earl Jones)

    Low and behold, this day the seventh of October in the year of our Lord 2012, I got a break from the proverbial "Honey-do" list and the repairs on my truck. Work was re-initiated on the Whiskey River Railway fleet, since I got a chance to get to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum's hobby store yesterday. Paint, another pair of Kadee's arch bar caboose trucks and some Squadron putty were purchased. But enough of the nonsense...

    The company's twin cabooses, C5 and C6, have finally gotten their full coat of red paint soon to be followed by a black roof. C2, the railroad's only bay window caboose, finally got it's window castings painted and are now installed on the car. Soon enough, all three cars will have a gloss coat applied, followed by decals, a dull coat and then final details.

    Also at the beginning of the week, I noticed on eBay there was a Model Power 50' coach up for grabs. I've been looking for one of these for a while now to model a Green Bay and Western 60' coach. The Model Power body is close, as it needs space for where the restroom is in the car's corner. I'm not a rivet counter by any means, but I do like things to appear authentic, so I'm going to fill in the last set of windows on the right side of the car. Attached is a pic of one of the prototype cars.


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  9. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Looking Good

    Hi Tyler,

    Your cabeese are turning out very nicely. I like the red color. Too bad we don't see cabeese on our modern prototype trains anymore.

    I need to check out the Tennessee Central museum and hobby shop some time. You have mentioned it several times and it has been probably 10 or more years since I last went by.

    I like your varnish project and I too have enjoyed using old prototype pictures to do some modeling.


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  10. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Looking good! I like the Cabeese. If I do my RR's rebuild, my cabeese will need some attention. As it is I have been using combines in place of cabeese perhaps 70% of the time probably more considering the two of my cabeese that get used the most are combine cabooses.

    Glad you found one of those coaches, as I didn't want to let go of my Southern coaches, as it doesn't look like they are importing them anymore.

    Bill Nelson
  11. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member


    Con-Cor now makes the coaches, but at $25 a pop for something that's not that unique is not within my budget. I'm still in disbelief that I conjured up one for $3! I don't think anyone else models Green Bay and Western in the late 30's in HO scale, so it looks like I'm a pioneer on this front. When I get more time, I'll dedicate a thread to the GBW #51.

  12. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I know they still produce the coaches, but they no longer letter them for the Southern. My original Southern interchange passenger train consisted of a con-cor baggage/rpo car and two coaches. Dr. Tom's southern interchange passenger train consisted of an rpo /baggage car and a coach. When Tom closed down his HO operations, I inherited his passenger cars and added them to mine, so I have two rpo/baggage cars and three coaches.

    Sadly they don't sell the passenger cars in Southern colors anymore, or I'd consider picking up another coach or two, and adding another southern passenger train to the interchange line up. one train with a rpo/ baggage car and three coaches, and another , perhaps a mixed train with a rpo/baggage car and one coach.

    of course until I start the planned rebuild of my RR, it is largely pointless, as I can't do trhough Southern passenger trains, and my Southern coaches and RPO/baggage cars live at the club.
  13. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

    I'm amazed, the wife has left me alone enough to accomplish quite a bit today. C1, the bay window caboose, finally has it's window castings in place and a gloss clear coat on it ready for decals. My twin cabeese (I should think of a nickname for the pair, the Soo Line had a pair of RS-27's they called the Dolly Sisters) got a coat of black on their roofs and underframes with new Kadee caboose trucks installed. #314, the company's shorty baggage car, got a black roof as well since I had the black paint out as well as my GB&W coach #51.


    PS- Did the twin girls from The Shining have a name (you know, "Come play with us")? Whatever their name/names are would be appropriate... being chopped up and all. :rolleyes:

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  14. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I like the bay windows. somewhere I have a boxcar caboose I started to put together around a mantua 1860's box car. I added bay windows, but made them too big. If I could find that, it might be worth a rebuild.

    Bill Nelson
  15. rowsdower

    rowsdower New Member

    I love the look and feel of these freelance short line railroads. Your work looks great and it makes me want to pull out my own short line project that's been gathering dust for a while. I'm tentatively calling it the "Foggy Bottom Railroad." I plan on making it a "general public" layout with lots of humorous scenes along the line.
  16. bob neill

    bob neill New Member

    What I like best about paper modeling is that if you have the model on your computer, you can print it any scale you like. Some times printing larger or smaller does not work nicely, but you have a plan you can start with.

    What I like best about model railroading is that whatever sparks your intrest is involved, scienery, model construction, operations, electronics, just running around a loop.
  17. bob neill

    bob neill New Member

    Seeing the name of your layout sparked an old search.

    A few years ago I inherited my fathers model railroad, unfortunetly, I never saw him working on it after 1950's. When looking through the trunk, I found paper box car sides printed for the "Firewater and Kicking Horse" with a bronco rider being thrown.

    After trying to find information on the cars name, I found that the Kicking Horse River is in Canada. Later I saw an add for a plastic box car to honor someone's layout.

    Alas, we have moved too many times since finding this important information. It is in a safe place where no one can touch it.

    Bob Neill
  18. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

    Rowsdower and Bob,

    Thanks for the kind words. I apologize that I haven't responded quicker, life got in the way with not only my truck being on the fritz but with work also.

    I was inspired to start the Whiskey River Railway after my uncle's 1:3 scale 16" gauge railroad of the same name in southern Wisconsin. I'm just pretending that it was a real railroad back in the mid 1930's-early 1940's, so I have a semi-fictional railroad some could say. The only thing I've done is change the numbering, quantity and gave a uniform paint scheme to the locomotives, give the railroad a herald and add a couple more stops along the way other than the roundhouse and the amusement park that the real deal travels to. The paint scheme and numbering/naming of the coaches will remain the same from real to model (or big model to little model, however you want to hash that). The big WRRy has no freight rolling stock, so I decided to incorporate paint schemes that many Midwestern railroads used in that era.

    My first conception of the little WRRy was to be the transition era (the mid 50's when diesel was replacing steam), which near the end of my tour through Korea I changed my mind when I seemed to be acquiring more steam locomotives than diesels. To reinforce the need for an all-steam roster, I turned back the clock to the mid 1930's to early 1940's. I also changed the time frame so I could model WW2 troop trains heading to the European front. As such a small railroad would do, they'd let the big guys test out the diesels to see if they're worth the hassle and cost of changing over or not. To me diesels are boring, and there is a certain romance you just don't get with a diesel. In example, the GN #400 "Hustle Muscle". Yes it may be the first production SD45, but to anyone who's not a SD45 or EMD aficionado it's pretty much just another diesel locomotive. That and since I can have whatever I want, I want an all-steam roster. :mrgreen:

    Also I remember seeing that Firewater and Kicking Horse boxcar before, maybe in "The Book" of the Gorre and Daphetid. Would love to see pics of those sides if you can find them.


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  19. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Tyler,

    Here is what showed up on a Google search:

    [​IMG]Notes: NMRA Heritage collection #8

    "Over sixty years ago, Gordon Varney founded a company that would make him a legend in the model railroad hobby. Working out of a house in Los Angeles, California, Varney Railroad Models began producing cardstock boxcar bodies. Within five years, Varney Scale Models had moved to Chicago and bought a factory. Over the next twenty years, Gordon and Florence Varney produced a wide variety of model railroad products that are still found on layouts around the country. Gordon Varney was one of the first inductees in the Model Railroad Industry Association Hall of Fame.

    In the summer of 1948, Gordon Varney introduced what could be called the original Heritage Collection, his "Commemorative Cars" series decorated for the private road names of his favorite model railroaders. One of the first cars produced in the series was a boxcar from Billings McArthur's HO scale Firewater & Kicking Horse Railroad. The Firewater & Kicking Horse boasted 700 feet of track, 167 cars and 14 locomotives, most scratch-built or made from what we today would call a craftsman kit." (Source: NMRA Bulletin; used with permission)

    Manufactured for the NMRA by Pacific Rail Shops.
    Product Type: Kit
    Road Name: Firewater & Kicking Horse
    Photographer: Wally Collins
    From the collection of: Wally Collins
    Year Manufactured:

    I hope this is helpful.

    Doc Tom:mrgreen::mrgreen:
  20. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

    Doc Tom,

    That's the one I was talking about! I'd like to get more of those unique private cars to add to my collection. Going off of memory I think I only have four private roadname cars, a 40' Zig Zag and Crooked Creek boxcar, a 36' Johnson and Big Beaver Valley boxcar, a 40' Gorre and Daphetid boxcar and a 34' Dead Grass, Crooked Creek and Western hopper. The first two cars I'd like to know who owned those lines as I found them on eBay.


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