Returning to the plan

It’s been a busy few months here. I’m just now returning to work on the Wheeling Freight Terminal layout. In addition to moving the final household items in late June, my wife and I welcomed our three kids to the El Paso region. They didn’t all stay at the same time but buzzed in and out of town over most of July. It was great to entertain and show the kids our new home and region.

My hobby progress tends to ebb and flow through the year with summer usually being a slower time for any progress. I need to dust off the tools and the layout to see where I left off. Several boxes need to be unpacked and the shelves require some organization. A little spark can go a long way. There’s rarely a dull moment in this hobby.

Some thoughts on the Westerfield models line

I have re-posted a Westerfield resin freight car kit models guide as a blog page. The link for this is on the right side of the main blog page, just under the search box. You can also jump to it at the end of this post.

Before you check out the page, please note that I created this to guide my personal freight car fleet based upon the Westerfield line. I created a set of parameters a few years ago in order to determine Westerfield kits that were best for me to invest cash, and eventually, build time. Here are those parameters.

  • The setting is an eastern urban railroad prototype, circa 1926. When this was originally created, I was modeling a segment of the Wheeling & Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio. I hope to return to that inspiration on a future layout.
  • Freight car designs with a minimum of 8000 cars produced were highly considered, or if it was a distinctive car with several thousand produced, like the PRR X23.
  • If a freight car model is available as an injection molded plastic kit, then a Westerfield model would be dropped off of list consideration.

Setting parameters can help you focus on building a freight car fleet that will mesh with other components of your model railroad. Every layout will be different, so set your fleet needs accordingly and work from there.

With these thoughts in mind, enjoy your exploration of a quick guide to Westerfield Models for a 1920s model railroad.

Resin Freight Car kit builds; a few from Jim

End detail on one of Jim's recent resin kit builds.

My friend Jim has been busy building HO scale resin freight car kits in West Virginia. He recently sent several images and descriptions, so I’ll turn the blog over and share some of his work. Click on any image here to review a larger version.

Jim has a modeling focus set in 1952 and his freight car fleet is a bit different from my 1926 focus. I hope you enjoy this diversion.

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Resin Freight Car kit builds, part 4

All the parts and pieces for the next build!
All the parts and pieces for the next build!

After building six Funaro & Camerlengo HO scale scale resin freight car kits in three weeks, I thought it was time for something a little different. There have been a number of small companies making resin rolling stock kits over the years. Sunshine, Norwest, Sylvan, Westerfield, Speedwitch, Storzek, WrightTRAK, Smokey Mountain, and Southern Car & Foundry are some of the names that have produced a variety of resin rolling stock kits over the last few decades. I have kits from a few different producers, so it’ s time to try something different.

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Resin Freight Car kit builds, part 3

The temporary work bench.
The temporary work bench.

After building several resin freight car kits in about a month, I feel resin kit building requires the confidence to improvise. Not everything will fit perfectly. Some parts may be missing or damaged, and some steps take longer than others. I no longer expect a build to go smoothly and I try to break away every 30-45 minutes to clear my head.

I also try to have another project nearby that is not at the same stage as the main build. I may work on lateral running board detail for the previous build, prep and wash large parts for an upcoming build, or assemble sides and the ends of the next build. I may even take an email or a pudding break.

Did you get that? Not the pudding break part but that other stuff.

  • Work on small detail part
  • Work on large assembly
  • Take a break.

Any resin kit requires more attention and work than an Accurail, Athearn, or MDC kit. Staggering fine work with basic work and taking regular breaks can help move your builds along and reduce frustration levels. Do not expect to plow through a build in one sitting. Maybe I’ll get to that point, but right now I find it best for me to vary the tempo and take an intermission between songs.

Continue reading “Resin Freight Car kit builds, part 3”