Starting a fleet of Semi’s Big trucks

Starting a fleet of Semi’s Big trucks and trains just go together on industrial layout building truck kits from George Barrett of Sheepscot Scale Models A couple of the trucks in this scene are Freightliners by Athearn Several trucks are needed to compliment a “Truck Stop” scene now in the planning stages. We will show you how to make a highway scene along old route US 66 with our scenery products. For now, the tractors are lined up waiting for their load assignments at the Santa Fe Piggy Back terminal. The scene now has tractors from the ’50s/60’s era with more to come. This Piggy Back facility is a model of a Santa Fe operation in Wichita Kansas as an experiment of loading and hauling truck trailers on flat cars. My model was built from an article in a Kalmbach book, called “Bridges and Buildings” published in 1973.

When I was shopping for semi-trucks for the layout there weren’t any old Kenworths or Peterbuilts to be found. The truck below is one I had for several decades so I know they existed as models in the past. This is an Ulrich Kenworth model not available anymore. I cleaned it up and applied new paint and then added the “West Coast” mirrors and other details. The truck featured below is the same kind that the modeler had in his pictures in the Bridges and Buildings article mentioned above. At left is an Ulrich cab over with sleeper metal die-cast kit that is easy to put together. The kit even includes a chain to hang from brackets on the fuel tank.

Two International “High Binders” from Sheepscot with sleeper cabs are set up with dual aluminum fuel tanks, West Coast mirrors, air filter, exhaust stack, fifth wheel, and mud flaps. I chose these models over some others because they’re designed as a western set up for long hauls that would be seen along Route 66. The green Highbinder was painted with a Floquile paint that looked like a flat finish, so I brushed on Floquile “Glaze” to shine it up.

A pair of Autocar three-axle tractors From Sheepscot Models. Two axle tractors would be more appropriate for the local delivery of these short trailers.

Classic Metal Works has ready to go models like this 1954 International R-190 two-axle tractor for only $11.00 as an easy way to go.

Semi-trucks in town the weekend of April 24th to 27th, we were in Winslow AZ for a holiday and train show. Saturday noon, the Interstate was closed west of town as a result of a massive dust storm in the area of Tucker Flats. By mid-afternoon, a thousand trucks were waiting it out on the East side of town by the Flying J truck stop, and every vacant lot was packed. This allowed me to see how various truck equipment was set up. Flatbeds, vans, and Reefer trailers all had different requirements.

The other end of town has some new arrivals from Mini Metals except for the two Freightliner cabs. If the dust storm wasn’t bad enough, the diesel smoke from the semi’s was beginning to choke the town. I was never much of an International fan, but it came lettered with the “Navajo” trucking company name, so I bought it. The Navajo trucking company was a primary carrier in the Southwest in the 50′ and ’60s, and they’re still at it. I recall a lot of “White” tractors hauling freight like this 50’s model pulling the Del Monte covered gondola trailer. The Santa Fe trailers came as a pair, and the style is “Aero-Van” from the 50’s also with their 32-foot length. Theirs pulled with White/Freightliners, which was an invention of Consolidated Freight Ways; they just had White build them. By the early ’60s, there were hoards of them on the highways.

Creating the last of my semi truck fleet

Building the last of my semi truck fleet In the background are two trailers from Sheepscot Scale models. The Republic truck is made up of Sheepscot parts as well as the two REA trucks. On the highway are tractors from Sylvan Scale Models that finish up my truck project. This now gives me at least one each of the available truck types that were used in the 50, 60’s era.

WIRING A SCALE SHOPS TURNOUT MACHINE

SCALE SHOPS TURNOUT MACHINE

UNDER THE LAYOUT
12 TO 16 VOLTS AC FROM A POWER PACK OR RADIO SHACK #273-1352

10 OHM, 10 WATT CERAMIC RESISTOR RADIO SHACK #271-132

BUSS BAR TERMINAL STRIP FOR CONVENIENTLY ROUTING POWER TO OTHER MOTORS

CONTROL PANEL
SP DT TOGGLE SWITCH

2 DIODES Each pair of diodes are reversed and twisted together on one end where the wire from the power supply.

TURNOUT MOTOR
CONTAINS ALL PARTS FOR CIRCUIT

HOW THE CIRCUIT WORKS
The diodes rectify the AC into half wave pulse DC. The DC motor changes direction with the throw of the toggle switch because the diodes change the polarity. This means that the total circuit changes polarity with the throw of the toggle as the reversed diodes allow a path for either direction of current flow.

One wire runs from the 12 to 16-volt power supply to the control panel. Power will flow through one of the diodes and out the center post of the SP DT toggle switch. This wire connects to the two diodes twisted together at the turnout motor. One of the diodes will conduct to whichever set of points are closed. Now a path of the correct polarity will run the motor in the other direction. The motor circuit returns to the optional buss terminal strip, 10-ohm resistor, and another terminal on the power supply.

TEMPORARY SCENES KAIBAB NORTHERN RAILROAD

This is what happens when there isn’t space for a permanent layout. Several of the scenes shown on my web-site are built just for trying ideas. An instead beat up 35 MM Canon camera was fitted with a pinhole for this shot. Do you say too much light? It’s just the hot Arizona sun that makes everything burn.

 KAIBAB NORTHERN RAILROAD
KAIBAB NORTHERN RAILROAD

Texaco Station diorama

The Texaco Station diorama is mounted on a 1/4″ Masonite base, 11, 1/4″ X 9, 1/4″
Everything you see on this base is included. I moved the billboard to the left side as it gives more room for the outside work area on the right. Next to the building is an upholstered seat for the local loiterers to sit on, oil can display rack, barrel, tire leak checker tub, old ford truck, Ford V/8 flat head engine on pallet, compressed gas bottle, floor jack, air compressor, roll-a-way tool box, green barrel, silver barrel, couple tires and bottle container.

There is also a bell ringer hose for the island and a air meter with hose. The pump island also has a trash barrel. There is a hoop sign and fire hydrant at street side. The new owner may want a fence for the back an sides of the property to frame in the scene, I don’t have any of that right now. There are four sections of fence gates that are included.

I take a lot of time to weather a scene and building properly. This is how the Texaco station looked like when it was part of the O’Lary’s module. I cut them apart from each other as the scene would have been too large to ship as a whole unit. The Red Ford sedan is not included as you can buy your own from Mini Metals. The reason for this picture as most of the tall street sign shows up. I will remove this for shipping and you can stick it back on latter. Also what you get is the coal box and barrel on the left side in the structure.

THE SHELL GAS STATION

JL Innovative Design make this gas station kit that fits the era of my other structures on the layout. The kit makes a very small structure that can easily find room such as the space you see at left. I worked at two different Shell Stations while attending Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis MN back in the 60’s. Neither had a canopy over the islands, but both had several work bays with large windows such as this one. The back side has a single bay door for lube jobs and tire repair. I ordered some other detail parts from them and added a few of my own for this scene.

Tutorial on building scenery over the edge of the layout

I refer to it as “Dropped wandering edge. This system eliminates the traditional fascia board such as Masonite or paneling. I reserve this technique for the more scenic areas of the layout as I’m inherit lazy and want a life for other things. I’ve used this technique in various form all my life in different situations and include a drawing I made for an area I have yet to finish. We have always had a Rock Powder called Sedona Red #1040 and needed a scene showing how this products looks after applied.

If you don’t do western scenery, read the article anyway, as it can be used with other types of scenery also.

The Fast Mail is approaching the Red Rock country on a corner of the layout. The track ballast is #1152 Empire Builder on the slope of the roadbed with #1302 Northern Pacific around the ties.

“L” Girder benchwork This type of bench work was used as the track elevation is at an uphill grade and riser boards support the rough roadbed. Generally, the benchwork support boards are attached in a radial fashion for the purpose of attaching a fascia of plywood or Masonite. Instead, I cut 3/8 ” plywood to fit under the radial boards with an irregular radius o the outside.

Tools and materials


The motivation behind the project came from a picture of John Olson’s Mescal Lines that features similar Sandstone rock formations I intended on making. The “Hot Wire Foam Factory” is a “must” tool for cutting and shaping Styrofoam that doesn’t leave a mess of foam beads everywhere like when you cut it with a knife. I had accumulated a lot of 1 & 1/2 ” foam blocks that were packaging material. I never use glue when working with foam as it dries to slow, thus the bag of Plaster of Paris. Then a mixing bowl and a couple measuring cups and we’re ready to go.

Layout of the foam shapes


Before the plaster is mixed, several foam blocks a cut and ready to go. Notice that the track has been protected with newspaper and secured with masking tape.

Shaping the foam

The foam on the shelf has been set in a bed of plaster and has cured for a half hour before I tool it. The hot knife is really a thin rod that heats up to melt the foam. The tool has a temperature control that is set so it doesn’t smoke excessively yet still melts the foam.

Close up of tooling

Applying the Plaster of Paris

You can use a rubber glove for this, but the plaster has proved to be harmless to my hands when washed frequently. This process seals up any gaps between the foam blocks and leaves the surface with the right texture of sandstone.

Pigment added to the plaster

It dawned on me that some pigment should be added to the plaster, so I used our # 1420 Supai Red product. When all the plasterwork was finished, it was allowed to cure for several days before I brushed the entire rock formation with my Sedona Red Rock Powder mixed with white (or Carpenters) glue and water. If you apply over green plaster, the paint won’t stick or cover very well.

Second layer of Styrofoam rock

I didn’t show you the second layer of rock being installed, but you can see it in the foreground picture.

Sketching a scenery plan

The drawing doesn’t need any explanation other than the scenery looks thicker and ideal for low angle pictures of your trains that aren’t spoiled by a fascia in the scene. This drawing was not intended for publication as the pencil lines are very light.

L.C.L. Freight House

This is one of the easiest kits you could build for a little train action. One could even scratch build it for a few bucks even if you have to buy the scribed siding material. The sand road is a blend of 3/5 th’s #1151 Basalt, 1/5 th of #1031 Black cinder and 1/5 th #1011 Red Cinder. This blend looks very close to the mining stamp sand used all around Calumet Michigan.

SAEZ SASH & DOOR Kits 416 & 417

Saez Sash and Door 416-417 are where the lumber was cut, stored, and dried. It really catches your attention. This craftsman kit consists of scale lumber (sugar pine) and is ready for paint and weatherizing. Complete instructions, drawings, and templates are included. This is a laser-cut kit. Campbell Scale Models

These Campbell Scale Models structures were unfinished for a couple of years, so I recently installed the windows and doors. The complete scene for this industry consists of these two kits. These two kits are featured in Great Model Railroads (page 77) and built by Gerry Leone, which inspired me to finish mine. The siding was very dark and shiny, so I rubbed some of it away with a stiff brush and lacquer thinner. Some white was added and then disbursed with the same treatment. The pasted on signs are from A.I.M. and are pre-weathered and faded like you see and match the age of my models. The scene is at the edge of town where the pavement ends.

If I were to take a picture from this angle, what kind of details would look good in the scene? I discovered that brown paper shopping bags are suitable for representing cardboard as you see on the ground. Narrow strips of black paper look like band iron. #4 yellow grass and some planks across the tracks. A shovel near the green trash container and a workman on the lumber loft. Pallets, barrels, old tire, and ladder on the ground with a steer eating grass.

SAEZ SASH & DOOR Kits 416 & 417
SAEZ SASH & DOOR Kits 416 & 417

Other Articles

OPERATING RPO CARS

First class trains do very little work on the layout other than run interference to the freight trains or have quick station stops. You can add extra chores such as switching out diners, coaches, sleepers and RPO cars at various locations. I have added an extra element of excitment by perfecting action of catching a mail bag on the fly. It took a little trial by error to make this happen.

 On our Railroad, the station agent is responsible to get the mail sack positioned on the crane. The fellow on the right is checking his watch for the expected arrival of the East Bound Fast Mail.
On our Railroad, the station agent is responsible to get the mail sack positioned on the crane. The fellow on the right is checking his watch for the expected arrival of the East Bound Fast Mail.
 The mail crane is swung out into position for the "catch".
The mail crane is swung out into position for the “catch”.
 The catching hook is hanging down when not being used as the prototype ( you don't want to snag tunnel portals, bridges and other object close to track side).
The catching hook is hanging down when not being used as the prototype ( you don’t want to snag tunnel portals, bridges and other object close to track side).
 In our case, the hook is raised manually when the train is stopped at some location (station stop town or crew change). The hook is designed to stay up when you lift it up and move it ahead a fraction on an inch. The forward tip of the arm has the tip bent up and locks into another pin bent over and attached to the car body to receive it.
In our case, the hook is raised manually when the train is stopped at some location (station stop town or crew change). The hook is designed to stay up when you lift it up and move it ahead a fraction on an inch. The forward tip of the arm has the tip bent up and locks into another pin bent over and attached to the car body to receive it.
 The magnetic bag stays on the steel pin without falling off. When I do this at speed, the hook will slide back that fraction on an inch and the hook will fall down.
The magnetic bag stays on the steel pin without falling off. When I do this at speed, the hook will slide back that fraction on an inch and the hook will fall down.
 This is how it looks when the hook falls down. Not to far down the line, someone in your train crew has to remove the mail bag so it doesn't snag objects close to the right of way. Where will that bag be placed? See that open door on the next car back! I plan to have a bag kicker that will toss the bag on the platform near the mail crane. After all, mail is received and picked up at each location. It only requires two mail bags to keep this cycle going.
This is how it looks when the hook falls down. Not to far down the line, someone in your train crew has to remove the mail bag so it doesn’t snag objects close to the right of way. Where will that bag be placed? See that open door on the next car back! I plan to have a bag kicker that will toss the bag on the platform near the mail crane. After all, mail is received and picked up at each location. It only requires two mail bags to keep this cycle going.