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Saturday, 29 June 2013

Fun Facts About Canada & Canadian Trains

What Do We  Canadians Have To Be Proud Of ? 

1. Smarties, Crispy Crunch, Coffee Crisp
2. The size of our footballs fields, one less down, and bigger balls.
3. Baseball is Canadian - First game June 4, 1838 -    Ingersoll  ,  ON
 4. Lacrosse, Hockey, Basketball are Canadian
 5. Apple pie is Canadian
 6. Mr. Dress-up beats Mr. Rogers (ask you parents!)
 7. Tim Hortons beats Dunkin' Donuts
 8. In the war of 1812, started by America , Canadians pushed  the  Americans back past their White House. Then we burned it, and most of Washington .. We got bored because they ran away. Then, we came home and partied........ Go figure.
 9.  Canada has the largest French population that never surrendered to  Germany  .
10. We have the largest English population that never ever surrendered or withdrew during any war to anyone, anywhere. EVER. (We got clobbered in the odd battle but prevailed in ALL the wars)
 11. The only person who was arrested in our civil war was an American mercenary, he slept in and missed the whole thing. He showed up just in time to get caught.
 12. A Canadian invented Standard Time.
 13. The Hudsons Bay Company once owned over 10% of the earth's surface and is still around as the world's oldest company.
 14. The average dog sled team can kill and devour a full grown human in under 3 minutes.
 15. We invented ski-doos, jet-skis, Velcro, zippers, insulin, penicillin, Zambonis and the telephone. Also short wave radios that save countless lives each year.
 16. We ALL have frozen our tongues to something metal and lived to tell about it.
 17. A Canadian invented Superman.
18. We have coloured money.

Canadian Pacific 

Building a nation

Canadian Pacific Railway was formed to physically unite Canada and Canadians from coast to coast. Canada's confederation on July 1, 1867 brought four eastern provinces together to form a new country. As part of the deal, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were promised a railway to link them with the two Central Canadian provinces – Quebec and Ontario.
Manitoba joined confederation in 1870. British Columbia, on the west coast, was enticed to join the new confederation in 1871, but only with the promise that a transcontinental railway be built within 10 years to physically link east and west.
The railway's early construction was filled with controversy, toppling the Conservative government of John A. Macdonald in 1873 and forcing an election. By the time Macdonald was returned to power in 1878, the massive project was seriously behind schedule and in danger of stalling completely.
On October 21, 1880 a group of Scottish Canadian businessmen finally formed a viable syndicate to build a transcontinental railway. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company was incorporated February 16, 1881, with George Stephen as its first president.
The 1881 construction season was a bust and the railway's chief engineer and general superintendent were fired at the end of the season after building only 211 km (131 miles) of track. Syndicate member and director James Jerome Hill suggested William Cornelius Van Horne was the man who could get the job done.
A rising star in the U.S., Van Horne was lured with a sizeable salary to become CPR general manager and to oversee construction of the transcontinental railway over the Prairies and through the mountains.
Van Horne boasted he would build 800 km (500 miles) of main line railway in his first year. Floods delayed the start of the 1882 construction season, but at season's end, 673 km (418 miles) of main line and 177 km (110 miles) of branch line track-laying made the vision of a transcontinental link much more of a reality.
On Nov. 7, 1885, the eastern and western portions of the Canadian Pacific Railway met at Craigellachie, B.C., where Donald A. Smith drove the last spike. The cost of construction almost broke the syndicate, but within three years of the first transcontinental train leaving Montreal and Toronto for Port Moody on June 28, 1886, the railway's financial house was once again in order and CPR began paying dividends again.

Canadian National

 The Canadian National Railways (CNR) was incorporated on June 6, 1919, comprising several railways that had become bankrupt and fallen into federal government hands, along with some railways already owned by the government. On November 17, 1995, the federal government privatized CN. Over the next decade, the company expanded significantly into the United States, purchasing Illinois Central Railroad and Wisconsin Central Transportation, among others. Now primarily a freight railway, CN also operated passenger services until 1978, when they were assumed by Via Rail. The only passenger services run by CN after 1978 were several mixed trains (freight and passenger) in Newfoundland, and a couple of commuter trains on CN's electrified routes in the Montreal area. The Newfoundland mixed trains lasted until 1988, while the Montreal commuter trains are now operated by Montreal's AMT.

[edit]Creation of the company, 1918–1923

One of the early logos orheralds of the Canadian National Railways. It would later be replaced by the CN "worm" in 1960.
In response to public concerns fearing loss of key transportation links, the Government of Canada assumed majority ownership of the near bankrupt Canadian Northern Railway(CNoR) on September 6, 1918, and appointed a "Board of Management" to oversee the company. At the same time, CNoR was also directed to assume management ofCanadian Government Railways (CGR), a system comprising the Intercolonial Railway of Canada (IRC), National Transcontinental Railway (NTR), and the Prince Edward Island Railway (PEIR), among others. On December 20, 1918, the federal government created the Canadian National Railways (CNR) – a title only with no corporate powers – through a Queen's Privy Council for Canada Order in Council as a means to simplify the funding and operation of the various railway companies. The absorption of the Intercolonial Railway would see CNR adopt that system's slogan The People's Railway.
Another Canadian railway, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTPR), encountered financial difficulty on March 7, 1919, when its parent company Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) defaulted on repayment of construction loans to the federal government. The federal government's Department of Railways and Canals took over operation of the GTPR until July 12, 1920, when it too was placed under the CNR. The Canadian National Railway was organized on October 10, 1922.
Finally, the bankrupt GTR itself was placed under the care of a federal government "Board of Management" on May 21, 1920, while GTR management and shareholders opposed to nationalization took legal action. After several years of arbitration, the GTR was absorbed into CNR on January 30, 1923. In subsequent years, several smaller independent railways would be added to the CNR as they went bankrupt, or it became politically expedient to do so, however the system was more or less finalized following the addition of the GTR.
Canadian National Railways was born out of both wartime and domestic urgency. Railways, until the rise of the personal automobile and creation of taxpayer-funded all-weather highways, were the only viable long-distance land transportation available in Canada for many years. As such, their operation consumed a great deal of public and political attention. Many countries regard railway networks as critical infrastructure (even to this day) and at the time of the creation of CNR during the continuing threat of the First World War, Canada was not the only country to engage in railway nationalization.
In the early 20th century, many governments were taking a more interventionist role in the economy, foreshadowing the influence of economists like John Maynard Keynes. This political trend, combined with broader geo-political events, made nationalization an appealing choice for Canada. The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 and allied involvement in the Russian Revolution seemed to validate the continuing process. The need for a viable rail system was paramount in a time of civil unrest and foreign military intervention.

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Friday, 21 June 2013

Back Issues of The Chinook Breeze - Our Newsetter

We have enjoyed bringing you hobby tips, fun, product info and much more in our Ezine - The Chinook Breeze. This Online Newsletter has been a combined effort of staff and customers. We hope you will subscribe for future issues!

To sign up for our Collectors Club - Click Here

Past Issues (click on issue name to be directed to that publication)

June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013- Easter Edition
March 2013 - Model Railroading Edition
March 2013 - Models/Toys Edition
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
Older issues were in a different format and can be emailed upon request.

Please comment on this post, we would love to hear from you and what you think.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Ideas for Cleaning Action Figures

From time to time we like to share articles from others that you may find interesting.
Please leave a comment on this article as to if it was helpful or not.


So, how does one clean a Joe? Try an old, softened toothbrush and Soft Scrub cleanser. It works miracles, and won't damage the paint if you scrub lightly. Avoid A brushing the hair, of course. -- Derryl D. DePriest

I have found that Formula 409 works very well for cleaning plastic pieces. I have also used some something called "Purple Plus Super Stuff" for cleaning pieces that are very dirty and/or stained. You can probably find it at a hardware store. It is similar to "Simple Green" which would probably work just as well. -- Chad Reed

I always do all of my Joe repair near my kitchen sink. Have paper towels and water handy at all times. I also use a toothbrush and a plastic surfaced cleansing pad for the cleaning chores. These are non-abrasive to Joe's plastic. At the sink, I start by scrubbing him with a dish washing liquid like Ivory. If he's a painted hair-scrub him all over. If he's a fuzz head-skip the head for later. Rinse him with warm water. Next, repeat the process with Soft Scrub with Bleach-going easy on the head this time. At this stage it is especially good at cleaning the hands. It makes discolored Kung Fu Grip hands look human again. Warning: scrub gently as the fingers can break very easily. After you have scrubbed him thoroughly, rinse again in warm water. Dry him off with a towel and look at the head and face. Chances are he needs a closer cleaning there. Using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, scrub the face clean. Be sure to get behind those ears! Don't worry, unless he has been repainted with acrylics, his paint will stay put but go easy on those areas with anything stronger than dish soap. If he still needs a cleaning after that, try Formula 409 on a swab. Then, rinse the face with a wet cotton ball, removing all of the cleanser. A word about fuzzheads. I had always suggested keeping his hair dry during cleaning to avoid possible hair loss. However, a good friend of mine has had very good results by gently cleaning A.T. heads with a good quality shampoo. Finally, repeat the cleaning process with the dish washing liquid. This is an important step-it will remove any residue of the stronger cleaners which could later find their way on to uniforms. Now, rinse in warm water and dry him thoroughly. Chances are that his internal elastics have gotten wet during all this washing. You want him totally dry inside and out to avoid rusting and elastic rotting. Gently pull Joe apart at the waist and insert a pencil or chopstick between the two elastic pieces so that it keeps the torso and pelvis sections separated. Place him on a window sill in the sun or near (not on!) a radiator. Let Joe dry for at least 24 hours before you remove the pencil, checking to make sure the elastic feels dry to the touch. -- GITrooper

If you buy a set of steel armor from Cotswold, you'll have to deal with rust since it's not made from stainless steel. To keep it up, you could resort to the method that they used then - oil or continual buffing with beeswax polish. Once you've eliminated the rust (any automobile store will supply a good rust inhibitor) a good, thick coat of lacquer or polyurethane varnish should stop the rust for a couple of years. -- David Higson

CLR (known for a heavy duty cleaner that removes rust and water stains) has released a mild version that can be used on plastics, fiberglass ect. I wonder if it can be used to clean up older joes. I'm gonna give it a try on one of my vintage & I'll let you all know... -- Logoffsys

There are several products available that will help get rid of stains. I have had excellent results with Oxy 10 gel and Clearasil Maximum Strength vanishing cream. I use both. Some stains seem to respond better to one or the other - I don't know why. Use a toothpick to apply it directly to the area you want to treat. Leave on a sunny window sill if possible for 24-48 hours. Then check and see how it looks. The stain should be fading. If needed, repeat the process as many times as necessary. With patience, the stain will eventually go away, it might just take a while. There's no calling on this. Sometimes it takes one day, sometimes a month. There are some stains that will not respond to this treatment and that's when you might want to try a new product called Remove-Zit. This product is available at doll shows and directly through the manufacturer, Pine Tree Industries in Scarborough, Maine. I have had great results with this stuff on discolored heads. It works amazingly on the mold spots (the Oxy 10 and Clearasil don't seem to work on these). Be aware that the mold has already bleached the pink color out of the vinyl. So, you will be left with a slightly pale area where the spot was-but it beats green! It is very important that you read all the instructions that come with this product. Do not get it on painted areas-you will lose the paint in those areas. I have also found that sealing in a tupperware container and heat (sunny window sill or above a turned on table lamp bulb perched in the shade supports) seems to help speed up the process. Remember that all of these products contain strong chemicals that will react in some way with the vinyl. In the case of the acne creams, peroxide (a bleaching agent) is the active ingredient. The Remove-Zit works to change the chemical properties of the stain itself. Use these products with care and check the results frequently! On most stains, they will work eventually. -- GITrooper

A fellow collector friend of mine uses javex diluted with water and a q-tip. to clean stains off of deep sea diver suits . He has had good results with this method. -- Robert Hall

My 30th anniversary Joe's wet suit headpiece melted where his chain was around his neck. I used nail polish remover to get this black tar goo off. The only problem is that one has be careful not to use it on a painted area as it will take the paint off as well. It worked great on his neck, throat and chest. I am still working on the part on the back of his head (painted area). -- Robert

If you have a Joe with a melted scuba suit adhering to his body, some of the suit may be loose. Peel or flake off as much as you can. Now get out the rubber gloves. Put him in a covered roaster pan or other covered pan and coat him liberally with Easy-Off Oven Cleaning gel or foam. Cover the pan. Leave him for at least 24 hours. The rubber is an organic compound and will be broken down by the oven cleaner. The scuba suit should be easily removed with a little effort. Some of it will practically slide off and other spots may need a little scraping with a dull knife (be careful not to scratch the body plastic). Again, patience is the key here. When you have finished removing all of the old rubber, clean him thoroughly. -- GITrooper

Here is the link we found these ideas:
Chinook & Hobby West has not tried some of these methods, they are suggestions only. Chinook & Hobby West is not responsible for items that get damaged using these methods.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Thompson River Route Blog 5

It has been quite some time since my last blog and the layout hasn't had many updates either. There is, however, enough to continue where I had left off. In this issue I will be discussing track weathering, the new- but no longer a town section, and wrapping up with a description of my simple signaling project.  

With all the ballasting work complete and glued down solid and the rails painted, weathering can begin. To weather the track I have used powdered chalks. These will go on light enough per swipe that they can be easily worked to get the right look. I start with powdered charcoal (black), applying streaks parallel to the rails to replicate oil drippings.

 Next, I use powdered rust to run along either side of the rails. The pure rust colour is rather intense compared to most of the colouring seen around the prototype, which is why I only apply it beside the rails where the effect should be heaviest. The track almost always has a coating of rusted steel dust (assuming that is what it is) which is not quite as bright as the pure rust colour, to fix this I mix the rust colour with some brown and tan powders. 

Once I’m happy with the shade of dust (by testing it on a hidden section of track) I will dust it between and on either side of the rails. The dust should spread out just past the ties and settles rather evenly all along. The dust should not create a clear line on the edges though, it should only be lightly applied so that the transition between ballast and dust is smooth. That’s the extent of my weathering, not an awful lot to it but it adds a nice touch to the realism. 

Next I would like to talk about my new development which sits past the east end of the tunnels. I was originally planning to place a small town in this area, however, I changed my mind after viewing some other mountain layouts. They made me realize I need some more dynamic landscape to go with the mountains right next to it. There wasn't a lot of space for large hills but there was enough to raise up from the bottom level to the top level seamlessly. Plus I now had a remote helper station at the bottom of either grade, perfect for operations.

 I started out with some old hill pieces I had laying around, cutting them and gluing them into place. I then filled in the openings with thick packaging paper which will eventually be coated in plaster and painted to match the existing pieces. It is still in rough stages but has a nice look to it with the sheds and helpers sitting aside with some trees and steep grassy hills behind. 

The last point to be discussed in this issue is the signals on my layout. At the moment I have seven signals automatically controlling the junction which either bypasses the mountain route or heads down one of the grades. The signals are mainly scratch built, made to resemble typical CPR signals. 

To automate them, I have taken the easy way out for the time being. I have taken advantage of a Circuitron road intersection signal system. This board has outputs for two directions, just enough for a simple intersection. The timings between light changes can be easily changed, and the yellow light outputs can be used as another route separate to the red and green outputs. I wired it so that there is four points which can get clearance over the others. I wired the less used directions into the shorter length yellow output, and then used the other two sets of red/green outputs. 

The key to this wiring layout was to not think of the red/yellow/green outputs as colours corresponding to the signals, but rather as outputs that will turn on and off automatically. This little board can control a good number of LED signals, so I didn’t stop at the main junction signals, I added some intermediate signals which copy what is displayed ahead of them. 

Now, while this is not a detection based signal system, it is a nice way to make the signals change on their own and add some interest to your layout. In an operations sense, my layout will likely only ever see one operator so detection signaling is not necessary, these automated signals allow me to have to watch the signals and occasionally stop for a signal. It is a cheap and easy way to add a little more excitement to your layout. 

That concludes the fifth installment of the Thompson River route blog. There is not a lot left to do on the route with only one more tunnel to plaster, paint, and scenic. Beyond that I will complete the east hill section and helper station. There will be a blog showing the completion of this project with some good train action along the way. ~~Tyler Fedoroshyn

Thursday, 6 June 2013

What's Going On At Chinook & Hobby West in June 2013?

We have many things going on this month. 

  • Our Store hours changed in May 2013 for the summer

    • We just released our June issue of The Chinook Breeze (Click Here to read it!). 
    • There is a Learn to Decal class June 8 (Click Here to sign up)
    • Tomorrow is the next installment of Tyler's Blog on the progress of his layout
    • Father's Day Contest (Click Here to Enter)
    • We have NEW Product Lines: Rozzers, Techtronics, Remote Control
    • Our North location is having a Gigantic G Scale Sale! All G Scale is 25% off 
    • We have a couple large train collections coming in mid-June
    • And So Much More!
    Make sure to Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, Check us out on Pinterest, Bookmark our Blog, and of course Visit our Website often so you don't miss out on What's Happening at Chinook & Hobby West.

    Thank you for reading and following our blog and we hope to hear from you, or better yet, See You Soon!