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Monday, 20 July 2015

A Day At the Alberta Railway Museum - Part 1

July 1st, 2015 we had a chance to visit the Alberta Railway Museum. First we went through the open air museum, then we got a special behind the scenes tour.  So on behalf of Chinook & Hobby West, the Gale family and of course, the Alberta Railway Museum - enjoy!

What's greeting you at the beginning?

CP  GP30 - 1 of only 2 that CP owned this one is just a husk and very cool to see one live and not just in photos


Once we got into the park No. 73 was waiting to greet us. It's a NAR 2-8-0 Consolidation: missing a drive gear, but impressive sitting at the front of a boom car and bay window caboose.


The next on our tour was the NAR (Northern Alberta Railway) 40' Flanger (Val's fav).  #16601 built in 1914 by National Steel Car Company in Hamilton, ON.


The NAR Cook Car #17062. Built in 1917 - this 40' wood sheathed cook car was originally built as a box car and was converted in 1944 to a kitchen car.


Then we were distracted by  CN #9000 - Canadian Nationals very first F-3 delivered in 1948. For Canada Day it sported Canadian flags. It was the first run of the season. Followed by coaches that were in service until  1975. They're light weight coaches used for daytime commuters, back East.

On this run the conductor was Hans Huzinga. It was fascinating listening to all the history of the park and the different trains that he was sharing with us all.

The engineer was Graham Wood. He worked for CN as an engineer before retiring and volunteering to help run the #9000 at the Alberta Railway Museum.

The tail end brakeman for the day was Joel Mullan. He was great with the kids, encouraging them to come and try the whistle that was at the back of the car.

The ride itself takes you back and forth along a shortline. Graham, the engineer, made sure we had a smooth ride with no jolts, hesitations or bumps. He said 'the Old Lady needs to be treated gently so everyone can have a fun ride'.

On our short trip we pass by an old set of trucks and some prime movers that were donated to the museum by Northern Alberta Railway and Western CNR.

Our conductor shared how this shortline connected to the main line that was once used for runs to Lac La Biche.

As Hans shares all his wealth of knowledge the whistle blows twice.  Then as the train comes to a stop and then smoothly shifts to traveling in reverse, the whistle then blows three times.  Hans lets us know that when the train travels forward on a main line it blasts its whistle twice.  If it travels in reverse, that's three blasts.

After the train ride ends, we pull into the St. Albert station that houses a fun gift shop and the telegraph office which leads into a mini museum of the history of the telegraph.  Both are a must see before you leave this great museum.

After a couple of hours taking our time through all the wonderful pieces - all with differing degrees of restoration; we were given a behind the scenes look in the car sheds and engine shops.

But that's for next week.........

Come back and check out our next post and feel free to comment on this one.  Share thoughts, memories or what you may want to see.

Val & Rob

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Model Kit Building And Painting Tips And Tricks

Our staff here at Chinook & Hobby West have noticed many of the same questions from our beginner level model builders. We have done some research and pooled our own knowledge to share some tips and tricks to help you along your hobby adventure.

Please leave a comment below and let us know your tips, ideas or if this article helped you.
Enjoy and Happy Hobbying!

Building a Model
  1. You need a designated space such as a large table with good lighting.
  2. Read through the instructions a couple of times before you start.
  3. Cut, don't snap off, individual parts from the plastic sprues.
  4. Compare the parts included, to the list of parts in the instructions.
  5. Smooth the edges of parts using a sanding stick or file to remove nubs and excess plastic resulting from manufacturing, then wash them in a mild detergent and allow to dry. Make sure to use gentle pressure when sanding so you don't take too much off.
  6. Collect your tools.
  7. Follow the parts assembly sequence exactly. Be patient and don't jump ahead.
Extra Tips
-Use the minimum amount of glue necessary to make a solid bond. 
-Enhance your assembled model by filling in gaps with putty and carefully sanding the filled surface.

Come down and see us at Chinook & Hobby West or email us if you have any questions.

Painting Your Model
  1. Do some research if you're building a replica. Every era has incorporated its own style. A replica of a Cadillac painted pink would not be an accurate model of the original car but may be your vision of your dream car.
  2. If you can, find a modeler's club and learn hands-on tips from more experienced modelers. There are some great online forums on the internet.
  3. Plan your paint scheme if you're doing your own design. Write down the colours you're thinking about so you don't forget that vision.
  4. Work on a clean surface.
  5. Clean your model. Use rubbing alcohol or plastic prep and let the model dry thoroughly. This helps to remove all oil and any other contamination, including excess glue.
  6. Put the model or model part on a paint stand or on a drop cloth.
  7. Shake the spray can thoroughly to mix paint properly.
  8. Test the nozzle by spraying a piece of cardboard, such as the inside lid of your model box.
  9. Plan on multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat.
  10. Start spraying to one side of the model, stroke over the model, and spray past the model before you stop.  Keeping the spray about 6 to 8 inches away from the project.
Extra Tips 
-Aerosol spray paints are good, but you may want to invest in an airbrush as you grow in the hobby.  
-Bright, shiny finishes can be achieved by painting the desired color, letting the model dry, spraying with a clear coat, and then finishing with a buffing compound. 
-Complete the detail work as necessary with fine-tipped artist brushes.
-Use thinners for your type of paint (acrylic thinner for acrylic paint) when brush painting.
-Paint in a ventilated area. 
-Wear a painter's mask if you are sensitive to smells. 
-Many experienced modelers suggest using primers when painting.

We hope that these tips and tricks help you create a piece you can be proud of.  Remember to have patience, take your time and if you get frustrated, walk away (after you clean up). You can always go back to it later!
Please leave a comment and remember, these ideas are not finite; there are so many things to try and experiment with.  Have FUN!

These tips are suggestions and we are not responsible for damage or accidents that occur to your project.