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The Southern Pacific Clovis BranchThe Southern Pacific Railroad's
Clovis Branch, circa 1951

 

ABOUT MY RAILROAD...

My current layout represents the Southern Pacific Railroad’s Clovis Branch - a 24.5 mile branch line running from Fresno to Friant in southern California. The layout is HO scale, and set in the summer of 1951.

I started my version of The Clovis Branch in early 2018. I was unhappy with my previous layout for various reasons. While considering what I wanted in a model railway I decided I wanted to model something more manageable - both to build and to operate - while still taking advantage of my generous layout space.

While looking for a new prototype to pursue, I discussed several ideas with friends. One of them suggested I have a look at a book on the SP's Clovis Branch, “Serving the Golden Empire - Branch Line Style” by Joe Dale Morris.

Here, I found lots to love.

The Clovis Branch served many produce-packing houses, a couple of wineries, a large cotton cooperative, a quarry that supplied ballast to the railroad, and a variety of the typical customers found in any small town. Since I enjoy building rolling stock - so much so that I now run businesses building freight cars for others and manufacturing resin roling stock kits - a model of this branch would be the perfect setting for a variety of equipment. At the same time, the SP ran small steam on this branch - it was an ideal home for the 2-6-0s that crews liked to call the “Valley Malleys” - and my modest roster looks just right pulling modest, layout-friendly way-freights and produce extras.

The line itself offered a variety of modelling challenges, too - from vineyards and other farms, to a range of industrial, commercial, railroad and residential structures. There’s even a segment of in-street running as the railroad leaves Fresno, plus a connection with an interurban line (abandoned by my chosen era but resurrected on my layout).

The layout is up and running, and has proven to offer a variety of operation too. It works beautifully for solo operating sessions, which was a consideration given that I live a long way from most of my friends. But when we are able to get together, the layout also supports a “harvest season” session with multiple freights and 4-6 operators. Regardless of the number of people taking part, operating sessions are relaxing yet rewarding.

All in all, it’s been a terrific journey, and it keeps going.

The JD Morris book included enough track diagrams and photos to get me started with confidence. But I’ve learned a lot about the SP and the Clovis Branch since then. Unlike previous efforts, this layout combines a relaxed plan with a generous space, which has made it relatively easy to accommodate changes as I go about Serving the Golden Empire, Branch Line Style ...

Please visit often.

THE LATEST BLOG POST...

Stop the Presses

December 24th, 2023

 More like stop the model making.

Overnight it was pointed out to me that the domes on the winecar look out of proportion to the prototype photo.


And I realized that the individual was right.
The model domes are far too large.
I had been sent dimensions that are now clearly incorrect.
I had been told the domes were 48" in diameter, but I now believe that they are closer to 40".
An object lesson in tunnel vision. We were so excited to have figured out the underframe along with finding a feature in Solidworks that allowed us to make the dome collars in 5 minutes, that we didn't see what was right in front of our faces.

So it's a couple of steps back and try again
If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!



Things to look forward to in 2024

December 23rd, 2023

 2023 has been a good year.
The arrangement with Modelu has worked out very well, lots of people enjoying what are the finest figures on the market these days. We had a couple of minor glitches with the ordering process between myself and Modelu, but we've figured that all out now. I am astonished that some websites really don't like certain web-browsers. Add it to the list of things I don't understand.

We have a number of projects that we're working on which should be ready sometime in the coming year

Helium tank car


We've been working for a couple of years now on this, refining the etchings and the 3D printed pattern parts. It's now nearing the finish line.
The kit will consist of cast resin components, along with photoetched overlays and detail parts, and laser cut running boards. It will also include 3D printed 100 ton trucks. Some modeling skills will be required to build this model, but if we've done it right it will not be overwhelming.

Reading 50' stretched boxcars
These are a curious but seriously cool project. In the mid 60s, the Reading took their ACF built 40' boxcars and cut them apart and made them into 50' cars. They added 3 diagonal roof panels into the middle of the ACF proprietary roof, as well as side sill reinforcements and a couple of door sizes.



We're looking at 2-3 variants to offer of this car. One thing we're going to try, is to take a page from the military modeling world and create a paint mask for the Reading banner, rather than give the modeler and large awkward decal to wrestle with.

NYC lot 858

The only 40' cars built for the NYC that used the distinctive Despatch Shops roof and ends.
Inspired by an article Seth Lakin, we've created a one piece resin body casting for this kit and it will include all the usual etched details that you've come to expect from Yarmouth Model Works.
National Scale Car is working up the decals for us


Northern Pacific 90000 reefer

Working with Aaron Gjermundson, we're creating a all new one piece body kit for this wood sheathed reefer.
Along with resin body parts there will be the usual etched details and custom decals for this model



CNR wood sheathed reefer
Along the same lines of the NP reefer, we are working on a new one piece body for this car
Black decals will be part of this offering 


And the one I'm really excited about
GATC 6 compartment wine tankcar
With the help of Frank Hodina( who provided the type 30 bolster) and Ryan Mendell( machining genius) we are close to be ready to release this kit
A must have for anyone modeling traffic from California
We will be offering this kit with 3-4 different decal options



So lots going on, as well as other projects in the wings.
So my thanks to all who have supported me over the years.
We'll keep working on creating high quality resin kits for a few years yet to come
Enjoy your holidays and have a great 2024



Wow, just Wow

October 25th, 2023




 The custom painter we're using over in the UK, just sent me these photos of the work he's been doing for me, for customers who requested painted figures.

To say I'm pleased is an understatement






He even did plaid shirts!
Can't wait to see these in person


Couple of new things from Yarmouth Model Works

October 1st, 2023

 Continuing in the vein of supplying modelers with what is becoming hard to find these days, we have 2 new basic body shells for those kitbashing projects

https://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/B12PD


 https://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/B12PS


 Now available on the website for $25.00 each plus postage


Well that's a bit of an Ooooppps

September 25th, 2023

 

The launch of the Modelu figures has been very successful, particularly with the Test Track article in the latest Railroad Model Craftsman.
However, this morning, I discovered a rather serious booboo on the website.
The figure prices listed, show the British Pound value in USD.
So I will be spending a few hours fixing that error.
Not sure how that one got by us, but there you have it.


And we're live!

July 23rd, 2023

 The website for Modelu figures is now live and taking orders
https://ymw-modelu.com/

The site is not fully complete and there are items to be added. 
That will be tasks for the coming weeks
I will have a large selection of figures at the St Louis RPM next weekend as well.
See you there






New items in time for the St Louis RPM

July 1st, 2023

 It's been both frustrating and exciting in the YMW shops.

For reasons I won't go into, the website for the Modelu figures has been delayed many months. At this time I still don't know when the website will be active.
However I will have a selection of Modelu figures available for sale at the St Louis RPM at the end of this month.


In the good news department, we have 5 new kits that will be released at the St Louis RPM.
The first 3 were originally Sunshine Models kits that have been reworked. Made into one piece bodies and have had custom photoetch details created along with new running boards and all new decal artwork from National Scale Car.

YMW-137 SP B-50-12A

YMW-138 NYC 40' steel rebuild

YMW-139 NYC 1 1/2 door raised roof rebuild


And 2 all new resin kits. One piece resin cast bodies, custom etchings , TMW trucks and all new decal artwork from National Scale Car

YMW-140 Great Northern 50' rebuild single door

YMW-141 Great Northern 50' rebuild double door

Each kit will retail for $65.00 USD and will be available through the website shortly after the RPM

And as a wee bit of a teaser
Here's a shot of a project we've been working away on slowly for a couple of years now;

A helium tank car kit.
This has been a tricky project trying to get the details just right.
At this time we're looking at multimedia kit, pressure cast resin components, photoetch side sheets, laser cut running boards and 3D printed trucks.
No firm release date as yet, too many variables in the various supply chains, but I'm hoping early next year.

See you in St Louis!







Big news!

April 8th, 2023

 I'm thrilled to announce that Yarmouth Model Works will be the first "stockist" in North America to stock the Modelu line of figures
https://www.modelu3d.co.uk/

Initially I will be only stocking the North American figures, mostly in HO, but some O scale as well.
Everything in the product line can be ordered though



These are simply the nicest figures available today, which is why I decided to import them.
It will take a few weeks for the website to up and running, as well as for initial inventory to arrive from the UK.
Bookmark YMW-Modelu.com and checkin in a few weeks.


Let's talk about paint

April 8th, 2023

 As many of you know, I'm a big user of Scalecoat paint. Sadly, Minuteman Models, has closed his doors over the winter. So there ends that supply line. I have heard that someone is looking at purchasing the product line and rereleasing the paint into the market. Only time will tell if that comes to fruition.

I still have a large inventory of Scalecoat paint for my own uses, but I feel that I have to now look to alternative paints to recommend for use on future model kit releases. Not much point in suggesting something that maybe hard or impossible to source.

Fortunately, there are many options, and I'm going to list my favorites, but first lets quickly review what I won't use, knowing that your results may vary;
TruColor. Never, ever, ever again. I had a HUGE paint fail on a large number of cars I did for a client many years ago. This paint will not adhere properly to resin. Nuff said
Tamiya. I like Tamiya for scenery and structures, but I don't trust it on resin.
Most other acrylics. Most acrylics don't bond well to resin and early generations are tricky to work with.

Now to the paints I'm having good success with

AK Interactive Gen 3

These are the first acrylics I've worked with that didn't leave me swearing half way through the paint job. And the best part is, there's a great selection of red/browns. The consistency is constant from colour to colour.

AK RealColor

This is an Acrylic Lacquer. (The nuance is lost on me too) This is lovely paint to work worth. It handles very much like Floquil or Scalecoat. I make a point of thinning this with the brand name thinner. Saves a lot of potential grief

Mr Color

My new favorite paint. This stuff is a delight to work with. When combined with Mr Color leveling thinner, delightful results occur. And it is opaque, which can not be said for many acrylics these days. Some creativity maybe required to achieve some of the red/browns we desire, but it is well worth the effort.

All three of these paints dry relatively quickly. So no more waiting a week or more for Scalecoat to fully cure.
These paint lines can be found through hobby shops that cater more to the plastic modeler, but a trip into that realm is worth the effort just to see all the delightful tools and finishing products that are available.

It is well worth exploring these alternatives. There are alternatives to our old tried and true products, and you may discover some techniques.
Enjoy





The resin elves have been busy

February 10th, 2023

 Here it is
After many years of delay
The Soo Line 36' stock car


From a fabulous set of patterns by Aaron Gjermundson.
Pressure cast resin, injection molded sill steps, custom decals from Black Cat, custom etchings, laser cut running board, Tahoe Model Works Andrews truck frames and a tiny 3D printed brake staff support.

The kit will be on the website sometime next week, $60.00 USD plus postage.


Another Successful Binbrook RPM!

February 6th, 2023

 It's February, which means 2 critical things,
Winter is almost over
And it's time for the Binbrook RPM!
My friend (Hunter Hughson) celebrates his birthday by hosting a group of like minded modelers to his home for a day of trains, food, laughter and comradeship. And if you don't have to drive home that day, Bourbon sours!
This year was the first since the Covid changed our lives, which only made it even more special. Along with the usual suspects, we had people in from Atlantic Canada, Quebec City, and one stalwart pal all the way from North Dakota. So good to see our friends.
The icing on the cake was the next day the distant travelers made their way to St Thomas and we put the layout through it's paces.
My guests all thoroughly enjoyed the experience of operating the Clovis branch. I enjoyed watching the layout do what it was created to do.
Entertain my friends and guests for a few hours.
It's been a very trying year health wise, and certain issues persist, but watching 4 people so thoroughly derive pleasure from my layout lifted my spirits and allowed me to forget, briefly, about my trials.
Thanks guys for making the drive, and Hunter, we'll do it again next year.
This time with Ted and Aaron! And of course the man who designed the layout, Trevor.









New kits from Yarmouth Model Works, now ready for sale!

February 2nd, 2023

 The ongoing vagaries of supply chain issues delayed this release, but here we are;

New kits from Yarmouth Model Works.
We acquired the patterns and rights from Gene Fusco for the X79 boxcar and the G47 gondola. These HO scale kits are now available on our website
https://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/ResinModelKits/YMW-134-1

https://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/ResinModelKits/YMW-134-2

https://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/ResinModelKits/YMW-135-1

https://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/ResinModelKits/YMW-135-2

https://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/ResinModelKits/YMW-135-3

https://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/ResinModelKits/YMW-135-4





 

 

 


Another year over, so what's up for next year

December 31st, 2022

 It's been quite a year
Started with a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Which was taken care of in April, and my gratitude to the spectacular healthcare professionals that took care of me. I just had my 3rd PSA test post surgery and my levels remain "undetectable" which is brilliant.
I contracted Covid at the St Louis RPM. That was a fun 11 hour drive home feeling wretched.
The post infection symptoms linger still, but we persevere.

The results are that many projects have been delayed. Hard to model when you're laid up.
But new things are coming
The Penn Central G47 and the X79 are ready to go, just waiting on decals from Cartograph.We're supposed to see those in January
The pilot models are done, as you can see here

These 4 kits will be on the website as soon as the decals are in hand.

Also on the workbench

Finally, the pilot model for the Soo Line stock car.
A mere 10 years in the making.
Everything for this kit, but a couple of photoetchings, is in hand, castings is proceeding and hopefully by February, kits will be available on the website

The other fun thing being worked on is a trio of rebuilt boxcars.
I have a real soft spot for rebuilt boxcars, and the models I have coming, I hope will appeal to the community as well.
I'm not going to offer further details just yet, need to make a bit more progress.

So Happy New Year to all
Thanks for your support
Happy Modeling




Plan B for the X79 release

November 20th, 2022

 With global supply chains being what they are these days, our order of decals from Cartograph for the X79 and G47 models will likely not be in hand until the new year.
So
In a break with long held tradition, I will be making the X79 kit available without decals, and I will mail the decals to customers just as soon as I have them.
I will not be putting the kits on the website until I have the decals in hand, but you can order X79 kits from me directly.
Email me at pierre.oliver@elgincarshops.com with your order and I will send you a Paypal invoice.

The kits will retail for $70.00 USD plus postage. Single kit postage will be $13.00 USD
134.1 Penn Central version
134.2 ConRail version

The kit includes, one piece resin cast body, separate roof, correct truck frames, AB brake set, Kadee semi-scale couplers, and a new custom etched set for end ladders and other details.
Instructions will be emailed as PDFs, and will be on the website once the actual kits are listed

 


Ready for my decals, Mr DeMille

November 10th, 2022

 The 2 versions of the X79 pilot models are done.
Just waiting for the test run of decals to arrive and then the full order from Cartograph to arrive.


We're having some supply chain issues with the last parts for the G47 gondolas, but I'm ever hopeful I'll get those soon.
With any luck, both kits will be ready for sale in December



Well that got your attention

August 31st, 2022

 I'm delighted with the initial support and praise from the community regarding the acquisition of the X79 and G47 models
It bodes well for the future.
The G41 coil car will be considered if sales of the first 2 cars achieve a certain threshold.
This is not an inexpensive undertaking and with inflation and a potential recession I don't have a lot of room for uncertainty.
As far as the rest of the product line, covered hoppers, X58, etc, is concerned, I see no potential for that
The cars have either been offered in RTR or are about to be.
As always none of this happens without ongoing support from the modeling community and I thank you for your support


It's official!

August 29th, 2022

 Yarmouth Model Works has acquired the masters, artwork, and manufacturing rights for the Rail Yard Models X79 boxcar and the G47 gondola.




Work has already begun on recreating the decals and etchings, and new molds have been started
Exact release date is unknown at this time. But we're hoping within a few months
Be sure to tell your friends



New items from Yarmouth Model Works

July 21st, 2022

 Some new detail parts are now on the website and available for purchase

 http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/YMW-210


 

 http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/YMW-382

 http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/YMW-508

http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/YMW-218

http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/YMW-223
 
http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/YMW-225

 

http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/YMW-226

http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/YMW-227

http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/YMW-228


 
 
 


Ready for the St Louis RPM

July 15th, 2022

 Here are the 4 new kits that will be available at the St Louis RPM at the end of the month

YMW-131.1
39100-39199 single deck stock car
single deck, wood r/b, Duryea underframe

 YMW-131.2
39200-39399
single deck stock car
Single deck, Apex r/b, Duryea underframe

 YMW-131.3
36000-36099 Double deck car
Double deck, Wood r/b, Duryea underframe

YMW-131.4
36100-36199 Double deck stock car
Double deck, wood r/b, AAR underframe
The kits are pressure cast resin with etched, laser cut, 3D printed and plastic detail parts. Decals are custom decals from Black Cat Publishing, and TMW trucks are included
$65.00ea
They will be on the website hopefully by the end of the month


A major life decision

May 25th, 2022

 Nothing like a cancer diagnosis to get one to reappraise one's life direction.
At the beginning of the year I was diagnosed with Prostate cancer. 5 weeks ago I had robotic surgery to remove the offending bit. And all went very well. Almost fully recovered.
Massive thanks to all the medical people who were with me through the process. You guys are stars, all while in the middle of a 6th Covid wave.
A cancer diagnosis has a way of slamming home the point that this life adventure is very much finite.
As a result I have decided that I will be phasing out the custom building aspect of my business.
I have a ton of things I want to do for me
I will no longer be accepting new commissions effective immediately and hope to have the existing commissions done within a year.
Kits and detail parts will continue for the foreseeable future.

My thanks to all those who entrusted me with their resin kits over the years.
It has been fun, mostly. 😏


When it looks this good...

April 15th, 2022

 You just have to share.
These are photos of our Armour Reefer, just completed by George Toman.
What can I say? He makes me look good.
Great work bringing these to life George.
Thanks for sharing




This kit is still available, btw.


Progress on Tulare Ave

April 14th, 2022

 With prostate surgery looming next week, I've been focusing on the layout and some personal projects this week.
I've been able to make really good progress on the first row of houses along the north side of Tulare Ave.






While the houses are not "California" style, they fill in the space and help tell the story. Street running along Tulare Ave. Once fences, hedges and static grass goes, the space will be busy enough to distract from specifics.
There will be another row of houses on the other side of the street as well, and with that, the scene, which is the first thing you see when visiting will be quite striking.
The house colours were chosen from an neat online site I found showing 50s era house colours
5 of the houses are laser cut kits that were once offered by Southern Car & Foundry. They are some of the nicest designed house kits I've encountered. They went together like a dream and the architecture is stunning.
Bug Jon to get those back on the market.

With surgery next week, I will not be at the Indy RPM, but fully expect to be at the NE RPM and St Louis.
See you there


Some new stuff for spring

March 17th, 2022

 To complement the 10'0" IH and 10"6" IH boxcar shells we've recently released, we now have added 5 new ends.
They are;

YMW 2140, 4/5 W corner 10'0 IH http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/2140E

YMW-2142, 5/5 W corner 10'6"IHhttp://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/2142E

YMW-2144, 4/4 IDE 10'6" IH       http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/2144E

YMW-2137, 4/5 Sq corner 10'0" IH http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/2137E

YMW-2151, ACF Carbuilder 10'6"IHhttp://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/Products/2151E

All ends are $7.00 a pair and are now available

Soon we will be releasing a number of additions to our sill step offerings, 2 rung sill steps in a variety of configurations. Just waiting on supply chain issues to resolve themselves 




damn Bureaucrats

February 14th, 2022

 The following statement will soon be up on the Yarmouth Model Works website;

Due to changes at US Customs and Border Protection and Canada Post, we are no longer able to mail small parts orders as letter mail. As a result we have to implement a minimum order policy effective immediately.
Orders will now have to be have at least $40.00 before shipping costs are added.
I very much regret having to do this, but the government agencies leave me with no option.

Government sticking it to small business yet again.


Well that only took 2 years

February 8th, 2022

 It's been one of those on again, off again, on again, off again projects.
2 years ago, a client sent me 4 Mullett River Sacramento Northern caboose kits to finish for him.
3 had been started by a 3rd party, but I was tasked with finishing the first 3 and completely doing the 4th kit
Now I enjoy Mullett River O scale caboose kits, but as with all things, they have their challenges.


A few of the things to address
Draft gear mounting. There is no provision in the kits for mounting draft gear, so I cobbled up something to take the Protocraft scale couplers
End railings. The supplied parts did not reflect the tapered vertical stanchions used on the prototype, so cast parts were sourced and railings built up from there
End ladders. The supplied ladder stiles are not at all like the prototype, so custom etchings were done and 0.033 wire formed and soldered to the top of the stiles
Marker light brackets. No parts supplied so I cobbled up something out of styrene and modified some plastic marker lamps so that they can mounted on either end of the car
Lateral running boards at the cupola. Again the kit supplied parts were not reflective of the prototype so new ones were created.
Hand brake mounts had to be cobbled together from Precision Scale parts

Along with the fact that a few key parts were missing from the first 3 cabooses, which required sourcing from a few suppliers
All the windows have real glass panes installed
The client supplied very specific custom mixed colours for each car.
Now we're just waiting for some custom decals that are faded like the prototype and these babies can make their way home

Packing is going to be a tad tricky, but I have a few ideas...




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