Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

World War II Project, STuG Project - Two down, two to go

I'm calling these finished and I'm taking them to Reaper Con just to get some feedback on them. I'm pretty happy with them but I see some flaws too. I also wanted to get them looked at before I start throwing stowage on them.

I picked a specific unit for my Stugs; Sturmgeschutz-Brigade 341. Ut had a couple of unusual characteristics that I wanted to try and model and it would make them stand out on the game table from all the other Stugs out there.

First the maintenance crews modified the front skirt to make maintenance a little easier on the front drive sprocket. Second they welded plate over the gun mount to help keep debris from falling in and possibly fowling the movement of the gun. The third, which doesn't make much sense, is they bent the top of the skirts over towards the upper hull. Not sure what they were attempting to accomplish but its clearly visible in the pictures. My main reference for this was "STUG III & IV, German Army, Waffen-SS and Luftwaffe, Western Front, 1944-45" by Dennis Oliver and published by Tank Craft. The Tank Craft books are excellent. I found a number of other photos of Stugs from this unit which provided some other angles, most from "Sturmgeschutz on the Battlefield" I just don't remember which volume those picture were in.

Sturmgeschutz III ausf G, 2 battery, Sturmgeschutz-Brigade 341, France, summer 1944. 
Rats, I just noticed that I swapped the two interior skirts. I'll have to see if I can fix that.

Sturmgeschutz III ausf G, 3 battery, Sturmgeschutz-Brigade 341

Friday, August 26, 2022

Warehouse Row - The Wynkoop Street Bridge

There is a picture from the Cornell University Library in the US Railroad Commission photographs that shows a very busy section of Wynkoop Street where it crosses Cherry Creek on a skewed Pratt through Truss bridge that figured prominently in my decision to shift which railroad I was modeling and what location to use.

This is the photo, the original is black and white, I was trying out some colorizing software and there are a few odd color selections being made by the software (check the blue section in between the trusses at the end). I'm not sure exactly when the photo was taken but it can't be any later than 1960.

And here is the original

From a slightly different angle

This particular picture is what convinced me to shift from modeling the "Patch" district in LA to Warehouse row in Denver. Now admittedly I'm still clutching at a few straws around actual operations but I have the general area figured out pretty good, or at least I thought I did. I was in a D&RGW discussion group and it was noted that the bridge, apparently, doesn't show up on the listing of D&RGW steel bridges (I suppose I need to try and verify that).

Which also brought up the fact that crossing the bridge to the south actually takes you directly into the C&S' Rice Yard, although you can get to the D&RGW 7th street yard. So which railroad actually switched the area and who owned the bridge? And just to confuse the issue on an old Sanborn Map (1903) the trackage is listed as D&RG/UP trackage, so maybe the UP owns the bridge, although their yards were to the north so probably not. Yet another little mystery. I might have come full circle and need to model the C&S in the '50s and '60s.

Thanks to a couple of websites I at least know who built the bridge; The Pennsylvania Steel Company and it was built in 1907 (which is after the date on the Sanborn map, not really relevant except that this one must have replaced an iron bridge that existed previously since Sanborn indicates it is an iron bridge in 1903).

Photo by Bob Morgan 2/2009

Photo by Bob Morgan 2/2009

Thursday, August 25, 2022

World War II Project, STuG Project - Progress!

Its been ages, but I want to take one or both of these down to ReaperCon. I have been working on the lower hull and the tracks. I have been using a lot of pigments for this to add some texture and to work down into the tracks and wheels themselves. I'm actually pretty pleased with the progress at this point. 

I have started rusting up the mufflers as well and drilling out some stuff like the smoke grenade launchers and the tailpipes. Hoping to finish up the rusting on the mufflers today and then I can move on to the side skirts.

Hard to see, but weathering powder has been applied to the tracks

An in progress shot. One almost dry and one still wet.

Almost finished track and hull

Can't forget the front lower glacias!

Need to drill out those smoke grenade launchers

Friday, August 12, 2022

A little bit of progress on Warehouse Row


This project just meanders from place to place. Recently I have been trying to dive deeper into what the "job" was to move freight cars to and from the various "industries" that made up warehouse row in lower downtown Denver (before it became the LoDo special district). I reading through the book "Denver's Railroads" by Kenton Forrest & Charles Albi again and I found a couple of interesting entries in regards to local freights both in 1934 and 1980. That sent me down a bit or rabbit hole looking for numbered and scheduled freight trains.

My thinking was this would be the "magic" bullet I was looking for that would unleash a torrent of information. I spent a couple of days do some rather fruitless research and then thought about it again. Then it struck me, I shouldn't be looking for freights, the deliveries for warehouse row would have arrived in the yard (I suspect the Burnham yard but possibly the North yard depending on the date) and now it would be a "job" to deliver those freight cars.

I'm really looking for the switching job that worked that area of Denver. In ATSF parlance it would be assigned a Tag which defined the area. For instance when I was originally going to model "the Patch" in LA, that district was tag 22 and would further be broken down by time. Tag 122 would be morning, 222 would be afternoon and 322 would be night. I'm sure the D&RGW has something similar I just need to find it now.

I did acquire another book, that did at least answer a couple of my questions on possible motive power; "Trackside around Denver 1955 - 1979 with Jim Ozment" by Thomas Brunner. While a bit more encompassing than just the Denver area it did have some interesting pictures of motive power in the Burnham and North Yards. This is the switching power that I found:

Alco S2  photographed in the North Yard 1965

EMD SW1200 photographed in the North Yard 1965

Baldwin VO 660 photographed in the Burnham diesel house 1966

Alco RS3 photographed in the Burnham Yard 1964

GE 44 tonner photographed in the Burnham Yard 1964

Fairbanks Morse H10-44 photographed in the Burnham Yard 1967

At least there is some variety in the engines that might have pulled the duty for switching out warehouse row!

Now I just need to figure out how the switching jobs were designated.