Wednesday, August 5, 2020

A Night To Remember......A Special Thank You to all involved this past weekend.

Found by Glenn McKinnon, this is one of my favorite photos taken at the CLE grounds in front of the old grandstand and the old judges stand.

This is very close to the spot on the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition grounds where we held our free 130th anniversary bash this past Sunday, August 2nd 2020 with fabulous live music and a spectacular fireworks display with major sponsors Halfway Motors and others such as Rebel Spirit Band, Private Eyes Band, Pyro Boyz Fireworks, The United Commercial Travelers handling all the parking and security, Tbaytel, Java Hut, The Chronicle Journal and Al's Sewage.

As a member of the committee, myself and all the committee members with the CLE Board of Directors wish to thank all of our sponsors for their incredible support as well as all the volunteers who gave their time to help in any way possible including our kids count accepting donations. We couldn't have done this without all of you and we are so grateful for your participation in the best Covid-19 event held in Thunder Bay this year. We also want to thank all those who came to enjoy this event and honking their horns in appreciation of the bands playing. It will be an evening we will remember forever.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THIS AUGUST 2nd, 2020....rain date Aug. 3rd

MARK AUGUST 2nd ON YOUR CALENDAR......rain date August 3rd

The Canadian Lakehead Exhibition has announced the event of the year for 2020. This is the CLE's 130th Anniversary year and what a crazy year it has been. The CLE wanted to give something back to the public for all the years of support and hold this spectacular get together utilizing all the Covid-19 Rules and Regulations and approved by the Thunder Bay Health Unit. This free admission Celebration is proudly presented by Half-Way Motors, and with the support of other organizations and businesses we are able to hold this historic festivity.
Click on the poster to view it in its entirety, and feel free to right click on the poster, to save it and to share it. Tell everyone.
One final note - Donations in support of Our Kids Count will be gratefully accepted.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Winter 2020 Self Isolation 1:25 Scale Diorama Project with some Fort William and Port Arthur History

Finally after many months I've put together a completely different kind of post.  This is my COVID-19 isolation I don't have it, just being careful and smart.  We all know we're in this together and are trying to occupy our time doing what we enjoy the most.

Before I show you the project photos, there is a little history I want to talk about here.

Years back there used to be an oil refinery on McKellar Island that some of us may remember as The Husky Oil Refinery, but before that, and one of the photos will explain, the refinery was called Riverlake Oil Refinery.  There is history about that on the Internet, but the name that I was drawn to was Riverlake Oil, or "RO".  In the 1950's there was a sign in the pit area at the old Canadian Lakehead Exhibition race track that just read "RO".  Riverlake Oil was run by McEwen Fuels Petroleum Distributors in the 1950s until Riverlake was taken over by Husky.
This peaked my interest, and so I began a research project which culminated in building an old service station model in 1:25 scale of a Riverlake Oil station which actually never existed.
Interested yet?  Well, to add to the fictitious service station I also added a "What If" to the project.  "What if" the Lakehead Stock Car Club would have bought that old station and converted it into a LSCC Clubhouse.
So that's it.  Over the last 5 months I built the scale building and as many of the local race cars from the 1950s that would fit on the diorama.  There are quite a few photos and at the end there are pictures of the models by themselves with a corresponding photo of the real jalopy that raced here at the CLE in the 1950's.  I tried to create as much realism as possible.  A neighbor and good friend of mine Karl Schmidt supplied me with all the scale lumber that I needed, as he used to have a similar scale outside model railroad.

We start off with what I think are the most realistic two photos in the group, and the others photos are how the project was put together.  Also you can click on each picture in this entire post to enlarge screen size.
 All the posters and wall hangings are computer generated and miniaturized, and all the license plates are Ontario plates and all before 1956.

Here is a little write-up on the Riverlake - Husky thing that may be interesting to you, as well as all the appropriate logos.
This first photo shows the front of the RO service station with worn signage, including a nice old Ford V8 sign, some beat up old gas pumps, a coke machine and one guy carrying an old fuel container and another guy changing the tire on Tom Dow's car, as well as a local Bourke's Drug Store sign on the side of the building which looks painted and aged.  I tried to make everything look very busy.

Now back to basics - The initial construction was done using scale rough ceder lumber such as 2 x 4's 2  6's, beams and ship lap lumber.  The building was done first, then mounted on a base to do the scenery, using screened beach sand and other model railroad greenery, flowers weeds etc.

The first thing I totally completed right up to weathering was the outhouse.  It was a practice project that I started before I began the initial garage building.  To get the wood to instantly look old, I used a bottle of water with 1 tbsp of India ink.  after it dried it look just like barn board.

Here it's starting to look old.  The tiny hinges about 1/2 the size of my baby finger I found on Amazon and they actually came from shipped and about $5. for more than I needed.
This is the rear of the building with a little hatch to access the attic, and scrap-booking corrugated paper painted silver and weathered to look like a tin roof overhang.

Here's how the front looked with the weathered RO signs and the "new" Lakehead Stock Car Club sign.  No gas pumps were done yet.
The weathering was almost completed here and the wooden flooring is computer generated from real old flooring then printed out on satin photo paper.

Many things can't be bought or are too making this little pepsi cooler was the best way.  3 sides computer generated printed on photo paper then glued to a wooden block...pretty convincing I think.  LOL

Here, a two inch long Go Kart on a working stand....many of the stock car jockeys from the 1950s also raced their Go Karts at the Intercity Parking lot
Also I'm making little shelving, workbenches etc out of light balsa wood and trying to be creative with old paint cans and oil cans.  Also, a junkyard for the rear of the building made up of many old model car parts, glued together, rusted out and weathered.  You will see more when everything is installed in the Clubhouse.                                       

Tiny Go Kart on a work stand with a full size pencil beside it.
Here's a model of Don Marsh's car with a compressor and the finished shelf at the broken window.

Bench Detail is shown in these two next photos.  Much of the detail is available in different model kits but adding your own finer detail such as signage, fan belts, oil cans extra engines adds more and more to the detail.

Everything in model kits are basically just white, so everything has to be painted.  I use a huge lighted magnifying glass to the detail.
The Oxy-Acetylene tanks come in kits but have to be painted and detailed.  Fine red and green wire make the hoses.  The wood stove is made from a wooden ball and a pop cap plus small wood pieces and the chimney is a bendy straw.

This is the more detailed back of the building with everything now installed including the outhouse, signs, pop crates, trees bushes and even some racoons in the garbage cans.

These next two photos show the detail local Coca Cola generated and thinned out to tissue paper consistency.  Then glued to the shiplap.

This one shows some outside detail including a hydro meter and tap and garden hose.  The next few shows the interior in its final stages with everything in place.  Everything is glued in except the vehicles.  They can easily be changed around.

 There are a number of Ontario era perfect license plates on both of the doors that swing out like barn doors.

Here's a full overhead shot....

 These last three collage photographs show each of the models in 1:25 scale on either side of an actual photo of the real cars

I hope you enjoyed all the photographs.
Before ending this post, Rosemary and I would like to thank all our front line workers including both my daughters-in-law doing their best looking after all of us during these difficult times.  We must keep our social distancing to protect us and our loved ones during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Take good care of yourselves and anyone else that you can.  We WILL get through this together.  Dave