Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Weathering the RDCs

Leaving Rick alone with pastels is almost as bad as giving him paint!

Last year when I posted an RDC picture on the PRSL Historical Society site I got told that the RDCs were delivered with a dark blue undercarriage, not black (as if I could tell the difference). So today I pulled out the weathering powders and attempted to put a blur tinge to the black undercarriage. I cannot tell the difference in person but the camera picks up the blue (too light of a blue).

While I was at it I also added a grimy black to the fluting and darkened the fans on the ConCor units.

Monday, August 14, 2017

What do you do with a 90’ tree?

I have come to the conclusion that what trees look good to you depends on the area of the country you live in. I have seen folks rave about trees made from weeds and to me they still look like weeds with something stuck on them. But then I am from the Middle Atlantic region and when I look at a forested hillside I don’t see any branches I just see foliage. When I look up my street I see no branches, just the foliage. Therefore, anywhere other than up front, puff balls seems to do a better representation in my eyes (we are just talking my opinion here).  To other areas of the county I am sure the opposite choices are more appropriate

Wanting to experience it for myself, I figured I would try the other side of the fence. I got a Scenic Express starter set and went to work. Never again! Way too much work and mess! When I was done I had 30 larger trees and 30 low pieces I may be able to “plant” in other places. (Although I followed all the included instructions, I think spray painting the tree trunks would be better.)

I had a couple of 90’ trees. Where do you put a 90’ tree on an N scale layout without it looking out of place? (I trimmed it down to ~70’.)

The second issue I have with these trees is that in spite of extra long soakings and follow-up spritzing with matte medium, they are still fragile. I have a 12’x17’ layout that was designed for operations and it is relatively high (54”) so there is no way they will survive being in areas where the operators have to  manually throw Peco sprung switches (and there are 50+ of them on the layout). That in turn means they will have to be positioned father back on the layout (which sort of defeats the reason you go to all that trouble in the first place).

P.S. I still want to try one of M.C.’s wire oak trees. I am sure they will outlast any operator’s arm! J

Friday, August 11, 2017

Don't Let Rick Touch the Paint!

Although I can muck along and complete a lot of different types of projects, there are certain things you should not let me touch. Paint is one of those things.

Micro-Mark had a sale on Doc O'Brien's Weathering Powders and that sounded like a great idea. After all, you can wash powders off if you don't like the effect. How much trouble could I really get into especially with colors like "muddy red", "grimy black", and "grungy gray". There was one problem though - I am red-green colorblind!

Previously I had dulled all my equipment by grinding up charcoal and using it to remove the shine on the freight cars. It worked pretty well but didn't exactly stick really good. Doc's powders stick a little better but it is hard to get a grip on smooth plastic, especially the trucks. I found that if you add a little water the pigments become paint and stick to the trucks pretty well and the curved steam engines.

Sending photos to my operators, I learned that some of the trucks were too red and I will have to tone them down, I will find out during our September Op Session how the other efforts fared.  All the hopper and gondolas have been worked on and practically all the trucks. I need to get some pictures on how old tank cars weathered to do them.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Masonary Work & New Friends

I decided to finally get around to put some masonary walls into some long bare locations. (I did have some issues where clearance spaces were compromised.)

I used a Chooch peel & stick "8260 Small Cut Stone Wall" (and still need to do some trimming). Here are some before and after photos:

I managed to hook up with a new friend from England. He was looking for an NS Southern heritage locomotive and I am in desperate need of thinning my collection (anyone for an extra 200 MicroTrain freight cars?  :-) ).

Andy also has a You Tube channel on his Montrose & Highland Railroad (39 episodes). It is fascinating to watch a railroad go from its early stages to finishing touches.