I found these rubber brushes at Hobby Lobby recently and discovered they’re great for precise applications. They hold their shape but are quite flexible. I used the tapered flat brush to apply rust PanPastels to my joint bars. I read they also work great for applying pigments to handrails. I’m sure I’ll find many more uses for these versatile brushes.
70-ton Ballast Hoppers
In preparation for an upcoming article, I needed a fleet of 70-ton ballast hoppers. I had purchased kits for the hoppers along with some Shapeways ballast chutes, but there isn’t enough time to build the kits, so I decided to make an investment in Bowser’s models. The cars will need to be patched, beat up, and weathered, but I think they look great on their home siding. ;)
Milan Depot Build
I’ve started the Milan depot build. I’m taking the liberty and making both colors slightly richer as the prototype was too bright for my taste. I’m also changing some of the color combinations to make the depot look more like a true railroad depot (e.g., the doors will be white rather than red).
Before / After
My corn crib is completed. It was a lot of fun to build, weather, and detail. It will reside in a large cornfield in Milan along with some additional rusty machines, tall grass and weeds, and some rabbits.
Don’t throw away used X-acto blades. If they still have a tapered point, use them as a skewer for detail painting. Shown are two HO scale red-winged blackbirds in production.
Live and Learn
I’ve been learning a great deal about weathering over the last year. One important lesson is that a lot of weathering needs to be subtle, carefully applied (ie: take the time and enjoy the process), and that I should approach each project with an outline of what I want to achieve. Above is an example comparing a first attempt on the left, and the corrective result on the right. I applied what I thought were chipping effects much too heavy-handed and didn’t include any base grime. Crude would be the best way to describe the results. The example on the right shows much more subtle application of chipping around the edges and the inside surfaces, and an overall grime wash emphasizing some of the shadows. I chose to show this comparison in grayscale to illustrate that the tonal values are much more realistic. It’s not perfect, but I’m having fun learning.
If you know how I built my signature Rock River scene, the two lattice truss spans are held in place by four ceramic magnets for easy removal if necessary. The same approach will be used on the I-280 overpass. I need to have access to the eventual scenery under the bridge, and I discovered that the neodymium magnets I had on hand fit perfectly on top of the four main bridge shoes used on the piers. I’ll install some narrow tin on the underside of the bridge girders for the connection.
Salt Car Addition
The newest addition to the Milan fleet is this hard to find Farnhamwille Iowa hopper. I was lucky to run across this on one of the FB HO sale groups and snatched it up. This car will be added to the current two-car salt fleet. The proto photos above are the inspiration for weathering the hopper, although I don’t plan to completely cover the Farnhamville type on the model.
I consider myself a prototype modeler, but I also have proto-freelance interests. Because of this, I’ve developed a freelance railroad called the Paint Creek & Waterville. This fictitious line is based on a Milwaukee Road branch line that ran in northeast Iowa from the Mississippi River at Waukon Junction, up the steep scenic limestone foothills to the city of Waukon (abandoned in 1973). The branch followed a tributary called Paint Creek, and halfway up the line passed through a small town called Waterville – thus the name. Northeast Iowa is known for its idyllic trout streams, so it seemed only fitting to create a slogan for the line that was befitting – The Trout Route.
All this to say that I’m going to include a line side conveyor at the end of the Consumers Aggregate spur that PC&W hoppers will deliver salt for the local municipalities to pick up by truck. The conveyor is an exact model of a prototype in my home city of Ames, Iowa, and is offered by Miniprints.ca if anyone is interested. The hopper you see in the photo is under development and eventually will be quite rusted and nasty looking.
Update: I will be moving the conveyor to the Turnout Runaround for salt delivery and not at Consumers Aggregate.
Terribly Tall Tufts
I’ve been collecting scenery materials for a big push in layout development, and one of my newest purchases are very large grass tufts. Green Stuff World 22mm tufts are seriously tall and well put together. I wanted some uber high grass for certain scenes and these do not disappoint. I could not achieve such upright lengths with my static grass machine. Figure included for scale.
This blog chronicles my modeling adventures building the Milan Branch of the Iowa Interstate Railroad. I will also be posting about other modeling ideas and concepts that interest me, so feel free to comment. Thanks for visiting. Scott
Site powered by Weebly. Managed by pair Domains