Friday, November 23, 2012

Skally Hoppers

While not as flashy as the SCXY 50001, more SCXY hoppers are making their way onto the line. I've started recreating some of the Ex-SOO hoppers in service right now. I started with SCXY 50662. I used a MTL SOO Hopper, added ACI plates, patched it, weathered it with a light grey wash and a roof brown wash on the underside and walkways. I hit the sides with a light dusting of Tamiya chalks before sealing with Dullcoat. I painted some FVM metal wheels roof brown in my Minuteman Jig, installed and checked them for proper width. Check it out...
I did omit the graffiti for now. I may put a more PG version of the sill graffiti on at some point

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Something to be thankful for...

I was out this morning shooting just North of Rush City and I heard the telltale signs of Geeps in the distance. I tracked the sound to SCXY GP8 #1352 and ILSX GP10 #1345. The duo were hard at work running a cut of Durum Wheat cars towards the Horizon Mill. I chased the duo down for some shots.
I honestly don't remember when I started this build. I know it became a mental block for me because I wanted the engine to be "just right". The Skally Geeps are the centerpoint of the Skally Line after all. Last week my friend HK offered up some motivational help in the way of a build day. We sit down, shoot the breeze and get stuff done on our engines. Knowing the build day was coming, I spent a few hours finalizing details and reshooting paint (my first try at the yellow wasn't bright enough). I used a JnJ Horst air filter, I built my own spark arrestors, BLMA wipers, cut levers, grab irons, lift rings, mu cables, a MbE airhorn, a Sandro Sincair antenna, the plows and bell are Atlas. The plow grabs are bent .010" wire. The decals are custom.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rush City Redo: W 1st St.

My Rush City modules have finally made it home after travel to a few train shows around the Midwest. I figured this homecoming was a good reason to start working on finishing the scenes.

W 1st St. in Rush City ran through once upon a time, but not these days. I figured adding this element would break up one end of the modules without having to go through all the work of building a grade crossing.

I started with the grade built up a little with some thin cork sheeting.
 Next I sprayed up some styrene sheeting. I start with black and then weather it with some grey.
 I add shoulders made from WS brown ballast, a Blair Lines "Road Closed" sign and the start of the shrubs.
I added trees to frame the scene. I will continue the tree line both directions later. A quick 20 trees was enough for today. Next time I have the modules out in the garage I will shoot them with another coat of grey. This makes the blacktop look older and blends the shoulder gravel in.

A fortunate railfan catches ILSX 1344 running south into town...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cool Tool

I haven't too often commented on a particular tool or whatnot that I really liked but this one I thought was worth it. Recently I purchased an N Scale 33" Wheel Weathering Jig made by Minuteman Scale Models. It came and I just had to tighten a couple of screws and it was good to go. I did use a couple of rubber bands just to make sure the wheels were held in place snugly (anyone who has ever chased an N Scale wheelset across the floor will understand this precaution). I loaded the jig full of axles an sprayed away with the PollyScale Roof Brown.
I like to photograph my trains from a low angle. The wheels are often visible. I used to use a micro brush and paint each wheel face individually. I like this jig because it allows me to paint the backs of the wheels and the axles as well. I think this will help the overall image I am going for with my models and my photography. The jig was an inexpensive tool that I think will be a huge time saver in the long run. I hope to post more weathered rolling stock photos soon...