Saturday, December 8, 2018

Back in the saddle again

It's been awhile since I've posted anything.
I've been rather busy with work outside of the basement since the Chicagoland RPM, and I don't bounce back from 20 hour work days like I used to.
Add in a little bit of modeling burnout and it's hard to get anything done.
However I can now report that I have been making progress on quite a few projects in the last few weeks.
I finally got the weathering done on these 2 brass cars for a client.

They'll go out in the mail on Monday.

After a delay in getting the decals, both of these new kits from Yarmouth Model Works are finally done.
This will be YMW-107.1. Rebuilt '37 AAR 40' boxcars. Virtually all of the NP fleet of '37 AAR cars were rebuilt with continuous side sills starting in 1957. This will be the first kit to reflect this prototype.

Next is the D&H 40' 50 ton Oneonta built boxcars.
These unique cars were shop built by the D&H, with the signature double weld beads. An attempt to solve the "oil canning" that welded cars experienced, which didn't quite work out.
This kit will include 3 decal variations
After careful consideration, I have decided to go the Prototype Rails RPM, in Cocoa Beach this coming January and it is at that event I'll be releasing the D&H kit.

And I've managed to get work done on the layout as well!

At this time some 2/3rds of the rail for the town of Friant is spiked down. With any luck I should have all of it in place by next weekend and then I can wire it and run some trains ffrom Clovis to Friant.
The turntable of course requires assembly, along with all the little tasks that make up layout construction.
And speaking of next weekend, the middle peninsula that hosted the old St Thomas yard is now ready for the Gang of Four who  will be visiting next Saturday to help me with the last of the heavy work in removing the old layout.
The backdrop will come out, along with all the foam, all the Homasote, etc.
The actual benchwork remains in place and then we can determine actual track alignment for East Fresno,  Maltermoro, Las Palmas and Tarpey.
This is going to be fun, and just before Xmas!
And , finally I've been preparing for yet another foray into the Trainmasters TV studio, just before Xmas.
If you've not yet had a look at Trainmasters TV, give it a try. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
Okay, back to work for this guy!

Monday, October 22, 2018

If you couldn't make to this year's RPM in Chicagoland...

A- You missed a great RPM! Thanks to Mike and the gang for making it happen.

B- The new kits from Yarmouth Model Works are now on the website

Sunday, October 14, 2018

A sure sign of progress

Trains that move!
After a little crawling under the layout routing wires ,etc, we have actual working trains, with no electrical gremlins!
Feeling rather pleased.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

And one more

Just under the wire for next weekend
I'm pretty certain that this particular car has not been offered before, particularly with this level of detail.
CNR 10'6" IH AAR 40' boxcar, with NSC-3 ends and PS-1 roof.
The kit features all the things you've come to expect from Yarmouth Model Works. One piece resin cast body, custom etchings, Black Cat decals, our own etched Apex running board, etc.
And as a first, we're now including Smoky Mountain HO resin cast draft gear boxes.
The kit will be for sale, first at the Chicagoland RPM and then online. The kits will go online right after the RPM.
$60.00 USD plus shipping

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Well that's 3

Pilot models ready for Chicagoland!
Still waiting on delivery of resin castings and other pesky details, but confidence is high.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

I'd like to change my tune a little

For years now I've said that while some swear by acrylics, I swear at them.
I'd like to say now that in some circumstances that is no longer the case.
In the last year or so, I've come to use certain acrylic paints more and more, with more and more success.
Take this fence for example;
With a base coat of woodish tan, a white top coat and a black wash for weathering, this fencing would have taken days to be ready to install.
Instead I used Tamiya Wooden Deck Tan as a base, and Flat White over top.
The acrylics dry so quickly that I could paint all the fence panels with the base and then come back immediately and overspray with the white, mind you I have 16 actual feet of this fencing. It's the Central Valley wooden board fencing, btw.
A quick wash with india ink in alcohol and the fences are ready to install.
I'll be using more acrylics as work on the layout progresses, but I'm still not ready to use them on resin.

Well that's one done!

Pilot model for the 25th anniversary freight car kit is finally done!
10 of this design were built by AC&F to replace cars that were wrecked.
The kits will be for sale at the Chicagoland RPM next month.
We're still working on
AC&F built boxcar for C&EI
AC&F built boxcar for M-K-T
D&H Oneonta kit boxcars
NP modified side sill AAR boxcar
CNR 8' door with PS-1 roof and NSC-3 end
So many models, so little time.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Playing in the dirt

As I've mentioned in a previous post,, the ground cover in the area I'm modeling takes a little effort to get looking right.
The dirt in the area has a decidedly grey colour.
Not something you see alot in the scenery supplies, so I've taken to painting the initial dirt cover to get things closer to the tones I'm seeing.
Freshly applied Scenic Express Fine dirt.
First pass with Tamiya XF-78 wooden deck tan
2nd pass with Tamiya XF-57 buff
3rd pass with Tamiya XF-55 deck tan
the final result is a ground cover that has hints of browns through a decidedly grey colour.
Now I can come back and add weeds, etc.
That'll be for another day

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Bloody brilliant!

I've built hundreds of Westerfield kits over the years.
And for the most part I've enjoyed them.
One of the challenges was the roof "truss" that you had to create with a resin ridge pole and 5-6 "rafter" type castings, to support the roof panels. If you've ever built a Westerfield kit, you'll know of what I speak.
For some the creation of the truss arrangement was a major hurdle. For me it was just another fiddly thing to deal with.
Well since Andrew Dahm purchased Westerfield Models, one of the things he did was create a cast one piece roof supporting structure.
Today I finally had the chance to work with this creation.
Quick, easy. And it squares the car body up.
Thanks Andrew for making my day a little easier

Sunday, September 2, 2018

What else does one do on a long weekend?

But finish up 48' of backdrop.
Using my preferred technique of pine frames and 0.060" thick styrene, I got backdrop up and painted over the last few days.

The painting makes for a nice change of pace while working on other projects.
As I sit back and admire this bit of work, I'm really happy that I listened to my friend the scenic artist about colour.
These colour choices really do better convey the feel I'm going for in this layout!
Mind you the actual names on the colour chip are a tad suspect.
The light colour is called "Wings of a Dove"
And the darker colour is "Awakening"
And people get paid to come up with this stuff!

Friday, August 31, 2018

25th Anniversary Chicago RPM kit

It's been know by a few names,
What ever you want to call it, it's the grand daddy of the RPM movement and its 25 years old this year.
In honour of this milestone, Yarmouth Model Works has decided upon a resin freight car model to mark the occasion.
ITC's ACF built postwar 40' boxcar.
There were only 10 of these built for the railroad, but we feel that this is an appropriate car for the occasion. The locale is certainly right!
The kit will feature all the things you've come to expect from Yarmouth Model Works, etchings, one piece body, custom decals, and Kato trucks.
The kit will retail for $60.00 USD and will be available at the RPM first and then online.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


So it would seem that at some point, maybe a year or more ago, something changed in the "Blogger" software I use for this blog.
I was no longer getting notification of comments waiting to be approved for publishing on the blog.
Today while poking around trying to solve another problem I found all the comments, and have only just now "approved" them all and they are up on the blog now.

So I'm sorry if you felt ignored or otherwise slighted. Just me being ignorant of the nuances of the software.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

An object lesson in reading the instructions

Just shipped these 2 Sunshine cars off to the client;

Two very nice SFRD Dry Ice reefers. Neat looking cars. Never done any of these before.
As always when I'm doing projects like these, I consider the painting process.
Flat cast reefers are a delight since I can make sub-assemblies and paint the different colours with minimal masking, then final assemble.
And on these cars, I was ruminating about colour mix to achieve the SFRD yellow-orange. Frank Hodina of Resin Car Works has recently offered a SFRD reefer kit and I was thinking I'd use his colour mix for the car sides.
Fortunately, I took a moment, followed my own long standing advice and read the instruction sheet that came with the kit.
How about that, they were painted silver!
That just saved me a repaint!
As I always tell people, read the instructions, first!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

If the Levee don't break...

And the stars align,
Here's a few of the new kits I hope to release at the Chicagoland RPM in Oct.

And maybe a few other treasures as well!

The morning sun...

And I think it's gonna be all right
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Ever forward!

Welcome to Friant!
At least what will be Friant, circa 1951.
End of the line for the Clovis branch.
Here will be located a turntable, water tank, large station, significant stock pens and the weigh scale.
All the stone that gets hauled out of the Rockfield quarry is brought here and weighed before heading back to Fresno. Of course the locomotives will get a big drink and then turned, before heading south and west again.
The turntable will be located about where the level is sitting in the photo, with the stock pens  and then the station as you get closer to the camera.
I like to fill the joints in the Homasote with drywall mud as well as covering the joints with mesh tape. Keeps things from opening up with humidity and temperature changes.
Once that is all dry a coat of paint then I can layout the track arrangement and get on with track laying.
And speaking of humidity, today is arguably one of the most humid days we've had this year, not terribly hot, but man is it wet! And this is the day I choose to wrestle sheets of Homasote through the table saw. I do wonder about myself at times!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Well I think this works!

The 3 vinegar tank cars, each with a different level of weathering.
I find silver paint jobs the trickiest to weather. Maybe that's just me.
I started with a wash of black ink diluted heavily in alcohol. That helped pick out the boards in the tanks and highlight the bolts, etc.
I set the one on the left aside at that point.
Then the other 2 were washed with a MiG product, a grey enamel wash which helped add the a level of overall dirt to everything and further highlight the tanks.
Then the middle car was set aside.
The 3rd car was given another very heavy wash of the grey enamel, making sure to build up colour around the tank bands and straps.
Once that had dried, all 3 were oversprayed with suggestions of dust and road grime, the underframes were given a good coat of oil crude and road dirt.
All in all, I'm pleased.
Now to check with the client!

This one's for Trevor

Finally completed the Westerfield kit of the SP 1937 caboose conversion
In 1937 SP starting converting B-50-6/9 boxcars into cabooses, by cutting in windows in the sides, adding man doors in the ends and sliding the side door open about 3', nailing it in place and adding a man door.
Over 100 cabooses were created this way, with variations in window styles.
The cars rode on the original freight trucks, no leaf springs. They must of been a shear delight to ride in. At least a stove was provided for the coffee pot and for heating the beans!
My friend Trevor Marshall sold me this kit along with the locomotives and a few other treasures when I made the leap into SP, and we're both enthralled by this car. Even though there is a very nice laser cut caboose kit on the market for SP cabooses, I had to have one of these, just cause it's neat.
The kit build is straight forward and I weathered it rather heavily, since cabooses don't get a lot of respect.
Now to get the layout to a point where I can stick this on the tail of a train...

Friday, August 17, 2018

And 4 for the new fleet

SP B-50-13/14 class boxcars.

The SP and subsidiaries had 7200 of these cars built for them in 1924.
The Sunshine Models kit does a lovely job of recreating these unique cars, right down to the neat etched ladders.
I did replace the sill steps with etched ones from my own line as well as laser cut running boards, mostly so I didn't have to deflash the resin cast ones.
To my eye I've found that Scalecoat boxcar Red II to be a good choice for the SP car colour.
The weathering was a fun departure for me.
I've been working with enamel washes from AK Interactive for a few different effects and the weathering on these cars shows some of that experimentation.
I dampen the surface with enamel thinner,  then dab some of the AK colour onto the damp surface. The colour wicks along edges and flows into cracks and grooves, a little cleanup with a flat brush to get rid of the obvious blotches and we let that dry. The process takes time as each surface needs to dry before moving onto then other side and the paint needs to be fully cured so that the enamel thinner doesn't lift the colour layer(ask me how I know).
A little overspray for dust and we ready to go.
I'll be demonstrating this technique next time I get into the Trainmasters TV studio.

It's official! Over a dozen of these brutes now.

Just applied flat finish to these 3.
The famous, or infamous, Sunshine Models Vinegar tank car.
Each one of these will get weathered to a different level, suggesting different ages of tanks.
Still working out how I want to proceed with that task. Silver is a tricky colour to weather.
I have a few ideas gestating.
As the title states it is indeed more than 12 of these kits I've now assembled.
While there is a lot of parts to play with, my decision years ago to have steel tubes milled to a specific size for a core for the tank, was a sanity saver. It gives the car weight and a true round surface to affix the wrapper to. From there it's a simple matter, (while somewhat prolonged process) of fitting the tank to the frame and it's supports. The one piece frame saves the assembly process from being a true nightmare.
Once the flat finish cures I'll start flinging the dirt.
Stay tuned

Sunday, August 5, 2018

It's a rare and beautiful thing...

When my modeling passions come together.

Tanks and trains!
Or is that trains and tanks?
Doesn't matter. After 3 years of on and off effort this little project is done. Sort of.
1/35th scale German 86 class loco(my fav German loco btw), one heavy duty 6 axle flat and the feared JagdPanther all in one package.
I got to play around with new weathering techniques and products while weathering the JagdPanther. Various enamel washes and streaking effects. Powder pigments on the tracks.
All of which have been carried over into my own railroad modeling finishes.
I expect that I'll lend this to the LHS for his window for awhile as soon as we get his window display cleaned up.
Back to the 1/87 trains.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Fresno light?

Fresno redux?
Doesn't really much matter what we call it.

Rather than have a boring old staging yard, we thought we'd tart it up a touch.
Caboose track, Locomotive escape pocket, 2 stall roundhouse with 2 exterior "garden" tracks.
Lineside buildings will populate the scene as well.
Water and oil column, sand, etc for the inbound roundhouse tracks, etc.
What I find amusing is that it's a simple yard and yet it requires 10 turnouts.
That's more than all the turnouts in Trevor's layout !

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Fresh outta the weathering shop...

The newest kit from Yarmouth Model Works.
YMW-115, DL&W 40' rebuilt auto boxcar
And the decal set includes the iconic slogan, "The Route of Phoebe Snow"

Sunday, July 8, 2018

New stuff from YMW in time for ST Louis RPM

With the annual RPM in Collinsville weeks away, it's time to tempt you with some of the new items I'll have available at the show.
Once I return from the RPM these items and others will be listed on the website for purchase.
First up;
YMW - 257
Laser cut running boards for Intermountain SFRD reefers
With both styles of hatch platforms                         $8.00 USD

2 new etched parts
Etched airhose brackets
Secure these to the underside of the car and use a "U" of thin wire to clamp the airhose to the bracket, much like the prototype does.                               $3.00 USD

Etched cut lever brackets
For more modern cars, to hang the bottom actuated cut levers    $3.00 USD

We will have a couple of kits ready for sale as well.
This one is ready;

YMW- 114 DT&I ACF built postwar boxcar
The first kit to feature the ACF proprietary "Corrugated End" with the unique vertical row of dimples.                                       $60.00 USD

YMW-115 DL&W rebuilt autocar.
This model is still being finished, but it will be ready in time for the RPM.

The kits include all the things you've come to expect from Yarmouth Model Works.
Custom etchings, custom decals, laser cut running boards, correct trucks, etc.
The patterns for both models were 3D printed and we're very pleased as to how this process is working out for us.
Hope to see you in Collinsville!