Friday, December 30, 2016

The next kit from Yarmouth Model Works

It's been a banner day in the shop. Finally the patterns have been delivered to the caster.

This CPR single sheathed auto boxcar has been an adventure and a learning experience.
All the major components are 3D printed. A first for me.
The technology is amazing, when used right. But it's not cheap. Good thing I didn't have to pay commercial rates for the printing or the drafting, otherwise this project wouldn't have happened.
The biggest lesson we learned on this was to have all parts printed on the same machine at the same time. Calibration can be an issue, and it seems that there's some disagreement about how long an inch really is..
This kit will , of course, include laser cut running boards, photo etched details and Black Cat decals. The other neat trick in this kit will be the doors. Over the early life of these cars, they were rebuilt with 3 different door opening sizes. And the kit will include all 3 door options.
If all goes well the kit should be ready for sale by the spring.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

ATSF Fe-21

Every now and then, clients send me really neat projects to build for them. This guy is in the top 5, fun adventures.
ATSF had a huge affinity with rebuilding cars, which in part endears them to me so much. (I love rebuilds). This class of 50' car was rebuilt in 1940-41. The original intent was to rebuild 50, 50' cars with single doors and end doors. But as the work progressed an urgent need for 50' auto parts cars without end doors arose, so only 5 of these cars were ever built. Making them one of the rarest car types on the ATSF or any other road for that matter.
Creating a model of this rare beauty required 3 major components.
A Proto 2000 50' single door boxcar kit.
A Proto 2000 50' double door boxcar with end door kit
A Sunshine mini-kit for the Fe-21. (which includes cast resin side sills, ends and door tracks)
I had to saw off the door end from the double car. As well as saw off both ends on the single door car.
Cut off the molded side sill from the single door car. Glue on the end door and the resin B end. Add the recessed side sills and putty the cuts in the roof. With a little care and careful planning the cuts were easily accomplished.

From there, it was a straight forward boxcar detailing job. I tossed the kit ladders and most of the other plastic details and used my own ladders and rungs, Kadee bracket grabs, my own sill steps, Tichy brake parts, etc. A model this unique deserves the best.

With the standout "straightline map" this car is a standout.
I'm really very pleased with how this turned out. Now I want one for myself.

One of the last projects of the 2016

From time to time, I'm asked to paint O scale brass rolling stock.
Which I'll do for certain clients. They are a nice departure from the norm around here, but man do they take up a lot of space! And a lot of paint as well.
All these cars were painted with Scalecoat, which once baked comes out very hard and smooth and glossy. Bonus for decaling.

The first 4 shown are Protocraft models. Which are stunning works of art.
And I'm relieved to discover that the Wabash boxcar is sold out, so there goes that level of temptation.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The 12 Caboose Saga, end steps

Nothing says Xmas in a childless household, like soldering caboose parts.
The kits comes with a very nice array of etched parts. And this morning, I decided to solder the end step units. Like everything in this project, not terribly difficult, just verging on tedious. What with 48 of these assemblies.
At some point I should think about the end railing assemblies. There's only 24 of those!
With the steps all soldered up, it's time for a quick wash, to remove any flux residue.
I'm now waiting for Lake Junction Models to send me the missing laser cut sheets. He mis-packed and left out a few key components, so the project is kinda stalled right now.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The 12 Caboose Saga

So this is what 12 caboose kits at one time looks like after a day of initial work.
What we've got here are 12 of Lake Junction Models M.P. caboose kits, #7001.
I chose this model as I feel that it's very close to the Wabash 2600 series caboose and with a little extra effort on my part, one will be hard pressed to tell the difference.
One of the major features is the windows. A large number of the 2600 series cabooses had 4 windows on both sides, but photos also indicate that there were cabooses with only 3 windows on one side or the other. So I had Lake Junction run me a few kits without the cupola end windows and I took upon myself to mix the sides up a bit and create that variety in the fleet.
You can see how things are shaping up in the photo of the 12 body cores.
As I make progress on this large project I'll post photos and talk about what I've done.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

3 from RCW

Back in October, while at the Chicagoland RPM, I purchased one of Resin Car Works  Missouri Pacific 50' steel autocar kits. I like autocars and since MP is a connector road to the Wabash I thought I could easily rationalize it's presence. When I got it home and had a closer look, I was very pleased with what I saw and decided that a block of these cars would be order, so I ordered 2 more from Frank Hodina.
Yesterday I put the finishing touches on them and I'd like to share them with you.
In 1951, my modeling era, these cars would be 10 years old and would have shown some wear and tear. And probably be close to needing a repaint.

With a couple of notable exceptions, the kits were built using components that were supplied in the box.
I substituted the A-Line sill steps with some etched steps from my own product line, YMW #212. And I used my etched ladder rungs in lieu of the wire grabs supplied. I have to say that I'm very pleased with the look of the ladders. So much so that all future Yarmouth Model Works kits that use etched ladders will likely include etched rungs.
In weathering the cars I tried something new for me.
Paint failure on galvanized steel roofs. Much as been written on this topic and a few techniques exist for replicating this detail. I've avoided this finishing for years since I wasn't feeling terribly confident in what I might achieve in trying to recreate this look, as well as I've seen a few examples of this look that didn't look right to me.
However, a query on STMFC Yahoo Group, garnered me a few photos of roof paint failure and a tip from someone online got me to try the following.
Now I wish I could remember who I got this from, and I'm really sorry I can't recall, but whoever you are, THANKS!
Rather than fiddle with rubber cement and multiple coats of paint, or salt and multiple coats of paint, the solution is easy;
A Silver Sharpie pen.
I weathered the roof some with oils and then simply drew on the roof with the pen. Random patterns and played a little.

A coat of flat finish to kill the shine , a dusting of grey and voila!
The nice thing about this method is that I can go back, add more if I like or repaint the roof and start again if I've gone too far.
The look is growing on me and I suspect that a large amount of my existing fleet will be getting paint failure on the roofs.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Because somebody asked

And Yahoo strips attachments on certain groups
Over on STMFC Yahoo Group, (Steam Era Freight Cars), I was asked for an image of what the lateral running board supports (part #YMW-381) look like when formed.
Well here you go .

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A plethora of new stuff from Yarmouth Model Works

A few new things to let you know about.
All are new etched items on the Yarmouth Model Works website.
First up a 40' Morton running board and brake step;
I've revisited the running board and lateral braces with a new etching ;
The big one is 6 different arrangements of Carmer Cut levers. The first 5 are for specific PRR cars, while the last one is a more generic application. On the Carmer Cut lever webpage there are 2 downloadable documents which will greatly assist you in deciding which levers to purchase. I hope you're as excited by these as I am;

 And lastly, we've revisited our brake lever etching. We've made them a little "sleeker" as well as adding a little tab for hooking that bit of chain onto. And we're offering more on a fret;
The website is now fully updated with the exception of the brake levers, which should be done later today. Have a look, tell your friends, and email me should you have any questions.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

St Thomas Freight House Part III

So we've been flinging paint and sticking down shingles.
The walls got a coat of Scalecoat CNR Red #11. The roof and the back got a coat of coach green, and the platform top was given a coat of Floquil Foundation.
The Foundation was allowed to cure for a couple of days.

With the Foundation well cured, out came the oil colours. The first pass was with Burnt Umber. The intensity was varied as it was applied along the platform. I just use a piece of styrene as a palette and splash some Turpenoid onto it. With the brush a drag a little colour into the Turpenoid and make a kind of a wash. The key here is to vary the intensity and not to overwork the paint. Let that dry.
Then a pass was made with Burnt Sienna. The idea is to get a variety of browns happening. The transparency of the oils is working to our advantage here.
The last pass was with Lamp Black. I'm going to let that dry and look at it again in a couple of days. I can come back and add more browns and/or black if  I wish. But for now I'm satisfied.
I had spent a whole day the previous day applying Builders in Scale shingles. Turns out I had more in my stash than I had first thought, but sadly not quite enough. There's about 3/8" at the top missing shingles. Good thing I ordered more last week.

So for now, we're calling it done. I can now add ground cover around the base and think about other yard structures.
This was a fun little project and it's kinda got me thinking about the station proper.

This guy will be a tad more challenging. Bunting or no bunting.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Where's Waldo II

We've all done it.
It's part of the reality of building models.
One little part swan dives out of the tweezers and heads for the floor.
Isn't it astounding how far a tiny piece of metal, plastic or resin can bounce?
How many hours, over the years have we spent crawling around in the dust and crud looking for that part we just spent 30 minutes cleaning up?
And when we're down there, isn't it fun when you find the part you gave up on a week ago?
At any rate, I was installing sill steps on a Funaro & Carmelengo kit for a client, when the 4th and last sill step took the swan dive.
Down onto the floor I go, thinking this'll be easy. The part is black, the floor is grey and it was recently vacuumed.
Full denial!
I was about to go back into the stash of leftover bits when I looked at the underside of the model.
Can't decide whether to be pleased or annoyed.
But it is time to call it a day.

I'm not sure what his point is...

No doubt it's purely coincidental, but twice this past week I've gotten emails from people asking technical questions. Now I'm quite happy to share my limited knowledge with anyone who asked, in the interests of growth and improvement.
But this one has me wondering;

Are your kits made of resin?

If so, what do you recommend other than the cyanoacralates for assembly as cyanoacralates are highly hydrophylic and can, therefore, be wedged apart by wedging from accumulated moisture as well as having a very high coefficient of thermal expansion, which also can result in their joints debonding (place a joint in a freezer overnight).

Cyanoacralates are **not** a true adhesive as they merely displace the air in a joint and rely on the partial vacuum they thusly create with respect to atmospheric pressure -- there is no no adhesive ionic or covalent bonding when using cyanoacralates.  Such is why they have a greater tensile strength and a much lower sheer strength.  Consequently, US Navy and NASA forbid using cyanoacralates for ocean, rocketry, and orbital engineering.

Model sailing ships in museums, even those in enclosed cases, have had the knots in rigging, fixed with cyanoacralates, fracture from repeated slight temperature variations resulting in cyclic fatigue (much like repeated bending of a wire coat hanger until it fractures).
Now I'm in no position to argue the science in this fellows assertions, but I don't know that I care. CA works just fine for me and I have 30 year old resin kits that are holding up just fine.
I'm more curious as to why this fellow felt the need to present this data to me in this manner. Is he just showing off? Does he somehow feel better having demonstrated a superior knowledge about some arcane subject. Or is he fishing for an obscure reason not to purchase kits from me?
For some reason, this feels a bit like on line trolling to me. Sadly having 2 websites and a blog leaves me open to this kind of email and I knew it going in, but really? 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The St Thomas Freight House Part II

So we left off with the beginnings of the building shell.
I cut 5 internal bulkheads to match the ends, to which the back and the roof will be secured to.
A back was cut and glued in place. The height of the back piece is 5/8" taller than the sides so as to cover the back side of the plywood base.

The roof piece was carefully cut with the 2 long edges having a bevel to match the roof pitch. It was a simple matter of carefully making multiple passes with the knife held at the right angle guided by a long straight edge.
A little bit of fascia trim was added from scale 2"x8" strip, as well as a few triangular braces under the eaves to insure that the overhang can't sag.
The back side was puttied to hide any seams, since it's right at the aisle. It will be painted to match the fascia when that time comes.
And now it's time for paint! The building gets a coat of CNR Red #11. When this has cured, the platform will get painted to represent creosoted timbers. The roof and the backside will get a coat of CNR green. The roof gets this as an undercoat for the peel and stick shingles I have on order, and as far as I can tell the shingles were green.
And the backside gets that green since that's the planned fascia colour.
I have to wait a couple of days now for the paint to fully cure before the next colours get applied. Then we can look at how I'm going to finish the platform decks

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The St Thomas Freight House, Part I

At the end of Hiawatha St, there was a classic Grand Trunk designed freight house that stood for almost a century.
 Into the later part of the 20th century it was certainly looking worse for wear, but in the era I model it was an important structure and was well cared for.
The location on the layout for this structure only allows for about 1/3rd of the width due to choices I made, but I will copy it's full 140' length. Over the next couple of blog posts I will share how I built this structure.
I chose to build this model mostly from styrene.  I like working with this material. It's quick and easy. Scribe and snap. A little solvent cement and we're off. There's a large variety of siding styles available, along with shapes for trim pieces, etc.
As the structure is meant to be in good repair grain should not be visible in an HO scale model. If you don't agree, have a good look at photos of wooden buildings and freight cars. Grain is only visible in planks that are due for repair or replacement.

I started by creating a basic drawing. I used photos to help me determine door and window locations. I adjusted the window sizes to match Tichy castings that I felt looked close.
The locations of the doors and windows was transferred onto a piece of 0.060" thick styrene. And the pieces were numbered to ensure that everything goes back together in the same order.
All the lines are scribed and then snapped, with the window and door "plus" discarded.
Using the 4' level as a "fence" the pieces are reassembled and glued together with solvent cement. This is left to cure fully for at least a few hours.
Board and batten siding is then applied over the core. Again glued in place with solvent cement. The liquid is flowed all around the edges and in through all the door and window openings. This is weighted down and allowed to fully cure.
Working from the backside all the door and window openings are cut through the board and batten siding. The openings are checked against the castings and the battens are trimmed to clear the casing trim of the window.
The windows are glued in. The door openings are trimmed with jambs and casing. And freight doors are added, which were cut from basic scribed siding.
The 2 sides were created using the same techniques.
The 2 sides are now glued to the front, with lots of steel blocks in play to keep things square. The front wall is a tad bowed right now but we'll fix that as we go along.
At this point the dock/floor is needed. I cut a piece of 5/8" ply to a dimension of 2 3/4" x 19 7/8". The perimeter was wrapped with some scribed siding and the top is decked with the same material. All this is secured in place with Lepage's No More Nails. A great product which joins these dissimilar materials very well.
We'll leave the project at this point while the deck fully cures. There's a roof to create, internal bulkheads for bracing and support and trim bits. And then paint!
Stay tuned!