Slowly making progress

Well, I haven’t written about anything I’ve been working on in over a month. It isn’t because I haven’t made any progress, though truth be told, there hasn’t been a lot of progress. August was a very hot month, which makes my 3rd floor layout room where I am already spending 8 hours a day as my office for my day job a bit of a sauna. As I’ve written about more than once in the past 18 months, some times are better than others have been for mental state and motivation, and I have definitely been at a low ebb through August.

First up, in early August, the first bit of modern rolling stock I have bought in a long time came in. A Scale Trains “Rivet Counter” Gunderson Auto Max auto rack. For a diorama of Canyon Road, one of the main things seen on trains there is Auto Racks, so this was a must have type of car. The other still coming is a container well car, which do run here, but are the other ubiquitous modern rolling stock type out there these days. I still don’t have a modern locomotive (its coming, pre-order and wait is the way things are these days!), but having a modern freight car lets me make sure everything is good spacing wise.

Ooooh, some modern rolling stock finally arrived. One of two options for modern freight equipment I have ordered, confirming that the bridge will clear models.

I haven’t made a lot of progress on the diorama for a little bit, as I was waiting on a freight car to be 100% sure I had my clearances right. Now that I am, I have started puttering along again. I am working on the photo backdrop for the right hand end, that will represent the Niagara Escarpment in the distance when looking down the track, once this is sussed out, I will move on to ground cover and such. Before that, I also have the telegraph poles along the line I am working on. These are good as they are giving me some much needed practice with dry brushing and coming up with a way to give a little pop to the insulators, something I will need for the large number of poles on the main layout.

Testing paint technique on some scrap cross arms, the telegraph poles for the diorama ready to have the insulators painted, and the paints I am using.

For the insulators, I used Rix Products arms, they have nicely molded insulators, but they will look like nothing without some help from paint to make them stand out a bit. For this, I decided to try a two stage approach. First touch the insulators with some aluminum paint (its what I had, really I think it just needs to be a metallic ish metal like Steel or Aluminum. Doesn’t need to be perfect, just a quick swirl around each of the insulators. In a pinch silver would do as I don’t think you’ll notice after the second stage. The second stage is to touch on some Tamiya clear paint. I amusing two, the clear smoke, and clear green. When I do the actual poles, unlike my test ones, I will also use some white paint for white porcelain insulators. The common colours I see of glass insulators are smokey clear and green, so the Tamiya paints are perfect. I haven’t done the ones for the diorama yet, but I had lots of miscut length and spares from making the layout hydro poles, so as you can see above, I played around with them to see how it looks. I think it captures the look, even in a poorly lit cellphone photo.

The effect I am going for, one of the telegraph poles at Canyon Road in Cambpelville.

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