Oh Come on….cat hair everywhere

Seriously? I know cats & their hair and scale models are drawn to each other, but Gandalf doesn’t spend much time in the layout room, and can’t get up to the layout itself, but this is crazy. I haven’t even had this pair of Rapido Canadian Pacific USRA Clone Box cars long enough to start weathering them!! I recently wrote about de-catting locomotive drive-trains, well the same thing applies to freight cars! All I have done is swap out the wheels and couplers for my preferred ones, and set them on the layout. I want to fade these cars out as by my era in the 1950’s, they should be old and well used looking. Still figuring out exactly what my first step in doing this is going to be, if I’m smart, I’ll do one car, and see how it goes before I do the other!

A giant clump of Gandalf “Floof” stuck to the side of a brand new boxcar.

Vacuuming cat hair that floats about is a normal part of cleaning with regular dust, but walking into the layout room the other day to find this giant clump of hair was definitely annoying. At least a quick pinch and it was gone!

Seven Boxcars fleet weathered and with Brake Lines

That’s it, they are done for now. The mini fleet of seven resin box car kits I have been working on are as done as they are getting at the moment. They have been lightly weathered to take the worst of the freshly painted sheen off, and had rubber brake lines from Hi-Tech Details installed. They are now ready for some running in to find any problems that need fixing, and for me to get some paperwork done so I can start setting up operating sessions (the lack of paperwork is not unique to these cars.

Before and after initial weathering, yes, it is subtle on most of them, but the grime brings out some detail and further differentiates similar cars. Future me will weather some/all of them more individually than this quick fleet job.

I don’t remember when I first used the Hi-Tech Details brake lines, but for me, they are a game changer. Much easier to install, just two holes, dabs of CA Glue and insert the two prongs, and they are in. They are rubber, so they deflect over anything sticking up from the roadbed, and you can’t snap them while coupling/uncoupling cars reaching in with a tool to reach the couplers. I really like them, and in all likelihood as I go and cars that have more solid air hoses lose them, I will upgrade my whole fleet with them.

Closeups are always cruel, but you can see the rubber brake lines on the ends of the car. Nice and flexible so they don’t easily break off. Second shot shows the two mounting points and what it looks like from underside.

Time to get back to building buildings and advancing the layout scenery. I made some progress at long last on Hinde & Dauch last week and the main wall windows. I am officially half way through. 17 window openings done with windows inserted, 17 to go. Hopefully make some more progress on that this week.

Seven Boxcars now with Decals

A nice update for me, as a small fleet of seven resin boxcar kits I have been working on the past few months are really starting to look the part. Over the past week I have gotten the decals onto all seven cars. They all need clear coating, weathering and brake hoses added, but they now look done, even if they will still be getting worked on for a bit. This is one of those things where seeing things go from bare resin to painted and detailed really helps to motivate me to get a go on with projects big and small, including the work to finish these.

Beginning of July above, end of July below, good progress. Just sealing the decals, weathering and rubber brake hoses to finish them.

A Seven Pack of Boxcars ready for Decals

I’ve been working on the stash of resin boxcar kits and mini-kits in my kit drawer since February or so. I have posted about them before, but they are now organized and ready for the paintshop. There are three Yarmouth Model Works kits, and four National Scale Car MiniKits (changing doors or doors and ends). Two of the National Scale Car Kits are built with Yarmouth Model Works box car cores. This is just a quick post as I am somewhat pleased with myself at how well they have turned out thus far. Hopefully, getting the decals on and then finishing them will go as well, but seven more cars almost ready for the layout, along with some I have on order, and who knows what else the resin kit manufacturers cook up in the years ahead, and I am perilously close to having my layout full to overflowing, I wrote shortly after starting construction about how many cars I needed for the layout, and I think I am closing in on having more cars than I can fit on it. Time will tell, but for now the next thing to do is get the cars decalled and I can worry about having too many once I start seriously working out operations and paperwork for the cars.

Seven resin box cars painted and ready for decals. Getting these done will seriously flesh out my fleet for Liberty Village.

Fixing a paintshop whoopsie

Mistakes, we all make them, how much they hurt depend on your ability to get past them without getting angry (a personal challenge), and being able to accept that sometimes, you need a do-over. I have been working for a few months at my on-again/off-again work-rate on a batch of 7 resin boxcar kits. At one point I had thought about having them all built and painted and ready to decal and taking them to a cottage my in-laws have rented in July to do the decals. I have decided, that while totally doable, that is more effort in safely packing them up and the various tools to do the decals, I would rather completely unplug for that week from hobbies, So I am going to do that, but I still want to get these cars finished! At any point for weeks now I could have been decalling cars, instead I’ve been looking at a half finished kit, the last half finished kit at least. I finally this past week decided to get it done and the one other car that wasn’t painted primed and painted…and then the chaos started.

The bad side, the OK side, and the end damage…not my best night at the paintbooth.

I managed, in under 5 minutes to have the car body fall off the paint stand 3 times, smearing the primer the first two times, then breaking off fine etched parts in a stirrup step at the corner, and a cut lever and bracket on one end (and smear the paint again on top of pick up whatever loose crud was in the paint booth). I swore, loudly, and put everything away. I then sent my usual hobby sounding post the traditional “Trains are F@$king Stupid” text, and went to bed.

Scraping off primer with my fingers, post dip on the roof, and isopropyl dip working as normal and just melting away the poorly adhered bad coat of primer.

I have come to the conclusion that the “airbrush ready” mix of Vallejo Primer I have at my paint booth has been over thinned or over flow improvered (is that even a word?) as it sprayed badly, like on top of my dropping it, when it was cured, I was able to scrape almost all the paint off the roof with my fingernail, and some of the primer on the body would come off that easily too. Not much use if the primer designed to give you a good base for applying paint won’t actually hold. I think it is time to pitch what is left in the bottle, and start a fresh batch, something has happened to it as the past couple of times I’ve sprayed it, it has behaved progressively worse.

A good clean coat of primer, this time using my rattle can of Tamiya Fine Surface Primer.

Once the car had been cleaned, I had some time today to fix the broken stirrup step and cut lever, and make sure everything else seemed to be OK and attached where it should be. I found a few parts where it seems the isopropyl also broke glue or CA joints, so after some fixes, it was back to the paint booth. This time, I did what I knew I shoulda done and used the rattle can of Tamiya Fine Surface Primer. This stuff is awesome, and I have almost never had problems with it, yet I’ve been messing around with other primers with varying degrees of success. Sometimes, you just need to stick to what works and go with it. Oh well, as usual, live and learn, but at least it seems I didn’t break anything so badly I couldn’t fix it!

Trains and Gravity are not friends

By the time this posts I will have given my Clinic on the 3D printed model of the Dominion of Canada and the shipment of her back to the UK for restoration in 2012-13 at the Hindsight 2020 13.0 Virtual RPM today. A couple of weeks ago, I needed to get some detail photos for the presentation, and I had, an incident, where one of the span bolsters decided it was not attached to the rest of the car anymore, and while I thought I had a grip on everything, it took a trip to the floor. The 3D printed material can be brittle, and it shattered. Fortunately, it was a clean break, and the two parts could be re-aligned, and with some brass shims to provide some strength repaired. Whew, a sigh of relief, but not before some unpleasant words that can’t be repeated in polite company!

Before and after of an unplanned test of Newtonian Gravity Theory using a model, not recommended for your blood pressure.