Paint Progress on a Modern project

I wrote about my work to make a display case model of a VIA Rail P42 a couple of weeks ago here. Since then, I’ve gotten into the spray booth in earnest to move it forward to the look it needs before applying decals.

In primer showing the nose modifications to add the extra high-intensity headlight, and with the roof sprayed VIA Teal. Notice the significant difference between the old Athearn run of P42’s for George’s Trains and a more accurate colour reproduction from Rapido’s Proto Paint line.

This is for me, a project to work on building airbrushing skills. Masking, painting multiple layers and colours, are all things in the past I’ve struggled with. I’ve pulled the underlayer of paint off more than once by rushing between coats of paint and different colours and not letting paint cure.

Stages of masking and painting. First go round, mask the teal roof and spray the front half of the locomotive VIA Yellow, then remove the masks to check the paint lines. Then re-mask the roof and mask off the yellow to spray the overall aluminum colour and create the large “VIA” logo on the body.

So, with my home spraybooth, I can now work on a single project, it’s taking me around an hour for setup, paint, cleanup. That is manageable. When I used to have to paint on the balcony and hope for weather conditions, or go to someone elses, I needed to have many projects to paint, it just to become a holdup in my work as I’d wind up with four or five projects that I couldn’t work on as I couldn’t paint!

And main painting of the body is done. The “VIA” on both sides came out looking great. There will be some more little painting on details to do, and then a clear gloss coat for applying decals to.

I’m quite happy with how this project is coming out, and how its progressing. This was a kinda side project anyways. I’ve actually done a good job of getting rid of most of the random non-layout models and projects I had acquired over the years, so doing this one will leave me with just layout things to work on for a while!

Advertisements

This seems awfully modern…

What’s this then, its not from the 1950’s???

Every now and then, much as I build a plastic kit or do something else to work on skills, I work on models that aren’t actually for my layout. This is one that’s been kicking around for a couple of years since I picked up a decal set for the VIA Rail “Canada 150” wraps that ran in 2017. This is a moderate detail up project, using an unpowered Athearn “Blue Box” P42 locomotive that I got cheap at a flea market show. I don’t care if it doesn’t run, this is one for the display case as I really liked what VIA did for Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation by decorating a number of locomotives and coaches with different names of Cities and Towns served by the train.

The project is a fun one, adding some rooftop and underbody details, the new high intensity headlight that isn’t in the old body, and adding some photo etched metal grills on the radiators at the rear. Then it will be a chance to practice on airbrushing and masking for painting. Not a high priority project, but one that as I’ve been cleaning and organizing around the layout room and workbench, I decided this week to make a start on for something to do aside from layout construction.

IMGP9501VIA Rail Canada P42 No.900 leads a train eastbound near Newtonville Ontario on June 26, 2017 showing off the “Canada 150” wrap.

More Peninsula Progress

As with everything I do, slow and steady on we go. After getting the peninsula built and installed, I’ve been making adjustments, fitting final pieces for locking it into place, and starting to look at laying track.

Video showing the Peninsula swinging into the stored position to open up the middle of the layout room when its not in use.

The trackwork on the peninsula is fairly simple, there is only one turnout, and one crossover, but that leads to 4 separate tracks for spotting cars around the Standard Brands mill/elevator and plant, and the International Cooperage Company of Canada dock. There will be lots of action and work in a not very big area, and one that is occupied by the largest complete building on the layout, most buildings being flats and compressed, the mill and elevator are the only buildings that will get to be full sized!

Starting to lay track onto the peninsula. I was luck to be able to obtain a full survey of the Pardee Avenue lands that I printed in HO Scale to get the building locations.

One thing I’ve determined is the crossovers and switches are complicated enough that it’s going to be a multiple person job to successfully get them shaped and glued down, so I will be looking to reconvene my great friends sometime in October/November for another track-laying party to get it done. Lots of other things to work on in the meantime, and I’ve discovered I don’t have enough Micro Engineering Code 70 Flex track to finish the layout, so I need to get more track anyways!! As always, equal steps forward and sideways, but the layout is really starting to look like I’d imagined designing it. It won’t be long now before a train can actually run on it from one end to the other!!

Working on a Freight Shed

It seems like just yesterday, but it was in fact May, before the summer even arrived that I wrote about a structure kit for the layout I had started, and building my first mold for casting parts to replace damaged ones from the kit.

IMG_9887Four new resin roof supports, as the majority of the castings in the kit were garbage. I built the master, and my friend Ryan did all the castings as he was making parts for kits he sells from his company National Scale Car.

Having not been in a rush, I didn’t bother to ask when he’d have the chance to cast some of the replacement parts, but we got together for dinner a few weeks ago and he had them ready for me. Today I decided it was a day to advance and project and feel like I was getting something done. I had the deck completed, other than painting/staining the deck. To do this, I decided to use some of my supply of cheap art acrylics from Michael’s. I pick them up when I need a cheap paint, as I’m trying to create the appearance of wood having different ages and levels of wear and aging on them.

Painting the deck using cheap acrylics and watering them down to spread them on the surface of the deck for the freight shed.

I used a brush that was about the same width as the boards on the deck, and watered down the paint as I went. I didn’t want a heavy amount of paint, just enough that it coloured the wood. Once I was done with the paint, I put on a wash of a golden brown stain. I am still considering a second stain of isopropyl alcohol and india ink that I keep for weathering wood. The undersides of the deck are only coloured using this alcohol/ink mix. It was a technique that was in the instructions for a kit I built years ago, and I really like the effects you can create with it, as over time the ink settles, so depending on how much you shake the bottle after its been on the shelf, you can adjust how much ink there is, and thus how dark/beaten up the wood looks.

Installing the roof trusses and roof beams. Lots of weights and little clamps being used to hold everything together and square while the glue sets. I just did all of the gluing on this with good old fashioned white glue. It soaks into the wood and has lots of working time to get things adjusted and aligned. It does mean you need to be patient as it hardens though!

I enjoy projects like this, they are a good way to shake the cobwebs off after I haven’t done a lot of modelling later. while I’m making little adjustments here and there, mostly I’m building it right as the instructions provide.  It means that I can just work away and use skills I already have. I find doing things I know I can do after a break helps me be ready to make it up as I go doing things that are pushing my skills. Strangely, working on a kit helped me advance my cleanup that I’ve been doing and trying to organize my workspace, as it showed me where some things I thought I had found the right home for, weren’t the right place.

IMG_9898End of the day’s progress. Reached the point where I don’t have the right glues to work with the cardstock material for the roof, so stop while I’m ahead and it’s looking like I want, rather than pushing on and making a mistake.

When all Glues have failed you…

Learning, this is at the end of the day, a hobby about learning. Learning about prototypes, how to build things, how things work, how to get things done. There are so many ways people do things out there. I’ve previously written about a side project of an HO Scale police car I was building with LED lights. I’ve had nothing but problems with this project. I’ve mangled two sets of the fantastic LED lighting units from Evans Design LEDs. So what did I do, I recently ordered a third set!!

Hey, we’re looking like a police car again with flashing lights hidden inside the vehicle.

So, when I got the package on Wednesday this week, the LED set has been modified, instead of being pre connected to a giant hub, each string was separate, and once they were run instead of having a giant nest on the end of the wire, I’d have to wire them up myself. I thought, this would make life easier for maneuvering, and I was right. What was still going wrong, was all my technique for trying to install the LEDs and get them to hold in place. I was using LED wax, trying CA glue, just nothing. Then I thought of a product that was on my to try list for a while after seing how useful it was from friends. A product called Bondic, which, as they are quite clear, is not a glue. What it is, is a Ultraviolet (UV) light cured plastic. It comes in a dispenser with a UV LED, and you put a little bit of the liquid out, and hit it with the LED for 4 seconds, and it becomes solid. It may not be a glue, but it works like one when it comes to affixing LEDs inside a model. Now you only get one shot at it, so you need to be sure, but so long as you take your time, it works well.

The Bondic kit, and the inside of the police car with the wires Bondic’d? into place.

Its a product that takes some learning, as you need to build it up in thin layers if you need to fill a large area, as it only cures where the UV light can hit it, you can’t use it in a place where you can’t get the UV light to shine in, and if the layer is too thick, the top will harden and the interior won’t, but it’s absolutely fantastic to use. Saying all that about needing to learn, this lunkhead blasted ahead at 11pm on a Wednesday night to use it on a project after he got home from his Rec Soccer game as he was so frustraited at the project he either wanted it done, or dumpstered. As the short videos below show, the lighting now qualifies as done!! Some cleanup on the model, paint the bright red interior dark like a Toronto police car, and then decals and install. Hurray for progress!!

 

 

Peninsular Musings

I’ve written about the peninsula for my layout in passing in posts, and at least one post on mocking it up, but now that I’ve been living with it mocked up since April (4 months), I now have a good feel on what I do and don’t like about it. I like that I’ve gotten it down to a size where it does what I need it to for the layout, but where it isn’t so big that it completely blocks traffic in the room. I don’t like how small the room feels when the peninsula is in place but nothing is happening. When I took the peninsula down for the wiring and tracklaying to proceed last weekend, I walked into the room and went wow its a bigger room without the peninsula, not necessarily the response I wanted.

IMG_7814Peninsula mockup before trimming it down.

My original plan had been for it to be hinged and swing over to the front of the benchwork to free up space. Over the four months I’ve had the mockup in place, I’d been coming around to having it be permanently mounted, but having taken it out now, I know that would be the wrong decision. Keeping it movable, even just swinging it around is necessary to open up the room for a whole variety of reasons. because of the buildings on the peninsula, I don’t want it to be completely removable as then I’d be constantly having to take the buildings off and put them somewhere else, having it hinged and swinging away does the best of both worlds, easy to store, and opens up the space.

June 07 18 - Liberty Layout - West.anyExtract of the Track Plan showing the slimmed down 22″x40″ Peninsula

The peninsula will swing to the right of the plan above, so that it would be against the benchwork between Jefferson and Atlantic when its stowed. In working on the trackwork, its also become clear that I need to actually build the peninsula benchwork sooner rather than later, even if I don’t permanently install it, just to support the track and get the alignment right. I have a few ideas on how to do the hinge and alignment pins to make sure that the benchwork and track always align and hold in space when it is put in position for operating.

IMG_9205Flying trackwork, this needs a peninsula badly to let me finish making sure this trackage works when complete both on the main benchwork and the peninsula.

I want to get the trackwork and scenery on the wall mounted benchwork done and finished before I start working on the peninsula in earnest, but I can build it, get the track in place, and take it down, or who knows, maybe once its in place, I’ll be happy its there and be able to work around it. While I putter away at the trackwork in the coming weeks, I’m going to think about when I can do the woodwork to build the simple box and legs so I can have it in place for a bit, then take it down to finish the phase 1 construction of the layout.

IMG_9236My printed survey showing the footprints of the buildings on the peninsula, and the roughed in track lines. Just waiting for a wood box framework to get installed.

So, its continued progress, slow and steady. I know now how I want to handle the peninsular, and doing it hinged to start, its easier to change my mind and go permanent later, rather than going hinged as decisions like casters on the legs are now a must rather than an option.