A Dreaded List

I mulled about selling off some of my collection very early on in my efforts on this blog here.  I haven’t done anything about that until today, when I took the necessary first step of doing an inventory of the contents of the plastic tubs of trains in our apartment’s storage locker.  Two and a half hours later, I had successfully sorted and inventoried 7 x 80L plastic tubs, a four tray A-Line Storage Tote, and some miscellaneous boxes.  I haven’t made any decisions about whether I am going to sell anything or not.  In the PDF attached to this post, items that I know I’m not selling tat are in the tubs are highlighted in red, beyond that, there is lots of stuff that I will consider selling and some I won’t, but if I got the right offer, I’d at least be willing to talk.

June 04 17 Model Railroad Tub List For Web

If you see something in the list that you really want, let me know through the comments or by email sjgardiner (at) hotmail.com  I’d prefer to sell to people local in the Toronto area only as it means we can meet up rather than having to deal with postage, but for a lot of the British stuff, it wouldn’t surprise me if interest was from further afield if there is any.

The next step is to decide what is keep vs would sell vs should sell, and try to re-sort the boxes again so its easy to get at stuff I’m interested in selling.  I’m still considering a table come the fall at a couple of the Toronto area Model RR Flea Markets.  I’d also consider sharing a table if anyone else had some stuff they wanted to sell.  The worst part is the list doesn’t even account for the project started or where kits are sitting here waitng for me.  Thats another three passenger cars, four freight cars and one locomotive!  For a guy without a layout, I seem to have an awful lot on the go.

Doors Open Toronto @ The Roundhouse This Weekend (May 27-28, 2017

My apologies on the late notice, but it kept slipping through the cracks.  If you are in the Toronto area, this weekend is the 18th Annual Doors Open Toronto.  I’ve been going to it or participating in it since year 1, though year 1 back in 2000 was an accident!  I was on a co-op work term from the University of Waterloo, working in Richmond Hill and living in North York, I had met up with some friends for a lunch downtown, and was giving one of them a ride home to Mississauga, we got on the ramp at York Street onto the Gardiner Expressway, and saw a sign on the roof of the roundhouse “Brewery Now Open”, we looked at each other, and got right back off the highway and went into Steam Whistle Brewery’s first weekend of operation, it was the first time I’d ever been in the John Street Roundhouse, years before I became an active volunteer with the Toronto Railway Historical Association in building the Toronto Railway Museum there!!

27363483106_4cf7ce4c2e_o

But, that’s not the point of this post, the point is, I will be at the museum with some of my models, inside Stall 15 at our Train Show all weekend.  If you are around, I’d love to talk shop with you, about either models on display, something i’ve written about, or generally applying 3D printing to your projects.  Please say hi if you are by the museum.  The museum is open 10-5 both days, and there is free admission into our restoration stalls where the Train Show will be, and our Museum Display in Stall 17.  We will also have as many of the locomotives and passenger cars open to the public as we can (always based on having enough volunteers to do so!)

27363483896_932e7f596d_oLast years booth, look for me at a similar looking display this weekend.

Also, this weekend will be the first public open weekend for recently restored GO Transit Cab Car 104.  Come by and relive memories of the early years of GO Transit 50 years ago, or make new ones if you don’t remember the days before the ubiquitous GO Bi-Level cars!

Restored GO Cab Car 104 will be open to the public.
Doors Open 2017 pictures.

Paving Roads with Pan Pastels

As I had suggested back in April, after attending the Ontario Narrow Gauge Show and taking part in a hands on clinic with Pan Pastels, I was looking for opportunities to experiment with them and add them to my painting and weathering toolkit.

My first Pan Pastel attempt, a strip of brick for the sidewalk.  I started trying to get grey into the lines, then covering with a red tone.  It didn’t quite work as I’d wanted, but i was able to go back and get the grey into the grooves and for some texture after.

As part of the diorama I am building, I have three different types of payment tone and colour to create, Asphalt, Concrete and Brick.  There are even variations in colour and type within these.  When I was out last weekend I made a stop at Curry’s Artists’ Materials, a southern Ontario chain of art supply stores, and picked up four Pan Pastel colours and some different applicator brushes.  I didn’t want to go crazy on my first purchase until I’ve been able to play around and see how they work.  I picked up a Red Iron Oxide Shade; Neutral Grey, Paynes Grey Tint; and Black.  These should give me enough tones to do most of the pavement.  Pan Pastels come in four levels for most colours, Dark, Shade, Pure colour and Tint.  The Tint is pre mixed with white to lighten the colour to be more of an accent.  The Shade is the colour mixed with black to darken it, and the Dark is the colour with more black than the Shade to really darken it.  Pan Pastels website explains this with colour samples far better than I can. If this works, my intention is to use the Pan Pastels on the brickwork of the building for the diorama as well, but starting with the pavement was a good place for me.

First coat of colour on the roads, taking the blank slate of the drywall compound asphalt and styrene concrete to a dark grey, using an old jar of Trueline Trains CPR Steam Locomotive Grey to get a pavementy dark surface.

For the base, I am starting with what I know, and applying a base coat of paint to the surfaces.  This gives me a starting point, and lets me then work with the Pan Pastels to add tone and highlights, rather than relying on a product I’m not familiar with for all the colour.  For the brick areas (a strip of square bricks along one street, and an interlocking patio area), I am going to try to use Pan Pastels only, but for the asphalt and concrete, it just feels safer to start with what I know.

Using a Sofft sponge brush to add different colours of Pan Pastel pigment to lighten the road from the dark base coat.

The Pan Pastels can be used as solo colours, or blended, I chose to work with the colours individually, which meant they blended as I worked them onto the surface.  If you’ve ever looked at a road, the pavement is a lot of different colours as it wears differently with use by vehicles, water, freeze/thaw, and any number of other factors.  I was trying to capture this by blending the two grey tones onto the dark grey surface from the paint for the asphalt.

Creating dark lines along the expansion joints in a concrete cross walk by using black Pan Pastel then wiping away the excess.

For the cross walk, the concrete paint was blended with the greys, but also with black for the expansion joints in the concrete.  Using a moldable eraser, and by carefully wiping with a paper towel, excess pigment from the surface can be removed while leaving it in the grooves I’d carved in the pavement.

After I stepped back and looked at my first go round, I decided the pavement had gotten too light (in the photos above).  To combat this, I applied a heavier coat of the darker grey Pan Pastel to bring the tone back, once I had reached a happier stage, I overcoated the road with dullcote to seal the pigment down and create the road surface.  The finished roadway can be seen below.

Finished Pan Pastel asphalt, concrete sidewalk and brick insert.  The road surface has a really nice texture and varying tonality, just like a real road.  I’m quite pleased with how my first use of Pan Pastels has gone so far.

Next up is the rest of the sidewalk and patio paving.  I am using sheet styrene for the concrete sidewalk, and interlocking brick sheet for the patio areas.  Once the styrene is cut, I have to lay out and scribe the expansion lines in it, then paint and weather it with the Pan Pastels.  My Shapeways order with the windows and doors for the building has shipped, so I am very much working towards having the base ready to at least start mocking up the building in for when my order arrives.

Shapeways Pricing Update – Good & Bad News

New Pricing, reductions on small items like propane tanks, increases on big ones like HO Scale buildings.

So the news is in, and its not all bad, but its also not good for my larger models.  Despite my reservations when Shapeways initially announced the pricing changes, I would say at least 3/4 of my models that are for sale have gone down in price, and I am working on updating pricing to reflect that and pass on some of the savings to customers.  Even some of the models which are more expensive to print I am adjusting the markup where possible so I make a bit less but can hold the prices.  No crazy big price changes, most are a $1-2 reduction, though some things like the body shells for D-1 in HO at least is getting a nice $15 price drop.

The bad news, is that large items like structures which were already at the edge of affordability are now in the not-affordable range.  One major personal project I have been working on has gone from $175 to $600, so I will be going back to the drawing board as it were to look for ways to reduce the amount of the structure that is 3D printed vs. traditional techniques.  Its a bit frustrating.  The good news is, some things that hadn’t necessarily been affordable before that are not yet for sale are coming down in price, making them hopefully more attractive to people shopping my store when they are released.

My Shapeways Store is linked on the side bar and here: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/sjgardiner