Saturday, February 28, 2009

A new model...

After working on the raffle layout I'm finding that my painting skills are a bit rusty. I've not build a kit in many years because I usually scratchbuild. So I went an bought a kit at Trainmaster Models.

Walther's Cornerstone Kit in HO
Champion Packing Co.
Cost $40.98

Tenax Glue $3.99
Testor's Enamel Thinner $8.00
Woodland Scenics figures
A1823 Dock Workers $9.79
A1867 Factory Workers $9.80
A1843 Hereford Cows $8.10

This is a very large kit with several hundred pieces.

Idea - take the sides of beek and cast them. There are only four in the kit and it would look more realistic if there were more on the dock being loaded.

Goal: to get my skills back and practice. Also to use Dr. Ben's pigment paints, which I've not used before. I have a complete set of them.

I opened the kit, examined the parts and read through the instructions.

Name of the new industry: Stamped Meat Packing Company, Slaughterhouse #5

The slaughterhouse fits well on a layout. It has a great deal of in and out traffic.

Inbound loads can be cattle, supplies, machinery, coal (furnace and power), packaging materials, ice, etc.

Outbound loads can be processed beef, fertilizer, hides, byproducts.

The structure doesn't come with everything. I'm going to add an ice house, cattle pen and walkways, clean out track for cattle cars, clean out track for reefers and a coal dock for the power plant.

Monday, February 16, 2009

2004 Piedmont Raffle Layout

Here is a picture of the 2004 Raffle Layout that Paul Voelker and I built. This was an HO scale logging layout. A 4x8, but double decked partially with a switch back on one side. It was very creative and was quite popular.

Cast In A Bad Light

Crap! I hate it when things go wrong, which is usually every time I walk down to the shop. Today I checked on Steve-bay's casting of a side frame and the silicone had not set! For some reason the blend didn't work. I first thought that it was the temperature of the shop, then it was that the casting material was old.

But I finally found the reason when I went to make the mold again. The measuring cups furnished with the kit don't have the proper measuring marks! It would never work using the cups! So I chucked them and went back to weight measurement and repoured. It appears to be working nicely now and I'll make the frames later this week.

I've been using Alumilite's products for years and love them. I love their staff even more! They are always very helpful. Most always I weigh measure so I recommend that for you too.

Piedmont Raffle Layout

I have trouble making it to the Wednesday night raffle layout work session. Most of the time I'm on the road. So I volunteered this time to build some structures. I'm off for President's Day today so I put the finishing touches on two buildings.

I've worked on many of the Piedmont Raffle Layouts and have had several at my house. They are fun projects and are a good exercise in getting folks to actually build something. This year its an N-scale coal hauling line.

The first one is Walther's Clarksville Depot. I changed it to shades of gray to make it loo less conspicuous. I used light gray for the sides, and dark gray for the trim. It is not a showy building and doesn't sick out, which is what I wanted.

The other is the Model Power Brewery. This is a horrible kit, and not a very American building. But with some color changes it came out rather nice. The yellow brick is ghastly, but when you paint it oxide red, it really takes on a whole new feel.

Once I get these weathered I'll take some pix.

I'll finish the weathering and give them a coat of Dullcoat and they'll be good to go.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Truck Sideframe Casting

Man, is my shop a mess! I've got to spend a few hours to get it back in shape. The vertical milling machine is still in pieces and coffee drippings are on my electrical work bench. Yuck!

I spent some time today getting ready to cast some side frames. Steve-bay had a caboose or some other similar rail car that was missing all but one side frame. I sanded the back of the frame and mounted it in a metal tin using bathtub caulk. On the back of the truck I smear a very thin coat, just enough to hold the frame but not enough to distort the thickness. The caulk allows the master to be easily removed. When I mount it I push the sideframe down hard and squeeze all of the caulk that I can out from under the piece. Once it is dry I'll trim the excess caulk and pour the Dow silicone molding compound.