Monday, January 12, 2015

New MiniTrains HOn30 rolling stock

MiniTrains has added this "American" style rolling stock to its line of HOn30 equipment. These will look great behind the  new Fiddletown engine.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Fiddletown Project

The HOn30 Fiddletown & Copperopolis display for MiniTrains is complete and on its way to Germany. It took a year, part time, to build the display. Like most model railroads the structures were the most labor intensive.

The landforms were made from bead board. The crumbly white styrofoam that most scenery builders hate - I love the stuff. The rocks are thin sections of the Scenic Express foam rocks.

I'm putting together a construction article for the Gazette so you can read all about the construction process. So stayed tuned.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Fiddletown display

Here's today's look at the Fiddletown display. It's a 30" by 36" HOn30 model railroad. There are two loops of track - the bottom track is mostly hidden except where the train comes out to cross the bridges.

I still need to build a deck truss bridge for the upper track on the left side and finish wiring it. Having had a cold the flu all fall have slowed me down a lot!

Later this winter I'll post a little about how this was built.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tip of the week - cleaning brushes

I have of lot of expensive artists brushes that I use for model work. Some of these are over thirty years old. Over the years they've acquired a lot of dried paint build-up at the top of the bristles near the ferrel. The paint in the bristles has rendered many of the brushes useless for fine model work.

My solution to rejuvenate the brushes is to soak the bristles in 91% rubbing alcohol for several days. After the soak I scrub the brushes on paper towels to remove the softened paint and then I wash them in soap and water. The hardened paint is gone and the brushes, although not "new," are soft, pliable and ready to use.

Tip #2 - To prevent the paint from building up in the first place, always wet the bristles in water (or solvent, if you're using solvent-based paints) before sticking them into the paint. The wet brush will keep the paint from drying on the dry bristles in the middle of the brush.

I got this alcohol tip from an artist's magazine.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A cherry pie for charity

There's a charity in Maine that provides help to schools in the Freeport area. The name is "Painting for a Purpose." This year among other art projects the group is painting clock faces. The one I did is a cherry pie being invaded by ants. Mine is one of hundreds that will be sold at auction.
It's acrylic on a wood base.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fifty years and counting...

A friend is building a combination HO and HOn30 model railroad and he's decided to hand-lay the track. He has cut the wooden ties and was getting ready to color them when he noticed something was missing. It was the railroady smell you get when walking the tracks.

The smell is from creosote, the tie preservative. New wood ties are soaked in creosote under pressure to preserve them.

Over 50 years ago Tru-Scale offered real creosote tie preservative for model railroaders. I still have a can and remember using a little of it on a railroad I once built. 

Needless to say I gave the can to my friend so he can have a model railroad that smells like a real railroad.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mt Blue General Store

Bob Hayden built this Mt. Blue HO General Store kit. He substituted the Campbell shingles for the metal roofing provided. It'll fit right in on the new layout he's building.