Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Extra Narrow Gauge Junction

Benchmark Publishing (SL&NG Gazette) has a new book titled EXTRA NARROW GAUGE JUNCTION by Dick Andrews. It's a collection of 60 columns that Dick wrote for the Gazette over a 20 year period.

I read every one of Dick's early column's in RMC and later in the Gazette. I looked forward to them every month. They had the information I needed. At the time Bob Hayden and I were modeling the Maine two-foot railroads in HOn30 and Dick was writing about his experiences with the prototype. 

For me, rereading Dick's articles is a joy. I'd forgotten just how interesting they were, and how lucky I was to be able to learn firsthand from Dick about the two-footers. He's a good story teller who had firsthand experience - he was there! 

If you like the two-footers, you'll love this book. Hardcover, 8-1/2" x 11", 232 pages, color covers. Price: $59.95 - S&H:  U.S. $8.00, Canada & Mexico $37.00, Overseas $51.00. Available from Bob Hayden Consulting.

The official description by Bob Brown, editor of the Gazette: "Charming stories about narrow gauge, with an emphasis on Maine 2-foot railroads by a writer who actually rode on some of them. The book is a great tribute to Dick Andrews and to the inspiration and counsel that he provided to us younger guys for close to 50 years -- and a great read."

Monday, March 25, 2013

A shot for a Test Track product review in RMC many years ago. I don't remember who offered the structure kit but I managed to dress it up enough so the building almost disappeared. The lobster is from a swizzle stick I found in the mixed drink I ordered from Anthony's Pier 4 on the Boston waterfront. After I saw the lobster I just had to order several more drinks to get more lobsters.

The tree is a large piece on sage brush I got from Sweetwater Scenery. They may still be in business although the owner passed away many years ago. 

The other details were from my box of props that I used for every table top product review shot. I think the outboard motor came from a Revell tugboat kit. The piles of plywood were cut from furniture veneer and the boat, in the background was built from a plastic kit. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Making ink jet "decals."

My Friend Hal Reynolds of Atlantic Scale Modelers sent me a link showing how to use your ink jet printer to make a "decal" from an image and then transfer the image to wood. This process has a ton of applications for modelers especially those want to add signage directly to the side of a building.

I tried the process with this sign I copied from the Internet (above.) I clipped the black edge from the sign in Photoshop and then printed it on the prepared paper as shown in the video.

Here's the first sign applied to a wood base which has a crinkled or cracking surface.

You can see how the ink jet ink has bled into the wet matte medium gel but the sign is useable and looks weathered.

I tried making smaller signs and I applied them to different wood bases. Here's two different sized signs applied to ship's deck planking.

I think they may look better on a white or light gray background.

I'm going to experiment with different sign on different wood backgrounds. I may even try a few on plastic or plaster.

Follow the steps in the link and you'll be making good looking signs in no time.

The C&DR Ry.

Here's a table top set-up shot on the HOn30 C&DR Ry. All the items in this photo have been placed to get a pleasing picture.

The HOn30 diesel was made from an N gauge Fairbanks Morse diesel with a Mini Trix HO cab. These were/are nice little diesels and I have three that still run just fine after 40 years of service. The boxcars were both scratchbuilt and kit made. The gondola car was scratchbuilt.

I like Lubriplate (black graphite suspended in Alcohol) to lubricate all these little engines.
I think it's the secret to getting good running qualities from these little engines. The other thing I always did to get these engines broken in quickly, was to remove the motor and connect the drive shaft to a variable speed electric drill and run the drive train for several hours at medium speed, adding lubricant to replace the stuff that flew off the gears. I think the Lubriplate also helped the gears "wear-in."

Friday, March 22, 2013

IHC Granite Front building

Did you ever get the urge to built something, anything? I get it all the time and I always turn to my trove of plastic structure kits from the 1970's, 1980's and 90's. These are quick and easy and satisfy the need to build.

A structure like this IHC stone front building is about an 8 hour project not counting the time it takes for the paint to dry. I spray painted all the parts while they were still on the sprue. Then the parts were assembled using ACC and Tenex plastic cement. After assembly I weathered the building with washes of oil colors and with pastel chalks. 

I still need to straighten the railing on the front stairs. They sagged while the glue was setting.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sealing Mod Podge water

Several years ago I built a traveling display for Sea Port Model Works. (There are photos of the display base and several structures shown in earlier postings.) The question that everyone who sees the display asks is "how was the water built?" To answer the question I put together a 10 minute video showing the process. You can view the video here.

At the end of the presentation I talk about sealing the water surface using Gloss Acrylic Varnish. This is something you need to get in a paint store. Here's a photo of the brand I use but any good quality water-based varnish will work.