Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Building the wild west

These two western-style HO structures are going to be used on a new display I'm building. Both are Banta kits. Clark's on the top is just a barn-like structure with a false front. I added the plastic trim and roof supports to the front - these were salvaged from a structure I dropped. The two spaces between the trim will be covered with a sign.

The lower structure is a blacksmith shop. I'm going to add interior detail scavenged from several old FineScale Miniatures kits. The roofing tarpaper is from Paper Creek.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Old Paint

No "old paint" isn't the name of my horse, it's all the old bottles left over from other projects. Some go back to the days when model paint was actually affordable. 

You can see I opened the $1.69 bottle. The paint was still good so I used it on a project I was building. I mixed it with a little Roof Brown color to get a darker red. I thinned this with Diosol, the Floquil solvent, to make a stain. I broke the plastic inner seal that keeps the paint fresh. It was replaced with a small square of plastic cut from a sandwich bag.

I even found a bottle of Flo-Stain Driftwood, the elusive elixir used on a lot of FineScale Miniatures kits. The Driftwood was still good. I used one of the Micro Mark submersion mixers to get the stain back in usable condition.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Failed water

Here's a view of the diorama I scratchbuilt for the Model Railroad EXPO several years ago. The Mod Podge water in the rear under the arch was built on a scrap of Styrofoam. The foam is starting to outgas and is ruining the water. The water surface next to the building is okay because it was built on a square of plywood.

Here's an extreme example of failed water on an addition I helped build on an HO Pennsy layout. This is Woodland Scenic Realistic Water poured over a Styrofoam base. 

The foam base was painted with acrylic paints and then the water was poured on. In less then a month the bubbling started - small fizzy bubbles at first, and everyday there were more of them. Finally, after after about three months in looked like this - like the La Brea Tar Pits. 

From my experience I'd recommend not using any type of acrylic medium over a pink or blue Styrofoam base. I have not had problems using Gator Board.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The little bordello

I built this little one-room bordello from a kit made by Banta Models. I decided to decorate the second story bedroom with wallpaper, a rug, and some furniture left over from the days when I used to review such things for RMC. The furniture is from SS Ltd. - there's a bed, bookcase and a table. I added two HO figures looking out the front and back windows.

To see what's going on I placed a Evans Design pico LED to light things up. The LED is the size of a dot made by a pencil so it need some amplification. I glued a mirror to the underside of the roof to reflect the LED and increase the brightness. After all this is a bordello and you need a mirror on the ceiling!

I tested the LED. The roof is just set in place and the
trim, stairs and other details are not finished. I add a thin sheet of orange diazo film to the top part of the windows to warm-up the light.

Here's the finished bordello set along side several other structures that I've built in the past week or so.