Site seeing – April 13, 2019 – oh the useful things you find on YouTube edition

I enjoy going down the rabbit hole that is YouTube, on occasion, just to see what there is to find.

Recently I came across Marty’s Matchbox Makeovers where Marty (obviously) reworks classic Matchbox vehicles, bringing them back to their showroom best. In a couple of recent videos he’s increased my knowledge on two topics that have been on my ‘get to know about‘ list:

  • The use of Brake Fluid (which I’ve always wanted to try but had been afraid of using) to take hard to remove paint off a model (in this video uses it on a clear plastic piece) and provides a fair bit of information on the types of brake fluid (who knew there was more than one – I’m no car guy…), and
  • Polishing clear plastic parts using Aluminium Paste, and in the same video he showcases a silver rattle-can paint, available from our local car parts stores here in “Straya’, that gives an outstanding finish that I have a use for in the near future.

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to use these interesting techniques I can recommend Marty’s videos. He achieves great outcomes with commonly available products (if you’re not in ‘Straya’ then you’ll have something similar available. Enjoy watching and talk to you all soon.

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Site Seeing – 04 Feb 2019 – The scratchbuilding masterclass edition

I enjoy scratchbuilding. It’s a mental as much as engineering or artistic endeavour. I recently found the site highlighted today and just had to share this for those of you unsure how to begin or for those who’ve begun but need along their scratchbuilding journey.


TamiyaBase.com

While this site deals with cars, and car related projects, the series of tutorials provide a great set of skills totally applicable to all modellers.

It includes extensive styrene tutorials in both flat and curved surface projects and there’s another outstanding tutorial on a project in brass. And this guy knows his scratchbuilding business.

There are downloadable templates, lists of tools and supplies to complete the model; in all a very comprehensive site and full of ideas for those of us interested in bettering our scratchbuilding skills. I learned a lot from reading all the tutorials.


Resources

Posted in Information, Modelling, scratchbuilding, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Tools, Web | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Site Update – The 2018 year in review edition

Earlier this year Andrew’s Trains passed the 100,000 individual views mark. I was very pleased at that result. You can read more by clicking the link above. With the start of 2019 I wanted to review the year that was at Andrew’s Trains, and see what insights came to light.


The year that was

2018 was a good year. Of note have been that the small layout designs have been of greatest interest to those visiting. Of note:

  • Just over 32000 hits on the blog, and
  • Almost every month was bigger than the year before (which is good)

Insights show that most people are still looking at the layout designs. So that will give me the focus for this year.

The year that will be

During 2019 I’ll have a couple of projects that I want to complete. These are:

  • More modelling and scratchbuilding – kitbashing/modding – articles including completing all the outstanding/started but not finished freight car projects,
  • Updating all the small layout designs with their own pages and a written operating plan to help readers understand their design and operation, and
  • Chronicling the design and build of my own small layout (8′ x 1.5′  – 2400mm x 450mm) shunting layout, with off-board staging.

I’ll be uploading more sketched ideas, and less of the computer generated designs than I have in the past. This is simply down to time, as in I don’t have enough of it to spend on learning new software packages while not having enough time to model. With my work as a tram driver I just don’t have the spare time to devote to any hobby that I’ve had in the past working regular 9-5 jobs.

I’ll be finishing the current XAF10 Railbox series of articles and complete the build articles that I’ve been working on for quite some time for the Victorian Government Railways ‘GY’ wagon build, and any other outstanding articles completed too.

Thanks for coming back and thanks too for those of you following the channel. You are the reason I’m doing this. I love sharing my skills, tools and ideas and all I hope is that you get the bug and start to build and operate. All the best.

Andrew Martin

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Site update: new section in tools – punch and die style tools – January 27, 2019

On one of the forums (fora?) that I inhabit the subject of punch and die sets came up. While answering the ops question about the punch and die sets I use, I thought it was time I write more about the tools I use and so with some spare time on my hands today I wrote a new section under the tools section for these highly useful, if not often talked about, tools. More below…


The tools


There’s four new pages, one master page, and one for each tool listed below:

  1. Beading tool – for making rivets and bolt ends,
  2. Hexagonal punch and die – for making bolt heads, and
  3. Waldron’s punch and die sets (plural) – for making washers, panel overlays, cutouts, and anything else you can think to use them for.

Resources


To reach each page you can use the menu at the top of the page (modelling articles > tools ‘n’ tips > Punch and Die tools > choose an option), or click from the links below:


A note on safety


When using any tool, but especially those that cut or punch make sure you are wearing eye protection at all times. Small parts can and will fly into your eyes if you are not careful. I’m not responsible for any damage to you or others from using the information presented here.

Posted in Modelling, Site seeing, Site Updates, This Site, Tools, Web | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Site Seeing – Sebastopol Shops RIP Track – January 26 (Australia Day), 2019

It’s officially Australia Day so I thought I’d share more work done weathering the Southern Boxcar underframe and sides. It’s interesting to see how the added brake gear (see more about that here) has become just another part of the model, and no longer seems to dominate the underframe, just as I had hoped it would.


Southern Boxcar 36188

I’m relatively happy with the work so far. There is work to be done on the patches to tone them down “just” a touch.

Beyond that though the underframe weathering is what I now consider to be just right (considering that it will be hard to see). I had to add a bright white background behind the model for it to show up.  Very pleased with how this work has come out. It looks perfectly functional, and most importantly, looks the business.

I’ve weighted the model appropriate to my needs (that’s roughly the cube root of the on rail weight). This is heavy by the ‘normal’ standards, but with the Kadee sprung and equalised trucks under them my cars run like dream.


Tasks remaining

  • Rust spots need adding on the side, especially on the sliding door (right) side of the car as this area takes a real beating in service. There’ll be less on the left side. I’ll be using Ken Patterson’s oil weathering process, as outlined in the video in the resources section below. I’ve not used this particular method before so it will be interesting to see how it works for me. I’ve weathered in oils before and enjoy them very much, this will be one new technique for quick and dirty rust weathering.
  • The roof needs to be attached to the car and I’ll be weathering it to match the side weathering. I always do the sides before I do the roof because much of the run off ends up on the car sides.

Resources

Ken Patterson’s Oil Weathering method:

Posted in Acrylics, Boxcars, Freight, HO Scale, Modelling, Oils, Paints & Painting, Powders, RustAll, Scales, Site seeing, Site Updates, This Site, Weathering, Web, YouTube | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Site Seeing – Sebastopol Shops RIP track – 20 January, 2019

Work has been busy and I’ve not had much time to model, however I did get time yesterday to begin the weathering process on a couple of car underframes that have come through the brake rod upgrade program. Pictures below…


Southern 36188

An E&C Shops kit this PS-1 50′ single door boxcar has been in the shops recently for brake rodding updates. With the deeper side sills it provides a good view of what I’m trying to achieve through the upgrade program – adding ‘something‘ between the bottom of the car and rails.

From a lower point of view the rodding detail on this car disappears into the background clutter of hard angles and shadow (image taken in reflected sunlight on my workbench – late afternoon – with nice and flat tones)

Taken at normal railfan height the rodding is there and fools the eye, at least my eye, into believing that this is a super detailed car. Rolling by you’d never guess anything otherwise.


XAF10 class prototype car

Work continues on the XAF prototype car, an Athearn Blue Box kit. I’ve had my concerns throughout the upgrade that things would stick out like a sore thumb. I needn’t have worried. I like what’s emerging.

This is the car with all brake rodding work completed. I was worried that the brake rodding would be too obvious using the 20 thou brass.

After applying the base of the undercar weathering the experiment has borne sweet fruit. This looks much more like I wanted it to look. Same lighting and location showing the hard angles and shadows. Once on its wheels and with further weathering applied the rodding will disappear into the background, yet have that wow factor as it goes past.

Thanks for stopping by. Comments? Questions? Let me know.

Posted in Acrylics, Boxcars, Freight, HO Scale, Modelling, Railbox, Scales, Simple Upgrades, Site seeing, This Site, Weathering, Web, XAF10 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Site Seeing – Last mile switching on the Florida Central – January 9, 2019 edition

Danny Harmon spends a day out following a railfan friendly switch crew of the Florida Central as they switch customers around Orlando, Florida.


First Mile / Last Mile

This is where I believe that real railroading happens. It is where the customer meets the railroad. It’s also where modellers with small spaces, budgets and time allocation get the most bang for the buck when designing and building a layout. There’s a lot of great locations and close up detail shots of the crew working and the locations for inspiration.

Sit back, put on your headphones and enjoy the sights and sounds of a couple of vintage locomotives as the train crew prepare their train, run out to, and then switch, the customers spurs. (Clickable video below)



Make sure to like and subscribe to Danny’s channel. Recently he’s been doing a lot of switching videos. I hope he does a lot more to come. Supporting him might just get him to do more too.

Posted in Freight, Liked off site, Operations, Prototype, Site seeing, Switching, video, Web, YouTube, Youtube | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Site Update – December 15, 2018 – RailBox XAF10 Modelling pages updated

The modelling article on the RailBox XAF10 class cars have been updated. There is new content and the third step of the rebuild article promised some time ago. There’s more information below.


What’s happened

My last update on this project covered the addition of a short history of the class. This time we’re getting into the meat of the project.

This new page covers the dangly bits between the frame and the rails – brake rigging. This is a task focused modelling article on how to simulate the brake rigging on the model without going over the top. Thanks go out to Tony Thompson whose original post on his blog got me started on this particularly enjoyable journey. (There’s a link from the new page to Tony’s original blog post.)

Throughout the series I’ll be aiming to complete the entire project section within an hour (between getting home and dinner for example) and at the end of it have a model that you can be proud of. Here’s what I mean using before and after photos:

Image 1: The basic Athearn BB kit sans brake rigging

Image 2: Same kit (undec) with brake rigging – a subtle difference but well worth the effort

You can head direct to the page by clicking this link, or head over to the project home page clicking this link. I hope that you enjoy this new part of the project. Like, subscribe and follow to keep up to date with all the new content here on Andrew’s Trains.

Posted in Boxcars, Freight, HO Scale, Modelling, Per Diem, Prototype, Railbox, Scales, Site Updates, This Site, Web, XAF10 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Site Seeing – Sebastopol Shops RIP Track – 12 December 2018

There was movement at the station, (to partially quote A. B. ‘Banjo’ Patterson), and I’m working to update a fair proportion of the model fleet with basic brake gear. More below…


Low hanging fruit

I mentioned a couple of posts ago I wrote about simplifying my modelling, without compromising my vision of what I want to achieve with my modelling. I believe that simplifying my style modelling does not mean accepting less. I tend to over think everything, over detail (hyper detail) and in the end never finish anything to the standard I want to. Think contest models of everything, no more however. In that spirit I’ve been working toward cost-effective updates to my Athearn BB and other boxcars that I’ve collected over the years. To that end last week I found (for the second time at least) the post by Tony Thompson on his blog about providing partial yet effective brake rigging. This week I’ve gotten that done on several cars, and what a difference it makes.

There’ll be a full article coming later this week on how I achieved my version over on the project page for the RailBox XAF10 cars. The page updates appearing there will be out-of-order but I’ll be filling in the blanks over the next couple of weeks as I get images completed. In addition there’ve been some cars in for repairs and one specifically coming closer to completion. More on these last two tomorrow.


Images from the RIP track

The production line; and while the cars have good general representations of the AB brake system, you can make a better looking version with a little time, staples, some fine brass rod and a little super glue (in this case super thick).

Above: the Prototype RBOX XAF10 car at the back (all brass) with the other three cars using staples for the protective hangers.

Below: Bringing it all together. Staples and brass rod for the actuating rods. Absolutely prototypical? Nope, but they look the goods and make a total difference to the side on view of the cars. Well worth the time and effort to do.

50 Boxcars NW 52900 & Southern 36188 showing the difference between steps:

Above: the car with the beginnings of the brake rigging in place.

Below: shows the difference between one day and the next. Talk about a difference. I really like the look, busy, but simple and cheap to do.

I’ll post more images next time as I work through the rest of the cars on the RIP track.

Thanks for reading and dropping by.

Posted in Boxcars, Freight, HO Scale, Modelling, Per Diem, Railbox, Scales, Simple Upgrades, XAF10 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Site Update – December 05, 2018 – RailBox XAF10 Modelling pages updated

The modelling article on the RailBox XAF10 class cars have been updated. There is new content and the first step into the rebuild article promised quite some time ago. There’s more information below.


What’s happened

The XAF10 class RailBox boxcars (the first of the fleet) built by ACF from late 1974 through mid 1975 are my favourite North American railcar. I’ve been working away on collecting information for the rebuild and upgrade to the Athearn Blue Box models since 2010.

I first mentioned rebuilding my XAF10 model fleet, in this related post, back in 2014. Since then a tightening of the modelling budget (due to being laid off, and being over 50 and it taking a long time to find full time work again) has slowed the build process down, although it never stopped completely. I’ve worked in fits and starts as I could afford to buy bits and pieces. The test boxcar is very close to being finished. I’ve tested updates and processes as I go to find what works best for me. Once the test car is done I’ll get stuck into the other 5 cars and knock out at the one time. And that should be over the next 10 days (I hope).

I’ve updated the main page, and added the first page of the process. I’ve got a couple of tasks left to model on the on the test car tomorrow. Once that’s done I’ll upload the work to that point.

Resources

XAF10 Class modelling updated pages:

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