Category Archives: 1:48 (US O Scale 1/4″)

US and other 1:48 & 1/4″ O scale category of modelling articles

Site Seeing – The David Barrow fan boy edition – September 24, 2018

We moved back to Australia in 2006. So, I have to live through others when they visit David Barrow in Austin Texas, my wife’s hometown, and where we spent 10 years from 1997. Trevor Marshall visited recently and came away with a great post on the man and his layouts – including his new small (comparatively speaking) O scale layout which really piqued my interest.


David Barrow’s layouts

Hi – my name is Andrew – and I’m a David Barrow fan boy tragic…

I first remember reading about David Barrow’s Cat Mountain and Santa Fé layout in the 1980s in Model Railroader magazine. As a young man, dreaming about my large future model railway plans, David’s layouts (there were at my last count about 17 versions of the Cat Mountain) were my ideal. While I dream of those massive layouts still I took another path to small layout designs.

Recently David Barrow has followed down that rabbit hole, this time in O scale, with a new layout. You can read more about that in the second link below by Trevor Marshall.

David’s layout design and presentation skills are unique in the hobby. Not to everyone’s taste I’ll grant, yet having seen and operated on the layout once in 2005, I did not notice its minimal scenic treatment. I was too interested in the operational side of things.

Image 1: Davids Barrow’s entire O Scale layout – battery-powered and operated by radio

Once again the layout design is the centre of attention and the scenic treatment is classic David Barrow – minimalist. However, you can use the design and then scenic it to your heart’s content. Hmmm – now let me see – I have 3 boards in the garage on which that layout design would fit perfectly…

You can out more on this layout in the Model Railroad Planning 2018 publication from Kalmbach.


Resources

Site Update – the I have a bench finally edition

It has been more than 20 years since I last had a dedicated modelling room, and the spaces within which, to continuously model. It is nice to be able to leave out projects that I am working on, and not have to worry about little hands and my wife getting grumpy at me because of the mess I leave about. I’m not complaining mind. Just saying that it is nice to be able to leave out projects that I’m not quite finished with and come back to them hours, days or even weeks later without the guilt of being in another’s way.

I was lucky in finding a solid glass top desk in a local thrift store (on the cheap mind). Nice thick glass (perfectly flat and great to use when scratchbuilding) with plenty of space to build and keep the projects on (see the image on the left).

And there are several projects that I need to advance and get to completion. Among them are the following Australian outline kit building projects:

  1. GY Grain wagons from the SEM kit as outlined here in 2015

I’ve actually got about 12 of these to complete, and I’ve learned along the way with the kits that while it would be nice to include everything I originally planned, unless you build them from scratch you have to compromise. These will eventually belong to an Aussie outline small layout for exhibition. More on that later – as I need to buy some motive power (A Y class loco, or two, or three, and a T Class too if I can get my bookkeeper to authorise the purchase).

Then there are the following US outline projects:

  1. O Scale GP38-2 rebuilds (more on that here)
  2. HO Scale SW1500 rebuilds (more to come on that in another post soon)
  3. Completion of a bunch of HO scale car repaints, upgrades and so on

There are several other types of non-rail modelling projects that I’d like to finish too, including Robby the Robot, a series of BSG (Battlestar Galactica) projects, a couple of Star Trek projects and tanks, submarines, and a couple of dioramas for these said projects too.

That’s it for now on this update. There’ll be more information and write-ups coming on these projects as I get them moving again. I still have some parts to order for the O scale project, where as I’ve all the parts needed now for the SW1500s.

Site seeing – the oil soaked track edition – April 15

Mike Cougill over at OST Publications is an inspiration when it comes to modelling track. His work is in O scale sure, his techniques however can be used in any scale to spruce up, or in this case make a mess of, otherwise perfectly good track.

His recent post about modelling oil soaked track is a point in case. Simple, presented in a straightforward style and always willing to experiment Mike’s technique provides a great result.

Image courtesy of Mike Cougill

Mike’s site is full of great articles and ideas. Very well worth the time taken to visit.

Site seeing January 16 – The Bart Van Doorn edition

Back in very late December 2015 I showcased Bart’s then pretty new O (1/48th) scale layout – 33rd Street. It’s been just over 12 months and he’s been making improvements the entire time. And they’re very, very good improvements.

That was then:

DSCN4104

This is now:

33 Street yard at night fall

Image 1: Bart’s eye candy

See what I mean?

Site 1: Bart’s flickr stream

Click over to Bart’s flickr site and get acquainted with his work. Some really good stuff here for the model builder, especially those of us bitten by the O scale bug to see what can be achieved in a relatively small space.

In addition since I last visited his site he’s extended the track plan somewhat giving himself more room to play in. Enjoy and keep a watch on his stream. He updates his images fairly regularly.

Site 2: Bart’s YouTube page has updates too

This is just one of his posted videos. There are more available after the jump -just click the YouTube logo to go to Bart’s YT page.

Take a look around and enjoy. It’s a great idea for a layout in any scale. Looking forward to giving his street light a go.

Site update: 02 December – More weathering photos

I’ve completed the remaining weathering of the body of the 40 foot Hi-Cube. There may be one or two more minor tweaks that I’ll make to get that just right look, overall I am very happy with this cars look. As an experiment using multiple techniques that I’ve not used altogether before I’m very happy and will try this next on a HO scale car. Where are we up to?

Flash on showing most of the car completed
Flash on showing most of the car completed

The second round of body and roof weathering has gone on. Keeping in mind that this car ran mostly in the dryer states and most of that in Texas in my modelling location there is a preponderance of dust and rust and not a lot of rain weathering. I believe that I have another of these cars in my O scale stash and will document the weathering as I go in the next week for all of you.

Interior shot showing the walls and weahtering
Interior shot showing the walls and weathering

I am particularly pleased with the internal look of the car. I hand painted the interior since I wanted a little tooth on the interior of the car, adding some Acrylic Painting Medium to the cheapo acrylic paint to thin and help it settle.

Close up of the wall and floor weathering
Close up of the wall and floor weathering

Minor touch ups to the door openings remain, to add the dings and rusting, prevalent around boxcar doors. Overall I’m pretty happy with the outcome. There are still the trucks to do, but we’re getting close. More again soon.

Site update – November 29

I’ve been laid up the last two days due to some (hopefully) simple skin surgery to remove another unusual mole. Being unable to lift or move too much this week gave me some much-needed time to catch up on some modelling that I’ve put off for far too long. Today’s work has been added to the weathering section, and shows Atlas O’s completely incorrect model of the Cotton Belt 40 foot Hi Cube.

A little history

The real SP & SSW cars in SP class B-70-36 are both small in number and used in captive service for high volume – low weight appliance service from major appliance manufacturers to distribution centres. The cars were 40′-6″ long hi-cube box cars; they were all built by Pacific Car & Foundry in 1966 and had 5001 cubic foot capacity, Hydra-Cushion underframes and 10′-6″ Youngstown sliding doors.

Image courtesy T. E. Cobb via railgoat.railfan.net

They came to be nicknamed the “Ugly Ducklings” due their awkward appearance. Built for appliance service and used later in their life for other roles the SP cars in class B-70-36 were numbered as follows:

  • SP 659100-659111 and had DF-B loaders

The Cotton Belt cars (the highest number) in class B-70-36 were numbered as follows:

  • SSW 36014-36126 DF, DF-B, Car Pac loaders

The car being weathered, as provided by Atlas, is car number 36000 which was a wooden sheathed car of a completely different class. The car is actually a Pullman-Standard built Hi-Cube boxcar built for the D&RGW in November of 1967 (see image below). Built for Whirlpool appliance service D&RGW’s 67422 (shown below) had Equipco load dividers and was assigned to load on the Erie Lackawanna at Marion, Ohio. 67422 was also equipped with Pullman-Standard’s ‘Damage Free’ Hydroframe and was painted in the Grande’s contemporary ‘Action Road’ livery.

Image courtesy of James Belmont via railpictures.net

Weathering the model

On this model I’ve tried a multi-disciplinary approach. I’ve used just about everything in my weathering tool chest. Oils, Acrylics, RustAll and Weathering Powders. It’s a bit of an experiment in seeing how to integrate all the different techniques I’ve used. You can head on over to the new page now or take a look at a couple of images of the work today.

Early afternoon shot of the weathering on the roof
Early afternoon shot of the weathering on the roof
Lower resolution image showing the weathering on the floor
Lower resolution image showing the weathering on the floor

I’ll be posting more photos tomorrow as I work on finishing this car. Enjoy the full-page.

Modelling diversions – and why they are needed

Image courtesy of: http://www.airplaneboneyards.com

It’s been some time since I modelled anything other than railways or railway related stuff. A couple of years ago at the local scale modelling club’s Annual Show (full disclosure I am a board member there) I purchased a cheap and cheerful 1:48 scale F-111E for very little money from one of the club members who was looking to offload it.

It has been a frustrating, and yet a strangely enjoyable process to go through building an aircraft for the first time in over 30 years. That it happens to be in the same scale as my 0 scale railway endeavours doesn’t hurt.

Work on this has been one of the reasons why I’ve been so quiet here on the HVL and Andrew’s Trains. I got into a bit of a rut and realised that I needed a break away from modelling and making trains for a bit; the joy of modelling went stale.

If you’d like to follow along with that build process and all the frustrations and pitfalls I’ve met along the way head on over to my other modelling site for the build process and what I hope will be a unique model at the end of the Boneyard Build.

Here’s what I’m aiming for as a model and diorama (although not sure about the paint scheme yet).

Image courtesy of http://www.taringa.net/

There’s a lot of weathering on these aircraft that I’ve noticed as I researched. And that I am really looking forward to.

Atlas TrainMan releases O scale 20′ ISO Containers

As of August 5, 2016 Atlas TrainMan are shipping 20′ ISO shipping containers in 0 scale (1:48) in four paint schemes. The containers are sold as a two pack for $24.95 US. Each container livery has eight numbers (four packs of two containers); theoretically that is 32 containers available with individual numbers. Reality may depend on your location and stocks available to non-US residents.

The details from the Atlas site are as follows:

  • Scale length, width and height
  • Prototypical paint schemes & lettering
  • Non-opening doors
  • 20’ based on corrugated design with logo panels
  • Accurate painting and lettering for steel 20-foot containers
  • Two containers will fit end-to-end in the Atlas O Gunderson Twin Stack cars.
  • Eight road numbers are available per road name. Each item number is a 2-pack, with two road numbers. Four 2-packs per case

You can visit the Atlas page by clicking this link.

Site update: New modelling page

Ballarat - May 2013
Ballarat – May 2013

I’m slowly working to catalogue and curate all of my railway and modelling related images. I’m doing this in part so that I can share them all with you here; also to allow me to find the photos I need for modelling when I need them.

Site update 1: Modelling Page: High Cube Shipping Containers

There are several useful resources available on the above link. These include:

  • A gallery of detail images of a 40′ HC container taken in 2013
  • A downloadable PDF for all HC containers sizes in metric and imperial should you wish to make your own (especially for the 3D printer)
  • Details of suppliers in most of the popular scales including some free through more paid resources

I hope that you find this useful for your modelling purposes. Drop me a line if you make use of any of the resources.

Site Seeing – April 18 – Small O scale layouts 7

I know that I said that this month was all about O scale layouts that fit within the 8′ x 2′ display footprint. With the addition of a fiddle yard or other means to stage trains I feel that today’s idea should work quite well for those interested in a slightly larger area US style switching layout.

Site 1: Midland Ohio, in O scale (from RM Web)

Originally Nick Palette was intending to build an O scale version of Shortliner Jack’s Box Street yard. Plan below:

After some thought and playing around Nick instead decided to use another plan, the Fort Smith Railroad. In mostly the same space. The track plan is below:

Nick who’s username on the RMWeb community is Northpoint, has been building this layout for some time now. While the Fort Smith layout plan is over the size of most of the layouts so far this April, I feel that within the context of the layout styles presented so far and with some reworking of the siding length to shrink the layout we are still within the bounds of the size of layout I envisioned.

Head on over to the RM Web link above to look through the layout build. First thought watch the video of Nick’s first operating session to whet your appetite.