In the past I’ve seen a lot of weathering done that I said was too heavy, unrealistic. Something that you’d never see in the wild. Today I reviewed one of Adrian Nicholls photos on his photostream on flickr.
Image courtesy Adrian Nicholls – via flickr
I take it all back. Adrian says on the site: “66 301 catches the late afternoon sunshine at Carlisle Kingmoor TMD after its 21 hour diagram on train 3J11 the North West RHTT circuit, (17.15 to 14.05). The loco has just been fuelled and is waiting while the water jetter generator and rear loco (66 427) are dealt with. It will then do the whole circuit again hence the accumulation of filth on the locomotive as there is little depot down time on this circuit for cleaning. Never a very pleasant time of the year to deal with locos in such a condition as what every you touch is covered in filth off the track and a drivers railway uniform can soon resemble a fitters overalls if you are not careful.”
I guess you really have to model from the prototype. I would never have thought of making a locomotive this filthy. But there you have it.
I find it amazing that when you need something the most it so often appears out of the mist, landing at your feet, as if sent by the gods direct from Olympus itself. Watch on as Shortline Modellers’ Shawn Branstetter goes through what he did to paint, weather and masterfully finish the diesel locomotive truck in this video.
I hope that he keeps on posting videos like this. If some of the articles I’ve only scanned so far are near as good, this site will become a modeller’s resource for many of us.
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For those of you who’ve been following the blog for a while you may know that I am rebuilding two Weaver GP38-2s. In the process of rebuilding I had come to the conclusion, due to the difficulty of getting parts help from several of the USA suppliers, that I would have to build a lot of O scale parts. Then Lo and Behold – American Scale Model Professional Services comes on the scene on eBay; more in a second.
When I saw these little babies on Flea Bay I thought all my Christmas’ has come at once. Because these parts were going to be a Royal Pain in Diaz to manufacture. I can do it, but with dragging feet, toes in the dust and all, I just “din wanna”.
Not only are they better than I thought they’d be in the flesh, they appear to be far better than I’d hoped.
In addition the shipping costs were pretty good and the service was outstanding. Ordered the 8th of February they arrived the 24th February. I got gouged by the fallen Australian dollar – but that was not the owner Bill’s fault. I blame the bloody Chinese economy for that! I’m going to keep Bill’s details in my diary and contact him again when I need more parts. Hear that Bill? Done in my best Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator voice – I’ll be back.
And yes, those are decals in there. I’ll be putting on the magnifier and taking a look at these later on. Later gator.
A long time ago, in a modelling landscape far, far away… there was a UK Model Trains magazine (I cannot remember the issue) that described the conversion of the Atlas O scale Plymouth switcher; the aim being to turn it into an industrial UK shunter.
If my memory serves me well it would have been about 1982 or there about. In short order I found myself owning four of these locomotives, and set about modelling the shunter as I’d seen it a couple of years previously. Having said all of this the title of this article now becomes important because I am about to finish the project that I started sometime back in the early to mid 1980s, in the mid 2010s. Yep – that’s 30 years.
That ‘Model Trains’ magazine article suggested either:
Keeping the cab height the same as it was on the original model and raising the buffer beam height to allow for buffers etc. or
Raising the entire cab by about a scale foot and raising the height of the footplate at the same time to allow for buffers to be mounted on the end of the frame.
I chose the second option as I wanted a snappy looking locomotive and not something half thought out that I’d never be happy with. So with magazine, (I have the copy somewhere and I’ll update the article details when I have them) plasticard, liquid glue, files and a sense of adventure I started working on the model.
I left the length of the loco as it was, and raised the body height with a conveniently wide piece of plasticard stock to get the height visually right. In reality that was the easy part as you’re just adding that to the bottom of the body.
All images are Copyright Andrew Martin 2015 unless otherwise noted
In the four photos of the unmodified model note the squat nature of the body. The last photo shows the difference in height between the modified and original loco that the two 40 thou shims of plasticard give. It should be noted that the loco models that I have come with a textured surface on the footplate simulating a safety tread pattern. This was sanded down and removed prior to installing the higher floor.
Next I cleaned up the four pane windows and made them single pane. Finally I sanded down and covered over the buffing faces on the loco ends in preparation for the 3 link couplings and buffers. The only problem was that having put all of that work into the loco – it did not look right to me. It looked like a higher roofed American loco and not something that would have been made in or for an English railway, especially a Quarry railway which I’d always wanted to model (and still do). So it was back to the drawing board.
The second coming…
Unfortunately I only have photos from the second rebuild that I started in 1996 or there about and none from that first effort as it was back in the early 1980s and I don’t remember owning a camera at the time (being a poor electronics apprentice).
Before I begin any modelling project (I over think them to be honest) I do a lot of work on how the final model will look; This locomotive was no different. First was a working sketch that I scanned recently and cleaned up below. (Yes I store all my sketches of train models.)
There are some differences between the concept sketch and the final model that I’ll be completing in the next week or two – overall I’ve come pretty close to what I wanted. I’ve not bothered with the end rails and chain nor the MU stand. As the quarry locomotives were generally run individually and not in MU service in the UK from what I can gather. Additionally I took about 10 mm off the rear end of the unit since I did not want the air tank or a balcony on that end with the new look.
If it’s blue, it’s not new. The bubbly mess of plastic in the cab end of the hood is what happens when you try and speed up curing of putty with an incandescent bulb. The stove pipe chimney was the result of that and not planned. However, I did add 5mm in the front of the hood to extend the hood forward and rebuilt the front top are of the hood too as the bulky light on the original just irked me too much to live with. The entire cab roof, and rear wall was sawn out, and a plasticard cab end and roof was put in its place. This sounds fairly straightforward, until you see the amount of work that actually went into designing and building the new cab end.
Photo 2 above shows the planning and work that went into the design of the new cab. When the skin (10 thou plasticard) went on it was measured and cut in one piece to ensure that there would be no visible seams on the face of the loco. This went off without a hitch and I learned a lot out of that exercise that has helped me in my model building since. Photo 3 below shows what the cab looks like after the skin has been cut and glued in place.
Also in Photo 3 above you’ll note the
Oleo buffers (from House of O Gauge in the UK – now gone I believe). These are working buffers and work as well as they look.
The electrical conduit to the light is fine solder Super-Glued in place. The light is a square styrene section with a circular section cut into the square frame and then drilled out to accept an LED. This will go back into the cab and into the DCC board. I had thought about having a duel sealed beam set, but I liked the look of this better.
To remove the need for a rear facing horn, I cut a small slot into the top left of the cab for the horn. I’ve yet to place a horn placed on the front of the loco.
The three link couplings are also working with draw gear behind them on the front and the back. Finally the electrical junction box is a 1:48th MU cover glued on to the face.
Finally the window frames are all 20 thou and allow a 0.5mm overhang into the window space. I am hoping to get some microscope slide covers cut and put in place in all of the windows. Should that prove too bothersome I will cut out some Monitor protector plastic that I’ve saved from work and use that in its place. It will be secured in either case by Revel clear cement.
It’s getting late, so I’ll just add a couple more photos. If you have questions let me know in the comments and I’ll answer them for you.
I’m not sure if I am going to leave the running gear showing like this or turn it into a tram loco. But the tram idea has me in its grip at the moment.
The fuel filler and gauge are from a 1:48 scale add on kit I’m using on my GP38-2 rebuilds.
I’ve said it before that I love the Internet – when I need information on a specific locomotive or car I can find it at a moments notice.
Site 1: The Diesel Detailer
One of the best US focused locomotive sites on the web. This site is especially useful for modellers (link here). There are boards for all levels of diesel modellers and those interested in improving their modelling.
There are boards for specific diesel manufacturers, Alco, EMD, etc. with more boards by generation also. So if you need a second generation (Dash-2) model there’s a board for that too.
When you get a chance take a look and let me know what you think.