Tag Archives: Site seeing

Site Seeing – the Realistic Rust edition

I’m always looking for better techniques to model rust weathering. This video comes courtesy of a post I found on the MRH website by YouTuber MarklinofSweden. He shows how to create a realistic corrosion effect very simply. Take a look at the video I’m sure you’ll be impressed.

Modelling realistic rust

Got another technique that works for you? Please share it with me and if you found this post useful please like and comment. I’m really interested in what you’re up to with your weathering journey.


Site seeing – 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.

Site Seeing – the I’ve got a model room edition – April 1

I’ve been without a modelling space, a dedicated out of the line of fire, not on the kitchen table, leave all your stuff out, style space since the late 80s. A recent move has seen us in a larger space with two spare rooms and a space for our library.

Over my 2 week break from work I’ve gone through my boxes, trying to find all of my collected modelling tools, and I have for the most part succeeded. I’m still missing some critical stuff like my Chopper 2 and Duplicutter along with my set of beading tools that I use to cut a range of river heads. There in a box somewhere but for the life of me I cannot find the blessed thing. Same goes for the NWSL products. I know they’re there, I just cannot say quite where that is for now.

I’ve emptied my mobile toolkits (large and small fishing tackle boxes, and carry totes) to get all of my tools and bits out of the dark and onto the table – making the space look like a the remains of a tornado. So no photos yet – I do have some pride. However, in the short space of time I’ve managed to part complete three little rebuilds from Athearn BB kits, which is more modelling that I have been able to complete in quite a while.

There is a bit of work to get the room into shape. I have a list of honey-dos among them is to build bookcases for our library room. I will add to that list as I need some in my modelling room. These will serve their obvious purpose as well as a base for the switching layout that will be permanently setup in there. More on that in a couple of weeks when I find a tape measure to measure up the room and begin to design something that fits inside the house, and not in the soon to be very cold garage.

I managed to pick up a glass top work desk for $35 Aussie from a local thrift shop (similar to the image on the left). A couple of twists to tighten screws and the judicious use of my allen keys to tighten everything up and the thing is as good as new. The glass top will aid in making scratchbuilt items too.

It has been fun working with my Waldron punch sets and the Historex Hex punch sets and I have to restock all of my depleted punched out bolt heads, and circle plates (great for diesel detailing) from the different grades of styrene.

I’ll post some photos over the next week or two as I get things sorted out. All the best.



Site seeing – June 19, 2016 – The big city edition

Today’s site is a masterpiece. No more hyperbole, so let’s get straight to it.

Site 1: Industrial switching layout – City Limits

While the site is in French, using Google translate allowed me to get a better understanding of the content. Visually I find this layout a stunning, well thought out and executed ISL. I hope that you enjoy it too.

Site 2: YouTube – City Limits

Site 3: YouTube – City Limits 2

Site Seeing – June 17, 2016 – The Tutorials edition

My son Ewan got into Warhammer 40K 3 years ago, and while he has been slow to pick the game up we’ve worked together to complete the models and getting them ready for paint.

Among the things I’ve noticed is that gamers are great scratchbuilders. So today I have four outstanding tutorials for you to look at – all from the same site.

Site 1: Rob Hawkins’ Hobby Blog – Making Crates

A highly creative way to make light and sturdy crates of just about any size, using pink foam (or any foam you can get your hands on). A great tutorial on how to and why to make crates Rob’s way.

Site 2: Rob Hawkins’ Hobby Blog – Pipes

It is amazing what Rob can come up with. I’d not thought to use this technique to model the pipes so often associated with our model railroads. Another great tutorial  and relatively cheap to boot compared to some of the pipe kits I’ve seen available.

Site 3: Rob Hawkins’ Hobby Blog – Stairs

Another simple to do, but hard to imagine (at least for me) tutorial on how to make stairs. With a full step by step style Rob takes you through a start to finish on how to custom make and fit the stairs for the model.

Site 4: Rob Hawkins’ Hobby Blog – Flagstone Street

An innovative use for what normally I’d struggle to use, thick cardboard. What a great idea it turns out to be. I’m looking forward to using this on some new dioramas I have in mind and for a new layout idea I have in mind.

Site 5: Rob Hawkins’ Hobby Blog – Cornfield

This tutorial is a two-for, that is you get to learn how to make stone walls and assorted stone wall pieces and you get to model the corn field. Once again some really interesting techniques and outcomes. Highly useful for those of us modelling anywhere in the midwest, or even Texas.

Site seeing – Tueday 14 June 2016

As you tool around the web you come across some interesting and useful sites. I’ve found it hard to have a simple to find and use repository since the end of basic HTML coding. I’ve bookmarked and so on but I wanted to have a better place to go.

So today I’ve added a new section for these resources.  I’ll add site links when I find them; adding information about the sites so that you decide their value before you visit them.

Visit the following two pages:


Site Seeing – May 22 (the I needed some steam therapy post)

I woke up this morning after dreaming about driving steam trains all night. Don’t know why, but there it is. So over a breakfast of toast and jam, and a cup of tea I got in some serious steam therapy and wanted to share my sense of serenity with you.

If you are in need of some steam therapy, consider the therapist ‘in’. Sit back, crank up the sound and enjoy.

Therapy session 1 – UP Challenger #3985 + 143 Freight Cars

While I understand why steam is no longer the king of the rails, doesn’t it make you wonder ‘what if’?

Therapy Session 2 – Steam Locomotives At Speed

While not as imposing as the UP Challenger, there is something cathartic and invigorating about seeing express locomotives ‘expressing’ themselves at high-speed; enjoy!

Therapy Session 3 – Steam trains at speed

I want to make sure that you are as revitalised as I am. So here is a little more therapy for a bleak, cool and windy Sunday (at least in Ballarat). Go get a coffee, or tea, or frothy beverage of choice, and relax into 45 minutes of enjoyment.

I hope that you got some value from our therapy session this morning. I think that we should see one another again soon. Let’s schedule another session in … well leave a comment, or like this post, and we’ll see when we can fit one another in eh?

Site seeing – May 11 (the Shelf layout Inglenook post)

It’s been some time since my last post, due mainly to work and other real world commitments. Recently while enjoying a little downtime, I cam across a great set of posts and the layout blog. I wanted to share that with you.

Site 1: Burbank Branch Layout

A simple Inglenook track plan, this layout has some outstanding features that make it worth looking into. Not least is the modelling skill shown going into the layout by the builder – survivaljoe over on the MRH website..

Burbank Branch Layout plan
Burbank Branch Layout plan

As a renter he needed to build a layout that could move when he moved and not mount to or damage any of the walls in the dwelling. The control is DC for the moment while he waits for new technology in the market to mature. That does not appear to change the slow running qualities of locomotives.

Designed for operating sessions of roughly 30 minutes at a time (which I’ve talked about several times before as the perfect amount of time to operate on a small layout) this layout really shines up well, even without all the scenery in place.

The video above shows a basic operating session and the modelling quality involved.

While the video above shows images taken during the build process. I hope that you enjoy look at the layout as much as I have. Look into the resources below for the build and blog over the MRH site also.


Site seeing – April 6th – track charts aplenty

My favourite layout planning tool for US themed layouts is the railroad’s track and spot maps. I have several, bought when we lived in the USA from 1997 – 2006. When I’m looking for modelling inspiration that’s the first place I look into. They go by many names; Southern Pacific uses SPINS, others use CLICS, while others use ZTS. On to today’s treasure trove…

Site 1: Prototype track and industry charts – a primer

Byron Henderson, with the help of Bruce Morden wrote a great introductory article available on this website. It is a reprint from Layout Design Journal #26 of Spring 2001. Very well worth the read for those of you who have not seen a track chart or map of this kind before.

Site 2: Conrail Archives – ZTS (Zone Track Spot) Charts

For those interested in the Conrail era and areas served what a feast this site is. Clicking the link above takes you off to a library of ZTS maps neatly packaged in PDF format. Armed with a ZTS map, Bing and Google maps there is almost nothing that you cannot research.

Like this post and comment if you find it useful or would like further information; if you’ve not already subscribed to keep up to date you can do so now using the link at the top of the post.

Heads Up!

April is now and forever more deemed to be the ‘O scale’ small layout month.

Overall layout - outstanding

Throughout April I’ll be posting layout plans, and information, on small and achievable layouts that have already been built in O scale, or that could be up-sized from the smaller scales to fit in a maximum visible space of 8 feet x 2 feet (2400 x 600 mm).

The only requirement is that it must be based on the recognised scales of:

  • 1:43.5 (UK & Australian Standard gauge)
  • 1:45 (European)
  • 1:48 (US & Australian Broad gauge)

So this includes 0n30, Metre gauge, standard, broad, and anything else that you can imagine. Traction can be steam, diesel and, or electric. If you have an industrial track plan or layout that is small in nature I’d be really interested in seeing more information or links to your website especially.

I’ll still be posting the usual informative and layout focused information as normal, this is simply something special I’ve wanted to do for some time.

If you have any ideas or layouts that you’d like to share during April drop me a line through the comment field and I’ll work with you to get that information into a post!

Don’t forget to ‘Like‘ this post and ‘Comment‘ if you find it useful or would like to offer or need further information. If you’ve not already subscribed to keep up to date you can do so now using the link at the top of this or any post or page.