Saturday, February 26, 2011

Union Pacific (former C&NW) AC4400 "Patch"

I haven't posted anything for a few weeks so I found some photos of my first C&NW patch unit I did a couple years ago.  I started with the Microscale decal set that is made specifically for patch units and then applied a generous amount of weathering with an airbrush. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to Make Aspen Trees

I took some time to document my technique for making aspen trees.  Here it goes:

I bought a bundle of floral material called Gypsophila from Hobby Lobby for $10.  It was simply labeled "bleached gyp".

I start by trimming several small peices from the larger plant with a scissors.  I am trying to make trees that are about 2" tall for my current layout project.  This is a bit small for N scale, however, my layout is small.  For larger layouts, a taller tree may be more appropriate.

In order to get a fuller or more "leafy" tree I found that gluing 2 or 3 peices together at the trunk works well.  Once the glue is dry I spray it with a can of yellow paint.

Here I am applying acrylic white out of a cheap $1 bottle with a small brush to each trunk and branch.  This doesn't have to take long, depending on how meticulous you are.  I then used the end of a paper clip to apply acrylic charcoal to make the dark markings on the bark.

Here is the result:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Aspen Trees?

I am in need of Aspen trees for my current model railroad (among several other types of conifers).  I haven't found any commercially available, so I am attempting to make my own.  I bought some floral material at Hobby Lobby, spray painted the leaves yellow, then hand painted the trunk and branches white and dabbed on charcoal to make the bark.  I'd like to know if anyone else knows of a techique to make a good aspen tree in N scale.  I would appreciate any feedback or comments.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Early Weathering Attempt

I started weathering my rolling stock a couple years ago as time permitted and I wasn't working on a layout project.  I discovered a significant difference between a fresh from the factory train and a nicely weathered train, especially in model railroad photography.  I mainly use an airbrush to fade and dirty my models and like the results I am getting so far, and haven't felt the need to try other techniques just yet.

Here is one of my first attempts of weathering on an Atlas coalveyor.  I started with a fade coat using a very diluted light grey, followed by light coats of rail brown and grimy black.  I have since weathered several of my coal hoppers and wrote an article about my experience in the Mar/Apr 2010 N Scale Railroading.