Tuesday, May 29, 2012

60' Lumber Loads List Keeps Growing

As the summer heat approaches, my time in my garage is going to get uncomfortable, so I am looking for activities I can do inside on the most brutal days.  I intend to continue to expand my lumber load selection, and have 4 new 60' versions for Micro Trains centerbeam flatcars.

I am getting some great feedback from folks that have acquired some for their own fleet of Micro Trains or Red Caboose centerbeams, and really appreciate the interest in my product.  This is a great way to have fun with the hobby while helping me fund my addiction.  My production is small and I'm not looking to move oversees anytime soon, but I have a decent offering for those interested in purchasing some.  Visit my dedicated lumber load page: http://www.nscaleaddiction.blogspot.com/p/n-scale-lumber-loads.html

Micro Trains 60' Lumber Load Version - Canfor

Micro Trains 60' Lumber Load Version - Dunkley

Micro Trains 60' Lumber Load Version - Interfor

Micro Trains 60' Lumber Load Version - West Fraser

Friday, May 25, 2012

Eastern "Big Ugly's" My Next Weathering Victims

I'm an equal opportunity model railroader, and believe that all rollingstock no matter what age, color, condition, etc. can find a place in my fleet.  Even those "eastern" roads are interesting models, and add a lot of character to a train when mixed in with BNSF and UP equipment.  I have a nice selection of CSX and NS 86' boxcars that I chose for my next weathering victims.  Here I have started on a unique and rare grey NS version.  It received a fade coat followed by chalks.  I used burnt sienna oil on the roof.  It will get some graffiti, reflector stripes, and maybe a dusting around the bottom of the car with an airbrush to finish it off.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SP "Big Ugly" Weathering Project - Revisited

I started weathering a Southern Pacific 86' boxcar, and got as far as the fade coat several weeks ago.  At the time I was experimenting with different colored or "tinted" fade mixtures.  This particular car got a white fade followed by a raw sienna tinted mixture.  It turned out quite yellow, but I wasn't concerned as I wasn't finished with layering other weathering on top.  A few days ago I revisited this car in order to finish it and put it into service on the layout.  I added a layer of burnt umber oil thinned with a bit of mineral spirits applied with a brush to the entire car.  I then wiped most of it off with a q-tip.  This left the car with a nice stain, as well as some build up in the details, especially around the doors.  I then added burnt sienna and umber to the roof in a couple different applications until I had the effect I was working towards.  Lastly, I used a fine brush to add rust patches and scratches on the side of the car.  I am not finished yet, but getting very close.  I still need to add reflector stripes, and perhaps a little graffiti.  

I have 2 of these SP version Trainworx cars, and was quite surprised when I did a side by side comparison of the out-of-the-box model and my weathered version.

Friday, May 18, 2012

IPO - 60' Lumber Loads for MicroTrains Centerbeam!

Unless you live under a rock, you probably saw the Facebook IPO (initial public offering) front and center in the news recently, and especially today when it began trading in the secondary market.  Well, I decided to IPO my new 60' lumber load version that is suitable for the shorter MicroTrains centerbeam flatcar.  Similar to my Red Caboose version, the MT version features an accurate printed wrapper over an oak block.  I plan to put some of these on Ebay very soon, or you can contact me here if interested in acquiring some for your own centerbeam fleet.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Added an AGPX Grain Hopper to my Weathered Fleet

I have a decent collection of grain hoppers that I picked up over the years, especially when Intermountain began releasing models with etched walkways and MicroTrains trucks and couplers.  I chose an AGP model as a weathering victim, and I think it turned out quite nice.  This is a green car, so I used a combination of my white fade and raw sienna fade to achieve the fading step.  Next I went straight to brushing on burnt umber oil paint.  Lastly, I added some graffiti and safety striping.  The trucks received a coat of Polly S rust + grimy black with an airbrush, and then a light dusting of rust colored chalk, sealed with dullcoat.  Wheelsets are Fox Valley Models.  I added a "before" shot below for comparison.

RTTX F89-J Flatcar by BLMA - Wow!

Just a brief post tonight featuring a new model that I recently received.  BLMA delivered their 89' flatcars, and I must say that I am really impressed.  I haven't operated them yet, but did install 3 hitches to the deck of one car.  I set three of my 28' pup trailers on it tonight to see how it looked.  The kingpins on the trailers are large, so I either need to remove some material, or drill out the hitches.  I bought all 6 numbers, and plan to operate them with a few sets of spine cars.  I'll do a more in-depth review of these in the future.  I can't wait to get them dirty!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Fleet of "Big Ugly's" - Trainworx and Bluford 86' Boxes

Like any addict, once I latch on to something new, I can't get enough.  I recently acquired 5 more "Big Ugly's", and have 1 more on the way.  You might be wondering why I am loading up on Union Pacific and related rolling stock.  The truth is, I like BNSF equipment, but my next layout will most likely be a location on the UP.  My plan is to thin my BNSF collection, but keep enough interesting pieces for run through only.

Anyway, I have what seems to be about 50 weathering projects on my work bench right now, and I feel like I am overdosing on N scale rolling stock lately.  All of my 86' selections have been Trainworx boxes so far, but I added a Bluford Shops model to the mix for comparison.  I really like both models, and plan to use a decent mix of both going forward.  I added some photos tonight since I haven't posted anything recently.

Here is a UP 86' box that has been faded and sealed with dullcoat.  It just needs trucks and it will be ready for service.  I set it in front of a couple new out-of-the-box models for comparison.  Even a very subtle fade makes a huge difference.

I think I am about finished with this Big Ugly.  I added some graffiti, and a few more rust spots on the body. Overall I like the results, and it will look great in a string of 86's with varying levels of weathering.

Here are the 5 new Big Ugly's, waiting for their weathering treatment.  The Canadian box is the Bluford Shops model.  Looks pretty "eh"?

I really like the coupler box on the Bluford Shops version, but it droops pretty bad.  I think I am going to remedy this by gluing the coupler box to the underside of the car.

The coupler pocket is made for tight radius curves, and allows for additional lateral movement.  However, this results in a drooping coupler.

If you are wondering about a body mounted coupler on an 86' boxcar, you are not alone, as I was concerned that it wouldn't handle curves well at all.  However, I am quite surprised.  Here is an 86' box with a body mounted coupler, connected to a 50' boxcar.  It doesn't seem to be pushed to the limit at all.

Here is what the Big Ugly looks like on a 15" radius curve.  There is a fair amount of overhang, but it operates well.

Another close up of the couplers on a 15" curve.  The coupler has much more room to move before it is prone to derailment.