Custom Painting Part 6

The last two locos.

     I wanted to get the last two Alcos decaled and weathered to be able to hand them back to Graham before Christmas.
     I did all of the usual things one needs to do when applying Micro Scale decals only this time I did wait until the decal had completely dried before applying the Solvaset. I was able to get more decals laid at the one time so that helped speed up the process. These orange stripes are very fragile and I have to admit that there is a couple of bloopers in a few spots. All wear and tear will be the story to Graham and I'm sure he will be okay with the results not to worry too much.
    Once the decals had been washed I then gave the body shells a good spray of Dull Cote as per my previous posts.
    I did not want to go too heavy with the weathering on these two C630's so each of the 4 I have done should look a little different once running on the KCS. I used the Black Tamyia Panel Line Accent Paint to add just a smidgin of colour to each panel line, around all of the flat panels and doors along the top and sides of the body of the locos with a very light wash on the walkways.
   The top grills of the loco got a wash of black whilst the side rear grills got a wash of the Panel Paint Brown. I then wet the area around the exhaust with the panel Black and then dabbed in some Pan Pastel Black to make the top look more like exhaust smoke stains.
   The trucks on these two received a brush coat of flat black and when dry I dusted them with some Pan Pastel grey and a small amount of rust to bring out some of the details.
   So that's the last of these four Alcos. It will be good to see them on the KCS when a few of us head there for a run tomorrow.
   Here's just a couple of shots as they sit with the body's yet to be added to the chassis.

That's it for another day so thanks again for stopping by.



Custom Painting Part 5

Next on the list was an Alco C424
     This is the second of four locos to weather for Graham. I decided to tackle the C424 just so I could do a different model. I used pretty much the same technique that I used on the last loco in my post Custom Painting Part 4.
    I had some issues with the decals moving on the last one as I applied the Solvaset so this time I made sure I waited until the decal had completely dried before applying it. I also added more of the striping before moving onto the next stage and this helped cut down the amount of time taken to apply all the decals and sped up the whole process.
   The trucks got a brush of flat black then a light dry brush of rust on the springs, brake cylinders and brake blocks.
   Here are a few of the images of the body of C424 with the windows fitted and the walkway added but not fitted to the chassis as Graham needs to add a decoder to this unit before it can earn its keep on his RR.

     Graham mentioned that when the first unit that received the weathering treatment was put on the tracks it has made the rest of his roster look too new, so I guess you know what that means more weathering to be done on the Kansas City Southern RR fleet. I'm up for it.

Thanks for stopping by



Last nights Ops Session

Another Friday ops night

     Had most of the crew around last night for the regular monthly operating session on the SFRSD.
I usually send out a bulletin that is the official notice to all the guys that the night is on. Actually there are a few of us that hold sessions through out the year so at the beginning of each year we send out a calendar so we can all fit in with one another.
    Last weeks bulletin was number 92 so there have been the odd one or two over the years sent to the guys.
    Not all the guys could make last nights session so we just had the just nine of us.
    After show and tell (which can take up to half an hour on some nights) the session swung into action with the fast clock set to 4 to 1 and starting at 6.45 am. This gives the yard masters at Augusta and Flynn plus the crew for the first two trains time to acquire their locos and hook up the pre-staged trains #1 and 2.
     Train #1 is a loaded grain train that departs Augusta at 7.10 am headed for Flynn while train #2 and empty grain leaves Flynn at 7.30 am. These two meet at Red Rock if the dispatcher is doing his job (I took the first session) and Greg J took the next.
     Here are a few snaps from the night.

Brendan was in charge of Flynn Yard while Ron works beside him.
John likes to look after the Augusta Yard. Here he is studying the car cards for the next train.
Here's Greg at the dispatchers desk. Brendan and Ron are at Flynn.
Dennis, Vic and Noel are at Winfield. Just caught Vic at a bad time.
And here's Darren patiently waiting for his train
I got to run the mixed freight from Augusta to Flynn and so added the track geometry car  for its first run.
     I want to thank all my crew for helping to make all of my operating sessions so much fun this and previous years.
Catch you next time.


Custom Painting Part 4

The next step
     After getting all the decals on, sealed with Solvaset and washed clean I asked Graham if he would let me have a go at weathering his loco. I was happy that he said yes as I could see that these Alco locos on the FNM were not that well cared for so weathering number 614 should hopefully come out looking like it was earning its keep once added to his fleet.
     My first task was to give the shell a wash to remove any decal setting solution. I did this in some luke warm water with just a hint of washing liquid in the water to help remove any contaminants. I let it air dry for a while and then the fun began. (Fortunately we had some warm weather so it did not take long for it to dry).
    The next step was to make the paint look like it had faded under the hot Mexican sun so I set about spraying the body, handrails and the fuel tank with a mix of Tamiya flat white mixed with a very small amount of Tamiya Red / Brown. This gave me a very light buff colour as a base on which to start the weathering.
     I took a very small amount of metal silver and dry brushed the trucks after I had given them a brush of flat black. This gave them a bit of highlight and made them look a little more worn around the edges.   
     Once the body and other items had dried (and that took no time at all) I gave them a spray of Testors Dullcote straight from the rattle can to seal the paint ready for the next step.
    I grabbed my bottle of Tamiya Panel Line Black and using about a 1/2 inch wide flat brush gave the whole body, fuel tank and walkways a wash only taking paint from the top of the bottle so it was not stirred and not too dark. Once this dried I took out some burnt umber oil paint mixed a dab with odourless thinners and added just a hint along the top of the body, on the nose and in the grills toward the back on the top also. I added a small amount on the fuel tank and on the trucks. I let all of this dry for quiet a while. Once dry I hit the top and sides of the body with some Pan Pastel Burnt Sienna pastels. I rubbed this in with a Pan Pastel applicator to get an even coat as this helped dull down the body even more. Another spray of DullCote and that was the body done.

    I'm rather happy the way Alco number 614 has turned out now Graham has to add a decoder (hopefully a loksound) and put it all back together and get it to earn its keep on his RR.

    My images are off a bit however here they are for what they are worth.

These top two images show the decaling finished

Sprayed with my mix of flat white and red/brown

And how the body looks after a bit of work
   The cab is not sitting as it should as the windows need fitting since they were removed to assist in painting without having to clean them.
   Once Graham has completed all of the assembly hopefully I can grab an image to show how it looks completely assembled.

Well that's it for today now onto decaling number two an Alco C424.
Thanks for popping in.



Custom Painting Part 3

Decalling the Alcos

     Graham the owner of the 4 Alco's that I painted way back in May this year has been a very busy man. Lots to do let-alone do much modeling so I offered to do the decalling on the 4 of them.
     So after we finished up one of our regular Friday get togethers I left Grahams place with several small plastic boxes containing 4 chassis, 4 sets of Alco body parts and 4 sets of Microscale decals in my hand.
     Graham had purchased 4 sets of Microscale 60-4081 FNM Locomotives National Railways of Mexico 1991+ decals and having used MS decals before I knew that they would be good to apply.    
     So job one was to try and find some decent coloured images of a FNM Alco 628. That was not that easy as they are far and few between. Having said that I did find one that was sort of ok to use at least as a basis of what was needed.
     Man what a job, the decal stripes that separate the two blues are just so fine and to top it off they meet at the back and even go up and across the tip of the nose of the loco. Fortunately Micro Scale provides a good number of stripes on the decal sheet just in case. Carefully cutting between the stripes was a necessity so a new #11 blade and a nice straight metal rule was used to get that done. I use an old glass plate from the kitchen (note to self go get a nice piece of flat glass) on which to cut out all of my decals. This gives a nice crisp edge.
    I started on the left hand side with the first stripe letting it dry on the body and then giving it a coat of Solvaset. I have owned this bottle for about 20 years and thankfully it still has some life in it, not much left but still going strong.
   I rushed a bit adding the Solvaset before the decal had completely dried so they did move a bit which did cause some bad words. Still over the past 3 days working on an off waiting for each application to dry the first loco is done. The weather has helped as it is 30C (90 F) outside so a nice temp inside in which to work but also get the decals to dry quickly.

   Here are just a few shots of work in progress and completed prior to weathering.

The locos will get a wash before the coat of dullcoat is applied

The 2 images above show the completed decalling after a wash and following a spray of Dullcoat
     I tried to get some shots outside however the wind was kinda strong and was going to blow the lot over the next doors fence. So these will have to suffice for this post. 
     I think I might have a break from decalling for a while and tackle the weathering on Alco # 614 next. So we will see what it looks like on the next post if all goes well.
Thanks for coming by.


Next BDL install

The turnout block detection
     Currently all of the turnouts on the SFRSD are included in the mainline detected blocks through each of the towns excluding the arrival turnouts at Augusta and Flynn.
     This was done for expediency as we wanted to get the panel up and running for the N Scale convention now over 18 months ago. In fact it is two years ago this month that all of the detection work was being carried out to get to the first phase of ABS.
     This worked very well however in some instances it is difficult for the dispatcher to see exactly where the train is stopped as the main line and turnouts all show red. The train might very well be stationary at the signal but the dispatcher cannot see that on the panel.
     After discussing with the panel pro master along with the wiring crew it was agreed that this could be an easy fix. There are several open connections on the BDL that serves Guthrie that can be hooked up without any outlaying of funds and only one more BDL would be required to complete Red Rock, Ponca City, Hackney, Winfield and Udall.
      So after my fun and finance minister approved a grant for a new BDL off went the order.
     The BDL arrived a week or so ago and so I asked a good friend John C if he would be willing to wire up the 4th BDL. John had done the first 3 so it was good to have them all wired the same. The BDL was wired and delivered on Saturday so I set to and mounted it under the peninsular where the towns of Ponca City and Hackney reside, this afternoon. This also allows me to continue the loco net cable from the last SE8C that also resides at this location. This is the only BDL mounted so far away from the On Guard Circuit Breakers and done for a reason. It will only require the power and earth cables to be run and not each block wire as was done with the other three. Another lesson learnt.

     So here is the fourth BDL168 #10 ready for the power, earth and block wires to be installed.

    We all learnt many years ago that there are terminal blocks and there are terminal blocks. The ones we used are from Altronics and are by far the best we have come across. They have a metal strip below the clamping screw so you get a much better outcome with the wire being held nice and firm and not coming loose as the standard screw only blocks.
   Who said DCC only need 2 wires LOL
So once the lads are free to help we can get underway.
Thanks for taking the time to drop by.


The Pilbra Cab

Noels West Coast Mining Locos

     I thought that I would add a few images of the Pilbra Cabbed locos showing the brass etching done by Vic and added to the locos by Noel for his West Coast Mining RR. after showing some of the completed units during the operating on the SFRSD on Saturday night in my post yesterday.

     Noel and Vic have done a fantastic job with these unique looking locomotives that now look the part hauling iron ore from the mine to his rotary ( yep I said rotary ) dumper on his WCM RR.
     If ok by Noel I'll ask him if I can post some shots of the completed locomotives to show just how nice they look but first I need to take the shots.

Thanks for stopping by.


20 years and going strong

Who would have thought
     It's hard to realize that this layout the SFRSD my 7th since 1969 is 20 years old this month. To help celebrate the occasion I invited many of my friends over for a timetable run in the afternoon followed by Pizza and a casual run in the evening. However as they say the best laid plans of mice and men can go astray as a few of the guys had family commitments and could not make it.     
     So I decided to change the day by starting latter have pizza for dinner then a run on the railroad.
     As I have done in the past two years I asked the guys to bring over some of their trains to run on the RR and a few did just that.
    Dennis brought along two of his Conrail locos and a string of TOFC's and a freight train to run.
    Noel came along with his Iron ore train and cool looking locos that you will see below and John brought along a train as well.
    I apologize for the quality of the images, they are stills from my video camera.

Two Conrail locos brought along by Dennis running through Hackney.
A meet at the exit from Augusta

     Noel brought along three of his unique Pilbra cabbed locos. There are 15 in total with each group of 5 painted in a slight variation to represent a different batch ordered by the iron ore company, West Coast Mining. The cabs are all etched brass created by our good friend Vic including the dynamic brake blister, the radiator and the fuel tanks all made from etched brass all fitted to Kato U33C units.
    Noel and I did the painting of all 15 during the course of one day. Using Badger Model flex paint sure helped as we were able to see each coat dry giving us plenty of time to mask, paint and repeat all day. The decals are custom made to Noels design.

The white panel over the cab is to keep the engineers cool. It acts like a tent fly by having an air gap between it and the cab roof.
If you look closely you will see the variations in each loco as each one of these represents a batch of 5.

     John got nostalgic and brought along his very first N Scale loco and train. A pair of Kato GP30 locos and a string of Roundhouse Santa Fe Box cars. Way to go John.

Don't they make a nice couple.
     The night would usually see some additional trains like L&N, UP, D&H, Mexican, some Victorian locomotives and additional ATSF locomotives and rolling stock on the RR brought along by the guys who could not attend.
     It was a good night so thanks for coming along guys.
     After all of the years that have passed there are still several buildings to be started and placed on the RR. Ponca City is short about 4 and there is still one to add to the town of Winfield. Now that spring is here and with summer fast approaching it might just be what I need to get these started.
Thanks for stopping by.


Construction Company done

That should be it.

     Yesterday and part of today I set about to complete my construction company site. Yesterday was spent making a paling fence to sit on the rear boundary track-side and then installing all of the fences and office building. The chain fence is from Gold medal Products that I sprayed flat primer grey dusted with a bit of rust then another light spray with the grey again. The paling fence was made using small pieces of Northeastern scribed siding and 4 inch HO gauge posts. They look a tad too big but I think they pass the 3 foot rule. I then gave it a wash using the brown and black Panel line paints and set it aside to dry under a weight to stop it from warping.
    I added the small details and grass tufts after first dusting on some weathering powders to make the ground look like it had had oil spills.

     And with a few added tufts and a couple of pallets with left over pieces from the GHQ kits

The shinny stuff is tacky glue. I took the shot before it had dried
 Then I set about adding all the completed kits except they all do not fit. So some just have to sit outside the fence.

     So that is another project that has been in the melting pot for a while completed.
So until next time, thanks for coming by.


Starting on the construction company site

Started ground work
     The weather was kinder on Sunday afternoon and yesterday was one out of the box so out to the SFRSD RR to get some work done.
     On Sunday I scraped back some of the old Woodland scenic ground cover and applied a coating of "large cracks poly filler" to the area where the company is to be sited. That dried overnight quite nicely so a quick scrape to remove a few small lumps and a fresh coat was applied yesterday before lunch.
    While that was drying I decided that I needed to weather a few more cars on the roster. So I picked up two of my old Bachmann hoppers, a new BLMA hopper and a two bay Burlington Northern hopper that I purchased at a friends sale. I purchased this knowing it was going to receive some sort of treatment.
     This is how the two bay looked before being attacked.

My apologies for it being slightly out of focus
     I decided that the Burlington logo was to receive a spray of flat white whilst at the same time protecting the reporting number (until I come up with another idea). Once that was completed I then sprayed the whole car with a mixture of flat white, a very small amount of brown and a lot of thinners.
    Once all this was dry the whole car was given a light wash of Van Dyke Brown oil paint. I have not dull coated the car yet so it might look a bit shinny.
    And the result.

     As you can see I need to give the underside some weathering, paint the trucks, wheels and couplers but it's getting there.
     I did these as well.

Some masking before spraying to give the effect of a body repair.

And Ditto.
     And to top off the day I applied the first layer of powdered stone dust to the construction company site.

A mix of powdered stone dust and what we call Lilydale toppings was sieved on using an old brass tea strainer.
     The mix dried nice and light overnight so in the days ahead I should be able to make some more progress with the surrounding ground cover.

Thanks again for dropping by.



Not much happening Part 3

All construction vehicles are now built.
     Well last week I finally got to complete all bar one of my construction vehicles that I intend to put into a construction company yard at the East end of Augusta.
     This has been a drawn out process due to having a cold for almost 4 months and building a new extension to our Budgerigar aviary during our winter season here in Melbourne.
     Spring is now well underway and so as the temperature begins to rise I feel more inclined to venture out into the SFRSD room and get some additional scenery completed.
     The first task will be to construct the company construction site by clearing away the old ground cover that was laid down many years ago. Then prepare the site to add all the bits to hopefully have it look presentable.
     So I hope to take some in progress shots over the coming weeks as I would like to have this completed before the 25th of October which will be the SFRSD 20th birthday.
     The past two years I have held a day ops session stopping for pizza for dinner then allowing the guys to put one of their favorite trains on the RR for a run and some photo run buys.
     Anyway before all this gets underway here are a couple of quick snaps of the gear that is going to be installed. There is some equipment already sitting in the RR room that I have shown on previous posts. the Low Loader, side lifting crane and the crawler bucket crane.

     They don't look that good in the plastic containers so I hope they look better by the time they are on the RR.
     Before I log out today I did add some new rolling stock to the SFRSD last Friday before my monthly ops session. I had in my draw a Pacific Western CN hopper that was from their Mystery car range I bid on and won at an N Scale Collectors auction many years ago. As I paid way too much for the car and (thank you Intermountain for re-releasing and dropping its value) I decided it should be on the RR. I also picked up 3 BLMA ATSF hoppers at a good price from M.B.Klein. Picks next time.

That's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.


Not much happening part 2

More construction equipment
     It hasn't been that good weather wise over the past month so I have taken advantage of sitting at our kitchen table assembling more equipment to add to my future construction site on the SFRSD.
     The latest piece is a vehicle that Vic gave me quite a while back. It is one with his etched brass cab, brass chassis along with many added details, like etched grill and bumper, rear mud flaps, tube exhaust pipe and mufflers and safety board behind the cab. It is also fitted with wheels of time wheels and Vics etched side mirrors and sun visor.
     To start painting it I had to strip it completely and once that was done I gave all of the brass bits except the cab a spray of Tamiya Primer Grey followed by Tamiya Bright Orange the same as all the other construction pieces. So paint on the wheels, turntable and back board with Italeri Metal. Flat Steel paint and a wash of panel line paint and that was finished. Oh I forgot the Pan Pastels grey on the tyres.
     At the same time I completed a GHQ grader and still working on a GHQ drag crawler crane.
     An old Atlas LN9000 has also had some treatment to add to the collection. A bit more work needs to be done on the crane and then I will be ready to prepare the area on the RR to accept all of this stuff.
     Here are a few pics of the progress thus far.

     Well that's about it for this post so thanks again for stopping by.