Monday, November 30, 2020

Men at work - road painting

I have a pretty standard method for painting tarmac. It basically involves splodging Precision Paints tarmac and faded tarmac paint around with a sponge, then finishing up with some talcum powder applied with a sponge and finished with a big brush.  

This method has always worked well and given excellent results, so that is how I planned to handle the Selly Oak road. 

Of I splodged, but the effect wasn't working.At least on the main road. 

On the side road to the woodyard, it was as good as ever. This was weird. 

My only thought is that the side road is plaster, which is porus. The main road is MDF, which isn't. Thinking about this a bit more, I normally work on a card base, another porous material. 

Basically, the colours weren't blending properly. The result wasn't terrible, just not as good as normal. 

With a hint of desperation, I gave the road a very light coat of grey primer to tie everything together. The can was used well above the surface and very lightly. The result is a lot better. You can see the colour variations, but they are subtle, as they should be. 

It just goes to prove that we all learn all the time. Since doing this I've looked at a bit more information and see that many people are hitting the weathering powders for this job - something I've done myself in the past. I'll see how the road looks as the project progresses, but there is a pack of grey pastels on the shelf...

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Taking photos of trains

Chiltern Railways Silver train 

 For once I'm feeling that I'm getting on top of my projects. It might be an illusion, but I'll pretend and so headed out for a stroll on Friday afternoon. My plan was to head to the countryside, about a 15 minute walk, where I could watch trains go by.

 I've missed looking at a train and wishing I could be on it. I know we are supposed to be hiding under a table with a paper bag on our heads (where I live is in Tier 47 I think) but I'm getting tired of being led by people playing politics. And that's just the sceintists. Past experience tells me the politicians will be a waste of space. 

Anyway, I found some trains and took some pictures. 


 They aren't brillant, but I don't think I've captured anything exciting, just the railway doing it's usual thing. 

 XC Voyager 

One day, maybe, we will be allowed to get back on a train just for the fun of travel. I look forward to it. 

Chiltern train

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Saturday Film Club: Being a generalist


An interesting video where Adam Savage, best known from TV's Mythbusters talks about never having specialised in a particular making genre - preferring to be a Jack of All Trades rather than a master of any particular one. 

This interests me as I'm very much a generalist and always have been. For my current job, this is pretty much essential. I need to be willing and able to have a go at any type of model making. OK, I'm not the best at anything, but then that's the situation most railway modellers find themselves in. You need a wide variety of skills to build a layout. 

Being a specialist is fine, but limiting. The hours of honing your technique doesn't appeal to me much either. I have a butterfly mind and like to try lots of different things. And since the appeal of a hobby is that you enjoy it, I need to go with what works for me. 

How about everyone else? 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Coles Crane


Random picture time. This is a Coles Crane on my layout Melbridge Dock. 

Built in the old days when we actually made things rather than buying them, the crane part is from the Airfix Recovery Set with a cab made from Microstrip. 

It sits on a simple scratchbuilt base that uses whitemetal wheels bought from the Langley Models spares pots at an exhibition. 

I'm always been quite pleased with this model. It's not the first to be made from this combination of parts, and probably not the best, but I made it myself and that means a lot to me.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Trimming the meniscus


Along the edge of the baseboard joint, there is a meniscus curve in the canal. I've been putting off dealing with it but eventually had to do something. 

The Woodland Scenics Deep Pour resin is pretty solid, so with no better ideas, I attacked it with a sharp knife, sliding the blade along, trying to cut slivers of "water" away. 

This sort of worked but eventually I resorted to scraping the blade sideways in the same way I remove mould lines on a plastic kit. This worked, but the slightly rough surface (above the blade in the photo) didn't look great. Not as bad as I feared though. 

A new blade and back to the slicing - the results aren't bad. Not perfect, but then I didn't expect that. The resin is a little rubbery, so not amenable to polishing with abrasive. The result doesn't stand out too much though. No worse than a baseboard joint anyway, and I still plan a pipe bridge to hide it further.