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.


James H said...

I think this just works, enough detail to be acceptable to the eye, but not super detailed to the point of distraction - subdued paintwork and nicely weathered, a supporting actor and even better, one from your own hand. I totally get it!

Phil Parker said...

Thanks - It's part of a cluttered scene so I don't think every tiny detail is essential for the viewer at a show. Being a consistent standard and most importantly, a consistent set of colours and dirt make more of a difference.

Huw Griffiths said...

"Built in the old days when we actually made things rather than buying them ..."

I can't see it being too long before someone comes along and starts screaming at you about the whole concept of making / building things being "STRENGLICH VERBOTEN".

Well, that "someone" won't be me.

It's no secret that I've got several build and conversion projects on the go at the moment. OK - there hasn't recently been too much in the way of progress on these - but I've actually had a lot of external stuff to deal with.

Anyway, if any of my builds are any good, they'll be worth the wait. If they're actually a load of rubbish, then I'm sure people would be more than happy to wait - and keep on waiting.

Either way, I might find my lack of progress somewhat irritating - but I'm not worrying about it. Just as well, really, as I've got far more important stuff to worry about right now.

Returning to your model crane, it definitely looks the part and fits in. Ultimately, that's what you want.

I know that some of us happen to like the pristine, "clean and shiny", look on things like railbuses, locos and passenger stock - the "fresh from the works" and "polished to within an inch of its life" look that we might perhaps find on museum pieces or stuff posed for official photos.

Well here's a newsflash, guys. Railway companies probably used a lot of grey paint when preparing their locos for official photos - these photos were monochrome, after all. Anyway, I can't help wondering if this grey paint would really have been gloss - or primer / undercoat.

Certainly, though, I get the impression that some RTR manufacturers (and some DIY builders as well) might be inclined to overdo the gloss finish on certain models. I'd personally be more likely to opt for a satin finish.

As for weathering, my personal opinion is that it can sometimes look very good - but a lot of people overdo it.

Things like cranes are going to get dirty. I could imagine them getting hosed down - and paint occasionally patched up - at a depot between hires. However, I could also imagine paint fading over time - and dirt settling into corners and panel joints.

I could also imagine something similar happening with railway locomotives and stock.

However, I'm sure we must all have seen examples of people going overboard with stuff like this - and it sometimes ends up looking ridiculous.

There is a balance to be struck - judging by how often (or rarely) I've seen anyone get it right, I suspect it might be a difficult balance - but I'll need to give it serious attention when I finally complete my own build projects.

On the face of it, acrylic paints should be ideal for this sort of stuff - not full gloss - not flat matt - but a pleasing "half way house". However, they can also make things look like plastic, unless you're very careful.

I suspect I'd probably use acrylics - but add a "wash" of Indian ink into corners and panel joints - just enough to pick out details. Whether I actually manage to strike this balance remains to be seen - time will tell ... .