Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Weathering PCC cement hoppers

Living between two places for work means that all the modelling gear isn't always where you need it when you want it. Today was one such occasion when I found that after getting settled to start a day of putting together one of the new Road and Rail Resin milktainers, I had left my toolbox back in Sydney.

So to make use of the day, I decided to finish weathering a PCC cement hopper I had started a while ago.

The methods are the same as for the WHX's I mentioned a little while ago, with the only difference being the preparation stage. I didn't mind the colour of the wagons as-new from Casula Hobbies as a base, so I sprayed this one all over with dullcote to give the powders something to bite. I then masked the wagon code, "roller bearings" markings and other markings.

Next I applied a light grey powder all over. Normally I'd start darker, but these wagons were an early 1970s build and I want to depict something between the shiny-new look and their later 1970s look.

Using photos on the internet as a guide, I then draw weld lines using a scrap piece of paper to stay as straight as possible. I'm glad I did this pretty much straight after the morning coffee - it's patience-testing to say the least, but worth it for the overall look later.

Next the masking tape was removed and the whole model given a coat of medium grey powder.

From the period photos I found, the end of the round tanks all had signs of either rust or weathered brown steel, so the next step was to mix up an appropriate colour from the red and lighter browns I had and apply a light smattering on the ends.

I then added some more light grey on top of the model to represent spilled cement, as well as some medium grey over the brown to tone those areas down a bit.

I've included a shot of the original below for ease of comparison.

The last step I want to do is replicate some caked cement on the top of the model in small groups around the hatches, but I need to get some more supplies first. After that and treating the wheels, it'll be ready to go back on the layout.

Overall, pretty happy with how it turned out.


Sunday, 1 November 2015

New underlay progress

After I had taken the layout back to bare boards I grabbed the Trackrite underlay foam I had picked up at Liverpool and did a bit of a test to compare sound. I used a few Trainorama FWH's as a 'control' wagon for this test to produce a consistent result - nothing better than mass-produced wheat wagons for conformity! The first one was track on baseboard, the second was laid on Trackrite, the third was track on Trackrite with another layer of Trackrite under that to try to replicate a similar effect to Gary Spencer-Salt's efforts on Spicer's Creek. (Though recognising that it isn't the same because his isolates the underlay from the scenery foam and then has trackrite on top). To me, the second one (baseboard + Trackrite + track) sounds the best.

For now I've decided to use the larger roll of Trackrite foam to wrap the timber baseboard to achieve the same 'isolation' as Gary has, but I'm not sure yet whether I'll then lay individual pieces of Trackrite on top of that layer or just put the track down onto it. Whichever way I go would require this first step, so today saw the first break from procrastination for a long time.

I positioned the foam roll on top of the baseboard with around a 30mm overhang on the far side to ensure I'd have enough to attach to the sides once folded over. I then cut the closest side to the same dimensions.

After I'd spread Selleys No More Gaps coloured caulk, I lay the foam as per Gary's instructions here. I didn't have enough tacks, so I improvised slightly. Well, almost entirely improvised.

Got the muse back, so I hope to have this phase completed shortly.