11.25.2008

audio tracks

Some interesting material on the Model Railcast Show. Think of it as Model Railroad Radio. A number of episodes are available for on-demand listening.

They've had some great guests on for "Roundhouse" discussions regarding planning and design issues that are typical hurdles for modellers of all scales.

I was fortunate enough to be asked to speak about S Scale in show #40.

11.15.2008

lineside structure redux



The shed is complete enough to appear on the layout. As a concession to available modelling time, the tarpaper roof was simulated using 320 grit wet/dry sandpaper, cut grit side down with a guillotine. Gray dust is Bragdon Enterprises weathering powder.

Very glad I checked the paint scheme before painting; only the window sashes were Yellow, the window frames were #11 Green. Once the proper style of window has been obtained, I'll be able to add the sash details.

Possible & probable improvements/additions:
- correct 3-tab shingles
- oil tank & chimney (Scale Structure Ltd. p/n #2411 HO tank casting)
- replacement of side-sliding windows with proper, 6-pane style
- window glazing (microscope slide covers)
- sign board
- rain gutters/eave details
- a speeder to pose in front

I took some liberties with the construction; not having pictures of the structure in the timeframe being modelled forces me to fall back on both typical & assumed building methods of the era.

a tinkerer's tale

I am not a prolific modeller. I do not manage to complete a project a week. I tinker. I fiddle. I skip from task to task as thoughts prompt inquiry or shed some light on a hurdle to be overcome. Being surrounded by people who can produce large quantities of material on a regular basis can be daunting & intimidating. This is a constant source of irritation and distress, expecially when something really needs to get done.

Over on Mark Making Things, Mark talks about "Cheating Time" by breaking up a project into smaller and smaller discrete chunks that can be completed in very short time frames; a great approach to achievement.

Due to various space constraints (i.e. too much stuff, too little room), I cannot leave tools & projects out in the open. In-process work is therefore not readily available for short bursts of activity. If I find that I have 1/2 hour available, it may take that long to dig out what I need to proceed, only to find the sand in the glass has run out.

Think of the little (non-electronic, pre video game) puzzle composed of 16 spaces and 15 tiles. You shuffle the tiles around until a complete image or numeric sequence appears. Picture living in the one empty space, and having to shuffle all of the tiles (equipment, tools, projects) every time you want to do one little thing. It rapidly becomes easier to do nothing at all.



Activity is underway to correct the problem of space for the long term. Meanwhile, I have been gifted with sufficient room (and generous assistance) to put up my module set and work on it with an arranged schedule.

I always resort to to-do lists in order to codify what needs to be done, prioritise the sequence, and identify materials that need to be gathered. It can be a cumbersome method but, for those of us with atrocious time management, it can be enough to keep moving forward. Items are not listed with time estimates, simply the order in which they need to be completed. You slough along with whatever is current, until it is done.

That said, the MoW/speeder shed is nearing completion. Also, all the little paint touch ups on the module fascia, additional foliage, and the critical repair to the track alignment & elevation are done. Time before the next show may be running out, but the list of outstanding items is also diminishing at a gratifying rate.

"Why are you wasting precious time writing a Blog"? I hear you cry. Frankly, I find it helps to clarify my thoughts. It doesn't really matter if anyone else reads the content; it is available for my own review at any convenient Internet access point. It has always been meant as a journal or logbook rather than a publication. I can use it to remind me of things to do or methods to follow. In addition, it builds into a record of achievement which can be helpful when it feels like nothing has gotten done.

11.07.2008

to air is humane

I felt that the speeder shed needed better treatment than a brush-coat finish so I unpacked one of my old airbrushes (a Badger 350) and cabinet, fitted the coarse tip and had a go at it. One of the traditional complaints about airbrushing is the amount of prep and cleanup time & effort compared to the actual time spent painting. Using a single-action brush saves a lot of hassle and, unless you are doing very delicate weathering that requires minute paint flow control, is perfectly adequate for most hobby work.

The cabinet is made from a clear plastic, flip-top storage container which lies on its side. Furnace filter material is tacked over a frame in front of the extraction fan. The fan is an amazingly powerful, squirrel cage blower that came off a huge piece of stone-age computing equipment. The fan is attached to one end of the container where a circular hole is cut, and exhausts through flexible dryer vent tubing to a multi-flap dryer vent. The vent body is stuck through a piece of 1.5" thick extruded styrofoam sheet which is cut to snuggly fit the window opening. When the fan and compressor (Badger 280-1) are running it is bearably loud and there is absolutely no paint smell.



Badger ModelFlex CN Red #11 was used straight from the bottle. For future work I'll need to punch a larger hole in the top of a Badger #50-2016 "in-jar paint filter" as this version only fits the old, smaller diameter siphon tube. Having to strain the paint is a royal pain but it's a good way to keep the airbrush from clogging up as you work.

The shed trim and window frames will be painted Polly Scale ATSF Catwhisker Yellow, which is a near match to CN's off-white colour, prior to installation. This saves a lot of time-consuming masking and makes for a cleaner finish.

A separate base for the shed has been built and blended into the scenery on the module, along with a short stretch of code 55 trackage. The shed will be removable for protection between shows.