Yes, I’m Still Working

Just in case you all thought I’d stopped working on the layout …

109

We went away for a couple of days, which kept me from messing with things I shouldn’t mess with. The result is that the new “water� poured into the swamp area has set up nicely, although it’s still rubbery.

This is how it looks now.

Clever Models

via e-mail

This link came through on one of the e-mail lists some time today: Clever Models 

Clever Models designs and produces high-quality structure kits and texture sheets — made from paper. The textures and designs come from a CGI artist and, presumably, modeler in the motion picture industry. He’s learned to apply the effects we see in movies to 3-dimensional models, which are sold at very reasonably prices. From the pictures on the web site, I’d say they look fabulous.

I’m going to order one or two, and see how they come out. 

Back at Work

As I mentioned last week, I had a lot of work to do to get ready for some Orchard Studios shows. Saturday, we had our first show of the season, and Sunday, I played!

(click on the pix for full-sized versions)

107 105

First, the area in and around the marsh was re-sceniced. I decided that the thing to do was to simply go over the bad. So, I scuffed up the surface of the old “water� and painted it a yucky brownish color. I then re-applied the bottom texture.

I then turned my attention to the area a little further east of the marsh.

102 One thing I remember growing up was that there were huge, huge piles of oyster shells all around near the waterfront. I chose to model this near the end of the switchback spur, and I’ll add a portable conveyer for loading oyster shells into gons when I come through and detail the area.

108 There also needed to be a way to access the area by car or truck, for the folks working the docks, so this grade crossing and gravel roadway was started. The road will be taking a sharp turn to the left, to avoid another wetlands area, and to connect with the town.

The grade crossing itself is made from Kappler S-scale contour ties, as I have a large quantity of them on hand. Campbell HO switch ties would work equally well. The coloring here is simply a stain of Woodland Scenics Raw Umber.

106 This morning, I got “brave� and poured the new water. I was going to wait until tonight, but everything seemed plenty dry this morning. I did not use the Woodland Scenics Realistic Water again. This time, I used a product that is identical to Envirotex Lite, but is a little less expensive. I’ve used the product before, with great success. I found it at Wal-Mart in the flower-arranging section, and it’s called “Le Silk Shoppe Acrylic Water Kit.� Each box contains a total of 8oz. of material, which looks like it will be just the right amount to complete this area. Although the material takes 24-48 hours to completely hardem, I’ve found that subsequent pours can be made much sooner, and I’ll likely make the second layer either this evening, or tomorrow morning.

The final results of my previous use of this material can be found here. The page was made while I was still modeling in HO, and a member of the FCSME.

Once the water has completely hardened, I’ll make ripples in the surface using a stiff brush, and gloss medium from Mod Podge (available at the local craft store).

104

Here’s a parting shot for the day. Shay #8 has just brought a gon in to take away some of those oyster shells, and a flat is ready to be shoved onto the pier for unloading. The conductor’s waiting in the caboose on the siding — no reason for him to set down his coffee cup!

Quiet

Even with the sound systems installed, it’s going to be a little quiet around here for a few days. I’ve got to scurry around and get ready for a art show this weekend, so there won’t be much time to play with trains — a serious bummer! Don’t worry, though. I’ll be back, ASAP!

Enlarging and Reducing Plans

What I’m about to mention here, many modelers already know. However, I figure it’s a useful thing to have in one, handy place, like my web site.

We all know that HO is the most popular modeling scale out there. So, many published plans and drawings are in HO (1:87) scale. Here are some simple rules to convert HO scale drawings to other scales:

HO to Z (1:220): Multiply dimensions by 40% (0.40)
HO to N (1:160): Multiply dimensions by 55% (0.55)
HO to S (1:64): Multiply dimensions by 137% (1.37)
HO to O (1:48): Multiply dimensions by 183% (1.83)

Now, some of you may have drawings in electronic format on your computers, and wish to print them out. You can use these same percentages to scale the drawing to get an O-scale full-sized drawing.