Friday, December 31, 2010

It is winter on the model railroad

Winter generally means it is going to be to cold to do much air brushing. We did have a 50+ degree day this week, so I took a long lunch and did a little painting. That just keeps the painting jobs from piling up over the winter.

Southern 2207
This car is a stock Athearn kit, a little weathering, and dual purpose load. I got this idea from an old Model Railroader magazine article from November 1976.
Pretty simple, but scale 2x4 uprights are a bit fragile.

NVX 369
This car, a kitbashed Steam Generator car, was inspired by an article in Railroad Modeler, September 1979. It started with an Athearn flat, and the rest came from the junk box. I know the ends are from an Accurail box car, and the tanks are from a Life-Like tank car, but the middle section, well, I have no idea.

NV 370
This is a model of a Hart Selective Ballast car that was featured in Model Railroader back in November of 1984. The article was by Andy Sperandeo and lettered for their Washita and Santa Fe project railroad. I lettered mine for my HO scale Nirvana Valley Railroad.
NV 72581
This caboose is a Ye Olde Huff-n-Puff wood kit. I made this many years ago, and I am working on scratch building one with full interior. The road number is the date of birth of my first son and the copy I am scratch building will be numbered for my second son.
Kelso Grain & Feed
I built this 1923 Mack from a Jordan kt, and printed custom decals for it. Jordan makes great kits, not easy, but great detail. Notice in the pictures you can see the chain drive going to the back wheels. In real life, these look like a service nightmare. Not that I know much about cars or trucks.
I have pictures taken for the next couple blog entries, so I should be able to update every couple weeks for a while.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Central Concrete, Springdale, Units 4, 5, & 6

And a lowboy trailer. I kitbashed this trailer from a Maisto car hauler trailers' top deck. The wheels and tires from the Like-Like cement mixer that used in making one of the Joplin units. They were to small for use on a truck, but worked great for this trailer. I have not found a use for anything else from this toy, but I picked up for $2.00. I started by cutting the deck in to flat pieces, essentially making a flat kit. I then reassembled it somewhat backwards and upside down. I added a few pieces of styrene, and there you have it.Here is the finished trailer, with a Mercedes truck as a load. I haven't gotten around to a deciding on a tractor to pull it yet, and with winter coming on, I won't be able to paint for a while.

I used a Sylvan '48-53 cab and connected it to a Boley mixer, a relatively easy kitbash. The front wheels are from the Sylvan kit, as it the figure in the cab.

I again used a Boley mixer and rear section along with the cab steps. The cab is from a Miasto diecast metal military truck. I feel it worked out well. I used the Boley tires and wheels as the Miasto wheels and tires were not acceptable. The decal lettering is different for each Central Concrete location, as they list the city and the phone number for that location. By doing some quick internet research, I was able to find out what exchanges were used in 1949, and in some cases, even what part of town used which exchange.
You may have been wondering why Central Concrete needed a lowboy trailer. Well number 6 here, would be the answer. This is a Trident German half-track prototype cab and tracks with a Mini-Lindy mixer. Although I have not been able to find a picture, I have heard of units similar to this that were built right after the war from army surplus units. Made from a German half-track and in Arkansas, well a little hard to believe. I did enjoy building it and I think it looks cool.

On the last 50 degree day, I painted several models, so the next installment will be back to freight cars and maybe even some motive power.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Central Concrete, Joplin

Yes, I will get back to my favorites, freight cars, I just got on a kick of modeling vehicles for industries along the line. This is the Central Concrete (completely fictitious) fleet for the Joplin location.
#1Number 1 is a stock, or at least mostly stock Mini-Lindy kit. Out of production for a couple decades anyway, but a reasonably close model of a White WA-22. I added the tail light, mud flaps, mirror, ladder, controls, hose and shovel. The decals I printed myself. For the cement dust weathering, I used the real thing.

#2 This unit got its inspiration from this Hot Wheel model. It was obviously out of scale, as are most Hot Wheels and Matchbox pieces. The cab need shortened and the fenders had to be narrowed. The cement barrel and back section are from a Mini-Lindy kit. Besides the same added details as #1, I scratch built the tires using styrene tube and used some pearl stick-on pieces from the scrap booking section at Hobby Lobby for the headlights.
Unit #3 started out as a Life-Like cement mixer, but really the only usable part was the back half. The cab was too new for the 1949 era I am modeling and the wheels and tires are way
under size for most uses (more on that next time). I married the Life-Like rear portion to the Mini-Lindy cab left over from #2. I used the Mini-Lindy wheels and tires and added the same details as #'s 1 and 2, although with these low angle pictures you cannot see the shovel and hose. You will also note that I have added era appropriate license plates on all my vehicles. There are several web sites that have real license plates that can be edited to work for any scale. In HO scale, they are really to small to read, at least they are when printed on my printer.
Next time, more concrete trucks, #'s 4, 5, & 6 lettered for their Springdale, AR location.

I really have to get off this vehicle kick and get back to modeling a railroad

Dale Kerns Construction Pickup

Yes, I agree, in real life it would be a sin to cut up a Studebaker truck, but it could have happen. This is one of the re-released Stony Mountain Studebaker pickup truck kits with the bed cut off and a Classic Metal Works bed attached. FWIW, this is a 1937-39 model. When I worked for Dale 30+ years ago, he had a old faded service bed truck similar to this, but not a Studebaker.

Easy Ed Koehler Pickup

Speaking of 30+ years ago. At Pittburg State, my construction instructor was Ed Koehler, affectionatly known as Easy Ed. Certainly one of the people I learned more from than most. This is a Wheel Works all metal kit. A real pain to put together, but it has nice detail. This is a 1934 Ford.

Next up, the Central Concrete Fleet. I am in the process of kitbashing 9 different cement mixers. Three for each major city along the Kansas City, Fort Smith and Gulf HO model railroad. FWIW, niether Kansas City or Fort Smith are to be modeled, but I will have some cement mixers lettered for the Fort Smith Center Concrete location. The other two locations will be Joplin and Springdale.

Monday, November 1, 2010

November HO modeling

Pulpwood car, converted from old stock car
This is based on a prototype from the Maine Central. This is not meant to be a copy, I just got the idea from some Maine Central pictures and drawing in an old NMRA magazine. This started out as a Bachman stock car. I cut two sections our of each side, the spliced them back together as one section to put in the middle where the door was originally. Obviously, I also cut off the roof. I have not added any underbody detail yet, but at this point, not including applying the decals, it only took about 2-1/2 hours to get it to this point. I printed the decals on white decal paper, which I would not do again. Clear would have blended in better to the white background. I also need to add some data decals.

Roundhouse Metal Kit
This old kit from the 1960's arrived in pieces mixed with lots of other parts. I actually found all the parts scattered between a couple of boxes I had received. I was able to match the paint color and complete the kit. It had been assembled previously, so I had to do some modification to the coupler boxes to bring them up to spec.
How is that for a car number? 5,261,884. I don't recall ever seeing one that long, but this was numbered in honor of my grandmother on my mother side, and the car road number is here date of birth, and no, I don't believe she drank wine at all. Family folk lore has it that some of the Sardou clan in France makes wine. I can't find any evidence of that, but I really like these European cars. I Americanize them a little with a brake stand and decals.

LTL Dry bulk containers
I have two cars like this and had to make a road number change on this one in order to be able to run them both at the same time. I used some Solveset to remove the old number and printed out some decals for new numbers. Did a little weathering and called it good enough.
Linde Tank Cars
A couple LifeLike tanks that I renumbered like the car above, but this time I needed to renumber two cars. There was a Linde plant down in Neosho, so I have several Linde cars on my roster.
Diamond Chemical Tank Car
This was an old Ready-to-Run car, but I added some decals, as the manufacturer left off some the details. The car came with no road number markings, no data and the "Caustic Soda", and the plant location below that were not on the model. Also I added warning signs decals.

That is enough for now. Back to laundry and some more modeling. Some day I may actually do some scenery.

Friday, October 1, 2010

September Modeling

Little time to model this month with a couple shows and a bad back, which seems to be better now. Maybe I just need to shed 80 pounds. This first car is an old Roundhouse metal kit. I bought this some time ago from the River Road, but it was in pieces, a junk box, with lots of other pieces. The vintage HO yahoo group pointed me to the right pieces to complete this model. In reality, it is a hybrid of sorts. The sides are Roundhouse and the underframe is Athearn, but also metal. I really have to get some scenery on the pink hill.

Next is a scratch built gondola. The plans are from an old magazine, and the material was to be wood. Being that newer materials are available, I used styrene for my model, and to give it plenty of weight, it has a 1/8" steel plate instead of the 1/8" wood used in the magazine article.

Next is a gear load, i love open loads. Can't remember where I got the gear, but it made for a nice oversize load. It is displayed on a vintage Varney flat car.

I don't know who the manufacturer is on this kit, and I don't know where I picked it up. Similar to an Athearn in some ways, but not the frame, which is like a AHM. No mame on it. I did some weathering to cover some wear marks. Gulf Oil is my favorite private car owner, so I have lots of tank cars for gulf and other related companies. That will do it till next time, when I hope to have some of my concrete truck fleet to show.

Monday, September 13, 2010

September HO Model Railroad update

I have been working on several vehicles for a main street scene diorama. To date the scene, I want most of the companies shown to be recognizable as 1949 companies, or at least not modern companies. The exception to this is the vehicle to the right, which is lettered for my son's comic and gaming shop which opened in 2009. They will have a shop in my 1949 downtown, so I figured they needed a vehicle that was of the correct period. Inside the store will be displays of period comics. The truck is a Wheel Works metal kit.

Cook Paint & Varnish was a major manufacturer ini North Kansas City. They are no longer making a retail product and the industrial products division is owned by Daves Paints. I did a little research and came up with some appropriate signage. In fact the boy painting sign is still on the front door to Sebus hardware in Weston, MO. If you want to get the feel of an old time hardware store, stop in to Sebus Hardware in downtown Weston. The cab is a heavily kitbashed Roco Unimog and the truck box is a cut down 40' trailer.
This picture was taked from a deck of cards and cleaned up in Photo Shop Elements.

The Junge Bakery was located in Joplin, and was a major force in the economy of the area. The Butter-Nut Bread logo, and on the other side of the truck is a Quaker-ette Cracker sign, we lifted from an old postcard. After many hours of work in Photo Shop, I was able to print out some useable decals. The cab of this model is from a Bachman COE tractor and the box body if from a Hot Wheels armored car.

Now to a railroad car. This was scratch built rock quarry car based on a magazine article. The wood looking deck and end are, guess what, wood. All of the underframe pieces are brass that I soldered together, Brass, I felt, was my only choice if I was going to have enough weight with an empty car. The car is designed to tip to either side to dump it's load. The tilting blocks are modified brass bridge pieces from Precision Scale.

Looking at the underside, you will notice, besides the brake rigging, that it is 3' narrow gauge. These are brass trucks, again for the weight.

Untill next time, when I will show three or foru kits I have finished along with another scratch built car.