Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Conrail N8A Caboose

For a change of pace I have decide to build a caboose to go along with the RS-3m that I am building. Penn Central converted a group of New Haven RR NE-5 and NE-6 cabooses into bay window cabooses.  Both rebuilds were lumped together into the N8A class. I choose to use an Atlas NE-6 for the conversion.  They are very easy to disassemble as nothing is glued.  I had an undecorated one so it is an easy start.

Former NH NE-5 Caboose, both side windows sealed and no roof walk.

Another former NH NE-5, one window sealed.

Former NH NE-6.  The side with out the smoke jack has an access door along the
bottom of the car body side near the bay window.  It uses EMD style door latches.

Here is the smoke jack side of the caboose. Note the vents added to the sides. 
The window to the left of the door on each end is also sealed.

Here is the Atlas NE-6.  I have removed the awning over the window on the right as
well as the sill that goes around the window.  I do need to clean up the bay opening.

Here is the end with the one window sealed.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Weathering, First Attempt

First attempt may not be entirely true, but it is with using Pan Pastels.  I started on some basic boxcars and then tried a Bachmann H-16-44.  I watched Mike Confalone's weathering videos from MRH.  Take a look below and let me know what you think.  I really find weathering back locomotives difficult.

The H-16-44 ready for Dullcote.  I did add Hancock Air Horns and some
bits of styrene to represent the steam generator.

Here it is after a round of pan pastels.

Another shot.
Please feel free to comment on the box cars and locomotive.  I am very open to creative criticism, and am always looking to improve.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Cleaning up and finishing projects

The usable space on my work bench as continually was getting smaller and smaller.  I had to clean up and I now have room to work.  I have also dug out a lot of models that I need to build or get rid of as well.  I have decided to work on trio of ALCo’, two RS-3’s and an RS-11.  The RS-11 s a rebuild of one I built when I was in collage back in the late 1980’s.  When I originally built it, I did a decent job, but I did not modify the windows fuel tank, nor add the train control box.  I also used the in correct decals, using the extra serif ones made for the GP-9’s.   I was able to new shells for the hood and cab as well as grab irons from Atlas.  This time I did make the modifications to the cab windows  and add the  the train control box.  I also modified the fuel tank.

Here is the Atlas shell with Custom Finishing steam generator added
along with the Atlas grab irons.

The fuel tank is from an Atlas RSD4/5.  I then dded bits of styrene to ends to
create the tank used by the New Haven.
Here is the unmodified cab with a line showing where i plan to
extend the window

This shows the modified cab window.  I just eye balled the open from photos.
This also shows the train control box from Details Associates.I built the
 walkway from .010 styrene.

Here is the location of the factory applied air horn that needs to be filled and

Here are the two RS-3 I am working on, more info in the near future.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snow Day

With up to 24 inches of snow today, the whole family is home from work and school.   It is a bit chilly to work in the basement so I figure I will talk about the concepts behind my modeling.   I have always liked the New Haven Railroad; this is really a factor of having grown up in a family were my grandfather worked for them for over years and my mom worked for them for a few years.   Unfortunately my grandfather passed away shortly after I was born, but I do have many New Haven related Items that he had accumulated.
So now you know why the New Haven Railroad, why the Norwich and Worcester line.  I first looked at the Springfield line, but there is too much railroad to deal with, something like passenger train and through frights in hours.  After reading about Putnam in the NHRHTA Shorliner, I decided it would be a great option with two secondary main lines crossing over each other and running parallel for a bit.   The one problem is that the line between Boston and Hartford in the August, 1955 floods.  I like modeling the New Haven in 1958 giving me the opportunity to model both McGinnis and earlier paint schemes, and all the diesel locomotives except the U-25b’s and C-425’s that came in the mid 1960’s.  I have decided to proto freelance by having the Boston to Hartford line still in service and the East Wind passenger train still operating between New York and Portland Maine.  I also have the State of Maine routed of the N&W to increase passenger service over the line.  Based on using early 1950’s traffic, there are around 13 trains a day over the line.  Plenty to keep a few operators busy.

I have a thing for mixed consists, be it locomotive lash-ups or passenger trains.  Penn Central in the summer of 1969 gives me that look.  Stretching the proto freelancing more, there still is passenger service over the line using a mix of NH, NYC, PRR and PC equipment, the same with locomotives and cabooses.   The 1977 goes one more step with Conrail and all of its components as well as Amtrak.  I have additional plans or the later eras but will touch base on them later.  For now I am just getting the first section of the layout built.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Simple fixes

A friend asked me to paint some FA's for him.  He wants the models in the New Haven's Albert (or Trustee) paint scheme, it is the simplest cab unit paint scheme the New Haven used, only red/orange and black paints are needed, no long stripes or crazy three color geometric shapes.  The models are Walthers' train line FA's.  They are originally from Train Miniature that Walthers bought back in the late 1980's.  The shells are very much a 1980's (or earlier) style model with molded on grab irons and such, but the dimensions are close and have a nice look to them.  

The one issue I have with them, particularly when painting the Alpert scheme, is the placement of the number boards, they are too low on the nose of the model.  The Albert scheme queues off of the number boards and the low placement causes the red to be too low on the nose and the red that goes up and around the headlight casting to be elongated.  Here is comparison of the Walthers Trainline with a Proto 2000 model.

The Trainline model on the left, a Proto 2000 model on the right.

The good news is the number boards are separate parts (one  the very few on these models), so moving them is very simple.  Each board has a pin, on on the front edge that holds it to the shell.  I use a new, sharp #11 x-acto blade and cut the pin and pry the number board off.  Leaving the pin in the shell helps fill the hole.  I use a sand down the area to remove any traces of glue and use some body putty to fill any low spots.  I then glue the number board to the correct higher location.

Here is the shell with the corrected number board.
The fix is quicker then reading this post.  I would not recommend it for painted models, but i you are going to paint one, make the fix.  I you are just starting out on upgrading and painting models, it is a nice little project that can truly make the finished paint job look much better.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Paint and Weathering Work Station

I have cleaned off the an old desk that is under the north end staging yard.  I have set up my portable spray both and a 5000 kelvin light for painting and weathering.  I can fold up the spray both and have more room to hand apply pastels and artist oils for weathering.  It is nice to have a separate space from the regular workbench to do this kind of work.  I hope this will mean I will get more projects painted in a timely manner!

Spraybooth, airbrush and good lighting.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Needing Power

I get the layout running and all of a sudden I need locomotives.  I have plenty of locomotives, most nicely painted and detailed.  I am scrambling to get decoders into locomotives now.  I have looked at the new Locsound units and the full throttle features and they do look great (or is it sound great?).  That being said I am not completely sold on sound.   I do have a few factory installed sound equipped locomotives, an FL-9 and RDC from Rapido and a GP-9 from Athearn.  At a cost of roughly $100 per unit, that is more than I really want to spend right now.  I have a few older Digitrax decoders and that is what I will be using.  Overtime I may upgrade to have more locomotives with sound. 

I also find that I really have more locomotives then I really need, so I may list them on a separate tab on my blog as I decide to which ones to sell of.