Sunday, April 25, 2010

Decal Time and the Need for a Tardis

It's been a quiet week this week in Picton, well, not necessarily quiet but not particularly productive in terms of output. You see, it's been decal time for the refrigerator wagons and I've decided that decaling is the least satisfying out of all the various aspects of model railways. Don't get me wrong, its not that I hate doing it but the fact that it takes so long is what I don't like about it. I reckon Time is the killer for all modellers. You only have so much time you can spend on your favourite hobby so when you spend most of your weeks available time on decaling you start looking at how you can do it smarter and quicker. A Tardis might be the answer but I don't think that's going to happen soon. The main problem is the cutting up of the various codes and numbers to suit the stock and then the application, letter by letter and numeral by numeral. And getting them straight and spaced correctly. So anyway, I've decalled all the refrigerator cars with the appropriate codes and numbers from commercial decals I'd bought years ago. I now have 54 goods wagons to decal.......
A few years back, I purchased an ALPS printer for the purpose of printing my own decals. Unfortunately, these printers are no longer available and the consumables for these printers are getting harder to get. Aust-N-Rail stock the ribbon cassettes and I also found this site in New Zealand who stock consumables, and I'll be placing an order for some white ink cassettes this week. The exchange rate helps making the choice of supplier.
The other task this week was creating the artwork for the goods wagons which I completed using MS Word. Had to trawl the internet for some stencil fonts but eventually got one that looked OK. Its not quite right but will look the part. The beauty of doing this is you can code and number anything you like and it will be all one decal, no cutting, no aligning. I've also done the capacity as well as the tare which was handwritten rather than stenciled. The only decal I've had a problem with is creating the "On" decal with the arrow which was placed above the handbrake. I just can't get the artwork small enough so I might try some other programme to duplicate it.
I'll need to get a wriggle on if I'm going to get the wagons completed as I want to take some along to "The Early Days" at the end of May.
Anyway, that's it for this week. Next batch of photo's will be when I've got something worth showing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

SuperCheap Auto is My New Friend

Some time ago, I'd bought my air 2hp compressor from them for the princely sum of $99. I think I've spent more on the air lines, moisture traps and fittings than the compressor itself! Bought the moisture trap / regulator today from SuperCheap and then found I couldn't open the air valve so back to the store for more fittings and Voila!! It all works. No more buying stuff from Airbrush suppliers, SuperCheap has a good range of fittings at half the price. Anyway, the compressor got a work out today and I've finally finished painting all of my built goods wagons....all 62 of them. So now, it's on to the decals and after that the weathering. Oh, and I finished Elscotto's D wagons except for some 3 link couplers. Here's some pic's of the D's and all of the other stuff.

1898 D Wagons, one built to pre-1910 condition with lever brake and the other, post-1910 with wheel handbrake

D's, S's, K's, BD and BDS and some watergins

SV's, OSV's, CW's and BCW's

LV's, CV's, MV's, ICV's, and a PV

SF's, BEY's, BHG, SHG, HG, 2 underframes for an AL and a FJ plus an underframe for a GT

And lastly, the Refrigerator cars, SRC's, BRC's, MRC's, Howlin and Tiffany

The next pieces of work will be to design and print some decals for the goods wagons and then the weathering. I can now also move into painting some carriages that have been waiting for a number of years including some EHO's, a KB, BKD, KKG, some BKG's, AL, FJ, EAM, VAM and LAM. And won't it be fun to line them all.
It's been good of late to clear everything out and actually paint all the models, some of which, are 20 or so years old. Soon, I'll be able to move into other things like track laying and scenery and all of those kits sitting there in the cupboard.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Explosive Good Times in the Paint Booth

So, there's been some progress at Picton since the last update. The track gauges from Railway Engineering found their way to Picton this week so big thanks to Steve Hatch for resending the order with no fuss. I also got some 3mm cork sheets from Portugal Tiles so things will be moving soon once I work out what to stain the sleepers with. I'm also contemplating what to actually use for sleepers. I happened to measure some Red Head's, long, BBQ matches and they scale out to be exactly 9" wide which is the standard width for sleepers in the 1908 - 1928 period. Dimensions of sleepers were 8' x 9" x 4 1/2" so they're a good match. (nyuk, nyuk, nyuk) Anyway, I'll be asking around what people use and do to lay their track before getting stuck in.
Elscotto popped round to check on progress and pointed out some deficiencies in my baseboard building. Gee, thanks mate ;-) Anyway, I fixed that up last weekend so all is good now and ready to go. It just proves that a second pair of eyes are invaluable with building and modelling as it saves on mistakes and helps you get things right.
The painting has been going well with the refrigerator cars repainted (except for the MRC's...more on that later) and about 30 cars finished. And thanks Craig, for the tip on the Tamiya masking tape, it worked a treat. The last couple of posts have been sans photo's so here's a few to show I'm not making this stuff up.

1896 BCW flanked by 1890 BCW and 1921 CW

BD, K and 3 plank D

BEY and SF

LHG / BHG and 18' LV

HG and Steel S's...not Trainorama

A brace of ICV's

MV, LV, CV and LV


Yep, things were going well and I was about to paint the MRC's when there was a loud bang followed by lots of hissing from the escaping air. What had happened was the moisture trap must have had a hairline fracture in it which eventually gave way. This is what it looked like afterwards.

Trap go bang

So I'll be looking out for a new moisture trap this week before the painting can continue. At least Elscotto might get his D wagons finished.