Thursday 9 February 2023

Underground Skips First Paint

During a few late evenings before bedtime I have been preparing the painting of the first three underground skips. Now one of them is primed with black and having the first splotchy layer of paint applied. These wagons will be heavily weathered with an almost full covering of rust and caked on ash deposits.

Three 3D printed Hudson underground skips in their current status.  

With the first running tests concluded, I began to fit couplings and the necessary weight into each of the underground skips. First the holes in the reinforced buffing plates on the frame was filled with putty and sanded. Then a triangle of plasticcard with a 1 mm hole in one corner was superglued behind the buffer to take a one-link piece of chain holding a leftover plastic hook. I plan to fit the wagons with the characteristic 'below the frame hook and chain coupling' to see if that is a feasible solution in 16 mm scale. I made long links for the couplings and attached a single leftover hook in one end of a skip. Tests are now being done to find out if the hook is prone to fasten in sleepers, turnouts or weeds in the track. If it works I will have to source hooks from a manufacturer.

Frame ready to receive plasticcard coupling brackets. The triangles will be glued on the centreline with the opening against the frame end. Small lead weights are then glued on each side of the brackets.

A cruel close-up of a mobile phone snapshot showing the test coupling between two skips. Time will tell if this works in reality in 16 mm scale.

With couplings and weight added I turned to adding the heaviest texture on the skip with modelling putty. I used a wooden toothpick to apply and work the putty into a thin layer with texture. Once painting and weathering is finished I hope the coarse texture in combination with lighter texture from paint and pastels will help make the wagon look dirty and well used with 'cakes' of ash.

A skip with experimental coupling and testing textured deposits of dirt - both painted and unpainted. Apart from the weights glued under the frame, a large piece of soft lead material is also glued into each of the skip's end brackets carrying the U-tub. 

Sometimes it's a challenge to get plastic putty to adhere properly to 3D printed models. Deluxe Materials 'Perfect plastic putty' works fine. But what else could be expected with a name like that?

Expect further reporting on the three skips once the coupling has been tested and I have completed painting and weathering of the first skip.

Friday 3 February 2023

Layout Progress

My small 1/19 scale layout has progressed during the last 6-7 months with a finished loading ramp, track building finalized, relief building erected and full photo background fitted. I have always been a slow modeller and when work, family and 1:1 scale heritage railway activity have taken their share of my time there is only a little left for Nystrup Gravel. Considering that, I think I have made considerable visible advance lately compared to previous years. I begin to be able to imagine how the finished layout will look! 

The little layout's current status at the beginning of 2023. Plenty of things to do in the way of particularly grass and ground cover.

Below is a series of images of the layout's development from the beginning in spring 2020. Not taken at regular intervals, but enough to show progress since 2020.

May 2020. Shelves have been cleared from books and being prepared to accept a layout on top. 

February 2021. Basic layout with fascia boards in place. Hand built track in progress.

November 2021. Most of the track finished, basic groundcover in place, loading ramp under construction and fascia boards painted.

July 2022. Loading ramp finished and first stage background photo print fitted. Cardboard mock up of wooden building can be seen in the corner.

Once the weather improves and Spring arrives I hope to enjoy some outdoor modelling on the layout. Sprinkling fine gravel and small stones is great for open air modelling as the weather gets warmer.