Tuesday 30 April 2024

Timber Bolster Bogies Finished

Picking up where I left after having painted one timber bolster bogie from Rail Print with rust coloured paint, I continued detailing the remaining 3 bogies and giving them the same treatment with paint from a spray can with rust coloured paint with a slight texture. Now the proces has been finalized and all 4 bogies are painted and weathered.

Lister No 3 with finished bogies 79 and 72 loaded with a single log. 

For me painting is both a blessing and a curse. A curse because it involves a radical departure from the build phase and involves some substantial risks. Paint is put on in large volumes often covering the complete model. If something goes wrong the paint is often only removable with a lot of work and damage to details is often difficult to avoid. On the other hand painting is a blessing as it is a welcome shift to a more artistic part of modelling. I also love how the model evolves from a maze of different colours and materials to a uniform object beginning to look like the prototype. 

Part of Nystrup Gravel's small fleet of timber bolster bogies still unpainted showing the different colours of the printed parts. The most obvious added parts are the footsteps and manufacturer's plates. Hand rails and tiny bolt heads aren't showing as clearly.

Once the three remaining bogies had the last detail glued on I gave them a layer of rust colour straight from the rattle can from Belton. A standard 400 ml spray can managed to cover 4 timber bolster bogies - a testament to how large 1/19 scale vehicles are. I then added a random number of spots in varying rust tones around the bogies. The bogies were then airbrushed with Vallejo chipping fluid before I added the covering colour. The chipping fluid didn't airbrush well and went on in layers of varying quality. If I did something wrong in thinning it or if the fluid had gone too old I don't know. Before I began painting all wheel treads were protected with Tamyia masking tape cut in appropriate width.

Four bogies painted with 'Rosteffekt' from Belton posed for a snapshot on the layout before further painting.

I then added a mix of black and different dark grey colours to the bogies. I tried to avoid covering everything with black or grey pain, leaving some random rust coloured spots to show. That is first stage in representing bogies with flaked and worn paint. Second stage in that proces is wetting the covering paint with tap water and rubbing selected areas with a combination of toothpicks and a stiff brush. This makes the cover paint loose grip on the chipping medium below, causing it to chip away. Quite a clever way of producing rusted vehicles. I have tried the method before on some of my steel skips. I think the results are better thus time due to the textured paint.

First couple of timber bogies (74 (closest) and 76) with dark grey paint and a thin twig from the garden. 1/19 scale takes serious twigs to produce a credible looking load! 

Close up of chipped paint made with Vallejo chipping fluid. The textured rust paint is clearly recognisable. 

Hand painting numbers. Best done completely relaxed and with the family out of the house. I did my numbers in 10 minutes between two appointments.

With the cover layer of dark greys and black applied I continued using brush painting for adding spots of different tones of greys and continued chipping to show more of the rust colours under the cover paint. I also handpainted numbers on the bogies' outer ends on the right side of the buffers with white paint and painted the wooden platforms on the brake bogies with a mix of acrylic colours. When the final chipping had been done, I added a layer of matt varnish to seal the result and applied some weathering with a wash of heavily diluted black oil paint and some rust streaking with burnt sienna oil paint. Worn metal on hand rails, footsteps, buffers and bolsters were done with a soft pencil and graphite powder. Graphite powder was also used to grease the bolster unit and the mating surfaces on the bogie to achieve a minimum of resistance in operation. 

All four timber bolster bogies finished and photographed in the garden. From left to right bogie 76, 74, 79 and 72. All built and painted with little differences to set them apart from each other.

Braked bogies are usually positioned next to each other to allow the brake man to operate brakes on two bogies. Nystrup Gravel removed the brake system on their bogies, but the habit obviously lived on.

For those wondering how the Vallejo chipping fluid worked I'm glad to report that the initial troubles had no influence on the chipping. In combination with the textured spray paint I think the chipping has produced some nice surface detail. 

Close up of bogie 79 with a heavily rusted top. The textured paint show up well in most placec and the combined effect of chipping fluid and spot painting shows as well. Unfortunately some printing lines are also visible. I guess it's just me doing 3D print modelling - I never fail to loose patience when sanding.

One last shot of loco 3 with a set of new bogies on its way from the gravel pits to Nystrup.

I label the bogies finished, but they still need coupling chains, new coupling rods to replace the 3D printed ones and a few logs for a load.  

Sunday 14 April 2024

Boxing People for Safekeeping

The small population of my Nystrup Gravel layout have been kept in storage on the layout and on shelves. That is not a sound long term solution. The figures represent no small investment in modelling time and money so they should be treated with no less respect than locos, rolling stock and cars.

Photographing in the Nystrup Gravel yard. My figures have to have some time off from the layout. But where to put them? I have now solved the problem.

Wanting to fix the problem fast, I didn't bother looking for a fancy wooden box, but found a cardboard box with generous size for my current and well into the future needs for storing 1/19 scale figures. I may upgrade to a wooden box if I stumble over a good sized box. For now the figures are much safer in the cardboard box than before. When I modelled in 1/35 scale I went to great lengths making tailor made wooden boxes for locos and wagons. I haven't quite reached the same level in 1/19 scale.

Cardboard box measuring 26 x 24 cm and 7 cm in height.

Bubble wrap lining inside the box with my figures added. Nystrup Gravel's population is all male.

Soft foam scrap pieces keeps the figures tightly in place when the lid is closed.

'People' written on the lid in stencilled cyrillic letters - just because I can.

The brown paper wrapper for my plastic cyrillic stencils bought in Leningrad, USSR, 1987. 

With about 30 minutes of design and work I now have a simple safe storage box for my figures. No more worries about scratched paint, broken off limbs or other damages. Safely tucked away in the box until picked out when their services are needed.

Friday 5 April 2024

Detailing Timber Bolsters

Last month I received 4 bogie timber bolsters in 3D print ready to roll. As usual with 3D printed models I feel I have to remove the most visible traces of the printing proces - the thin lines of layered resin or plastic material. A lot of work with sanding sticks and sand paper will usually take care of most of it. I also wanted to add a little extra detail. I'm still working on the bogies and below is a status of the progress.

One rusty timber bolster bogie, a horse without harness and a bewildered workshop manager drinking coffee. Weekend approaching at Nystrup Gravel?

As I took a closer look on the timber bolsters I decided to limit my work on them to the following tasks:

  • remove most of the 3D printing layering lines by sanding (the paint I use help to hide the rest)
  • fill holes in the bogies' top plates (don't know why they are there?)
  • replace printed on footsteps with scratchbuilt metal items
  • add bolt detail
  • remove brake gear
  • add hand rails

Filling holes with putty and sanding (particularly the upper surfaces) was done on all 4 bogies in assembly line-style. After testbuilding the first footstep and fitting it on one side of a single bogie, I built and fitted the remaining three steps. I intentionally made two of the steps crooked as the steps were prone to be damaged by occasional derailments. From there I concentrated my efforts on a single braked bogie. The rest will hopefully follow in quick succession.

New footstep made from nickle silver sheet and brass wire next to the item to be replaced. The 3D printed part was too clumsy in my opinion and easy to replace.

'Pretty decent work', the Nystrup Gravel chief mechanic seem to think, 'Now three more steps needs replacing'.

From the beginning I had been a little disappointed with the look of the brake installation printed integral to the platform railing. As Nystrup Gravel's lines were without steep gradients braking, besides what could be accomplished by the locomotives, weren't necesarry during a train's movement. To keep wagons stationary on sidings a branch or a stone placed on the railhead would usually suffice. Only a few braked skips are documented on photos from Nystrup and consequently I decided to discard the brake installation. I presume it was removed on the real version of Nystrup Gravel to cut down on maintenance and to avoid complicating the operational environment for the workers who seldom were among the most mechanically experienced. 

Having cut away the brake installation from the platform railing I added handrails and corresponding bolt imitations. The railing was then glued to the bogie with AC-glue. More bolt heads from sliced octagonal plastic strip were added to bogie ends and under the axle box guides. Total sum of new parts added to the bogie reached 36. In addition I glued two pieces of lead under the bogie to increase its weight. 

The first 1/19 scale timber bolster bogie in rusty condition. Hardly anyone will notice my work adding bolt heads, handrails and replacing footsteps. But I know it's been done.

The bolster works as the real thing: lift the side support and it falls down to allow loading or unloading.

I separated bogie and timber bolster before painting to avoid everything being 'welded' solidly together by dried paint. I used a rust colour in a rattle can. The paint has a slight texture to it. I used a German made product 'Rosteffekt' from the brand Belton in a standard 400 ml spray can. The paint does smell quite a bit and it's probably best to use it outside the house - I did.  

The bogie will have a partly covering layer of dark grey paint over a covering of chipping fluid from Vallejo. That will allow me to create an impression of flaking and worn paint with rust showing through. But first I will finish the other three bogies.