Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Engine house foundation pt2 and fuel tanks

Last week the light bulb came on about making the foundation around in engine house so I could make it removable after I get the scenery down.  Over the last couple of days I've been able to get it weathered and installed and was able to get a base of scenery down around it.  It worked like a champ!

Once I got it weathered and glued in place it hit that I needed to get another concrete pad installed before adding more ground cover.  I needed to make another pad for the two fuel storage tanks.  So I dug out the styrene and got it going.  While I was at it I worked on the tanks and a small pump house. I also added a strip 0.015" styrene between the rails as part of the floor and weathered it accordingly.

Here is how the engine house foundation turned out.

The fuel tanks are part of an older Walthers kit and the shed was from the Bachmann fuel and sanding kit.  The piping from the shed to the tanks is a section of brass rod, the hose to the right of the pumphouse is 1/32" solder painted grimey black and the large piping at the bottom and front of the tanks are some leftover Plastruct elbows and the valve wheels are extra rolling stock brake wheels.

The tanks and pump house were painted with TruColor Galvanized Metal and sealed.  Then I used two colors of artist oil paints for the overall rusty look and rust spots.  Each color was sealed before applying the next color.  The tops were done the same way except I added a dusting of  rust colored pastel chalks to them while the paint was still wet.  The chalk was made from scraping some Orange and Brown and dash of Black, mixed together and dabbed into the wet paint with a paint brush and then sealed with yet another coat of Dullcoat.

The concrete pads were painted using TruColor Concrete and then sealed with Dullcoat.  Next I used some cheap acrylic paint, Med Gray, Dark Gray and some Sandy Beige. I then took a cosmetic sponge and mixed them together and dabbed them randomly on the concrete pads to give a nice mottled look for the concrete.  After I sealed it with another coat of Dullcoat I attacked them with Pan Pastels for the rust and grimey look.  The seams, cracks and oil stains were highlighted with black Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color.

I ballasted the tracks, then covered everything with the earth mix that I made from mixing Woodland Scenics fine Earth ground foam and a Mocha colored unsanded grout, the same stuff I used for the dirt patches in the weeds throughout the yard.

I still have a lot to do to this scene.  I need to build a power pole and get it installed then I can finish applying the earth mix around the engine house and fueling pad.  Once that's done then I'll come back and start making the ground look oily and greasy around the tracks and the facility. 

In the meantime I manipulated the scene with my photo editor so I could get an idea of how it'll look.


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Engine house foundation

For months I've been stumped.  I wanted the engine house removable so I clean the tracks and fetch anything that would get derailed.  What's had me stumped was to find a way to scenery up to the foundation, glue it and still allow me to remove the building easily.

Tonight while staring at it I decided it could use some concrete pads in front of some of the doors.  I figured I could use some .040" styrene to simulate the pads and butt them up to the building.  The building base is about the same thickness.  

About that time the light bulb came on!  Why not just add a concrete pad all around the building?   So I marked the shape of the building and cut the styrene to fit the footprint of the building.

Once painted and glued in place I should be able to scenery up to the pad and still be able to easily remove the building.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Wood Chip foobies

Since wood chips are hauled on the Little Rock Line, I have collected quite a few of the Bluford Shops converted wood chip cars.  They're just a 3 bay 70 ton open hopper with homemade extensions welded on by most roads.  Bluford has came out with a lot these hoppers and I've had a hard time resisting them.

One version I've always wanted was the newest black scheme that Rock had with the Blue "R".  I've made my own decals for this scheme already but never got around to actually applying any. 

Bluford just released this scheme on their hoppers so I picked up a 3 pack.  I also scored a few other cars and stole their extensions and repainted them black to place on the Rock hoppers.

Rock Island had the 3 bay 70 ton hoppers like this in the black scheme, but not in wood chip service, so they are foobies, but they now have them on the Little Rock!

While I was at it, I also added an extension for another ICG version.


Monday, November 8, 2021

Applying the weeds between the tracks

As I was adding more weedy patches to yard, I thought I'd shoot a quick video.  It's nothing that probably hasn't been seen a 1000 times already on YouTube, but I had my phone handy.

If you look closely you can see a silver machine screw that's bouncing around inside the bottom of the hopper, I added it to help keep the grass from clumping up.  

What you can't see is the window screen that I added to the lid.

The molded plastic screen in the lid of the WS Static King is kind of coarse and when using the 2mm & 4mm grasses they can fall through pretty easily. The piece of screen mesh reduces the flow of the grass and the screw in the hopper helps keep the grass broke up and just gives you a bit better control.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

The weeds be growing

I'm finally getting around to weeding the yard.

I started by applying a layer of fine ground foam made from several colors to serve as a base for the weeds.  This was done mainly to give the weeds a thicker appearance without needing to use a lot of static grass to cover the brown paint.

And yes, eventually I'll get the nails pulled.


Once it was dry, I dabbed on full strength flat Mod Podge with a 1" sponge brush directly to the ground foam base to glue the static grass.  

After getting a stretch down I was happy with the result but, I noticed that it looked to even, almost like a golf course, save for the ragged edges between the weeds and ballast.

BTW, this is 4mm grass made up of four different colors: Dark, Medium & Light green with a pinch of Straw tossed in.

So I grabbed the fine Earth ground foam that I had mixed with the Mocha colored grout and started applying it randomly over the foam base to make patches of bare dirt.  I sprayed it with water and then applied the 50/50 glue to secure it.

Once it was dry, I again applied the Mod Podge with foam brush on the foam base only, carefully avoiding the dirt patches and started applying the static grass again.  After it had set a bit, I vacuumed up the excess grass.  Yeah, this looks better.


After the areas on each side of the yard were covered, I started working down between the tracks in the same manner, but I used a smaller 1/2" foam brush to apply the glue in smaller patches.  The areas to the left are just the ground foam and the areas on the right are after the static grass was applied.


I'll continue doing this until everything is covered.  Then I'll come back and start randomly adding some of the weed tufts that I made as well as in weeds between the ties throughout the yard.  I'm planning to come back and adding some coarse foam over the grass/weeds to help break up the uniform look, my plan is to give it a look of larger leafed weeds?