Friday, May 24, 2019

A streetcar in disguise?

TTC Flexity Outlook on King St.
Often on my way to work in the morning I'll see a new OC Transpo Alstom Citadis Spirit light rail vehicle out on a test run. Although they're billed in the media as light rail vehicles, they look very streetcar like to me, and I've been wondering how many passengers they can carry in comparison to the TTC's Flexity Outlook streetcar. 

According to Wikipedia the 48.4m long version of the Alstom bought by OC Transpo will handle 300 passengers, and the 30.2m TTC Flexity clocks in at 251*. Interestingly, Wikipedia also notes that 

The [Alstom] Citadis Spirit is designed for both city-centre and suburban operation. Its 100% low-floor design has no interior steps or ramps. The vehicle can be used for both street-running allowing boarding from street or curb, and high-speed travel up to 105 km/h (65 mph). 

So since it's a modular design, some shorter configuration would allow it to run as a streetcar - a streetcar in disguise? :-)

*For PCC fans, if 2 of the TTC's old PCCs were strung together, the train would have an approximate length of 30 metres, and the 'crush load' would be around 268 passengers. The operative word here being 'crush' :-)

Thursday, May 23, 2019

And on the inside it's brick

The museum's inside wall surfaces are going to be covered with Superquick brick paper. I bought a package at a train show a few years ago and it has been just laying around in the parts box waiting for a project. Wait no more!

But before the gluing got underway, the plastic walls had embossed numbers and ejector dimples that had to the sanded off to smooth their surfaces. 
White glue was used and spread on the wall as uniformly as I could. A piece of brick paper was then applied. After drying, the arch was sliced out with a brand new knife blade. The brick paper is quite thin, which makes application and cutting openings easy.

There's a lot of walls and cutting ahead, so it could be awhile before this job is done.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Painting with Cap

Found in Action Comics #335 (Mar '66)  & Detective Comics #349 (Mar '66)
Vince is a fount of knowledge; no question about that. He asked me if I remembered the series Cap's Hobby Hints that ran in DC comics in the '60s and sent me a link to some examples. Much to my shame I hadn't see this before, but my shame was short lived :-) The wonders of the internet let me fill in those nasty gaps in my education. 

Found in Adventure Comics #342 (Mar '66)  & Metamorpho #5 (Mar - Apr '66)

Anyway, I latched onto these two as they show how to use a wire coat hanger as a paint stand that we were talking about a few days ago. That technique probably wasn't something unique to Revell, it just seemed so when pre-teen me stumbled across it back in the '70s.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A little more painting at the Museum

I applied some thin, light washes of grey and black to bring out the mortar lines a bit, and tone down the wall colour. I didn't apply too much because I didn't want the museum to appear to have been neglected, just a little used.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Some Speculation on the Elevator Building's Roots

This is the back wall. It looks rather charming with the elevator insert in place. 

This is a weird little building. Scale-wise, inside it probably only has room for the elevator and those back stairs, and not much else. Maybe it was part of something else. My thoughts are that it was once the side entrance to a 4-storey motel, and the main motel part is missing.

Those side doors would open into long corridors that have the rooms branching off. On the model there's no provision for attaching a fire escape, so I guess they must lead to internal passages of some sort. 

This would imply that there's a 4-storey piece with the rooms and some sort of main entrance out there somewhere. But, for now, it'll just be some little odd apartment along the Alta Vista TC. 

Maybe it's where Ed Bryce holed up after his divorce and early days at OSI :-)

Elevator service restored at the Elevator Building

Once spray painting the main components was done, all that was left was some detail painting, reinstalling the front steps, and inserting the cardboard elevator print. I was going to scan and colour adjust a new elevator insert, but in the end decided to use the original - I liked its retro, time faded colours.  

I need to shoot a few more pictures to see how it fits in with the other Alta Vista TC buildings.

And I still don't know what company produced this kit, or when it was manufactured. Apparently this is one thing the mighty internet has not yet learned about.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Molasses Mine hidden in the Feed Mill Warehouse

Awhile back I mentioned that the only kitbashes of E. L. Moore based kits I was still going to note were those based on his Molasses Mine. I found this one, the Brose Feed Company by John Swanson, in the Oct '88 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. It's a subtle kitbash and I almost overlooked it. Most of the Molasses Mine's signature features aren't present, but the big, bulky main building gives it away. So, I guess even the weirdest kits can be put to good use by a creative imagination.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Painting the Museum's Exterior

The walls were taped to a couple of cedar shims and then painted with Model Master aged concrete acrylic paint. I didn't prime the walls with Tamyia fine white surface primer as is my custom, but simply washed them with a mild soap and some warm water prior to painting. I was ok with having the uneven, grey, black-washed plastic as the undercoat as I thought it would give the walls a little more age. 

But, even before any paint was applied, I glued a styrene ledge on the back of each wall, 4mm down from the top, so that the flat roof would have some support. 

So, once the ledges were glued on, and the walls were washed, 2 coats of paint were applied to each piece.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Painting the Elevator Building

In the last instalment I had started to mask the Elevator Building in preparation for painting. The idea was to spray it a brick-like red, and then coat the window and door frames with an aluminum coloured spray.

First, I finished off masking the windows. That sliver of a window down in the lower right was a little tricky. 

Tamiya masking tape was used throughout. It's great tape, but a bit on the pricey side, so the initial cost of $1 for this model is starting to climb. I didn't buy any spray paints for this project; I just used colours from the leftover sprays I have in the workshop.

The first thing was to spray it with Tamiya's fine white surface primer. I use that on all plastic projects. It is indeed fine and doesn't clog detail. And it's also tops at revealing imperfections that require correction before final colour coats. I did see a few little flaws after spraying that I took the time to sand and fill.

I don't have any action shots of the box being sprayed red, but you can get an idea of what the red coat looked like from this photo taken during the application of more masking tape and plastic wrap in preparation for spraying the window frames. I let the red dry about a week before applying the second round of masking.

Krylon aluminum coloured spray was used for this layer. Several light coats were applied over the course of an afternoon. When done it was left to dry outside for a couple of hours. This year I'll be getting an outside spray tent to contain the overspray from reaching the garden.

And there it is prior to peeling off the masking. It looks a little grim at this stage, but, as you can see in the opening photo, I was pleasantly surprised at how things turned out. It's important to have a little faith :-)

A long time ago Galen posted a comment here noting the direct way a coat hanger was used as a paint stand. I think I replied with something like: "I've always painted this way". Well, I'll spill the beans, I got the technique from this book published by Revell in '73. I bought my copy back-in-the-day from the toy department at Simpsons Cedarbrae. 

The coat hanger as spray stand was item #14 in the opening chapter called Basic Modeling Procedures. My mum was not so thrilled with what I did with the coat hanger she lent me, so I had to make sure I didn't lose it because there wasn't going to be another :-)

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Smallshaw meets Wertz aka 1961 meets 2017

I was thinking more about drawings, and remembered that I'd forgotten about Julia Wertz's magnificent 2017 book Tenements, Towers & Trash. It's a large, heavy, 284 page collection of her graphic novel style drawings of the buildings of New York City, all interwoven into a story of New York, with her story of living there making cameo appearances. It's an incredible work. And a bittersweet story. Over on the left, that's Earl Smallshaw's tenement project from the Nov '61 issue of RMC. On the right is Ms. Wertz's drawing of a 19th century tenement on Orchard St. in the Lower East Side. It's not too hard to image a hybrid work of modelling and drawing.