Sunday, December 18, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
- Paint the inside of the body flat black. This reduces the translucency of the body giving it a little more solid appearance as well as obscuring lines of sight into the interior space.
- Paint the doors, window frames, chimney, and end hand-rail assemblies flat aluminum.
- Paint the body-mounted hand rails and rear platform safety chains flat yellow.
- Paint the roof-top walkway flat aluminum, and wash it with thinned flat black to make the grid stand-out a bit.
- Paint the underside of the floor assembly with a loose mixture of flat aluminum, flat black and brown.
- Pop out the horn-and-hook couplers and replace them with Kadee knuckle couplers.
- Put a thin plastic backing behind the molded holes – inside the body – to form the red end lights, paint the resulting cup bright red and then fill with Micro Krystal Klear to form the light.
- So, I lied a little, there is one tricky part to this conversion. The fore and aft windows on the cupola don’t have ledges. Meaning, any glazing added won’t have the affect of sealing off the body to the elements. I had to cut some styrene pieces and glue them in to serve that purpose; however, I cheated and didn’t fit them so they’d be level and seamless with the top of the roof. I merely inset them. This seals things off, but in a prototype this would create an artificial tray where rain and snow would collect.
- Cut and glue clear plastic glazing into the window openings.
- Add black cardboard view blockers to the interior so viewers can’t see right through the body. This, along with the inside walls painted black and glazing added to the windows gives it a little more solid appearance.
- After snapping all the parts back together, I applied some loose weathering washes to the body and undercarriage to make it look like it has been in service for awhile.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
In the fall of last year I accompanied Debra to a conference in Orange County. While she conferred, I went to the beach and visited some model train stores. I think I visited a total of three and they were all good. I saw the Bachmann Excursion Car at one. It was one of those things that spoke to me even though I didn’t have a specific plan for it, so I went ahead and bought one - and they were on sale too, so all was good.
This conversion was dead simple and all it involved was cutting off the part I didn’t like all that much: the roof. Its molding seemed too simplistic, and it was so large it blocked the view of the interior as well as casting it in a perpetual gloom. It was easily severed with sprue cutters in a few satisfying seconds. My dremel and some sanding sticks made easy work of cleaning up the stubby remains on the main body.
After the surgery I did a little painting. Green on the passenger bench to match the green of the diesels in my fleet; a loose brown and black wash on the floor boards and externals; and some rusty red and black wash on the undercarriage. The undercarriage might get a little more weathering in the future depending how it looks in photos.
The only addition I made was an advertising sign-board on both sides of the body. It’s made from 0.012 inch styrene. The Highlander decal came from a 1/24 scale car kit, and the 4 is from a 1/72 scale model airplane kit.
All it needs are some paying passengers and a sunny day.