Monday, November 23, 2020
Sunday, November 22, 2020
As Bob Ross would say, everyone needs a friend. I bought two of these Bowser Western Maryland hoppers when they came out. I had thought about doing a full CSX patch job on this but decided not to. Since I'm trying to stick with a 1987-1988 time frame I want to have enough hoppers that still carry their original paint. Instead, after weathering the car, I added new capacity data and shop dates from Steel Valley Models decals. The lube plates are from Microscale.
Saturday, November 21, 2020
My big woodworking project for the day. I made this not because I knocked over the bottle of Solveset, I made this because I know I will knock over the bottle of Solveset. It's just a piece of 3/4 pine with a 1 5/8 hole cut in it. I have an adjustable hole saw, so it was just a matter of getting the radius set correctly and adjusting the belts on the drill press to go reeeeeeaaaallly slow. I also drilled a 1/8th hole for the brush that I use. I've made these before for friends, I'm not sure why it took so long to make one for myself. It took all of about 5 minutes.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Here are four more hoppers I've been working on. The HLMX #5038 was built from an undecorated Bowser 100 ton 3 bay hopper kit. CSX in the late 1980's-early 1990's was leasing just about any hopper they could find so I'll be building a few. This car has 44 individual decals using a Microscale Gothic number and letter sheet, plus a data sheet. CSX #815662, one of 1500 built between 1975-1976, was modeled using the same Bowser undecorated kit and I used the decals from a Microscale CSX hopper sheet. Unfortunately the Microscale sheet doesn't have all the necessary decals to finish the car correctly, so at some point I'll go back and add a shop date and the car classification (I just wanted the thing off my workbench). I am also excited with the news that Steel Valley Models is apparently going to produce hopper decals for CSX in the next couple of months. That gives me a reason to get several hoppers painted and ready.
The L&N and B&O hoppers were decorated kits but I've added a few extra decals such as new consolidated lube plates, ACI plates and data. I even got photo-bombed by a cow. This phone pic. was taken on a section of the upper level of the layout and as you can see the scenery and backdrop is minimal.
Friday, October 30, 2020
Here is my version of Western Maryland 100 ton 3 bay hopper #63799. Since I couldn't find a photo of this exact car number, I used a photo of a similar hopper from 1988 as a guide. To weather this, I used a combination of pan pastels and acrylic washes. The interior was spray painted with the Rustoleum Camoflage. I used Microscale trim film and decals to black out the old data and add new re-weigh data and lube plates. The new shop date information was made by using individual letters and numbers from a Gothic number and letter sheet, lots of fun as my eyes get older!
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Seaboard System 70 ton hopper #305384. This model was built from a photo of the car in Cumberland, MD in 1986. While I have more than enough 70 ton hoppers for the layout, I though this one was cool. It was built from a Stewart 12 panel Southern hopper. Painted with acrylics, Microscale decals and weathered with Pan Pastels.
Thursday, October 15, 2020
This was a fun project. After seeing a similar model built by my friend Anthony Hardy, I knew I wanted to build one for myself. This started as a Bowser pre-weathered model of an L&N 3 bay 100 ton hopper. While I'm not a fan of pre-weathered models, this one was cheap so I made it work. Since I was going to patch this for CSX, I started by weathering the model with Pan Pastels to a well worn look. Observing photos in the early CSX era, many of these orange hoppers were mostly black from coal dust, grime, etc. The inside was painted with Rust-oleum Camouflage, the couplers were touched up with Vallejo flat earth. To paint the trucks, I used Vallejo gray, the wheels were painted with a combination of gray and earth. Once dry, I dusted on dark brown Pan Pastels to blend everything.
To make the patch I masked off the panels to be painted black. In hindsight, this was not the best way to do this as it took quite a while to mask everything off. After speaking with Anthony, he told me he used Microscale Black Trim Film. Well Duh...I wished I had thought of that.
Once the patch was painted, I sprayed on a gloss coat of Pledge Floor Gloss. While I've never tried this approach, I must say I'm pleased with the results. You can spray without thinning, although it can be thinned with distilled water and it's a lifetime supply from one bottle. Once dry, I added decals from a Microscale set, brushed on Solve set, then I sealed everything with a spray can of Tamiya Flat Clear.