Thursday, December 28, 2017

Flat #6542

I have to admit, I had fun building this flat car. The photo doesn't do the decking justice, it looks much darker in person. I used the same techniques as the 6300 series flat I did earlier. It's really hard to tell that the deck is plastic. One of the big reasons I like Sn3 is the fact that there are so many kits available, plus you can still have an operating layout.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Layout Update 12-26-17

Just thought I'd show a few photos of the layout in it's current form. The new peninsula and helix are finished. Gato is on the upper level and Ignacio is on the lower. I haven't finished laying track in either location but I do have trains running on the main. The other photo shows a rough idea how the yard will be laid out. I'll eventually fill in the middle of the basement with a large peninsula with Durango on the lower level and Monero above it, but that should be a few years down the road.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


This is a PBL 30' stock car kit that I built years ago and just now got around to finishing. By using brass turnbuckles and brass wire for truss rods, I can replicate the prototype much better than using the fishing line that comes with the kit. I lightly sprayed a wash of dirt along the bottom sill and then sprayed on a flat coat. Then I went over the car with a fiberglass bruss. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

6300 Series Flat Car

The narrow gauge convention is over and now I can get back to modeling? Well sort of...
Putting on a national narrow gauge convention is not just a lot of work before it starts, there's also a lot to do once it's over. I did get the auction paperwork finished and the funds sent off to the Narrow Gauge Preservation Fund. I got the final shirts ordered and I'm in the process of sending those out (we were shorted on our shirt order), etc, etc. So slowly I'm getting back to the workbench.
This morning I put the final touches on an unlettered 6300 series PBL flat car kit that was built by Randy Smith. Randy is an excellent modeler, so finishing this car was a breeze. The car body was painted freight car red and the deck was painted a dark tan color.
The first step was to "grain" the plastic deck with a plumbers wire brush to give it a wooden appearance. After giving it a light sanding I masked off the car and re-painted the deck a lighter color. Then I painted on several washes made from Valejo paint, alternating the boards.
To letter the car I used several older sheets of San Juan and Thinfilm decals that I had in the scrap box, there were enough to finish the car. After the decals were set with Solveset, I let everything dry overnight. This morning I sprayed on a light wash of earth to the car body and the deck, then a coat of flat sealed everything. I painted the wheels with PBL Neolube and now the car is ready for service.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

February 2014 Revisit

Back in February of 2014, I posted an in progress photo of a water tank kit I bought from PBL. However, when I started adding the hoops to the tank, my enthusiasm died and it went into the box to be finished later. Adding the hoops involves soldering every tensioner to a piece of wire. Every hoop has two tensioners. There are 23 hoops plus four holes per hoop get drilled in the tank body for each hoop. So after 3 1/2 years...
I'm not sure what motivated me to finish this, but I'm glad I did. Buying a house from foreclosure means lots of renovating, and while I have had some time to start building the layout, I haven't taken any time to do any modeling. I found that I've really been missing out. One of the biggest reasons I enjoy modeling in Sn3 is just that, modeling. I'd forgotten just how much I enjoy building things.
So here I my version of Monero Water Tank. The point on the roof lines up with the spout, it has a straight ladder that is towards the back, plus it's ladder supports are attached to the tank body not the base.  It has hoops that go up to the right and a ball finial.
I found a photo of this tank in the Durango book by Dorman and one in "The Thunder of the their Passing". There's also a shot in the Colorado water tank book, but it was taken in the 1930's.
I hope someday to build the tank at Durango, however that tank has three tensioners per hoop. That one will take some motivation to start, er, finish.