Monday, July 29, 2013

More Rolling Stock Arrives

No, I'm not going to post every time a buy freight car. Heck, the would get tedious after a while. But I am sharing these three recent eBay scores to show off some of my weathering techniques.

Here's a "before" picture of the three cars:

See how pristine and shiny looking they are? How many real world freight cars look like that? Not very many. I start of weathering by brushing on a black wash made by adding a few drops of India Ink to a bottle of 70% rubbing alcohol. Once that dries I spray on a coat of Testors Dulcote.

After the Dulcote has dried thoroughly, I take some pastel chalks, grind them up and brush on the dust. I start off with a coat of white to fade the paint a bit. I follow that up with some brown for rust, a mixture of brown, black, white and yellow for dirt and black on the roof to simulate soot from steam engines.

After you apply chalk weathering you have to seal it with a second coat of Dulcote. Usually this makes about two thirds of the chalk vanish. 

Chalks Before Dulcote:

Chalks After Dulcote:

As you can see it's always important to go heavy with the chalk. A car my look to decrepit before Dulcote but look just right afterwards.

Here's an "after" photo of the three freight cars:

And a better view of their rooves:

Anyway, that's all I've got for tonight. I'm still working on the track plan and I have a few structure kits I'm working on as well.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Expanding the Pennsy Roster

I've been working on expanding my roster of Pennsylvania locomotives and rolling stock. Here's a rundown of what I've got so far:

Minitrix K4s Pacific:

I picked this one up of eBay about a year ago. It turned out to be quite a custom-painting project. You can read more about it here.

Minitrix B6 0-6-0:

Like it's bigger sister, this engine needed a good bit of work. I custom painted it, added power-pickups to the tender and a knuckle coupler.

Baldwin VO-1000 Switcher:

Well, my southern railfan friends are going to think I'm going straight to hell for this one. I had this Atlas Baldwin switcher sitting around. It was painted and lettered for the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railroad. Not being a fan of that particular line, I decided to bring it into the Pennsy stable.

I started by stripping off the factory paint with denatured alcohol. I then painted the entire body Floquil "Brunswick Green." I painted the railing Floquil "Bright Gold." I followed that up with some Microscale decals and some Woodland Scenics dry-transfer numbers.

Fairbanks Morse H-24-66 "Trainmaster":

I got a great deal on this one off eBay. It's an Atlas model.

Kato Broadway Limited Passenger Cars:

 The K4 needed something to pull so I picked up Kato's awesome 10-car Broadway Limited set.

N5 Cabin Car:

The Pennsy refereed to their cabooses as "Cabin Cars." This is a Bowser model I got off eBay.

There some more rolling stock projects coming down the pike. I have a pair of Atlas GP9s that I plan on buying PRR shells for. Also, a comapny called GHQ makes a kit to convert a Kato USRA Mikado into a PRR Class L1. I nearly purchased one of said converted Mikados of eBay tonight but was outbid. I also have another Cabin Car, an N5c, on the way along with a pair of box cars.

Unfortunately in N Scale, there just isn't a whole lot of steam available. In addition to the above-mentioned K4 and B6 the only other non-brass PRR steamer out there is the Black River Locomotive Works E6 Atlantic. These very rare and I have yet to find one on eBay or at a train show. Broadway Limited Imports announced a Clas M1 mountain back in 2005. As far as I know they're still taking pre-orders for it and have yet to announce a production run. Kind of frustrating if you're a steam fan but not a lot I can to about it.


The M1 is finally in the works and due for delivery in May of 2015.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Greetings and Salutations

Here it is, my blog's inaugural post. If you're here you're either, have nothing better to do or you're an SPF (Sloberin' Pennsy Fan) such as myself. My current N Scale layout, the Cherokee Foothills Railroad,  models a freelanced railroad in northwestern South Carolina. I had a lot fun building that layout and thought when space became available, I would simply build a bigger version of the CFRR.

But as time wore on, my tastes in model railroading began to change. For one thing, reading Model Railroader on a regular basis turned me on to the whole idea of operating a model railroad. I find the idea of actually having a couple of guys over and simulating the operations of a real railroad intriguing. It seems like a lot more fun than simply watching the trains aimlessly chase their tails around the layout.

Also, since buying new house and acquiring  space for that big railroad I've been dreaming about since I was a kid, I've come to find designing a totally freelanced layout daunting. You have to work your brain to the max planning deciding what goes where and why. That's then the idea of modeling a prototype (real) railroad line started to sound like a winner. Modeling a prototype railroad gives you a guideline to work from when designing a layout.

Initially I wanted to model the Ulster & Delaware Railroad in Upstate New York. I was pretty gung ho about it too. And then I went and bought Kato's Broadway Limited passenger cars to run with my custom-painted Minitrix K4 Pacific. Watching that train run around my current layout put the idea of modeling the Pennsylvania Railroad. in my head.

Truth be told, I've always wanted to model the Pennsy. I've been a die hard fan since my dad took me to Horseshoe Curve in 1996. But  I have been stymied by the lack of steam locomotives available. Unless you want to spend bucu amounts of money on brass models, there just aren't  many PRR steam locomotives available in N Scale. So I hemmed and hawed for a while longer, weighing the U&D against the PRR. Ultimately the PRR won out.

As it stands now, I'm working on a track plan. I'm also acquiring some Pennsy rolling stock.