Sunday, March 17, 2019

Black oiling locomotives

Hi all,

Just a quick post today. I had in my mind a way to get a black oiled appearance on a steam locomotive which involved using Tamiya Line Accent. This is was something I wanted to try for some time before actually doing it properly today.

What is black oiling?

Black steam locomotives were often 'spruced' up with a layer of black oil to give the locomotive a glossy finish. This was something commonly done with locomotives used for enthusiast specials or even by some depots as a regular occurrence in the steam era.

Straight panel line is poured into an airbrush and sprayed at around 25psi. When spraying, ensure you're not spraying too much product otherwise you can get runs. A light spray just to give a basic emphasis over the paint to darken it ever so slightly as black oil was used for. You can build up coats just to get the final finish.

Here are some photos of the finished loco.


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Painting the AC state car

Hi all,

I recently commenced building a Lloyds AC state car. Easily, one of the nicest kits I have come across. It's a theme with the old milky bar kits how simple and well thought out they are.

The kit went together fairly straightforward, with no major hiccups. The end handrails and etching for the end platform are a bit of a prick, but that's a given with the nature of the kit.

The carriage was dismantled to be painted, with the body and underframe being primed separately. I use Tamiya fine surface primer, a very forgiving primer to use I've found.

Once everything was primed, the underframe was hit with XF1 flat black from Tamiya. I'll have to redo it a bit later, but it's not an issue right now.

I picked up some Tamiya XF9 Hull Red and XF55 Deck Tan to paint the car. The whole carriage was painted in the Hull Red, and then left to dry. A mixture of 10mm, 3mm, 1mm and 0.7mm masking tape was used to mask off to paint the cream. What a prick of a job.

Anyway, here is where we are at now. I plan to fit some Casula 2AA bogies and lower it a little, but not today. I do plan to add the rest of the lining at a later date...


Sunday, February 17, 2019

ALCo's of all sorts

Hi all,

Just a quick few images of some recently weathered 48's and a 45. 4833 is a renumber job as is 4821. 4833 is an Auscision 48 fitted with a Tsunami 2 with a sugar cube speaker in the rear, and 4821 is a Powerline with a Tsunami 2 Atherns board mounted with a sugar cube. 4821 still needs some numberboard decals and is almost there.

4512 is an Auscision 45, with a Tsunami 2 and a decent coat of grime.

Also included is an image of my ever growing export grain train. It'll be around 35 wagons long when complete.


4833 is a renumbered Auscision Mk1 48. Representing a clean but used 48, it also doubles up as a preserved loco. Just very subtle weathering to tone it down a touch. Infront Models kindly provided me with the nose numbers and Ozzy decals were used for cab numbers. 

4821, a renumbered Powerline 48. Ozzy decals on the side with a liberal coat of grime to the body.  I need to add nose numbers yet but that's low on the priority list. 

4512 is a 45 sold to me as a dummy however it had a motor and all the electronics in it. Score! Weathered it up and have ran it ever since, it's one of my favourite locos. 

ALCo triples. Will be seen very often on my export grain. 

42203, 4833 and 42101 slowly ease their loaded grain train through Maitland. A place where 422's and 421's were rarely ever seen, however this is modelling. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Austrains FS cars, the roofs.

Hi all,

I share quite a lot of my modelling work onto a facebook group which one of the members recently asked me, how do I do Malthoid roofing on FS carriages, in particular the Austrains ones.

I decided to dedicate a blog post to not just that, but some other improvements that can be made to the carriages for running reliability etc.

The Austrains FS cars were a welcomed addition into the RTR rollingstock availavle for HO scale modellers when they hit the market. The carriages were of a different assembly and detail standard to the common Trax/Powerline cars. Separately applied roof vents, handrails, interiors, detailed underframes and some other refinements made them well received. However, unlike the Powerline carriages they do not have removable roofs. This presents an issue when detailing the roofs of these cars as it makes it a little bit trickier to do the roofs neatly.

Anyway, let's get into it.
We will need
Tamiya 10mm masking tape
Steel ruler
Lead pencil
Exacto knife
Cutting pliers
Appropriate paint for the roof (I use Testors silver spray paint)
And more masking tape.

I begin by removing the roof vents. I use some cutters to remove them, just to lever them out of the roof as shown in the photo below.

Firstly, I measure 7.5mm in from each end of the car body. I will mark where that 7.5mm is on each end of the roof, and from that mark is where I commence laying my masking tape.

The Austrains cars are 22.5cm long roofs. The 7.5mm leaves 15mm out of the roof, leaving 21cm to play with. I would also suggest that you can measure to the centre of the roof, find it and add 5mm either side. It'll give you a similar result to what we do here.

From here it is as simple as taking strips that will fit across the roof and laying them down. You don't have to overlap them, and they should sit together with very little gap between them. Lay them across til you have a complete roof covered.

Once the roof is covered you can begin to cut the strips back flush with the gutters on the roofs to give it a clean look. I very carefully hold the ruler up against the gutter and gradually score the masking tape to give a clean cut edge. This is done on both sides.

Once that is complete, I refit the roof vents. To clear the holes out, a quick jab through the hole with a sharp blade will make clear room for the vent to reseat where required.

To finish up, I take some more 10mm tape and mask on the car body hard up against the roof line. That prevents overspray from creeping under and ruining the paint. I then will mask the ends of the cars to leave the navy sealed ends the 'right' colour and mask the rest of the body with 40mm masking tape to prevent overspray.

Hit it with silver paint, remove your masking and that's that.

This car has had AR kits 2BS bogies fitted and some light weathering added. I would like to fade to candy red a little bit but that's for a future post.

Take care all,


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

An update of sorts

Hi all,

Just posting some little jobs I've been working on

Recently painted a Classic Brass C32 in lined black. Quite a satisfying job which is easier to do than most think. It will be finished as 3237, circa 1967 with Cardiff numbers.

Also commenced renumbering an Auscision 48cl. They are wonderful models, quite simply amazing.

Anyway, some photos of these projects.

Brass locos look good either unpainted or painted. There is no happy medium!!! 

Painted backhead and cab. The backhead is painted black and anywhere brass needs to be exposed, it's scraped back with a sharp blade. Cab walls painted in Raileys 120 Larch Green. 

The numbers got slightly botched while fixing a thumb print in the clear coat. It'll be fine once I touch the numbers up very delicately. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Altering the Austrains C35

Austrains have long been in the Australian 'ready to run' market and have brought out some fantastic models in that time. Be it the dead on dimensionally 80cl to the NR's which have sold the most units of any Australian outline RTR diesel (correct me if I'm wrong) to the C36 and eventually C35.

The 36's and 35's have a split chassis which can be a bit tedious for those fitting sound but a really good and reliable model. 

The 35's came to be in late 2007 and are a really nice model. Pretty close dimensionally and they have really nice running performance, same as the 36. However, same as the 36, they are missing some bits of detail. 

I'm not trying to have an accurate 35 but something that can sit alongside other models and look fairly reasonable is all I expect. 

The stuff that is missing is basically just electrical conduit and some lube lines which are easily fabricated out of 0.3mm wire. 

The conduit for the headlights from the cab to the smokebox where there is a J box to run to either the marker lights or the headlight just for power. I didn't put any effort into replicating the J box, however a small blob of solder would neatly give the impression of the box. 

The wire was held down with brackets made out of finely cut pieces of printer paper and glued down. Where I couldn't use brackets, I used UV activated glue. That is some of my favourite stuff to work with as it dries clear and is easy to work with. 

Following those alterations, I removed the headlight and cut the headlight off the base, and moved it back. It's an easy way to change the appearance of an unsightly large headlight. 

I then proceeded to commence renumbering it 3526, as I had wanted a model of 3526 in green for quite some time.

Anyway, the loco is going to have the QSI sound removed eventually in favour for my personal favourite decoders from Soundtraxx. 

Hope you all got some ideas to create a nicer looking 35cl .

Cheers, Mick. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

More weathering!

Two posts within minutes of eachother, you'd be right to think I have nothing better to do!

A lot of modellers I notice have fantastic looking trains but with no weathering. To me it used to be something I didn't think about, but as I have been more into weathering my fleet of wagons and carriages I deemed it time to give some of my locos some dirt.

For this I'm using Auscision locos, and airbrushed Tamiya paints. The Auscision locos are top of the game, and they look great once weathered. It's a simple way to do it, and gives realistic results.

The premise behind using the Tamiya paints is they are extremely forgiving to work with. Acrylic paint can be washed away if you make a mistake, which if you're doing weathering for the first time you're more than likely going to do so as harsh as that may sound.

Before weathering I will fit Kadee No. 153 short shank whisker couplers. It's a modification that is a matter of taste, but that's mine. When fitting them, I will take a small cut out of the right hand side of the box to give the coupler more clearance and movement. The buffing plates will pretty much touch between locos and work on corners, it looks very nice. I'll touch on the modification more in a later update.

With the 421 and 422 to begin with I remove the body from the chassis. I think it's easier to focus on 2 parts instead of a whole item to begin with. Later on the two will be weathered together. A key note, I will not weather at more than 25psi for those who wish to know. I began by spraying some XF52 Flat Earth thinned with Tamiya X20A thinners (which I use with all of the paints airbrushed) across the underframe, around the bogies, pilots and anywhere road grime will fly up. From experience ballast dust and sanding dust from desanding equipment will make quite a mess, quite fast.

If you go too hard, a light coat of XF1 Flat Black brings things back to normalised proportions.

Once the chassis is satisfactory, I will reinstall the chassis and begin to hit the bottom of the body with XF52 Flat Earth to emulate some road grime again, which is normally a pretty light coat again. Not too heavy, just subtle.

Around the radiator vents or any intakes, I will ask off and give a thin and light coat of XF52 Flat Earth and XF1 Flat Black sprayed over the lot.

Occassionally I'll lightly spray the XF54 Sea Grey just to emulate some sun bleaching of the paint, but XF52 Flat Earth lightens it fine.

The roof will then get a light misting of XF52 Flat Earth and then some XF1 Flat Black  to give the look of exhaust soot.

I finish up with just going over everything really lightly with XF52 Flat Earth and cleaning all the windows of over spray. Fuel stains are brush painted with straight XF1 Flat Black and then a little bit of gloss (Humbrol or anything) is added after Testors Dullcoat. Dullcoat is applied, and the windows are cleaned once more.

I typically seal with Testors Dullcoat as it has a really flat finish. It is however humidity sensitive so you have to be sure your paint is dry before applying it.

Similar process was done to my 421 however I kept it lighter.

A video would give a better description than my words could, but don't be afraid to try it on a piece of rollingstock that isn't worth much to muster the guts up to giving weathering a go.

Cheers, Mick.