Friday, May 27, 2011

On a roll

I had to have knee surgery in February so things slowed down considerably as I have been recuperating. In fact I have not been back to work and here it is the end of May. But the knee is feeling great and whenever my company says so, I'm back to work. This has been a blessing to some degree in that I've been cranking out lots of models. There have been so many in fact that I'm only going to show a small portion of all that I built.

I've had the opportunity to write a few articles for the Spanish model railroad magazine Maquatren that feature my truck builds. These folks are mostly interested in European prototypes so my options are limited as to subject matter. The first piece is modeled from a photo of a real rail work car sent me by the very talented Spanish modeler Alberto Herrera. It is of a Zis-5 believe it or not and apparently some of these were pressed into rail service and saw action throughout Europe. The model is of course the Roco piece that has had a few modifications aside from the wheel replacement. The most obvious of them is the flat bed which is actually the floor of the body that comes with the Roco model that has had it's wooden sides cut off. The only other change from the kit is a scratch built fuel tank. This was an easy build but yielded a really unique model. Finished it off by weathering it for a working but not abused rig.

The next magazine article was again inspired by a photo given to me by Alberto of a Model AA wrecker that was seen in Spain. These trucks were available world wide so they manage to capture the interest of those from just about everywhere. The base model is the Jordan Products Ford Model AA 1 1/2 ton truck that I scratch built the bed and tow unit for. I copied the bed on the truck in the photo and must say it's lines are perfectly suited to the AA. Went again with trying to convey a working but not dilapidated truck with the weathering. This has turned into one of my favorite builds.

This next project was a compulsion to do some diorama work. I resorted to the old peanut butter jar lid and built this stand alone desktop variety diorama of an old junker in the back corner of a boneyard. The truck is a cast metal kit of the 1920 (?) Kleiber from On Track. The fence is wood and the junk all around is from the parts boxes.

Well that didn't satisfy my diorama urges enough I suppose because I went right into this one that is featured at the top of this posting. I had some architectural taskboard that I glued on a piece of 1/4 " plywood. Cut a hole for a door and plastered what was surrounding the hole. I then scribed the stones with a dental pick and washed them with a light brown. Then I dry brushed the whole thing with a dirty white followed by some touch up with some colored pencils. The wood above and the doors are red birch veneer. The hinges I made from paper wrapped around a small steel pin on the end. We're lucky here to have a lichen that grows on the trunks of trees called "old man's beard" that I used for the ivy. It was sprayed dark brown and while still wet, dipped in tea leaves. This was then sprayed green. the paint made the lichen limp so I spread it out on a piece of glass the way I wanted it to crawl up the wall. When dry it hardened and was easy to glue on the wall.
The vehicle is the 1929 Model A woody wagon. Not too much to say about it except that if it ever comes out of the barn the owner will see it built finished and weathered the same all around. All of this fits into a 4 inch square viewing area and the box is 3 1/2 inches deep.

Again, this is only a small portion of what I've finished the last few months. I'll try to post more as time allows but for now, enjoy! Don't forget that clicking on these photos takes you to a larger image. And thanks for taking the time to look.