Friday, November 22, 2013

New completions

Again I come short of a good title but you get the message.  Just a few trucks that I don't believe I've shown here before and a little description of each. The rather sinister looking Mack Granite SBA dump is a rebuild using two different dumps. The cab is the resin model made to be used with a Herpa/Promotex Mack CH as a donor vehicle. I did use the 'glass' and interior from the Herpa piece but the rest is from a variety of sources. Prominent is the terrific dump bed that is a resin copy of a scratch built bed of Joe Enriquez that he was kind enough to give me along with the fuel tanks. The frame is scratch built with Dennis Aust suspension and wheels along with the lift axle.

I took some liberties with this next truck. This is one of Ralph Ratcliffe's jewels, the Brockway 758. I had a Matchbox dump body that came from the Dodge they put out which happens to be one of the few actual 1/87 scale models done by Matchbox. Well, I've never really seen a Brockway rock truck before in an all wheel drive and have no idea if any were ever made. But there is one in 1/87 now anyway.  Most everything I used was from the parts box so I have no idea what the origin of most of it is. Suffice it to say that my regard for prototypical accuracy went right out the window with this one. But I like it.

   Then there was this little Wiking piece. What is referred to as the International Loadstar COE and/or the Cargostar, depending on who you talk to was produced in the late 60's. I bought some Wiking models for a train layout I started when my boys were little to augment some Wiking vehicles I bought when I was 13 years old. So this model has been with me for about 30 years. I placed the Wiking cab on a Roco chassis from their long ago discontinued civilian line of vehicles. The flat bed is scratch built and the stake sides are from the parts box. The wheels are from an Athearn Ford C cab with tires from an Imex piece.

 Curiously I'm not sure about the John Deere tractor. I'm guessing an Innovative Designs piece but I could be wrong. It is a cast metal kit. This is what happens when you get old.
   So as we approach Thanksgiving next week, I'd like to wish you all a happy day. I hope you all are fortunate enough to be with all the one's you love.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Basic Airbrush

    This is merely an introduction to airbrush use. It will be by no means, a comprehensive step by step that will make you an expert (certainly I, am not).  Many fear the thoughts of changing the way they model. The introduction of a new technique or material creates skepticism among many. I personally have a deep skepticism towards the 3D printing technique we are seeing today since most of what I am seeing is grainy and lacks detail in our scale. But I applaud those trying it as they will be the pioneers that I'm sure will eventually overcome the pitfalls we are seeing in these models today. So in fact, quite a few have that same skepticism towards using an airbrush to produce finishes on their models. They believe they have been doing OK so far and why change? Well think for a moment on models that are hand painted or painted with a spray can. I have seen what appear to be great models at a distance only to be thoroughly disappointed when seen in up close photos or particularly in person. Imagine the thickness of the paint on a real car that you are viewing in scale. Would you ever see a one inch thick paint job on a vehicle in real life? No, and yet I see models, and even videos of models being painted that represent exactly that. You've purchased a great casting from a reputable model company that has wonderful details on it. And when painted, you ask yourself "where did the details go?" Try as I may, I have never been able to accomplish a finish paint job using a spray can that can compare to that of an airbrush. And then there are those finishes that can never be done without the airbrush. Try hand brushing a lacquer. Or laying down an impeccable Alclad 2 finish without an airbrush. It's virtually impossible and even if it could be done, the airbrush makes it so easy, why bother any other way?
   Lastly, of the reasons many don't want to use an airbrush is the cost. Yes, I have spent much on my Badger which is a great tool. But honestly, my everyday workhorse is the cheap $20 airbrush I purchased at WalMart that was made for them by Aztec. It is a single action "Plain Jane" that is simple to use, clean and maintain. OK enough of the reasons why you should make the switch, now for a few very simple basics.
   I shoot mostly solvent based paints like Floquil and Testors but on occasion, like to use lacquers and acrylics. The solvent based paints are very simple to use right from the bottle and a one ounce bottle can last for a dozen models. I do not use the rather expensive thinners offered by the manufacturers for these since I can use regular turpentine or paint thinner bought at the hardware store at a substantial savings. I often shoot directly from the bottle without thinning depending on the viscosity of the paint. For any kind of paint, it should be the consistency of whole milk. When you swirl the paint around in the paint cup, it should cling to the sides but be translucent as it slides back down to the bottom of the cup. I thin and clean the airbrush with the above mentioned thinners. I should at this point mention that I often take spray can paints and decant them into my paint cup with a straw. None of them ever needed thinning as they are meant to be sprayed anyway.  After I'm finished painting, I run clear clean thinner through the brush, disassemble the cup and head from the air line and simply wipe any excess from the parts. In over ten years, with the current brushes I have, I have never completely disassembled an airbrush to clean them and they are all still in good working order.  If it looks like I have a lot of build up of dried paint anywhere, I simply drop everything in a tin full of lacquer thinner for a few hours and everything comes out looking like new.

   The Mack Vision above is example of an automotive lacquer.  Lacquers are equally as easy and the same rules apply for viscosity and cleaning except to substitute lacquer thinner for the thinning and cleaning process. Nail polish fall into this category too and the colors available there are amazing. I often go to the cosmetic counter where a basket of bottles of nail polish that don't sell well for fingernails will be as cheap as 2 for a dollar.  The only draw back to lacquers is their propensity to dry too quickly coming out of the airbrush. Sometimes it will give a gritty look to a model as the paint droplets in the spray actually dry before they hit the model. The solution to that is to cut down the distance from the airbrush to the model. Drying in the orifice of the airbrush can also be a problem but thinning a paint further usually fixes that.

   Acrylics behave similarly to lacquers in that they dry very fast and pose the same issues as lacquers. My opinion is that one needs to use good acrylic paint for the airbrush and don't go with the cheap craft paints like Apple Barrel and Folk Art. They have their place but not in the airbrush. My favorite in acrylics is the line produced by Vallejo which is what I used on the F850 above.  I thin acrylics for the airbrush with Windex. And clean my airbrush with windshield washer fluid that can be bought by the gallon cheaply. One note, when I clean my airbrush after shooting acrylics, I wait a few minutes and then shoot some lacquer thinner through as well. Sometimes there is a chalky residue leftover from acrylics I want rid of.

     I took a bunch of PVC campaign signs down from the road after an election that I use to test spray before I actually move on to the model. This gives me a good idea of what's coming out of the airbrush given the paint I am using, the distance I am spraying and the coverage I'm getting. This will tell you a lot about how that model will take your paint. I first mist the model with what I call a tack coat. Almost no color is going on the model but enough to cover all areas so no bare plastic, metal or whatever material you are spraying is showing. When that is thoroughly dry, I go on to lay down a coat of paint. Many times, one coat is sufficient. The way I paint is always a two phase project. I will always do a base coat whether it is a primer for plastic over which I will be doing a lacquer. Or a base coat of a dark brown. The reason for the darker color is that I use very little finish color over it and it allows panel lines and details to pop out. You see, in this scale, details are so small that they will be obscured by heavy painting and cast no significant shadow to belay their existence. So what I do for painting is to strive for as realistic a look as though it were a real vehicle. No one inch thick paint jobs even if there are multiple layers/colors being used. I have resorted to even merely misting my models with the finish coat to just give a hint of the color being used. This is just not possible with a spray can. And holding the can far away with the hope of getting less on the model, usually results in the grainy look I described earlier or not enough coverage.
   With the airbrush, I have never had some of the conflicts of the spray can use like orange peel finishes or runs and drips. The airbrush process is just so much easier to control. So go ahead, buy a cheap airbrush and give it a whirl. Experiment with all kinds of paints since your experimentation will yield much more information than I could ever hope to give you. And don't wait another day to tell your loved one's you care.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I usually have an aversion to this season, the harbinger of the season that comes after it every year. There's putting up the firewood I've worked on all summer, and swapping the screens for the storm windows (yes, I still do it the old fashioned way) and of course throwing more clothes on than I'm comfortable with. Then there's raking the leaves and....... well, you get the picture. But this year I have the pleasure of seeing the Red Sox in the Fall classic. But then again, my television watching will come to an end with the loss of the 5 or 6 baseball games every week. This is a mixed blessing. It moves me onto the workbench and gets the creative juices going. Lots of unfinished models sitting in the shelves this year that I hope I can finish.
    The model above is the Jordan Miniatures 1922 Packard truck. As I worked on it, I kept thinking about how detailed the chassis is and what a shame it is to keep covering it with the flatbeds, tanker bodies and such that I use to build a complete truck. So I decided, at least for now, to leave it as is and perhaps put it on the back of a more modern truck trailer as a load. I left the cab off as well to view the interior and tried to replicate the Packard Single Six engine for this model. My weathering techniques were the same as I do on a lot of older well used vehicles and I am pleased with the outcome.

I got lazy too with the Model TT, also from Jordan here. That is, I didn't spend a lot of time fabricating an interesting body configuration. I merely put the flat bed of the kit, which usually has wooden stake sides and cut down the wood stake sides from the Athearn Ford F850 kit on the deck. It has good detail and was an easy, quick body.

   I did do something a little out of the ordinary here though. After painting the model with my typical first coat of Floquil RR Tie Brown, I stained it with India ink, slightly thinned with alcohol. The results were that a bit of the brown showed through. All this followed by a wash of Burnt Umber and some colored artists chalks. I thought the metal work came out pretty good here.


This next piece did require a bit of work. I started with the awful Imex Peterbilt. First thing I do with these is file out the terribly thick glazing on the windshield. I then ground the nose flat and built a radiator shroud and grille from styrene and corrugated roofing.

  I used the Alcoa wheels that came with the Don Mills Mack LTL kit on the Imex wheels. The red paint is a Mazda automotive lacquer. I picked up a dump bed from Ralph Ratcliffe at the Springfield show last year and have been dying to use it and it fit the wheelbase of this truck perfectly.

   Some diamond plate steps, fuel tank and some lights from a Jordan kit finished this shiny Pete up.
Well this is going to be a short one since I hear they are getting ready for the first pitch against the Cards on the TV in the next room so thanks for looking and have a great Autumn.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Now this is a big Mack

 A real quick entry here for my latest attempt. This is a resin kit from Ralph Ratcliffe of the Mack M65 off road quarry truck. This 65 ton rated monster is a beast and it dwarfs other pieces in the scale, even the Mack FCSW in my last photo which is in itself quite a large truck.

Ralph's kit is simply amazing. The fit of all the pieces is just perfect and I especially like the addition of brass rod in the wheel area to give a much more stable  point upon which to fasten the wheel/tire combination. Wheels and tires are cast separately by the way so painting is easier. The only thing not included in the kit is the acrylic windshield.

Detail is not lacking either from the diamond plate cast into the deck area of the fenders and hose clamps for the air cleaners to the bulldog rad cap. Castings are crisp, clean and smooth. After assembly which went very fast, to finish the beast, I painted the model in my typical RR tie brown Floquil paint. I don't know what I'll use when my supply runs out as Floquil has stopped production. This was followed by a coat of Future Floor Finish and all was allowed to cure for a day. It was then time for the finish coat of Floquil UP Armour yellow, a favorite of mine. It should be noted that this color is a perfect match for the older Cat yellow.  The weathering consists of a good scrub with Windex, particularly in the bed interior to remove the yellow finish coat. This "chips" the paint away since the Windex dissolves the Future undercoat and leaves the brown show. This time around I did the panel wash with India Ink diluted with alcohol followed by a flat clear lacquer. Then an acrylic wash with burnt sienna was used and allowed to dry well. Only the undercarriage, dump bed, wheels and tires then got a wash of raw sienna and I used some ground artists chalks sprinkled here and there while still wet in some specific areas. And finally I used a product found in any craft store called RubnBuff on the dump bed interior. I just brushed some on and rubbed it out to give the worn to the bare metal look.

   I'm really pleased with the way this model finished but certainly could not have had the same results if it weren't for the terrific way this kit was produced by Ralph. Oh, that's a real Mack bulldog in the last photo. Thanks for looking and say a prayer for our lost loved one's.

Friday, July 5, 2013

View from the barn

Lots of what I model looks like it belongs out in a field rusting away rather than powering down the highways. I've tried to find a reason why I'm so enchanted with the dilapidated and broken down but all I can come up with is because it's so inevitable. My knees remind me of that every morning on rising. Be that as it may, I'm again asked to do a weathering tutorial by several folks. I always believed that if one is good at something he is asked for his advice. It would be much more gratifying to be asked my opinion on world hunger or fixing the economy, but for now I'll settle for how I make tiny models look old. I'll go into detail on a technique or two here since it allows me to show a new piece as well as an older one.

Let me start by saying that I almost always have my camera with me. I can't tell you how many shots of vehicles, equipment, houses and barns I have because they were in some state of disrepair that I thought could be modeled. One can only imitate real life, if they are familiar with it. Study a photo (or several) that has a particular effect that you want to replicate. Then start to experiment. Broaden your concepts of what you think it is you will need to model and weather a piece. I did not have any weathering powders when I first attempted a weathered build  but I realized that I had a bag of cement out in the barn that might fit the bill. It did and there are lots of other things out there that can be of help.  Actually just using some of what you already have on hand can work. Once a model has been dull coated, brushing some alcohol over the finish in discriminating places gives a great look of faded paint or water stains. So experiment!

A close look at the coal delivery truck below will reveal several different colors of rust. The metal used on the fenders had been painted once and was not the same composition steel that was used for the frame or the wheels. So the rust would not be the same on all three. An indentation was made on the running boards of this Jordan Model AA just by scratching the plastic a few times. The entire piece was painted Floquil RR Tie brown. The fenders then were painted with dirty brush solvent with a little black mixed in. That's right, the solvent container that I clean my brushes in. Before it had a chance to dry, I used my airbrush with no paint in it to blow this mixture around on the fender. While it was still a bit wet, I used real rust powder and sprinkled around making sure to fill the indentation with a bunch. Some colored chalk powders that had been ground up were dusted on once everything was dry.

So where do I get this rust powder? I place a piece of steel wool in a jar and soak it with water. When completely dry, crush it up and remove the larger and unoxidized pieces. I wave a magnet over what's left to get a very fine powder the consistency of talc almost. About that frame now. Acrylic washes will not react to the solvent base brown paint and are somewhat more forgiving than solvent washes although there are some that are highly proficient in their use. So I mix a heavy wash (more color) with Windex and one of the darker rust colors like burnt sienna. You can use just water but add a drop of liquid dish wash soap. On our little models the water will bead up with just water and that hydrostatic tension needs to be cut. Because consecutive acrylic washes would 'wash' the previous color away or actually combine with it, I suggest a very thin coat of flat clear lacquer between these washes. On the Ford, I used another wash of raw sienna, a bit lighter in color. This all followed with some ground chalk powders just like the fenders. The wheel treatment is very similar but with a few different colors for the washes and a yellow ocre chalk is applied to the wheels and tires. In some instances a thicker yet wash may be needed as on the stake pockets you see on this model and sometimes a weaker wash as on the overall paint of the rest of the model.

These techniques were played with until I got what I was looking for and had seen on a real truck. And played with is exactly what was done. Here is where experimenting on cheap models can pay off in knowing what the results of a certain procedure will be when you use them on a favorite or perhaps expensive one.


OK, let me move on to another question I've had posed to me. How do you do canvas? Easy, start with toilet or tissue paper that has no patterns embossed on it. Tear apart the layers until you have a single ply of paper. I mix regular wood glue 50/50 with water and cut the tissue to a size slightly larger than necessary and drape it over the area I want covered. Placing drops on the tissue where it sits will make it lay down. Using a wetted brush, manipulate carefully until it looks like it's sitting the way you want. Tears and droops/sags should be done while it is still wet. Let the paper dry well. With a sharp new blade, trim away what you don't want and paint. I used a tan on the Chevy cab over but grey looks good and I suppose any color you want will do. It can be weathered with dark washes and chalks now but don't play with it too much or you will dissolve the glue and tear it.

Since I brought up the rust powder, I'll show another use for it. The Chevy cab over has rusting areas on the fenders and doors and to a lesser extent on the roof and hood. This is done after the dark brown base coat by wetting the model just on the areas you want the rust to show with water. Sprinkle the rust powder onto the wet areas and let dry. If you think there's too much, flick it away before you apply the finish coat of paint. After the finish coat of paint is dry to touch, gently rub the areas with a stiff bristle paint brush and some of the paint as well as flecks of rust will come off. Follow with the washes as above and you should get a similar look. I looked at a lot of real mid 40's Chevy trucks to see just where the rust was popping out. This truck is a favorite since it is like so many trucks I grew up with.

OK so I only got to cover just a few techniques but they ought to be enough to make you want to dirty something up and put it in a field. Oh, tell your kids they are great sometime today.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dirty by choice

Well it looks like we're seeing a lot of folks falling in line with a lot of scale modelers by adding weathering to their creations. This is great, seeing models as an actual vehicle would appear is what it is all about for me. Replicating real life in miniature is of course what all of modeling is about. Of course viewing vehicles in a shiny, spiffed up condition happens and we all strive to own a good looking vehicle no matter what we drive. But let's face it folks, a vehicle that is driven on the highways and byways of the world just don't look as pristine as we would hope unless they are destined to be automotive show pieces. And even then there are indications that a car or truck have traveled in spite of it's owners desire for it to be perfect. It is then, that the worlds most renowned modelers use some kind of technique to give their models a real look by weathering. But "adding" weathering is not what the best of the modelers in any scale that I see do to get realistic results on their pieces. It has just recently been said by a pretty darn good modeler that he weathers his pieces to cover up flaws in castings and his own mistakes. I'm sorry but I don't aspire to that attitude. This isn't meant to be, nor are the techniques as effective as, a well planned model. Excellent weathering techniques start at the beginning of a build.  Above I show one of, what I consider to be, a weathering success in the chipping technique on the Mack FCSW.  Right from the start, I needed to provide a base coat that would show the haphazard loss of paint in the life of this truck. The next step would be to lay down a 'resist'. This is any type of product that will allow the modeler to remove the finish paint in a way that would reflect that loss of paint in a realistic fashion. The resist in this case was a coat of Future Floor Finish but many large scale modelers use an acrylic hairspray and in some instances rubber cement or salt. I'm not trying to dictate the process here but merely wish to point out that these techniques need to be contemplated before the model even gets it's first coat of finish paint. This can't be painted on later with rust colored paint, chalks or washes and would certainly not give the same look.

On the red Mack H63 you see every care has been taken to give the model as flawless as possible finish. The weathering that has been added after was not intended to cover mistakes or flaws in the casting. I purposely build the model and finish it so it can be displayed without weathering in this example to show that moderate or light weathering can be added to give a realistic look. This somewhat contradicts what I've just said above but remember that I'm not trying to make a beater here but simply a working truck with some road grime. Regardless, the weathering here is a combination of well thought out techniques here and not just adding stuff until it 'looks right'. Study trucks and cars and look at prototypes. Know what it is you're striving for prior to putting a brush to your models. And then of course is practice. I spend many hours fooling with washes, chalks and painting techniques to see just what the results will be so when it comes time to weather a piece, I know what will look right, and real. And of course, I'm not always as successful as I would like. But just guessing has never given me satisfactory results.

 I now cite a model that I hope will show the influence of some larger scale modelers on me. Simply stated, less is more. Very little change from the original paint with the 'addition' of a few paint chips on the bumper and a dusting of tires is seen here. It isn't necessary to make a God awful mess of a model to show some use. Another technique is that of a panel wash one might notice here. An acrylic wash with a darker color of the finish paint is applied to accent panel lines and small details. Especially in this small scale details are so small that they cast no significant shadow when trying to photograph them. a color that is slightly darker that the finish paint can give a much more realistic look and can turn an average model into a really great one. A word of caution when doing this to white and lighter colored models, this technique can ruin it if the panel wash is too dark and is virtually impossible to fix.  Weathering should not be all that obvious and again, look to the prototype. Does it have large black lines all over it? Less is more!

I refer back now to the beginning where I stated that some weathering needs to be planned from the start. On really old vehicles, paint fade is always an issue. You will notice on the Mack LT above that the finish coat has been removed in a way that imitates sun faded and rain washed paint. It was done with a method similar to the chipped paint on the FCSW but done a little more aggressively. Future Floor Finish is soluble in Windex and/or windshield washer fluid so the model was washed (literally) with Windex to achieve the look. You will also notice the chassis and wheels have been painted the same brownish color that the cab was before it got the red paint. And that the wheels were painted white in the second shot and the holes in the steel rim have been filled with black. Here is the perfect application for a black wash that I previously poo-pooed. 

What you see immediately above is the  results of having darkened the chassis, fuel tanks etc. with an India ink and alcohol wash. I wanted some rusting effect of the base coat to show through without having to do any paint removal. Some acrylic washes of raw umber and burnt umber accentuate the collection of rust in specific areas. And finally below, you see the finished model complete with a coat of clear flat lacquer and some dusting with ground up artists chalks and touching of high wear spots with graphite. It is important to give the model some tooth for the chalks to adhere hence the flat clear coat. Stains on the gas tank were made by wetting the whole tank with washer fluid and streaking with some acrylic 'oily black' (PolyScale color) after the chalk application.

I know this has not been a comprehensive step by step on weathering. But I wanted to make the point that this weathering thing isn't something one should attempt to cover a bad modeling job. On the contrary, it is intended to enhance a well made model and if you wish to do it, should be a well planned sequence of procedures. Because I plan to broadcast this writing to attract readers I suppose I should add this 'disclaimer'. If you believe I am addressing you personally, perhaps I am. However it is not a condemnation of your work. It is merely a hope that I may be able to improve your endeavors into the realm of weathering in this scale. If not for the constructive criticism of others, I certainly would not be the modeler that I hope to be. And remember to kiss and hug your loved ones at every chance.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Some thoughts from the past

Several years ago I wrote an article that has appeared on the web in a few places that I would like to include here. It speaks about the influence every day life has on my modeling as well as the relationship we as modelers share in our thought process. Included are some of my most recent endeavors but I won't be focusing on them and include them merely as eye candy as one reads this rant. So here are my thoughts as viewed only part way in the course of my journey into the hobby of 1/87 scale modeling.

So what is it that intrigues us so much about rust and decay? What is the attraction and why do we model it?
   To do my Christmas shopping today (yes, it’s Dec. 24th) I rode into Rockland . On the way there is a garage that seems to have a knack for hot rodding as there is always some spiffy rig out front. Today there was a restored Ford Vicky and a ‘65 Chevy Malibu all decked out in good taste. Around back there is 8 to 10 old wrecks in varying stages of decay. The first word that came to mind was “potential”. Perhaps because I had just seen the nice rehabs out front or because I thought of what I might want to do to them (a ‘40 Ford coupe stood out) So is it the potential in those rusting bodies that is the allure?  I envision what those cars might have been like when they were in their prime. What made the dark stain on the backseat of the ‘49 Woody? Maybe it was Sally spilling her grape juice on the long vacation drive to the northern lake. And what put the splintered dent in the bed of the old flatbed? I picture workmen loading materials before the days of the forklift truck.  I also see the uniformed driver lunching on the running board enjoying his waxed paper wrapped sandwich and insulated tin of coffee.

   I often look at the beams of my barn that was built in the early 1800’s. The adz marks on the beams show the final cuts of the woodworker squaring the timber. Did he know that almost two centuries later I would be thinking of him? The terribly weathered original cedar shake siding loses a few shakes every windstorm to leave showing the tiny cut nails that held them on. We that work on houses often leave something to indicate our presence there. I mark my name and the date on the back side of planks that will never be seen until a future someone tears them from their place. And I have found coins and postal markings from envelopes under thresholds marking the dates that the doors were hung. Always, I am reminded that there was a person much like me that put them there, or drove those nails for the siding.

   These aren’t just rusting machines and old dilapidated structures. They represent personal experience. The family car, the truck driven daily to make the driver his wages and the barn that the farmer milked his cows in, can even today be related to real people. I almost hate to see the rusty old car turned back into a viable means of transportation. In today’s state of neglect, it says so much more about how long it’s been around and what it’s been through.

   And why do we want to model these old things that have seen better days? Are we making the concession to the real world that we must accept all that is in it? Or is this the way we would like the world to be? I haven’t made my mind up on this one. I often feel it’s the way it was before these things took a down turn that we would most like to see. And that modeling them in their present condition is our tribute to what they were and what they represented to the folks of the time.

I suppose I should give some information about these models shown starting with the first photo of the Mack R model that is pulling the lowboy. The load is the Cat No. 12 grader from Norscot as is the Trail King lowboy and the Mack is from Athearn. All have been stripped and repainted, the lowboy has a new wood deck and the Mack has a shortened chassis with a bunch of extras added. The red IH KB12 is one of those cheap Imex pieces with a change to the windshield area and the location of the headlamps along with the additions of fuel tanks, wheels, mud flaps and a fifth wheel.

Well thanks for taking the time to put up with another of my long winded rants on the subject of modeling in miniature. Please take the time to tell all your loved ones how much they mean to you today.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Warmer days

Looks like winter has let go of us here in northern New England. Days are ranging from the 50's to 70 degrees but nights are in the 30's. Still touching a fire off when the sun goes down. I took advantage of the sun today with a few photos of some recent and not so recent work. My favorite of this bunch is the 1934 Ford furniture van that I built using the Jordan school bus kit chassis and front clip.

The model was painted in Floquil coach green and flat clear coated. The rear flap is tissue paper with styrene dowels wrapped on the top and bottom. The small gas/electric locomotive in the background is also a Jordan kit of the Mack unit.


The next piece is a Freightliner Mountaineer. This was a four wheel drive tractor developed to haul 24 and 25 foot doubles over the western mountains. I have taken a major modelers license here in presenting the Mountaineer as a tow truck. Although I could easily see one of these resurrected as one. The basic truck is the Athearn Freightliner with the cab cut to a slab. The bed is also from Athearn cut down to a single screw unit and remounted the wrecker unit with new cabling. The fuel tank, air snorkel, and everything on the crossover deck is scratch built with the exception of the tool box on the curb side from Ralph Ratcliffe..

 I know, it's a strange little truck.

I decided to dust off an old favorite and give her some new wheels. Unfortunately I didn't cut the axle short enough. The Ulrich needlenose Kenworth is a diecast piece that I shaved the molded in the fender headlights and placed some new ones more appropriately. Fender mounted turn signals, horn, mirrors, diamond plate running boards, visor and different air cleaner are just some of the other changes/additions to the model. I'm hoping to find another one of these, I have some other things I would like to change as well on what could be a very nice model.

Looks like the warmer weather will be bringing on the outdoor chores now. Spent the day working on the tractor since the needle valve in the carb stuck open and the whole fuel tank emptied into the crankcase this winter. Broken mower deck repaired, front garden edged, damn.... I deserve some modeling time.