Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

AWI Project - First Unit In Progress - Pt II

I was able to squeeze in another painting sessions with the Continentals. I don't know if anyone noticed but I changed my painting sequence a bit this time. Typically I start with the skin tones but in this case I decided to save the skin and the hair for last just to see if it changed how long it takes to finish this unit. I moved on to the coat for this session. Started with Reapers HD Solid Blue, but I'm not sure I really like that color for the base now that I have seen it on the whole unit. I went back in with a wash of Reaper Master Clear Blue with a spot of Solid Blue in it to shift the color a bit. I like that combination a bit better, it doesn't really show up well in the second set of three photos though. Hopefully I can go in with the highlight blue and shift things closer to the way I want them later in the week.

Jacket base coated with HD Solid Blue

Jacket washed with a mix of Clear Blue and Solid Blue.

Friday, March 16, 2018

AWI Project - First Unit In Progress

I had some time to actually break out paints last night and I had all these AWI Continentals ready to go so I decided that I should start on them. I need to get the painting skills back to snuff for my Reaper Con competition entries so I figured doing 32 figures or so should at least restore most of my brush control.  I'm pretty pleased with the progress so far. I finished the pants and waistcoats and started on the coats. Didn't always remember to take pictures of each step but I have a few of them recorded.

I also acquired a new little box of tools from Lowe's a month or so ago. It has a nice x-acto style knife with a thick handle and an interchangeable head for small and large blades. A nice pair of bent nosed tweezers and a bunch of small screwdriver bits. Should come in handy as I contemplate starting to tear apart the 4-6-0 and steal the boiler to go on the 2-8-0 (if I ever manage to acquire one that is).

First AWI unit. Perry plastics to go along with the first four test minis that I finished last year.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

C&N Railroad Project - Photographic Research Initial Results

The internet is a wonderful thing when libraries have spent some serious time digitizing their photographic collections. I was able to track down 12 of the 17 photographs fairly quickly using the online catalogs at the Carnegie Branch of the Boulder Library and the Western History Collection of the Denver Public Library.

I found three versions of one of the images under three different call numbers at the Carnegie Branch. I believe they are different prints from the same glass negative as the cropping is slightly different in each one. The last one with a "T" in the lower left corner is the location of the school house so I'm certain this is definitely a copy that came in as part of another collection of photographs.

When blown up, I think this is probably the best version of the three.

The ones I'm still looking for are the Sturtevant photographs on pages 72, 142, 339 and 390 and one McClure photograph on page 187. This missing McClure photograph surprises me since the page indicates that it came from the Denver Public Library and I'm almost certain that I have see it somewhere before. I do have a McClure book of photographs and maybe it was in there. I'll have to see if I can find that one in the depths of the basement.

I'm please with the progress of the search so far.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

C&N Railroad Project - A photographic tour of Sunset.

I always have the best of intentions of riding something to completion. Of course once I started to start the, more or less, final draft of Sunset for the Colorado and Northwestern I literally ran out of time to sit down and draw. I did, however, manage to pull out my two primary sources for that I will be using. The first is the "Switzerland Trail of America" by Forest Crossen and the second is an article in Bulletin No. 65 of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society which was published in October of 1944. In is an article by M.C. Poor on the Denver, Boulder and Western which contains a lot of the back history for the Colorado & Northwestern. In fact I think this article is also used in Crossen's book for the early history of the railroad. Crossen's book was published originally in 1962, the second edition in 1978 and the paperback edition in 1992.

I have have a second edition printing that I literally wore out and another that is in almost mint condition. I also have the paperback edition which has an awful binding and a good chunk of the center pages are falling out (although

The task was to locate and note all the pictures of Sunset the can be found in the book (which really is the bible for fans of this railroad). Most of the pictures are pretty good but there are some that aren't very good. My goal is to take the 17 pictures that I found and see if I can locate something closer to the original in the local libraries. Most of the photos were taken by "Rocky Mountain" Joe Sturtevant, but there are a few from LC McClure and a few other local photographers. Tracking some of those down will probably be next to impossible.

While I'm only loosely modeling Sunset, especially since the plan is already basically in place, I do want to get a feel for the terrain so that it at least resembles the area. As I pointed out previously the key points are the trestles and the station. These photographs are the best I can do to get an idea of how these should look.

Here are the photos I'll be trying to find:
Nice view of the trestle and the station

This is an over exposed photo, it would be nice to find a better copy of it

This one has a view of the water tank on the far side of the trestles that cross the creek

Nice view of one side of the station

These long views help give a sense of the terrain

Another photo that is a bit blown out. It would be nice to see the side of the station

A nice overall shot of Sunset. Most of the buildings actually run up the gully to the right near the square building on the upper right side of the picture

This one is from the west side so you are looking east, more or less, towards Boulder.

Another long view

A really nice view of the top of the water tank. Sunset is to the left side of the picture and you can just make out the branch to Ward on the left as well

Here you can see how Sunset goes up the gully

Another view from the west side, not much is visible but its a good shot of the hotel

This is another one I would love to get a better copy of

Another good one, you can see the side of the station and its good shot of the somewhat unusual cabooses used by the C&N

Not really a vital shot, but certainly a nice to have

Another good higher view looking to the west. Similar to one of the other shots above.

Those are the pictures, now I just need to see what can be found out there.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

C&N Railroad Project - Approaching the Final Draft

I have mulled over the plan for the Colorado & Northwestern for the past couple of months now and I think I'm pretty happy with the basic configuration. Its time to pull out the big graph paper and really sit down and get started on something closer to a final track plan.

There are a couple of key elements that I want to be sure to be sure to include. First is the wye. Its already an integral part of the plan but at Sunset two of the legs cross the creek (four mile creek I think, I'll have to look that up again) on trestles, so that's a scenic must have feature. The station sat in the center of the wye, again already part of the plan. Oddly enough the water tank was located on the other side of the creek just before crossing over, so that will be a nice detail for that part of the scenic portion of the layout.

I will need to work on the plans for the station. I have tried to duplicate it in the past in HO and the hipped roof just drives me a bit crazy trying to reproduce it. The lack of anyway to get dimensions hinders me a bit too. I will just have to go for "it looks right" and not worry about it so much. There is one surviving C&N station up in Ward. I should just take a trip up there and see if I can get some basic measurements off of that. It doesn't have the hipped roof like Sunset and Salina but I think the dimensions are pretty similar to the one at Sunset.

I have the basic outline for the new draft done, just need to find some time to pull the drafting tools back out and see if I can make it come together again. The key is really making sure that the "T" portion provides enough area to make sure the multitude of tracks that cross the module breaks not going to cause derailments. That certainly has more to do with actual construction than drawing, just something to be aware of.

The basic outline ready for some track to be drawn in. This is drawn at 1/8" = 1" and will also be used to build the model. I'm not sure when time will allow layout construction but I can probably find time to build a concept model.