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)

Friday, January 12, 2018

C&N Railroad Project - Pen to Paper...Again

So it was a little bit of back to the drawing board for the C&N mostly because during a sleepless night I realized that I was probably biting off way more than I could chew. While I love the thought of being able to fill a room with a railroad the fact that it would have to put up and taken down on a regular basis was a bit disheartening. I have been looking at a lot of different ways to build light weight benchwork with the storage thought mind and the different methods available tend to weigh to the expensive side as well.

Instead I was, once again, pulled back to one of the original plans that inspired me to get into model railroading back in 1974. And issue of Railroad Modeler (January 1974) featured a small HOn3 layout by John Olsen (at that time a very young John Olsen!). It, in turn, was inspired by a section of trackplan that appeared sometime in Model Railroader called the Sagatukett River RR. by Robert Silas it featured a railroad puzzle called Maximum Switching - Minimum Space ( I have a copy of this plan in a Kalmbach book titled: "Track Planning Ideas from Model Railroader, 58 track plans from past issues" published in 1981). While I'm not a huge fan of puzzles this one has always intrigued me and I took a stab at converting it to something that could work for the C&N.

In the original track plan the small town is called Equinox, on the C&N this will become Sunset. Point in fact the town of Sunset on the C&N did feature a wye with a station in the middle and a stream flowing under two legs of the wye. To orient, the leg on the top of the page would lead to Boulder, the leg to the left would go to Ward and to the right Eldora. Trains originate from Boulder, those going to Ward would take the left leg and pick up passengers on the east side of the station, those trains going to Eldora would take the right leg and back into the station as well, each facing in the appropriate direction. 

Like I mention this is my first stab at this. I have already started to redraw it because of the need to still use the 23x45" modules and a couple of the turnouts were falling directly across the module lines. I'm adding a passing siding, one because Sunset did have a passing siding on the north side of the station and two to make the puzzle a little easier to manage and a bit less frustrating to work. I would like my wife to continue her interest in model railroads after all.

On a side note I think I also found a location that could be used for my LA Warehouse district. Its still narrow but would be L-shaped with a 10' 5" long leg and a 5' 5" short leg. That would also be something fun to get up and running.

The first of what will probably be several drafts. I cut slips of paper to represent freight cars and engines to ensure that what I though might fit will really fit. The size on the #5 turnouts are based on the templates from Fast Tracks.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Citizens of Calamity - The Prospector - Reaper

While I have been working on the Knuckleduster miniatures I discovered this Reaper miniature hanging around on my desk. He literally just needed his scarf painted so he is finally finished. I have no idea how long he has been sitting there waiting (at least 2 years I reckon) for that but he is ready to base now!

59016: Coot Jenkins, Prospector
Bob Ridolfi

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Citizens of Calamity - Swede - Knuckleduster

Here is the first of the Gunfighters' Ball line from Knuckleduster that I was able to finish off. Well almost finish off. His hat still needs some touch up and I'm sure I can find a couple of other things wrong (like that huge mold line that I missed). But since he is just the bystander type he is "good enough".

I must admit those that these new 3D sculpts from Knuckleduster are really nice!

GBB - 1 Swede

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Kickstarter Rewards - Girl Genius; The City of Lightning

This is volume 16 in the Girl Genius series and it is the same high quality as the rest! I do love the work of Kaja and Phil Foglio in this series. I haven't been able to keep up with the series but I'm certainly looking forward to catching up with this book! I have reduced myself to just getting the basic package anymore though, I just don't need all the extra little knick knacks that always makes their Kickstarters run late.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Citizens of Calamity - Gunfighter's Ball - Citizen Pack

Since I did get in on the Kickstarter for Knuckleduster's Gunfighters' Ball I decided that I should try painting up some of the ones I did have on hand. I had bought a specific pack of Bystanders but I don't see that on the website anymore. The six that I have are (and apparently the first six they produced):
GBB - 3 Carpetbagger
GBB - 5 Lawyer
GBB - 6  Pa
GBB - 2 Sally
GBB - 4 School Marm
GBB - 1 Swede
They are all currently available as singles. The quality is excellent and the two female figures are far better than earlier Knuckleduster females.

I had already cleaned these up (although not very well I discovered as I started to paint them) so I went in with some brush on primer and started the skin tones. Unfortunately none of the pictures are particularly good, all do better on the next batch.

Lawyer, Swede and Sally

Carpetbagger, Pa and School Marm


Initial Skin tones

A bit lighter for the ladies

Friday, January 5, 2018

AWI Project - Fife and Drum Continentals

With the Hunting Shirts out of the way I pulled out some more of the Fife and Drum continentals to work on. Again I'm doing just a single stand of four to get a feel for how these will paint up, I was impressed with how easy the hunting shirts turned out to be so I think these may even be a bit easier.

I wanted a brown regiment and since I started with blue on the Perry plastics this group gets brown. I'm going with darker browns for this group with red facings and white waistcoats.

So this is a lot of pictures without a lot of substance and in many cases you can't really tell what I was working on. Then, of course, there is the period where I forgot to take any pictures at all.

This is where I ended up:

Starting with the skin

And white linen breeches and trousers, used the same paints as I did for the hunting shirts

Then some work on the jackets. Started off with Blackened Brown, which may well be one of my favorite colors.

Lightening things up a bit with Intense Brown

On to the facings, started with  Gory Red and moved up to Fresh Blood.

The white crossbelt are really stark right now

And then, suddenly, lots of stuff is finished.

This is the combination for one of the blanket roll colors. Again this is more for me to remember what I did than you. But I do love the ugly brownish green that resulted. The other bed roll is a Vallejo Dark Yellow  I think, I'll have to go back and check now.
And now, because I can't remember to keep my phone handy, the finished stick of miniatures. I need to go back and do some lining on these for sure to tighten everything up a bit. They look sloppy.

And the finished product, after I went back and did some black lining:

Thursday, January 4, 2018

AWI Project - Painting Hunting Shirts

So I'm slowly moving forward on the AWI project and I pulled out some of the Fife and Drum continentals in hunting shirts to work on. Again I'm doing just a single stand of four to get a feel for how these will paint up.

I have been a little leary of these hunting shirts with all that fringe, but I shouldered forward and I think they came out looking okay in the end.

So this is a lot of pictures without a lot of substance and in many cases you can't really tell what I was working on. Then, of course, there is the period where I forgot to take any pictures at all.

This is where I ended up:

Starting at my usual spot with the skin

Here they are with some shadows and hightlights on the skin. I was trying something different and I'm not terribly happy with it

The base for the linen hunting shirts
Then moving up to the mid-tone, Reaper HD Tusk Ivory

And then highlighting with Reaper MS Linen White. I think its pretty close to what I have seen, an almost grayish off white

With all that linen I felt the need to do some lining, which of course reminded me that I hate lining and there are going to be 28 figures in the unit. That's a lot of lining
I lost the definition of the fringe so I went back with thinned blackened brown to restore, which means drybrushing the top of the fringe to restore the linen color

More to remind myself, but these are the colors I used for the hunting shirts

Then I kind of jumped forward, crossbelts in pure white so they stand out, plus various accouterments have been finished off.

And jumping forward a bit to the finished stick. I just really forgot to take pictures. While I'm happy with the miniatures themselves I'm not all together happy with my paintwork on these. I will have to go back and try and tighten things up a bit.

And this is how they all ended up, after I went back and added some additional black lining.