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, March 30, 2018

What Are These? - Figure ID

A friend at work gave these to me the other day. She has no idea where they came from. I'm guessing the armored warriors are pawns from a chess set. I'm not sure about the knights. They are definitely 15mm but I don't recognize the company or the sculptor. There are no marks on the bottom of the "pawns" the bottom of the bases for the knights have been filed down. They are all made of metal but they are not lead or pewter they are much harder than that. One of the knight's lances was bent and I had to exert force to get it back into position. If anyone out there has a clue about them let me know!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

AWI Project - First Unit In Progress - Pt V

I am managing to keep up the progress on the AWI Continentals. I was able to work in another session and finished off the red facings. I then moved on to the white turnbacks and stockings. I based the turnbacks with a light brown (Reaper Leather Brown) and then moved up through an ivory (Reaper HD paint Tusk Ivory) and then to pure white (Reaper again). I also when back in on the waistcoats and brighten those up a bit more. They still look pretty messy but they are starting to come together. Next I'll go in with black and base all the belts, shoes and accouterments.

Finishing the red, Big Top Red with a bit of Fresh Blood Red, both from Reaper.

Skipped the step with the leather brown these shots are after the tusk ivory was added

And then pure white on the stockings, turnbacks and waistcoats.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

AWI Project - First Unit In Progress - Pt IV

The facings always slow me down, they require just that extra bit of concentration and dexterity with the brush. In this session I managed to finish off the original Big Top Red on all of the facings. I followed that up with a wash of Red Liner with a bit of Big Top Red in it. I went over all the facings and darkened them up a bit. In the next session I hope to finish up the facings with a slightly lighter red (or maybe Big Top Red again) and call them done. After that will come the slightly tedious chore of doing belts.

On to the current progress:

Finished off the Big Top Red on all the facings

Darkened the facings with a mix of Red Liner and Big Top Red

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

LA Warehouse District Project - Poor Boxcar Storage

I stumbled across the rest of the boxcars I had from Accurail. I sorry to say they didn't survive the storage process very well. I am missing the under carriage for four of these and there are a number of different parts broken, mostly the stirrup steps. I'm unsure of whether I should just consign these to the junk drawer for practice shells or try and fix them back up.

It did give me the opportunity to play around with the new camera (Nikon 7500, my first new Nikon since 2008, essentially replaces my D70 and D90) though, I'm pretty happy with how the pictures came out. Oh the flaws we see under the harsh reality of a blown up picture.

Monday, March 26, 2018

C&N Railroad Project - Stopped in my tracks

As I started to sit down and contemplate what that final track plan for the Colorado and Northwestern would be I sat down with my copy of the January 1974 Railroad Modeler and read the John Olsen article again. I wanted to be sure I capture the feel of Sunset and not mash a whole lot of extras into it. Olsen's layout is pretty wide open but that is what HOn3 will allow you to do. Moving up in scale changes the outlook a bit, plus at this juncture I'm working in a very defined space. But do I need to work in such a defined space. Certainly there are limits that I have to adhere to but perhaps I need to look outside the box a bit.

I flipped through the photos that I have downloaded, a number of which I want to get prints of. And really took a closer look at Sunset. Curved trestles, check. Wye with station in the middle, check. Small town, maybe in a slightly different location, check. What's missing from this list? Well the water tank itself, but that lies on the other side of four mile creek, maybe its in maybe its out. What about mining? Sunset is the junction point but its also a small mining town as well, certainly not on the scale of Eldora and Ward, but there is certainly mining occurring and some of its rail served. You can just make out in this picture that there is a large building to the right of the curved trestle in the background (that's the Eldora branch). This building looks like many of the mine buildings in the area so I'm fairly certain it is, indeed, a mine (research to follow).

So that means I need at least one mine in the area and maybe two. Its not uncommon to have mines right in the middle of a Colorado town (Central City for one) but I would rather have it off farther along the Eldora branch. A mine takes room though, more room than maybe I have available. So I'm going to go back the doodling stage and see what I can do to include some mining. I may explore making a module that exceeds some of my initial parameters. We shall see.
The alleged mine is the building in the back to the right of the Eldora trestle.

You can actually make it out in this earlier photo as well. The grade to Eldora is started but there is no rail to it yet. Probably means that it wasn't actually rail served but I can do what I like on the model.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

AWI Project - First Unit In Progress - Pt III

Progress has slowed down quite a bit. The pants and waistcoats went pretty fast and I finished those in a single session. The jackets took one full session plus part of this one to get done. Its amazing how much extra time it takes to avoid messing up previous paint work! In this third session I was able to finish the jackets and start on the facings. I have the base coat of Big Top red on about half the troops and I'm a bit unhappy with it. I should have picked something a bit darker and maybe used this as the mid tone color instead. I'm thinking of finishing all the minis with this color and then going back in with a wash of red liner to darken everything up a bit. We will see how I feel about it when session IV rolls around (when ever that might be).

Facings always slow the process down, trying hard not to get red on the jacket, the pants and the waistcoat. I'm definitely not used to long painting sessions anymore an hour and a half or two hours is about my limit right now.

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.