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)

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Chester the Rooster - Pt 4 - Body Base Colors Complete

Finally was able to finish off the rest of the Prussian Blue feathers on the romance side and managed to get a base coat of Raw Sienna on the legs. At this point all the body colors are blocked in (including those spots on the wings that started in Raw Sienna instead of Prussian Blue). Chester is ready to move on to shading and highlighting. At this point the oil colors will start to come into play so I need to find something to use as a palette and I will probably shift some of the enamels into small jars. I'll be using multiple colors at the same time and working on smaller areas. This is the point where Chester will become a real time sink. Right now I'm about 10 hours into the process, in some ways Chester has a lot more surface area to deal with because of the feathers than a carousel horse does and the horses took any where from 40 - 80 hours to complete. We will find out where Chester fits into the hourly wage scale now!

The light is just inadequate for good pictures and a flash blows out the colors. This is the romance side with the Prussian Blue finally finished.

This shot was a bit earlier in the day so I still have some west facing sun coming in. The legs now have a coat of Raw Sienna.

And a quick shot of the money side. The "horse" furniture won't be started on till the body is done. It will be a reddish leather saddle and belts with a red saddle blanket with the USMC EGA emblem in the back corners.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Chester the Rooster - Pt 3 - Base Colors - Prussian Blue

A little more work on Chester. Not particularly good pictures this time around, I'll try and correct that next time I have him turned around.

I'm very pleased at how well things are going, still a long way to go though. There is a lot of surface area to cover and with the detail in the feathers really makes for slow going, much slower than a horse.

The tail is painted on both sides, but the body feathers are only started on money side.
The spot of wing feathers in the Raw Sienna should be Prussian Blue as well, I'll fix that next time I have the opportunity to work on him.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Warehouse Row - D&RGW Reference

My first real reference for the D&RGW! 
I have been sort of looking around to see what's available for rolling stock and have discovered that there really isn't much out there for the D&RGW, plenty of locomotives though. Looks like I'll be spending time on eBay looking for equipment.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Chester the Rooster - Pt 2 - Base Colors

Finding time to start work on the Carousel Rooster can be difficult. We took some extra time off this past weekend and I was able to get some of the base colors on Chester. Earlier in the week I was able to start the red and the base for the yellow. Over the weekend I worked in the base colors for the head, body and wings. Most of this work is done with a 1" house brush. I'm probably going to go through two of these before I'm done. Enamel paints are hard on brushes.

I started with the head. This is Primary Magenta and here you can see all the brushstrokes. Don't worry, I'll deal with those.

One of the benefits to working with enamels is that they dry slow, this allows me to go back over the entire area with a stippling brush and remove the brushstrokes. Tedious but that's how its done.

Same process with the beak, this time with Raw Sienna.

And after stippling

Next some work on the feathers, this is burnt sienna

Followed by raw sienna with some initial blending work as well. I made a slight mistake here the feathers in front of the saddle should be burnt sienna (as pictured) surround a grouping of blue feathers. Easy to fix, the blue is quite dark to start with.

Some of the paints, those are oil paints and will be used more for highlighting and shadowing so I haven't really touched those yet.

The main paints, quart sized cans of enamel paints stacked up in the back.
Color list at this point is: Primary Magenta, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Pthalo Green, Prussian Blue, Ivory Black, Indian Red, Naples Yellow, Primary Yellow and White. Anything else that is need will be mixed from these.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Warehouse Row - Wynkoop Street

One of the problems I had with the original LA Warehouse district layout was the scenery. There were three key structures for the layout; The Walnut Building and the two buildings that created the curved entrance to the railroad alley. The restrictions on the layout size and the location of the staging cassette meant that a lot of compromises would have to be made with these three buildings and while that was okay the rest of the layout was made up of rather uninteresting brick buildings, none of which even featured loading docks. While I like the brick canyon feel it was going to be a rather low walled canyon in this case since none of them were more than two stories high. Good for operations but not so much fun from the building perspective.

This time around I'm even more interested in the photographic aspects of the layout and I still want to establish that brick canyon feel specifically for B&W pictures. Denver's Warehouse Row on Wynkoop Street in lower downtown (Lodo) features warehouse as tall as six stories on both sides of the street. While the space is still pretty restrictive in width I think I can pull off that brick canyon feel more effectively with these taller elements. Denver has the added bonus of being in love with viaducts so the area has some natural endpoints; the 16th street viaduct on the north, the 14th street (Speer) viaduct on the south and the 15th street viaduct right in the middle, effectively dividing the area into two "scenes". There are definitely some things to overcome but the tall buildings combined with some a dawn to dusk lighting sequence offers some real opportunities for photography.

Here are a couple of shots of the area I have managed to dig up:

The Spratlen & Anderson Wholesale Grocers Warehouse, at this time I believe it was occupied by the Davis Brothers Wholesale Drug Company. That's the 15th street viaduct separating the 1400 block from the 1500 block. It was built in 1968 which makes that the earliest date for the railroad equipment. This is D&RGW territory. Denver Public Library, Department of Western History call # Z-10895

This is in the 1500 block of Wynkoop looking South. The huge washed out structure on the left is the Postal Annex which takes up the entire block. On my version I would replace it with the original warehouses that stood there originally. The buildings on the left are all part of the Morey Mercantile Company although by this date it had been sold. Note that at this time the 15th St. Viaduct is missing. Cornell Library from the 1960 President's Railroad Commission #5003pb63f117

The 1400 block of Wynkoop from the 14th Street (Spear) Viaduct. Weicker Transfer and Storage on the left the Volker and Spratlen-Anderson buildings on the right. Cherry Creek has cement walls and is crossed by a Warren Truss bridge. Note the trucks parked behind the boxcar effectively blocking it in. There is another boxcar in front of the Volker building's unusual loading dock. Cornell Library from the 1960 President's Railroad Commission 

The Kennicott-Patterson Warehouse which occupied a good portion of the west side of the 1500 block of Wynkoop. The six story portion is the original building, the rest of the massive complex is an addition. Picture is taken from the 16th street Viaduct. Denver Public Library Western History Collection call # MCC-3700

Now rail served businesses on the west side of the 1500 block of Wynkoop. Note the signage on the side of the Kennicott building appears to have at least two layers of painted signs at this point. Denver Public Library Western History Collection call # MCC-1701

Monday, October 7, 2019

Sledgehammer XXXIII - Tricolor achieved

The darker brown is on. I see numerous places that need to be tighten up but overall I'm quite happy with it right now.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Switching Warehouse Districts - LA to Denver

I have been doing the research for a couple of months now and have decided that I'll be switching from the LA Warehouse district and the ATSF to the Lower Downtown (Lodo) district and the D&RGW.  After pouring over Sanborn Insurance maps, pictures, websites and a couple of books it looks like Wynkoop street between Cherry Creek and the 16th Street Viaduct will provide both the action and the architecture to satisfy my thoughts for an urban switching layout.

The space is not huge but I think it will be quite satisfying to both build and operate.

The room, a former spare bedroom converted to the library.

Layout on the north wall with the staging against the west wall.

A more detailed look at the layout.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Sledgehammer XXXII - And then the green

Trying to keep some fairly tight lines on this. Will see how that goes, I'm certainly dusting off the airbrush skills at this point.