Sunday, October 30, 2011

Holy Buckets!

How does one make HO scale wooden pails?  One uses his Dremel, after realizing that the dowel rods that he's using fit perfectly into the chuck on the Dremel.  A little high-speed rotation, some gentle application of a needle file, and presto-chango, the dowel rod transforms into a stack of wooden buckets.  To make it perfectly clear what is loaded in the boxcar, I carved out a few stacks of varying heights, including one single bucket.

Here's the finished car, after being treated with Dull-Kote, drybrushing, and various colors of chalk.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Boxcar Full O' Buckets

In the real Hill City, Minnesota, a key industry was the Woodenware Factory, maker of wooden pails, pickle barrels, cracker barrels, cups for peanut butter, and other wooden containers.

This factory will be represented on my layout, and will be the primary industry.  Accordingly, the load for my loaded boxcar will be wooden pails, headed outbound to interchange with the Great Northern Railroad, bound for points west.

To create the illusion of a car loaded with stack upon stack of buckets, I decided to try using pieces cut from a wooden dowel.  I used scale lumber to build makeshift crates around the stacks, much like they would have done in real life to prevent shifting of the load.  This lumber also helps disguise the fact that these aren't buckets.  Light pencil lines drawn horizontally across the stacks help complete the illusion.

The load is constructed so that I can stage the car as a fully loaded car, or as a car being loaded or unloaded.  As a final touch to the interior, I'm going to place some partial stacks, including a couple of carved buckets, along with a figure, in that vacant space.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cheater, Cheater!

Wow, two weeks have passed already since the "Cabooses" modeling contest!  Between getting the house ready for winter, and being sick for the past week, time has just flown by.  The next modeling contest is two weeks from today, and I've been sitting on my, umm, let's say thumbs.  I need to get moving...

The topic for the next contest is "Boxcars With Loads".  I really want to try to enter something in every contest this year, but there's no way I can scratchbuild a boxcar in two weeks.  So, I'm "cheating".  I'm going to kitbash a ready-to-run car.

The first, and most obvious change that needs to be made is to eliminate the black plastic floor inside the car.  Open up the doors on any of your RTR boxcars, and you'll see exactly what I mean.  After a little prying, the floor popped right out of my boxcar.  I slapped on some tan paint, a wash of India ink & rubbing alcohol, and finished by brushing on some black and brown chalk powder.  The resulting floor almost looks like wood - not exactly, but it's passable.

When viewed through the open boxcar door, it's very convincing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Enter Stage Left

Finished the last of the weathering and detailing on the caboose.  To celebrate, I made a very short little video of it being pulled by #506.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

DM&IR in the Real World

Wife and I drove up to the North Shore today, to catch the last of the fall colors up there.  Since we were in the neighborhood, I stopped in Two Harbors and took a few photos.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Call The Inspector

This caboose is ready for service!  Still a tiny bit of weathering left to do, but otherwise done...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Grab My Caboose!

Just be sure to use the newly installed grabiron.  There's only one so far, so you'll need to be on the correct side of the tracks.

You'll also notice that the ladders are installed, the smoke pipe is installed, and most of the cupola braces.  Oh, and the steps, painted and installed.  Three more grabirons to go, the roofwalk, platform railings, and the brake wheels, some weathering, and this will be one fine looking caboose.  Should be done in plenty of time for the October meeting.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Step Right Up!

I wasn't going to admit this, since I've already made my ONE mistake for the year, but I'll go ahead anyway.  I forgot to leave room for the steps on the caboose.  Fixing that required cutting notches into the decking - very delicate, worrisome work.  All is well, however, the notches are cut, and things seem to be on track for installing the steps.  All of the pieces are cut, just have to assemble and install them all.

I also finished adding the truss rods and brake details.  It's not 100% accurate, but close enough for a Division contest.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Caboose on the Loose?

Nope, not anymore, it's now firmly coupled to the rest of the train.  Trucks, wheels, couplers and underside toolboxes are installed.  The toolboxes need to be painted, then it's on to the brake components and truss rods, and finally the railings, ladders, grab irons, roof walks, smoke pipe, and so on.  Jeez, there's a lot left to do...

I'm hoping to have this thing completely finished in time for the Twin Cities Division meeting on October 13th.  The topic for the modeling contest is, what else - cabooses!