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Transferring loads

I just had to build a Campbell Scale Models produce shed several years ago. This is how it fits on the layout as if it could be used for receiving loads from a box car such as the one seen here. The loading platform is long enough to place three box cars for unloading. There was a situation in Minneapolis were forty box cars could be unloaded at the Farmers Market East of Lyndale Avenue and North of Glendale Avenue. I don’t think anyone would model that as thirty five feet of layout would be required.
Just for the heck of it, I’m going to give the conductor of this train the job of unloading three cars of boxes from box car to the platform without knocking anything over. I’ll be nice, there will only be a few boxes per car. Will he know enough to open those box car doors at some point before the train arrives there?

Success at unloading three box cars

The produce shed was carefully positioned near the track using the NMRA gauge which is real close to the boxcars. The ballast had to be chipped away so the platform would be in the same plane as the boxcar floors. I used the brush to push the freight unto the dock from the other opened door without a problem. What helped the transfer is to keep the loading dock slightly lower than the car floors.

 The Campbell Scale Models L.C.L. Freight House kit came with wood blocks and barrels. The instruction sheet has sign cut outs to place on them for detail. I made photo copies to be used on my homemade boxes and crates. Everything on the platform could easily be used as live load transfers for that way freight.

To meet N.M.R.A. standards, their gauge was used to position the loading dock for height and distance to met their clearance standards. I moved the dock a couple whiskers lower and away to minimize the chance of engines and rolling stock from striking it.

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A while back, I got rid of my plastic Heljan turntable and replaced it with a 14″ Bowser unit. I removed the plywood table top base that comes with the unit as the pit fit perfectly in the hole cut for the old Heljan unit. The motor runs way to fast on 12 volts so I cut the power down to about 6 volts. 

For now, one of the roundhouse doors is operated with a Scale Shops turnout motor. An additional 6 stall roundhouse is being added to the scene with hours of scenery work remaining.

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Paper Bag Scenery Tutorial

This is a method of creating a “Tough Skin” scenery shell that is lightweight and less messy than plaster. I now use a two-layer process with spray foam in between the back and front paper. The foam allows some density for planting trees, fence post and whatever for stability. Every now and then at the groceries store, I ask to have my purchases bagged in paper bags. Open up the bag at the bottom and cut out pieces that fit your scenery situation. There is a seam in the bag, so I use this for the first layer that won’t be seen. I use Carpenters wood glue for securing the edges in place. Follow the instructions below for a detail of the method. Crumple up a paper shopping bag and then open it up. I cut a section of it to fit the scenery slope at left. It was first glued along the edge of the sub roadbed and allowed to dry. Now the bottom edge is glued in place on the lower bench work. A paper flap was also glued to the edge of the viaduct and allowed to dry. This will later be folded over and glued to the other vertical paper bag. After the photo was taken, more bag material was added at the right until it met the existing scenery. A piece of Styrofoam was glued in place so the paper flap can be folded over and glued in place without collapsing the adjacent paper. You can install cardboard or Styrofoam supports every so often behind this shell system. I do it only when the scenery is at a more gradual slope for strength. The second layer of paper is glued at the bottom edge only because I’m going to start filling in between the layers with spray Foam. That second layer of paper is held open with the tape measure just for the picture. I thought it best to keep all the store brand printing on the backside from the side that will show. One can of foam do about four square feet of scenery shell.

It’s best to have that much area ready so the entire can will be used up. A second area was readied for foaming so I could use up the entire can of foam. The top paper is glued at the bottom edge and pulled back for the picture. The paper on the other side of the track is also doubled and will be pulled back for foaming. The foam was sprayed in full-length rows starting at the bottom and stacked just short of the top. I quickly raised up the paper and glued it at the top. The foam will expand to twice its size as you can see the bulging of the paper after it cured a couple of hours. I will use some plaster of Paris to fill in the gaps as you see in the photo above. The same was done in this second area also. The carpenters wood glue was used to attach the paper after it was filled with foam. I spray the unruly paper with water to make it softer for laying against the foam underneath. Very important step Immediately after Plaster of Paris was applied to close up the joints, I bushed on a soupy mixture of scenery color and texture. For this, I used Cajon Powder and diluted glue. The mixing bowl and stiff brush are seen in the photo centre. As I worked, the plaster began to harden so the color brushing continued until the white plaster was coloured over. A second coat touch up was done in a few places to tone down the white of the plaster. I don’t want the plaster to come loose and fall off the paper. The glue mixture with powder will create a lasting bond as it somewhat mixes with the fresh plaster. One 11 ounce package of #1200 Cajon Rock Powder was enough to color the scene at left and below. Some of the “white” from the plaster shows through that gives the rock face interesting highlights. Immediately, the rest of the powder was sprinkled over the still wet scenery. Then some “Zip Texturing of #1203 Sand & Gravel, #2 Dead & Alive ground cover, #9 Fine Green Blend Grass and #1205, 1207 Cajon Rip/rap material. End it up by lightly spraying with wetted water and dripping on the diluted glue. Gradual slopes as this hold the loose rock as in nature. The very four ground, back scenery and backdrop painting are not finished yet for this article. When that is ready, I’ll plant many of the trees I’m working on. The next tutorial will cover the topic of preparing this same terrain for the planting of brush and trees.

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From the Kalmbach book; Bridges & Buildings
Article by; Frank Titman
This coal barge was to go with the car dumper that the author built in a preceding article. My model has a cardboard hull, deck, holds, and pilothouse. Strip wood was glued to the floor and used for the other trim. I built it for a harbor scene module that used to attend the Phoenix G.T.S. shows in the eighties. Three sizes of our coal are in the holds. From the left; Fine, Medium, and Large. Campbell’s Corrugated Roofing is on the pilothouse. I weathered it with my #1400 Pigment. Floquil’s S.P. Letter Gray is always painted on first full strength and allowed to tack dry. The pigment is then brushed on with a soft bristle brush. Some Black and orange pigments are added to obtain natural color hues of rusted metal. Testors Dull coat was then brushed on to bleed the colors and also recover any shiny spot as a last resort to cover them up.

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A radical new look for the yard

The hump yard looked like this for over ten years with just ballast for scenery. This would be correct for the dry Southwest and I left it that way so my customers could see the HO “fine” ballast colours of #1222 yard mix and #1152 Empire Builder overlaid in the foreground. This is the first step no matter how you scenic a yard as the ballast is the base before adding more to it.

The Eastern/Midwest look
A whole host of color and texture brings life to the scene as this railroad doesn’t spray herbicide to kill weeds and grass. I used the following products for this effect; #1031 “N” scale Black Cinder, #1011 “N” scale Red Cinder, #1151 “N” scale Empire Builder ballast, #2000 Urban/Industrial Dirt. This was applied randomly and then brushed around to (slightly) mix the colours. #2 Dead and Alive ground cover, #8 Olive Green Flock, #4 Straw Grass clippings and #1321 “N” scale White Marble for the spilt sand from the engine sanders. The Clump foliage is a sample from a scenery company that never made it a product. All nine products are put down dry and then bonded in one application. It’s hard to tell, but 50 per cent of the original ballast still shows through so you need to PRE ballast the tracks anyway and let that dry completely.

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You must admit, those brass engines host a lot of detail. I bought one to see what all the ballyhoo was about them. My first curiosity was to compare its performance against those die cast clunkers. Second, is the detail applied neatly? Third, Is it worth the extra money over reworking one of my clunkers? The answer is yes. What disappointed me was it makes the sound of an electric train and not a steam engine. Even with sound injected into the atmosphere, you hear the mechanical noise that would be ok if it were a diesel. Accept the fact it’s a good toy and enjoy it. The fact that its brass, I’ll use it for a “favorite train” and pull the “company special” with the first-class varnish and a couple of private cars if it whims me.

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Campbell’s kit # 382 Country Barn is truly a western horse or small milking parlor type suitable for a ranch. Its bright red paint has faded to a pale orange and the roof is showing its age. Notice how the siding boards are very rotten next to the ground. The project took about eight hours including the unpainted fence. Like most model railroaders, the bench work is waiting to be built where this structure is to be planted. You need our pigment kit to weather the roof and walls.

Ah, that better.
Those shaggy bark junipers give a little more life to the scene. Sagebrush armatures and it’s all free for the picking in Arizona if you know the right place and people to ask. You can buy the moss for the tree foliage from Wall Mart.

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Scratch built Ice House and Loading Platform

I had an Icehouse, but it was too wide for the available space on the layout. This structure measures 4″ X 18″ and three Reefers can be spotted for icing at a time. The story behind this structure is as follows. My oldest son and I were in Durango Colorado, visiting with Ruth and Leo Campbell to purchase Campbell Scale Models. After an all-day discussion about their business, it occurred to me about my “Icehouse” dilemma. I ask Leo, “do you have an Icehouse kit planed for the future?”. Leo said, “I do.” Can you show it to me, “I asked”? He shook his head, “No.” When I got home, I drew up this plan, made the model from Campbell parts, took a picture of it and sent it to Leo. A few days later, I called him to see what he thought about my model, and It was made from Campbell parts I said? All he gave me was a “Humph,” then said it looked beautiful.

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Comic Strip

Using photos for a cartoon strip require close ups that keep everything in focus. Flaws in the model work now show up dramatically such as the unpainted wagon spokes, shiny cloths and the right shoulder of the man not glued in place properly.

To make the characters larger in the picture box, you need to crop them out before you reduce the picture size. Now the flaws in the man really stand out.

You now need to decide if the overall scene will be of interest to the readers even though the characters are small and without action. Traditionally, cartoons are about the characters and the artist draws them bigger in the frame to show features and action.

Notice the expression and body language of Walt in my drawing. I need to find a way of drawing my characters and overlaying them on my photos for many of the frames. Just drawing the characters would save a lot of time when using existing scenery for a cartoon.

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Boot Jack High Level

After a couple of years of hiatus, the relocation of Bootjack AZ is underway on my upper level. I keep expanding with scratch-built structures that resemble my extensive line of the Campbell Scale Models buildings. In the view below are six structures with Campbell shingles on the roofs. This water tank and tool shed were inspired by ads in the model press and old articles from the magazines. My model closely follows the Fine Scale Miniatures kit #125 that was released in 1974 and sold for $35.95 with a production of 3,000 units. The cost for me is only a few dollars as I buy strip wood and scribed siding from Coronado Scale Models in Phoenix AZ. They are one of the few hobby shops left that still stock the scratch supplies I need.

The water tank needs the band lugs, rafter tails, longer ladder, and two working lights. Brandon Enterprises make the rubber mold for the plaster casting I cut up for the base walls of the water tank. One of my personal custom carved stone castings encloses the open-air storage area. The double track is 1/4″ Homabed with Mico Engineering stained ties and their weathered code 70 rail. Ballasting was done with #1092 Cumbres & Toltec before the rail was spiked.

The near track now has extra #1092 ballast added along the slope to fill in the bare spots as you see in the far track. The foreground cardboard is now covered with #1070 High Desert Powder and #2 Dead & Alive foliage for now. A couple of Ramex track gauges are in the code 70 slots for spiking the rail. That Ramex track gauge was cut into individual sections as that long spine that connected them together was very awkward to work with. The spikes are Mico Engineering “small spikes” that works best in HO.

The mortar was applied to all the stonework with thinned water-based aged white paint. All the roof rafter tail are in place and the catwalk and fire barrels on the shed roof. The project is on hold until the right light bulbs come in from the hobby shop. The upper-level layout is 58 inches high and is reserved for my most detailed work as it’s closer to eye level. Other structures in this scene are from Campbell Scale Models.