Weekend workbench update

I wish I had finished models to share or some sort of camera skills to better photograph what I’ve done [I have neither. Sorry.] What I do have is the satisfaction of trying out some things I wanted to share.


I used to think I was pretty good at weathering freight cars but over the last few years so many really talented folks have been redefining this art and clearly, I need to get caught up. Many modellers seem to be adopting processes to fade the paint and lettering on a car. I have a trio of SPFE R70-15 reefers in my fleet and thought one of these might be a good place to start. These cars are painted white with mostly black lettering. I tried a few small areas and a couple of different methods to attempt to polish the edges of the lettering but found that in all cases it looked more scraped than faded. Since I’d run out of polishing methods I figured I’d advance into fading the whole car shell. Using acrylics I blended a shade of white paint tinted with just the slightest of yellow tones. I liberally troweled this colour all over the car side and then with a paper towel daubed the paint back off. The finished effect leaves a nicely faded car side and I managed to pull the paint out of the crevices so it doesn’t look like the car was painted in the dip job style. I can easily see the value of this first step and look forward to getting more done on this car soon.

Big Al Mayo posted a terrific primer on weathering in this Youtube video:

Three-way planed points for N scale

This is a big one for me. Forget that it’s in N scale, I just wanted to no longer have to file the stock rail to accommodate the point blades when I handlay a turnout. I know that code 40 rail is tiny but it’s still the same profile as “real” rail so why not see how close I could get to building an N scale turnout the way the prototype does? This is only a first step but I was able to file the point blade rail into a shape that allows it to realistically fit against an un-modified stock rail. It worked well enough that I’m going to keep experimenting with this mock-up. Looking long term I want to move toward finescale standards for N scale and this feels like something that’s important to me. The next thing I need to do is develop a better hinge to connect this blade to the throw bar. Next after that is a better throw bar. Perhaps the answer to these two issues are resolved in one design solution?

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