I've finally added as much plaster cloth as I expect I'll need, and have moved on to priming the base before painting it. Priming made it look unfamiliar, but also like I've actually *done* something. No more odd mix of pink foam, black artboard and white plaster cloth.
The painter tape on the track serves as motivation to keep moving on this layout. I don't want to lay down and take up the tape again and again, so I want to do as much work requiring the tape as I can (plaster cloth, priming, painting, adding turf, etc. It's made me move much faster, so I can get back to playing with trains.
A favorite animated film of mine is "The Man Who Planted Trees". In it, a man spends a lifetime planting trees, and in different ways, affecting thousands of lives by doing so. I likely will not affect thousands of lives, but I have spent the last couple of sunny afternoons planting trees on my layout. The result:
I am a bit timid about certain things, making changes to my layout among them. I note that my previous blog entry said I painted the layout was in July and now in November I can finally say I have taken the next step.
This past weekend, at GTE (Puyallup, WA), I brought my mountain layout, a bottle of Woodland Scenics turf powder, a bottle of white glue, and a spray bottle. On Saturday, just as I was starting an inconsequential corner of the layout, Jacob, the son of the folks running a neighboring layout came over, asking what I was doing, and could he help (I felt like Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence). Once I showed him what I wanted to do, he was at it like a wild man. In under 45 minutes, my "chocolate" mountain was replete with turf. Jacob approached the task with a concentrated abandon. The result was that we had to spend about half the time it took to add turf to clean up powder from the table, the floor, and spots on the layout that didn't get the prepatory glue. The latter was actually an advantage, as it left some bare spots where the raw earth poked through the turf - just like the real thing.
Jacob going to town:
By the following day, the glue was dry enough that my Sounder commuter train was making a special Sunday run:
(Next task: asking Becky Thatcher to the dance!)
Passengers in MTL Empire Builder dome cars
By Mike Scully
Step 1: paint passengers on sprue.
This is my project to add passengers to the provided seats in the MTL dome cars, Great Northern Empire Builder, in my case. The first step is to paint the passengers (except their heads) on the sprues. Lessons learned: a) Testor enamels go on thick with too large a brush, b) enamels are also quite shiny, c) a small sheet of shipping-box cardboard serves well as a base in which to stick Preiser sprues while painting.
Step 2: paint the seats.
Second step is to paint the seats. As one who has broken equipment in the past, I was worried the dome would only come off after being pried open, leaving pry marks. The domes actually come off easily. Like when painting the people, I learned enamel needs to be applied with the smallest brush possible. After taking this picture, I was made aware that the seats have *edges*, which have since been painted.
Step 3: All aboard!
Step 3 involves putting the passengers in the seats. Preiser passengers are to scale, but the seats in the domes are a bit low, and thus the passengers must have thier legs raised to fit. They can be squeezed in, but my other two cars will be done with passengers' feet removed for a better fit. The first shot was taken with flash (which emphasizes any errors), the second without.
Step 4: restore the dome.
The last step is to restore the dome to its rightful place. I'll likely go back in to paint the heads of my passengers on this car (and I'll do so before "sealing them in" on my other two dome cars). But I'm happy with the result.
Passengers in MTL EB dome cars how to was written by Mike Scully in June 2009. This article has been assembled in order by the following links. Simply cut and paste the following links into your web browser to follow up on any additional comments, suggestions, or to view the larger images.