Sunday, September 17, 2017

Spring Time

So a little birdie in the Toosdy Niters group sent out a reminder that Aldi had some nifty items available for last Saturday. Sooo one just had to pop in on their way to the train club.

So I am now the owner of two of the Multipurpose Supports as they call 'em. 

After reading the papers and entertaining some visitors for coffee in the morning, it was time to do something - assemble the Lego kit. Didn't take long at all, well it wouldn't have if I hadn't played the clumsy and dropped the dang washers and nuts all the time. Just in case, I wore my overalls and steel cap safety boots! Also, only 2 tools required... 3 if you count me I suppose (got in before ya Scooter!)

These will come handy for the day I start the layout, now won't they?  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Figures... A Day Late

Figures!  The day after I did my sand blasting, the spray booth I had ordered decides to turn up.

So today we see the booth. I got one of these online from a mob down Sydney way for 95 bucks delivered. Got here in one piece and here we see the bits and pieces.

You get the booth which folds up neatly into a small suitcase of itself and then you get the three or so pieces that make up the exhaust tubing. The whole thing uses a 240 volt computer type fan in the back as the suction power. It comes with a short lead and the Aussi 3 prong plug on the end.

There are two layers of filter fiber in front of the fan to filter out the debris and paint or whatever you want. They say it has a capacity of about 3 cubic metres throughput per minute, which I reckon might just be about right for the sand blasting gadget I have as the fact that my compressor only has an output of 1.6 cubic feet per minute continuous also means that the portable airbrush spray booth should well and truly do the job. 

The booth should also be right for the airbrush I also have since I use the same compressor.

I suppose time will tell. Oh, and I only expect to use this setup outside anyway, since I don't fancy punching holes in my old car garage - maybe when the shed gets in use I can setup a proper spray area there and set the exhaust through the wall.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dirty Job for a nice Autumn Day

A while back I bought myself a "Blackridge Mini Air Sand Blaster Kit" from Supercheap Auto. They were on special at the time for about 20 bucks or so against the current regular price of about 55 fun tickets and you can see them from time to time at the special price, so just keep an eye out for it.

I ran mine from my little compressor which is only capable of about 25-30 psi at continuous use, which is at the lower end of the range to use the blaster, with 30-60 being what they advise. I had good results at the lower pressure though, but could see where at times higher umph would be good.

Since the unit only came with a small container, 150 gm, of grit to use, I needed to get some more before I started anything. Supercheap do nut sell this fine grit, so I hunted some down and ordered some online from a mob called Aussie Sapphire Lapidary Warehouse out at Glen Innes in NSW. The original grit with the blaster was 240, so from the lapidary mob I got a kilogram each of the 220, 400 and 600 grade Silicon Carbide grit. At 10, 11 and 15 bucks a kilo plus 5 bucks per kg postage, I was very happy with the pricing. Their service was also very fast and it was only days later the little postman was delivering my package.

So here we see the original grit and the three new ones. Oh, and DO NOT OPEN INSIDE THE HOUSE. I did and the kitchen bench took ages to clean afterwards. The 600 grit in particular goes absolutely everywhere.

Messy. It is messy. Luckily I was playing around outside in my pergola and could hose it off after playing around. I am awaiting a delivery of a small modellers airbrush station with  a venting fan and will see if it can control the mess, but I think outdoors is best so far. Here is my setup for the day with grit all over it and my hand all covered in very fine glittering grit.

So carrying on from my last blogs about using the Frosted Glass can of paint to weather some wagons, I grabbed the duplicate untouched wagons I still had and gave them a bit of a blast. I practiced with some other items around the place first and have found that I like the 400 grit. 240 is also good and the 600 a lot too fine for me as it tends to clump. So with a full tank of 400 grit I attacked the wagons making sure to not go too heavy on plain painted surfaces - decals got a bit more attention and the paint just a going over.

Here is a blasted wagon on the left and an as purchased wagon on the right for comparison.

The process is fast and does dull the paintwork nicely. Decals fade out very nicely too. I do like it. You just have to make sure to get a stiff fine brush to get all the loose grit and dust off the wagon when done.

Here are the three wagons I did. You can see on the green BC Rail wagon that I was getting through the paint a bit too much inside the decals at the top right.

So here we have a comparison of the grit blasted wagons on the left and the original wagons on the right.

And here are the grit blasted wagons on the left compared to the Frosted Glass painted wagons on the right.

Oh, and for completeness, here are the spaceships, I mean bogies, with grit blasted on the left and Frosted Glass painted on the right.

So all up - I say it was very successful and another weapon in the arsenal of weathering.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

There's Klingons on the starboard bow

After I got Captain Kirk back on track, I had all six bogies from my three boxcars ready for some weathering with that Frosted Glass spray paint.

First up I used two thin strips of masking tape to hold the bogies to a strip of plywood. As well as holding the bogies down the tape was protecting the axle bearing caps of the bogies so they wouldn't get clogged up with paint.

Once taped down, another strip of masking tape was then used to cover the couplers as they also had springs in them are are quite delicate looking and I bet a coat or two of paint would stop them working.

I gave the bogies four swishes of paint. So there was a left and right pass of the bogie sides and then one angled at each end. The end result is a very nicely grayed and dirty bogie. See them here compared to some unpainted ones.

Last but not least - a hint. When you drop your can of paint in warm water, make sure it is just that... warm and not hot. It would appear that my "washing up" warm is tooo hot. All was well until I removed the paint from the "warm" water and started shaking it extremely vigorously. When the ball bearing inside started to really pound around I heard a pop, then another. When I look at the can, the bottom was like this, so I reckon the pressure was a tad high. Next time I will just keep to warm and not too warm - and based on the usage data, that is below about 40 degrees.

I'm Fading Fast

So in my last update I showed how a friend was doing some fast weathering and I started testing the same process for myself. 

Here is a quick look at what the boxcars looked like after their first spray, which was a swish swish, from left to right of the spray can and then right to left - so swish, swish. In the mix I have untouched wagons for comparison. Hence in each photo, the lower of a pair of similar wagons will be the original untouched one.

I have now added some more coats of the "Frosted Glass" spray paint. First up I gave a second coat, swish swish, of paint to the wagons and then let them dry of a couple of hours while reading some railway related books. Here are the wagons after that second coat.

Because the paint dries within minutes, at least to handling stage, I don't think I needed to wait that long, but what the heck I say. So after the third coat, here they are.

So here are the three different passes side by side. From left to right we have single swish swish and far right is the three swish swish's. Based on that you will deduce that the middle would probably be the two swish swish's...

I think the three double passes of paint should just about do it at this stage. Next I'll have to have a look at the bogies and dust them up a bit I reckon. But that's another time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Recommendation for Weathering from a Friend

Weathering of wagons. I am always on the lookout for simple, and this one fits nicely.

So first up I had to make some tools to help me out.

Materials used:
  18 mm x 18 mm x 75 mm Pine wood (6 pcs)
  6 cm x 15 cm ply which was 6 mm thick (6 pcs)
  1 x 32 mm wood screw (6 pces)
  1 x can of Dy-Mark 325g Frosted Glass Decorative Spray (available from Bunnings at $13.90 a can)

The 18 mm is the critical bit as that very nicely fitted into my N scale Athearn boxcars - tight squeeze, after I removed the running gear of course. The ply I already had around as it was offcuts from a previous job somewhere. So I just cut it into the 15 cm lengths as about right in my mind.

I drilled a hole pretty much centre of each piece of ply - and yes, I even marked the centre by measurement! Might as well do it right I suppose.

I then countersunk one side of each hole and then drilled a smaller diameter hole in one end of each piece of pine. A screwdriver and a few turns of the screw head and they were neatly locked in place.

I now have a half dozen stands to paint boxcars on.

All while this was happening, I had my can of paint soaking in a bucket of quite warm water (washing up temperature at a guess). This thins out the paint a bit and makes it flow a bit better. Every now and then a good shake to mix it all up and by the end of the woodwork, I was ready.

So by spreading out the bottom of the boxcar shell just a tad, they fitted onto the posts I had just made. 

From about 10 or 12 inches away I gave two passes of just one side of each boxcar, starting 6 inches the left of the boxcar and moving the can to about 6 inches past the boxcar. This tries to eliminate sudden surge or splash of paint on the car body. I only did one side as this is a test and I will then be able to compare my work and see how it came out with the unpainted side. Well actually, I have two of each wagon and I'll be doing something else later on as well... you will see.

Stay tuned as I progress with a few more passes and we'll see how it all comes out. I will then do a comparison with sand blasted boxcars (got your attention, haven't I). On the left we have an original boxcar and the right one has the twin coat of paint on it - still not dried properly. Time will tell.

Oh, and by the way, the spray idea has come from a mate - Rob McLear out at Kingaroy. He reckons up to 8 coats or less for various rates of dirtying of the paintwork on your wagons. Just after the two coats so far it has both slightly dulled the paintwork and also added a layout of fine dirt or duct colour - I like it.

So until next time.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

After Hours

I came across this channel the other day whilst browsing the piles of channels I now have access to since I recently upgraded our Foxtel cable TV. It is of course railway related. The channel is ch 656 "NHK World" and the program is called "Japan Railway Journal".

What an interesting half hour program - I am quite taken with it, as it is different. So a bit of looking around and I find there is a website for this:

So if you don't have Foxtel, you can actually watch for free on your PC each week or whenever it comes on. You can also see last week’s episode as well, as they keep it available for a week before the next one comes out. Oh and by the way, if you have an Android or Apple tablet or decent phone, you can download an app and watch the current show and the past weeks one on them.

BUT, I have also found that some busy little beaver has actually uploaded the whole 27 episodes (so far) of the series to YouTube. So you can watch all the episodes in one sitting if you like and all for free. So here is the list I have made of all the episodes on YouTube for you. But keep going back every now and then as they are making more with another coming out in the new few days.

Episode                               Title
1 The Railway Revival: 4 Years after the Great Earthquake
2 The New Shinkansen: Technology and Economic Effects
3 Isumi Railway: There's Nothing Here!
4 Diesel Hybrid Trains: Japan's World Leading Technology
5 Battery Hybrid Trains: Development of the Global Technology
6 Japan's Subway Technology in High Density Operation
7 The Secret of Operating Preserved Steam Locomotives
8 Special Preview - Hokkaido Shinkansen: Hopes and Challenges
9 Yamanote Line: The Green Rotating Heart of Tokyo
10 Seven Stars in Kyushu: The Local Revitalizing Cruise Train
Second Chances for Used Trains in Southeast Asia
Earthquake Safety: What 5 Years has Taught Us
13 Superconducting Maglev: The Extreme Speeds of Tomorrow
14 Ekiben: A True Rail Traveling Companion
15 Premium Express Shimakaze: A Train of Dreams to Reality
16 The Cat Stationmaster Who Rescued a Railway
17 New Generation Express: Journey to Speed and Comfortability
18 The Future of Rail Freight Transport
19 Light Rail Vehicles: Modern Trams Reshaping Urban Transit
20 Kyoto Railway Museum: The Story of Rail Transport in Japan
21 Keikyu: The Strive for World-Class Rail Operation
22 World-Class Maintenance: The Backbone of Shinkansen Operations
23 Railways Back on Track: Six Months after the Kumamoto Earthquakes
24 Future Prospects Made in the Past
25 Picking Up the Pace: JR Shikoku's Tactics for Survival
26 The Seeds of Success: Kyoto's Sagano Scenic Railway
27 Turning Problems into Opportunities: The Tsugaru Railway's Strategy