Friday, March 2, 2018

Recycled Tank Cars On The Layout

As was typical in areas near railroad tracks in the 1950s, there are several recycled freight cars on the layout, including tank cars. I use these recycled tank cars as the focal point of various mini-scenes.


All of the tank cars were purchased at swap meets for a few dollars or less and then weathered as one might expect for a recycled car. Weathering consisted of dry-brushed paints, weathering powders and washes made from diluted paints and alcohol/weathering powder solutions.


The one heavily rusted tank car (below) was an experiment in which I spread a layer of glue on the car body and then sprinkled on rottenstone. I then coated the surface with rust colored weathering powder.


Rottenstone is weathered limestone mixed with various forms of silica. Also known as "tripoli", it is a fine powdered porous rock used as a polishing abrasive for metal and wood finishing. It has applications similar to pumice.


As used on this tank car body the rust effect is extreme and maybe a bit overdone.


Details were added to complete the scenes. I have boxes of detail parts so there always a lot of choices to for finishing each mini-scene.


Below are photos of these mini-scenes.

Monday, February 5, 2018

On-Line Industry: Genco Oilve Oil Company

The inspiration for this on-line industry was the Godfather movie series. Genco was formed by Vito Corleone in the 1920s. It was a front for the family's criminal activities and was named after his childhood friend and consigliere, Genco Abbandando. It eventually grew to become the largest olive-oil importer in the nation.


The brick Genco building on my Citrus Belt Railway is the New York company’s Southern California warehouse and distribution center. Genco is a good railroad customer, consistently receiving boxcar loads of canned and bottled olive oil... and sacks of cement. They occasionally ship out loads of oil drums filled with what probably is just trash.


The building logo was copied from the Internet, printed on very thin paper and glued to the building.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Even Basic Weathering Mkes A Difference

These Atlas tank cars are not quite as good as some of the Tangent Warren tank cars I own, however, at $8.00 each I could not resist. I just wanted to show how a basic weathering job can make such a difference by comparing "before" and "after" side by side.

I've been on a mission to weather all the rolling stock on my layout, even if just slightly. As I model 1956 any cars with a build date of 1956 or late 1955 receive just a tad of weathering. All cars receive painted wheel faces and truck frames and that alone make a real visual difference.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Load Of Scrap

I recently purchased a cast scrap load for an HO scale 65-foot Athearn gondola. I was going to do a pipe load but when I saw the scrap casting I knew it had possibilities.


As purchased the casting was painted a solid rust color. Every item in the casting had the exact same color, which is not very realistic given the dissimilarities of the individual scrap pieces.


So to bring this casting to life all I had to do was to paint the individual scrap pieces with about nine different colors of acrylic and enamel paints, add some crusted rust washes to a few pieces and give the overall casting a dusting with several weathering powders. Very simple stuff.


Take a look at the difference between the before and after photos.

Another Boxcar Acquisition

Over the past two years I have been reducing my fleet of HO scale freight cars. Well over a hundred cars have been given new homes and another large group are being weathered for eventual sale on E-Bay.


I like the more accurate, better detailed freight cars that have come to market in recent years and that is what I moderation.


I tend to purchase a car if it represents something notable and a recent buy is just that. I bought an Accurail West India Fruit & Steamship Company boxcar. Seemingly this would be a bit out of place on my Southern California theme layout. But maybe not.


First, a little about the company. The West India Fruit & Steamship Company operated a railcar ferry service between the Port of Palm Beach, Florida, and Havana, Cuba, from 1946 until worsening relations with the Castro government resulted in a trade embargo by the United States in 1960. I model 1956 so no problem. The company had boxcars and refrigerator cars in its fleet.


Upon further research I discovered that the company also ferried freight cars to New Orleans. By the middle 1950s, up to eighty railroad cars each way per day were being transferred between the United States and Cuba. Inbound freight to the U.S. included tobacco, refined sugar, pineapples, rum, tomatoes, slaughterhouse byproducts, and scrap metal. Cuban bound freight included less-than-carload merchandise, manufactured goods, chemicals, lard, railway equipment, temperate zone fruit such as apples, pears, and grapes, meat, dairy, steel products, and machinery.


These cars traveled all over. Here are photos of boxcars WIF 321 and WIF 106 in Vancouver, British Columbia:




And more research determined their freight cars did indeed travel to Southern California. I even found a photograph of one of their cars in Los Angeles at a Southern Pacific yard:



The boxcar (WIF 233) is just behind the two tank cars. Also notice the Canadian Pacific eight-hatch meat reefer (CP 283285) to the right.


So this gave me a reason to purchase the Accurail car. (Accurail no longer produces this car but they are available on E-Bay and elsewhere.) Now all I have to do is figure out some justifiable loads for this car in order to integrate into my operations.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Steve Mahan's Pacific Coast Lines

The February 2018 issue of Model Railroader has major coverage of Steve Mahan's 42 foot by 57 foot HO scale layout in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. The article is by Eric White with photos by Steve Crise.


Steve's layout has never been on one of the Model Railroads of Southern California layout tours. I had Steve scheduled for Tour #9 (February 2008) but he had to withdraw.


I did operate on his layout once and it was a very good experience. Things ran well and there was a good flow to the session. I placed over twenty pictures of scenes which I took in 2008 and 2009 on my Model Railroads of Southern California group:



Pictures of citrus modeling scenes appear on my Railroad Citrus Modeling Group group here:



This is a beautiful layout so be sure and see it on MR.


Bob Chaparro

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Boxcar Weathering Project

This is another weathering project where I used a tool for the first time.


The project started with an Athearn HO scale Hi-Cube boxcar. After painting the truck frames and wheel faces I sprayed the body with a flat finish. I then applied some Tamiya masking tape over the car initials and numbers. This tape comes in several sizes that are the right sizes for various HO scale car numbers and initials.


The next step was to weather the roof with rust spots. For an applicator I used, for the first time, a piece of an aquarium fish tank sponge filter. The filter came through Amazon and measured 13" x 5" x 1.5". This will produce a lot of applicators.


The technique I used was to paint just a little rust color on the applicator with a brush, being careful not to completely cover the surface of the applicator. I then tested the rust pattern on some white paper. When I was satisfied that there was just the right amount of paint on the applicator I hit the roof randomly, repeating when I needed more "rust".


I painted additional rust along the center of the car roof with a brush and sprinkled on some rust colored weathering powders. The sides of the car were treated with just the applicator. I finished the weathering with several shades of weathering powders applied with a makeup brush.


I am satisfied that the sponge filter applicator is good tool for rendering rust spots and probably will use it many more times. The rust spots could have been streaked if I had immediately gone over them by dragging a brush in a downward motion but I chose not to do that this first time. Maybe next time.