Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Westerfield I-GN Boxcar

As I was sorting and packing some of the smaller items that reside in various small plastic containers, I came across the decals for a Westerfield International Great Northern 40-foot single sheathed boxcar that I'd built almost two years ago.
Having no idea how the decals ended up separated from the car, and knowing full well that it would happen again if I didn't take drastic measures, I opted to spend a pleasant hour or so this past Sunday evening getting the decals on one side of the car. Side #2 has since been completed.
For the record, and my reference, the car was painted with a base coat of Vallejo "Boxcar Red" sold by Micro-Mark. The Vallejo labels reveals they refer to this color as "Rust." The paint was allowed to dry completely (although the 26 months this paint dried may have been excessive!) before I hit the model with an airbrushed coat of Future clear acrylic (or whatever they're calling it this week).  
When this photo was taken I hadn't yet "snuggled"* the decals in place, which is why there's so much decal film showing.
When I decal a car I like to leave it on the modeling desk for a week or so - every evening I'll add another application of Microscale setting solution. After a few days of this most of the film disappears. The next step will be another coat of gloss, followed by a coat of clear flat.
Sharp-eyed freight car fanatics will note this car is lettered to reflect lettering styles that predate my typical 1950s roster. 
No further comment on that at this time.  

*When I was on the Model Railroader staff we were always debating the best way to describe of process of softening decals using settling solution to get them to conform to the various details, ridges, rivets and the like. Somehow, someone (likely Jim Kelly, it sounds like something he'd come up it!) suggest the term "snuggling" the decals....it stuck.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Don Mitchell's Southern Mountain Railroad blog

Some of you may recognize the name Don Mitchell from the pages of Model Railroader. Don published many innovative layout designs over the years. The first time I met Don he took Christine and I on a behind the scenes tour of the La Mesa Tehachapi Pass layout (incidentally, Don was involved in the design of that railroad and is still an active member of the club), followed by wonderful early dinner and tour of Coronado Island during which we discussed model railroading (Don was one of John Allen's friends, and regularly operated on the Gorre & Daphetid), the Navy, food and cooking, and a wide range of other topics.
I've fallen out of touch with Don over the last decade or so, but was thrilled to discover he's been posting about his home layout on the Model Railroad Hobbyist blog over the last year or so. 
There's numerous thoughtful insights on layout design, composition, and interesting operations throughout this thread, so instead of trying to summarize, I'll merely direct you to his Southern Mountain Railroad posts on the Model Railroad Hobbyist blog here