Monday, October 26, 2015

XTRA 471

This post is something of a work in progress. This is one of the set of photos that inspired my "Williams Creek" bridge scene. It's been something of an ongoing project to identify each of the cars in this train with the idea of modeling them.
I've managed to ID most of them - but believe I may have misidentified the boxcar in the second photo partially obscured by the bush. At first look I saw the Roman style "L &" (all that's readable in the photo, though there is clearly another single letter after the "&") and figured this might be an Louisville & Nashville car, perhaps one of the L&N's rebuilt cars with "reverse" Murphy ends. This seemed entirely logical. L&N didn't have a huge boxcar fleet, but it was a fairly substantial one, and entirely likely to show up in a wayfreight in south-central New England.
But closer examination shows the car has a flat end and a pronounced seam at the top of the end creating the appearance of a triangle on the top of the end. I couldn't identify a class of L&N boxcars that looked like the rest of the car with that style end. One group of cars with this end were the 1932 ARA boxcars. But which of those would have "L &" as the reporting marks.
The true freight car experts already have the answer of course. And, after doing a little more digging this weekend I'm now of the opinion this is a much more rare (considering sheer numbers) Louisiana & Arkansas 1932 ARA boxcar. As built these cars had a block, almost Gothic style lettering with the roadname spelled out above the reporting marks.
This one doesn't have the roadname and the lettering is clearly Roman. Which means this is the second scheme these cars wore, with the "L&A" and car number to the left of the door and a Kansas City Southern herald to the right of the door. 
I know Atlas makes a 1932 ARA boxcar - and even made one in this scheme. 
Guess who can't find one of those anywhere??

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tree color mixes

From my "Modeling the October Scene" clinic that I presented at the Cocoa Beach RPM meet and again at the NMRA National in Portland, Ore.
Some of the color combinations I use to flock the fall trees. They are arranged by basic color group (green, red, etc…)
Left side shows the basic material I use. Then the color that's added as a "highlight" color. To the right you can see the result when combined. 
Note I do NOT "dunk" the tree armatures in the flocking material. I apply adhesive (usually thinned matte medium, though I've used hairspray in a pinch) and hold the tree upright and sprinkle the material from the top down. I don't try for 100% coverage - I try to let some of the fine branch tips remain bare to create the appearance of a tree that has changed color and shed some, but not all, of its leaves.