On my next module, I wanted to control turnouts manually using something like the commercial levers pictured below. Then I found out what they cost. When I started breathing again, I sat down and worked out an inexpensive alternative using old SPST toggle switches and some brass stock.
Thursday, October 7, 2021
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
My paper model of a New Bedford Whaleboat is featured in the Reader Gallery of the September 2021 issue of FineScale Modeler. The hull and sails of the model are from Fiddler's Green. Almost everything else is scratch built. The editor's photo caption calls the model a "showstopper." Wowie! Zowie!
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Several years ago, I started repainting FlyModel's C-47 kit as a World War II era Lisunov Li-2. The US provided hundreds of C-47s to Russia under Lend-Lease. The Russians built C-47s under license. The Lisunov Aircraft Factory built a near-identical knock-off, and never acknowledged that it was an American design. The Li-2D I'm modeling was a WWII paratroop transport and glider tug. Some of the Li-2s were fitted out as transport/bombers or photo recon ships. Like the DC-3 in the US, the Li-2 became a mainstay of post-war Russian civil aviation.
After I finished repainting and printing the kit for my father's C-47, I went back and looked at the Li-2 repaint. It was nearly finished. So I have now finished it, except for a few bits that will have to be repainted during the assembly process, and my plan is to build the two in parallel. Together, they should make an interesting display.
"Repainting" the two kits was done in Photoshop Elements. For the C-47, that meant painting out the invasion stripes and changing the squadron and aircraft markings. For the Li-2, it involve all of that plus adding camouflage and Russian insignia, and modifying several components to match photos.
Printing will be a tedious process because the original sheets are 16x11 inches and my printer can only handle letter and legal size cardstock. So l'll have to use Photoshop to slice up the pages and rearrange parts to fit my printer.
Saturday, July 17, 2021
It took me a week of scanning, scaling, repainting (in Photoshop), and printing the FlyModel paper kit, but I finally have a 1/33-scale paper kit of my father's C-47. Now it's time to start building.
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Friday, June 11, 2021
My friend Bob Kremer, a superb plastic car modeler, is building a model for me of one of my dream cars -- a 1934 Ford four-door sedan. In return, I'm building for him a 1/25-scale garage diorama to display and photograph his amazingly realistic car models. This is a new scale for me, nearly four times the size of my RR structures, but it's been interesting and fun.
Sunday, May 30, 2021
This is another laser-cut wood kit from FOS's Kit-of-the-Month Club (KOTMC). It was a nice little three-evening project. I painted the walls grey, then sponge-painted them white. Doors and windows were painted grey and sponge-painted green. The large sign was applied following FOS's instructions and weathered with light sponge painting and dry brushing.
The loading platform railings and supports looked almost too delicate at first, but with careful handling, they were fine. Laser cutting has come a long way. I painted the platform engine black and dry-brushed it with rust.
For the tarpaper roof, I substituted planking and tarpaper texture sheets from Paper Creek (no longer in business), with each row of tarpaper applied separately.
My only complaint was the hoist: the kit put the upright too close to the building. I substituted a longer cross-beam on the hoist to make room for a truck to back into that space. I stained the hoist beams with my alcohol-&-leather-dye weathering "goop."
The KOTMC kits are delightful little projects that can be built as is or kitbashed into larger structures. They are also a great way to learn and practice new techniques.