Wednesday, January 27, 2010


This past weekend I spent a little bit of time working on some structure kits. Mainly painting. Having insufficient funds to procure the amount of turnouts I need for the next phase of track laying, there’s not a whole lot I can do besides work on these old structure kits.

After doing some painting I decided that I would drag out the umbrella lights and take some nice pics (well, actually I got the lights out to take some pics of my Macs, but I digress).

Here’s the first building, very much a work in progress. It’s basically a little shop. It’s molded in brown, which I must say is a ridiculous color to mold things in. However, this may work to my advantage.


I’m trying to paint it a brick red color. I chose a dark red acrylic. I’ve been painting over the brown and finding the brown shines through a little bit, making a mud-brick look. I’m not exactly sure if I like it or not…will have to think about it.

The second building is one of Grandt Line’s “Company Houses.” It’s intended to represent the company-owned homes that were everywhere in the Appalachian country.


One thing I have learned is that macro photos certainly make all your blemishes stand out like a sore thumb! I clearly need to do some touching up with the paint on the edges of the roof and the foundation. I wasn’t exactly sure what color to paint the roof. It’s clearly made of wood shingles. If I had any, I would use some stick-on paper shingles. But I don’t, so I opted for a dark brown. You can still see the brush strokes, but I think with a little weathering chalk it will look fine.

Next on the to-do list is to install window “Glass” in all the windows and glue the entire thing together. I will probably come up with some sort of interior, too, so that when you look into the windows you actually see something—and not just out the other window.

While I’m on the subject of structures: I’ve realized that building structures is one of the FIRST things you should do when planning a model railroad, rather than the last. I suppose I first realized this by following and his layout builds. He always builds all the structures first. I’m quickly finding that this is the way it should be done.

When the structures are built first, you have something tangible to put on the pink foam plains, which helps with track design. You can plan out how you want a city or industry to look and design your track to fit it—rather than vice versa.

I suppose it’s more prototypical in some cases, as well. Industries, etc, may have already existed, and tracks were laid around it.

Clearly, then I have a lot of structure buying and building to do. Considering I’m broke and have no hobby shop locally…maybe I should give scratch building a try?

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