All work on the layout stopped as I had to get a passenger car ready to go to the custom painter. It is a model of the Queen Mary, an open ended observation that was used up until the end of steam, so it is appropriate for the layout. The importer, Precision, added two large ice hatches on the roof. Unfortunately, the car did not have these so they had to be removed and the roof patched. I rolled some brass to the curve of the roof and then cut the patches to match the large holes. They are now soldered in place and some body putty added to fill any gaps in the opening.
The putty has been sanded off and the patch looks okay. I have to re-scribe the seams that the roof has between the roof panels. Rivets will be added using the Archer decal rivets.
Here is the car ready for the painter. It needs marker lights and a drip strip along the rear section of the roof. He will add that.
Back to the layout. I had Mt. Albert Scale Lumber cut me 350 basswood ties in a scale dimension for our bridge over the aisle so I did not have to mess with that. I now have to stain the ties a deep black to represent creosoted ties on the bridge across the aisle that we were working on.
I used Minwax ebony stain and soaked them twice to get the deep color. They look pretty good and I have plenty. They are much deeper than a standard tie as they are used on a bridge
So, here is the bridge. It is the Overland Pin Connected Truss that was made in China some years ago. Just looking at all the members tells me this will be a royal pain to paint. It should look lacey when you walk underneath it though!
Once I removed the walkway, which had to be done to allow you to put track on it, I also had to un-solder the brackets that were used to hold the walkway on. The ties would not sit evenly if I did not do that as you can see the bracket goes over the girder. So, they were removed and put with the walkway in the box the bridge came in.
Now, I have to set the bridge in a position in front of the paint hood to be able to spray it.
So, I took a couple of large boxes and stacked them in front of the hood. The hood creates a strong enough vacuum to draw the fumes out of the house even though I am spraying outside of the hood.
I have to do several coats to get every thing covered given the many angles and members. In the end I put on 4 coats and I then had to use a brush to get inside the girders to paint that area since one can see in from below. The bridge is now drying and I have to strart making the track section to span about 5 feet.
We also conducted two clinics on weathering with Alan Balma, Jim Mucka and Ed Rappe on a some cold days. Each brought over a couple of cars and we put on washes of dark brown and rust and then sprayed grime and road dust on the cars to blend everything. They came out nice and the guys are excited to try the techniques that Lee Turner had showed me. These were my first and second hands on clinic and I have another scheduled for next week as well.
And here is shot of why I do all the work. My grandson Wade was so excited and happy about running some trains as he sends a train up the westbound grade towards Northumberland. It is a leased Reading T1 that he is controlling and he just loves it!