Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Blueprints: Wellsworth Station

Wellsworth is the town on Sodor known as the stopping point at Edward's station before tackling Gordon Hill. These are measured drawings for the station buildings measured to be constructed in HO/OO Scale.

The model set built for Wellsworth was one of the first stations to premiere in the TV series of Thomas and Friends, and one of the most remembered as Edward's home from the Railway Series, the starting point for his coastal branchline to the seas at Brendam Docks. This is one of my favorite stations, and a great choice for Hornby's Scaledale and possibly even for Bachmann's new range of cast resin structures for their Thomas range!

Researching from photographs and video clips, I thought I would measure out drawings to make  the station's structures from scratch. The building seen above is the first station building, with a ticket office and waiting room. It has two floors, with a storage room in one half of the first floor for luggage, baggage equipment, and mail.

This is drawn to scale in centimeters. I like using a steel ruler to draw each measurement on the building, from the window panes to the width of the walls, using a 0.7mm technical pencil, with a Col-Erase pencil from Prismacolor for rendering the textures and shadows.

Here is the second station building with a waiting room. David Mitton's modeling team used this building without the rain canopy to double as Ffarquar station on Thomas' branch line in the TV Series. This station including Wellsworth had white windows, doors and canopies, which in newer seasons have been repainted hunter green when the cast resin model was refurbished and painted for season 6 onwards. At the back of this building, piles of ties and lumber along with tools are stored, where the track runs behind the station to Edward's big freight yard.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Blueprints: Duncan, 16mm scale, V1

Here is Duncan drawn and measured for construction!

After I designed Rusty, I drew Duncan for another possible remake in his Railway Series design, with elements from his season 5 model in 16mm scale.

I really like this design, as Duncan was one of my favorite narrow gauge characters, Rusty included. Duncan has the larger cab and his big, low windows from his season 5 cab design on "Duncan Gets Spooked, 1998" as he did in his real prototype, Douglas, the engine from the Talyllyn Railway. Duncan will be painted and even weathered in his Railway Series livery, red with blue stripes. As he works at the mines and quarries as much as he pulls his weekly passenger trains, he might have grime and dust on his paintwork, weathered in acrylics and pastels.

As I did for Prince, I'm also going to make his coupling rods move as I have drawn them, and I have figured out a way to make the mechanics move right. Looking forward to that!

Over the past few days I have seen the latest picture of Duncan for his return to the Thomas show in CGI. He looks great, having his larger cab, with his season 4 windows! I'm guessing a decision to make his running board red is from the German designs from the Andrew Barklay well tanks, which have red wheels and undercarriages. Still, I think he looks cool, and I look forward to seeing him again on the show. Cool stuff!

Blueprints: Rusty, 16mm scale

While making some measured drawings for buildings and such, I wanted to return to Rusty. As I had made him a few times before he will need an upgrade for a new model, so I gave Rusty a try!

Since Rheneas, Skarloey and Sir Handel look really good in their Railway Series liveries, Rusty is designed based on how I think he could have looked with more detail, and in his charcoal black livery. Rusty is drawn in pencil, and measured in centimeters to scale. He is in 16mm scale for large scale narrow gauge.

I studied really nice photographs of diesels built by Ruston and Hornsby, and I mixed designs from seasons 4 and 5, with his square face I really like, and even some details I had found from his CGI model. But I also had fun adding other details from the real prototype, like handrails, bolts, his shock absorbers and brake gear on his chassis, some headlights, even a shiny big horn on his cab! Every diesel needs one of those...

Just for fun, I even tried an open-cab design. There are many diesels like Rusty with no cabs, just roofs. They even have seats for the driver, the type made from cast metal found on tractors. Maybe this could be how Rusty looked when he came out of the workshops! He could have shunted trucks and helped out with the workman in the shops like Victor before he came to Sodor, which could have built his young character early in his life for the Skarloey Railway.

When made, he will be constructed with Bazzill Basics card stock and braced in balsa, glued together using white glue, crazy glue and scotch tape for tough angles and bendable parts. He will also be painted and weathered with Plaid FolkArt and Apple Barrel acrylic paints.

I believe this will be a great project. When finished he will be able to have the engine doors on his side open and close, and all of the extra detail in the drawing made on his body shell. I'm sure he'll look grand when he runs!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bachmann Duck ~ Review

Well he's finally arrived! Duck and his crew have made it to be photographed on the workshop table ready for a long awaited review.

I purchased Duck this summer, and overall he looks really good and runs well. I really appreciate how Bachmann had reached out to the fans and modelers with their comments and feedback to make Duck as he looked in the classic series.

One of the first things I did was use Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint to kill the shine from the opening of Duck's cab entrance. Then I painted and weathered his undercarriage, wheels, and footplate as dust and grime, just to add an extra touch of realism.

Next I used my pack of craft wire for tubes that run along the side of the footplate seen on the prototype. Strips of paper were wrapped around the wire for the pipe's ribbons. I might come back and do more of this later, as I felt this to be a great idea to add extra detail to Duck and some of the other engines, like the approach I take with my large scale Skarloey models, to make the engines look more realistic.

Then on to the black buffer sockets! I painted Duck's whole buffer beam, and also added a weathered piece of Lego chain, as I did for the videos I made on set for the front of the locomotives.

For serious modelers out there, I recommend adding chain-link couplings on both ends. The fine scale model supplier Scale Link makes beautifully made packs of couplings that are sprung and therefore actually quite easy to assemble. I always wanted to be able to replace the E-Z couplers and change to more realistic couplers as fine scale modelers do with their realistically crafted stock. I would love to see anyone try this with the Bachmann Thomas models.

All you would have to do is to use a pair of pliers and probably a craft knife to remove the plastic couplers, and replace them with the chain link couplers, with some glue and a little hard-setting putty for a firm fit.

I was glad Bachmann added the whistle. Although there was a deleted scene that shows a two-tone whistle instead of one, this detail looks really good on the cab. So does on of the custom-made figures I made to be mounted on the side of the cab using clay!

I am really happy with how good Duck looks. He has always been one of my favorite characters from the show, and the Hornby Duck was the first electric locomotive I got back when I was a teenager. Duck had been long awaited to arrive to the Bachmann product line of Thomas stock, and Bachmann did not disappoint! Pretty soon Duck'll be busy shunting cars and pulling trains about the yard. So will the Scottish Twins, Diesel, and the other characters that came out.

As always, Keep On Modeling!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

"Slate Quarry," Walls & Sheds

So on my desk you can see a few new things I've arranged for you to see for today... including some wooden wagons I scratch-built from balsa wood for Prince's quarry train. They have the garden ballast I use for the large-scale Lego tracks for the Skarloey Railway.

This is one of two retaining walls, made from foam-core wrapped in Bazzill Basics cardstock, and painted with Plaid FolkArt and Apple Barrel acrylic paints. I also used balsa strips for the semi-columns and the cap running on top, with strips of thicker card folded over to give the illusion of individually placed blocks.

I was also in the middle of making an open-aired shed for this scale, so it could be in the slate quarry sidings and other scenes. It will have the A-frames and roof, shingled in card for the corrugated metal roof, and painted green and weathered.