Monday, August 22, 2011

Scratchbuilding Craziness and more

Well there is less than two weeks until the Steel Mill Modelers Meet in Maryland and as usual I'm way behind getting anything completed for the event. Even though there is some time left, between work and other obligations I won't end up being able to do much more than get my Foundry presentation ready and maybe a few odds and ends. My son has been doing a bit better with his blast furnace model. He recently purchased the Walthers Blast Furnace kit with the intention of building it as the centerpiece of the Free-mo module. Not being able to really transport at once any more modules than we already have, I gave him the two cement plant modules to use for his steel mill. As much as I wanted to model it, the cement plant was turning into a distraction and he will do much better with the module I would think. The configuration of the two has turned out to beideal for positioning the blast furnace, with some additional track work to the one module. He is also considering putting a BOF on the extra module real estate.

A few neat products to talk about -

Now I've been accused of obsessing about detail too much at times, but how about this - HO scale individual bricks. I mean, if I want to model the #2 Machine Shop at Bethlehem exactly, why not start at the ground and work up one brick at a time?No, not that crazy, but the bricks will make some nice detailing throughout my mill. They are made by a German company named Juwella and are actually real ceramic.

Another product from overseas - Vallejo paints. I've talked about these before - probably the best model paints I have ever used andthey are relatively cheap - $3 a tube and the bottles are squeeze tubes so you only put out as many drops as you need. Well they now have a line called model Air that are just for airbrush painting - you can just dispense a few drops right into the cup of your air brush and go to town. They dry almost immediately and spray well. It's amazing how fast you can change up colors not having to worry about thinning things.

Also from this manufacturer, a Grey Pumice putty type material. It is some sort of acrylic resin with grit infused in it. Jimmy was trying the traditional ballast method to add some skull to bottle cars when I remembered buying this product to try just that some time ago. It works like a charm and the skull looks great.


Anonymous said...

Where did you get the bricks?Is there a website or any other contact info?

Jim Musser said...

I purchased them from a store in Magnolia, NJ - I have periodic rants about this place but keep going back there for things like this. They are a national hobby distributor and I think I bought a sample, the one and only HO one. If they decide to carry the line they will have more but otherwise I would email the company and maybe they could find a way for you to get some. The packaging these things come in is strange - a corrugated foil box with the company name embossed in script - almost looks like it should contain makeup or perfume.