Saturday, 20 January 2018

Chain Link Fence Again

Some months back I was showing some chain link fence made by Plastruct that I had put on the layout. The Plastruct fence seems a bit over-scale, and I mentioned back then that I also had some chain link made by Walthers, but hadn't used it yet.

The Walthers kit says on the box that it will make 80 inches of fence.  I envisioned that there would be a roll of fence material about 80 inches long, plus a bunch of fence posts, etc. I thought this would be just great because one of the sections of fencing I'd like to put on the layout would be something like 56 inches in length.

But, what you get in the Walthers kit is more like a sheet of mesh for the fencing, which you must then cut to the correct height to match the height of the posts.  I found this to be a lot easier said than done, as the mesh tended to stretch as my fresh Xacto blade ran over it. This stretching made the cut uneven, so I had to try again. My second try had a much better result, although I wouldn't call it perfect by any means.

Also in the box, you get several pieces of steel wire, probably about .020" diameter, and about 8 inches long for use as the top and bottom chords of the fence.  The wire pieces are to be glued together end to end and then cut at whatever overall length you find appropriate, and then glued to the fence posts. I felt like I was fighting through this project the whole time. I guess that's why we call it modeling.  The top and bottom chords came out nowhere near straight, and the mesh isn't quite straight either.

I'm glad that my fence installation is going in an area of town that is pretty run down. I painted the finished fence with a couple colours of rust, and it actually fits in to the overall scene quite well despite the troubles I had putting it together.

Here's the Walters kit, and what it includes.  There's a 2nd sprue of fence posts that I somehow missed including in the 2nd picture.  You have to look closely at the top of the 2nd picture to see the fence mesh that's supplied. Also shown is the steel wire top and bottom fence rails.

Here is my first of the Walthers fencing installed on the layout. It fits in well in the derelect area of the layout. I still have more fencing to build and install.

I do like the gauge of the mesh much better than the Plastruct product, and the fence posts are much nicer looking too. I'm going to try to find some music wire to use for the top and bottom chords of the fence, as I feel that might be a lot easier to keep straight than the short pieces that come with Walthers kit.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Layout Extension #005

Just a little bit of further progress to report along the extension today. Over on the right hand side of the street, I've added the gravel shoulder and static grass. The CN boxcar is blocking the view in these pictures, but I've put in ballast along the siding track that runs into/under the industrial building as well.  Progress is progress.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Weathering Wednesday #10-B (It's Thursday)

So while I was posting to the blog yesterday, I was noticing that the silver window frames on the B&O caboose looked a bit shinier than I thought they should.  So, here's a similar shot of the caboose after I've gone over the frames with a couple of thin washes of black acrylic to dull them down a bit. This only took a couple of minutes, and the difference is pretty subtle, but it's there.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Weathering Wednesday #10

Here we have an Athearn caboose, decorated as B&O C-3934.  This one is pretty fresh-off-the-bench, as I just finished 'er up on Monday.  It's owned by Brian Smith, and his only instruction to me was to weather the hell out of it, so...

You can also see photos of Brian's layout over at  A link to this terrific blog is in the side column at the right hand side of this page.

Actually, now that I get looking at these photos, I think that the window frames are a bit too clean and shiny.  I'll go back at them and dull them down a bit.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Layout Extension #004

Viewed from the end of the layout extension, the photos show the two tracks as set into "concrete" for a distance of about 48 inches or so, so far anyway.  I've used a couple of different greys to colour the concrete sections, and followed them with a dark wash or two over some of the sections to try to represent replacement or repaired sections.

Also, the warehouse track on the left has been ballasted now. I've put a wide gravel shoulder area between the roadway and the warehouse. I intend to have a transport trailer or two "temporarily dropped" in that space.  There's some static grass growing along that area now too.  I think my next effort will be to similarly finish the track spur and the open space on the other side of the road where you see it as just painted brown now.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Weathering Wednesday #009

Today I only have just this one picture of these intermodal containers.  I know that the weathering is pretty light on these, in fact barely discernable for the most part, but not everything needs to be done with a heavy hand.  Sometime less can be a good thing.  Actually, almost every panel line is lightly highlighted with dark streaks of grime, plus the more noticeable exhaust soot at the front ends.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Layout Extension #003

The first picture today is of the first styrene inserts I made for one of the Peco track switches.  These inserts are cut from .020 styrene. I actually erred by making this more complicated than I should have, as I cut them as 6 pieces. Later though, I taped adjoining pieces together, to use them as templates and cut new pieces so that there are only 3 inserts per switch. In the areas where the switch points are, I tried to slip .010 styrene underneath the points to hide the ties from view, but the .010 wouldn't fit. If I find some .005 thickness, I'll try that.

The switch inserts after they've been painted and installed.  Both of these switches are code 83 Peco. The expansion gaps in the concrete are drawn in with a black ink .010 tip artist pen.  The cracks in the concrete are drawn in with a black ink .005 pen. I ran several different engines and freight cars through the switches in both directons, trimming and filing the inserts until the equipment ran through the switches with no problems.  The styrene pieces are all press-fitted, no gluing at all.

The last of the switches that I have to do is this one. It's Atlas Code 83 the other two are Peco.  I've had a much more difficult time with the inserts for this one. The styrene piece that fits in between the points keeps buckling upward, and is causing detrailments. I've re-cut it twice, and each time the problem persists.  I think I'm going to stop with the "concrete" for a while, until I can get a left hand Peco switch to try here instead.  I can start to put in some ground cover in the meantime.