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Posts Tagged ‘railcar’

For various reasons that I’ll drone on about at a later date, I’d decided that the railcar needed to be a bit more ‘used’ than the model I built earlier in the year. Having managed, to my rather great surprise, to actually make some convincing looking rust in my experiments I got all motivated to try it on the real thing, as it were.

I wonder if I may have got a bit too enthusiastic.

I’m choosing to think the dystopian look is at least partly because of the blanked out windows, whose purpose is to make sure that even I can’t mess up the inside while painting the outside. Once it has things like passengers and see-through windows, it should look like a somewhat well used, careworn, but working railcar. Hopefully.

There is also the factor of the buzzbee stripes:

These will need some weathering as they should look like they’ve cleared the track of various unauthorised obstacles from snow to large domestic animals. This is purely to aid realism and make a complete uniform appearance and most certainly not because I painted them slightly off centre and need to hide this behind some muck.

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The Körschtalbahn’s railcar in the process of being primed, which is something of a milestone as the half finished body spent nearly five years lurking on my desk, gathering dust and generally making me feel guilty whenever I looked at it.

After several weeks months putting off the spray painting on the basis it made sense to have more than one model ready before bothering with all the faff of spraying, the actual job took about fifteen minutes to do everything, plus another thirty to tidy up the mess on the balcony. At least this time I remembered to cover the tiles on the floor: there’s still a faint line of overspray from last time, where I learned that our tiles are slightly porous and no matter how hard you try to scrub them, you can’t quite get rid of all the paint in there. fortunately this is only visible if you know what to look for and I’m not telling anyone.

As usual I discovered pretty quickly that spray painting is better done in thin layers rather than one great thick one, although this time I at least managed to remember this before doing too much damage.

I also learned the trying to take pictures of models in primer can be a right pain, hence the lack of them in this post, so you’ll have to trust me when I say that the Höfelbachbahn railcar is also primed and ready to be painted and thoroughly weathered.

Now all I have to do is decide what colours to use.

 

 

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The Höfelbachbahn railcar is complete and ready for the primer.

Come the weekend, if I manage to get everything in the same place at the same time, and don’t forget something vital, this will turn grey. Probably. Unless I think of another important detail that I just have to add…

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Suboptimization. That’s what is going on here. a “Situation where a process, procedure, or system yields less than the best possible outcome or output, caused by a lack of best possible coordination between different components, elements, parts, etc.

In this case the components called ‘stupidly tight curves’ and the snowploughs for the railcar have led to a lack of best possible coordination between the two. And I’m making it harder because I’m plain fussy.

The easiest way to fit a snowplough on a model train is to glue it nice and solid onto the coupling bar. This way it can waggle about with the coupling when the railcar goes around the track. Unfortunately in this case it would wave about more uselessly than a minor royal at a public occasion, and look almost as ridiculous.

Sensible people who know when to give up would have either ignored this: or left the snowploughs off entirely, but this would mean there was nowhere to paint the buzzbee stripes, so it wasn’t going to happen.

After ignoring the problem for a while, I decided that if I stuck the snowploughs on a pair of brass rods which went into the chassis at the exact point where they didn’t mess up the coupling bar, then they would stay nice and straight and the coupling could waggle about as much as it liked. Hooray.

I got there eventually and probably suboptimally, after the some bending of wire and a certain amount of ancient Anglo-Saxon.

 

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A combination of conveniently warm weather and the HBB railcar looking vaguely finished had me getting all motivated to spray primer on the backlog of projects. This is a pain to set up as I have to use the balcony, but I found the spray box, bought some fresh primer -I’ve been building one of these models for at least eight years so I don’t want to muck up the finish- and got everything together for the weekend.

On Saturday we had wind, heavy rain, and quite unnecessarily, snow.

Sometimes being badly organised is an advantage: I’d forgotten that the KÖB railcar needed a beefed up central block between bogies. Nothing drastic, just a bit more of a lump to suggest things like a fuel tank and other vital undergubbins that I don’t really know anything about. This is probably why I was ignoring its absence, but I figured that making something was better than sitting on my hands while the wind howled outside, so I measured the existing box on the original chassis and made another box to fit around it. Then made another one as I’d managed to measure it wrongly. And measured that one wrongly too.

It eventually took three attempts and a fair bit of bodging to make a box that fitted. I’m not sure why, but it was probably being distracted by conversations/train videos/shiny things. As usual.

Anyway. A couple of evenings and I had something presentable. I’m quite pleased with the steps although it would have been nice if they’d aligned better with the ‘step’ in the bodywork. I’m not sure that the ‘fuel tank’ is really big enough though. Perhaps it extends behind the steps and locker. Yes, that sounds good.

That, you’d think, was that, but then I decided I wanted sand boxes. Our local trams pour so much sand onto the track that by the time spring comes you could play beach volleyball on the steeper sections. The Körschtalbahn is higher than where I live so I imagine it would be very icy in winter.

Now that’s ready, I just have to add all the bits I forgot on the other railcar…

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While I fret about the roof rack  I’ve been adding seats and passengers to the railcar so it looks like it is doing something useful rather than trundling around in circles. I say seats, they’re more pieces of plasticard glued down at odd angles and some 1:50 figures who were chopped down until they fitted, leaving a rather gruesome collection of legs and arms on the cutting board.

I made the seating sections on little modules of plasticard so I can take them out for painting instead of fighting to get the paintbrush into position through a window or something. Very occasionally I manage to think ahead far enough to avoid it all going to pieces.

Real modellers would have made a sort of clip in system to hold the modules down. I used Blu-tack.

I’ve also started to fit the LED’s into the model, but I won’t bother wiring them up just yet. I’ve got enough to worry about trying to make it all work without adding more complications.

I Also notice I’m beginning to get a bit fed up with the project, so I dread to think how my readers are feeling. I think I need to kick the post office project up a gear to get some variety.

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HBB_Railcar_17

Your opinion, dear reader, is required.

Obviously, as you are reading this blog, you are a person of exquisite aesthetic taste and style and I require some feedback on the latest addition to the HBB’s railcar, namely the luggage rack on the roof.

The idea is that this gives some much needed overflow to the luggage compartment on peak services, especially on market days, when customers have a tendency to bring purchases on board that try to move of their own accord, so the Hofelbachbahn (or more accurately, the company that bought the railcar in the first place, decided it wasn’t big enough and sold it to the Hofelbachbahn, it makes sense to me so don’t argue) ordered the version with the extra rack.

Trouble is, now I’ve come to actually fit the rack, it looks a bit big and obtrusive. I can’t work out if this is because I’m used to seeing a dip in the roof or because it just doesn’t work.

And if it doesn’t work, why not? Is it too high, too wide?

HBB_Railcar_18

From track level it doesn’t look that far out of place, so maybe I just need to get used to it.

What do you think?

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