Industry Moves to Clearwater

Well another month has flown by which means that it’s update time. At least there is more progress this month.

As stated in the last installment the backdrop installation and painted dark blue. What a difference a blue shy makes compared to a stark white backdrop. I decided to take it a step further this time and paint the horizon and some clouds.

In order to do this I used two shades of blue, light blue for the horizon and a dark one for the sky in the background. Bear in mind I’ve never gotten this far painting backdrops before this attempt, the furthest I’ve gotten before was just to paint the blue. The plan was to paint the top of the backdrop dark blue and paint the bottom of the backdrop light blue and using the paintbrush, blend the two blues two thirds of the way up and then I’d be ready to paint clouds. Well that was the plan, the result turned out to be something different. It seems paint straight out of the can doesn’t blend well. I’ve since learned that if you want to blend the paint colors you need something called glaze. Maybe I should be asking questions before I tackle a project. What I did get was a stratified cloud effect which looks great. No need top paint clouds now. I did pick up some glaze so that I can blend portions of the sky so that I can get some variations in the sky. I guess the moral of the story is “If you have never tried something before, don’t be afraid to try”. Now I just need to bite the bullet and paint the scenery on the backdrop.

I’m also getting tired of switching cars to imaginary industries, in fact there isn’t even any tags letting people know what the industries are. Well right now there are two industries in the town of Clearwater, well at least mock-ups of them. They would be Thuot Metal Works and the Sharkbite Brewery. Let’s just say that the citizens of Clearwater were sure happy to see the brewery go up.

Both buildings were drawn in AutoCad and then plotted out. I like to build mock-ups of building to see if I like the shape, check for clearances and to see if they will fit into the scene. The cut out walls for Thuot Metal Works was glued to cardboard. I will say buildings in O scale are BIG!!!!!!!!!!! There was a lot of bracing required to support the walls and to keep them straight. For Sharkbite Brewery I tried a different approach, I glued the wall sections onto 3/16″ foamcore. What a difference, no where near the bracing required. From now on it’s foamcore mock-ups for me on the Clearwater Valley Railway Co. just for the record, Thuot Metal Works will be kitbashed using Bar Mills “1-kit” and Shartbite brewery will be scratchbuilt.

I’ve got some smaller building to build for Clearwater, like the Saloon (just needs a roof now), the pool hall (an Evergreen kit), station (to be kitbashed from a Lionel Rico station kit I have) and a water tank to name a few. Once I get the buildings mocked-up or built and I’m satisfied with the arrangement, the scenery will start.

A while back I stated that I had to figure out a way to power the frogs of the turnouts. Well after trying to figure out a way to do that using a momentary contact switch, power supply and relays (talk about over engineering) A friend suggested using a SPDT lever switch. It was like getting hit on the head with a two by four, here was a simple solution.

As you can see from the picture the installation is a simple process of digging out the foam, install and align the switch, then glue it in place. I used gorilla glue and after a week of tests I’m very pleased with the results. Only drawback is that the switch sticks up above the scenery base so hiding it would have been tricky. After a little thought I came up with a solution for that problem too. I glued a small length of piano wire to the lever so that the switch is now completely below the scenery. After adding the scenery no one will know its there.>/p>

Well that’s it for this month, only 10 months to go to the NFR convention here in Ottawa, Canada. I still got lots of time.

Until next time, have fun.

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