Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Weathering and Loads

Previously Posted on old web site: 2011-Nov-2


Late last year, I came across this guy on YouTube. He was "messing up" freight cars and locomotives at an astounding pace, and was giving video lessons on how to do the same. "Big Al" Mayo wasn't afraid to take risks with costly engines and cars. His philosophy is basically "F" it!  Move full steam ahead and if it doesn't work, fix it and start again. What I'm actually talking about is weathering. Not just your basic weathering, but extreme weathering!

I also checked out videos from other authors on YouTube, and have gained valuable knowledge from all of them. Al and the others help me put aside the "fear" of totally screwing up that $15-20 car, or pricey loco. Also, what I learned from Al and others is to use real photos in my projects. What could be easier than having a photo of the car, and make your model look like the photo? The weathering effects are already DONE for you!  This does take a little skill, and I have been getting better at it with each car I've weathered.  I have a few shots of my first weathered loco as well as other cars. None are "super" extreme, but are no longer squeaky clean.


Working from real photos in weathering projects, also led me to think about the loads in "open" cars. Recent articles in the n-scale magazines as well as MRH-Mag (free e-zine) forced me to think about my own cars. What can I do to make my lumber cars look more realistic? How about those trash cars?

About the same time, I picked up a CD by Clever Models. If you don't know, Clever Models sells CD's full of building, windows, doors, etc. that you "build" in paper or card-stock. AMAZING! I figured, if it would work for buildings, it could also work for some loads, right? So, borrowing the ideas from card-stock modelers, I set out to build lumber loads for my center beam flats.

I found a few side view images on web of loaded centerbeam flats, and a few hours later sitting in my graphics program, successfully had a prototypical looking, scale lumber load. Hey, it SHOULD look prototypical, I used the actual lumber load meticulously "clipped" from the rest of the car. Also, the perspective needed to be changed. I quickly became well versed in those tools in my graphics program. Of course, stupid me, I picked one of the hardest loads to model up front. This wasn't a full load, and you could see to the other side. It has part of the centerbeam structure showing.

The HARDEST part I found was learning to "think" in 3-D perspective. You HAVE to, otherwise you wont know where to put the folds and tabs. The next hardest part was dimensional. Proper height and width is a must. My centerbeams are 73' long and hold up to a 12' load. Here's where a scale ruler and many printed copies of my "masterpiece" were used until I had a properly scaled load. I'm sure if I thought about it a little more, I could have made the scaling easier. Maybe next time!
So, here's a sample hastily cut with scissors and a glue stick on regular inkjet paper.