Layout Progress -- Staring at Grain Elevators

I had wanted to make more progress this weekend, but we had an astoundingly rare tragedy at one of our campgrounds (family got hit by lightening) so handling that had to take priority. But before that came awful bit of news, I did make some layout progress. Mostly I was tearing my hair out trying to weather a grain elevator, which turn out to be a pain to duplicate, unless one wants to paint it brand new and all white and that is never the look I go for.   They tend to be chipped, with horizontal weathered streaks as well as vertical staining. This is where I am so far. It looks better in person, but for just that reason photos are a great way to exaggerate modeling problems. In this case, I have too much of a cross-hatched effect on the tower and need to work on that.  Push comes to shove I will repaint the tower white and start over.

On the positive side, I finished my first pair of handbuilt switches using N-scale schedule 40 rail.  This was a ton of work for something they sell in the store, but the results are worth it, I think.  The switches are #8, built from Fast Track jigs, soldering the rail to PC board ties every 3-5 ties and using stained wood ties glued to the rail with Pliobond for the rest.  Rail is painted Floquil rail brown with hand-painted rust streaks.


  1. Eric Hammer:

    Looks pretty good thus far. The building looks a little odd, with the rust stain originating from seemingly nowhere. Are you going to run some pipe or wiring or somthing above that to act as a source of the rust? It looks nice though, and I suspect that once you get the rest of the details built and it placed on site it will look very nice.

    What are you using for the weathering? I generally use washes of paint, but I have seen tutorials of people placing oil paints where the stain originates, then thinning them with turpentine and dragging the color down into runs. It makes a really neat effect, but I have not yet tried it.
    Also, there are weathering powders that one applies almost like blush or eyeshadow (powder with a sponge) that are really nice for adding a dry, dusty look or a caked mud look. I just picked some up and used them on some tank models, and the effect is very quick and pleasing.

    And the track... yea... I hope you were watching a movie or something during all that time. Madness!

  2. pdb:

    The crossover looks fantastic. I would have been sure that was HO if you hadn't said N earlier.

    I never try to weather anything without some reference pictures. When left to my own imagination, it always ends up in the "Why haven't they scrapped this yet?" category.

  3. ColoComment:

    I've been reading coyote blog for several years & never knew that you were interested in model railroading. Yesterday I took my 7-yr old grandson to the Greeley Freight Station Museum in Greeley, Colorado, and he LOVED it. He spent at least an hour and a half running around the whole display (which is huge). I even found display pieces that I missed during my first visit (rock climbers, and boy scouts camping), several weeks ago with my 4-yr old grandson (his favorite is the Thomas the Tank Engine table-top, with multiple trains running simultaneously, and about 2 dozen buttons that make lights go on, crossing bars drop, a ferris wheel spin, etc.)

    If any of you rr modelers find yourselves in northern Colorado, make a point of stopping by. You won't regret the time taken.

  4. D-man:

    You need to employ some illegal democrats, Warren. They do work that Americans can't or won't do, you know....