Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hostage to a Sleeper Cell

Just a brief update. I have been laying sleepers like a fiend. The benefits of having smaller modules (1.2m x 0.6m) is that they can be easily dragged out and worked on as individual sections. Therefore, I typically drag out a section to the lounge room every ‘other’ evening and lay some sleepers. In this way, I never miss my favourite TV shows (obviously an important aspect of every modeller’s life), nor a minute with my wife (she told me to write this).

The sleepers (Kappler and Micro Engineering sugar pine from the USA) are affixed using PVA glue. After a light sand to get them all the same height, everything is given a white undercoat (heavily thinned), and then a base colour is added of Tamiya FX-1 (Flat Black) and FX-52 (Flat Earth) (thanks Darren http://gunnedahandbeyond.blogspot.com/). This is done in a relatively ‘patchy’ way, so as to replicate the prototype. They will receive another filter of red-brown, followed by some random dry brushing of white to gain the ‘grey effect’, so often observed in aged wood. Until then, I have plenty of more sleepers to lay. One at a time...

Jules  

7 comments:

Darren said...

Hi Julian,

Glad the sleeper painting tips came in handy. I'm still trying to figure out a way to lay the things a bit faster though!

Cheers
Darren

Julian Watson said...

Hi Darren,

There are 'ways' to lay them a little quicker, as I guess you would know (using a jig and positioning with masking tape etc). However, I don't want uniformly spaced sleepers. Looks like I've made my own bed...

Jules

Daz61 said...

Hi Julian,

I've been hand laying sleepers on my VR O scale layout and I know how much work it can be, though it is also quite therapeutic with some good music playing and a cold beer close by.

I've used the paint combination in Martyn Welch's The Art of Weathering. He suggests a mix of Humbrol colors that works very well though must be applied by hand brushing.

Daryl

Julian Watson said...

Hey Daryl,

Good to hear from you.

Yes, there is certainly a 'Zen' aspect to laying sleepers. Oddly enough, I now feel that I would be 'robbing' myself of the experience, if I were to lay RTR track...

As for the colouring of the sleepers, I would be interested to know the combination of paints, if that's OK? May final application will be with hand, as I think this is the best way to capture the character of wood sleepers - new, aged or otherwise.

Jules

Rob said...

Those sleepers are looking just wonderful.

Julian Watson said...

Cheers, Rob.

Looks like I'll have to get the first round in, after a comment like that!

Jules

Rob said...

Well can not wait to see some track laid on them!