Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pan Pastels

One of the things I really enjoy about model railroading is testing my abilities and testing myself.
I keep seeing modellers on various forums saying they are afraid to try this or that for fear of either damaging or ruining something or just failing at it.  I decided early on in my modelling that if I wanted to try something that was new for me I would. with no fear or favour.

As an example, when I finally decided to try my first hard-wire DCC decoder install, I chose to install it in one of my smallest locos, an 00 gauge Hornby Terrier. My thinking being that if I could do a successful hardwire install in such a small loco then any other installs would be a breeze. Well it was successful, the loco ran perfectly and my self-confidence rose way up.... and I have never, ever avoided a hard-wire install since then.

With that sense of self-testing and experimentation in mind I'm always open to trying new products and techniques and since I really enjoy weathering models I tend to gravitate to new products.

Over the past few months I've heard a number of modellers on various forums talking very highly about Pan Pastels. I first started using pastels in my armour-modelling days back in the 1970s, no dedicated weathering powders like Bragdons or Migs back then.

In recent years my preferred powder has been Bragdons, which I believe is a very good product and it holds well to the plastics, resin and wood of todays models. My curiosity got the better of me and I ordered some Pan Pastels from my local art-store.

This is one set I is a 10-colour set consisting of the following colours.... Titanium White, Hansa Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Permanent Red, Violet, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Green, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Black  and some soft applicators....all in shallow screw together plastic pans.

I also ordered this 5-pack of Extra-Dark Colours which consists of the following colours..Oxide Green Extra Dark, Ultramarine Blue Extra Dark, Violet Extra Dark, Permanent Red Extra Dark, Hansa Yellow Extra Dark. 

   As you can see from the photos there are a few colours that either will never be used or used very rarely. You can order the colours individually and I believe there is a 5-pack called Dark Earth Colours that would be excellent for weathering.

So my next step is to go ahead and actually use them to weather a freight-car. This one as a matter of fact,;postID=4730645204565786981;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=7;src=postname

 This is an Athearn 40ft. boxcar with Youngstown doors.

First steps were to remove the truck/wheel assemblies and the couplers and then spray the body and the trucks with DullCote. I always do this as a precursor so as to give a bit of "tooth" to the plastic for the subsequent layers of paint and/or powders to get a good grip. It's especially helpful with the trucks.
Then, using this small handled applicator that comes with the set, I just started dabbing spots of black along the sides at the roofline and drawing them down to the bottom of the sides. I applied slightly thicker amounts on panel seams and areas that I thought would get dirtier such as the doors and handles/ladders. I applied some rust coloured pastel to the springs and one truck and finished off by giving a coat of DullCote over the pastels. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the DullCote did not seem to tone down or disappear these pastels as it often does with other powders etc.

10 minutes at most and this is the result.



Saturday, April 23, 2016

New Airbrushes

 I have become a bit of a glutton for airbrushes.  A few years ago I bought the what was then new model Badger airbrush...the Patriot105 and instantly fell in love with it. It has been my go-to brush now for a few years. Then last summer I bought the new Patriot105 Arrow, which is just a Patriot with a much smaller cup and it is a tiny tad lighter than the original Patriot105.

                                                             KROME AIRBRUSH

 For the past year I have been hearing great things about the Badger Krome airbrush so I ordered one a few weeks ago and it arrived last week.


 As can be seen in the photos above, the brush comes in an impressive black and chrome foam-lined case. Included are a spare needle, an extra nozzle tip and a cap for the paint-cup. This is an awesome brush, feels great in the hand, has a very cool needle-adjustment knob at the back of the brush that limits the needle travel.
 You can dial it down to a pretty fine spray...say the thickness of a thick ball-point pen line. I love this brush and can see it being my new go-to brush...well that was until the arrival on Thursday of.........

                                                  THE SOTAR 20/20 AIRBRUSH

  This was a spur of the moment order last Saturday......I had heard that this baby was the ultimate for fine detail work....Badgers answer to the Micron so I went ahead and ordered it and it arrived yesterday and I immediately unboxed it and started playing.

 Even though the retail cost of the Sotar is higher than the Krome and it is supposed to be the higher-scale product of the two,  the Sotar comes in a very unimpressive, cheesy looking  cardboard box.  It is well protected in foam and comes with extra needle, nozzle tip and guard, a small wrench, alan key and Passche to Badger air-hose adapter.

 As can be seen in the right-hand picture it is slightly shorter in length than the Krome, the paint-cup is much smaller, the trigger is further forward on the brush and of course it has a very nice black finish to it.

 You can tell this brush is something different as soon as you pick it is substantially lighter than the Krome or the Patriot models which was disconcerting at first but I did get used to the light weight almost instantly.  This is a small brush and I have pretty large hands but it really fell into place and was extremely comfortable to work with. The trigger mechanism is wonderful, very comfortable, extremely smooth in action and very precise.

Where this brush is amazing is in how fine a line you can dial it down to.....I was able to get it down to the thickness of a medium-fine ball-point pen...and I am sure  pro-airbrush guys like Michael Graff or George Dent could get it down to almost hair-line fine at least.

I LOVE THIS BRUSH!!!!!!  It's super light,comfortable and gives great results. It's not cheap...$97.00 on Amazon and then you have shipping costs but I think it is well well worth the price, especially if you like airbrushing.

I did a very, very quick weathering job on these two Accurail boxcars with the Sotar,  just 10 minutes after I got it out of the box.