Thursday, 25 October 2012

One Year Older

Actually one year and two days older from when I first posted on this blog. I seem to have missed my first anniversary through becoming distracted by other stuff. Other stuff being trying to either set up my own business, or find another job with a suitable employer. As luck would have it the job search came up with a job on Monday that I had to complete the application form for yesterday. I was a little distracted by filling in the multi-sectioned online application form, which ran to many pages.

I've been laid off now for two months. Three months if you count the last month of work when I was using up all my annual leave entitlement. One would think therefore that I have been busy building lots of model railway models and the like. Not so much.

I have been practising with my static grass applicator on odd bits of board, as I was not completely happy with the first attempts. It's not that there is anything wrong with what I did the first time around, but I wanted to see if I could improve the look of the grass by adding more layers, which is what I have been doing over the last week.

Today I was applying varnish over the tops of said static grass to see how this works as a sealant, as I find a lot of the grass tends to lift off over time? I'm probably handling the grassed areas too much, as I suspect that this method is best for looking at, and not robust enough to be handled as such. I've actually been painting the static grass to add shading to the finished product. I know that one can mix different shades of static grass material, but to my eye it all looks a little flat. Unfortunately, painting the static grass tends to lift it off, and if you over do it, tends to make the grass clog up. I'm going to experiment with some spray dies next.

Other than that I am trying to get on with getting the Hex Frog Juicers actually fitted. Trouble is that the layout has become a temporary storage area for other projects, like the grass boards I've been working on. That as they say is the trouble of living in a small flat with limited space.


  1. Hi A.R.:
    First of all, congrats on one year plus two days of blogging.
    As for static grass, I find that airbrushing the finished grass works fine. I use Acrylicos Vallejo paints - they're acrylic, dry dead flat (no shine) and come in a wide range of camouflage colours that are perfect for painting natural materials (which makes sense, since that's what camouflage is designed to mimic). Good luck!
    - Trevor (

    1. Airbrushing is a little problematical for me as my layout is in the living room, and though modular, getting the modules into the spray boot would be a bit difficult too. Spray boot about two feet wide, modules bigger.

      So what I've been doing is experimenting with a semi-dry brush technique, using acrylic camo colours, which are as you say ideal. It's the pulling the grass off while doing this that has been troublesome, but hopefully the new cheap car varnish will do the trick.

  2. New reader just this week. I like your blog. I don't model railroad but grew up reading MR and Trains magazines -- hand me downs from a neighbour who did. Guess you can't fully shrug that off later in life. Plus I just love reading about Hex Frog Juicers.

    James Quist

    1. Welcome to the blog, and thank you for commenting. BTW How did you find me?

    2. I found you whilst searching for images with the terms -- tank car Kadee coupler -- you're result #7 at Google Images. Tank car because I like tank cars, as a child photographed them. Kadee coupler because, as an outsider to the hobby, I really can't abide the proboscis-like compromise hanging down from that coupler. I don't find I can be glad handed by something that visually strays so far from prototypical. Was looking for answers.

      Thank you for the welcome, I like your writing.