Uncle Sugar gave me a bit a change, so as soon as I could, I got in touch with my favorite dealer. Picked up another B unit for the CB&Q (this one had all the stripes it was supposed to on it) and I got 2 PENNZEE reefers that were sitting on the virtual shelf for a while. This puts my total reefers at 6, even though the numbers are starting to repeat.
I got the Pennsy shell in the mail, a trade for a CB&Q A unit shell. When that comes in, oh boy oh boy. Next step will be trying to erase the tiny, tiny, art deco "A", and try to find an art deco "C" to take its place.
Hopefully, my new job will pan out and I will make enough scratch to send them off to get DCC'd.
For now, I am now running my A & B unit and reefers round and round my oval, chasing the tail.
Here is the deal. IF somebody wants me to make figures, they have to be SPECIFIC. If you dance around the subject and hint you want hookers,or anything else, then please say it. I cannot work with the abstract. I am a 49, a free thinker , a heathen, and live in Europe. As long as the figures I make do not break most of the generally accepted laws of the US and Europe, it wont bother me. If it offends, people for moral, political,or religious reasons, too bad. Suck it up. I will pull the art card and wave it in your face.
Lookers all decked out? A fisherman? That tells me NOTHING.
Let me break it down. Do you want figures for your layout, or just me making figures that I take pictures of and people make comments on? I can do both and really don't mind doing both, but I have no time right now to invest in other peoples fantasies, I am not out to make money but I do need to break even.
Action. If you want me to make a figure, doing something, again be specific. "A girl dancing" , for example, could mean break dancing, square dancing, waltzing, or swinging on a pole. " a man motor-boating "could mean a guy out on a lake ,or something else very different. Please do not waste OUR time and energy on making something that you do not want.
Era. People dress very different in 1925 than they do today. " Kelley, make me some wise guys on the street." Well in 1925 they would be guys in fedoras and carrying tommyguns.1940s a bunch of dudes in zoot suits. 1950s greasers in leather jackets and jeans, 1960s some dirty hippies, 1970s, dudes with big fros and long zebra stripped coats, 80s punks, 90s, grunge, today,I dunno perhaps a self portrait, but you get the idea?
Specific region or nationality. I've been everywhere and nowhere. I live Europe, and left the US when I was 21. I can find a lot a stuff on the internet, but if someone wants me to make the train crew of Indian National Railways circa 1933, please help me to help you. Some pictures and references would be nice. I am a tiny bit colorblind, and there are slight color shifts when you are scaling down. If I use the wrong shade of khaki for the shorts that the Raj's punka-wallah wore in 1933, I am sorry.
I cannot make EVERYTHING. I modify Preiser and other companies 1/200-1/220 figures. I do the best I can. A lot of people can do better but even more do worse. I am not fishing for complements, I am stating facts, and know my limitations. Using the materials I have, I can usually find a figure doing whatever it is you want them tho do.
I will work things out. I am broke and so are most people I know. I definitely can work out a trade. I cannot charge you for the work I do by the hour, piece ect. You could not afford it. I enjoy doing these things and look on them as a challenge. I have invested a LOT of money on paints, brushes ect. 10/O brushes aren't cheap, and can only be used for so long. That big rattlecan of dullcote might cost you 3 bucks at the LHS, but all I can find is a tiny 10 ml can of stuff imported from Japan that costs me over 10 bucks. here.
If you ask me what I want for whatever, from now on I will tell you. If you want 1 or 2 figures, I might not want anything at all. When it starts to be,"Oh and make me one of these, and some of those", and it becomes 5 or 6 specific figures, then yea, I would like something for them.
"But I can get these from XYZ cheaper and more of them and better ones". Well, get them from XYZ.I'm not stopping you. If you want 7 foot tall shiny globs with paint thrown on from Red China, then go for it. There is one other person I know that makes figures, and she is really nice and also lives in Germany. If you think hers are nicer, better,cheaper, then by all means buy them. I will even give you her business addy if you ask me. I am NOT trying to compete with her. That said, however, those of you that have taken pictures of MY work , and then you asked her to copy the same figures, well I have put a nasty curse on you and karma will slap you silly someday. Its been done twice already. Another reason why I shouldn't display pictures of figures I have done just for "funsies". I am not blaming her, I have my own reasons to think a third party was involved.
Today I will start my Z blog. At this time I am working on a 1/220 scale WW2 POW camp, just like on an old tv series out of the 60s.
I downlowded some papers models of Stalg Luft III, from a wargamers site, and reduced it down to 32 percent. I measured and cut out of balsa the basic shapes using the paper model for measurments. Using contact cement, I glued the paper to the glued together framework. I used black construction paper for the roof with pencil lines drawn to make it look like tar paper.
I added wooden blocks on the bottom that will be painted with Faller cement paint. I willuse the same paint to use on the balsa blocks I am using for the chimneys.
So there I was..had my speeder all painted and glass in the window and everything dull coated and figure inside and..hunky-dory.
I went to LHS becasue they called and said my LED was there. The guys who sent it did not charge store so the store said, OK its free..COOL!
So I was comapring it to the LED I got from Conrad and ..HOLY SMOKES..The one fron Conrad was like 1.6 mm ..the one I got for free was as TINY..IF the LEDS were trains it would be like Z compared to O scale..
So ..there I was..drilled a tiny hole and mounted the LED to the back of the windscreen and ran the wires down throw holes I drilled.
I hooked up the battery and..
CRIPES the whole thing lit up..Im talking through the orange paint..the wheels the back the front, everything..like a plastic wallmart halloween pumpkin..I swear even the dude glued in glowed. The superglue glowed. Wowsers.
That cool paintjob..gone.I literally had to dunk the thing in the 5 gallon paintbucket of flat black to keep the thing from glowing. I mean even the wheels and the frame in the back was glowing.
This gives me ideas of glowy things..like perhaps for halloween or Christmas.
Since NOBODY will be reading this I guess I can vent here.
Same thing other people have griped about in the past, and actually people have said I have been guilty of. It's the "Why don't company X build Y" vs why don't YOU build X yourself.
I have NO skills at building, painting or decaling a model railroad car or engine to look like anything but homemade mud. Nope. Never ever going to happen. I will have to buy it ready made and that means either hope that the X I am wishing for gets made, or find someone with the proper skills to make it for me.
I am not that skilled with landscaping and a lot of other things dealing with model railroading, but most of those type of things can be redone and mistakes hidden.
While poking around on another site that I wont mention by name, I seen where someone wanted a store bought, ready made, modern highway bridge. He was kind of desperate because he needed it to go further with a project. (I know what that is like, I am stuck because Ii need about 8 dollars worth of MTL parts, and well I am just flat out broke)
Now of course I had to throw in my 2 cents, that it could be easily built and would help his modeling skills, but someone else had to throw in 2 more cents and compare building a modern concrete highway bridge with handlaying track or building a steam locomotive from scratch.
How could anyone compare the 2? I could build a modern bridge from scrap wood and perhaps 5 bucks worth of parts and hit it with some rattle can grey paint, and come up with a pretty decent highway bridge. Of course I cant make a steam engine with the same stuff.
If you have the skill sets to build a module, you can build a highway bridge.
Why would a company make a highway bridge? Wouldn't they be specific to the terrain, the landscaping, the era, the road, the height, the length, the width and the angle and slope? Would it be adjustable where you could add to it or cut it to size? Would it be only in one size and we now will have to design the layout around the bridge? This seems kind of backwards and silly, not that that has stopped companies from being backwards and silly.
In the time it took me to write this out, I could have had the span built, with strips of wood or styrene, and would be working on the pylons. They might take some time if I was being fancy and using dowels, and then the next tricky part would be the sloped concrete abutments.
If I had 5000 bucks or so, I guess I could buy me a nice ready built Z scale layout, where all I would have to worry about is putting the cars on the track and turning a knob.
This is a rant, and you may agree or disagree, but you are welcome to comment.
The other night I was in a discussion with some very talented model railroaders, the top people in z scale.
The subject came up about lighted bumper posts. I asked the question, is it prototypical?
The answers I got were the normal responses when that question gets ask. I will throw those out there as well as other comments I have read and heard, when the same question gets asked.
It looks cool. I am sure there is a prototype for it somewhere. You are a rivet counter. But the OTHER scale do it. It´s MY railroad, I can do what I want.
Ok I get it. The main thin is number 5. It IS your railroad. You can do what you want. you can run Easter Bunny cars in a tiny loop around Smurfs. You can run German steam engines from the 1920s pulling American freight cars mixed with Japanese passenger cars. Some folks will be fascinated, some impressed. Some will go, hmmm.
It looks cool. I have heard this a million times in my other hobby, reenacting. Strapping a WW2 messkit onto a East German bread-bag, and pretending you are in WW1 because it looks cool, does not mean it is accurate. When you dress like a soup sandwich and you stand next to me and the photo is taken, its THOSE guys look like a soup sandwich, not THAT guy. Some people want Z scale to progress beyond the briefcase, a little bit of research goes a long way, and Google is our friend. This leads us into number 2.
I am sure there is a prototype for it somewhere. Again with reenacting. Some guy sticks a feather in his Civil War hat, mainly because it looks cool, and he found a picture of a dude with a feather in same hat. Next thing you know. everyone is walking around with feathers in their hats. Was this one dude from one unit that did this? Did everyone do this? Of the hundreds of pictures of dudes wearing the same hat, what percent had feathers.? One word, research. Railroad books and again Google can be our friends. The CB&Q had a steam engine that they took the pilot wheels off and made into a switch engine. It is in a book. there are several pictures of same engine. Is it cool to make that engine? Sure. Is it cool to pry off the pilot wheels of every steam engine you have for every railroad and say it is prototype? Maybe not so much.
Rivet counter. I think that is a cop out. In the reenacting world we call them stitch counters. Can I accurately portray My Great Grandfathers uniform? Nope , not even close. There is compromises in all scales and perhaps more in our scale. This had been written about ad nauseum. I try for a happy medium. My MTL track looks cheesy. It is what I have and what I am using, but I am doing things to try and take away some of the cheesiness, not add to it. Ballasting, painting, blending, trying to make it look more like a model railroad than a toy railroad. Adding unneeded accessories that did not exist, will not give me a better railroad. Using hays bumpers when the the real railroad I model used ties and dirt, can be accepted, because they existed, and was possible, but putting blinky lights on them is beyond me.
Point 4 is a real thorn in my side. We are trying so hard to be LIKE the other scales, when we have an opportunity to be BETTER than the other scales. Model railroading came from toy trains. Toy trains were meant to play with and a train chasing it´s tail round and round can soon become boring. It needed play value.
So accessories were added to the old Lionel 3 railed trains and their brothers. Over-sized crossing gates, milk cams popping in and out of reefers, cows going down chutes, literally blinky lights and bells and whistles. Kids dreams spun out in the Monkey Wards Christmas catalogs. Post war, these things were transfused into the HO and later N scales. The Cold War and Space Race added radar and rockets and planes and even satellites on the model trains. Just because thy are found in others scales, does it HAVE to be made in Z?
Do we need these things in Z? Maybe. If people want to play with toy trains then why not? Why they would do this in Z when there is a whole bunch of toy trains and goodies to play with in other scales is strange to me but, whatever. What I wonder about is all this talent, time, money and effort, being expended on kitsch, when it could be used to produce accurate models of real railroad stuff. Oh it is all about marketing and what would sell I am told. I guess if you build anything in Z scale, weather it existed or not, put the right paint and decals on it, it would sell. I think we are better than this .
It is all about fun. But is it model railroading, or is it very, very small toy trains? How can we get upset with someone who does not take our modeling seriously, when we don´t take is serious ourselves.