Tuesday, 1 February 2011

A serendipitous discovery, or, the very belated completion of RU25241.

Back in the late 1990s I basically stopped modelling in HO scale. It was triggered by the purchase of my first 'modern' PC and then the family moved from Burwood to Beecroft in 1999 and I was able to indulge in a long supressed desire to have a garden railway. The first part of the 2000s was taken up with the construction of my 1:24 scale 'Rurr Valley Railway' and then in 2006 I suddenly found myself the Production Manager of the Australian Model Railway Magazine. Getting AMRM 'under control' was a steep learning curve and modelling very much took a back seat to everything else that was going on in my life, including playing over 35 soccer with the Beecroft Wombats! However, lately I have rediscovered the joys of modelling in HO scale and while delving into the long hidden 'down at the bottom, at the back' of my 'display' cabinet I found this...

I had built this RU wheat hopper from a Trax/Casula kit, with the addition of an ILM RU 'dress-up' kit, during the late 1990s. I have around 20 RU wagons on the layout, some constructed from modified Trax/Casula kits and some unmodified (but weathered) r-t-r Trainorama (original release), placed into service between 1983 and the late '90s. Construction on this one had been completed to the initial painting stage, but then came the sudden cessation of HO scale modelling activities, and the model was placed in the back of the display case and promptly forgotten about for over 10 years! I 'rediscovered' it a week or so ago and this is how it looked in late January 2011 when I had finally decalled it and done the first wash of Tamiya XF-10 Flat Brown. I was aiming for the 'grimy with a brown tinge' that the prototypes adopted after a short time in service. When I started painting it back in 1990-whatever I had undercoated it with self etch black and then applied a light 'colour coat' to tint to a dark grey to represent weathered NSWGR Gunmetal grey. What paint I actually used for that effect, I no longer remember! I had started to apply the next layer of weathering, washes of Tamiya XF-10 Flat Brown, using the techniques I outlined in my article 'Weathering with Acrylics - Simple Techniques for Rolling Stock' in AMRM Issue 265 (August 2007). Then it was forgotten... When I rediscovered it, I first of all added decals, using 'bits' from various decal sheets I have 'tucked away' after over 30 years of modelling in HO scale (in other words, I have no idea what they are or where they come from!) Then the whole model was washed with the diluted in Isocol alcohol Tamiya Flat Brown, letting the brown accumulate around the ribs and other protrubences of the model. Next step was to get out the airbrush and put on the final weathering layer (I allow a few models to accumulate, then I 'final layer' the lot in one hit; more on them in a future post...). First I did a very light spray of Tamiya XF-52 Flat earth around the chassis of the model, to represent road dirt thrown up by the movement of trains, then gave it a very light 'mist' of Gunze Sangyo Aqueous Hobby Color H343 Soot to 'tie it all together'. Once that was done I handpainted some flat black on the coupler trip pin (to disguise it as a brake hose) and added some semi-gloss black around the axleboxes, to represent spilt lubrication oil. It now looks like this...
I just realised, while writing this, that I had forgotten to paint in the waybill behind the wagon clip, just to the right of the number. No worries, a short break and its done in the next photo!
So, while it may have taken over ten years, another RU has finally joined the other 20 or so RU hoppers trundling around Lambing Flat, moving the wheat and otherwise generally being useful and picturesque!



  1. Just waiting for a photo of a 30T with an s as a match truck hauling a few RU's and a BWH or two thrown in.... so get too it James!

    Seriously though, the RU looks good as does the 32. could you paint the coal plates on the 32 tender black though... :)

  2. I can do all of that already, except for the 30T! (One of these days I'll get around to 'chipping' the 30T!) Would you settle for a P or T class in the meantime? ;o)

    Ummm, the 32's coal plates *are* black... ???

  3. Nice work there on the RU wagon James. Your an impressive, inspirational modeller.