Friday, July 22, 2022

The Blue & Red Cushions Construction Co.

Instead of building my annual front-porch/front-patio layout this year, I'm going to do some outdoor model-making, just as I did in 2018. But now, I have two outdoor venues in which to work some model magic. The front patio (with its blue cushions) and the sunroom (with its red cushions). This post will include whatever I manage to accomplish, photographed against those two primary-coloured backgrounds.,My good wife thought it would be a good idea to snap a photo of the B&RCC Co. work in progress in the sunroom (top photo). Furnished with table and chairs, as well as cushioned patio furniture, I brought in a third, portable table to get a work surface at a comfortable height in the sunroom.

My first project was some scrapyard fencing for a newly-enlarged scrapyard on my Kingston's Hanley Spur HO layout. Here is my initial test-fit, showing where the fences will eventually be installed. The CP line is at rear, with CN in foreground. I've added a scrapyard spur in between them, and I want to keep accumulated scrap metal within the fences.
To produce these, I copy/saved some rusted metal designs online. I re-sized them and pasted them, purposely alternating them, into a Word document, four per 8x11-inch page. 

After printing them out, I glued them onto various leftover kit parts and sprues. I painted the backs, though I don't expect them to be visible. I also cut some of the metal for some variation, because nothing would make a more boring and potentially unrealistic scrapyard than to have all the fence the same colour and un-rusty!
I took the build outside. Incorporating the fences, it became a project that I didn't really want to end! More on the build here. The scrapyard was taped to a build-board that I eventually slid the completed scrapyard off, and into position. Here's an outside, overhead view of the scrapyard nearly complete, on the build-board:
 And a post-installation view: 
An ensuing outdoor modelling project  - the scrapyard crane, I used a Life-Like (remember them?) Browning 2136 rail crane. I removed the crane cab and boom from the underframe, then glued it onto a pair of tracks from a Majorette (rappelez-vous cette compagnie??) excavator. I can never pass up purchasing a Life-Like rail crane at a train show. Such an inexpensive, and operationally-/poseable model. I painted the cab orange, tracks black and weathered, then printed 'Browning' lettering for the back of the cab. Two metal figures were found, their dungarees drybrushed, and they'll make good scrappers!   
I'm spending a lot of time and attention on scrap this summer! Just because it's scrap doesn't mean it can't be special. I decided it was time to screen the crap out of my scrap. I had a chocolate-box full of it! Some was simple hardware; there were a lot of unuseable styrene cuttings that I sent for recycling. I chose some choice pieces that were interesting but not scrappy enough: 
Then the Dollarama craft paints came out: browns, maroon, orange, grey and black. There was some mixing and some thinning, some brushing and some dabbing. The end result:
Sure, this could be done in the basement, workbench or layout room. But this scrap selection was enjoyably done during an evening straight-down drizzle on the sunroom roof, with the windows open and VIA horns blaring in the background. Heaven! 
I painted some small scrap segments, adding them to the box while on the Blue Cushions and a blue bus in the background
Moving on from scrap to a Really Big Thing (RBT). I've been setting aside some larger interesting-looking parts. This one is a thread spool, two reels from my wife's craft tape runners and a detailed miscellaneous toy piece. I added a printed sign or two to the wooden end-bracing of this locally-built CLC product::

As summertime marches on, and "the livin' is easy", check back here for more cushion-time projects. This is a good way for me to share what I've been working on, potentially provide some inspiration, and most of all, get out and enjoy our beautiful summer weather when we can! Here's my lap-top Pepsi pop-skid that contains tools, paints for each project, paint-mixing palette, and many scrap pieces that come in handy! I use it outside or inside, as it also works in the family room when the TV is on!

Two projects to fill a newly-created space on the layout. I must admit though, it was too hot on either set of cushions, and these were modelled inside where it's cooler. To suit this space of urban decay, I added a de-constructed industry and a homeless encampment. Both were typical of the Montreal Street stretch. The figures and thrown-together shelters (above) were made hurriedly from the scrap box and some detail parts. I set them in the former industry location (below) although they can be picked up and positione anywhere on the layout:

It's nice to have a range of venues to commit construction as the sun, shade and onshore breezes work their summertime magic. Campsite, picnic table, balcony, cottage, cabin and canoe (there's a modelling challenge!) would work equally well for you?

Running extra...

Speaking of cranes, my son-in-law shared this photo of a CN SpeedSwing and Holland rail welding truck near Mi 184 of the CN Kingston Sub:
Speaking of in-laws, we were able recently to convene our first family gathering in several years. Currently a G-11, the summit photo-for-posterity was taken in our backyard:


Dave said...

fence building…thanks for this…

Eric said...

No problem, Dave. I look over at the completed scene on the layout and its clearly-delineated perimeter, then I think well, that's what a scrapyard fence is keep people out! It also forces viewers to look down-in to see what scrap is in there!

Thanks for your comment,