Completing the Scrapyard

There have been several basketball and hockey games on the last week or so, so I was able to complete the scrapyard.

The Scrap Pile

By definition, a scrapyard needs a pile of scrap. I decided to simulate iron and corrugated tin roofing. There’s not a lot of space, so the pile is representative.

Scrap pile 3

The iron is styrene scrap cut to reasonable size, and painted with Black acrylic thinned with White to get the bluish-black look of raw iron. I used a Rust wash for weathering.

The corrugated roofing was more challenging than expected. I’d thought to paint it Silver, then wash it with Rust. I soon discovered that the Silver acrylic did not coat well at all. I used a base coat of medium Grey, then the Silver, then the Rust wash. I finished with a Black wash that I immediately blotted off so the paint would settle in the valleys of the corrugations. That’s a fair amount of work for scrap metal. After painting I artfully stacked the scrap, using CA for bonding.

The light poles are 2 mm rod painted with Camouflage Brown. I cut off heads from  leftover lights from the car pier and mounted them.

I’m aware that this model of crane uses a cable-stayed boom, and so could not actually change the boom angle. Modeler’s license.

The Fence

I wanted a fence between the track and the yard to provide visual separation and texture. Clever Models sells a very nice download for cardstock, but it’s unpainted, and I wanted some color in the area. I’d had an idea for printing a fence, and this looked like a good place to try it.

I opened a project in AutoCAD LT, and sized the workspace to 8 1/2″ x 11″. I drew two lines a scale 6″ apart and 8′ long, then used the Array function to copy them. A couple of lines along the bottom and top completed the wooden fence. I copied that image, then ran doubled  parallel lines the length of the image to simulate the fence stringers. It’s entirely possible to do all this with a graphics program, but AutoCAD (or any drawing program) allows you to create a lot of fence quickly.

I used a graphics program to butt the two images together lengthwise so the printed fence could be folded and the boards would match up. Then I made several copies so I could get a couple hundred scale feet of fence onto one sheet of card. I colored the fence, in this case red, and used natural wood tones on random boards to suggest repairs. I wanted a faded red, but my first attempt was actually pink. I took a printed section of fence to the art store for color matching, and yep, pink. My next attempt was a closer match for a light red. I colored the stringers a wood hue, because no one paints posts or stringers.

I printed the fence on 100# cardstock, then used the media cutter to cut it out. Making the fence involved scoring along the join line, then using a tool called a bone folder to get a good, sharp crease. I used CA to glue the halves together, and the heaviest book I have (as expected, an engineering text) to weight the piece.

A note on the bone folder. I’d never heard of the tool until I talked with a young lady at the art store. Her specialty is paper craft, and when I told her I was making paper models, she suggested the tool. It looks like a bone knife, and you use the pointed end for scoring, and the flat of the blade to make the fold. Although the scoring end is too large for N-scale, the folding part works well. I’m currently using my uncoupler to score, but I’ll have to find something else soon. Don’t be shy about telling people in stores what you’re up to. Creative people usually respect other creative efforts, and they might suggest something useful you didn’t know about.

Because I needed more than 11″ of fence, I cut three boards of card away on one side of each section to make a join surface. I alternated sides for this on each piece, so much like couplers, orientation wouldn’t matter when joining with another section.

Red fence 1

The top and bottom sections are the front of the fence, while the middle section is the back.

Next was to attach the fence posts. Most fences of this type use 4 x 4 posts. I have a mess of scale 6 x 12 lumber leftover from the car pier, so I split those with The Chopper to get scale 6 x 6. Close enough. Weathering the posts was accomplished with powdered earth tone pastel. The posts were mounted to the back side with CA on scale 8′ centers. I made a gauge for this.

Red fence 2

Next I trimmed the posts:

Red fence 3

Then weathered the fence with dustings of earth tone and black powdered pastel.

Remembering the lesson of the railings on the car pier, I left every sixth post long for mounting, and cut the rest short. Mounting was accomplished by putting hole in the existing scenery, then using CA to secure the post. As with the railing, I waited until the glue had set before proceeding. I found that along the ballast line, I had to use a round needle file to make the hole. Ballast, even model ballast, is made of rock, and a toothpick won’t cut it.

Scrap yard 1

Scrap yard 2

The grade crossing is 0.040 styrene covered with 6 x 12 planks and painted with Camouflage Brown. The gravel apron is crushed ballast. Some Woodland Scenics Dirt and Weeds finish the landscaping.

And that’s the scrapyard.






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