Vol. 3 Issue 12

December 2011

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web specials
bargain bin
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HH Greetings!
The Holidays are upon us again! Time just flies by when you are having fun building models. For this winter modeling season we have been reprinting existing decal sets and also managed to roll out several new releases for Military and Railroad lines. We are still running our adhesive web special with the enhanced MicroWeld formula. This product is far superior to the original MicroWeld formula. It has a bit longer dry time then most MEK based adhesives, which can be advantageous at times for model building. I have a feeling it's going to be a cold winter so be sure to stay warm and have a wonderful Holiday!

You might've seen Microscale's ad in the past issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine. Be sure to look for us in the December issue too!
aircraftDecember Aircraft New Release


September 2011 New Releases   

December 2011 New Releases    

Back in Stock Coming this MONTH!

87-48 Diesel - EMD, GE, BLW, F-M, ALCo, etc. Includes Builders Plates

87-208 Northern Pacific (NP) - Passenger Car - 2-tone Green Loewy Scheme f/ North Coast Limited
87-241 Southern Pacific (SP) - Passenger Car - Heavyweight - Gold Lettering
87-242/60-242 - Union Pacific (UPFE) REMX Leasing - 57' Mechanical Refrigerator Cars (1970s+)
87-414 Pacific Fruit Express (PFE) -  Refrigerator Car - Ice - 40'
87-504/60-504 CSX - Box Cars - Gondolas - Hoppers
60-553 Soo Line (SOO) - Diesel - Candy Apple Red Scheme
87-567 Canadian National (CN) - Diesel - Cabs, Hoods & Switchers
87-577/60-577 Rio Grande (D&RGW) - Passenger Car - Ski Train and Business Cars
87-627 Conrail (CR) - Diesel - Painted By EMD and Conrail
60-677 Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) - Diesel - Cabs & Electrics - 5 Stripe Scheme - Gold Leaf
87-686 Reading (RDG) - Diesel - Green & Yellow Scheme - Incl. Bee Line Service
87-922 Lehigh Valley (LV) - Caboose
87-925 Data - Diesel - General Electric - Dash-9 & AC-4400
87-981 Wheeling and Lake Erie (WLE) - Diesels
87-1003 EMD - Diesel - Demonstrator - GP7, BL1
87-1022/60-1022 Amtrak - Diesel - P40, P42 - Phase IV & Northeast Direct
87-1065 American Freedom Train - PA Diesel and Passenger Cars
87-1180 CSX - Diesels
87-1255 Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) - GE ES44DC Diesels (2005+)
87-1307 BC Rail - BC Rail 50' Boxcars
MC-4279 United States Army - Vehicle - Tanks, Jeeps, etc

Prototype Modeling with Microscale

Soo Line bay window caboose

Martin Young

In 1973, with much of its rib side fleet nearing the end of its useful life, the Milwaukee Road placed an order for 15 bay window cabooses from the International Car Company.  These cars were immediately incorporated into the mainline fleet, seeing service from Kentucky to Washington.  One of the main spotting features for these cabooses is the roof top thermal generator manufactured by 3M.  This rarely modeled piece of technology didn't quite work out as planned and instead of removing the equipment, it was disabled and remained on the roof.  These features could still be found on most International (and some thrall and home-built) cabooses at the time of the Soo Line merger in 1985.  Using a design based on the Milwaukee prototype, Walthers in its Platinum RTR line, included separate wire grab irons and an accurate paint job, both excellent starts to a prototype model.


Getting started, the coupler trip pins were clipped (including the portion that protrudes out of the top of the coupler), the end rail assemblies removed and the trucks disassembled and set aside.  So they don't get misplaced, I returned the wheelset screws into their holes until the model is ready for reassembly.  Using prototype photos as a guide, I trimmed Plano Apex-type roof walk material to fit on the roof.  As I didn't have drawings or measurements available, the roof rib dimensions were used to determine accurate placement.  After tracing lines with a pencil denoting the roof walk placement, I cut five Plano walkway supports from a spare fret, bent them as recommended and laid them out according to prototype placement.  After confirming they were correctly lined up, I used them as a template to drill #78 holes and set them with Cyanoacrylate (CA) [MicroBond Thick works well for setting roofwalk components - ed.].


Following a search through hard print and internet resources, I struck out trying to locate accurate drawings of the roof top generator.  As I did with the roofwalks, I used dimensions of the roof, roof ribs and walkways to determine rough measurements and translated it to the detail plans.  To create the part and maintain the see-through look, I created a floor and sides using Evergreen .040 x .250 strip stock.  In order to remain square with the caboose sides, the floor should be angled to match the roof contour and sides cut to match.  Once the unit was square to the sides, the styrene was glued using Tenax cement [MicroWeld can be used in place of Tenax for styrene bonds].  After the weld was cured, a file was used to bevel the corners to 45 degree angles and once satisfied with the look of the bevels; pieces of .020 x .040 strip stock were glued in place at the top of the unit to create front rails of the "box".  Inside of the box, there appears to be a mechanical unit and an exhaust stack.  For the mechanical portion, a small section of .100 x .125 stock was sanded (including the angle to conform to the sides) and glued to the front of the box, facing the propane tank side of the caboose.  The exhaust stack was fashioned using two pieces of .040 x .250 strip stock glued together, trimmed to size and sanded to remove glue lines.  This piece will fit in between the back rail and mechanical unit, centered between the sides.  After assembly, give the part a final sanding using 1000 grit sandpaper to smooth joints and set aside to let the glue cure.


Next up were the plated windows.  A common feature on modern cabooses, the plates on this particular caboose were coated with a lighter colored paint and lacked proper priming on the weld seams, allowing rust to bleed through.  In order for the model plates to seat correctly on the car, the molded window rivets were removed using an X-ACTO #17 blade, being careful not to nick the surrounding paint.  After removal, .005 sheet styrene was cut using a NMSL Duplicutter for uniform sizes and installed, ensuring that the tops of all plates are uniform in height across the car side.  After allowing the glue ample time to cure, the plates were masked following the prototype pictures in preparation for the window patches.  Several attempts were made to mix a correct color to represent the patches.  The blend was finally arrived at by using Polly S paint, ten parts Reefer White, two parts CP Orange.  The patches were painted and tape removed immediately to avoid paint peeling off of the factory finished surface.  While the paint was out, the bay windows and end numbers were covered with Polly S engine black.   Note that when Soo forces were applying the patches on Milwaukee equipment, paint coverage was not always masked off.  This is represented by the end patches looking like they were applied by hand.


With the windows out of the way, attention was turned back to the roof.  The radio antenna was modeled using .035" Plastruct tubing, cut to a length based on photos.  Roof walks were test fit, and installed using Plano's instructions.  The area underneath the generator was prepped by shaving ribs down to the primary roof elevation.  Using a small amount of CA, the generator was installed keeping the unit squared up with the roofwalks, set back approximately six inches from both sides.  A propane supply line was bent and installed between the tank holders and generator.  To finish the roof, two sections of .019" brass wire were bent and installed to represent smoke jack stabilizers.

Prior to weathering, coupler cut bars were installed and a beacon with electrical conduit was added on one end of the caboose.  The lens housing was made from 1/8" styrenetubing.  These parts along with the generator were painted to match the prototype.  The end cages were reinstalled and the gap at the top between roof overhang and end panel were filled using CA.  Once dry, the areas were lightly filed and cleaned up with 1000 grit sandpaper.  The tops were painted Reefer Yellow and the handrails painted antique white.


The weathering and decals were completed in concert with one another.  After masking the windows, the sides, ends and roof were layered with chalk suspended in alcohol, avoiding the bay windows.  Applying light layers instead of one heavy layer allows the modeler to achieve the streaking seen on the prototype.  Once the alcohol is evaporated, a Q-Tip dipped in 71% alcohol allows additional streaking to be introduced.  The lube plates and ACI labels were applied after the first layers of weathering were completed.  After setting up, additional weathering was added to the decals to meld them into the surrounding areas.  Because the Soo lettering was relatively fresh at the time the prototype photos were taken, they were applied over the fresh black paint and finished per Microscale's recommendations.  Light weathering was applied to the end decals, nothing was applied to the bays.  The trucks were weathered using a color blend recommended by Chuck Derus with additional light and dark rust colored chalks added, the trucks reassembled and installed on the car.

After touching up the weathering to taste, a coating of Tamiya Color TS-80 Flat Clear was applied to seal the weathering and decals.    


Using Ready-To-Run models combined with commercially available detail parts and Microscale decals allows today's modeler to accurately represent their favorite prototype with only minimal effort.



SOO Caboose as modeled by Martin Young using the MC-4280 and MC-4215 decal sets. Use 60-4280 and 60-4215 for N-scale


All Aboard - Free Stuff
We invite you to submit your best "HOW TO" articles for publication in our monthly newsletter. We know how talented you are and we figured it would be a great way to showcase your work.

The only condition is that you write an article that will be of interest to other Microscale modelers and that you use some Microscale products such as Microscale Solution or Microscale decal set(s).

If your article is selected and used in our Newsletter, you will be entitled to 4 FREE decal sheets of your choice from our regular stock.
Send submissions to: railroad@microscale.com
With your submission, please include your written release for Microscale to use the information and photos for publication. 
2009 Catalog IN THE WORKS

Each month we will be letting you know what we're working on for the near future. Please remember to check out this newsletter each month for details of upcoming releases.   
Coming Soon...
VIA RAIL Renaissance Scheme F40PHs
C&NW Insulated Boxcars
BN Gondolas and Woodchip Gons
Microscale has been serving the model train hobby market for over 50 years. We pride ourselves in delivering the finest quality products and service. We also provide a variety of custom printing services for manufacturers and other organizations alike. If you have a custom decal project and want us to provide you with an estimate please contact us at vickie@microscale.com or ryan@microscale.com.
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