Wicked Wanda's by Bar Mills - Chandler's Assay & Claims build #001
I'm glad to finally get a temporary workshop back together while I save up for finishing off the basement. Click on the photos to enlarge them!
I don't normally build kits in HO scale, but I'm a bit rusty from not having built anything in a while and this just looked like too much fun! While I have respect for the world's oldest profession, I'm not going to make it a house of ill repute. Instead, we'll build Chandler's Assay & Claims to support the local miners. Chandler being Lyle Vernon Chandler, my grandfather and professional miner.
Oh it is so fun to open up a nice laser kit. The kit is well packed with a lot of goodies.
I took out the instructions, reverse folding them to try to flatten them out. I made back up copies in case these get damaged. The instructions have color photos and are pretty dressed up, printed front and back.
Here are the laser cut parts. Wow there are a lot of components for a building that is not a whole lot bigger than a tennis shoe.
The pristine clapboard sides look clean and well cut. We'll destroy them soon!
Its a bit cold here in the basement as I don't have a furnace down here yet. I've got a small radiator type heater next to me and a hot cup of Russian Tea. I take a new blade and lock it into the hobby knife and taking my time cutting out the parts.
Normally I airbrush everything but so many people are using rattle cans for a base coat that I've decided to give it a try. I have a small pile of Masonite boards that I use for painting. I double fold some masking tape and stick the parts to the board, then spray it with Rustoleum Satin Fossil paint.
Over the next few days I cut out the windows and got them primed. They are cut well and fit nicely.
Here we have the assembled windows and doors. I'll keep them in this little clear plastic drawer on my desk to keep them from breaking.
I primed the inside of the model with a grey primer. I don't use black because it calls attention to the inside if you get close enough to look in. The gray is closer to shadows than the unnatural black color.
Weathering the clapboard is a time consuming process that I love to spend time on. Using a wire brush and an old saw blade I engrave the wood with wear lines. I then lifted some of the boards with a razor blade, broke some boards and then applied nail holes with a pounce wheel. I don't always do nail holes, but this building needs to be pretty run down, so I thought I'd try it in HO scale. I'm sure I'm going to make some O scale mistakes!
I performed surgery on each of the main four sides and for the smaller walls, which took a couple of evenings.
I made up some ink wash with alcohol and india ink and gave each of the size a liberal coating. This really brings out the lifted boards and broken pieces, along with the nail holes.
I got a little warping and should have put the back braces on first. But there were so many windows it was hard to put them in. The instructions for this kit are very poor and should be re-written. They jump around and have very poor photos. I finally just stop looking at them. I like to build out all the sides before assembly, so the instructions don't work for me anyway.
As you hear me say all the time, study the prototype before you start. Recently I went in search of peeling white paint and found a great example that you can find here. Now I have something to go by. Don't use other people's models as your prototype. Go find your subject yourself! Its more fun that way, anyway thanks to modern digital cameras.
Using a piece of scrap clapboard that was cut away from the model and I began experimenting with a peeling paint technique that I often use. I paint the wood with odorless mineral spirits (OMS) and then hand paint a light coat of white over it. After letting it dry for a short time, I begin taking off the paint using Scotch Tap. I push the tape down and then rip off the tape and the paint goes with it in a random fashion. Then I take a brass wire brush and brush more of the paint off. The gray worn wood begins to shine through nicely!
The windows and doors are done with a different technique. Using a stiff, short bristled brush, I put a dab of white paint on the tip and then remove the most of it with a paper towel. Then I dab the brush randomly on the part to make it look like paint has flaked off. This takes a bit of training, so be sure to practice before you start.
Here you can see the weathered wood, old doors and windows, and the lovely worn paint job.
The weathering requires a lot of work and is worth every minute. Be sure to let your model parts dry thoroughly over a few days so the paint doesn't keep falling off.
I'm sold on the rattle can technique for walls and the like. Not sure about castings so I'll try that next.