Monday 27 August 2018

It has been a year

Well that was an interesting year. I started this blog on Aug 17 2017. I was not  100% sure how it would go but with some help from my buddy Brian Small, (Tech Adviser) it has gone well. I have received 2500 page views from about 25 different countries although I am never sure how many of those are bots.  I gave up on the "follow me" button for the reasons I posted about so I have no followers per say -that I can see- and have never received any comments which is all good, but I have received personal comments from enough people who follow it and like it. Having said that I guess there are some likes and 68 followers from having it on Facebook.  Brian talked me into putting it on there and he updates the notifications whenever I post something. I also got a plug from the NMRA 6 Div and the cover in the Feb 2018 Highball which was really nice.

I was not sure how hard it would be to write on a regular basis as I am by no means a professional writer. I took some guidance from Tony Thompson's blog as far as length and set up go. So far it turns out  that I have lots of things to write about that I hope are of interest to others.   Those of you who follow my blog can tell I sort of take the summer off from trains. Summertime posts were not as regular but will start picking up speed again after September once I have put away the golf clubs, fishing rods, boat and finally close up at the lake. I will start curling and coaching and make time to go to the gym which eats up not as much of my time and get back to modeling. I did manage to start some posts in draft on rainy days out at the lake and as a result of that that I have 17 sitting in draft almost ready to go.

I did manage to get four of my NMRA  AP  awards completed in the last year.... Civil, Scenery, Electrical and Dispatcher AP's are all finished and I plan to finish Cars or Structures this winter.

If anyone has questions by all means email me

So from myself and my staff all the best in the coming year
Brian- Tech Support
Anita- Spell Check and Grammar...she is getting really good at train lingo
Doug-  Author

Wednesday 15 August 2018

How I make my paint and brushes last


Surprisingly these two topics have come up multiple times over the last year when I have been at a hobby store or in a group of modelers, so I thought it was worth writing a post about it.
Model paint is very expensive given the amount you get.  Especially when compared to buying  a pint or quart of custom mixed acrylic from Home Hardware which is about the same price as a small bottle of hobby paint. Shaking and power mixers are the biggest mistakes most people make, it introduces air in to the paint, this only applies once the bottle has been opened. The air remains in the paint causing it to to set up faster.
I commented in the post My First Engine that I have paint that was opened 21 years ago and it is still usable. There are a few things I do. I only stir my paint until it is mixed thoroughly and there is no blob on the end of my stir stick. I never leave the bottle sitting open when I am using it. I fill my air brush or transfer some to a secondary pallet or container, wipe the threads on the bottle so paint can't dry on the lid. This will cause the bottle to become hard to open in the future.  Before putting the paint away I add a few drops of the appropriate thinner to replace what may have evaporated. I also go through my paints once a year, opening each bottle and checking it's condition, again I will add some more thinner if needed. The evaporation of thinner will happen because the seal on the lid is not as solid as when it was new. 
The vast majority of of my paints are acrylic and the clean up is so nice. I have never had any problems with acrylics on any surface, as I stated above my first project is 21 years old, has been handled a lot and the paint job still looks good.  Note: I now use Iwada Medea Airbrush Cleaner,         ( thanks to Joe for this tip ) to clean my airbrush and it is absolutely amazing. CAUTION:  I only spray it through my brush inside my paint booth as I do seem to have an allergy to it as it makes me sneeze. The cleaner appears to be some kind of soap and water.  I just spray it into the rag I have by my paint booth. I built my own paint booth and will cover that in a future post.

FYI I also use my paint booth if I have a lot of CA work to do especially if I am using a gel to glue larger resin parts together as I have a reaction to too many vapors from the CA.

Some of my brushes also date back to the 1990's, I have lacquer thinner in old clean glass paint bottles.  I  clean a brush with soap and water ( acrylic ) first by putting a little soap on the palm of my hand and gently rub the brush in the soap and then run a little water and continue to rub the brush until it is clean and rinsed. I then twirl it against the inside of the bottle that has the lacquer thinner in it.

This last step completely removes any paint that may remain from the first step.For solvent based paints I just clean the brush in the lacquer thinner. Now say you have had a bad day having left your brush with paint on it and it has hardened on the brush. Open your bottle of  lacquer thinner and let the brush rest in it for a couple of minutes then swirl it against the side of the bottle, all of the paint will be removed from the brush and in most cases will come out looking like new. You may have to perform this more than once. Put a little thinner on a rag and you can clean the ferrule of the brush.