Florescent Lights

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Play-Doh, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    My boss at work was replacing all the florescent lights and I snagged a few before they hit the trash. I got to tearing them apart and found some interesting items. The first thing I saw of course was the casing itself...which I painted flat black.

    How are these for HO fuel towers? Too big?
  2. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    hang on..gotta reduce the photo size
  3. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    Wow, the flash made that brige orange! LOL
    Here they are next to my HO IHC steamer. Is this too big for HO?

    Oh, and were tanks like this even used during that era? (Late 1930s)

    Any feedback and info would be great!

    Thanks

    TJ

    Attached Files:

  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Definitely not too big for HO, and very common in the '30s, although maybe not without visible seam lines. You might be better off to use these a bit back from the foreground, although as scenery, they will tend to fade into the background anyway if you have more detailed stuff in the foreground.
    I assume that these are metal, so you'll probably not want to add much 3-D detail to them. However, an easy way to add a bit of detail is with paint. Lay out strips of masking tape on a sheet of glass, and using a new blade in your X-Acto, trim the strips to a suitable width, say 8' or 10', and to a length equal to about 1/3 or 1/4 of that of the circumference of the tank. Starting at the top of the tank, apply each of the 3 or 4 pieces around the circumference of the tank, leaving 3" or 4" scale between each "panel". Work your way to the bottom of the tank, leaving a similar space between each subsequent ring of tape and making sure to stagger the vertical joints on alternating rings. The effect should look like giant bricks around the tank, with the vertical joints of every other ring lining up. Don't worry if the bottom row of tape works out to be less than full height, as lower tank rings were often shorter in height than those of the rest of the tank.
    Now you need to decide how "old" you want the tank to appear: if it's fairly new, or well-maintained, choose a colour similar to the base colour of the tank, but slightly lighter or slightly darker. The ideal scenario would be to choose a tank colour first, divide it into two different jars, and then darken one with a little black or dark brown paint. Pick either one to paint the body of the tank, then use the other (lighter or darker) version for the next step, which is to apply the second colour to the masked tank. Because the colours are similar, but not exactly the same, the effect when you remove the masking tape will be of riveted panels making up the tank. However, before you remove the tape, there is an additional step you can do to enhance the panel effect and make the tank appear a bit older. Mix up a batch of your favourite rust colour, keeping it more brown than orange, then thin it severely (about 75% - 80% thinner). Very lightly spray all of the vertical "seams", then remove the bottom band of masking tape. With your airbrush almost parallel to the side of the tank, and the tip close to the edge of the lowermost strip of masking tape, and pointing towards the base of the tank, spray around the circumference of the tank. Remove the next lowest strip of tape, and repeat until you reach the top. If you use a light touch, the effect should be of a tank composed of steel panels riveted together, with a bit of rust bleeding down the sides from each of the horizontal joints. By starting the weathering process at the bottom, any slight overspray will simply make it look as if the rust has been washed down the sides by rain and gravity.
    If you want to apply lettering, like product logos, etc., it's probably best done before doing any of this work, including the seam lines.
    I'm not sure if this picture is much help as an example, as my computer monitor doesn't show much in the way of red tones. While my tank is styrene, wrapped around a cardboard tube, and has had rivets embossed on it, the weathering effect should be very subtle: you can get away with a little heavier weathering because you don't have actual "rivets", but keep it light. If your first effort isn't to your liking, you can always do a second application.

    [​IMG]

    Good luck if you attempt this procedure, which is probably do-able with spray cans, but much easier with an airbrush. And if the whole thing seems to be too much bother, your tanks still look fine "as-is".
    (Edit) I just viewed the photo here: on my monitor, the caboose, which is painted with Floquil Caboose Red, appears dark brown, with a definite greyish cast. I can only hope that the true appearance is closer to what I see in the layout room.

    Wayne
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Great suggestion doc...

    Just for your peace of mind, the caboose in your shot definitely looks red to me. Secord Distributors in the background is an orange-ish colour, and the brick building looks, well, brick-coloured.

    Andrew
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Thanks Andrew, that's reasonably close to the way things should appear.

    Wayne
  7. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    Yeah...its still the first coat of paint, im gettin rid of those tonight. The bridge is not that orange, its actually a great rust brown but the darn flash just made it look alot more orange than it is.

    The tanks are not gonna stay there. I have not even begun on scenery (Something that will have to wait until the layout reaches its permanent home) but that doesnt stop me from building structures like this!:thumb:

    Thanks for your advice of the rivets...definetly gonna give that a shot.

    Also, while ripping into the the light I came across this piece...any ideas what this could be? Do you ever get that feeling "I dont know what this could be...but I dont want to throw it out cause I know it could be something"?

    Attached Files:

  8. joesho

    joesho Member

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    play doh the little ring could be the top of a tower ?close off the top make it pointy then paint a copperish colour?
  9. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    Just what I was thinking! But I really like the look of those now....I guess I gotta do both!

    Looks like I gotta go snag a couple more before the boss notices!
  10. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    great looking tank wayne just hope your LPB's dont have a OSHA inspector :D
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Thanks Jim, he was here, but took a nasty tumble off the big ladder and hasn't been seen since.:D Even though the layout is set in a time before we had all these agencies trying to save us from ourselves, a few of my facilities have safety cages on the ladders: I use them 'cause I think the ladder looks more interesting with them. These tanks (I built three of them, 'cause I had three fat cardboard tubes) were cranked out in a couple of hours. The base is made from Walthers styrene "brick" sheet, with an .060" "concrete" roof, and an MDC door. I'll probably add safety cages eventually.

    The Lowbanks coaling tower is equipped with safety cages
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Here's a partial view of the tank in Dunnville: like the others, no cages (yet). Both of the towers that are on the layout (the third is for the as-yet-unbuilt second level of the layout) are in areas where the ballast and ground cover have not yet been done, hence the limited view of the base.
    [​IMG]

    The water column in front of the tank was built from a Grandt Line spout, part of a Bic pen and some wire and styrene.

    Wayne
  12. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    coaling tower looks great Wayne it was worth the dial up wait.
  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Thanks, Jim, I keep forgetting that you're on dial-up. All of my photos that have ever appeared here on the Gauge are now also available for viewing in the Gallery. I'm told that this makes viewing easier for those on dial-up, as you get to see 15 thumbnail photos per page. If you see one that's of interest, you can enlarge it by clicking on the image. The photos are grouped as they appear in the original thread, but the order of the threads is pretty random. Also, I should warn you that there are 20 pages at present, with more to come when I get a computer that can download stuff from my new camera.

    Wayne
  14. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    Here is an update on the coal tower progress. Its far from finished but the ruff work for the scratcbuilt coal tower is in place. I have not yet added the rivets to the tower itself but I took the advice and flipped that ring on top of the flourenscent light casing.

    Here is a shot of the tower and a closeup of the railing

    Attached Files:

  15. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    And here is a shot of the tower as a whole

    Attached Files:

  16. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    OK, maybe its not the best its a work in progress
  17. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    Judging by the silence im guessing its not very good...I can take harsh criticism folks, it helps! Have at it!
  18. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    got red X's for pics :(
  19. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    Really?? Odd...They are comin in for me...weird. Well, try this.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Ive been beating myself up all day on this....Does it look bad?
  20. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    Hehe....I just realized that if it dont work out I could use the top as an outhouse!sign1