Saturday, January 30, 2010

CFF Viseu de Sus 764.469

One of the steam locomotives at Viseu de Sus that is not functioning anymore is 764.469. Built by the "Uzinele Domeniilor" factories at Resita in 1955, the little loco arrived to Viseu de Sus in 1962 and it has been in service there for a long time. In 2006 it was still operational.

ID: CFF 764.469
Wheel arrangement: 0-8-0T
Built: 1955
Builder: "Uzinele Domeniilor" (Resita)
Top speed: 30 km/h
Power: 150 HP
Gauge: 760 mm
Location: CFF Viseu de Sus, Romania


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CFF Viseu de Sus 764.221 "Măriuta"

As I already mentioned in my previous post, there are four small narrow gauge steam locomotives used on the Vaser Valley mocanita line on a daily basis: 764.421 "Elvetia", 764.211 "Mariuta", 764.408 "Cozia-1" and 763.193 "Krauss".

CFF Viseu de Sus 764.211 "Mariuta" is a 80 HP steam locomotive with a maximum speed of only 15 km/h. It was built a century ago, in 1910, by Orenstein & Koppel, but it still works. It has been in service at Viseu de Sus since 2005.

ID: CFF 764.211 "Mariuta"
Wheel arrangement: 0-8-0T
Built: 1910
Builder: Orenstein & Koppel
Top speed: 15 km/h
Power: 80 HP
Gauge: 760 mm
Location: CFF Viseu de Sus, Romania

Monday, January 25, 2010

CFF Viseu de Sus 764.421 "Elvetia"

Last fall I took a trip to Viseu de Sus to take a mocanita ride along the Vaser Valley. There I had the chance to see in action one of the last operating steam locomotives in Romania: CFF Viseu de Sus 764.421 nicknamed "Elvetia" after the Swiss non profit foundation that helps preserve the mocanita. Together with "Mariuta" and "Cozia-1", "Elvetia" takes logging train cars and tourists up and down the Vaser Valley on a daily basis. These three small narrow gauge steam locomotives are the last of their kind, still regularly used in Romania, both for transporting wood on the forest railway line and for tourist trips.

The little narrow gauge steamer was built in 1954 at Resita and is operating on the Vaser Valley mocanita line since 2006.

ID: CFF 764.421 "Elvetia"
Wheel arrangement: 0-8-0T
Built: 1954
Builder: "Uzinele Domeniilor" (Resita)
Top speed: 30 km/h
Power: 150 HP
Gauge: 760 mm
Location: CFF Viseu de Sus, Romania


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Revell Big Boy Steam Locomotive - Almost Finished...

The Revell Big Boy steam locomotive is practically finished. The final paint touch ups on the last parts are drying right now...
A few more things worth knowing: after a few days from applying, the decals dried and came off. So I had to find a solution to make them stay on the model. Specialists recommend using decal settling solutions. But I did not know that then and obviously I had none at my disposal, so I re-applied them onto the model using a thin layer of simple paper glue. Unlike the Revell glue, it did not damage the decals and since then they are settled on the model perfectly. The paper glue became shiny at the edges of the decals after drying, so I had to repaint those parts with a very thin brush.
I also managed to fix the first two pairs of wheels located at the beginning of the tender. They were not aligned with the rest of the tender wheels because when I had to take them down and put them back (because of the wrong assembling instructions), I could not glue everything perfectly in the place. But now I used a small rasp to make the axis holding the 4 wheels on the tender thinner and so the wheels became perfectly aligned with the others.
There is one more thing that the model would need: a thin layer of transparent, matte coating which would cover the decals and protect the whole model. But for that I need either an airbrush (which I don't have) or a transparent, matte varnish spray (which I can't find in any shop, not even online).
The pictures are coming soon...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Revell Big Boy Steam Locomotive - Painting, Assembling and Applying Decals

The miniature Big Boy locomotive model is almost finished. It took a lot more time and energy to put it together than I expected. I spent probably around 25 hours painting the parts, assembling them and applying the waterslide decals. Also, a lot of time was needed for the paint and glue to dry before I could go from one step to another. During the process I encountered many difficulties, so I thought I'd share my experiences as it may help future modelers to build this model better.
First, let's see some general guidelines:

A. Many of the components fit together tightly and remain together even without glue. If this is the case, don't try to pull them apart by force in order to add glue. You'll most likely end up breaking something.
B. Allow the paint to dry well. You should leave components dry for around 4 hours before trying to put them together or repaint them. Sometimes you need to paint the same surface twice because the first layer of paint doesn't cover it perfectly. For this model you will need paints 8, 9, 75, 86, 91, 92, 99 and 330. they come in 14 ml recipients. For most of the colors 14 ml will be more than enough, but try not to waste number 8 (black). I ran completely out of black by the time the whole locomotive was painted, I barely had enough for the last parts. On the other hand you will need extremely little of paint number 92 and 330. In fact, you need so little of number 92 that you can very well do without it. Only the locomotive bell needs to be painted in this color (copper). You can use number 99 instead (aluminium). In case of many parts you need to apply 2 or 3 different paints (for example all wheels need to be painted with 8, 91 and 99). Be careful not to paint with one color over the other. you'll need a very smooth, thin brush. If you accidentally paint with one color over the other, just let it dry (for at least 4 hours) and after that repaint with the original color. It's better to paint several parts with the same color, let them dry and then paint all of them with the next color. This way you'll also spare some paint because every time you open the recipient, paint is wasted on the recipient's cap and it also dries out faster.
C. Check all steps at least twice before assembling components together. Also watch out for mistakes in the instructions. Unfortunately it does contain mistakes. I had to repeat one of the last steps several times because of such a mistake and this also lead to some damage of the model. Also beware that not everything is explained fully in the instructions.
D. Apply the waterslide decals over the dry paint (but let the paint dry well, preferably for 24 hours before applying decals over it). Be careful with the decals, they are very fragile. Practice applying the decals on some scrap plastic before doing the real thing. Luckily you have many unneeded decals in the kit, you can use some of these for practice. It's very hard to apply the smallest decals. I did not apply them. Also be careful with the ones that need to be put on uneven surfaces. Sometimes it's close to impossible to apply them. If you move them around too much, they won't adhere (stick) well enough. Do not try to add glue to the decals. I tried it and practically the decal melts when it comes into contact with glue. Soak the decals in warm water for 20-25 seconds, then move them with your finger to the target location on the model. You can move them around a bit while wet. Dry with paper handkerchieves or blotting paper. If you don't get it right, re-wet them quickly and move them with your finger.

Step-by-step advice and warning:

Step 1: Paint the horn with color F before the rest of part 1. This way it's not a problem if your brush accidentally paints outside the target area, you can repaint over it with the desired color later. Be careful when you stick parts 1 and 2 together not to break the thin edges of part 1. I did it by mistake. Apply glue before attempting to fit them together or don't apply glue at all (they fit together tightly anyway and they will hold together without glue). The side edges of part 1 need to be painted with color A (a very thin line). I did that at the end (before step 41) and it was fine.
Step 2: Be careful when you paint the boiler with color G. you'll need a thin brush and a steady hand.
Step 3: It's hard to see how you put the parts together here. Make sure you have enough light.
Step 5: You can delay this until before step 41 in order not to break part 4 during future maneuvers.
Step 7: Be patient with the wheels. You'll need a lot of time before they dry 3 times (they need to be painted with color A, B and E).
Step 8: Inserting component 24's pins into the holes on the wheels can be really difficult. Make sure you don't break anything. Don't paint the pins of component 24, paint will make the pins thicker and harder to insert.
Step 9: It's kind of hard to figure out which parts of component 19 need to be painted in color A and which parts need B. Just establish how you want it and use the same pattern for future similar components.
Step 10: Again, inserting the pin can be difficult.
Step 14: I recommend applying the appropriate decal (1 or 16) over component 41 before putting component 9 into its final place (glued into component 13). Applying the decal later is close to impossible (I did not succeed).
Step 15: Same as step 7.
Step 16: Same as step 8.
Step 17: Similar to step 9.
Step 19: Same as steps 8 and 16.
Step 20: Similar to steps 9 and 17.
Step 22: I recommend that you finish painting the main part of the locomotive (component 1) entirely before step 22.
Step 23: Don't force components 17 and 52 into their final position. Be gentle. I broke one of them.
Step 30: Don't paint the ends of the bars (components 13, 14 and 50). Don't force anything, insert them into component 11 firmly but gently.
Step 31: It's probably a good idea to paint the whole tender (component 30) in black (color B) before step 32.
Step 34: Make sure you get component 31 into it's position perfectly. It will be hard to move later.
Step 36: Be careful when you paint the small parts of components 37 and 63 with color A, not to paint over the rest of it. Paint the most of them with color B first, allow to dry, then paint the small parts with B. Glue components 35, 37 and 63 together tightly.
Step 37: Trust the drawing in this step. Steps 36 and 37 show the parts assembled correctly.
Step 38: The instructions are wrong! The position of the components in the drawing is impossible to accomplish if you did steps 36 and 37 correctly. The "hook" of the tender must face the sky (look down in the drawing), not face the ground (look up in the drawing). Unfortunately I disassembled components 35, 37 and 63 because the instructions in step 38 led me into thinking that what I did previously was wrong. When I got to step 40 I realized that step 38 was not drawn correctly in the instructions.
Step 39: For painting the tracks you need, again, a thin brush, a steady hand and lost of patience for the 3 colors of paint to dry.
Step 40: Again, wrong! The "hook" of the tender must be looking upward (facing the sky), otherwise it's impossible to hook the tender up to the locomotive.
Step 41: Analyze the model carefully, paint over any small, overlooked, unpainted areas. When it's all dry, apply the decals. Actually, it's a good idea to apply the decals based on Step 41's instructions before step 40 (except the decals that need to be applied even earlier). Don't touch the decals too much, they may get damaged.

I was quite surprised to realize that the kit contained two components (10 and 101) that were actually not needed for the model. I have no idea why they included them.
Assemble patiently and carefully and you'll obtain a beautiful Big Boy steam locomotive. It's worth the time and energy!