Friday, April 29, 2011

The Tiniest Things

Sometimes you just know something is wrong, can't quite put your finger on what it is. I had that feeling yesterday when I took pictures of my latest effort in modeling-a scratchbuilt Thrall Aluminum coal gondola that I hope to decorate as one of the DEEX cars. You can see the pictures here.

Tonight Mrs. L4T and went to Aldrich to celebrate her birthday with one of Ted and Gen's world famous rib sandwich baskets. ATCS told me a train was coming so we intercepted it before heading to the restaurant. Luckily for me it was a Superior coal empty, and there were a number of the Thrall cars in the consist. And as I watched it roll by, I knew what I had to do. The trucks were too close together. On the prototype cars, the inside wheel set sits just above the short rib between the two longer ribs on each end. I had the trucks way too far toward the center of the car. This had to be fixed! And so it was. Here are the results.

Now, yesterday's post talked about how this model was far from perfect, and it still certainly is nowhere near what a skilled modeler could accomplish. The thing is, it's way better than it was yesterday. And that's because I moved the trucks less than a quarter of an inch toward the ends of the cars. That tiny change made a huge difference in the overall appearance of the car! Another lesson learned.

When you are modeling things, or photographing them, or just watching trains roll by, for that matter, look at them. I don't mean watch, I mean really look. Compare them to things you have seen in the past. Compare the cars with each other. Look at things like truck spacing, and the shape of the sills on the cars. There is no end to the detail you will notice if you really look carefully and pay attention. That's one of the things I enjoy about the hobby-noticing the small details and trying to figure out why they are the way they are. Tonight, I think it paid off.

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