HO Small Station Details

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by trainwhiz20, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Hey all!

    I know I've been gone for a while--life got in the way--but I'm beginning to have time to continue working on my layout.

    I will have many surprises in store soon to show you guys. Soon.

    First, does anyone have any good ideas for small station details?

    Items such as benches, luggage carts, stuff like that. Who produces these items fully painted? I don't have the tools necessary to do a decent job of painting such small details.

    Remember, I'm modeling 1950's here, at a medium sized station. I can get people, that's not a problem, it's the other things that make the scene come together I'm having trouble with.

    I'm also on a 15 year old budget. :thumb:

    Thanks guys.

    As always,

  2. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    First,welcome back!

    There's actually not much you really need, tools-wise, to paint these little details. An optivisor is my friend, but I'm 42 not 15 so you might not need one so badly. A couple SMALL (0, 00, 000) brushes, and paint. I personally use craft paint (generally about a buck a bottle) and brushes I got at Michael's (a chain of craft stores). Just keep the brushes clean. For really small details on a casting try using a piece of wire or the point of a pin to get a little paint on the detail. Use a thin wash of paint to get shadows and stuff.

    Then of course there's technique, but the only way to get that is to do it, the more you do the better you'll get. Save your early efforts for the back of the layout.

    As far as detailed painting, remember that if you're modelling HO scale and you're looking at a detail from a foot away (fairly close range on a layout) you're looking at it from a scale 87 feet away. At that range tiny details really don't matter.

    Hope this helps some!
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    As mhd points out, super detail is not required. I generally use the "3 foot rule" - if you are looking from 3 feet away (roughly 250 scale feet) and it looks good - then you are done!

    Try to find pictures of station platforms from the 1950s. You library may have some materials, or you might be able to borrow from fellow modellers. There were lots of different things to be found on station platforms in the 1950s - much different from what you might find today...

    Some samples to get you going... Small scraps of wood are great as crates and packages. You can make barrels you wrapping thick foil (from wine bottles, for example) around the metal part of the pencil the holds the eraser. Sacks of grain or mail can be made from modelling clay.

    As for the luggage carts, benches and so on, Walthers.com is probably your best bet to see what is available.

  4. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Thanks guys. I'd rather concentrate on other details, rather than people, but I may take a go at it a later date.

    I didn't realize WS made park benches. With a touch of hunter green spraypaint, they'll look great under the station overhang and on the platforms. However, I need to see if my LHS has them in stock. *Crosses fingers*

    I'm having a devil of a time finding luggage carts though. Even on google. Maybe I just need to search a bit more...

    I was amazed when I started personalizing the station. I mean, I started from scratch with a Walther's box, and now I have a beautiful depot. I didn't even see how much can be printed on cardstock and made using everyday items to place on the station.

    I don't think I'll weather the depot though. I'd rather say the citizens of Black River just built it, seeing as how it looks so good without any weathering. I don't want to risk it.:(

    I do need to do some touch-up painting though.

    Thanks for the ideas, guys. Keep 'em coming. (I'm gonna glance through 1950 era Santa Fe layouts in MR and look at my Santa Fe books...)
  5. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member

    You could do worse than Preiser's unpainted Railroad Freight House Workers. The set comes with typical freight workers and a lot of details (crates, barrells, pallets, and I think a baggage cart):.


    Walthers also shows a couple of baggage carts:


    You should be able to present the product number at your LHS and have them ordered for you, (you can also order direct from Walthers online).

    I second the suggestions that you try painting figures yourself. With some practice, even a so-so hand painted figure looks 100 times better than most of the ready made stuff. The Freight House workers I noted above would be a good starter set. And also, it's a great idea to experiment with making your own easy detail parts like sacks and barrels out of clay. I'd recommend getting a small block of a polymer clay like Sculpey -- it'll run you only a couple of bucks and you'll be able to make dozens of details.
  6. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Hi Devon, welcome to the Gauge. :wave:
    For sources of detail parts, click on the Railroad & Model Railroad Links in my signature and then on the Detailing link. Many other companies and shops (also see the Hobby Shops link), make and sell detailing parts, but these companies specialize in them. Feel free to bookmark the page and if you come across a site that you think should be added be sure and let me know. :thumb: :thumb:

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