The Haitian Sugar Train

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by Doctor G, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    From the perspective of the artist you got to use your eyes, and don't ever use paint unmixed from the tube to paint anything but a freshly painted building or piece of railroad equipment.

    I work with a paper plate palette . I use those craft acrylics in the little plastic bottles. When I paint figures I'll have a spot of the so called 'Flesh tone" a spot of white, a spot of tan, a spot of brown and a tiny spot of black.

    Again use your eyes , and mix paint two people are unlikely to be the same color, people range from pink (with a bizarre bluish cast, (that we are best of ignoring in miniature figures) to very dark, which you would get by adding a tiny bit of black to some brown.

    Mixing the paint is also very useful in making clothing look more realistic. For instance if you are painting some blue overalls, adding a tinny bit of white, can fade the knees, and browns or black can make them dirty.

    I tend to paint at least four or five figures at a time, other wise you spend more time cleaning your brush than anything else. If you don't mix your paint, the similarities in the colors will be distracting, but if your mixing the paint One figure gets brown hair, with a little white to add highlights. Then you wipe the brush with a damp paper towel, and add some black to the brown to do some shoes, and possibly some skin for the "Black" folks, who, for the most part, aren't any more black the I'm "White"; although some few get closer.

    To paint figures you need really good tiny brushes from the art supply store, and you need to take care of them. I have a couple small containers of soapy water ( I use Ivory liquid). in between colors I rinse out the brush. when I'm done painting I rinse the brush in the sink under hot water, rub straight ivory liquid into the fibres, and rince it again. I rub a little ivory liquid into the fibers then, and wipe it with a paper towel before storing the brush. if perchance some pigment is left in the brush, the detergent keeps the bristles from sticking together, and your good brushes stay good.

    I'll bet if you looked around, there are forums for the guys who paint figures for wargaming, D&D ect. Some of these guys are very good, and we could learn lots of tricks for them, One of those guys showed me how to paint eyeballs and pupils on figures just a little bigger than Ho.

    Figures have a big impact on a scene , and that impact increases with the bigger scales.

    Bill Nelson
  2. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Thanks S class. I did use burnt umber and iron oxide brown in painting the figures. Many more need to be done, even for this small micro layout.
    Doc Tom :wave:
  3. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member


    I actually had some O scale people on my workbench for an experiment. these are cheap Model Power figures, and are too slick, I shot them with some white spray paint (as good start for letting washes brighten up the figure, but the white paint was as slick as the figures were to start with. something with some tooth would have worked better.

    these need a shot of some kind of clear coat, as the paint seems to wipe right off of these guys.

    Most of these folks will go to Haiti.

    Bill Nelson

    Attached Files:

  4. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Wow they look great!!

    Hey Bill,
    These guys look great!!! I am super hapy they are going on a model mission trip to Haiti also. We can use their help !!!!

    Thanks again for you considerable generosity.

    I am working on a "street scene" just outside the Le Petit Mec store and these guys will do very well to populate the scene. In the 1920's Port au Prince was a frequent port of call for American sailors and tourists. Looking forward to getting the Haitians a chance to sell some of their cool art works (paintings in O scale) to these tourists who just got off the ship in the streets out side the Le Petit Mec.

    Thanks for all your help making this dream a reality.

    Peace, Doc Tom:thumb:
  5. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Le Petit Mec store more work

    Hi all,

    The little store I have been working on in Port au Prince just got more work done on its second floor. It now has railings to keep the kids and pets from tumbling on to the track below. Curtains also have been hung in the doorways to help with privacy and sleep. Doors in Haiti are usually left open upstairs to catch the breezes in this tropical island and there is no air conditioning.
    Doc Tom:mrgreen:

    Attached Files:

  6. ytter_man

    ytter_man Member

    That whole setting is just perfect. Will you display it with some heat lamps for full effect? :thumb:
  7. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Thanks ytter_man. Yes, heat lamps, rum punch drinks, caribbean music and the high shrill whistle of the little Porters will all help set the mood.
    Doc Tom:rolleyes:
  8. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Heat lamps?

    for an alternative to heat lamps you could put it in an attic of a house with a tin roof.

    with the unseasonably cool weather we have been having, I havn't been running the AC in my RR room, and I have been going in there and doing stuff too!

    Bill Nelson
  9. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member


    Yes, agree. The bedroom upstairs in this house where the Haiti micro layout resides is not on central AC (rarely used window unit) and the thermometer there ranges at times 95-100. Now this is classic Haitian temperatures.

    Attached Files:

  10. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Little Haitian People move to Port au Prince

    Thanks to the artistic skills of Bill Nelson Port au Prince Haiti in 1920 has a few more citizens. Bill did a really good job with these folks and I had fun setting up some "mini scenes" on this micro layout depicting the Sugar Train of Haiti.

    The first scene depicts good friends chatting on a pedesterian bridge crossing the tracks. They are also enjoying a past time favorite throughout the world ....train watching.

    The second scene are two workers at Le Petit Mec Store and residence enjoying a close up view of a hard working Porter that has just delivered some goods to the store.

    Hope you like the pics, Doc Tom:smile1:

    Attached Files:

  11. ytter_man

    ytter_man Member

    I think i'd die of heat stroke in a full suit, tie, and hat sitting up on a bridge exposed like that :weird: lol

    Very cool scene :smile:
  12. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi ytter_man. Thanks for the feedback.

    Believe it or not the Haitian older men wear suits when they "go to town" despite the tropical heat. Here are some photos of 1920's Haiti ( the period I model). Notice all the suit coats. I found that old steam engine in the second photo in a a park in Port au Prince on a recent trip but did not have a camera. I hope to model the US Sailors "hanging around" in Port au Prince like the first photo.

    Thanks for your continued interest.
    Doc Tom :cool:

    Attached Files:

  13. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    A little more progress on the sugar hauler

    Hi All,

    I was able to get a little more modeling done on my On30 micro layout. Le Petit Mec now has a third floor round cupola. This was made using cardstock (from a cereal box), corrugated metal from aluminum foil and paint with weathering. There is a two inch hole in the roof inside the round cupola for a speaker for the stationary sound system planned for the future. Also the third floor needs details......guys playing Haitian Casino, a card game, and the Haitian style of dominoes and perhaps some clothing on a line drying in the tropical sun.

    The third picture shows a train backing across a road crossing with empty cane cars.

    Doc Tom:552:

    Attached Files:

  14. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Doc....That's fantastic work..!!! Love that li'l Porter (??) kettle...:mrgreen:
  15. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Thanks Gus,

    Bachmann's little Porter works very well on this micro layout with very tight 9" radius curves. Here is another closeup shot.
    Doc Tom

    Attached Files:

  16. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Those tight curves are fun. My CN-60 ON3 shay is only about a half an inch longer than the porters, but gets the shakes going through a 19 inch radius curve, which put the breaks on making a circular micro.

    Bill Nelson
  17. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    You are very right Bill. In these larger scales, On30 and ON3 it is tricky to get locomotives to take the tight curves. In fact if you look at most of the "pizza micros" in On30 on the "net" you will mostly find Porters, Davenports or trolleys. Thanks to you I got my first Porter and it started me thinking what kind of RR to model as a micro. It had to be a Porter based industrial line and the Haitian RR sprang to mind as they were a prototypical 30" RR that used Porters.

    For your ON3 shay have you considered a shelf or portable "table top" micro?? There are a lot of good small layouts over on Carl Arendt's neat web site . Enjoy. Doc Tom:wave:
  18. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    for a micro for me HON3


    I have toyed with the idea of a skinny "switching layout" for the CN 60 Shay., but if the truth be known, the amount of switching possible is very limited as well, unless I did something like Bumpass was in On3, swicth with the expansion to O and the shrinkage to narrow gauge, could probably be done in nine by 3 feet; once again, like the Iron Furnace layout plan I came up with, way out of the micro range.

    If I do anything for the CN 60 (construction Number 60- the 60th Shay built) it will likely be a mantle size diorama. sSince My Dad passed away the mantle I had in mind has a standard gauge tinplate mogul (Of modern construction), and some Lionel open platform coaches, of a design that was discontinued in 1921.

    I may just make a ON3 loop of a size that could go around a Christmas tree, and try someting micro with HON3. If I can fix the driver insulation issue on my HOn3 Ken Kidder porter 0-4-2 I could do a micro tiny layout, otherwise the 2-4-4 outside frame forney and the 2-6-2 puffing billy, and my FED 2-6-0 may all go tighter than 14 inch radius, I have been told that the PFM 25 ton shay will go to a 12 inch radius, and I'm not sure how tight my goose would go. It may be time to play with some flex to establish a reliable minimum radius.

    but CN 60 looks so good, and I'm not done painting it yet

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  19. ytter_man

    ytter_man Member

    9 inch radii you say? Wow. That gives me hope for my micro in planning!

    Still lookin great :thumb:
  20. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi ytter_Man,

    Here is an overhead shot of the micro at the very beginning of construction. You can see how tight the curves are. I am very glad the Porters could handle it.

    Bill- Love that Shay and you are doing it up fine. Thanks for sending out the picture.

    Doc Tom:thumb:

    Attached Files:

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