Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Below is a structure I created for my friend Steve Swanson. He is into minerals, mining and railroads. I thought to myself... mining engineer and assay office would be the perfect structure. It is O-scale. The shingles are evergreen scale models real cedar shingles.

I scratch built the entire structure from strip wood. I distressed the wood, and lightly sanded it to remove the fuzz. I then used an alcohol and  (Kooh-i-noor brand) waterproof black technical pen ink. I penciled out the walls on architectural card stock. The wood was then glued on the surface. I also added a slight whitewash color paint to the upper parts of the wood on the wall. The rest was small details and grandt line windows. 
Small mineral samples have been placed on the front porch, and in the sill of the window. 
In the next picture below you can see the white wash paint effect I did.

The stove pipe I scratch built out of brass tube, sheet and wire.

The rust streak is a special rust wash I make myself.
This On30 baby heisler is completed... I painted it to look similar to a Westside Logging Co. heisler.

ON30 Termite & Tarantula Heisler #12
Built by Gerald Styles

Model description/features:
Rivarossi HO scale heisler locomotive chassis

Soundtraxx DCC sound decoder, with synchronizing cam
Cab is partial Wiseman Model/V&T shops heisler kit, part scratch built.
Loco cab frame is scratch built in styrene
Front boiler support frame is scratch built in brass
Boiler is scratch built in brass.
Fuel Bunker including water & oil fill caps and is scratch built in styrene and brass
Crew: Arttista figures
Many, many, PSC brass detail parts

Over the 2015 summer period  I was very busy building models. I

I have been creating some new Gn15 critters and rolling stock. These freight cars were intended to go with a sugar cane locomotive that I displayed at the Pasadena CA National Narrow Gauge Convention.  The pictures following are of the locomotive I scratch built out of brass, plastic and wood. The resin figure was once offered by sculptor Richard Kapuaala. I painted the figure with Vallejo acrylic paints.

This loco features a ESU Loksound DCC sound decoder with a custom sound file. They are neat! Very fun to watch and listen to running down the track.
Above is a sample of the Gn15 whole cane cars I created to pull behind the locomotive. The basic flat car that is the basis of the cane cars got me thinking....

 This "basic platform" could be used to make up a bunch of different cars for different purposes.

Some Gn15 man-trip cars based on the same basic flat car that is on the cane cars.

 From there things just went into overload... I also created some fuel tank cars to hold fuel oil. Remeber.... "No smoking around these tanks they are leaky!"

Then one day while I was surfing the internet I stumbled upon an industrial shop built crane in Brazil. I had to make one of these cranes.... Here is the prototype crane:

And below is my creation, it completely works using the small hand cranks. The little pawls do lock the spool in place as you turn the hand crank. Pencil is to show size of the model.

I am working on some Koppel drop side cars and in the future I would like to make some sand cars, an explosives skip, little gondola, maybe a brake van... Fun! G
Update, 4-20-2017 Everyone, I have had several comments and questions.

YES absolutely, this diorama was inspired by the amazing Yellow Ridge Mine by Nick Wright. No my model is not a carbon copy, nor is it exactly the same, nor is it intended to be.

The copyright watermark on my photos means simply that you may not publish transmit, distribute, send, duplicate or use my photos without my consent. My photos are also digitally watermarked in the data of the photo. Why? because my photographs have been being used, transmitted, and distributed without my consent.

Recently I created a Gn15 Micro Layout for my friend Bill Palmer. Gn15 is G scale 1/2" to the foot. Gn15 locomotives are gauged to HO width track. Most Gn15 locomotives represent estate, tramway or mine railways.


This micro layout features Peco O-16.5mm (On30) code 100 track and turnouts. I scratch-built all the structures. The brick tractor shed bricks were cut from foam and glued on board. The rolling door is scratch built from styrene plastic, n-scale metal wheels and a bit of time.


The neat signs were reduced down images of vintage tin signs. Many of the small directional signs, "Open Shaft" "No Loafing" "Look Out For Cars" were originally produced for industry by Stonehouse Steel Sign Co., Denver, Colorado. Many of these standardized signs were sold to mines and industry through the Mine & Smelter Supply Company in downtown Denver.

"Stonehouse Steel Sign Co., Denver, CO. William Stonehouse opened a sign shop in Chicago in 1863 and taught his son James Wesley the art of painting gold leaf lettering on store front windows. by turn of the century j.w. moved west with the gold mining boom and set up shop in Douglas, Arizona.  Ten years later, he moved to Colorado, and it was here that the accident prevention sign business was born. J.W. saw a need for safety in the mining industry. He created standard bell signal signs to better communicate in the mines, therefore reducing accidents and injuries. He lobbied for the codes to become standard in all mines in Colorado and was ready to sell his silk screen printed signs when the mining bureau enacted the standard. in 1913,  J.W.  moved to Denver, where he continued to design signage that would set the standard for the "safety sign" industry.  The Stonehouse Steel Sign Company was formed as a corporation in 1914, and has stayed in business through multiple generations."  Info from

  Inside the tractor shed overhead view. 

Inside the tractor shed. 
 Tractor shed roof is real corrugated, metal sheets, weathered with Games Workshop Paints