Author Topic: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars  (Read 1676 times)

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skytop35

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40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« on: March 20, 2012, 09:54:34 PM »
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I started building Milwaukee N scale passenger cars sometime in the early 1970's. They were crude but so was N scale back in the day. The following 3 photos were taken on the old Elmhurst Model Railroad club layout in Elmhurst, Illinois. Not sure of the year but was probably about 1980. The photos show some of my work back then.




 I was already pretty comfortable with airbrush painting. However this was before brass car sides and all the windows on the cars were cut out one at a time. Also decals were scarce at the time and each letter was hand placed one at a time on the model. Even the small Railway Express lettering. BTW, I still have that heavy weight car.




I had a complete Hiawatha back then although a straight parlor substituted for the skytop lounge which I couldn't quite figure out how to build to my satisfaction. However the real Milwaukee Road also discontinued using the skytops toward the end of passenger service and used straight parlor cars instead so all was good.



I kept working at it and through the years kept improving and trying new techniques. After I obtained the Railway Classics brass Olympian Hiawatha set, it became my "gold standard" in terms of detailing and paint that I wanted to achieve.



My latest car is "Union Grove" built for the Pioneer Limited. The roof ribbing is carefully scored in with a #11 hobby blade. Scoring the plastic this way actually raises a lip of the plastic and it looks for all practical purposes like a ridge in the plastic. The car ends were scribed with a tool that creates a trough in the plastic and doesn't raise a ridge. Evergreen 0.010 plastic rod was then glued in to simulate the car end ribbing.



The side weld seams are self adhesive 0.020 vinyl strips that a friend had cut for me. Once painted the vinyl stays in place really well and has a nice flat surface unlike the masking tape I use to use.

Here is the painted, decaled and finished model. I think it stands up pretty well to the Railway Classics brass cars and don't think you can tell it's N scale if you didn't know. Check it out:













Thanks for looking !
 
Bill Denton

Skytopmodels.com

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 10:34:12 PM »
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My son would say "that's sick".......I'd say that's artwork.........

Passenger modeling is something you get hooked on; and one of th reasons I'm hooked is what you have proven can be done.....one day I hope to achive that level of work. Thanks for your inspiration and for sharing !
Model railroading isn't saving my life, but it's providing me moments of joy not normally associated with my current situation..... Train are good!

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 11:50:51 PM »
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Bill, of all the asshats here, I've got to say, I find your work some of the most inspiring (don't let the others hear).

The fact that you did some of those cars back in the dark ages, well, just wow.

JSL

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 12:04:53 AM »
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40 years of awesomeness. Thanks for sharing!

Dave Schneider

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 12:13:34 AM »
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Bill,

When I first saw the subject line I thought that you were going to say that after 40 years you had built a model of every car! Its a bit ironic that many of us were first introduced to your work on the Kingsbury Branch, rather than your passenger cars. They are really works of art. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

kelticsylk

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 12:19:05 AM »
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Love the details and the tinted windows. The cars look great to me, even the older ones.

Frank Musick

skytop35

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 08:58:34 AM »
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Thanks guys. I know passenger car modeling is not the most popular aspect of the hobby but it has seen more coverage and availability of products in recent years. Just wanted to show what can be done with my favorite aspect of the hobby!
Bill Denton

Skytopmodels.com

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2012, 11:29:21 AM »
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I'd show off work I was doing 40 years ago, but most of it was in crayon.

Outstanding display of what's possible when you hold yourself to a high standard.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Blazeman

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2012, 01:14:29 PM »
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Bill: Your efforts are exhibit A in so far as displaying the fidelity possible in our scale, especially considering the decades removed from when you built those first cars. Think of new offerings as attempts to match your talents.

Roger Holmes

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2012, 09:20:03 PM »
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Bill- As always your work is fantastic.  I'm happy to have seen a lot of it in person where it looks even better.
Best regards,

Roger

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2012, 02:33:34 PM »
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As always, very good work from one of my favorite modelers. Keep up banging out the passenger stuff. And this weeks Model 160 photo is awesome.
I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

Sokramiketes

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2012, 03:51:21 PM »
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As always, very good work from one of my favorite modelers. Keep up banging out the passenger stuff. And this weeks Model 160 photo is awesome.

http://www.model160.com/n-scale-news-blog/photo-of-the-week-bill-denton/
Mike

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Better modeling through peer pressure...

skytop35

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2012, 05:19:41 PM »
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As always, very good work from one of my favorite modelers. Keep up banging out the passenger stuff. And this weeks Model 160 photo is awesome.

Thanks Ian, I will.  I see Mike already posted the link to the Model:160 site! Glad you liked the photo. I finally got some more use out of that Union Station diorama I built many moons ago.
Bill Denton

Skytopmodels.com

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2012, 05:53:45 PM »
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From the model160 feature:

Quote
Arriving passengers might see Chicago Union Station as a dark, dank and gloomy entrance to the city of Chicago...

No kidding. My wife and I took our first train trip into CHI this last weekend. After decades of hearing about the place and even a couple of times railfanning the approach, I had no idea how bad it was. Ugh.
...mike

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GaryHinshaw

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Re: 40 years of building Milwaukee passenger cars
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2012, 01:20:38 PM »
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What impresses me most here is that you've been pushing the boundaries of N for 40 years straight.  Well done!