Summer Evening and the ML401

Summer Evening and the ML401
Conrail ML401 rolls west through Central New York farm country in Onondaga County, September 1994.

Friday, December 20, 2019

4-pack for the Holidays

4-Packs are standard fare for many items, and in the world of craft beer it usually means something worth trying.  Today, though, it's a 4-pack of locomotives - four of a kind all finally programmed and weathered up for service.

Rapido's B36-7 as you have seen before here and other places online is a real work of art, an incredible model in looks, sound, and operation.  The detail and paint are fine and as good as any paint on the market.  I took extra time with the programming and the weathering to make sure those lived up to the high bar established by Rapido, and so here we are:

TV14 at CP282, Onondaga NY, September 1995
I am really thankful for these long-awaited models, they fill a huge hole in the Onondaga Cutoff roster as well as the roster of any Conrail, Seaboard, or CSX intermodal modeler.  I followed my usual protocol with the weathering - masking windows and lights first, then a dark wash of thinned dark brownish-gray paint to highlight the doors and give some depth to seams.  That cures overnight, then a overspray of dullcoat, followed by airbrushed dust and mud on the underframe and an overspray of beige to fade some of the paint.  Once that cures, I finish with powdered pastel chalks and some dry brushing.

Finally having a small group of these means that we finally get the 'fleet' feel for these machines.  With 60 B36-7's on the roster, they were somewhat common on mainline trains.  However, add in that these were mostly focused on the routes that hosted intermodal trains and they suddenly seem very common for the Chicago Line.  Nearly every piggyback or intermodal train in the early 1990's had one or more of them in the consist.  

This was a pretty great way to spend some late nights finding some 'peace' after the craze of work during the holidays.  The kids are wired each night and it feels like we are always moving at 100 miles per hour - it's too fast, and it needs to be manually, mindfully slowed down sometimes.  Weathering is a time-consuming but satisfying process that slows down those moments we need to really appreciate things sometimes.  

Teddy at 5, Pete nearly 3, Susie at 7-1/2. 
The Abeles, December 2019
As 2019 draws to its close, I have a lot to think about.  It has been a bewildering year.  We Abeles are finally coming out of some of the craziness of having an infant or baby in the house continuously for the last 7-1/2 years.  Raising kids is awesome, demanding, incredible, and it is hard work.  My wife amazing, smiling and happy and hard working on these kids so much of the time.  Each day, each of these little people develops, grows, and is becoming a person you can speak with, laugh with, and enjoy.  For sure, then, we also have hard days, dark days, sad days.  We all can do better.  And whether a good day or a hard one, it's a blessing and should be appreciated.  

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, best wishes from us to you all into 2020!


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