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A Tale of Two Trams

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When I ended up with two MiniArt European tram kits, I decided to build one more or less out-of-the-box and pretty much wreck the second one. The kits are very challenging to build: lots of tiny parts, plenty of "glass," and a tricky series of sub-assemblies. I decided it wasn't enough to use the kit's plastic windows for the wrecked tram, so I purchased some microscope slide covers. They're very, very thin, and when pressed lightly, shatter like, well, glass! Be careful using them (I covered them with a sheet of paper to prevent shards from flipping up). The whole scene was then weathered, and I may even add some figures later on.
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About the Author

About Bill Cross (bill_c)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.


Comments

Hi Bill, Nice work and concept. I agree with Robert and Romain, more street litter and some depth to the burnt areas. "Ola Bill Well you can almost use anything you like. Unused kitty litter, Bricks cut from cork. Strips of wood, stained painted and torn up, Newspapers drifting in the wind. Easy to print or make your own with a pencil and a scrap of old thin paper. Crates always work well. A sparewheel and other parts from a vehicle destroyed just off the edge of the scene. Which would work quite well considering one of your Trams got a few hits as well. Tangled wire on the street. An overturned Park bench. A dead horse. The Piano on the street from Saving private Ryan and Band of Brothers. Pretty much anything can be litter in Battle." "The only thing I would do is reduce the harshness of contrast between the burnt abd unburnt parts! The marks would not end in straight lines. Moreover, burn damages include colour cracking under the heat, i.e. a surface that is actually not smooth" If you look at the top of the burnt tram there is a nice range of depth and variation to the colour. If you could replicate that in the smaller areas that would enhance the look a lot. There is a product called crackle medium one of the Vallejo range of products (code 598) that does just that causes the paint to crack that might be worth looking at. Mig also do Ashes White P022 and Old Rust P230 (careful here very strong)that might be of use. Lifecolor also do a set of weathering agents, Set 2 with some useful colours as do Vallejo. Might be worth looking at. If you remember Pat McGrath did a burnt out Sherman a while back the thread has a lot of useful ideas. http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=197120&page=1 All that sounds a bit negative, the build looks great, the two trams certainly make for an interesting setting, excellent concept so well done with this one. Al
APR 25, 2014 - 10:36 PM
Michael, I'm glad to know you're inspired! Go for it! Al, not negative at all. These are really artistic decisions that we make (and sometimes unmake). I will look at the products you mentioned and see about incorporating them into this build or perhaps another one. And Pat's Sherman should get a re-look for anyone who's thinking about a wrecked vehicle. Thanks for taking to time to address this.
APR 28, 2014 - 06:06 AM
Bill, Thanks for the EZ-Line tip -- worked like a charm! In addition, I was able to achieve another goal -- suspending the outer ends. By coating the EZ-Line with CA Glue, pulling and giving them a shot of Kicker Spray, I was able to suspend the outer wires into space. Now, I'm even more excited about my upcoming European Tram build! LINK LINK PS: I see you're from Jersey. What exit?!!!
APR 29, 2014 - 06:51 AM
Great job! I'm exit 151 off the Garden State Parkway.
MAY 02, 2014 - 10:20 AM
In this diorama, in which direction was the tram moving? I am asking because if it was moving right to left then the car on the left should have been the one connected to the power line. With these old trams the leading car was typically the one that was powering the rest of the tram.
MAY 09, 2014 - 12:49 AM
Hi, Martin, you are correct, but I chose to have the power connector collapsed because of the intensity of the fire. Here is an interesting period photo of GIs on a tram:
MAY 22, 2014 - 12:05 AM
Found another....
JUN 05, 2014 - 09:21 PM
Very nice work.
JUN 09, 2014 - 08:59 AM
Thanks for showing off your diorama. Been looking at buying one of these, but having it in San Francisco. And yes, I know they use a different style of tram, but want to get back into modeling after 15 years and do NOT want to lose my modeling mojo in scratch building something like that. Thought I'd have it being stopped by a bunch of protestors that WERE holding signs saying zombie lives matter but now they are being attacked by zombies.
AUG 28, 2016 - 09:19 AM
Sorry, Bill but the glass on the ground just doesn't do it for me. The pieces are far too large and the glass left in the windows looks like it melted, not shattered. I know safety glass didn't exist at the time but if it wasn't broken into small pieces in the initial impact, the secondary impact to the ground would shatter it into small shards. Other than that, I love the concept and look forward to seeing it go places with the additions you plan! Great idea to use the trams... maybe a dead body or two in the scene would add an element! Good luck and good modeling!
AUG 28, 2016 - 11:15 PM