FINE HYDROCAL CASTINGS AND KITS by C. C. CROW
I can't believe it has been TWENTY-FIVE YEARS since I began my
adventure in Hydrocal modeling. I guess we should celebrate that. Okay, let's
build some new structure kits! I wish it were that easy. I've only been working
on my current kit for two years! Of course, it is the Durnago Roundhouse in 1/4"
so I guess it's okay to take a while.
In the fall of 1983 I was fooling around with some Hydrocal,
trying create scale masonry. My first attempts were rather crude however I kept
at it. My first attempts were something like a drunk mason would do with much
over-sized warped cinderblocks. I learned to employ precise control, sort of like
three dimensional drafting, only you cannot erase. I must mention an article on
masonry and stonework techiques by Jack Work in the charter issue of Mainline
Modeler magazine with its description of silicone rubber mold making was
very useful to me, as was another around the same time by Harry Brunk published
in The Narrow Gauge Gazette. The ability to easily reproduce my hard work was a
key element not only in my commercal effort but my personal modeling as well. It
took something precious that dare not mess up and made it simple and common, easily
replaceable- allowing me to do whatever I wanted to it. Paint it, chop it up, try
new stuff, experiment, learn WOW, this stuff is great!
During the Christmas holiday it all came together and I
created the masters for the Great Northern Passenger Depot. Around the
same time I designed the Old Virginal Horse Barn. It was calling Kit No. 1 and
I was thinking of calling my new business The Blue Lake Line (named for a
fictious layout I had drawn up but never built). There was even a BLL No. 2 scribed
on the bottom of the passenger depot's bay window casting if you look close.
I continued fooling around with Hydrocal, and created several
additional patterns including The Blackhawk Boiler and Sheet Ironworks, which
was the model I was originally trying to accomplish. I never released it as
a kit because I took great liberties with the prototype and others released it as a
kit, but I was pleased with what I could accomplish with Hydrocal.
Next came the 40 ft. Stone Arch Bridge. It was influenced by
John Allen's orignal stone viaduct that he built for his famous Gorre & Daphetid
Railroad. I think John built his out of cardstock and embossed paper. I simply took
it a step further and made castings- so mine can be built as high and as long as you like.
Those aside The Safety Hook & Ladder Co. Firehouse model was my
first successful Hydrocal model. Actually, I hand-scribed the original on a
single hollow block of fresh cast Hydrocal. It's definately one of a kind. Later on
I retooled it out of my Standard Common Brick- fine (SCB-M) stock panels for the
kit offered here.
And that's the story of my original Classic kits. Click
on the links below to find out further details on each kit.
HO SCALE KITS by C. C. CROW
ON-LINE HOW TO CLINICS
HOW TO CLINICS
Here are a bunch of my on-line how to work with Hydrocal mini-clinics.
Each kit includes specific instructions of course- and there are lots of ways
to do things, but here are my thoughts, tips and techniques.
My traditional techniques for coloring and mortaring brick.
With a little practice you can color realistic stone walls too. Here's how I do it.
What are we going to do now that Testors/Floquil has dropped their Flo-Stains?
Standard Common Brick- fine
If you like to scratch-build or just want to practice before you do, check out my
stock castings. These are the same building blocks I use to create my kits.