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New River Minning Co

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, July 07, 2006 4:22 PM
After giving this much thought I have decided to move my "prairie skyscrapers" (the ADM grain elevators) to the other side of my layout so as not to detract from the coal mining operations. I bought the New River Mining kit and will add it to the existing mining operation to have two separate sidings for coal mining. The space is perfect for it. I have a question on what structures are folks using to be consumers of the coal, if any ? The Cornerstone Series has a rotary dumper and a power plant. I am not sure about either of these. Also the coal doesn't have to stay on the layout, it can be destined for other parts. What are folks doing? Also does anyone know of good metal die cast coal trucks ? I've seen some half metal and half plastic ones that didn't look too bad.
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Posted by Budliner on Friday, July 07, 2006 8:54 PM
checkout this Blast Furnace w/Stoves


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Posted by accord1959 on Friday, July 07, 2006 11:59 PM
I got one and am soon going to buy a Glacier Gravel kit to combine with it.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, July 08, 2006 2:46 AM
The blast furnace is an interesting thought but probably too large for the space I have and it looks like Walthers is retiring it.

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Posted by jbinkley60 on Sunday, July 30, 2006 9:00 AM

I finally finished putting together my New River Mining kit but have a question which has plagued me on other kits.  How do you get the decals onto the kit ?  I've has similar problems with Atlas kits.  I've determined that you don't scrape them off the paper. Do you use water or something else to float them off the paper ?  I noticed only 1 or 2 of you that posted pictues had any types of labeling or markings on your finished kits.

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
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Posted by CSXFan on Sunday, July 30, 2006 11:27 AM
It should say right in the directions, most likely on the bottom of the back page. I have the Cornerstone ADM grain elevator and this is what it says about decaling.

"1. After cutting out the decal, dip in water for 10 seconds, remove and let stand for 1 minute. Slide decal onto surface, position and then blot off any excess water."

 "2. Lightly brush on Micro Sol on top. This will soften the decal allowing it to conform to irregular surfaces. DO NOT TOUCH DECAL while wet!"

 "3. When the decal is thoroughly dry, check for any trapped air bubbles. Poke them with the point of a small pin or hobby knife blade and apply more Micro Sol."

Good luck.


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Posted by jbinkley60 on Sunday, July 30, 2006 1:51 PM

Thanks, I'll pickup some Micro Sol.  Ironically I have the Cornerstone Grain Elevator kit too (still in the box) and I checked, it doesn't have instructions either. 

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
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New River Mining Co and coal operations.
Posted by MIKE0659 on Sunday, July 30, 2006 2:19 PM

This is a great thread, as is Ryan's sub-topic. Many of us model coal mining and coal hauling, but there isn't much discussion of how we do so.

First, the New River Mining kit is one of the most kit-bashable structures out there as proven by this thread. We bought several of these kits, Glacier Gravel, and the Walthers flood loader kit (Can't remember the name), as well as a few other kits from other manufacturers to get the pieces and parts to kitbash coal loaders on our railroad.

The first picture is of a loader that Ray built, it still needs an extension to the conveyor, some additional weathering, a few more details, as well as ground stuff (Weeds, loaders, trucks, junk, coal piles, etc.), but you can see it is a part of the New River Mining kit.

The second picture is a loader that is still in the construction phase, but again, you can see the New River Mining kit is the source of the major pieces.

Sorry if the pictures aren't of the best quality, I was walking around, hand-holding the camera - some with flash, some just with the layout lighting.

These are two of the largest loaders on our railroad, there will be one larger that will be almost the foot print of the complete New River Mining kit. There are also several smaller loaders of varying sizes located around the railroad. In total there are 8 coal loaders on line.

As for our coal operations, we have followed the patterns we see in the areas we are modeling. We model a freelance prototype called the Roanoke & Western Railway which is patterned after NS/CSXT and their predecessors. The R&W is envisioned to be roughly the same size as the Clinchfield was, in mileage, equipment and traffic volumes.

Since we don't have a warehouse in which to build our railroad (Just half of a basement.), we decided to model a heavy branch with several smaller sub-divisions and extensions that feed coal to the mainline which is represented by hidden storage. We have chosen to model non-unit train style flood loaders since we don't have the length for unit train flood loaders and it is tough, but not impossible, to model both sides of the loads/empties movement on flood loaders.

What we have done is start our operating session with all of the cars at the mines loaded and shoved through or pulled ahead of the loader. When we swap the loads for the empties, we put the empties on the opposite end of the loaders. Since we run live loads of real coal, it's easy to tell the loads and empties when drilling a loader. It also makes the return trip a little more difficult due to the weight of the loads.

Some of our loaders are served by a single train which comes out to swap 15 empties for 15 loads, one example is the Ranger Turn which serves the Ranger Fuels loadout. With some of the smaller loaders we gather up the empties from several loaders and bring them back to the small, 3-track Clay Yard at Black Creek Junction to be combined with other loads from small area loaders  to be picked up by a  turn from the larger Linwood Yard before heading off the railroad to hidden storage bound for Roanoke.

We always leave enough track on each end of a loader for a loads in/empties out type of operation since this is how the real coal loaders work. We wanted our operators to have the feeling of accomplishing something by spotting those empties at a location on the siding different than where they pulled the loads. The live loads add to this as the train becomes heavier as they make these loads/empties drills, finally needing a pusher to get back up the grade.

We didn't want to force any paired industries just to get that loads/empties cycle, so we didn't model a power plant or other coal consuming operation. We preferred to instead have the loads/empties flow on and off the modeled portion of the railroad. If given enough space, it would have been nice to model either a large coal preparation plant or a coal-fired power plant.

The coal prep plant would have been a big operations booster. The loads from many smaller loaders could have gone there to be cleaned and sized, then shipped back out. This would require yards on both ends for the raw inbound coal and the outbound processed coal on the other end. All this movement of raw and processed coal would require trains to move them around.

To get some feel for coal industry operations you can read two excellent books on the Clinchfield Railroad, the first is Clinchfield Country, by Steve King (Out of print, but you can find copies) and the newer, The Clinchfield Railroad in the Coal Fields, by Robert A. Helm. There are sections in these books that talk about the operations on the Clinchfield and many great pictures of the loaders along the line. Every type of loader you can imagine, from the smallest 1 to 2 car a day, mom and pop loaders to the 100+ a day loaders and the big Moss coal preparation plant.

The other thing you might notice in these books is how much like a model railroad much of the Clinchfield appears. It is often a heavily tree-covered mountainside as a back drop with the tracks right against it, a road, possibly a few houses, and then the othe maountainside on the other side of the narrow valley. Very easily modeled in a narrow space. It was also a very curvy railroad with numerous bridges and tunnels.

Sorry to get off on a tangent about the CRR, but it is a good example of what many of us are trying to model and the books are good references for ides on kitbashing and scratch building loaders.

And finally, a few pictures of our railroad, we only have a small portion scenicked and that isn't finished yet, many details are needed.

 

Above is a set of R&W units backing down the lead to the Potter Coal Company loader to pull their daily production of 3 loads.

 

Above is a set of Clinchfield F-Units with loads on the Martins Creek Extension, coming down grade back to Black Creek Junction and Clay Yard.

 

And this is the same set of R&W power idling away while the Conductor strolls over to the tower to talk to the powers that be.

Roanoke & Western Railway Company
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Posted by CSXFan on Sunday, July 30, 2006 3:40 PM
 jbinkley60 wrote:

Thanks, I'll pickup some Micro Sol.  Ironically I have the Cornerstone Grain Elevator kit too (still in the box) and I checked, it doesn't have instructions either. 

 



Oh, sorry about that, the instructions came from a Walthers plastic pellet transfer kit. For some reason  they were sitting in the ADM grain elevator box. I decaled all my Cornerstone kits this way so it should work.

MIKE0659, Thanks for the great pics! The first shows exactly what I want my coaling operations to look like.
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Posted by skiloff on Sunday, July 30, 2006 5:18 PM
I made the mistake of looking at this thread.  Now I'll have to find a place to put a coal mine.  I'll be headed to the LHS next week to see if they have it the New River Mining Co. in N scale.  I know they had it in HO last time I was there.
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Posted by NS2591 on Sunday, July 30, 2006 7:49 PM
Yeah Thanks alot guys, I wasn't planning on having a coal mine on my layout, but i am now. I'm going to have a big bridge, and a coal mine, a yard, street running, and a fair amount of operations. At the rate i'm going, I'm gonna need a big space!
Jay Norfolk Southern Forever!!
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Posted by jbinkley60 on Sunday, July 30, 2006 8:08 PM

I can think of far worse things to put on a layout.  I have two coal flooders and mines.

 

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
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Posted by tomikawaTT on Monday, July 31, 2006 12:48 AM

 jbinkley wrote:
After giving this much thought I have decided to move my "prairie skyscrapers" (the ADM grain elevators) to the other side of my layout so as not to detract from the coal mining operations. I bought the New River Mining kit and will add it to the existing mining operation to have two separate sidings for coal mining. The space is perfect for it. I have a question on what structures are folks using to be consumers of the coal, if any ? The Cornerstone Series has a rotary dumper and a power plant. I am not sure about either of these. Also the coal doesn't have to stay on the layout, it can be destined for other parts. What are folks doing? Also does anyone know of good metal die cast coal trucks ? I've seen some half metal and half plastic ones that didn't look too bad.

Can't speak for the coal trucks, since all the coal at my colliery moves on conveyor belts.  As for where the outbound coal goes, on my layout I load out unit trains (run to down staging after interchanging with the local Class I and a motive power change from tank steam to catenary motors) and loose cars, both hoppers and drop-side gons.  Loose cars are distributed by waybill, but all of them run to the interchange point at Tomikawa.  There they may leave with originating local freights, either up or down, be cut into through freights (ditto) or delivered locally (JNR coal dock, KMT coal dock, local coal dealer's yard.)  Except for those which never leave Tomikawa, all loaded cars eventually end up in down staging, where they are emptied before being returned to the mine.

I've been operating this scheme bare rail on plywood for, literally, decades.  Now I've acquired the New River kit to kitbash into something resembling the prototype crusher-sorter that I photographed near Fukuoka almost half a century ago (time flies when you're having fun!)  After carefully examining my photos, I may need to get the Glacier Gravel kit as well - some of those conveyors ran a looong way, and there are a lot of other structures to model.

Proposed modifications to the kit as designed include an automated loader for loose cars and lots of lights for night operations.  I've designed an "elegant solution" to the empties in-loads out idea for the unit trains.  Now all I have to do is build it and see if it really works!

Chuck  (modeling Japan in 1964, where trains run up and down, even on the level)

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Posted by jbinkley60 on Monday, July 31, 2006 8:15 PM

Ok, at long last I finished the kit.  Here are some pictures with both coal loaders.


No weathering yet.  I am still contemplating it.

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 1:02 AM

Very nice mine.

I am working on the ADM Elevator.

I used pernament marker on the window panes. One or two are blocked out.

I took a box with a cover, dumped the windows into it; added Braxton Mills powder to simulate grain dust. Shook the box with the lid on until the windows were done.

I also have the mine, at this time I cannot decide what to paint it.

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Posted by SilverSpike on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 9:35 AM

MIKE0659, great explanation on the coal operations on your club layout. Thumbs Up [tup]

You mentioned that you run live loads of real coal, and it's easy to tell the loads and empties when drilling a loader. Since you are using real coal, how do you get it to scale size and where are you getting this real coal?

Ryan Boudreaux
The Piedmont Division
Modeling The Southern Railway, Norfolk & Western & Norfolk Southern in HO during the merger era
Cajun Chef Ryan

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 2:26 AM

Mine just came in today. In N Scale. I ordered it through my LHS and it took a week. I was supposed to be notified by an on-line company when they would have it in stock. Although they assured me I would be the first person to be notified of its availability I never heard from them so I went with my LHS. A good lesson for all of us.

SUPPORT YOUR LHS!!!!

The on-line price might appear cheaper at first glance but when you factor in the S & H charges and consider the extremely slow or non response of some on-line companies, your LHS might be the best way to go.

FritzvB

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Posted by jbinkley60 on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 3:22 AM

Here's a few pictures at night with the building and yard lights.

 

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
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Posted by skiloff on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 8:22 AM
Nice night scene, Jeff!
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Posted by Tilden on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 5:55 PM
I've had my kit for years and hopefuly soon will start construction.  I'm planning to build the smaller version described in a MRR issue and was going to paint all the walls with a metalized paint first, then construct and weather.  Silver might need to be toned down a bit too much.
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Posted by jbinkley60 on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 6:39 PM

My next challenge is to figure out what to put in front of the coal loaders on the layout. 

the area in front of the hill between the tunnel tracks and the coal loader tracks is around 8" x 32" in size.  All the way to the left will be the beginning of a small town. I am up for suggestion on what to put in this area.  It can't be too tall because that area faces the front of the layout and would block everything behind.  I am thinking of a parking lot for the workers at the coal mine and then a road leading towards the town for the workers and trucks coming from the mine.  A parking lot is low but just doesn't seem like the best usage of space. 

Suggestions anyone ?

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 7:51 PM
A small depot for bus/truck and perhaps a diner combined in one building?
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Posted by MIKE0659 on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 9:05 PM
 SilverSpike wrote:

MIKE0659, great explanation on the coal operations on your club layout. Thumbs Up [tup]

You mentioned that you run live loads of real coal, and it's easy to tell the loads and empties when drilling a loader. Since you are using real coal, how do you get it to scale size and where are you getting this real coal?

Hi Ryan,

Uh, sorry, I was being a bit facetious with the "easy" comment. It's real easy to tell them apart, especially in comparison to those loaded and empty boxes, tanks, and covered hoppers.

Yes, we do run live loads of real coal. We were inspired by Tony Koester's ramblings in his "Trains of Thought" columns way back when he was still modeling the AM. It sounded cool, and we figured it would be different and make the crews work a little harder and pay a little more attention. We ran some tests with cars loaded with all the ballast and sand we could come up with at the time and were impressed enough to commit to the live loads concept. A 15 car loaded coal train of triple hoppers is pretty heavy, I don't right now recall the weight per car, but we did weigh them once just out of curiosity. I want to say a 15 car train, with the weight of the cars, is somewhere in the 4+ pounds range, but can't swear to it. Everybody is surprised by the weight when they try to move a train by hand.

We actually have pulled a little weight out of some of our locomotives and cut back their top speed using programming functions in our Railcommand system so no one will be tempted to cheat and try to make a run at the grade. They'll stall and just get the dispatcher ticked-off. They have to wait for the pushers to get them up the grade. And as you can imagine, lifting a loaded train up the grade takes some good teamwork between the head-end and pusher, just like in the real world.

The coal is real coal from:

Smith and Sons Ballast, 13630 Gar Highway, Chardon, OH 44024

I found him in one of the magazines way back.

He has a wide variety of coal sizes and ballast colors and sizes too. We also bought our ballast from him. He will send you sample bags for a small charge each so you don't have to buy a regular size bag just to check it out. We tried a bunch of different types of coal and ballast. His prices are reasonable and he's a nice guy to deal with. As an aside, he is actually a guy who somehow grinds up this stuff with a little machine in his garage or basement. A real Pop and son outfit.

The one drawback we have found is that after a number of operating sessions the coal loads tend to level out a bit. So we dump them and refill them. In 10 or so operating sessions and Ray's son Shawn running trains around in between, we have had to do so only once.

We are a club of two, not to be confused with an army of one. The R&W railroad is located in Ray's basement (My brother in law). I don't have a basement, but he does, so we got together to build an empire. Okay, a small portion of an empire. We have had some help from friends with various projects at times, for which we are very grateful.

The operations description was pretty basic, but I thought it would give someone an idea how we are doing it., instead of just saying that we run coal trains on our railroad.

Roanoke & Western Railway Company
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Posted by jacon12 on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 10:05 PM

 Piedsou wrote:
Here's mine, greatly modified. I added etched corrigated siding over the walls, opened some of the windows and added a long conveyor to the mine opening high on the neighboring ridge.




Dale Latham

Dale, the mine looks great but so do the trees in the above picture.  What's your technique for making them?

Jarrell

 HO Scale DCC Modeler of 1950, give or take 30 years.
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Posted by SilverSpike on Thursday, August 03, 2006 9:46 AM

MIKE0659, I would image that full loads would add a lot of weight to the cars. My concern would be accidentally tipping the cars and spilling the loads onto the layout. I have seen where some take styrene or other flat surface and attach to the hopper then place a small amout of "load" on top of that so as to simulate a full load without all the weight considerations. This simulated full load is also glued down to maintain a static form.

Also, thanks for the real coal in miniature contact.

Cheers,

Ryan

Ryan Boudreaux
The Piedmont Division
Modeling The Southern Railway, Norfolk & Western & Norfolk Southern in HO during the merger era
Cajun Chef Ryan

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Posted by MIKE0659 on Thursday, August 03, 2006 7:42 PM
 SilverSpike wrote:

MIKE0659, I would image that full loads would add a lot of weight to the cars. My concern would be accidentally tipping the cars and spilling the loads onto the layout. I have seen where some take styrene or other flat surface and attach to the hopper then place a small amout of "load" on top of that so as to simulate a full load without all the weight considerations. This simulated full load is also glued down to maintain a static form.

Ryan,

Fake coal loads are for wimps! Actually, we started out with all those cast loads and we made a bunch of loads too. They look good and worked fine, but we just wanted to go with the live loads.

We sold off all the loads at several local train shows, cheap. They all got snapped up and we used the money to buy coal. Real coal.

Yes, if you dump a train it can make a mess.

 Stand by a second while I knock on wood. All of us railroaders are superstitious.

We have only dumped one partial train and it went to the floor since we didn't have any scenery. It wasn't normal operation that caused it, but something dumb we did. And no, I won't tell you how we did it, even if you say please!

Mostly because I don't remember.

I have knocked a car over in the scenery while working. Yes the smart thing would be to move the car before fooling around in that area, but I got lazy. All you have to do is scoop most of it up with a spoon or scoop or piece of cardstock. Then we use a cordless vacuum cleaner to suck up the rest. Since everything in the scenery is glued down and the cordless vac isn't too strong, it's no big deal and doesn't damage the scenery. And, a little coal along the right of way looks prototypical, they don't get it all up when they have a derailment either.

One bonus of the heavy loads is that they track very well. We took great pains with our trackwork when putting it down, even before we knew we were running live loads, so we don't (Knocking on wood again) have many problems. We also have kept after out rolling stock to keep it all operating smoothly. The most common occurrence, and it doesn't happen often since we have a good operating crew, is someone shoving back through a switch that is against them or running through the switch before the motor has thrown it all the way.

Just as an aside, we haven't seen any excessive wear to the sideframes of any of our loaded cars after a fair amount of running. Even if we do, trucks are cheap, relatively speaking. We also run all Kadee wheelsets on any car that didn't come with metal wheelsets from the factory.

Generally speaking, our operating sessions have been smooth and trouble-free. We push and pull the cars all over the place, in and out of sidings, through turnouts, and uphill and down 2 and 3% grades. With pushers.

A good time is had by all. And yeah, we're the only nut jobs we know running live loads among our group of friends.

Roanoke & Western Railway Company
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, August 03, 2006 8:16 PM

I am still working on mine. The glue is still drying and you cansee masking tape in a few places. Some of you guys have done an awesome jon on this kit.

 

I all most didnt post they are so good. But i worked hard at my level of ability and am proud to show it.

I am not so good with these kits, I spill some glue, get in a hurry, over spray some paint where I dont want it but I generaly have a good time.

It pays to have a good camera and I dont so it makes the pic less than it should be too.

*******************************************************************

EDIT:

Friday and I about hae it completed.

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Posted by jbinkley60 on Friday, August 04, 2006 4:56 AM
 J I Dorsey Stores wrote:

I am still working on mine. The glue is still drying and you cansee masking tape in a few places. Some of you guys have done an awesome jon on this kit.

 

I all most didnt post they are so good. But i worked hard at my level of ability and am proud to show it.

I am not so good with these kits, I spill some glue, get in a hurry, over spray some paint where I dont want it but I generaly have a good time.

 

It pays to have a good camera and I dont so it makes the pic less than it should be too.

I had similar problems with glued fingers and masking tape stuck to the glue etc...  Same thing on overspray.  If you look hard you'll see light blue dots on the black doors on mine.  The thing is, that happens in real life.  I like the lighter roof.  I toyed with a silver roof for mine.  I think I still wish I had gone that route.  What did you use for the blackening for weathering ?

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
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Posted by SilverSpike on Friday, August 04, 2006 7:37 AM

Mike0659,

From your explanation it seems like you guys have some fun sessions. And yes, I have seen the ROW on some of he Norfolk Southern coal lines where some coal has spilled near the rails, and I was considering that too. You mentioned in an eariler post that you use the Smith & Son coal, I noticed in the 2006 Scenics Express catalog that three pages are dedicated to their product. I also noticed that there are more than one size to choose from, what size/type coal did you use? They also have a variety of ballast sizes, I am thinking of getting the smallest size which is the Gray Limestone #50 for ballasting my track. Any considerations on ballast size?

Cheers,

Ryan

Ryan Boudreaux
The Piedmont Division
Modeling The Southern Railway, Norfolk & Western & Norfolk Southern in HO during the merger era
Cajun Chef Ryan

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, August 04, 2006 8:34 AM

I use canned spray paint.

Over the blue paint I mist it with flat black then lightly spray the blue again.

 

Makes a nice effect and tones down the black.

Now I need to find a box to store it in a while, it is bigger than I expected.

 

Dull coat does a great job of covering up the glue.

I dull coat every thing.

Testers is making a killing on that 1.5 oz of paint for $3.50

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