In our last Waterfront Project installment I mentioned the dock we were building would also be home to our next kit and here it is, the Micro-Trains Line, Canning Plant Kit (MTL Part 799 90 931). Continuing along with trying to keep some of these kits looking utilitarian and down to earth, I went again with a basic off-white color that when dry, was sanded down a bit in areas to give it some age.
As I have a tendency to do, at the last minute I decided to add some complimentary color to the walls. I masked off the lower portion of the walls, roughly the first floor of this two story building, and shot the top wall sections with the same red color I used on the doors. Once this red was dry I then sanded it down a bit to add age. The three sets of loading, double doors were shot with green. I was looking around at some prototype waterfront buildings and saw this shade of green on a real building… that’s about all the inspiration I need when making color choices!
A decision I made on the previous kit is carried over here, and that is the choice not to use the included building edging. Really it could be argued either way but for now anyway, I feel these kits can be finished by simply painting the wall sections edges the same color as the face sections. Once they’re assembled and weathering is applied, by using powders or washes, these edges become more pronounced and in a way this works for me. Given the size of our Z scale models, scale accurate edging is near impossible to model accurately so in some cases I simply let the seams represent the edging.
The smoke stack assembly requires a gentle touch as it would be easy to knock the exhaust duct section free from the wall section when inserting the stacks. Ask me how I know! I ended up using a small amount of epoxy to hold the stacks in the duct section. Really just a toothpick amount of epoxy but it ended up forming what looks like a large flange at the base of the stacks. Not a deal breaker.
The stacks themselves are simply two pieces of plastic tubing. These were sprayed with Dullcote and weathered with powders prior to assembly. When assembling the stacks to the wall, areas of the powders scraped off a bit but this works as it has a slightly weathered, uneven look to it.
Once our Waterfront Project layout takes shape, more weathering will be applied to most of these kits, just some light work to tie them all together. I did however want this building to feel a little grungier than the others so a little additional dark weathering has been applied. The tar paper on this kit was shot with some light gray paint to represent age. It’s a good base for additional weathering powders and liquids later on.
The dock crane… seriously… little Z scale crane gears? When I first saw this crane on its wood fret, I was thinking… if it slips behind the workbench and isn’t built, who‘d notice? As soon as that moment of weakness passed, I shot the fret with aluminum paint and let dry. I was actually surprised it went together as easily as it did. The nice thing about this crane, since it doesn’t have to be built to operational standards… you can be off a little with gear and part placement and still have a cool looking dockside piece of equipment.
Our cannery, sitting just down the dock from the previous building kit, overall has the visual effect of a real working scene.
Category: Z Scale Basics