First, I painted the carfloat. After a basic coat of Krylon camouflage brown, I decided to try a method I once heard but never really applied. Instead of building the weathering pattern with several layers, I just used heavy washes of cheap acrylic paint including burnt umber, burnt sienna, Payne's grey and yellow ochre. Those water-based washes were really liquid and I dabbed and stippled thinned paint here and there. The idea was that those "floating" colors would merge together instead of drying. Some colors pool here and there. The nice thing is that the puddles leaves a very realistic weathering pattern. So far, I did the operation 3 times. I plan to lighten the overall color a little bit again with more drastic contrasts. I was once told in my teenage years that my drawing skills were good but that I was too shy to add light and shadows. Since then, I try to fight that natural tendency! With little success! Other weathering technics will be used, but I feel this technic is worth using. Very fool proof, no real talent needed, physic laws do the job for you.
Next project was to build the iconic Erie bridge crane (not sure it's the good name for that thing). Getting the thing right was very important because this crane is visible and easily recognizeable on every Harlem Station pictures. That's the mascot! I used Central Valley bridge parts. Well, I completely depleted my stock and had to butcher my CNR Courtesy and Service bridge! Oh well, you can start throwing rotten tomatoes! Wood used was custom cut cedar patio planking leftover from my last week home improvement project. I stained the wood with tea and coated them with my steel wool/peroxyde mix. The mix is now more than a week old and works even better. The black painting was done with India ink and alcohol. The "Erie" lettering was drawn to scale from picture. This is the REAL thing, not some "quite similar" font. I printed them on Walthers decal paper, coated with dullcote. My first try was a few years ago when I did my QRL&PCo gondolas and hoppers. Back then, I used Krylon flat finish and the decals ended very thick and hard to work. With dullcote, they stay very thin. That's the way to go. Still a long way to go before this crane is completed, but the basic work is now done.
Finally, I also started to ballast tracks with several material taken in the backyard: sand, dirt and some wood coal. My first mix add too much fine powder. It really makes it hard to glue. I finally decided to resift the dirt several time outside in the wind to get rid of the fine particles and keep the rocks.