Joppa Iron Works A Fracture in History

February 29, 2012

Paper Scrapers…

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 5:22 pm

I am always looking for alternate methods of creating something. With regard to road material, I have used Creatology Fun Foam, card stock, styrene. For foliage I have used pot toppers, moss, lichen, various Walther’s products, dirt, etc.

When it comes to buildings, kits are nice but sometimes I need something different. There are few kits to represent taller buildings, so I went on a path to create some of my own structures out of different materials. There are a few buildings that are paper-sheathed over FoamCore:



And sometimes I need something made from PlexiGlas:




This is a reasonable and inexpensive way to create a city and not too time consuming. If you have questions about how these came to be, email me at joppaironworks – AT – yahoo – dot – com

February 18, 2012

FoamCore, cardstock, color prints…..

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 9:58 pm

This is a post I was able to rescue via cached web pages after I changed servers…..

“I have been playing with card stock models for a while now. The layout needed a passenger station and I located an HO scale image for Knox College’s “Old Main” building. It was selectively compressed and not made to plan. The structure is printed surfaces over foam core with a scratchbuilt canopy:

It looks OK in person and in pictures.

This area is not finished. There is a lot of other work that needs to be done as well as weathering…

The Penske truck and DHL van started as plain vehicles that I made decals for. Enjoy.

People make the difference….

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 9:55 pm

Sounds corny? I have had few people on my layout over the years basically because they are hard to paint. Enter eBay… a vendor had 100 figures for under five bucks. They are 1/100th scale which close to HO scale, and they work out just fine. I’d always thought that the regular HO figures were a bit big in some cases and after a few quick measurements, my old HO people were all six footers and over! They worked out well enough that I have ordered more of them.

Anyway- these were already painted and I dusted them with black chalk to bring up the details and kill the shine. They are not front line figures, but are great for areas that are arms-length. Here is the first blast of people:

February 17, 2012

Another dose of Fun Foam Roads

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 1:54 pm

Here are a few pics I took of my Creatology Fun Foam roads. I am looking to put together an article for MRH about this.

Below is a bridge that I recently created so that one of my roads didn’t terminate into thin air. It is foam core, wood, Faller railings, and Creatology Fun Foam (UNWEATHERED):


Another close up – not weathered yet:



This is somewhat weathered but uses Highball Cinder to create a look of crumbled macadam:



Patches in the macadam courtesy of a Sharpie marker:


Un weathered but striped with a paint pen from Michael’s Crafts:


A little weathering and more highball cinder for crumbled macadam:



Weathered. Garbage courtesy of my wood stove, shredded paper, and clipped up blue grocery bags that seem to be ubiquitous in the urban landscape:


February 16, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 8:44 am

Per the Yahoo post, here are pics with decals for graffiti.




February 12, 2012

More mill pictures

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 10:18 am

Web site is being recovered after a crash. Here are pictures that used to be here. This is an ingot buggy that I created from scratch with metal wheels and McHenry couplers. It tracks reasonably straight and rarely sees actual service. It looks just fine in photographs.


This is a detail of the undercarriage of the ingot buggy. Not pretty, but it is functional.


Outside of rolling mill:


A 1960’s type shot of the small diesel that switches cars at the mill.



This shot is complied completely of color prints. The roll up door, the image itself were all printed from PhotoShop and glued to the side of the rolling mill in an area that I though needed an additional detail.


Another shot of the look inside of the rolling mill. The JIW logo was created by Adam Peszel on Rick Rowland’s steel board. That can be found at: You will have to sign up for the site, although the resource is an excellent one.


February 8, 2012

More pictures of the steel mill portion…

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 10:32 pm

My time and attention sometimes ebbs and flows with the railroad- I have a full time job that keeps me busy like a lot of people- so finding extra time can be difficult.

Anyway, I decided to take a few night time shots of my mill and a few have a little Photoshop work to add clouds. I hope that you like them!

Ohio House Restaurant in foam core and paper…

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 10:30 pm

I know that this is a little out of my neighborhood, but I couldn’t resist this. There was a paper stock HO scale file online that I located (not copyrighted) so I printed it out and built it. The shell underneath is black foam core board and the image is printed onto 110lb. cardstock with my HP inkjet.

Anyway, it turned out decent and I will use it. There is a motel attached to it- the property is in downtown Chicago. Here is the site for the real property:


Here is the cardstock and foam board model:





Weathering Walther’s torpedo cars…

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 10:28 pm

Tonight I finally gathered enough nerve to heavily weather a brand new Walther’s torpedo car. They look so nice out of the box I was hesitant to touch them, but they didn’t look right without grime.

When hot metal is poured out from these cars there is residue on the outer lip of the spout. I have heard this called “skull”. After looking at some actual pictures I decided to use a brush to paint dilute white glue around the opening of the torpedo car and sprinkle on Highball N Scale Cinder ballast. After letting the first coat dry overnight I reapplied more ballast today and let it dry. I heavily flecked chalk onto the cars with a dry brush – first rust color over the car and grey around the spout. I hit the car with Testor’s Dullcoat and applied more chalk. Afterwards and while the car was still wet I misted rubbing alcohol over the car. The created the mottled look that I was hoping for – albeit a happy accident.

Here are some results:


Paper Surfaced Buildings

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 10:27 pm

There have been a lot of posts on the Yahoo! boards, and rather than clog the boards with my post, I have added a post to my own page with pics of the buildings that I have built. The building with the RC logo on it is Plexiglas as are the other two with strong white vertical stripes. The three tallest ones are photos over FoamCore made with pics downloaded online.

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