Mellow Mike's Most Recent Project

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Mellow Mike

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Brakie said:
Sorry,Mike..I met a guy that is as good or maybe a tad better then you (in some areas) and his prices are very reasonable seeing that most of his cars are priced between $35.00 and $65.00..Cheaper if you furnish the car.

Larry,

So your point being...? :eek:

I don't doubt there are modelers off eBay who are equal to - or better - than myself. I'm not putting a price tag on my work when it's up for auction. Only a starting bid amount. This fellow you met ought to try selling some things on eBay - and then we'll all see how they're received. He'd certainly make more than a paltry $35 for his efforts! If I sold at train shows - no one would pay $100 for my stuff either. Or on commission at a train store.

You see to him its not a business, but a hobby within the hobby. :D

You're making me out to be a maniacal monster. I've always been into model trains since the late 1960's. It's been a satisfying hobby all these years, even without having a layout to call my own. I've found a way to maximize profits by selling HO projects online, which in turn usually gets re-invested into the N items I couldn't normally afford. And all the practice doing said HO will only keep my chops up for when I eventually do my N cars.

As I've stated to Curt and other detractors - I do not have a shingle hanging like "Smokey Mountain Custom Painting & Model Works" or something. That to me indicates a "business". Sure, I have a website showcase, but that's to archive what I've done. In case someone who bought a car a year ago, goes around the circuit saying he painted it himself.

BTW..I would hate to judge your work and his work in a contest... :eek:

True. But who's going to be a household word soon? A guy languishing at a swap meet table selling affordable cars... or a guy dominating eBay? :cool:
 
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dthurman

Guest
Guys, play nice :)

I do agree with Mike, the prices he gets are what the market will bear (sp) and if I placed my cars I have done at the LHS, which has crossed my mind, I would more then likely get a few dollars over what I paid for the car new. The wonder of E-bay is that you can attract the manical type that has to have that kit, weathered car etc at what ever the costs. Surely we have all seen some of those weather jobs that our cat or dog could have done going for $50-100.

Still want to see Mike do N scale ;) not for selling, but for ideas.
 

Mellow Mike

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Larry,

I'm essentially capitalizing on my name. Like an Eddie Bauer edition Ford. Or a Gucci handbag. They aren't necessarily superior to the competition - but buyers like the status symbol appeal.

I don't crank out 5-10 weathered cars per month like some of my rivals do. Folks can see a serious amount of craftsmanship involved in the ones I do put up. So, in a sense, they are coveted for being unique. I don't do 2 coil cars a month. Or 6 tank cars a year. I make it a point to try and replicate a prototype I've photographed, or one I've downloaded online. A lot of weatherers take an Intermountain or Genesis RTR and "age them". They keep the factory road number most of the time. Buyers eventually get bored of this. That to me is a $35-60 car, especially when an airbrush is utilized.
 

Mellow Mike

Laconic Icon
A good barometer of popularity, to me anyhow, is not simply the money made..... but things like number of bidders involved and page hits.

For instance, my Spine Car set ended with 19 bids total. I thought that was a milestone. Right now, on Day Three, this log car has 38 bids so far (by 10 different people). Over 450 page hits. And 65 eBay members have added it to their Watch List.

The average Seller of weathered trains might get 8 bids and 200 page hits on a good week.

It only snowballs, the more it goes up. People check it out like a highway accident. "Why is this thing getting all these bids...? I'm gonna monitor it's progress". You tell someone, more in disbelief, than a recommendation, and they add it to their Watch List too. And so on.... and so on....

Until - like the Spine Car set - it becomes the most watched HO item on eBay of the week. Beating out brass Shays and Cab Forwards.

Would I rather be sitting at a rented table, at a regional train show, having maybe 38 people tops, say "Nice model" and walking on...? Or three of them saying "Would you take $60 for that?"

NOT :)
 

Brakie

Member
Mike,My point being is I heard of Darell and seen his work but,never met him..I thought the guy would be young but,he's probably in his 60s!!

BTW This guy is a house hold name locally and like you he doesn't have a sign stating Mid-Ohio Custom Painting..He doesn't need to sell on e bay or sell by mail order as he has all the work he can handle locally weathering engines and cars..He doesn't custom paint though.He does sell at the bigger train shows and usually 2-3 times a year..His work travels by word of mouth mostly and seeing his work at the several of the area clubs and like you he changes each road number..He's been doing this "for longer then I care to admit" or so he tells me and he also makes custom loads for gons and flat cars but only by request. He will tell you in less then a heart beat he does this as a hobby inside of the hobby because he likes this facet of the hobby and by no way as a business and only sells his surplus cars.I fully believe that because his layout is a 2 foot x 12 foot yard layout based on the old NYC yard at Galion.:D

Like I said I would hate to be a judge in a contest between you and him.:D
 

Mellow Mike

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No problem Larry. I wasn't dissing him - or you for liking him.

In fact, he sounds like a well-respected fellow. Old School though. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm almost 50 myself.

I just couldn't survive on being folksy within a small regional radius, that's all.
 

AGGRO

I, Aggro...
After much research and from what I gathered from my recent experiments I believe you get such results using alot of artist oils, right Micheal?

I know about certain aging steps being done before the decals are applied, but alot of the actual weathering is oil, eh?
 

Mellow Mike

Laconic Icon
Nope. Nice try. No oils involved. But the so-called professionals like them.

I don't get into that Flavor of the Month technique stuff.

No powders & hairspray... :(

No guache :(

And especially... NO silly windshield washer fluid. :(
 

Brakie

Member
My new friend show me what he uses to obtain the same basic results you do..He says anybody can weather the way he does if they get over the fear factor of making a mistake.Also one must must pay attention to detail and know the basics...:D

As for me..I will let the hundreds of guys like you and him do this type of heavy weathering and I'll start with the more prototypical light to medium weathing...:D :D
 

uspscsx

The Name's Really Matt...
Mellow Mike said:
And especially... NO silly windshield washer fluid. :(
Yeah, when I saw that, it surprised me that anyone would use that in weathering.

What's next, REAL oil? :(
 

AGGRO

I, Aggro...
Mellow Mike said:
Nope. Nice try. No oils involved. But the so-called professionals like them.

I don't get into that Flavor of the Month technique stuff.

No powders & hairspray... :(

No guache :(

And especially... NO silly windshield washer fluid. :(

Of course. Even if you did, I wouldn't expect you to say so.
 

AGGRO

I, Aggro...
As for 'flavor of the month techniques', I though people have utilized oils for quite some time now.
I take it you are refering to the article in Mainline Modeler?
That article (and Ryan's Rock box) gave me the balls to start experimenting with oil myself. :cool:
 

Brakie

Member
Guys,Mike won't tell his "trade" secretes..Its been tried before..:D Now,I have general idea how its done and what is use in the process and it simply amazes me.:D
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Brakie said:
Guys,Mike won't tell his "trade" secretes..Its been tried before..:D Now,I have general idea how its done and what is use in the process and it simply amazes me.:D


Well, what're ya waitin for? Let's hear it. :D
 

Brakie

Member
Well,I could do a show and tell topic but,a article in a magazine or maybe a small booklet would be better.:D At least I would make a buck or two.:D
 
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dthurman

Guest
Brakie

I think Ken, Eric and I can get you all the free coffee and food over at the ANPL Coffee Shop. Would that be enough?
 

Mellow Mike

Laconic Icon
CSX_road_slug said:
The fatal secret may already be out, judging from RCH's most recent work :D

Not so fast...

Ryan's eye-catching boxcar is essentally ALL oil paints if you read about it. I have already said I do not use oil paints whatsoever. Oil painting, as Aggro pointed out, is in the magazines and certainly no big secret. Thanks for hijacking the thread though. And Ryan wonders why I rarely post here.

As for Brakie... his idea of "how it's done" is referring to advanced weathering in general. Not my particular methods.
 
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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Mike, seriously, let's play nice. Everyone here apprieciates you work and understandably wants to replicate some of it on their own RR, that's all. There's no reason to insult anyone over that. Actually, that's the ultimate compliment to you. Ken went back and edited his post, I'd apprieciate it if you'd do the same (to show good will and save me the trouble). I'll be sticking my head in to see how this is going.
 
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Brakie

Member
Mike,Darel does the same work you do with the same method.Looking at his work,your work and rch work they all look the same so,I fear as CSX road slug said your secrete is already out and been out long before you came busting on the scene.Ever hear of Jim Six? Jim's weathering is among the best realistic weathering I've seen..There are thousands of highly talented modelers out there that does museum quality work..
 
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dthurman

Guest
I've seen alot of Jim's work in Model Railroading issues. He is good, the faded powdery look he did on the Uboats from Penn Central was almost like looking at the real thing. I hope to someday obtain the level of weathering I see all the great weathering guys do. Rich over at the other forum has some good guys pumping out stuff, very helpful and extremely friendly and always offering tips and suggestions. They deserve 2 thumbs up for helping alot of us new folks get the right tools and methods.
 
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