Populating the Glacier Express
Yes it's the Glacier Express again! First off have a look at the real thing traveling through utterly unrealistic scenery that you could never get away with on a model railway. As my granddad would say, "Switzerland is one big model railway"...
... back to the model world. There are many things that stand out about the Glacier Express, but as a passenger perhaps what you'd be most thankful for are the massive windows that the Rhaetian Railway (RhB) has put on their carriages.
And so of course Kato has put massive windows on the model, which leads to a problem...
Where are all the people? What is so wrong with Utrainia Rail that no one wants to travel on their premium passenger train?? Why are empty trains rolling through the countryside?
So naturally some populating had to be done.
I started by dismantling the carriages and removing the one piece seat assembly. These are bright glossy plastic, and look a bit odd when seen through the windows. So first on the list was to give them a coat of paint.
I fired up the air brush and popped in some Tamiya red/orange paint. After and before:
All the gloss is gone and the plastic isn't looking quite so plasticy:
I did the same for the second class seats with some CSX blue, lightened a bit. Before and after:
Now it's time to paint the head rests and tables. A small paint brush and some of that wonderful Vallejo acrylic paint made short(ish) work of the carriages:
Which just leaves people. I went hunting and had soon rustled up a box of people... 3x 100 bulk ebay N scale people ought to do the job. These people are pretty crude, most of them having odd protrusions form their head, or wearing grotesque clothes. But jammed into a carriage with their legs chopped off you probably won't notice anything wrong with them.
I picked through the people looking for the skinniest ones, as these ebay people seem to be HO width and N height. Look carefully at the finished product and you'll see that some passengers take up both rows of seats and the isle! Maybe I need to start charging by cubic volume, as Samoa Air do?
Anyway, each selected person then gets a visit to the chop-shop, where their legs and sometimes arms, suitcases, etc are removed. A dollop of superglue on each seat and they're dropped into place.
I found that to look non-empty, every row had to have a person in it, and if I added some people in the isles it filled things out nicely.
First class took a bit of work to find enough skinny girls for the narrow isle seats. They look a bit nude, but I assure you they're clothed.
And here is the obligatory shot of one of our larger customers:
With the carriages nicely populated I let them dry for 24 hours so that the CA vapours dissipated, otherwise those beautiful big windows would end up fogged up. End result?
Wonderbar! Merveilleux! Meraviglioso! As they would say in each of Switzerland's official languages.
Here we see a vastly more profitable train making its way through the snow:
And through the polystyrene: