I had the saw out the other day and figured I might as well get started on another project I've been working toward for some time...  I'm a big fan of the American Flyer Union Station, and always wanted to incorporate one on the layout in some way.

Long story short, I decided it would be fun to bash a group of them into a tall art deco structure.  I'd also like the "focal point" tall buildings in my downtown to be unique, and this seemed a good way to go about it without having to scratch build:

I started with 4 Union Station buildings in various states of disrepair (two are the talking kind, two are regular):


First step was to gut them, and remove the braces.  I also removed the floor from the 3 in the worst shape, then popped them apart so I could cut them in half with a miter saw:


After some sawing , sanding, and gluing, here's the first mock-up of the building with 3 stations made into half-length floors.  Height of this structure as built below is ~35":


I grabbed a scrap piece of 1/4" plywood remaining from a scout project; this board will be cut up to become the missing side of the building.


I was originally going to have the plain board/wall be on the left side of the structure (see two pics up), pushed against another building.  However, such a set-up puts the windows out of alignment and looks less... complete.   I like this look better:


...but that leaves a big open side here and means I can't set it next to another building to hide it:


To address the open side, and keep the flat windowless piece from looking out of place, I decided to dress it up to replicate the design of the entrance piece with a layered look:


Here is the building laying on its side [tilt head 90 degree left to see it vertical ].   I think I did a pretty good job making the solid piece architecturally consistent and art deco-ish in this test fitting:


Since I have the main body of the building roughly planned out and cut, I am starting work on the "zeppelin mooring tower" that will go atop the building.  For the base of this tower, I took 2 of the entryway pieces, cut them roughly in half, and glued them together:


Atop the base of the tower (above) will be a mast (probably square).  I plan to use these deco pieces (from an HO overpass kit) as the base of the mast & will see what pieces fit together best from there:


More to come!  Once I have all mast and roof pieces cut, I plan to start gluing major sections of the building together...



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coach joe posted:

You're just banging them out one after another!  Can't wait for them to be doneand on the layout so we can see them in Tall Buildings Tuesday.

Lol, me neither!   Would love to have these done so I can see them all downtown... but building them is the fun and stress relief for me - so I suppose that's goodness too.


I made a little but of progress on this building here and there.   Not a huge difference in appearance, but I've built major parts of the assembly, reinforced the structure, and thought through most of the mechanics of how it will be painted and built.   This one is a little more complicated since, due to it's size, I'll have to paint it before it's fully and finally assembled.  I'll also have to wire it in modules that plug together at the very end.

In this first picture, I'm testing the look and fit of the upper tower.  It may be too tall... but I will hold off cutting it for now while I decide what the rest of the zeppelin dock will look like.


I glued all the sections of the tower together (using the stacked half-stations), reinforcing the joints with strips of basswood and providing additional rigidity overall with some square dowels across the back.


Here's what the inside looks like with reinforcement.  In the top of the photo, you can see where I plugged the back of a wiring slot with a smaller piece of wood (so I can fill it from the outside and sand flush).


Next, I added a strip of basswood vertically on each side - and built up the middle of each support piece so that it matches the height the sides.


This edging and matching center support will allow me to attach and fully seat the side wall of the tower after painting and lighting.


Here's a few mock-ups I just did tonight.  Trying to get a feel for the overall look of the building so I can see where I want to go with that tower ...and what color I want to paint this thing.  Something along the lines of tan or off white is probably where I'm headed.





Next is more work on the zeppelin dock to finalize the shape and cut out the components.   In parallel to that, I'll do some sanding/cleaning and then begin painting the major components.   The wood section will get a cost of clear water-based poly before it's painted to try and hide that wood grain.



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Well, I've been silent on this topic for a while...  but as the summer fun winds down and train season winds up, I have some progress to report.   No pics of the process, but the building is now painted.   I went with colors that were close to the original American Flyer tones as it seemed most fitting.

Recently, I installed windows and shades in the building.   While almost all of my buildings have transparent or roscolux windows, I went translucent here since this building will be in the back & the interior is pretty rough looking.  Window shades are masking tape...  there are so many windows that I went with what was easy.  Here I set the building tower under the basement light so see how it will look lit: 


I also worked on the doors for the entrance.   Went translucent here too, but used pinstriping tape in the inside to give the doors a little more detail:


Here you can see the pinstripe tape better, plus the installation of the light strip for the entrance:


Also started installation of the lights for other parts of the building.  Letting the glue dry (I don't trust just the sticky tape), then I will starting wiring it all together:


Here's how the upper portion of the tower came out.  I did ended-up making it a zeppelin mooring mast as planned (Pennsy zeppelin to come as a future project).  The overall building was a bit too tall, so I cut down the beige part of the tower a bit.  The platform shown here is, of course, where the airship docks.   Hard to see in the picture, but I have LEDs installed to facing upward to light the tower.   The station name ("Strato") seemed appropriate to airship transport   Most of the tower is just wooden dowels and discs.  The door on the platform came from a P-ville mobile home, while gold rod at the very apex is a lego piece that I ….um... liberated from the kids:


Next up is continued work on the lighting/wiring, then final assembly of the structure!



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Nice work Dustin! It is really going to look sharp once all together and on your layout! Thanks for showing ans sharing the pictures of the inside! I cant wait to see your next update!


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mike g. posted:

Nice work Dustin! It is really going to look sharp once all together and on your layout! Thanks for showing ans sharing the pictures of the inside! I cant wait to see your next update!

Thanks Mike!   It's coming together slowly but surely & I'm looking forward to adding this completed building to the skyline

Here's the latest:  I've completed wiring and testing the building roof & mooring mast.   Ready to install on the top of the building & wire everything together...



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