I’m adding a 14-inch by 30-inch extension at the north (back) end of my 12’-by-8’ layout that essentially will be a diorama with a town scene. This will give me the opportunity to build some structure models and scenery to fill the space.
Witzinger’s Washboards is an O scale background kit produced by Bar Mills Models. Witzinger’s will be at the rear of the scene against the wall and, although it will be in the background, I plan to finish the model to the usual level of detail on my railroads – not phenomenal but carefully built. Scenery and structure-building are my favorite model railroading activities, so all buildings on my layouts are built from kits or from scratch. Nothing is purchased and just dropped onto the layout. However, I do prefer to build from kits. It’s so much easier to buy a kit with all the materials needed to build a model rather than purchasing from multiple sellers. And, my fingers are no longer up to the stress of cutting window openings in basswood. I thought that people on the OGR Forum might be interested in seeing a step-by-step description of how I build this model, and that’s what this thread will be.
This kit is simple and easy to build. Bar Mills says it can be done in a few evenings – but I work slowly and plan on modifying the model to better fit the limited space I have available. Although I’m an experienced modeler, I do read the instructions before starting and refer to them while working. The building has two parts – an office (at left) and a factory (at right). I began with the office.
Photo 1 shows six pieces of milled clapboard walls that came in the kit. Very nice materials. Since this is a background model, a piece of cardstock is supplied for the rear wall. I sanded the edges of the wall pieces so that they would go together cleanly with the smallest possible gap.
Photo 2 shows the upper and lower clapboard pieces joined together. I did this with the pieces on a flat surface and beneath weights (peanut jars filled with coins are my favorites) to hold them flat while the glue dried. I added half-inch extensions inside the bottoms of the clapboards that will be covered by a “brick” foundation that will look more realistic than leaving the clapboards in contact with the ground, as on the basic model.
As shown in Photo 3, bracing was added to the back side of the walls to eliminate warpage due to painting. This included horizontal bracing to support a “second floor” that will serve as a view-block between it and the ground floor. I used more bracing than shown in the instructions.
Photo 4 shows the three walls being assembled. The front wall was held flat under a wood block and a heavy weight. Glue was then applied to the edges and the side walls were placed into a vertical orientation, as checked by a 90-degree-square, with wood blocks and weights behind them to maintain alignment. As a retired engineer, I’m particular about having my models built “square.”
Photos 5 and 6 show the three walls assembled. After the assembly, small blocks were added to the inside corners of the foundation pieces to keep them square when the “bricks” are attached. Note that there is a gap in the clapboard walls at each front corner that will be filled later by vertical corner-boards. This will allow the corner-boards to be painted in a contrasting trim color from the clapboard exterior walls before being added to the model, so that the color separation will be neat.
To be continued.