Very nice work, Looking forward to more up dates.
Thanks! Here's another update.
After a 12-day trip back East I did a little work today. We drove back from visiting our son and family on Monday and drove through the Western Maryland mountains with some significant snow squalls, heavy headwinds and steadily collapsing temperatures. The LaCrosse handled it in stride and we made it home safely.
I poured the realistic water today in Ravine #2. The silicon caulk dams were fully cured and more or less transparent. I poured on the W-S, but went on too quickly and before long the "water" was pouring over the dam on one end and onto the floor. That stuff's expensive and I didn't like wasting any. I threw an old towel on the floor to capture the spillage. I also found that even though I poured liquid plaster on the river base to make it level, It really isn't since there's more water on the right end than the left. Tomorrow it should be cured enough to show if the job is done. It cures completely transparent.
If you look closely at the above picture, you can see a drip caught in mid-air.
I also added a skin coat of joint compound on the new road I'm building. I'll sand that tomorrow and finish landscaping that back portion.
When the water is fully cured, I'll add the ripple effects around the bridge pier with the realistic water effects. I will then layout, cut and install the fascia boards for this ravine.
Here's the cured Realistic Water. It dried much thinner than I expected. They warn about shrinkage on the bottle, but this really shrank.
That being said, the natural ripples in the finish do look like slowly flowing water in a shallow stream, so I'm not unhappy with it. What I am unhappy about is the lumps of not-so-transparent silicon that's damming up the river on both ends. I'm hopeful that the fascia boards will make them less noticeable. If I pull them off, it may do more damage.
Today, I added the realistic water effects. I tried not to overdo it, adding some eddies behind the blunt end of the pier, some flow lines from the front, and some coming off some of the rocks. This picture shows it half-dried.
As it dries completely all the white froth will disappear.
While that was drying I decided to paint and put the first layer of ground cover on the back section. I'm going to paint the road next. This road is narrow and won't have a dividing line. I'm starting discussion with Tim at I Love Bridges to see about the arcade that's going to fill in all that space in the back.
One interesting terrain feature that's exposed in this back section is that depression in the foreground. It leads directly over the ravine's edge and begs for a culvert. While I don't want to craft a full-blown waterfall, I think a trickle might be more realistic. The river level's low so it hasn't rained heavily lately, therefore, the culvert would be just a trickle also. Having the water just running over the rocks leaving them wet would work just fine. I left this area without ground cover as I decide on what to do.
This whole area is going to be a vacant lot until the industries come to town. I just was getting tired of looking at all that white plaster.
This week was jury duty for Louisville Metro so I thought that I'd have no time for trains. Louisville jury duty lasts 14 days regardless of whether or not you're selected for a trial.
But today was a good day and we were dismissed at noon since no trials needed a panel until tomorrow, so I did get some work done.
I started installing the fascia boards on Ravine #2 so I could finish them up and remove the masking tape on the track and get some trains across for a photo op. I measured the width and height that I needed and them cut the Masonite. In order to hold the sheet up to the ravine's opening so I could scribe the shape I realized quickly that I couldn't hold it and scribe it at the same time without a helper. I needed a fixture.
I used the old control panel body and hacked off the side rails so they could support the fascia. Then I marked the profile and used the saber saw to cut it out.
Here's the fascia supported by the fixture.
I used small clamps to tentatively hold the panel in place so I could drill some holes and screw the panel to the substructure.
At first I left the bottom corners squared off, but then realized that they be nasty to hit while scooting underneath on my rolly-thing, so I rounded them off. It looks better.
Here's the panel in place.
There's a couple of trouble spots on the inside facing panel. One is the angle change between the horizontal fascia and the ravine fascia. The other is a gap between the plaster and the fascia.
I haven't figured out what to do with the above yet. Suggestions are always welcome.
This is the other defect. This one won't be difficult to fix since I've become an expert in Sculptamold.
I'm still not sure what to do with that silicon caulk dam that's sticking up. I'm may try to trim it a bit.
Yesterday, on the way back from the courthouse, I stopped at Roundhouse train store and picked up a W-S HO concrete culvert kit. As an HO culvert it would be an 8 foot drain pipe. In O'scale it makes a neat little culvert that fits perfectly in the place I've chosen. In this picture I've just plopped it there and traced around it for the cut that will insert it in the layout. I'll probably open the scenery with the Dremel and a multi-directional cutter.
For the outside facing fascia (which is already cut, but not installed) I have to first build some mounting block extensions. On this side the plaster extends 3 to 4 inches beyond the substructure so there's no place in which to screw the fascia. I'm still noodling the best way to do that. They don't have to be wood blocks. They could be tubular standoffs and all-thread rod with nuts and washers on both ends. That may be the most simple solution since it's not a very visible place.
Taking advantage of my day off from Louisville jury duty I was able to install the outward facing fascia on Ravine #2. This one was more challenging than the other side since the plaster and screen wire extended several inches past the wood sub-structure. This required the addition of wood blocks and extenders of the bottom cross pieces.
There's no structural load on the fascia so the blocks need to be secure, but not necessarily strong. I used my DeWalt with the flex extension, the right angle drive head as well as the bit mounted directly in chuck. I also used longer screws than necessary since they were star drive and were less prone to cam-out.
Here's the fascia in place.
I cut some foam to fit into the openings on the upper right and installed some scrap foam in the gap on the left. I then masked the ravine so plaster wouldn't get too far into the finished area and then used Sculptamold to reshape these areas. Next session I'll color them to match the rest of the rocks.
And here's the installed fascia. All fascia will be painted hunter green.
After touching up the ravine, I'll work on the back edge of the city platform, finish landscaping all the enclosed areas in this back section, add the culvert and landscape, and then, and only then be ready to build Ravine #1 and install the two deck truss bridges permanently. I estimate this is about a month away.
I think I'm going to alter the process for the next ravine by installing the fascia before finishing the plastering. I wasn't really happy with the gaps that needed filling after installing fascia after plastering. On all the other edge work, the fascia was installed first and it worked pretty well. I would also make fitting it easier with just some screen wire to move around.
I am really enjoying this thread!! Love the bridge and ravine...
As always, Thank You! I'll keep building and writing.
Court was cancelled today due to the "big" 3" Louisville snowfall. As an aside, I was having a discussion last night with #2 grandson and he was imagining a "Giant" snowfall of 3 or 4 inches. I reminded him that "3 or 4 inches doesn't actually amount to a 'giant' snowfall". He then reminded me that we live in Louisville. I cracked up. This kid knows what giant snow looks like since he's skied at Squaw Valley with his family. He was able to make the distinction.
I inserted the culvert into the layout by first cutting the hole with the Dremel, the flex-shaft and a side cutting thingy (which I have no idea what to call). I started the cuts by drilling holes at the corners of the outline, and then started pushing it sideways. I had the shop vac running to continually remove the plaster dust to see what I was doing and to keep the rest of the layout clean. It was clear that the cutter was not working as it should, and was turning blue on the end meaning that it was overheating.
Looking at the cutter more closely showed there was no side-cutting flutes on the end, they started about 3/16" up. This meant that the cutting at the bottom wasn't happening. This was where the screen wire lies. Using the DeWalt, drilled a series of holes around the perimeter and went back to the Dremel. It was much harder to do than I expected. Here's the chunk that was finally removed.
It was good that the screen wire was still in the bottom of the hole since it gave something on which to put a wad of wet paper towels to raise the culvert to the correct height. With a big smear of Sculptamold on the culvert's bottom and more on the sides of the hole, I plopped the culvert into place and then bladed the plaster to get the shape right. I wear nitrile gloves when doing this plaster work and, after wetting some fingers, further smooth the plaster to make it look right.
Here's the culvert in its final resting place.
It's looks rough—intentionally—but after painting and ground treatment it will look good. I've purchased some sisal twine to make tall grasses and other plants as per an article in O'Scale Magazine. I'll use them, plus some talus rock to dress up the channel and then add water and we'll have a nice little feature.
I also touched up the inside facing fascia and closed those gaps.
In a couple of days, when the plaster is fully cured, I'll clean it up, repaint the rock areas and paint the fascia, and then I'll be able to pull off the masking tape and attempt to run a train across. Incidentally, There's no glue holding the bridge in place. It fit so snugly that I haven't done anything else. I'll run some trains on it and then see if it's stable. If it moves, I glue everything down. If it doesn't move, I'll leave it alone.
I'm loving it all. Great work!
I like that folks like it.
Today I worked on painting some of the fascia boards and got back to building the station. I've been installing roof edge trim and just about have that finished. I had one area where the shingles missed the roof edge. I was going to leave it that way, but my perfectionist side kicked in and I decided to fix it. First I trimmed the edge to make sure it was nice and straight. When I first started fitting pieces to it, it wasn't.
Next I had to find a piece of extra roofing from which I could make this tiny piece. Lesson time: After finishing the roof I threw out all the scrap pieces since there weren't any pieces big enough to do a project. Big mistake! Luckily, that trash bag hadn't been tossed yet and I was able to dig down to the bottom and find a 2 X 2" piece big enough to make this little fix.
I matched the shingle width and made a straight cut. Then I measured the top angle and cut it. Next came the total length, and finally I marked the roof overhang and cut it to width.
The result was CA'd to the roof.
I'm going to airbrush the entire roof with slate gray and then pick out random shingles to add shades of purple, green and yellow tinted gray to make it look like a real slate roof. I'm also going to add gutters and down spouts after the trim is painted.
This in-progress pic of Steam Era Structures Tudlow's Confectionary shows how I did that roof painting.
Finished Ravine #2 and pulled off the masking tape. Also finished the preliminary steps in finishing the culvert.
Painting the plaster patches literally took no more than 10 minutes. Once you get the hang of it, rock painting goes really fast. After the rock painting, I gave the fascia a quick sanding and then coated them with Hunter Green.
Here's a shot looking at the outwardly-facing side.
I attacked the culvert with concrete color, earth tone, and some colors that looked like creek bottom. Here's the culvert waiting for weeds, rocks and landscaping.
I've purchased 2-part epoxy bar-top coating to use as water going forward instead of W-S "realistic water". 16 oz. of W-S product was about $22, and 32 oz. of the epoxy cost $24. After adding the little details to the drainage ditch I'll fill it with a thin layer of "water". I want to just "wet" the ravine walls where the spillage will go over the side.
Here's a shot looking across the layout which gives some perspective where the ravine lies. To get this shot, I held the camera over my head. With a layout height of 42", you don't see too much of the ravine from eye level.
Grandson #2 helped me today by patching more holes in the remaining fascia boards and landscaping the outside edge of the front part of the layout. He also started sculpting the Loch Ness Monster that's going to inhabit ravine #1. On its back will be my wife's lost iPhone. Every ravine worth its salt needs a Loch Ness Monster.
Jury duty continues tomorrow so "work" will stop again. (My wife cracks up when I say "work on the trains" since she doesn't consider it work in any way shape or form.) When it again commences, I'll finish painting the road in the back, and work on the other unfinished part of the intra-ravine area so I can button it up and get cracking on Ravine #1 and get the trains running.
Jury duty was a half day yesterday and nothing for today (and it's cancelled tomorrow and my duty is over) so I was able to get to work on the city streets. I came to the conclusion that the reason for delaying street installation — all the sloppy plaster work would destroy them — is no longer valid, AND in order to properly build the transitions between the city foam base and the layout surface the streets need to be in place. Before I could install them, I had to decorate them. There's no way to get into that scene, crawling around on the platform to line them, paint and weather them. This had to be done with the streets in their non-attached mode.
Since the surface is white, 4-ply, Bristol Board I felt that I didn't need to paint the lines white (this is a 1950's-ish layout so yellow traffic lines weren't used much). Instead I just needed to mask the area and paint the road. I used the narrow, flexible 3M blue pin stripping tape which is just about right size for an O'scale traffic line. For the stop lines at train tracks and intersections I used 2 pieces of thin Tamiya masking tape overlapped about 1/8".
I brush painted the road surface with a medium dark gray acrylic that was a mixture of white and black using low cost tube artist acrylics. Unfortunately, I didn't make this a scientific mixture and when I ran out and had to mix another batch, it was darker than the first one. I got more control of this and was able to match subsequent batches better. It took more than one coat to get an even coating.
I had made a stencil for the XING text that would go in front of the grade crossing. I used a Henkel tape roller that has a non-permanent adhesive like 3M Postit on the stencil's back to hold it down for airbrushing. After spraying the stencil with Tamiya flat white with 50:50 Isoropyl alcohol overspray was a problem around the letter "I" and "N". To fix this up, I carefully remasked the lettering and touched up the gray with a fine brush — again having to custom mix a batch that matched.
After all touch up was complete, I airbrushed a light misting of weathered black down the center of all the driving lanes.
There's still more weathering to be done, but I'm not quite sure what to do. The road looks too pristine. I've ordered resin sewer inlets and grate castings from Les Lewis' Westport Model Works. I've also have the home-made man hole covers to install. Around the manholes and sewers I'll probably simulate patches. I can also color some areas that were repaved or repaired. Any other suggestions?
I temporarily placed some of the streets on the layout to see how it all looks. Interesting!
In looking at this view I realize my traffic stop lines are too close to the pedestrian crosswalks, but we're allowed selective compression in O'gauge and this is one of those instances. Besides, I don't feel like repainting, masking and weathering any more.
With jury duty complete, I will continue with the roads tomorrow, and get back to work on the train station. The train station has a flamboyant chimney being 3/4" square in O'scale. I'm going to use Les Lewis' "brick by brick" build method. It should look good. I asked and Les responded that he uses Evergreen #123 strip for the bricks. This is a .020 thick X .060 wide" strip. Bricks are 8" X 3.5" which is close to the correct width. While not as extravagant as Les' entire buildings done this way, it will make an interesting chimney.
The chimney has relief which means building a back layer than a second layer on top. In the original HO article, the author used Holgate and Reynolds brick paper. I don't believe this is available in our scale. This model is going to sit right up front in the layout and deserves to have nice details.
Looking great. One comment: You shouldn't worry about the different shades on different batches of paint. That is a feature, not a bug. Look around at real roads--they are all over the place and change frequently.
excellent excellent! very enjoyable.great work
Just amazing craftsmanship. You are truly a talented modeler.
Thanks Guys! While I'm waiting for the sewer inlets for the roads, I think I'll attempt to do that brick chimney today. I drew it up last night and, of course, it's a bit more complicated than it first seems. The problem is laying "brick" in the recessed areas. It's also determining the sizes of the front and side pieces. The front and back will over lap the sides. This means they're .040" wider (using .020" styrene sheet). But then you have the overlap of the bricks at the corners which also have to stick out .020". I'm planning on having the full bricks extend over the edge and the half-bricks butt up against them. I spent the morning lying bed building this in my head. I think I build a little test piece to see how I can do it.
Here's the saga of using Les Lewis' "Brick-by-brick" method to create model walls and chimneys. While this seems slightly deranged, it really produces the most realistic effect. What can be more brick-like than actually using bricks (or pseudo bricks). I started by making my own drawing in CorelDraw directly over the enlarged plans for the station. What makes the chimney interesting and more difficult is the recessed panels on the sides and it's generous size—over 3/4" on a side. The bricks are cut from Evergreen #123 strip which is .020" X .060". The .060" is a good height for an O'scale brick.
The front and back will be inserted between the sides so they are 2 X .020" slimmer that the sides. This made the bricks fit a little different on these pieces that it will on the sides.
I cut the drawings apart, sprayed them with a light coat of 3M77 adhesive and glued them to the .020 sheet styrene that would form the backing. The recess bricks are laid on the rear piece just so they fit into the cutouts on the front piece. These pieces are then glued together and the rest of the bricks are placed on the front piece. To easily remove the adhered drawings from the styrene, just wet it with some Goo Gone. The glued on paper just falls off. Then use a little alcohol to remove any traces of adhesive or Goo Gone.
I then had to cut lots of bricks. I figured that they should be about .176" and .088". I set up the fence that's included with the NWSL Chopper, but was finding that the Evergreen strip was sometimes slipping under the fence so I switched to a piece of styrene and started cutting the long bricks.
After about 6 strips cut this way, I realize that I could cut more than one strip at a time. By changing the fence to a piece of thick ABS, I was able to cut 3 strips at a time and greatly increased brick production. After cutting a gazillion long bricks I reset the fence to cut the short ones.
I cut out one chimney side by scribing and breaking the styrene and started laying bricks in the recessed area. I scribed the sheet with the recess' edges to guide placing the bricks. I used Bondene solvent with a small artist's brush to apply the cement at each brick. To space the rows, I have a small stainless pocket ruler that the perfect thickness for the mortar lines.
Here's as far as I got this afternoon. It's slow, tedious and meticulous work. You can't get sloppy, but the results are pretty neat.
It's hard to see the relief in this lighting, but it's there. Notice that alternating brick rows stick out over the edge. These will mate with alternating brick roles on the adjacent sides. I'll be back at this tomorrow and keep everyone abreast of progress. I still don't understand how Les can do entire buildings this way. I bought a resin fire station kit from him cast from a master done this way and the bricks are stunning. It's especially good when you have to do effects like coyned corners or arched window lintels. After painting and grouting it will look nice and will enhance the station.
Really Neat! Got to keep watching your progress and skills you are passing along for all of us!
Thanks! Let's move ahead on making this Brick Chimney. I realized that I didn't lay the edge bricks correctly. They were too far from the true edge since the piece that I had chosen to do first was a piece that was going between the front and the back and didn't take into consideration the thickness of that piece. So the bricks are one brick thickness receded from the finished edge (or .020"). I don't know if I fix this or not, but I decided to do the remaining three recessed brick areas on the back piece in the sandwich and then glue up the four sides. This will make it easier to accurately lay the bricks directly to the overlapping edge. With it fully shaped it will fit in a drill press vice to stabilize it and make it easier to hold the guide rule without having to hold the work piece still at the same time.
Here's the steel rule in position to set the mortar space.
After gluing the front and back pieces of the sandwich together I had to trim the back edges of some pieces to give enough clearance to nest with the adjacent piece. There's a piece of thicker stock in the back to ensure there's no warpage. Next was edge gluing. After the edges were glued and aligned, added more thick stock as corner bracing.
Here's the completed four-sides ready for the rest of the bricks. I just had to touch up the top edge to ensure that it was dead flat across the top.
If you look closely at the edge facing the camera, you can see that the bricks aren't getting to the edge as they should. The remaining three corners will not have this problem. On a large building, it would be more difficult to lay the bricks when it was 3-dimensional. I'm still figuring how to make the upper expanded bands. Each band has to be brick height (.060"), so if I use stock with that width I'll be able to build it out to the right depth before putting one band of bricks around each layer.
More chimney work.
After mounting in a drill press vice I continued adding bricks. It's trickier than meets the eye since you have to not only keep the individual rows on the side you're doing straight, but they have to line up with the rows on the adjacent sides at the corners. To add to that, you have to ensure that you alternate between full-size and half-size bricks at the corners so they appear as whole bricks at each corner. When I started side #3, I didn't pay attention to this and was five rows into it when I realized that the corners were not correct. I had to remove the rows with a single-edged razor and start over; this time getting it correctly aligned.
Here's the chimney with three sides mostly bricked. The top part gets the decorative build-out and that comes on Wednesday.
I almost has a "Bricktastrophy". I had a reaction to some Chobani Yougurt yesterday that seemed like there was artificial sweetener in it. I can't tolerate any type of artificial sweetener. It immediately tastes like medicine and the taste lingers long after the food is gone. I hadn't had it before with this product. I've been using their plastic containers for all kinds of things in the shop including as a holder for cut bricks. My wife went down to the shop to get one of the containers to bring upstairs to see what ingredients were in it. We called and complained and it turns out there are two kinds now available. Regular "0" Chobani with cane suger (140 calories) and Simply 100 (100 calories) with some cane and Stevia. Apparently, Stevia, even though it's "natural", still reacts the same way with me. The reason I'm telling all of this is...
That container she brought upstairs was the one holding several hundred "full-size" bricks. They're white and so is the inside of the container. I went downstairs and found a pile of white "bricks" on the concrete floor. She hadn't realized what spilled and didn't tell me. When I swept them up with a dust pan I got a large amount of general dirt with them. I sifted the dirt out over a piece of window screen and then washed them in alcohol. It took an extra half hour. My wife was surprised when I explained that those tiny white specks were actually parts that I needed. Oh well...
MODELING A DIESEL PRIME MOVER
On anther topic... I have old builder's photos of Baldwin Locos and prime movers given to me years ago by an uncle who was a Baldwin mechanical engineer. I've been thinking about making some model diesel prime movers to have around the service area. I believe you can get these in HO, but not in O.
I was inspired today to start planning this when I found a Robert Hundman drawing of a Lima switcher where he drew a cross-section that showed the prime mover. I've been having trouble getting blueprints that show the actual sizes of big diesels. Lots of great pictures and cutaways, but no dimensions.
I was able to bring it first into Corel PhotoPaint and then into CorelDraw. This enabled me to properly scale the drawing for O'scale. I then scanned photos of a Baldwin straight 8 cylinder diesel prime mover. The pictures weren't taken directly from the side so they had to be cropped, straightened, perspective adjusted and stretched so they would now appear as straight side views. I then imported these into the sectional drawing and sized them accordingly. I realize that the Lima switcher probably had a slightly different engine, but I'd bet that overall sizes were very similar. Here's the drawing so far. The dimensions are full-size for an O'scale model.
This project will go to the bottom of a steadily increasing pile, but it's something I've been wanting to do. Who knows, maybe I can get someone to make a resin kit out of it. I keep toying with doing resin work, but Les Lewis says it's a pain in the butt and it would be best to not get started.
Finished construction of the chimney. All that remains is painting and adding "mortar". After finishing the fourth side, I had to build the extended portions. I wanted the two smaller extension to be .060" plus the bricks, and the larger one to be .060" past those. I didn't have .060" square stock, but I did have Evergreen #133 (.030 X .060). I glued the strips together and put them on opposite sides. For the adjacent sides I just butted the single strip of .030 and then clipped the other end with a Xuron cutter.
For the wider piece I did have a perfect .060 X .100 strip that gave me what I wanted and for the top extension repeated what the steps for the lower one.
With the extensions in place I continued adding bricks to the top.
What was needed next was a flue pipe and a top piece to seal the chimney. I cut the cover piece out of .010 sheet stock after measuring the size with the digital caliper. For the flue I measured the distance between those center reinforcement bars inside the chimney and then cut four pieces of .070" sheet stock. I used the NWSL Duplicutter to make the opposite sides exactly the same width. They needed a little tweaking to fit down inside, and when they did glued them all together with Bondene. Rounded edges made it look more like a terracotta flue pipe. When painted and weathered, it's going to look terrific.
With all this installed, it was ready to fit onto the roof. With a Sharpie, marked the bottom size onto the shingles and then carefully cut the roof to expose the wood sub-roof. Once that was done, the chimney would sit by itself on the roof.
There will be counter flashing extending from a couple of rows up on the chimney into the roof to prevent imaginary rainwater from getting between the chimney and the roof.
It was a lot of work, by it is far more realistic than if I would have tried to build it with brick paper. I'll paint it a brick red and use joint compound to fill the mortar joints. I've read about lots of different approaches to making model bricks look real, but I think using a real filler will do well. The mortar joints are deep enough to accept and hold it the compound so it doesn't all wipe away when attempting to re-expose the bricks. I'm also going to build up the compound around the flue pipe to simulate the concrete that normally caps the chimney and tapers away to guide rain water away from the chimney flue.
Chimney is done!
I painted the chimney Tuscan Red Oxide by Model Tech. It's a nice dark brick color. I dried it with the heat gun and then smeared DAP pre-mixed joint compound on it and immediately wiped it off. Unfortunately (for me), Model Tech is water-based and so is the joint compound. The result is removal of the paint and white styrene showing through. Time for Plan B.
After re-painting the red, I gave it a coat of Testor's Dullcoat to seal the surface with something not water soluble. This time it worked.
I also airbrushed the inside of the flue with flat black. Next I "cemented" the area around the flue with joint compound to simulate a fire clay cap sealing the flue.
With this I'm calling the "individually laid brick chimney" complete. I don't know about you, but it looks pretty good to me. It greatly increased my confidence in scratch-building sophisticated structures.
With the chimney out of the way it was time to finish up the rest of the roof. I calculated the spacing between the pierced parts to properly space them across the peaks. This time, I taped the straight edges to the plate glass work surface to give better control gluing up of all these little parts and keep them in line. When they dried I touched up the surfaces with a file stick and then glued them to the roof. I previously sanded the peak filler piece flat to accept this trim.
One other surface needed a similar treatment. The small peaked roof over one of the side bays has a perforated details similar to the roof peaks, but without the spacer pieces. I used a divider to mark out the spacing. When painted they should blend in nicely.
With this last detail complete, the roof is now ready for paint and weathering.
I'm now turning my attention to the rest of the building and cut out the shed roofs that flank the two sides of the station. The street side is a straight piece, but the track side spans three sections with different widths. I'm using Evergreen styrene "Standing Seam" roofing. What you get is a styrene piece that's grooved to receive a very narrow, thin styrene strip that you cement into the roof. I lay in the long strip leaving a bit hanging out from one end to better hold onto the piece and the remainder hanging out the other. When the glue sets, I use the Xuron flush cutters to trim the strips to the edge of the roof. I had to edge glue two pieces together to get to the correct length. In both cases, I made the seam right where the strip would go so the seam would be invisible.
This roof gets adhered to a thicker piece with a bit hanging over the edge. The brackets that hold these roofs are ornate. After the chimney, nothing phases me.
During all this construction, I've been thinking through how to paint this building. Being a Tudor design, the panels are painted contrasting colors from the timber banding, and will require tons of masking. I'm going to air brush as much as I can.
Some of the Grandt Line windows have been suffering broken mullions. There is a weakness in the injection molding right at one spot. I've reglued them many times, and will have to scratch-build some to finally fix them.
I hope this doesn't depress you, but NOBODY who views your layout in coming years is going to appreciate that incredible chimney--with one exception: You! But, I guarantee you, every time you glance at it, all the effort will have been totally worth it nevertheless.
You're absolutely right! Us modelers better do this stuff to please ourselves, because most of the others in the world... save my grandsons and the readers of OGRR forums, haven't the slightest idea about the effort that we pour into our hobby. But it's great!
Didn't have much time today, but did get a little bit more done on the shed roofs. The ABS backing pieces were left over from the Plastruct bridge building project. It's .080" thick. The HO plans called for .040" stuff so this thickness fits the requirement. I didn't do such a hot job of cutting it. It's very hard to cut by scoring and breaking, so I used the scroll saw. I have a multi-directional blade in the machine and it tends to wander on the line, so the piece came out not square or correct. So I trimmed the edges and then added some .080 styrene strips to fill in the spaces. The pictures also show the standing seam details and the complexity of the track-side roof. I will be adding some stock to the building's walls to provide a more secure roof mounting.
Underneath, the roofs require some rafters. Again I found styrene stock that was a perfect 1 X 6. After first locating the end points for the roof brackets (led to be made), I used a divider to space out 16 scale inches for the rafter locations. Using a square, I'm in the process of gluing them in place. I'll finish them tomorrow.
Here's a closeup of the shed support system. Note the decorative "Victorian" details, many of which I'm going to attempt to duplicate.
This project just gets more and more fun.
Much to my dismay, I found that I made the street-side shed roof too narrow... BY A LOT. I didn't want to have to use a different design for the diagonal bracing so I decided to remake the whole thing. Luckily, I had enough thick stock left to be able to make it. I also am going to notch the rafters for the purlin before I glue them in place. I tried cutting this 90º V notch in the joists already glued up and it's not easy.
But today, it's raining and now snowing and we had the boys here. One had to do lots of homework so I chose to not work in the basement. Instead, I did something completely different. I've been converting all my saved scanned drawings to O'scale drawings in anticipation of doing lots of scratch-building projects. One is a Victoria-style city tavern. It's a drawing that I took from a model railroader from the 1950s. At night, when I sitting watching TV with the laptop I like to do the creative drawing stuff. I can easily listen and draw at the same time, as long as it doesn't require reading.
This building has a late 19th Century mansard roof and a neat cantilevered turret. I was unsure about how to construct this roof so I decided to mock it up in paper. The paper is manila file folder stock. I just learned about using this from an eMail I got showing a fellow who's making a 1:60 scale Boeing 777ER entirely out of manila folders. It is a wonder! He even made the engine nacelles with working thrust reversers all of of paper. For those interested, here's the link to an article.
After looking at the video, do yourself a favor and go on YouTube and look at the rest of the vids that he's made, especially the one showing the completely functional nose wheel. It will blow you away...
Anyway... here's the building. I've already started drawing the cutting overlays for the wall sections and working on the turret detailing. I'll probably have to turn the round turret roof top. I've toyed with making that hexagonal negating the need for a lathe job. I don't need dimensions because I adhere the drawings directly on the styrene and cut right through them.
Since no overhead view was shown on these plans I had to build a projection. I then created the underlying formers. I printed the templates out on manila folder stock that I first made into 8.5 X 11 on the paper cutter.
The three dormer windows with the curved roof will also be a challenge, but I'll use the actual roof to figure out where the intersecting planes will be. I shouldn't have any problem with the "simple" chimney.
Here's the templates.
And here's the mocked up roof. Being it came out pretty close, I don't see any problems with making this out of styrene. Using .010" material as the curved faces will work well. Projection sizes came out pretty close to nominal.
This building will go into the project bin with a bunch of others including telephone poles, substation, our old house which is all planned out now, engine house, and a replica of Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, plus Westport Model Works fire house, Bar Mills Gravely Building, Parkside Diner by Miller Engineering, and then there's the layout... Needless to say, I have years of work and that's not buying anything new...which I intend to.
Back to the shop and back to the RR Station project. Finished gluing up the street side shed roof and made a jig to cut the little 90º notches to accept the purline that will connect with the angle brackets tied to the station wall. Because I hadn't yet glued on the rafters it was much easier to do the notches. Unfortunately, the larger track-side roof was all glued up and I had to cut the notches by using the Dremel.
I have a 90º cutter that I purchased a long time ago from MicroMark. From time to time it comes in very handy. Today was one those times. I CA'd a couple of 1/8" sq. pieces of strip wood to a big wood block that I use just for this purpose. I measured the location of the notch on the rafter, put it in the jig and positioned the cutter over the strip wood and extending into the rafter the correct amount and using a small hammer, cut the not through the strip wood and the rafter. My first attempt was too square so I turned the fixture around did the same thing on the other side with the cutter correctly positioned.
Here's the jig, cutter and test piece in place. This was the incorrectly shaped notch.
Here're the 19 rafters correctly notched waiting for attachment to the underside of roof on scale 16" on center.
You can see the slightly different shape of the correctly cut notch.
Here's the entire roof with the purline glued in place into rafter notches.
With both roofs finished and waiting for paint, I turned my attention back to the station body itself. This project dates back to 1998, and although I thought I was careful, the door part of the Grandt Line door sets is nowhere to be found. The frames are solidly glued into the structure. I decided to quickly scratch-build the doors.
I measured the openings with the digital caliper and cut the four door blanks. They required very minor touch up to nicely fit the opening. I was going to use strip styrene to create the door surface detail, but then thought of designing it on the computer, sticking it to some .020" sheet and carefully cut the entire details in one piece. I also print the door design out on manila stock. I may want to cut it out of the card stock, and use pressure-sensitive adhesive to stick it to the styrene backing. It would give a much less bulky appearance. .020" is one scale inch in O. Door relief panels are generally not that deeply cut and it would look clunky. But the card stock is .010" or a nice scale 1/2". Perfect! It also cuts very cleanly with no fuzz. Here're the cargo and passenger entry doors.
I let you all know how this works out after the next session.
Boy! Go away for a weekend and you're thread is on page two already. We were in State College, PA over the weekend seeing my 8 year-old grand daughter having her debut in a professionally produced Broadway version of "Annie". It was a great show and we dodged all the snow that was coming and going.
Today, I was back in the shop. I stopped working on the station project and got back to the city streets. Since Les Lewis' resin sewer grates had arrived I figured I better install them and get the streets mounted. They have to be in place before I can finish the plastering in the back and then the other ravine which is holding up running trains.
I'm still having delamination problems with the Bristol Board separating from the foam making up the roadway. If I was to do this again, I would not. I repeat... I would not use 3M77 spray adhesive to glue the board to the foam. Every time I turn around another edge is letting go. I've used CA and now turned to Low Temp hot glue which seems to be holding.
First I cleaned up the casting and then air brushed the grates and inlets Tamiya flat black. After that dried, I gave it a coat of 1/2 and 1/2 burnt umber and burnt sienna artists acrylics. I didn't mind that it's a little lumpier than model paints since this is a cast iron sewer grate and nice and smooth doesn't cut it.
I traced the grate's outline onto the roadway and then carefully cut through the Bristol Board into the foam beneath. I removed just enough foam to let the grate sit level with the road surface. I took an artist brush plus tube acrylic Mars Black and outline this cut area to act as if it were asphalt sealing plus it covered any white paper showing. I then used low-temp hot melt to permanently glue in the grate.
Lastly, I cut out and placed some manhole covers in line with the sewers. I used the same "Black paint as asphalt" technique around it to look like patching pitch and hide the cut edges. Once this was done, I started to permanently glue the streets down using Loctite Insulation Foam Adhesive along with plenty of weights to flatten them out and get them to properly conform to the underlayment.
If you remember, those manhole covers are scaled from pictures taken from a Google search for "Manhole Covers". I found those that were taken almost directly overhead so they were circular. Of course, you can always adjust the perspective in the photo editing software to make them circles.
I only had some many weights to use holding down the streets so I did two of them and will do the rest tomorrow. Then it's back to plastering. While the plaster is drying I will get back to the station and finish up the interior.
Almost all the streets are glued in and are either dry or getting there. You can see the various "weights" I use to seat the foam into the foam adhesive.
I started preparing the transition from the "City plateau" to the table level to receive the Sculptamold. By using cardboard transition strips reduces the amount of Sculptamold needed to do the job. Having a large paper cutter makes it easy to cut the cardboard strips.
Meanwhile, while leaning on the completed scenery with one hand and putting the strips in with the other, I punched a hole in a weak spot. That's one way to find out where the Plaster/paper towel/Sculptamold surface isn't so strong. I'll fix it after I do all the plastering since I'm sure this won't be the last or only damage that I produce. Perhaps this is a good place for another rock.
Yesterday I attempted to move one of my MTH engines, the Centipede, under it's own power. Boy are those batteries dead. I'm going to have to charge everything once it's time to get trains running again. I'm really getting antsy about getting something going. After all, this is model railroading, not a scenery building exercise.
Finished adding the cardboard transition pieces and started plastering again. I also started building two of the six railroad crossings. A few more days work and I'll be building Ravine #1... finally!
Using Sculptamold (STM) I slathered on a tapered mass that was leveled off at the top of the city foundation foam and feathered out at the bottom. Since the ballast is already in place, I was careful to not build up chunks at the bottom. Once it's all colored, and the drainage ditches are landscaped it's going to look much different. The cardboard transition pieces greatly reduced the amount of plaster needed to produce the contour and will speed drying. As I've noted before, the plaster component of STM sets quickly, but the paper fiber portion stays damp for a long time—days possibly depending on the humidity. I don't want to paint or ground cover if there's still dampness since the paint will seal the surface and inhibit further drying.
Three quarters of the city perimeter are now plastered. There's one part—in the top left in the above pic—which are out of reach from the table edge and I have to climb onto the layout to work them. I'm leaving them for last.
For the crossings, I carefully masked the track just to its outer edges. I also masked the road surface bordering the crossing area. This area was then filled with STM level with both the rail head and road surface. My roads are just a bit higher than the track so there will be a slight drop to the track. Between the rails will be filled with Masonite pieces that I cut to length earlier.
The next pic shows the outside rear edge of the main street. I didn't make a foam/Bristol Board sandwich for this small area since it wasn't particularly level. Instead, I'm building up the road surface first with STM and then with a top coat of joint compound. After lining and painting it will look okay. There should (technically) be a auto bridge across the ravine to the other side. I didn't want to block up that area with anything that fragile, so people will have to use their imagination. My grandson made a suggestion that the ravines should continue all the way across this open space, but I nixed it since I want easy access to the rear tracks. The ravines would make that very difficult.
In the upper left you can see the weights on the last piece of street being glued in place. I have yet to paint and line the drive and parking area for the train station. I'm in no rush to do that since it's not on the ravine bridges' critical path. All of the this work is really to be able to finish up the back between-the-ravines area so I can close up the remaining ravine and get the bridges in. Once trains are running I can take my time doing the remaining plastering. Even the mountain on the right side can go in with trains running (sort of) since the tracks will never be disconnected. Whether we like to admit or not, project management is a significant skill set needed to design, construct, and landscape a large railroad.
I spent most of the day reading this thread and making notes for my layout. thank you for all the great ideas and look forward to the progress you make.
Today was a short day as a result of it being Valentine's Day and I committed to making my famous "braised Short Ribs" recipe. So I did a little more plastering, masked the rest of the grade crossings in prep for plastering. I've decided to keep working on the transitions and grade crossings since it makes sense to just finish it all up at one time.
While kneeling on the platform to reach deeper towards the middle, I put my hand through a foam insulation board filler panel that was not designed to take my weight and I blew through it. I glued it all back together with foam cement and will add more reinforcement underneath this weak section. It's not going to get any real load since the RR stations parking lot will sit above it, but I want to strengthen it just a bit more to avoid another breakout. The star shows the new seams created by the break.
I took one more picture with just the LED light bar illuminating the rear of the layout. It really shows the contours of the plaster work I did yesterday. Incidentally, the Sculptamold is nowhere near dry. It's set, but not dry.
We're having crappy weather so I may get some basement time tomorrow and will get back to plastering the city/platform transition.
With the weather so cold, we decided to stay in today, so I got some more layout time. With it I finished all the city transition plastering and all the grade crossing except the station side of the RR Station road. I continued doing all this because the inter-ravine area plaster still wasn't dry enough to apply the finish coat, paint and ground cover.
I layered all the cardboard around all the areas requiring plaster.
I also filled the trenches next to the road going through the rock cut with additional cardboard. It made it very easy to apply plaster there since it didn't take much and none of it spilled through to the floor.
These transitions consumed another bag and half of Sculptamold. If I hadn't built up the cardboard first it would have consumed a lot more.
Here's the front crossing. This will be the most visible and obvious on the railroad so I'm going to spend more time making it very neat.
Lastly, here's the rock cut area. None of this stuff looks very convincing in the raw white plaster, but as soon as ground cover is added... POW! It's looks like real terrain.
The edge facing you in this above pic will be cleaned up and then painted the Jungle Green that I'm using for all the fascia boards. This way the road's end will blend with the edge of the layout. Model Railroading... civil engineering, landscape architecture, electronics, computers, model building, design, project management, painting, and on and on... what a hobby!
I look forward to every update you do.
I can't wait to see more!
Okay, so here's another short update...
The Sculptamold wasn't dry enough yesterday to do any sanding so I did some more work on the station project. Added some more interior walls and started messing around with trying to make my own stairway by using the notching tool and fixture like I did for the roof rafters.
Here's the rendering with the stairs, flooring and interior paneling.
I'm going to build a stairway to the second floor that is accessed by the side door next to the store room. I've been making a rendering in CorelDraw to get the ideas down before building them out of styrene. I'm going to have to fabricate waiting room seating. Anyone have any ideas?
I'm doing the stairway using a similar technique as I used to make the notches in the shed roof rafters.
I also decided that instead of painting the inside walls I would draw them in CorelDraw, glue them to thicker stock and then install them into the station. This would be done after the exterior is painted and the window glazing installed. The double thickness, plus the styrene walls should prevent light leakage to the outside. There will be a ceiling and floor between each story. After sticking the printouts onto the heavier stock, the windows are opened up with the #11 blade.
Some slight adjustments are needed to fit these inside the walls since the plans I used were actually the plans to cut the exterior walls. I used .040 thick novelty siding from Evergreen for these walls so these drawings are at least .080" too wide.
I also found and downloaded a parquet floor tile that I imported into CorelPhotoPaint and then sized and copied over and over to get a full sheet of flooring. This was printed out on glossy photo paper. I will initially size the flooring to the floor plan I've previously drawn and then final fit it to the station's plastic floor. This file is attached.
I made additional interior doors; these at 30" scale width. I did something different with these. I used spray glue instead of the MicroMark PSA liquid glue. I adhered them to the Styrene and cut them out using the #11 blade. Before applying glue, I cut out the centers. This made a much cleaner installation with no excess glue to clean up.
I also cut the little center raised panels differently by spraying them before cutting and cut them on a poly bag. This worked pretty well also. To make sure they were not going anywhere I used some Tamiya flat spray. Unfortunately, this released some of the spray glue so I went back and used some light applications of thin CA to seal them. Some of the manila file folder stock started delaminating in this method. This might be a draw back in using this material, versus real Bristol Board.
Today, the Sculptamold was dry enough to sand and I used the Black and Decker Mouse to do it with a coarse pad. I then went back and put a skin coat of DAP pre-mixed joint compound on the road edges that align with the table edges, the road surface at the back of the city, and the ramps leading down to the RR Tracks. When this is dry tomorrow, I'll give it a quick sanding and then it will be ready for paint, weathering and ground cover.
Here's the grade crossing with the joint compound applied.
It really looks like a mess, but should look nice when the tape is removed...I hope. The picture does show the smoother surface with the joint compound application in the area just abutting the track.
I pulled off all the masking today. It wasn't particularly easy since some of the tape embedded itself into the plaster. All in all things looked pretty good, but I had to spend time using a small dental chisel scraping the plaster margins at the rail head.
In all of these pictures, the filler pieces between the rails are just placed there for fitting. I'm trying to decide what gluing method I'm going to use, Hot Glue or something slower curing.
Here's another view of the newly exposed road surface. In this case, the road too high approaching the track. I used a hopper car through each of these prepared crossing to check for any interference. In this case it impinged on the corner that's noted in the picture. I took the B&D mouse sander and went at it actually cutting through the Bristol Board and into the road's foam substrate. When painted it will look okay.
At the other end of Main Street the interference went beyond the edges of the wheels. As shown here, the truck's side frame was contacting the plaster.
Again, I went at it with a vengeance and lowered the offending corner sufficiently to allow a car to pass with no interference.
With the last problem solved, I started painting all this bare plaster and sprinkled brown basic ground cover all over. This will get more treatment to give it more "life", but for now, it looks soooo much better than bare Sculptamold.
And this last pic shows the back road, leveled, de-masked, and ready for further finishing.
You'll also notice that the city edges are also painted and ground covered, until I ran out of paint. I bought another quart of Behr Ultra "Burnt Almond" custom-mix. It has primer qualities and covers like crazy. This is my third quart and I'll probably need another when I start working on the right-end of the layout sometime later this year.
I'll finish the ground cover work tomorrow. I'll then install the crossing fillers and paint all the road plaster and the fillers the same gray mix I used for the roads and then give them a weathering shot with the air brush. I'm also going to paint the road at the back of the layout. And with that, I'll start building ravine #1 (Could be on Thursday...)
After finishing the tan paint/ground cover work on the city perimeter, I fastened the crossing fillers in between the rails with hot glue. I went this route simply because it cures instantly. I then mixed up what-I-thought-was a matching gray to finish the roads and went about painting the remaining bare plaster.
Hint: if I did this again, I would paint the filler pieces BEFORE gluing them in. As it is, I have a lot of post-painting cleaning to do. For the remaining crossing leading to the train station I didn't make this mistake. I was a little over zealous.
The track in general needs a good cleaning everywhere due to spray glue from landscaping, plaster and now gray paint.
I also painted the edges of the roads that abut the table edges "Jungle Green", which in some cases shows the flaws of my plastering. Most people will not notice this.
My gray paint mix wasn't a good match. As it dried it became even lighter. Now this is a bit tricky since I had also airbrushed black down the center of the roads before I installed them on the layout.
I was rushing this today. To remedy it I'm going to remix the paint and try again and then use weathering powders to try and duplicate the airbrushed portion. I don't want to airbrush directly on the layout for two reasons, 1) it would be difficult to mask just the rail heads, and 2) it would blow ballast and ground cover every where. If the weathering powder doesn't work, I may airbrush after all.
I may not get build time tomorrow, but the next step will be to finish up the road detailing and paint the road in the back, I'll then add some more variety to the ground covering in the back before starting on ravine #1. Once ravine #1 is done, the only access to that back area is underneath.
I'm also blogging this build on another forum, the World Affairs Board. How it got there is a long story... One of my followers there suggested taking this entire thread and creating an e-book with it. I've also started (but not finished) doing this with the Battleship Missouri build that I also tracked on that site. It's not a slam dunk since a forum thread does not really stand up as a book without significant editing. But if I did this, would anyone care? Where would it be advertised? How would people access it? Lots of questions.