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Hey gang… I'm back! I hope everyone had a terrific holiday. We saw lots of family and friends, ate great food and only gained two pounds. That was a record. We had a suite in the Homewood Suites which had a complete kitchen and full-size fridge and freezer. So we were able to make our usual breakfasts and even have lunch there occasionally. That made up for the over-the-top dinners. Trips to and fro were uneventful with all of the road construction tie-ups gone for the winter and lots of newly paved surfaces. The weather cooperated with only rain and no wintery stuff.

Only spent an hour getting back to work today and started working on the windows. I'm finding that ALL of my laser cut windows don't fit and I'm scratch-building the whole bunch. I started with the right side corner big window and the adjacent small front window. Window construction is similar to the technique I developed on the Nighthawks cellar windows: using thin styrene sheeting to form that entire shape of the window to which is glued the separate  frame pieces. The inside of the sheet is then cutaway leaving the frame and a solid piece of sheeting with the glazing opening cut in it. I then glue the glazing to the separate pieced frame leaving the solid frame as the exposed exterior. I leave excess clear styrene and apply liquid cement around the outside perimeter keeping glue off the exposed glazing. I then trim the clear. I then glued addition separate frame pieces to the other side of the glazing making a nice and stable window. 

The side window is just a rectangle, but the small front corner was a bit more complicated since all the windows have to share their corner frames. I made the outer single piece so it would overlap the side window's corner, and then the rest ends at the side frame. The glazing is only supported on three sides until it's connected to the corner window.

BB Window Construction

Here's a different view of this assembly.

BB Corner Window

The window will be captivated in the window opening by small styrene square stock that will hide any irregularities (like molding is supposed to do). The lower brick work and the front ledge gets an engraved part that will simulate black ceramic tile that appears on the prototype.

BB Window Fitting 1

I'm trying to keep the outer frames really clean so I can use the native white styrene instead of having to mask and paint them. All the trim on the building as it now stands is white. I'm thinking that to not glue the windows top and bottom to the building to enable the floor to be removed easily is a fool's errand. It may not work.


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  • BB Window Construction
  • BB Corner Window
  • BB Window Fitting 1

Thanks guys!

First of all, I finally got my copies of RMC's Bernheim Article Part 3. Between the printer's screw up and having our mail held while we were away it was almost 5 weeks late! For me, it's one of the best parts since I really liked the pictures I included. (if I do say so myself).

Since my stress test and echo cardiogram results were nicely negative, my doc called today and said they're going to schedule the cardioversion shock treatment to get me beating more regularly. I really can't tell I have Afib unless I actually feel my pulse. It's no wonder people can walk around with it and not even know it. It's also funny that since I have the Afib, I don't get the sudden irregular beats that I was getting for almost 50 years. Could be they were always related.

I got a little time in the shop today, and then we went with my daughter and younger grandson to the movies to see the new Spiderman animated film. It was probably the most enjoyable film we've seen the whole holiday season and that includes, Fantastic Beasts, the Favourite, Ralph Wrecks the Internet and Mary Poppins. 

I continued building the right side windows today and found that the laser cut windows for the front actually could work, but I needed to "stretch" another board to make it fit. I may have a problem with the tile appliqué that goes on this lower portion, but we'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I still don't understand how I made some many errors in drawing this model.


Here's the right corner windows completed. And the right turned window for the main window set. You're looking at the backside of that window. The front is the solid piece.


When the Bronx Building is complete in another month or so, I'll be building another pull-out-all-the-stops plastic kit. The fellow who commissioned my to build the "Yankee Lady" B-17 two years ago has asked me to build another. This one is a 1:32 F-105G Thunderchief Wild Weasel from the Viet Nam Era. It's an older Trumpeter kit which implies lots of filling. I've also ordered some nice and some essential aftermarket stuff for it. One is brass landing gear since the model is big, heavy and the styrene gear is weak. The model has a complete J-75 turbojet included which, we installed with be out of sight. So I may cut some access panels to show it off, or, make a support stand to have the engine removed from the plane. I love detailing jet engines.

F-105G Box

I didn't ask for a fee to build the '17, but we agreed that I will receive some compensation for this one; a beautiful, Tamiya 1:32 DeHavalind Mosquito kit. It's engineered like the Corsair and is big and beautiful. I don't know where I'll put it since the "Mossie" didn't have folding wings. Perhaps I'll display it at the hobby shop like the Corsair.


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  • IMG_3777
  • F-105G Box

Mark, your undying confidence in my skills is very nice, but you don't give me much room for abject failure.

Had a rare Saturday session… Instead of using the laser-cut front window (it would be too flimsy) I used it as a pattern to make another out of multi-layer styrene as I did with the other windows. It fits nicely in the space. I also added a piece of 0.188" X 0.060" styrene stock on the front window's left edge to close off the space to the inside partition wall. You might notice that the left side entry door is only 30" scale inches, whereas the right door is a scale 3 feet (or bigger) space. I don't know how that happened… I was thinking about removing the 1/4" from the adjacent brick wall, but there's some decorative stuff that goes there so I left it alone. Somewhere I lost a 1/4" in width. When I added that bit on the end of the long sill, it now fits the front window, but the tile laminate that goes below is about 1 tile vertical course short. If I balance that on both sides, I can be handled. Otherwise, I'll have to hand-engrave some laser board to match the tile and add it to one end. Wait until the molding and cornices go on… this thing's going to POP! The build would have been more precise if the lower front sills could have been part of the building's front, but the design didn't allow for this. 

BB Front Window Trial

The window got some solvent damage and was covered in fine scratches as a result of my attempt to remove said glue with various grades of abrasive cloths. As a result I dipped all of the completed windows into Pledge (with Future) floor wax which is a trick that airplane modelers use to make the canopies crystal clear. It takes a while to cure completely and it's best to cover it so dust doesn't settle on it. I uncovered it to take this pic. It really works! It's basically a clear acrylic, water-based coating. Give it a full 24 hours before attempting to handle it.

BB Front Windows w Pledge

While this was drying I noticed that the side sill is not level. My many activities of sanding and rebuilding it left it at the right height on its outside right edge, but progressively lower moving back on the left side. I used thick CA to glue some laser board shims and then, using the long sill as a level surface, filed the shims until it squared up with the long sill. This all will be painted before the windows are inserted so it won't be noticeable. I put masking tape on the long sill to keep from sanding that too since it was the correct height. 

BB Right Sill Leveling

As I'm thinking about the next steps, I realize that I can't button up the insides just yet. I'm glad I didn't glue any of the storefront into place. I have to install the first floors double-hung windows from the inside. They might extend a tad into the space making sliding the main floor assembly into place a bit more complicated. I'll probably have to cut some relief on the ceiling piece to let it pass the windows without grabbing (and wrecking) them. I'm glad I hardened those screw holes since I seem to be taking them in and out more than I would have thought.

As I've said, many, many times before, writing this stuff up every day, while being entertaining for you all, gives me a chance to more clearly understand just what I'm doing and catch some stuff before I do it wrong. Scratch-building has no instruction sheet. In the December issue of RMC, in the Editor's column, he talked about the importance of good instructions and gave advice to the kit manufacturers to get their acts together and do a better job. At least kits HAVE instructions.



Images (3)
  • BB Front Window Trial
  • BB Front Windows w Pledge
  • BB Right Sill Leveling
Last edited by Trainman2001

Myles, I don't foresee abject failure on your part.  Just today for instance.  You made the windows out of styrene, built up the side sill, realized the door widths are off which I'm sure you will overcome.  That is a good trick on the windows using the Pledge.  Your door problem reminds me of when my in-laws built on the addition to this house.  There was a sliding glass door on the back of the house.  They had the contractor put in a 36" door on the right side, but the space left for the right hand door going into the daughter's studio, now train room is only 27 inches wide.  Oh well.  She sold the house to us at a bargain price, so I can't complain.  

No real work today… was at Roundhouse Trains giving them Part 3 of the Bernheim article and then at my hobby shop getting some supplies. By the time I got home I didn't have much time to get into anything. But I did try out the coated windows in the building, and other than one obvious blemish in one corner, they look very transparent as seen in this picture I took. They are very clean and fine scratches are gone. Pledge with Future is a good way to save clear parts. By extending the lower sill, puts the window's edge right at the end of the partition wall, which is really what I wanted. 

BB Windows After Pledge

Tomorrow will be a full-session with some real progress to report. Stay tuned...


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  • BB Windows After Pledge


I removed the first floor again (glad I screwed it in and not glued) and started window install. The window assembly is consistent with my previous work on the distillery being a three-layer affair. There is an outer, thin, rectangular piece to serve as the exterior reveal molding. Then there's a full-frame containing the upper sash and a frame to which to connect the lower sash behind. And finally there's the lower sash. After putting it all together I added another piece using a chunk of the spare lower sashes that I had cut to act as a filler so the window would sit square in the opening.

BB Window Diagram

The front frame and the two sashes were held together with thick CA. The Clear parts and the added filler piece were held with MicroMark Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA). I did not use a flange piece in this design. Instead the window sits back in the opening, but not all the way back. To keep the windows from falling in and to give additional gluing surface, I installed a set of stops. The bottom stop was made out of 0.125" X 0.030" with a piece of square 0.030" stock glued to the back edge that slipped over the window opening and set the amount of protrusion into the building space. The bottom piece (and all the other pieces) were held with thick CA.

BB Interior Window Sill

I held a steel ruler on the back side of the window opening to positively position the stops at the edge so they were all in the same plane and the windows would sit nice and even when glued.

BB Window Stops

After I assembled the three first floor windows I glued them into the wall using some very old, Henkel Pritt clear urethane glue that was given to me in a set when I moved from Germany back to the USA in 2002. It's a good glue to glue oddball materials together, in this case styrene to MDF. It has more tack than typical PVA glues.

Since there's so much of the building's first floor interior visible through the big front window, I decided to dress up the insides of the windows with some casing moldings. This too was glued with the Pritt glue.

BB Interior Window Casing

I found out, much to my dismay, that I didn't have enough lower sills 3D printed. I have enough for the upper floors fancy windows, but lack the three needed for the first floor. So I have to make them. I glued two pieces of 0.030 X 0.080" stock together and shaped the ends to the correct taper and then scraped the sides with the edge of a #11 blade to shape the sides to the same taper. This was glued to a piece of 0.040 X 0.188" styrene, but not before I reduced the width of this piece to about .140" using a razor saw and sandpaper. Once you get over a width of 0.125" Evergreen styrene strips move by larger increments. The 3D printed sills are about 0.140" wide. I'm not going to attempt to make the little drops at the ends. I'll leave the fancy stuff for the second floor windows. The resin that Rusty Stumps uses for his 3D printing is very tough and held up to sanding very well.

BB Scratch-Built Window Sill

BB SB Sill Fit test

Notice how fine the mullions are in these windows. Laser cutting them from Laser Board produces very fine details and is remarkably tough. I'm using my micro razor saw to cut the little bits that keep the parts in their frets. You have to be careful to go very lightly since the saw can dig in a pull the fret sideways and that WILL break the Laser Board.

My oldest (and soon going to college) grandson came over for a brief visit today and we were exploring where to place this building on the layout. I'm now convinced that some reshuffling of town buildings is necessary. I'm going to substitute this building in place of Saulena's Tavern so it will sit on the corner opposite Nighthawks. I'll maybe about to move the gas station to the left about 3/4" so it will fit, but if I can't I'll move it too to the far side of the right end of town. In this new position, viewers will be able to look directly into the art gallery and also have a good view of the big side windows.

I really like Saulena's. It was my first complex craftsman build and had a full interior, but it's very hard to visualize the interior and doesn't need to occupy that piece of prime real estate. None of these are glued down so moving them involves nothing more than disconnecting their lighting wires from below. I may need the help of a younger, smaller and lighter person to crawl on top of the layout to make the changes. I have a person in mind.





Images (6)
  • BB Window Diagram
  • BB Interior Window Sill
  • BB Window Stops
  • BB Interior Window Casing
  • BB Scratch-Built Window Sill
  • BB SB Sill Fit test

Those windows and frames look great!  Yes, the mullions are so fine it would be easy to break while cutting the frets.  I like your drawing in the first picture.  Though I helped my dad rebuild double hung windows in his 1888 house we both grew up in, your drawing helps visualize what you are doing on the model.

Has your grandson picked a college and major yet?  It's a question I always ask.  I find it exciting to watch these young people become adults!!

He was accepted into the engineering programs at University of Illinois and Penn State and was deferred at Wisconsin and University of Michigan. His first choice was engineering… what kind, I have no idea, but his dad is a terrific orthopedic surgeon here in Louisville (as is his other grandfather in Stockton, CA). He spent a day in surgery with his dad as a part of his school's senior experience. His dad picked a particularly bloody ankle/heel fusion surgery to test his son's ability to stand the "sight of blood". He loved it! And he's now also considering throwing pre-med into the equation. He would make a great doctor like his dad and like my son. He has the intellect, problem solving and the humanity that all need to come together to be a good doc.

Thanks for asking!

That sounds excellent!!  My wife and I could use a great orthopedic surgeon!  Maybe we should retire to Louisville!!

The surgeon who did my second carpal tunnel surgeries in each hand told me he started out working as a mechanical engineer then went to medical school.  He pointed out that orthopedics is somewhat like mechanical engineering.  I hadn’t thought of it.

Yes… perhaps you're right, but you are being anal. Here's the description that tells the story. They're both part of windows. I will now refer to them as "Muntins".

"The whole shebang - sash, jambs, sill and everything else - is called a window. Mullion/muntin: A mullion is a heavy vertical or horizontal member betweenadjoining window units. Muntins are the narrow strips of wood that divide the individual panes of glass in a traditional sash."

While I could have built more windows today, I was itching to get to building all the molding assemblies since this is such a focal point of the building. I finished scratch-building the 1st floor's window trim and then went to work on all the 3D printed stuff. I'm very happy that Rusty Stump's resin is very tough and you can sand it without worrying about it falling apart. 

I may have overdone it with the amount of trim over the first floor windows. Before I glue them in place permanently, I'll re-evaluate, and if necessary, build them again a bit smaller. Nothing is glued down yet.

BB 1st Flr Trim Done

The trim is made with a  stack of varying width, 0.040" thick styrene stock. After gluing the stack, I notched the ends staggering up to the top piece at 0.040" increments and cut each level with the micro razor saw. I spent some time sanding off the remains of the support legs that typify 3D printed parts using the aluminum sanding block from my Precision Sander. The resin sands fairly easy. 

After sanding I stuck all the 3D parts onto masking tape turned back on itself and first sprayed it Rattle Can Tamiya White Primer, and then airbrushed with Tamiya Flat White. The long white piece is the "concrete" foundation trim that extends from the end of the right side lower sill to the building's rear. The top and ends are chamfered 45 degrees.

BB 3D Parts Painted

I couldn't help but to try the 3D parts on the wall. They look brilliant!

BB 3D Parts Test

Now for the really cool stuff… The dentil molding sits within a nest of many pieces of styrene to build it out to the building's design. The special widths of many of the wider parts necessitated me to cut it from large 0.040" sheet (about 2" in 1:1 scale).

I often use angle blocks as a backstop to keep pieces that need to be even on one edge in place while gluing. Even with this aide, parts can move and I needed to check alignment before glue dried. Since the dentil molding is resin, it must be glued with CA. I did have to break a joint since it got out of alignment.

BB Molding Build 1

I got about 1/2 done on the building front molding. There is a pile of strips that have to go on beyond what you see here. Then there's little round trim pieces that go under each corbel to finish it out. All in all, it's a lot of trim. The extensions out of the right end are because this needs to be mitered to the right side's trim. I was proud of myself that I thought of this before cutting everything too short.

BB Molding Build 2

Here's the cross-section that needs to be created. There are five pieces in the top stack with a thinner strip in the number 3 position from the bottom. Again, I'm constrained by the thicknesses and widths offered by Evergreen plus cutting the widest pieces out of a large sheet.

BB Cornice Cross section

This detail view is from the original drawing with the two chimneys.  There's more stacked trim at the roof edge, and still more complicated layers at the store front. The lower trim only extends over the display windows (thankfully…), since the longer the trim to be glued up, the greater the chance for misalignment and twisting. In looking at the below image, I'm realizing that forming the curved roofs on the gables will be challenging too. This is not a building project for the faint-hearted. I'm also thinking that the roof edge trim should be hollowed out since it's actually serving as a rain gutter also.

BB Conice front detail

I cleaned up the oval window 3D print and tried them in the laser cut holes. Fits like a glove! Would have been a bear to scratch build.

BB Oval Windows Fit

Tomorrow, molding work will continue… I expect, by the end of the week, I'll have the rest of the windows done too.


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  • BB 1st Flr Trim Done
  • BB 3D Parts Painted
  • BB 3D Parts Test
  • BB Molding Build 1
  • BB Molding Build 2
  • BB Cornice Cross section
  • BB Conice front detail
  • BB Oval Windows Fit
Last edited by Trainman2001

Thank you guys! Each day the project is getting more exciting. 

Today I finished all the upper cornice work and started on the detail that lies above the store windows. 

After building the short wall, doing the long wall went much faster (as usual). When I reduced the length of the building I screwed up the nice fitting of the dentil molding. The last bay is now significantly shorter than the rest, but there wasn't much I could do about it at this time. I though about reducing each bay by one dentil, but it didn't come out evenly either. The length did provide a challenge so I used a longer straight edge and three angle blocks as a back stop. This picture also shows the little doodads that I describe making further on.

BB Side Cornice doodads

After cutting the long wall miter and cleaning up the short wall, I tried them on to see how they mated up. Notice too, there is now a rain gutter. When assembling multi-layer constructions like this you really need to understand how the miter extends out past the wall edge when you're cutting and gluing up the material. Gluing these in place is a little later...

BB Cornice Miter Test Fit

Here's a profile shot showing how all the strips stack together to make the cornice.

BB Cornice Profile

The little drop "doodads" were created by a sandwich of some half-round Evergreen styrene glued to a piece of custom-cut strip that had to match the width of the corbel's width. I couldn't use existing stock since Evergreen didn't make a piece that was 0.140" wide. I cut the piece from some 0.040" sheet stock. Several of the widths were cut this way. After making the sandwich I sliced off individual profiles with the Chopper like salami. 

BB DooDad Sausage

I then had to cut the little circular details from another piece of round styrene. When I first started cutting them with a single-edged razor, they were flying off in all directions. I solved that problem by cutting then on a piece of double-sided Scotch Tape. I cut them by rolling the razor over the cutting spot enough times until the piece came off. These are too small to cut on the Chopper.

BB Cutting DooDad Circles

With my finest tweezers I touched the circle to the solvent cement applicator and then placed it on the other assembly. The trickiest part was keeping the little tiny circle from preferentially gluing itself to the tweezers. The Doodads were solvent glued to the cornice to lie underneath each corbel.

BB Cornice DooDad Gluing

Next up was the lower trim band. First I had to figure out exactly how big this was since the picture I had printed out was not to scale. So I went back upstairs to the laptop, pulled up the detail on SketchUp which is in 1:1 scale and strunk it by 0.021% to make it O'Scale and drew measurements on the screen with the Tape Measure tool. I really only needed the overall height of the backing piece since this was another custom cut piece.

My printed out pic was slightly over size (about 10%) so I could take measurements directly from it and then take them down 90%. With these calculations, I was able to build the profile. Went together pretty quickly and I'm done the front portion. There's still a side component that miters to the front (like the upper trim) and I have to check to see how the other end is finished (square cut or stepped).

BB Lower Trim Trial Fit

I definitely would want to do any this in either HO or N gauge, but I know there are folks who do it. I'm now a FaceBook friend with a wonderful Japanese craftsman, who is making scale tin buckets in HO that are simply hard to believe. Whenever I think I'm good, I find people in this world who are so, so much better. It's keeps me grounded.


Images (7)
  • BB Side Cornice doodads
  • BB Cornice Miter Test Fit
  • BB Cornice Profile
  • BB DooDad Sausage
  • BB Cutting DooDad Circles
  • BB Cornice DooDad Gluing
  • BB Lower Trim Trial Fit

I finished the big trim pieces with the build and attachment of the shorter right-side piece. I should have done the entire length in one assembly, then cut it where the miter had to go. Instead, it was a pain to recreate the right side with the exact same spacing of all the members so the miter would meet correctly. I got the small rear windows completed and started working on the fancy main 2nd floor windows. I did find out something interesting. The real building is even more ornate than my model. I made a cropped picture of the real building to show this. Notice the raised details within the flat areas of the upper cornice. Notice too the friezes on the upper fancy roof facing. And then there's those corner details where the trim members meet in the Mansard roof. There are joist clamps (starts) on the brick at the corner. I don't have stars, but I do have some Grandt Line "S" curve joist clamps that I can use. And I just realized there is a masonry lintel on the main windows at the top below the frieze panel. I may add this since the windows are very fragile and could use a bit more bulk.

BDC Upper Closeup

After building the lower trim and sanding the miter nice and true, I decided to pre-glue this piece to make installation easier. I clamped it onto an angle plate so it dried square.

BB Gluing Store Front Trim

When it was dry I filled any remaining gaps with thick CA and filler beads and then Tamiya Fine Filler. When dry and filed, I painted this trim and the upper trim airbrushed flat white. Here's what the lower trim looks like fitted to the building.

BB Store Front Trim Assembled

To my chagrin, I found that my drawing only had one small back window. I made a mistake and had two large windows cut and only one small. The modified building was the reverse. So I had to scratch build another one which has a slightly more bulky profile than the laser cut ones, but it's in the back, will be highly difficult to visualize and it will work. It's either that or spending $$$ to get this little part re-cut. Using that method I developed of using thin styrene sheeting as a backing for the window structure works really well. Also, the texture imparted by using hand brush-painted craft paint on the "stuccoed" walls really looks kind of nice.

BB Scratch Built Rear Window

The main windows laser cutting is so fine that it's almost too delicate to build. I was surprised just how thin the cross-sections were and how carefully I had to work to get them together. Those mullions are probably no more than 1/64" wide. That window is not glued in and was the first one I built before the day ended.

BB First Fancy Window

So here's another picture showing all this molding trial fitted.

BB Big Trim PaintedHa

Have a great weekend!


Images (6)
  • BDC Upper Closeup
  • BB Gluing Store Front Trim
  • BB Store Front Trim Assembled
  • BB Scratch Built Rear Window
  • BB First Fancy Window
  • BB Big Trim Painted

Thanks Mark!

A snowy Saturday with nothing on TV but golf and my wonderful wife said I should go down and play in the basement. So play I did and got the main windows built and installed.

The windows are a tad undersized and needed some support to hold them in the openings. I put a stop of 1/8" styrene that was flush with the back edge of the opening held with thick CA, and then put a curved stop on the top front since the windows weren't reaching all the way to the top of the opening. When the eyebrows are on this piece really finishes up the space nicely. I also played with adding some side shims. I used 0.188" X 0.015" strip to shim it. I tried both sides, but it was too much so I just put it on one side. Then I found as I was actually installing the windows that even one shim was too much. 0.010" stock would have been better. It's very hard to laser cut the windows and their respective openings to get the fit just right. In addition to the .005" kerf left by the laser (about .0025" per side of the cut line), there's the variability of my assembly of the 5 components that make up the windows.

It's always a challenge gluing styrene to MDF. CA doesn't always like styrene, unless it's not where you want it, and MDF is friable, and the part comes loose by the MDF flaking. It took a couple of tries in some of these to get them to stay.

BB Main Window Prep 

I made 8 windows only needing 7 and I'm glad I did since one broke in half when trying to get into the now-tight opening. Did I say the windows were fragile… I have a problem with keeping all kinds of crap off the windows. Between the pressure sensitive adhesive getting on it (removable with Goo Gone), and the thick CA, which was too thick, streaming little strings that settled on the windows (of course) and this is not removable with anything. I suppose I could have changed out the glazing, but I didn't feel like it. I can still do it if I inclined.

BB Main Windows

So all the windows are now in. I glued them in like I did on the first floor using Henkel Pritt Urethane glue. It's forgiving since it stays somewhat flexible. It will cure until Monday when I get back to it. Notice that I put that thick lintel on the windows that I mentioned yesterday. I also notice that I didn't put one on the last window on the right side wall.

BB Main Windows Front inBB Main Windows Side in

On Monday, I'll reinstall the interior and get the front window assembly work done. There's a trim panel that covers the bricks on the left side of the front and that gets some 3D printed ornamentation. It's a much simpler deal than the other trim. Then it's onto the upper reaches. This project should be completed in a couple of weeks working at the pace I've been working. Since the Afib, I haven't been exercising which is giving me more time in the shop. I'm due to meet with the cardiologist next Thursday and then we'll schedule the cadioversion procedure that hopefully will get me firing on all cylinders. I was happy that the tests showed no cardiac circulation problems.




Images (4)
  • BB Main Window Prep
  • BB Main Windows
  • BB Main Windows Front in
  • BB Main Windows Side in
Last edited by Trainman2001

I’m glad the tests are good and you are seeing the cardiologist  this week to schedule the procedure.  Me, I would probably watch a documentary on Netflix.  For some reason I can’t watch any sports anymore.  I get bored or anxious.  LOL

Thos Windows look great.  They are so fine it would be easy to break.  I agree this one is going fast compared to the brewery and Nitehawks.  Of course as you said you have some more time each day.

Thanks for the kind thoughts, Mark!

Well… whatdaya know? I actually worked on the building on Sunday too. It was another crappy weather day and my dear wife granted me another weekend work session. And a mighty productive one it was.

I got all the window trim installed. Remade and installed the lintels for those first floor windows. Glued the upper cornice together at the miter and then, when dry, mounted all the cornices. I trim painted the inside edges around where the store window was going, and finally, started working on the gables, with the fitting of the critical front gable.

I mounted all the eyebrows and sills on the upper right windows and then turned my attention to those 1st floor lintels. They were actually wrong. Here's a picture showing the correct lintel to the incorrect. The backing plate was the window width as was the lowest layer, then they expanded upwards and outwards, and there were only four tiers. It was a quick job and I painted it with Rattle Can Tamiya Matte White so I didn't have to clean the air brush.

BB New Vs Old Window Lintels

I glued up the upper cornice again using the angle block and some quickie clamps. When they were dry I glued all the cornices to the the building. Before doing this, I brush painted the edging that surrounds the store front since this surface will be exposed unless I would cap it. I don't want to do that since the space is already narrower than I would like.

BB Cornice Gluing

I couldn't help myself, but to take the building as it to the layout and try it on one of the possible spots. It fits, but it's facing the wrong way, meaning you won't be able to directly view the interior. My ideal spot would be where Saulena's is, which is the yellow building in the lower left of this image. Bronx is a bit wider so the Sinclair station would either need to be moved or slide to the left a tad. I would mean some minor adjustments to the macadam so it could nestle closer to the tracks and accommodate the crossing signal that also sharing that space. The building in the foreground right is destined to be the appliance store. I didn't build that one, but bought it when I bought that little crossing guard tower and the water tower.

BB Possible Siting

Back to work...

I could have continued with installing the interior and then the store front, but decided that it was more prudent to work on the upper stories since I would be having to manhandle the building for a bit more. I found quickly that the square hole that I had laser cut in the attic floor had to be closed. I don't know why I drew it like that since the front gable needs to rest on that spot. So I cut a piece of Masonite to fit, glued it in and reinforced it with some backing plates. I sanded all of the exposed edges so it completely matched the existing floor.

BB Attic Floor Filler Piece

The window pieces had a sloppy fit in the their respective openings. I still haven't got the hang of just how to draw the holes and window parts so they fit. As I've noted before, if you use the same drawing pieces for the windows and the their holes, the holes get bigger and the windows get smaller due to the width of the laser beam and how the material burns. But I don't think it is as big as I ended up with. The gap seemed to be somewhere around 0.020" to 0.030". I tried tow pieces of 0.015" stock, but it was too tight. I then tried a piece of 0.015" and another of 0.010" and while the window fit, there was some compression that was deforming one of the tiny mullions. So I went with two slices of 0.010" and it fit perfect. There was also a 0.040" gap from top to bottom. Instead of screwing around trying to fill the curved portion, I pushed the window up and made a nice 0.040" window sill.

BB Front Gable Window Prep

I know had the formula for fitting the windows. I hadn't tried the fit in all the single gables spaces, but my guess is they are the same dimension.

I put all the upper pieces together with masking tape so I could make measurements. The gables are vertical and, of course, the Mansard roof recedes backwards as it rises to meet the roof. At first I attempted to measure the distance at the gable's top and cut some angular pieces to fill the space, and only after doing all the cutting and sanding did I realize that I made the opening in the roof facing so I could simply use rectangular pieces. The hole was the same as the width of the gable front so the rectangular pieces would just slide in. Easy peasy! Again, I used a combination of Aleen's PVA and then thin CA with accelerator to speed up the build. While the CA cures instantly, but is not too strong (brittle), the PVA will cure slowly and form a more permanent flexible bond.

BB Front Gable Construct

So here's the gable slid into its space. The fit was perfect! I will painted the gables, assemble and install all the windows, and put the fish scale shingles on the Mansard front before I finally glue the gables in place. In looking at this image, I think I'm going to run the downspouts for the cornice waterways at the open ends thereby eliminating the need to have downspouts disturbing the facade.

BB Front Gable Fitting

So, all in all a very productive weekend. Tomorrow, I'll continue working on the upper stories by fitting the remaining four gables and building that nice ornate chimney. I'm sitting here thinking how I'm going to construct the curved roofs for the gables. I have some thin ply that could be laminated to a curved shape. I could also do the same with some thin styrene sheeting. I could trace the curves and make some molds to better form the shapes. I keep noodling it until the solution presents itself. Meanwhile, I'm watching my Eagles struggle with the Saints.



Images (7)
  • BB New Vs Old Window Lintels
  • BB Cornice Gluing
  • BB Possible Siting
  • BB Front Gable Window Prep
  • BB Front Gable Construct
  • BB Front Gable Fitting
  • BB Attic Floor Filler Piece

Happy Monday!

Hobby shop visit so late start. And Mark, I simply can't believe how much I drew wrong on this laser cut. I just went back in CorelDraw and corrected them. I also found that on the Mansard errors, part of the problem was I was position the parts in a different place than I had originally designed. I may never cut another one of these again, but one of you folks might so now the drawings are corrected (or at least I think so at this moment).

One of the craziest errors was the faces of the single gables. Their width was correct, but the height was way off (too short), the curve was wrong and didn't match that of the Mansard opening and the window hole was no where near what the window sizes were. They were useless, so I had to scratch-build the four faces! At first I thought to make them out of thin aircraft ply and after creating one, I went "DOH", "why the heck am I struggling with cutting plywood that needs to be sealed and filled afterwards?" So immediately, I switched to 0.040" styrene and it went much faster. When I made one good one, I used that as a template for the other three. One came out with a funky window opening so I made a fifth one as a replacement. 

BB Bad V Good Gables

Here was my 2nd attempt with the line work already drawn on the 2nd piece of ply and the styrene piece that ultimately replaced it. Besides, styrene is some much easier to join with solvent cement. Ply is hard to cut AND you can't snap it like you can with styrene; you have to cut it clean through and it's tough. But notice how nice I got the window fit...

BB New Gable First Attempt

Here's the window fit in the styrene cut part. Nice and tight. It can't be too tight since it will deform the window frame. In all cases, I individually fit the windows into the spaces, and filed the holes so they fit perfectly.

BB Gable Window Fit in New Part

The side walls on the first gable was the last thing I got to today. I need to adjust their height (too tall) since the curved roof piece won't fit right. I'm putting some 0.060 square stock inside the window edges to provide more gluing surface for the windows since they are a 5-layer affair, and not just one layer of laser board which measures about 0.023". You can see that the side walls are just a tad too high. The curved roof has to slip straight under the curved opening in the Mansard. I also want to add a small window sill under the window openings. The rectangular opening to the right of the gable is the chimney slot. The laser cut bricks on the chimney are going to look very spiffy.

BB Small Gable Test Fit

Gable windows should be built tomorrow, and then I'll be back to the interior. I need to add the visual breaks in the second floor so you can't look through a completely empty space. The windows are big enough that I could (if I want to) install some sort of interior detailing and lighting, but frankly, am not sure what to include. I'm planning on shingling the Mansards straight across all the opening and then just slicing out the window spaces. This way I don't have to mess with cutting little pieces to fit in all the in-between spaces.


Images (4)
  • BB Bad V Good Gables
  • BB New Gable First Attempt
  • BB Gable Window Fit in New Part
  • BB Small Gable Test Fit

Happy Tuesday!

Spent a long and fruitful session building all of the gables and then putting the shingles on the Mansard front.

I added the side walls to the remaining three small gables and then added a rear "rafter" since the curved roof was going to need something in the back to form the roof. I traced the front curve of each and made an exact replica for the rear former. I squared the ends and solvent cemented them at the rear of the gable. For the double gable, I made a plywood piece held with Medium CA. Speaking of CA; I replaced all of my CA at the hobby shop yesterday. The medium had turned to jello, the thin was a mess, and the thick was getting thicker by the day. That stuff does have a shelf life once it's opened. I also added a bottom stringer to ensure that this fragile structure remained square.

BB Gable Rear Rafters

The front and side edges of the gables has trim. I'm using 0.030X 0.060" trim for the sides and a piece of 0.015" sheet that I cut to the specific curve of each gable. Since all these were hand cut, each gables curve is slightly different. I traced the curve on the sheet and cut it to that curve. Then I used the caliper set at 0.060" and scribed a parallel line which I then cut.

BB Scribing Gable Trim width

I glued the curved trim on first with the ends extending off the edge. Then I butted the side trim up against the front trim and trimmed the front trim close to the side. I also cut the side trim flush with the gable's back.

BB Small Gable Roof Trim

For the roof I chose a double layer of 0.015" sheet stock. In looking at the prototype pics, the roof extends past the trim by about 3" so I cut the pieces to extend over all the edges about that amount. The plan was to glue the first layer on, and then after drying, laminate the 2nd layer to it. I used rubber bands to hold the roof to the curve and put them on on the front edge first and glued that. When it set, I moved one rubber band to the back edge and glue that and the sides. This worked perfectly!

BB Small Gable 1st Roof Start

When dry I cut another batch of roof pieces the same width, but left long, and slathered some Testor's Tube Cement over the entire roof (with my finger) and adhered the roof to the sub-roof. This too went flawlessly.

BB Small Gable 2nd Roof

When the roof was dry I cut off the excess and then sanded the front and sides so you couldn't see the doubling. I also sanded the sides so they were parallel to the gable's sides. Last thing I did was add some windowsills with 0.060 X 0.030" styrene.

BB Small Gable Complete

After these small gables were finished I did the same procedure to the double gable, with the exception that I used CA to hold the first roof in place. I did the upper roof the same as the small gables.

BB Big Gable Complter

I had to open up the side Mansard's gable spaces since the roofs and their trim was not fitting without distorting the thin ply. I again scribed a parallel line, but after attempting to cut it with an Xacto and the razor saw, I simply engraved a good cutting line and used the Dremel with a carbide mini-router and a sanding drum. I then covered the Mansards with black construction paper (tar paper) and got the fish scale shingles on the front Mansard. It was very easy to just pave the shingles right over all the holes and THEN cut out the black paper AND the shingles in one go.

Those gables are not glued in place. There's a lot of white trim that goes all over the front and sides that will hide all the raw shingle edges, so I'm not worried about them at all. All the gables will be finished painted white next session in preparation to receiving the windows. Speaking of windows, I have six more to make.

BB Gable Placement

The gables was a challenging part of the project; first due to the laser pieces being useless and having to scratch-build them all, and then the intricacy of the build with all the curved cuts. Curve cuts are never easy. All's well that ends well. Tomorrow have a lunch with a buddy so may or may not get much done. Thursday is an early afternoon cardiologist visit, but shouldn't take all day, so we'll see.


Images (8)
  • BB Gable Rear Rafters
  • BB Scribing Gable Trim width
  • BB Small Gable Roof Trim
  • BB Small Gable 1st Roof Start
  • BB Small Gable 2nd Roof
  • BB Small Gable Complete
  • BB Big Gable Complter
  • BB Gable Placement

Didn't post yesterday since it was just a little bit, and then today just a little bit more, but enough to write about. First of all on the cardio front. Because I am asymptomatic and both my pulse and BP were actually very good, we're going to hold off on the cardioversion procedure until I have another progress checkup in 6 weeks. We had a long conversation with the cardiologist today and found there was more nuance in the decision. There was a very large study done 15 years ago with control groups having cardioversion or not with Afib measuring quality of life and longevity. Turns out there wasn't much difference. Actually, there was higher mortality in those having the procedure. You can live with Afib especially if you on an anticoagulant so you don't form clots or get a stroke. If the pulse rate starts going up, then you don't want it to go on since it can wear the heart out. The other factor in my favor is there is no other cardiac trouble, either valves, circulation or heart muscle. So it's just a mildly dilated left atrium and bad signaling. So on we go...

I finished up all the gables and painted them yesterday. Today I went back and sanded the base of the double gable and filled some imperfections that I should have done before painting. I then, for fun, I built the chimney and started working on the decorative roof structure on the top. I don't know what to call it, so I'm calling it the "top knot". And I find that something's not quite right. The formers are good and the shape of the curved surface will be fine, but the area covered by this complex roof structure is too small of the footprint it has to fill. The convex roof should match the width of the upper part of the Mansard, but it's too narrow.

Here's the cross-lapped former structure. The diagonal formers were cross-lapped. The straight former pieces nestled into the crotch at the center. They were a bit long which wouldn't work since the curved pieces of roofing need to run straight across. So I marked the upper roof piece with some pencil lines at the correct position and trimmed and sanded the straight formers to meet that line.

BB Chimney and Top Knot

I glued together the 3-sided box making up the back of the upper Mansard roof and realized I hadn't drawn a roof piece for this transition. I quickly cut one out of plywood and put the formed roof section on top and it shows the width discrepancy.

BB Top Knot Misfit

It can be fixed in two ways. I can cut the sides of the Mansard front and back to narrow it to fit the formed roof, or I can remake the formers to add 3/16" on each side so their width conforms to the Mansard's shape. I don't think narrowing the Mansard is a good idea since there is white raised trim that runs up that angle and it needs clearance. That leave remaking the formers. I could redraw them on CorelDraw, print them out and cut them out of styrene. Styrene simplifies adhering this styrene sheeting to form the curved roof.

BB Top Knot Rough 1

As I'm writing this, I've come to the conclusion and have already re-drawn the corrected parts to be cut out of 0.040" styrene. The rear wood part forming the box side angles were slightly too wide at the bottom and I've re-drawn that also. So all the new parts will fit perfectly as they should. It is not difficult to cut parts out of styrene since you can scribe and snap the parts. I'm not married to wood. I only used it since it is what people use to laser cut. You can't laser cut styrene.


Images (3)
  • BB Chimney and Top Knot
  • BB Top Knot Rough 1
  • BB Top Knot Misfit

Thanks for the nice thoughts, Mark. 

I instituted Plan B. I used the redrawn parts as patterns and cut new parts out of 0.040" styrene. The formers were the correct width now and reached to the corners of the top knot roof. I didn't cut the new base for it yet, but will do that on Monday. That said, when I went to skin it with 0.015" styrene, I was unhappy with the results. It doesn't sheet evenly, but distorts between the end and middle former. I may have to go with Plan C. I not sure yet what Plan C actually is, but I need to find a different sheeting material the will only bend in one axis. I may go back to thin balsa, but I'll have to buy some new fine-grained material at the LHS. Another possibility would be to use card stock, or individual planks (which is probably how the original building was constructed in 1870).

This pic has the assembly upside down. The square plastic base is on top and is not glued yet. You can see how the shapes reach the corners. I took care to ensure that the middle former is actually in line with the corners.

BB Top Know Plan B 1

Here was the first piece of thin stock glued in place. To keep it tight to the curves, I took a 1" brass bar and pushed it against the sheeting and held it there with lots of rubber bands. You can see the distortion on the left lower edge. Plastic was held to ply with medium CA and accelerator.

BB Top Knot Plan B 2

When I tried it on the building, the width was correct. The height of the base is wrong, but I'll fix that with a new base.

BB Top Knot Correct Width

Have a safe, dry weekend. If you're north of the Ohio Valley and in the Northeast, you're gonna get a nice reminder that there still is a Winter. We're supposed to get 2" here in the L'ville, but temps are going to drop fast and freeze everything quickly. It's when that sign, "Bridge freezes before road surface" is something to which you need to pay attention.


Images (3)
  • BB Top Know Plan B 1
  • BB Top Knot Correct Width
  • BB Top Knot Plan B 2

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