Skip to main content

I tell my wife that all the time about the "Clean Shop problem". I would like to see Strasburg's shop in person. I've spent time at New Hope and Ivyland's shop in New Hope PA. They have typical shop machinery, but if they need drivers turned they send them to Strasburg (as does the Union Pacific RR)

We're heading to the airport in an hour, but the printer worked overnight and produced the turbo, pump face and the heads/induction piping. Turbo and pump face are perfect. Induction piping is very good too. Heads are good, but the fuel lines are just too fine to print and the push rod tubes took a beating when I was cutting off all the supports (Lots of supports!). The pushrod tubes are just about 32 thou so I'm going to replace them with brass rod of the same diameter. Shouldn't be difficult since it is accessible by the drill. Fuel lines are a non-starter. No matter what I want to use, they're too small to manipulate. Some things should be left to people's imagination.

In the image you can see just a few fuel lines. They're so fine that the support overwhelms them. Just the shock of the flush cutter was sufficient to destroy them. You can also see that each push rod has one or more supports and the same effect occurred. Shock of cutting broke them. This was before secondary hardening. You can see how nice the front and turbo look.

BLH Printed Parts uncut

The left side after cleaning looks good. I will carefully fill the couple of fractured spots with Bondic. I tried the induction system and it fit the supports perfect. What you draw is what you get!

BLH Left Side Cleaned up

After removing the supports, but before fine cleaning here some more views. Lost a lot of pushrods. I'll replace them all. If you look closely, the stud bolts at the head's corners are actually separate from the head proper.

BLH Heads unclean

The induction side came out well and the turbo lines up with it perfectly. No warpage. All those bumps will be removed.

BLH Heads Induction Side unclean

Pump face is great! The check valve didn't print quite right. The output shaft splines printed! The fuel line from the fuel filter printed since it was supported well on both ends. I have to check the check valve drawing since that one of the few parts downloaded from the SketchUp 3D Warehouse and it may have some errors.

BLH Pump Face Unclean

The turbo and the air-side impeller details.

BLH Turbo Before Clean


Images (6)
  • BLH Printed Parts uncut
  • BLH Left Side Cleaned up
  • BLH Heads unclean
  • BLH Heads Induction Side unclean
  • BLH Pump Face Unclean
  • BLH Turbo Before Clean
Last edited by Trainman2001

The downside to the shop tour was no pictures. If they let us I'd share. The tour guide said that it had to do with who they were doing work for(a mouse that lives in FL). Imagine a garage(a car garage where work is getting down on trucks, cars and such) with machines used to turn wheels, grind stuff out, drill presses, CNC's, etc., etc. You could probably Google railroad shop and see just about the same as what is over there unless of course you mean seeing it in person. Either way, all shops have that grime some place, shavings here and there, assortment of tools that were being used as well as the toolboxes they came from with the open drawers.

Trainman2001 posted:

On Saturday I bought 4 LED stoplight fixtures since they finally went on sale. I needed 8. I went back today and bought four more. The sign over the pile said $19.99. Four would come to about $80. When I got to check out, the clerk told me $135 (including tax). "Wait a minute!" "They're $19.99! She said, "The sale was over Saturday." I asked if there was anything that could be done. And then I told her that the signage disagreed with that. She sent the packer down the "Impulse Aisle" and she took a cell phone pic of the sign which clearly said, $19.99. She called the manager over and I got them for the listed price.

I installed all the lights today. It took a bit of finesse to keep from dropping the old lights onto existing structures especially the refinery. I did all the changes without damaging anything. I also reoriented some of them to better light some of the areas. Originally, I installed the lights before there was a layout underneath them. Now they're in places where the lights need to be. I have exactly one fixture left that's old-school florescent. It's over the back shop work area. When they go on sale again, I may buy one more. For 20 bucks you can't go wrong.

The light is probably 50% brighter and warmer. Makes for much better viewing and picture taking. 50% more light and half the power usage. No humming and instant on. I'm glad I did it in one go and stopped dribbling it out. I had LEDs over the town for over a year.

Layout Under LED

Very nice layout! Looks like you have quite a few scratch built structures on it. Do I see two churches? Can you tell me more about the refinery? 


About half are scratch built and all are described in gory detail in this giant post.  No churches. What you see is a terrific fire station that was the one and only one produced by Westport Models Works and the other is my rendition of the I.W.Bernheim distillery of 1870 in Louisville. That was scratch built from the single extant photo of it. The refinery is based on Plastruct’s petro chemical refinery kit. Besides adding an ops building, cooling tower and flare stack, I rearranged everything so it would work in its location.  Again, go back a scroll through all this stuff. It’s all there. Distillery was around 2016, refinery was a year later. 

Last edited by Trainman2001

Alan, sorry didn't answer your question. There are various kinds of resins with many properties including impact resistant. I'm having problems with fine details too as I've talked about here. I'm using a newer resin by Elegoo (ABS-like Resin), but it too is brittle in small cross-sections. There are others that I'm going to try. Each resin has its sweet spot regarding layer thickness, exposure times and rest times. I've been reluctant to try different manufacturers resins until I've mastered the ones that this printer recommends.

Two topics for today. First the Baldwin VO prime mover. The right side print was mostly successful. The fuel lines were too fine and simply didn't have enough integrity to print properly. The greater was also marginal. I fixed the drawings and they've just finished printing. You can see where the fuel line parted and was a bit warped. Similarly the throttle rack shaft was a little iffy. I enlarge both structures and then added some back reinforcements to the fuel line.

BLH Right Side Fail

For the generator I tried, unsuccessfully, to actually print as set of v-belts connected to the properly rendered sheaves. They are actually separated and as such, too fine a structure to keep shape. Also, the bottom of the exciter cylinder didn't print. When I made the fixes and put it through the slicer I did see an "island" forming. An island is a part of the print that's forming without connection to the build plate or the rest of the model. I fixed that also. I re-drew the sheaves as empty and will use E-Z Line to make real v-belts. I also reduced the number of sheaves to four since I believe I overdid it. The engine has some significant shrouding covering the belt drive. This lends itself to building in brass or styrene. I will explore this.

BLH Gen Fanbelt Fail

I just pulled the fixed parts and all the problems were corrected. I upped the diameter of the shafts by 20%, plus the added supports (tiny) did give me a good print.

Here's the right side with good fuel lines and throttle rack. Obviously, I have clipped the supports so there's still a chance to break something. The gray resin shows details much more clearly than the translucent resin did. There are supports touching the fuel lines that will need to be removed. I'm going to grind them off with a small diamond burr in the Dremel Flexi-shaft. The flush cutters even with the flat ends facing the part, impart enough shock to break the small stuff.

BLH Fixed Fuel Lines print

Here's the revised genset. I went to four sheaves and fixed the bad print on the underside of the exciter by adding an additional support. It worked! The shiny corners are left over cleaning solution. When the piece is fully dry and goes through the UV curing process, that will be gone. 

BLH Genset Fixed Sheaves

I then continued working on the engine house terrain. After some thinking I decided to expand the level area to the viewer side of the engine house. I want to have a storage area to display all these engines and loco parts and the area was too small. There was a significant scale 4 foot drop off back to layout level. I filled the bulk of the space with whatever I had laying around. For most of the space adjacent to the machine shop I used the piece of insulation foam that was removed in the machine shop "excavation". For the remainder: the left side is a sandwich of three layers of corrugated cardboard held together with hot glue, and the right side is a small piece of the remaining 1/2" German foam core that has been used from some many of my building bases. All three were held to the OSB base with hot glue. I tapered the undersides so they nestled more closely to the existing Sculpta-molded (STM) transition from the yard height. I then used paper towels soaked with plaster (in this case, Hydrocal) so I could minimize the amount of Sculpta-mold that would be needed to finish it off. I had just a tiny amount of STM so I strived to minimize the cubic volume needing to be filled.

This image is when the towels were in place, but before the last piece of foam core was added on the right. That was an afterthought. I needed a roadway to come around the building. and this small section was too low. I had a ton of Hydrocal left over from rock castings. I had no more Gypsolite plaster left. Hydrocal cures very quickly since it's really formulated for plaster castings. Gypsolite is slower curing and was used for plastering over the mountain. It gives much more working time in the soaking bath. For this small job, that didn't matter.

EH New Land pt 2

In this image I had added that piece of foam coat. In this case I had added some W-S tinting to the plaster so it wasn't so white. It really didn't matter since all of this, as you will see, was schmeared over with STM and that was tinted.

EH New Land Pt 3

Here all the STM is added to level everything plus I filled the joint with DAP spackle. This is the kind that goes on pink and is pure white when it's dry and ready for sanding. I paid specific attention to the walkways leading to the access doors. These will just need some concrete colored paint and the walkways will be done.

EH New Land pt 4

This picture shows the new level surface for the storage area.

EH Flat Land

On the EH right side will be the parking area and that needed a more smooth surface. I sanded the STM that was put on last week and then spackled it to feather it to the original surface. This will be final sanded and maybe given even another coat. This will be paint and lined or graveled. Haven't decided yet. The drive will go all the way around the back of the building requiring spackling there also. With all this slop it's easy to see why the Stretch-n-Seal was put all over the building. It's doing its job.

EH Skin Coat

The storage area will need to be surrounded by a chain link fence and maybe some yard lighting. I'm pretty good at making these fences now, but will have to get some more stock. I buy the 3/32" and 1/16" brass tubing in 36" lengths and have to order it on line. By Wednesday all this should be dry enough to start painting and ground cover. For all those who are contemplating scenery, especially involving plaster, it's a messy process. It looks awful until, all of a sudden, it looks real. You have to go through the messy stage to get to the other side. Don't be squeamish. I will admit, it's not my favorite part of model railroad building, but it is essential. I was procrastinating this part just because it's such a mess. Oh… and wear nitrile gloves. Plaster is awful for the skin sucking out every bit of moisture.




Images (9)
  • BLH Right Side Fail
  • BLH Gen Fanbelt Fail
  • BLH Fixed Fuel Lines print
  • BLH Genset Fixed Sheaves
  • EH New Land pt 2
  • EH New Land Pt 3
  • EH New Land pt 4
  • EH Flat Land
  • EH Skin Coat
Last edited by Trainman2001

Had my stress test today. I passed (I guess) since I won't know the results for a couple of days. I did the whole deal without getting too many of the symptoms they were trying to reproduce. They did get my heart rate up into the 170s, and my blood pressure behaved well. Monday, I have my regular Medicare Wellness Check. My cardiologist wanted me to do the stress test with all of my meds to see if we could duplicate what I'd been experiencing. 

The plaster's dry, and I did another set of prints for the Baldwin. In trying to remove the system-added supports behind the fuel line with a diamond coated fine wheel on the Dremel, I inadvertently cut through about half of the injector pumps rendering that half of the engine block to the scrap yard. I regrew it without those supports and got a good print. The line still warps a bit, but it's going to have to work. My positioning worked out well since there are no supports in any detailed areas that would be damaged when removed.

BLH R Side Print #3

I also reprint the generator without the v-belts, and fixed some thin sections, but forgot to re-add the support under the exciter and produced another piece for the scrap heap.

BLH Genset Print #3

I'm reprinting another corrected version now along with my first batch of new appliances for the appliance store which is next up to be completed. Every appliance you see in this rendering of the building will be printed in the next couple of days. Considering I paid $40 for the first five (I'm reprinting those too), this print job alone almost pays for the Machine. This is an eclectic bunch… I've got modern stainless steel high end stuff along with 1970s Avocado, Harvest Gold and Metallic Brown appliances. It's just like my layout… a little bit of this and a little of that as long as it's interesting. I have to make up some graphics and have a neat Miller Engineering electroluminescent "Zenity TV" sign, that's been waiting for years for this building. This is a Podium rendering of the SketchUp drawing.

Appliance Store render


Images (3)
  • BLH R Side Print #3
  • BLH Genset Print #3
  • Appliance Store render

I got the blood work results today on line and I'm very pleased. Everything was just about nominal. I haven't gotten the stress test results yet. But thank you for all the good wishes.

I sanded the plaster work on the engine house, using the multi-purpose oscillating tool and the shop vac in tandem. I did it when my wife was out so the racket wouldn't be a problem and I wore my heavy duty ear protectors. I then added a bit more to fill some divots and will start painting tomorrow.

I was printing appliances all day and have about 75% done. I also put the Baldwin together. Putting in the brass pushrod tubes was challenging, but I got it done.

Here's the appliances done so far. Another bunch just finished on the printer, but they'll wait until to tomorrow and i have another bunch to do. These are in conjunction with the five I originally had printed last year.

Appliance Store Appliance Load 1

I'm taking another shot at the metal cutting band saw and the regularly sized drill press. I made some changes on the saw to thicken the chip pan walls so they'll print successfully. And on the drill press, I removed the table and the hand wheel to print them as separate pieces so I could correctly position them on the platen and better insure success.

And I'm designing the last machine for the shop, a vertical turret lathe. Found tons of great pictures of them on Google and used Match Photo to set up the basic parameters.


This is just the beginning. I block out all the chunks and get the relationships right. I'll then go back and add more detail, fasteners, wheels and dials, tool posts, lead screws, etc. I'm building a Bullard 36" machine. Once it's drawn I'll decide how to break it into printable chunks. Looking at this I realize that it's much too wide for the chuck size. I'll fix that. Funny how you miss the forrest for the trees sometimes...

Screen Shot 2019-11-14 at 7.00.34 PM

And for the piece de resistance; Here's the finished Baldwin VO-1500 turbo-diesel prime mover. First, to refresh your memory, the real engine.

This 6-cylinder version has the same webbing on the cam side that I chose to use on my model.

BLH Turbo Detail Shot Right rearBaldwin Turbo Side Oblique

Here was my engine when I installed the brass pushrod tubes. After clipping and grinding out of the broken resin ones, I drilled both the head and the cam box with small 0.010" starter drill and then opened up with the 0.032" drill. Small finicky work! I cut the pieces so they would just get into both holes. Took a couple of tries in some cases to get the length just right. I mounted the cylinder head part just a tad too much forward which has imparted a slight can't to the pushrods. I thought I design the head to over lap the pump front. Apparently it was supposed to be flush with the block front. I'm the only idiot that's going to notice. When I make a second one, it will be corrected.

BLH VO 1500 Push Rod Replace

And here's the engine with the genes attached. After I took these images I started hand painting the details and will add the E-Z Line V-belts on the generator sheaves. I may try to use fine gauge solder wire to fake the injector piping. In scale, the injector piping would be about .005", just a tad thicker than a hair (actually one of my hairs is close to .007" which I found out learning to use a micrometer in high school physics.) To make it workable, they will probably be more like 0.010". When I hardened the print, the fuel rack like did straighten out nicely.

BLH VO 1500 Done 3

If I sell any of these in O'scale, it will have to be near $100.

BLH VO 1500 Done 2

I'd like to pick up a junk engine where I could scratch-build and engine room and put one of these babies into it. 


Images (8)
  • Appliance Store Appliance Load 1
  • 59492_227537
  • Screen Shot 2019-11-14 at 7.00.34 PM
  • BLH Turbo Detail Shot Right rear
  • Baldwin Turbo Side Oblique
  • BLH VO 1500 Push Rod Replace
  • BLH VO 1500 Done 3
  • BLH VO 1500 Done 2

Thanks everyone! I got the word on the stress test and it was entirely normal. So I'm going to assume that the discomfort I was feeling in walking up 3 or more flights of stairs and long hills was being out of shape, with nothing organic going on. It was nice to know.

All the appliances are printed and ready for paint. I cut a floor for the building and starting working on a 'stone' foundation based on some Chooch self adhesive cut stone wall. I wanted to raise the building up a couple of steps to have it conform to the way some of the others are sited. This is one of the three structures on my layout THAT I DID NOT BUILD. I bought it about 12 years ago from a local Bucks County, PA O'scaler who had a vast layout. I got there late in the sale and bought three things: this corner structure, a beautiful wood water tower and a small elevated crossing shanty. I described rebuilding the the shanty years ago in this thread as well as making new coal chutes and suspensions for the water tower. I'm finally getting to the actual building.

I made duplicates of some of the appliances so I can paint them the three 1970s colors. I'm going to pull logos from the Internet to make wall decor decals for some new and some legacy appliance brands. I'm thinking: GE, Fridgidaire, Hotpoint, Whirlpool, Kitchenaid, Motorola, Zenith, Sylvania, and maybe even Muntz. I'm not going to include Wolf, Vulcan, or SubZero since I think my store's just too small. So far I only have two TVs on display. Both are console units. I like how the fridges came out.

Appliance Store all the stock

Here are all of them fit on the floor plate as I drew them in SketchUp. There's going to be a back room behind the wall where the stoves will be. If anyone wants to print some appliances, I can send you the STL files. They're not too big. You'll have to put them through your slicer to make them print files. The slice files are big.

Appliance Store Floor Plan

Here's the layout of the foundation walls. They'll be two to three steps up from the parking lot level. I also have a Bar Mills little model of a sidewalk elevator that I'm going to incorporate with this scene since they'll need a way to get stock to the basement.

The walls will be glued the edges of the floor and the building glued on top of this after all the interior work is done. Because the structure is all built up, I can't get through the roof and work top down. I'll have to treat it like I did with the Bronx building. The back room will also be where the lighting circuits will be set up. I'm going to do the same arrangement as I did with other structures using the surface mount LEDs on copper foil and an LED driver chip. I was thinking of also using the blue/white LEDS to give more of a florescent light appearance which would be prototypical for a 1960s vintage appliance store. I'm using some scrap Masonite and there was a big saw kerf in it from the chop saw which I filled with another piece of the same material. I will probably use a photographically created parqué floor like I used years ago on the Victorian Train Station.

Appliance Store Foundation Wall fitiing

I also sanded the spackle on the engine house and did one more layer of touch up filling. Next week I'll begin putting on ground cover. Have to go the hobby shop tomorrow to pick up a model I ordered and I'm going to pick up some W-S fine gravel for the storage lot and order some more 36" brass tubing for the chain link fence.

Have a nice weekend. Work will recommence on Monday.


Images (3)
  • Appliance Store all the stock
  • Appliance Store Floor Plan
  • Appliance Store Foundation Wall fitiing
Last edited by Trainman2001

Thanks for the great thoughts folks! Speed Queen is still a viable brand. My sister recently bought a set. They cater to the laundromat trade. Not flashy, but rugged. 

Today, bullets have been bitten! After having my wellness check up with the internist, and doing some errands, I got  enough shop time to clean up another couple of machine shop fixtures and then did the ground cover around the engine house. The materials rack worked out okay. The saw is good except it has no blade. But I finally got the chip pan and the upper hand wheels printed. I don't care about the blade for this application. If someone wanted to buy one, then I'd have to get that done right. Perhaps some E-Z Line would work? I'm going to put some real metal on the rack after I paint it. Right now I'm reprinting a drill press to get the chuck and spindle to print. It's still a very frail 3D printed part and I may try one more time if this one doesn't work to add some bulk to the vertical column. The rack was a SketchUp download, but I had to thicken all of the parts including framing lumber and shelves so it would hang together. 


Onto the engine house. This is a standard Woodland Scenics type ground cover activity save for the use of tile grout tinted to dark gray with acrylic Mars Black tube colors. First step was to liberally paint the area with a dark brown acrylic wall paint and then while still wet start sprinkling on the various coverings. On the grassy areas the first coat was W-S fine brown ballast (n-gauge stuff I suppose), followed up with a green turf and a mixed turf. The gravel areas is a fine gray ballast that has some tonal variations. After all this was even, I sprayed it with "wet water" (99% isopropyl alcohol and water) and then sprayed it with W-S liquid adhesive. In both cases I use old Windex spray bottles. My iPhone lens wasn't sparkly clean so forgive the soft focus.


EH Landscape 3

My recently minted way to do road surfaces is using tile grout darken with acrylic paint. It dries really hard and has a good texture. Any irregularities are going to become road patches with a different shade and texture of black. The ragged edges will be trimmed when it's fully cured next session. This view will be parking spaces and drive to get around to the storage area.

EH Landscape 2

I did the same treatment for the little areas that were connected directly to the yard using that mixed ballast I was using for my yard. The pavements leading to the entry doors are going to receive a separate coat of concrete color after all the rest is dried and vacuumed. That exposed layout edge is going to be the last area to receive fascia boards. It's the reward facing edge of the inside of the layout. At first I didn't think it needed covering, but it's all visible from the left end of the layout. I also have a source for fabric and velcro to make skirting to hide all the underneath stuff. My grandson likes seeing all the legs since it explains how the whole deal works.

EH Landscape 1

I'm going to adde weeds and other vegetation next to the building walls after I removed the Stretch-n-Seal which BTW, has done a good job of protecting the building. I highly recommend it. I use some clumps and tall grasses to put some variety into the scene. The parking area will receive white lines and wheel stops as I did for the refinery ops building. The nice thing about the grout is it's impervious to moisture and won't delaminate like the artist's board did. I used a wide paint edger's tool to screed the grout in one pull. I have all the materials for the chain link fencing except I'm going to have to buy some more bridal tulle at JoAnne's Fabrics to finish the job. I have a little bit, but not enough. I'm going to weather this fencing a little more than I have been adding an overall rusty appearance. I'll finally have a place to put all those 3D printed engines, wheels, traction motors, etc. On Thursday, my MicroLux precision sanding tool is arriving from MicroMark. I bought it specifically streamline the process of cleaning up printed parts. Rotary bits in the Dremel are too hard to control and tend to take too much of the good surface when removing the support remains.

So we're a day or so away from unveiling the engine house and removing all the masking.


Images (4)
  • IMG_5766
  • EH Landscape 1
  • EH Landscape 3
  • EH Landscape 2

It's been a hoot! And yes, it's sure getting closer. Today, in between making braised short ribs, I removed the masking sheets, cut off any overlaying plaster and then painted any exposed areas with W-S Earth Tinting coat. I then went back and added additional ground cover, did some trimming of the road surface which was now hard as a rock, and did the first coat of W-S Concrete color on the sidewalks after I scribed some crude expansion strips in them.

I was a little sloppy doing the touch up, but will go back when all is dry and back paint the wall color down to the earth line. I also have a couple of "ground hog" holes that lead under the building perimeter that I'll touch up.

EH Ground Cover Round 2

I still have more work to do on the drive/parking lot and will get to that tomorrow. I'm then going to add more vegetation at the building/ground juncture. The scheme I used of wrapping with the Stretch-n-Seal and then plastering right up to the edge worked perfectly. I was still able to lift the entire building to pull out the mask and when it set back down it snuggled right in. There's almost no gaps anywhere and the building looks like it was planted there.

EH Ground Cover Round 2 1


Images (2)
  • EH Ground Cover Round 2
  • EH Ground Cover Round 2 1

Yes! It works really good. I also use it as an instant paint pallet. I stick it to my Corian work surface and can mix paint on it, or use it to mix up small batches of epoxy. When the paint or epoxy is dry, I just peel it off and throw it out. For my paint bottles that are used for the air brush, the foam seal deteriorates very quickly. Without the seal the paint dries out very quickly. I clean off the lip and then put a small square of Scretch-n-Seal on it, stretch it and then close the cap. It seals correctly.

I think I'm finished designing the Bullard Vertical Turret Lathe and will get ready to prepare it for printing. I also think I finally got a perfect print of the drill press and Bridgeport. I got the Bridgeport handles big enough that they'll hold together. I also got a new resin called Tenacious, which when added to my regular resin imparts some real flexibility to the material and will improve my production of thin and fragile details. I will have to adjust my exposure time to account for the slower cure of this new resin. I was told you should use the time for the slowest resin.

I was able to copy that huge faceplate from the wheel lathe to this machine and then scale it to 36", thicken it a bit and using it. It was a bear to draw and I'm glad I got another use for it. I chose not to add any small wires and linkages knowing full well that they wouldn't come out successfully. I faked the lead screws using a series of shapes that look like the thread shape, but they not in a spiral. It's just to add texture to this part.

Screen Shot 2019-11-19 at 8.48.52 PM


Images (1)
  • Screen Shot 2019-11-19 at 8.48.52 PM

I think the confusion stems from the fact that I really don't know what I'm talking about. It's actually called Press'n Seal and it's by Glad and is available in every super market. I've been calling it the wrong stuff for weeks. When I got the box to take this picture I found my error. You can also use it as a mask for painting models, but it's sometimes hard to remove. It's good for canopies since you can see through it to cut around the frames.

Press'n Seal


Images (1)
  • Press'n Seal
Trainman2001 posted:

I think the confusion stems from the fact that I really don't know what I'm talking about. It's actually called Press'n Seal and it's by Glad and is available in every super market. I've been calling it the wrong stuff for weeks. When I got the box to take this picture I found my error. You can also use it as a mask for painting models, but it's sometimes hard to remove. It's good for canopies since you can see through it to cut around the frames.

Press'n Seal

Ok now I know what it is. It just didn't click from your name. Thanks for letting me know what it is and for the idea. 

Glad we got that straightened out.

Didn't do much on the engine house other than repairing some more ground cover, touching up the wall color to clean up the ground/wall line, put a second coat on the sidewalks and started painting the parking lot.

To start the parking lot process I first measured the parking line positions and then smeared on a layer of tube acrylic white. I will then mask this and paint the "asphalt" with varying shades of gray and black. I think I'll 3D print the wheel blocks. In the past I've made these out of strip wood and styrene. Printing them seems like a nice idea.

EH Parking Lot Step 2

The bulk of today's work was on the appliance store. I glued up the foundation along with the main floor. I then crafted a curved front step to go from sidewalk to front door.

I decided to glue the floor to the foundation one layer higher so it fit inside the walls and helped align to the base. In fact this would facilitate being able to lift the building off and on to fix things inside if needed. I therefore, used 1/4" square strip wood to form a strong ledge around the perimeter to which the floor is actually glued. Floor was glued primarily with Aleen's Tacky Glue and then boosted with thin CA so I could quickly unclamp and keep going.

Appliance Store Foundation Bottom

At the front door I used a piece of MDF to provide a smooth surface for the front steps which followed.

Appliance Store Foundation

I was first cutting a angular front step as an angular assembly, and it seemed insubstantial. I changed to a circular array of three steps. I was using 1/8" ply, but it was coming up too low and would only be a 6" scale rise, which was a bit shallow. I then added a piece of card stock between each layer which built up the thickness to a more scale appearance.

Appliance Store Step Prep

This stoop will be filled and painted before fastening permanently to the building. I'm going to hand paint the Chooch foundation blocks. I don't really like the color.

Appliance Store Front Steps

Now I need to go on line and get some appliance logos from which I can make the decal graphics.




Images (5)
  • EH Parking Lot Step 2
  • Appliance Store Foundation Bottom
  • Appliance Store Foundation
  • Appliance Store Step Prep
  • Appliance Store Front Steps

Thanks Mark!

The turret lathe completed very well. I printed it as a whole object and it didn't disappoint. I actually made the lead screws to fine. Even though they're scale, I could make them thicker. It's hardening now.

Here it is with all the supports and then in the cabinet. I really get a kick out of how it resolves the t-slots in the chuck.


I made the handles simple and thick enough to hang together. If you're working in metal and photo-etched brass you can get away with very fine structures (think jewelry), but when printing with resin there are limitations. The Bullard insignia came out nicely up top. I actually was unable to use that big worktable. It had some design glitches so I drew another one at a scale 36" dia. The v-ways came out nice and sharply defined. I do the final sanding after hardening since it makes a better sanding job.

VTL Hardening

While I was waiting for the ultrasonic cleaner to finish (10 minutes) I put some masking tape on the white lines of the parking lot.


Images (2)
  • IMG_5780
  • VTL Hardening

A side comment:

Don't feel guilty for fudging the tiny features to be bigger than scale. The goal in most modeling is not to make the miniature geometrically accurate. Rather, it is usually to make it look realistic. This actually requires exaggerating tiny features. It is just the way the eye/brain works. There is a good example from typography:  A 6 point font is not simply a 12 point font scaled down 50%. You actually have to redesign the shapes, exaggerating the smaller features. For example, serifs have to be relatively much larger in tiny fonts, otherwise they just get lost visually.

Similarly, IMO bricks in an O-scale wall look best when they are about 50% larger than scale.

So, you are doing exactly the right thing!

Another pot pourri day… Worked on the engine house parking lot, cleaned up more 3D prints, finished the little drill press, put two coats on the appliance store steps and created the appliance logos and made a decal sheet.

First the decals. The Internet was kind enough to present me with a lot of decent resolution appliance logos and I captured the major ones that would have been in a store in the 1960s and 70s which is generally my era.

I couldn't use CorelDraw for this. When I upgraded to Mac OS Catalina, my VM Fusion emulator no longer starts Windows and therefore, no Coreldraw. I have VM Fusion Ver 8.5 and it's not compatible with the latest MAC OS. I have to pay $50 and buy VM Fusion ver. 11.5 if I ever want to use Corel Draw again. I do… therefore I'm probably going to have to spring for it.

Instead, I edited the individual logos in the Mac Preview program and then imported them one by one into a 5" X 7" page in MAC Pages (their word processor). This enabled me to create something that could be printed at high resolution on the clear background decal paper. I coated the entire sheet with Testor's Decal Film. I have to create the inside walls before I apply them.

Appliance Store Logo Decals

I cleaned up the Vertical Turret Lathe and also made a brass hand wheel for the tiny drill press. Sometimes the best thing to simulate metal is…. metal. I'm very happy with the VTL. The only piece I had to fix was the vertical lead screw that was just to fragile up top to handle the de-supporting action. I drilled through the top piece and inserted a piece of 0.020" brass wire.

MS VTL Cleaned up 2

They're a little oversized, but there's no mistaking that this is a DRILL PRESS. The hub and knobs are Bondic.

MS Drill Press New Handle

I painted their first coat some blue that I already had in a bottle. I think it's the blue from the Corsair project. I though it was Tamiya and used alcohol as a thinner, but as it was drying I realized that it was Vallejo. That acrylic does not thin well with alcohol and can clump, but it worked okay. Vallejo dries more slowly than Tamiya. Tomorrow I will do the detail painting on these two tools.

MS VTL and Drill Press first Coat

I printed out some more work tables. On one I broke off a leg and replaced it with a piece of styrene. I thought the table tops were sufficiently thick for successful printing. The top was, but the middle shelf was very thin and when removing the supports, each one developed a hole. I put a piece of styrene on the bottom and filled and filed Bondic to make a smooth surface that NO ONE WILL EVER SEE.

MS Printed Work Tables\

I have a bench grinder to print that could go on one of these tables. I'm going to print some more. Can't ever have enough work surfaces.

Here's the machine shop with just about all the machines it's going to get. You can't see the metal rack that's out of frame on the front right side. I think I need about three more tables.

EH MS with complete machinery

I masked the engine house parking lot. The grout and acrylic base line paint didn't hold tape worth a darn. Part of the problem was the coarse texture of the grout. Tamiya tape didn't hold at all. Tamiya flexible tape didn't hold either. I ended up with 3M Blue tape and it was still a struggle. I burnished it down as best as I could do. I then slathered a mix of black, white and gray over the entire paved area trying not to lift the masking tape in the process.

EH Parking Lot WIP

After black painting the lines were decent, but needed some tender loving care. I added additional staining in the parking spots. You can see the leakage on some of the lines.

EH Parking lot lines before touchup

Using a small brush I went back and trimmed up all the lines. I will do some pastel weathering once all the acrylic is totally cured. I need to knock down a little bit of the white line brightness.

EH Parking Lines after Touchup

And now the parking lot is getting some P & P RR employees parking. I have to get some more "normal" vehicles for the employees. A 1975 Pace, a Beetle Cabriolet, and a Studebaker aren't particularly representative. I still have to make the parking stops and do more vegetation along the building wall. At our Military Modelers Club of Louisville meeting tonight one of the members demonstrated using a static grass applicator. This would be a good place for it, but I'm not happy buying an $80.00+ tool for some limited landscaping applications. The ragged edge at the parking lot/layout interface is going to be cleaned up when I purchase and install the final fascia boards on the inside portion of the layout. That Pacer like the one I owned. Worst car ever produced in the USA!

EH Parking Lot Lined


Images (10)
  • Appliance Store Logo Decals
  • MS VTL Cleaned up 2
  • MS Drill Press New Handle
  • MS VTL and Drill Press first Coat
  • MS Printed Work Tables
  • EH MS with complete machinery
  • EH Parking Lot WIP
  • EH Parking lot lines before touchup
  • EH Parking Lines after Touchup
  • EH Parking Lot Lined

Good Morning! I've been following this page since the beginning and look forward to each update. There's always something cool going on. You said something above that I didn't quite grasp. You were talking about creating the appliance decals and you said "I coated the entire sheet with Testor's Decal Film". I was wondering if you could elaborate.



Randy, inkjet ink is water soluble. Water-slide decals are soaked in water to make them work. Ergo, left unsealed, the ink would all wash away. The decal coating (referred to as decal film) applies a waterproof fixative to the surface and allows them to work. Microsol makes one product that you brush on, and Testor's recently came out with a spray product. Microsol's product is designed specifically for their decals and works best with them. I suppose artist fixative sprays may work too, but I haven't tried them and the film needs to be pretty tough to withstand handling. Laser jet decal film doesn't have this problem since laser jet ink is a polymer that's heat fused to the paper. It is not water soluble. Does that answer your question?

Add Reply


OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
800-980-OGRR (6477)

Link copied to your clipboard.