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First of all, I am a huge fan of the architectural design choice with that house. I believe it's categorized as "Second Empire" style? I have a fondness for the mansard roof style, especially.

As for the color, it's hard to judge based on the rendering, as it tends to pop out maybe more than intended. I think it could work on the actual structure though.

The bright color is interesting. Not how I would paint my own house but it catches the eye. I guess it depends on the placement of the house on your layout. If you want to draw the observers eye to that part of the layout it is a good choice. If you want the house to blend in with the scene, you should paint it more subdued colors. It can add interest to an ordinary location or take interest away from a favorite structure.

Good comments, Pat!  All the houses here in Butler of that era that have been renovated have been painted in subdued, even drab colors.  I learned that was common when they were built.  Now there aren’t that many of them, Butler current population is 13,000, but it could be a regional thing.  Houses out in the rural area where I grew up were all white from the beginning.  I grew up in the 1888 family homestead, and we always found nothing but white paint underneath when scraping before painting.  Of course those were utilitarian houses, nothing remotely fancy.  
As to Myles’ photographs, some regions may be painting houses like this model in brighter colors today.  It’s all up to Myles and Mrs. M’s preference.

Based on the consensus I think I'll stay with the Green. The only problem with that is I already used that green for the Nighthawk's trim. I have Badger Model Tech Burlington Northern Green which is a great shade.

Yes! It is 2nd Empire and represents the 3rd Mansard roofed building in my town. Here's another 2nd empire structure. For those that don't know, this is Philadelphia's iconic city hall. Up until the mid-70s, by custom, no building should be taller than William Penn's hat on the statue atop the 548 foot tall building. Started in 1894, it was completed in 1901 for $24 million. Destined to be the world's tallest building at the time, it was surpassed before completion by the Washington Monument and the Eifel Tower.

It sits at the crossing of the two biggest streets in Philly (at the time), Market St. running east-west, and Broad Street, running north-south. I was in choir in high school and we performed one holiday season in the City Hall courtyard. Traffic wraps around the building which is always "interesting" at rush hour. Kind of like how traffic circumnavigates Grand Central Terminal in NYC.

I've toured this building and there is an observation deck around the statue. In the 1980s, Liberty Place was built and greatly exceeded the height rule (848). What followed was a series of bigger skyscrapers, including the Comcast Technology Center at 1,181ft. The rule is still in effect from Broad Street East to the Delaware River so you can still see the building from that view. The Blair House in Washington D.C. is another great example as are some great buildings in Paris, France including their City Hall, the Hotel D'Ville. Fairly recently, the entire City Hall was sand blasted and refurbished back to its beauty. It was a dingy dark gray all during my childhood. It's a national treasure.


Happy Sunday!


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I saw the city hall during my only visit to Philadelphia in the late 1980s.  Living in the far western part of Pennsylvania, there has never been another reason to visit Philadelphia.  The building looks great sandblasted!  My wife went to Thomas Jefferson Univ School of Nursing in the late '70s.  She told me about how for so long they didn't allow any buildings taller than William Penn.  We went to stay with a friend from nursing school and toured around a bit.  It was the only time I ever saw an El too.  (Sheltered life) 

It is a spectacular building. At the time of its construction Philadelphia was the industrial hub of the nation. This lasted until after WW2, and then stuff started moving South… then off shore. Philly had steel, chemicals, heavy machinery, locomotives, turbines, ship building (Battleships New Jersey and Wisconsin were built at the Philly Navy Yard and the 16" guns were built at Midvale Steel on Hunting Park Avenue). It was the instrument capital of the world (industrial instrumentation, not musical) until the 1990s. Philly was a huge clothing manufacturing area. It has four medical schools (or more). In other words, the city hall was fitting for the city at the time of its inception.

Enough diversion… I was very busy today (and this weekend). First of all, a fellow in a completely different forum (Fine Scale Modelers) where I posted the build thread on the Sherman, suggested that I find some carpeting images and make a carpet runner for the steps to make it easier to finish. As usual, I never look a good suggestion in the mouth. Not only did I find carpeting that I was able to digitally enhance to be the correct length to cover the steps. By finding a repeating design I was able to "stitch" the image together to be the correct length. I produced enough to cover all the steps up to the attic.

Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 5.54.45 PM

With the success of this, I then made Persian carpets for all the big exposed floor areas and several sheets of parquet flooring. I printed this out today and of course the printer ran out of color about half way through the job. I printed the carpets out on plain paper since I didn't want to deal with any gloss. These were also modified to exactly fit the spacing that I had.

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I also created wallpapered walls with genuine Victorian wallpaper designs. I measured the actual walls as built and sized each panel to the model. I created enough to cover every wall on the first two floors. It too a bit of visualizing and then I created a map and numbered all the panels on the 2nd floor. This was the more complex job since it had more rooms. These I printed on glossy photo paper which I will spray with flat. It produces more vivid colors. This is the downstairs foyer and back room walls. I even created some faux wainscoting and chair rail. It consists of 9 pages of images. I found the patterns on Google and had to piece them together and find their pattern matches to create the sizes that I needed. I also shrunk the patterns so they would be reasonable scale for the building.

Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 5.53.52 PM

That was all done over the weekend. Today I dug in an produced the entire 3rd floor and Mansard skin. I discovered more design errors and omissions. I found that the 1/32" ply I had Stephen cut for the roof formers was too thin. I needed to beef it up all over the place. I made the slots too big. I'm wondering if I actually specified the correct material since I sized the slots for 1/16" stock. I also needed more formers on both sides of the window openings since when I cut the window holes one side would be without support. With all that, I did get a complete Mansard and will be ready for sealing, final finishing and opening the aforementioned window spaces.

The day started by preparing the stair well opening on the attic floor. The slot needed to be lifted a bit so the attic railing base came level to the attic floor. It took a couple of layers of strip stock, but I got it right. I wanted to do this correction before all those Mansard frames blocked access.

HBTRR Attic Rail PackingHBTRR Attic Rail Fit

I don't have to glue the attic rail in yet, but I did have to prepare the space.

I then assembled all the Mansard frames and, of course, put it together backwards (even gluing some of the junctions). I used 1/8" square stock to beef up the corners. Even with this, some of the corners waggled too much. As I noted, I used the wrong stock in making these parts. Probably could have been 1/8".

HBTRR Mansard Frame Cross-Lap

and carefully measured the offset around the perimeter. When I got it where I wanted it I marked the floor and then used a square to draw the guide lines. Comforting to see that the stair well ended where it was supposed to and not in the middle of a frame.

HBTRR Mansard Frame Alignment

When the frame was sound I marked it's location on the guide lines and added some blocking on the floor. I was going to just have blocks on the outside so it wouldn't be seen inside, but then I went and glued them on the wrong side of the line. As it was, blocking on only one side was insufficient, so I glued the frame down and then went back and captivated the walls with outside blocking. I had to be careful to not foul the window openings. Won't be much to see in the attic.

HBTRR Mansard Frame Double Blocking

The long front member was still very flexible so I went back and glued on another piece of square stock to stiffen this. All this strip stock was left over from the Tie Hacker's Project. Handy!

HBTRR Mansard Frame Reinforcement

In addition to Aleen's holding the blocking and walls, I used med CA all over to glue down the edges of all the corners and formers.

HBTRR Mansard Frame Med CA

I used 1/16" balsa sheeting to actual create the curved roofing. To make it easy to bend, I wet the convex side with vinegar. This expands the grain on that side and starts the curving. You can curve it pretty tightly with this method (RC plane building trick). Med CA cures even when the surface is damp. I cut the pieces slightly higher and significantly longer than final sized. 

I started with one of the end walls. Before doing anything I spray CA accelerator in all the joint areas. The setting time of medium CA is too slow so it needs a boost. I set the piece in place so the bottoms are flush with the roof deck, and then apply finger pressure to push the sheeting into the tightest curve right at the top. I apply the CA to the junction and hold until it sets. Then I move to the next former until I reach the end. Then I go back and apply pressure to the middle of the former and apply CA. I then moved down to the roof and finish up apply CA. I don't run glue on the entire bottom at this time. I'll go back and do that all later. This method is the same as I did on Nighthawk's, but this curve is more severe.

HBTRR Mansard Skin Fit

Then there's the tricky corners. I use a pencil and attempt to run it along the curve of the adjacent former. I make a pencil line that approximates the joint. The joint is NOT the same curvature as the formers. This is easier to do in SketchUp. You just run the two surfaces into each other and then "Intersect Surfaces" and the computer than draws line at each spot they interact. You just delete all the pieces that are no longer wanted. I then use a brand new #11 and trim outside by a least a 1/16" from this approximate line. I then go back with the blade and, then again using the adjacent former as a template, cut the line closer to final. I take off a little at time and get it as close as possible without going below the level of the former. 

HBTRR Trim Line

When I apply the next piece of skin, I can more accurately see how the two surfaces merge and go back and do some final trimming. I glue the second skin on all the formers and the corner skin. I then go back and sand the joint to make them coincide. I used the Dremel with a drum sander to bring this down since it's now full of med CA and that doesn't trim well with the Xacto. You could also create these shapes with individual planks a la shipbuilding. Either way works.

HBTRR Mansard Corner before Trim

I found when doing the front two short skins that they needed another former on their inner ends. I squared up some MDF and traced it on the adjacent former, cut it out with the scroll saw and finished it with the Dremel. After gluing these in place I was able to correctly glue on these skins. They had to meed at the vertical turret wall. Again, I positioned the turret assembly onto the roof, measured and positioned it and then marked the location. I used this line to trim the inner edge of the skins. You can see one of these added formers behind the skin in the this image. There will be flashing in that corner.

HBTRR Mansard - Turret Fit

On the long back wall, it also needed more formers next to the windows. I did these the same way. In actuality, formers should have been on both sides of ALL the windows. I'm going to slip in some reinforcement stock next to the window openings on the end walls before I cut the windows holes. These are the formers on the front wall in the above image.

HBTRR Extra Formers

All the skins are now on and the corners are reasonably finished. I will glue and fill the bottom edge and fill any other blemishes. This all gets shingled so it hides a number of non-spec areas.

I rounded over the upper roof corners to conform to my design and I will go back and sand the irregular skin upper edge so it conforms perfectly to the roof.

HBTRR Mansard Roof Roundover

So it's skinned. I temporarily put it together to look at it.

Tomorrow I'll get the Mansard finished and open up the window holes. Thankfully, the shingles will ignore any bad stuff.

HBTRR Mansard Test

My new supply of bright LEDs and shrink tubing arrived from Jameco Electronics so I'll be able to continue with the chandelier experimenting.

Like i said, a lot of stuff happened today.




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  • Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 5.54.45 PM
  • Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 5.54.31 PM
  • Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 5.53.52 PM
  • HBTRR Attic Rail Packing
  • HBTRR Attic Rail Fit
  • HBTRR Mansard Frame Alignment
  • HBTRR Mansard Frame Cross-Lap
  • HBTRR Mansard Frame Double Blocking
  • HBTRR Mansard Frame Reinforcement
  • HBTRR Mansard Frame Med CA
  • HBTRR Mansard Skin Fit
  • HBTRR Trim Line
  • HBTRR Mansard Corner before Trim
  • HBTRR Mansard - Turret Fit
  • HBTRR Extra Formers
  • HBTRR Mansard Roof Roundover
  • HBTRR Mansard Test

Thanks Mark!

Spent some time on SketchUp this morning to create a workable chandelier using specifically scaled members reflecting the diameter of the fiber I'm using. To permit SU to properly draw the objects and curves I enlarged it 1,000 times. SU has trouble rendering some geometry in small dimensions. You scale it up, draw it, then scale it down if you need working drawings. I may 3D print the center shape, and use some brass sheet and a jeweler's saw to make the retaining ring. While not elegant, the ring is essential to maintain the curves on the springy Fiber Optic filament. I found that a central spindle of 1/16" permitted 8 strands to be wrapped symmetrically. I'm sure I could have figured this out mathematically, but instead, just used trial and error to keep adjusting the central circle and wrapping 8 circles representing the fibers' size. It was just lucky that 1/16" worked.

Even though I'll use real brass for the ring, the fibers and the 3D printed center piece will have to be painted. It's not too elegant, but the limitations offered by the stiff fibers keep it from being truly Victorian. And then it's in 1:48. It would be much different in doll house scale of 1:12. In that scale you can use brass tubes with actual wiring within.

HBTRR Chandelier

I just modified the ring to make it a little more refined. Still not so delicate. Considering I have to hand cut this 1.5" diameter object with a jeweler's saw, delicate's probably not going to happen. I could narrow the outer ring and make the spokes narrower also. I think it looks better.

HBTRR Chandelier Mod 2


Opinions please...


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  • HBTRR Chandelier
  • HBTRR Chandelier Mod 2
Last edited by Trainman2001

Yes! It will certainly be interesting.

Only had one hour in the shop today. I'm now exercising every two days instead every three. I also had an aborted trip to Costco. I desperately needed HP ink cartridges for the printer. They used to have a selection. Today they had one… the wrong one. I also was going to get a flu shot, but the queue was full so I left. Regardless… it was productive.

I finished the first filler step on the Mansard corners and then went about opening the roof skin to accept the 3D printed Mansard Windows. These are just about the most distinctive thing in Hopper's painting and were the most difficult drawing challenge on the building. Just an aside… the roof piece is a little undersize and I'm going to produce another. 

It's not possible to push the window close enough to the Mansard skin to simply trace around it. I attempted to trace it with a pencil. I did this for the first window and got this result.

HBTRR Mansard Window Good Fit Not

I changed my method. I used the #11 from the inside and simply poked through to the balsa skin to show the extremes. I then took the small machinist combo square to approximate a vertical line which I then cut from about 2/3 up down to the base and removed this scrap.

HBTRR Mansard Window Vert Cut

I was then able to push the window back far enough to actually trace the curve with the knife blade.

HBTRR Mansard Window top trace

This produced a much better result. But even with that, there were some openings.

HBTRR Mansard Window Good Fit

These windows push in until they're flush with the inner framing. I will then use some Bristol Board to finish the inside walls. You can see the first layers of Tamiya filler on the corners. I'm going to use sanding sealer on the Mansard skins.

I will fill all the big gaps with scrap balsa. Balsa is eminently fillable. I still have two more windows to open which I'll do tomorrow, but couldn't resist taking a picture of the windows in the roof. It was these windows in particular that attracted me to do this model. It was also the "How the heck am I going to do that?" question that made the challenge.

I will add a curb around the main roof perimeter that will act as the rain gutter.  I'm going to use the copper tape for the flashing like I did with Nighthawks, but in this case I'm going to age it like I did with the Woodbourne Gallery. You can see that the roof needs to stand more proud of the Mansard skin. The upper curve should come up under the edge.

HBTRR Mansard Window Test


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  • HBTRR Mansard Window Good Fit Not
  • HBTRR Mansard Window Vert Cut
  • HBTRR Mansard Window top trace
  • HBTRR Mansard Window Good Fit
  • HBTRR Mansard Window Test

Thanks Mark!

Had a long work session, but much was spent on damage control. I really had to do some major surgery on the very narrow balsa that goes over the windows. I had to resort to backing it up with some thin aircraft ply since the balsa didn't have enough structural integrity to hold together. I filled some of these chasms with Bondic and will use other fillers as I move forward. I coated this entire work piece with water-based sanding sealer in prep for the further filling and sanding.

HBTRR Major Surgery

I found that I had sufficient Masonite hanging around that I could cut a new roof plate 1/4" wider larger in both directions. The overhang is now sufficient for the reverse curve to slip in under the roof edge as I wanted it. If I didn't have any stock I was tempted to have Stephen laser cut another plate, but as it is, this is better.

HBTRR New Roof Plate

This is my third Mansard roof. Nighthawks curved upwards, but did not recurve. Woodbourne Gallery's was a straight slope. This is the only one with that reverse curve. It makes for "more fun".

While this was going on, I 3D printed the chandelier body. I decided to just stick it on the build plate with no supports or angularity. I made six of them since I was sure that some wouldn't come out. Of course they all did. I'll clean them up tomorrow. While I could have turned them in brass, I wasn't looking forward to it. It's much easier to lathe a shape in SketchUp and have the printer do it. They're upside down in the picture. You can also see my upgraded Elegoo build plate head with the much more substantial lock bolts. The previous version has Allen set screws that would eventually round out. Many users were having trouble with them. I was very careful, but they were getting worn. These are much sturdier.

HBTRR Chandelier Body Print

While the sanding sealer was drying I sprayed Tamiya flat clear on all the wallpaper printouts and started to apply it. My first attempts had me put the MicroMark Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) on the paper and when set, stick it to the wood. I changed routine near the end and am now applying the PSA to the wood and when set, sticking on the wall paper. It holds much better since the PSA has a change to get a better grip on the wood grain. Paper has no problem sticking with this stuff. I used some spare pattern to conceal the structural blocks a bit.

HBTRR First Wall Covering

And lastly I tried the stair runner. I did make it long enough to do even the longest flights. I will again apply PSA to the stairs after the entire stair case is fully painted. The treads and hand rail will be wood colored, all the rest will be white.

HBTRR Stair Runner Trial





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  • HBTRR Major Surgery
  • HBTRR New Roof Plate
  • HBTRR Chandelier Body Print
  • HBTRR First Wall Covering
  • HBTRR Stair Runner Trial

Rare Saturday post. Yesterday, between exercising and picking up Grandson #2 at school—Yes… that's right, he's finally in live classes—I only had about an hour in the shop, but I always move towards the goal posts. The nice thing about a creative hobby is that as time passes, there's always something new to show that I was there… I existed. Many pursuits, like playing solitaire, leaves nothing behind that you were even there. I approached my working years the same way. I was always project oriented and many of them existed long after I moved on.

I found a gap between the narrower second story attic flight and it's adjoining wall that I wanted to close. I made a laminate of three pieces of strip stock and glued it on. I also got wall paper on the outside facing, 1st floor long walls. Lastly, I did get wonderful prints of the chandelier core and also printed the ring. I was going to jeweler saw cut that shape out of brass sheet which would have taken the better part of an hour. I had already drawn it and was going to stick a printout onto the brass as a guide. Then I thought, "Jeez! I can print that!" I did and it did it in 7 minutes. I printed four of them directly on the platen. I'm finding for thin subjects or those without overhangs, just sticking it right on works just fine and reduces cleanup to almost nothing. Since I pre-coat my platen, there's a thin film of cured resin that needs to be removed.

Here is the stair gap filler in practice.

HBTRR Attic Flight Packing

I'm still in a bit of a quandary about the assembly sequence of all of this. I'm thinking of using a false ceiling for the light hanging to conceal all the wiring, and that complicates the assembly a bit. The false ceiling will conveniently hide that little bit of bare wall at the top where I made the wallpaper to short.

Here is the long dining room wall with its paper. You can also see more of the gap filler in this image. During the handling of the stair case, I dropped it and the second two flights broke off at the junction. I put it back together with med CA and then reinforced this fragile joint with some thick stuff running underneath. The moral: Don't drop the darn thing!!! I've got to paint that stair and will do it next week.

HBTRR Dining Room Paper

I'm going to have to print more interior doors since I miscounted by about five! Oh well. It gives me the opportunity to redesign the frames for better printing fidelity. I'm going to print the inside and outside frames as separate pieces directly on the platen (no supports) and print the doors separately. This way I can position some of the doors open if I wish.

The prints for the chandelier came out so good, I realize that I could have printed it as one piece. As it is my center hole is slightly undersized to insert the spindle. In my plan I had the spindle butt up to it, but in practice, this is cumbersome. I opened up the hole with a 1/4" drill and slightly files the spindle and got a beautiful press fit beteen the two. This also helps to reduce the overall height as it's going to be pretty big for the space. The size seems to be determine by the maximum bends that can comfortably be made. I determined this curve empirically. I want the curves to be smooth.

The arrows show the filament hole locations. The bottom didn't seem to have the hole location, but I will drill them out anyway. I don't trust holes created in the printer. Just having the perfect locations is fine. Much faster and better than attempting to cut them from brass. Since the filaments and the spindle needed painting, it doesn't matter than the ring isn't brass.

HBTRR Chandelier Parts

A little bit of thin CA will permanently hold the spindle and ring together. Can't assemble them until I drill them. I'm anxious to see how well 8 filaments surrounding a 1/16" core will slip through that center hole. If it's too small, that is not a problem. Ring could have been made thinner, but I was worried about material strength around the holes.

HBTRR Chandelier Printed Parts

I also just printed some base boards, but I don't like the design… not enough relief to make any difference. These too were a very fast print. I experimented with these printing some directly on the plate and others on supports. I think the direct print ones will win. They're now in the cleaner.

It hard to believe that I've been 3D printing for 17 months. The learning curve has been very interesting to say the least.

I don't know if you've been seeing the ads for Glowforge laser cutters. They're very misleading. First of all they show it as a piece of furniture. If it has a CO2 laser, and at 40W or more it probably does, it needs a source of cooling water. Second, these things produce a lot of smoke, some of it is toxic depending on the material, and therefore need external venting. It's not something you'll want in your dining room. And lastly, the base price of the base model is $2,500.00. I don't know about you, but most hobbyists I know don't have the wherewithal to buy something like that for casual usage. The ads make it seem like it's something for everyone's home. I'd love a laser cutter, but for all the above reasons can't pull it off. I suppose if I sold three engines I could swing it. And if that weren't enough, I'm running out of space for major laser cut projects on the railroad. And I don't want to go into the model building business. Then it's no longer a hobby and becomes more like work.

Here's the baseboard test I ran. As you can see, the relief is way to shallow to be discernible in this scale. I'm also redoing all the doors. I want them to stand proud of the walls and I've re-designed them to be in matched pairs so both sides will have the same level of detail. With a flat back I can print them directly on the platen and get terrific surface detail. And due to their very thin nature they'll print in minutes. Right now I'm wrestling with the drawings to get them to convert to STL files for the slicer. Sometimes the STL converter gives and error like it's doing now. I have to restart SketchUp to correct it.

HBTRR Baseboard Test

Because of all the support cleaning, I'm really not happy with the door details. Redoing them is definitely in order. That's the beauty of doing your own 3D printing. If you don't like it, do it over. It's only a few cents worth of resin for these small parts. I'm going to make the baseboards higher, thicker and with more curvature.

HBTRR Baseboard Door Fit

I'm reaching the point with all this complexity that I'm going to write up a detailed project plan so I don't paint myself into a proverbial and literal corner.



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  • HBTRR Baseboard Test
  • HBTRR Baseboard Door Fit
  • HBTRR Attic Flight Packing
  • HBTRR Dining Room Paper
  • HBTRR Chandelier Parts
  • HBTRR Chandelier Printed Parts
Last edited by Trainman2001

Here are a couple of screen shots of the newly redesigned baseboard and inside doors as seen on the 3D printer slicer software. When grown in the flat like this all the curvatures are well-defined, there are no supports and the backs are dead flat. The can be some warpage, but that occurs regardless of how it's set up. The two door halves will be joined producing a door with full details on both sides and no blemishes caused by supports. If you try and print the door with both sides detailed, one side gets whacked because it's facing down and will have support. Both of these prints will produce in minutes even at 40 microns/layer.

In the door redesign I exaggerated the door knobs so they'll stand out a bit more. I also redrew the bullseyes so they too have more relief. Originally the door was flush with the molding edge, but I put in back a bit so it wouldn't blend in so much. The two frames added together come to about 8" scale inches fitting into a 6 scale inch wall giving about 1 scale in reveal on both sides. Previously, the door was flush with the walls and doesn't work.

HBTRR New Door Design

I made the base higher and about double thickness. These shapes come from a plug-in called "Profile Builder". It has hundreds of patterns for all kinds of architectural molding. It's true to life having the relief cuts in the backs like millwork usually has. For my purposes that causes printing problems so I filled them in making a flat back.

HBTRR New Base Design


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  • HBTRR New Door Design
  • HBTRR New Base Design

Thanks Pat. I sure am. The door reprint needed some tweaking. The door knobs were connected with too fragile a shaft and it separated. I needed to adjust the sizes as well. Then only two of the four were in contact with the build plate. I had to replace the FEP film, and re-sliced all the door parts. I made two kinds: a fully closed door in back-to-back halves, and a set with a separate outer frame and doors. Those also are done in halves. I wanted to have the option to open some of the interior doors.

This picture clearly shows the quality difference in the new version. Printing it flat gave a beautiful surface and the frame details are very crisp. Having no supports meant no damage and no sanding. The edges needed sanding for final fit. Note: this was one of the failed prints with the missing door knob.

HBTRR Interior Door Comparison

I found that gluing the two halves with med CA didn't work. The resin sets CA almost instantly and before I could get it aligned it fused. I had to break it apart so I scrapped both pieces. Since it wasn't right anyway, I re-printed it. I'm printing two sets at a time.

Here was a more perfect print placed inside the wall. It was worth the effort to redo them. The nice thing about having the Machine right here is you always have the opportunity to do things over. When the baseboards are printed, these rooms are going to look very spiffy and nobody will see it except you guys who are following along.

HBTRR New Door Fit

It only took 26 minutes per load to print. There's another batch done on the Machine right now. While all this printing was going on, I was spending a lot of time finishing off the lower ends of the Mansard skin and filling any of the big gaps. 

I glued in some 1/16" square stock at the skin/roof junction. Rather than trying to stuff material into the gaps, I just built a new edge with the basswood. I glued it with Aleen's and let it dry while I had lunch. Where it needed it, I added some thin CA. I also hardened the cut balsa edges with thin CA. That's a trick I learn from the RC plane guys.

HBTRR Mansard Filler Pieces

I hand shaped these square pieces using a v-chisel by hand. I toyed with the thought of using some power tools, but the balsa above the basswood is so fragile I didn't want to risk it.

HBTRR Shaping the Joint

After I took off excess stock I used sandpaper wrapped around a round-ended rubber sanding tool to final shape the filler. I then slathered on Tamiya fine filler and am letting it harden overnight before sanding it smoother.

HBTRR Mansard Filler

Two of the window gaps were big enough that I needed to put some backup material to support the filler on top. I glued these strips of balsa with thin CA. I was then able to slather a thick layer of filler into the now-reinforced gap.

Here's the backside of the above image showing the balsa backing.

HBTRR Backing Piece

So after a good hour of work, I got all the lower joints filled and ready for final sanding. This attic space is going to get walls made of Bristol Board so looking through the windows it will look like a regular space.

The last thing I did was start working with the fiber filaments. I attempted to push all 8 through the spindle hole but ran into some difficulty. I then wrapped them together with some shrink tubing and tried this bundle in a drill gauge. They will fit into a #24 drill opening, but no smaller. I will open up the spindle holes with that drill tomorrow (after exercise). Obviously my graphic calculation of the fiber bundle diameter was not exactly right.

HBTRR Fiber Fit

And now I have to reload all the images except the last one because I stopped writing to watch some British Crime Dramas.




Images (7)
  • HBTRR Fiber Fit
  • HBTRR Interior Door Comparison
  • HBTRR New Door Fit
  • HBTRR Mansard Filler Pieces
  • HBTRR Shaping the Joint
  • HBTRR Mansard Filler
  • HBTRR Backing Piece

So am I! I did make some today. All was going well until it wasn't. First off I got all the closed doors and all the open doors plus frames printed successfully today. It was a stroke of genius—not to blow my own horn or anything—when I came up with the idea to print the door in matched back-to-back pairs to eliminate all supports. I'm using the Bondic to hold the halves together.

Technically, Bondic can't be used where the UV LED light can't get to it for curing. In that regard, it's not touted as a glue, more as a filler. But when you're gluing UV Cured resin parts, the game changes. In the UV curing box, the resin, even though it's opaque gray in visible light, is translucent. UV passes through it. I put a small bead of Bondic around the perimeter plus a bead down the center. I then use the Bondic UV LED to start to cure the resin nearest the joint's surface to stabilize the parts enough so they won't move out of position. I then put them in the post-cure chamber for 15 minutes and the parts are now welded together.

The bare frames printed nicely and were easier to peel off the build plate than I expected. Because they're so flexible before being post cured, bending them a bit to get them off the plate didn't cause any harm. The doors are a little big and I will sand them until they're a perfect fit, just like I did for all the doors to fit into the door openings.

One side effect of printing directly on the plate AND pre-coating said plate with a thin coat of partially cured resin is when you peel the parts off, there's a thin film of the pre-coat that comes with it. No problem! A slight trim with the #11 removes this bit, and then a final sanding makes a great edge.

HBTRR Pre-Coat Residue

Here are two of the four doors and frames that I'm printing. One set will go on the door from the hall to the back room and the others will go to random places.

HBTRR Opening Doors

The frames fit into the rough openings nicely after a little bit of sanding. Better to be a little big than a little little.

HBTRR Bare Frame

I like these fast print jobs.

I made a test chandelier with just a short bit of filament. I hadn't perfected making the "bulbs" at this point, but did, as you'll see, later on. What I wanted to see was how it illuminated and I was rewarded. In the final version everything but the bulbs will be painted and opaque.

HBTRR Chandelier Test Article

Here's the same test in the dark. Notice that the bulbs are all different sizes and orientations and that affected how it glowed. The LED is so close to the spindle that it's glowing too. I like that the filament and Bondic is turning the blue/white LED to a nice warm white.

HBTRR Chandelier Test in Dark

I was satisfied enough with the test to produce the first "production" version with longer filament. I found that my measure of the hole size yesterday was wrong. I was measuring the hole with NINE filaments. I didn't realize that my bundle was one filament too large. With only 8 filaments my printed hole was just a tiny bit undersized and I was able to open the hole without any difficulty.

All the filaments threaded through the hole and then I turned them to go through the ring holes. On one of the rings I was over-zealous in drill out the center hole and cracked the resin. I also cracked the ring when drilling the filament holes. CA fixed all this. I also secured each filament in the alignment holes with med CA. I perfected a way to get the Bondic to make reasonable light bulb shapes. I applied the drops of Bondic to the filament end WHILE HOLDING IT UPSIDE DOWN. This coaxed the viscous Bondic to flow out to a nice round shape right on the end of the filament. On my test I was doing it right side up, but before I could solidify the Bondic is started to flow down the filament. 

HBTRR Chandelier Bulbs

I had put some shrink tubing on the other end of the filament bundle to stabilize it. I found that the filament starts to melt at the same temp that the shrink tubing start to fully shrink. Needed to do some temp management to do this successfully. I put some Micro Scale Liquid Mask on all the bulbs and I took the newly made chandelier outside and sprayed it a base coat of Tamiya Silver which is a lacquer-based paint. 

HBTRR Chandelier Base Coat

Later on, I was getting ready to spray on the brass color and found that one of the arms had fractured as it came out of the bundle. And then another arm fractured where it came out of the ring. This chandelier was toast! You can't put fibers back together. What happened?

The best I can surmise is that the solvent in the Tamiya paint depolymerized the filament. I've seen this happen before where some strong solvents, especially if they're chlorinated, can break long chain polymers. When I quit this afternoon I was making a third and fourth attempt. This time I'll use Tamiya alcohol based paint for all coats and see if this solves the problem. The fibers were not nicked.

Another challenge to be overcome:

The fiber is very stiff and will not make the tight bends I envisioned to bring them at a right angle to the closet next to the stairs. They just won't do it. So I'm thinking of running the bundle straight up to the attic. But that's not so hot either if I still want to make the floors removable. I may have to sacrifice that feature. I would make that bedroom a blacked out space so the bundle wouldn't be noticed.



Images (7)
  • HBTRR Pre-Coat Residue
  • HBTRR Opening Doors
  • HBTRR Bare Frame
  • HBTRR Chandelier Test Article
  • HBTRR Chandelier Test in Dark
  • HBTRR Chandelier Bulbs
  • HBTRR Chandelier Base Coat

This afternoon started out really scary. I was going to Costco to get a flu shot. Smart! I was merging from I-264 N to I-71 N, and didn't see the SUV in my blind spot as I was heading to the left lane. Our cars "kissed"… literally. My car just got some scuff marks on the door rub strip. The other driver got a little squirrelly, didn't actually lose it, but ended up hitting one of those newly designed plastic guard rail ends that prevent horrendous damage. It worked. He sustained a cracked fascia on his Hyudai SUV. His airbags did not deploy. Neither of us were injured in any way, and it was very fortunate since it could have been much, much, much worse. I called the police only to be told after waiting about an hour that they don't come to accidents where no one is injured. I explained that the other driver's car is on the left shoulder near the guard rail and will need assistance, both getting into his car and getting back into traffic. They agreed to come and were very helpful in stopping very heavy traffic so he could pull his car across the road to the right shoulder. It was good to have the police. He and I both agreed it wasn't worth making a minor accident into a catastrophe with him getting hit. Traffic is very heavy on that road which connects Louisville to Cincinnati.

I did get to Costco only to find that I had to wait for an hour for the shot since it was lunch time. I left.

And then I got into the shop and all was good again! So I turned a sow's ear into a silk purse.

I've used #11 blades, flush cut pliers and Xuron PE shears. In other words almost anything will cut it. This is not data handling glass fiber. That's a different story. This is plastic filament used to just illuminate. It works fine.

Jan's idea of, "Why not imbed the LED right into the chandelier spindle and avoid all the fiber problems?" was great! It worked perfectly. I only had to open the bore to a #24 drill and a 3mm LED slipped right inside. So this was sample #3. I've said it a bunch of times, "Posting all this, while it takes me some time every night, pays back in spades, by giving me the thinking of people from all over the planet… literally" 

HBTRR Chandelier Ver 2.0 Buried LED

Luckily, I actually had two 3mm LEDs in my LED box that I could use. My bulb making scheme works well with practice. I had to order more Bondic today.

HBTRR Chandelier Ver 2.0 TestHBTRR Chandelier Ver 2.0

I primed the chandelier with Rust-oleum Oxide Red to opaque it as much as possible. After a test, it's pretty good. When the next coats go one, The only light you'll really see is the "bulbs". This solves all the problems Since I will only need some fine leads to power the LED. I attempted to make a fourth one the same way, but a filament broke. It seems that the breakage may not be due to chemical action, although I can't be sure since I used CA to fix them into the spindle and used accelerator to cure it. I'm left with one good one. Now… we all know that's really not a problem since I can print more any time I want.

HBTRR Chandelier Primed

While this was going on, the printer was working away. I printed the remaining open doors, the baseboards and I even drew and printed some crown molding. I know, I know… I'm nuts!

Here are the open doors temporarily in place to show them off. I had to shave about 1/64th off the door bottoms to match the frames and the rough openings.

HBTRR Open doors

In looking at this image, I like how the faux wainscoting molding looks. It's just too small a detail to try and make in 3D.

HBTRR Open Door

Here's the redesigned baseboard. It could still be more exaggerated, but I'll live with this. I printed 12 lengths. If I need more I'll print them. They take about 14 minutes. You can actually make out the profile.

HBTRR New Baseboard

And here's my attempt at crown molding. I found a good profile and then enlarged it. It could still be bigger. I'd like it to be high enough to cover the wallpaper gap. It's close enough "for rock and roll" as we used to say in my band when were tuning up.

HBTRR Crown Molding test

Tomorrow, I'll be back to assembling all this stuff and finishing the Chandelier. 



Images (8)
  • HBTRR Chandelier Ver 2.0 Test
  • HBTRR Chandelier Ver 2.0
  • HBTRR Chandelier Primed
  • HBTRR Chandelier Ver 2.0 Buried LED
  • HBTRR Open doors
  • HBTRR Open Door
  • HBTRR New Baseboard
  • HBTRR Crown Molding test
Last edited by Trainman2001

Thanks guys!

I did go back to Costco today and got that flu shot. It was one VERY EXPENSIVE flu shot. Free from Medicare and a few thousand bucks since I'm paying for the other car's repair. My car just got scuffed.

Got the second coat of paint on the chandelier and tested it again. It still needs more light blocking right around where the LED is. Instead of piling on more paint, I'm going to attempt to wrap it with some Bare Metal Foil and then paint that. Being metal it will block the paint. When I pulled the mask off the bulbs it frosted them a bit and made the light scattering even better.

HBTRR Chandelier Brass

We're getting close with this deal. If I was to have made it actually out of brass the light leakage wouldn't have been as much of a problem, but machining it sure would be. Those LEDs are really bright. It's great that LEDs produce all this light without heat. I don't think you could imbed an incandescent bulb into the resin and expect the same results.

HBTRR Chandelier Test w Paint

I finished printing all the crown molding, so I have a supply of "millwork" for this project. Today's picture batch is a bit fuzzy. My iPhone camera lens had a smudge and it shows. I may need more baseboard and I have plenty of crown molding.

HBTRR Moldings

I commented to my wife that building this project is resembling building an actual house. I have walls and floors and window units and "Drywall" along with moldings, wall coverings, floor coverings, doors, lighting, etc. And I have to think about its construction sequencing in the same terms.

A Victorian house with a copious porch needs a porch swing. Found one on the SU 3D Warehouse, but couldn't download it since it wouldn't recognize my password and the "Reset password" string wasn't sending me the email to reset. I drew my own. It took maybe 20 minutes. I printed it this afternoon, got one cleaned of its supports. It's delicate and I will probably grind off the supports on the other ones. I made three just in case. Again, the printer doesn't care how much you pile on the build plate. It's the height that controls print time (along with layer exposure times). I didn't bother to suspend it. It's a magic, anti-gravity porch swing.

Screen Shot 2020-10-08 at 8.27.02 PM

Here's the output. The armrests are the Achilles Heel. I made is scale thickness. That's kind of a no-no when working in 1:48. It's really fragile. I broke the vertical support on one side and used Bondic to put it back together. I need to get some fine chain to hang it from the balcony joists. I toyed with scratch-building it out of styrene or basswood, but this was slicker and easier.

HBTRR Porch Swings

The rest of the time was spent working on the Mansard skin and cutting the "drywall" for the interior attic walls out of Bristol Board. I was a lot of finicky fitting due to getting around all of those extra supports. Each piece had to be custom measured and cut since none of the wall spaces are the same nor are they really square.

HBTRR Attic Walls

After fitting the outside I held the Mansard window tightly against it to track that inside profile. The main reason to put this layer in is to hide the back edges of the Mansard windows.

HBTRR Attic Wall Fit

The clamp is there to hold it in place for the picture. I'm not sure what adhesive to use to hold this in place. I have some choices. Aleen's would work and would MicroMark PSA. I can use 3M99 which is a strong spray adhesive or I can use the pressure sensitive transfer tape that has terrific holding power. I broke some more balsa during this work and had to do some more patching and filling. I traced the inner curve through the window openings with a sharp pencil.

HBTRR Attic Wall Fit 2

Pretty soon I'll have to start painting all this. And all those printed parts represent a lot of painting. If the weather holds up I may use Rust-oleum rattle can paint for the white trim. UV resin is not affected by solvent paint. The attic is not getting wallpaper, just paint. The only reason I'm thinking about NOT gluing in the floors and roof is to be able put in furniture sometime in the future. I can buy 1:48 furniture from Shapeways, but it gets real expensive really quickly. If I have to print my own, we're talking a lot of weeks of time.


Images (8)
  • HBTRR Chandelier Brass
  • HBTRR Chandelier Test w Paint
  • HBTRR Moldings
  • Screen Shot 2020-10-08 at 8.27.02 PM
  • HBTRR Porch Swings
  • HBTRR Attic Walls
  • HBTRR Attic Wall Fit
  • HBTRR Attic Wall Fit 2

Yes, My parents' house we just sold in December was like that.  It was a simple rural house that was in the family since Great-Grandpa had it built in 1888.  In fact, Dad lived in it all but 2 years in the army and 2 years in a personal care home.  His home for 90 years.  Helping Dad as a child I quickly learned nothing was really square or level, but it was a solid house that stood the test of time with proper maintenance.

John, you made me LOL. Almost all houses built before WW2 or older either weren't really square when they were built or settled that way. My old boss at Engelhard had a lovely house in Mendham, NJ. She was having an elaborate kitchen redo and was putting in an expensive Spanish floor tile. She was on a business trip and came home after the floor guy was done. On one side of the room the floor was perfect. One the other side under the counter area, the floor was so high that the kick plate was gone… about 4 inches. It was so bad that the dishwasher was no longer able to be removed from its space should the need arise. She freaked and asked what the heck was he doing. His answer was, "The floor was not level and he needed to add concrete to level it". Tons of concrete!! They had to jackhammer the floor out of the house and replace it with an oak floor. It was a total disaster. It was a case of tunnel vision in the extreme. He was so concerned about creating a level surface that he nearly destroyed the kitchen in the process.

Today was a mixed bag.

I sanded the added filler on the Mansard skin, put up the attic "drywall", painted two coats on the attic floor, prepared the chandelier for more light blocking, created the missing mid-wall partitiion on the 2nd floor, and created the foyer closet door. If I had planned ahead just a tad more and made the window opening in the Mansard frames to match the INNER WINDOW opening, the drywall would have been unnecessary. I didn't have the Mansard window details in CorelDraw. I created the 3D printing output directly from SketchUp.

Just for fun, this is what this whole deal looks like right now. It's a monster!

HBTRR Project Piles

I tried using Bare Metal Foil to seal the chandelier spindle, but the gold paint didn't like the adhesive and it didn't work. I then painted it gloss black, masked the bulbs and will airbrush it gold on Monday. I think the two extra coats will stop the light leakage.

I used the plastic caps that come on these really neat cheap eyeliner makeup brushes. They cost less than 8 cents a piece from Amazon, and they come with these little plastic sleeves. I didn't want to reapply the liquid mask so I'm trying this.

HBTRR Chandelier Repaint Mask

I applied the "drywall" fillers on the Mansard frames using PSA. I put it on the wood, let it set up a few minutes, then using a burnishing tool, I pressed the pieces of Bristol Board into place. It holds well as long as you press it tight enough. I then found some craft paint acrylic (Cocoa) and brush painted the first coat on the floor. When this dried, I applied a second coat the same way. I think this should be sufficient. I may or may not illuminate the attic. What do y'all think? I'm always open for suggestions.

HBTRR Attic Floor 1st CoatHBTRR Attic Floor 2nd Coat

I had to paint into the window boxes since the floor is actually within that space. The water gutter area will probably be painted black and then the ledge (which I haven't added yet) will be trim color.

HBTRR Attic Paint Limit

I measured and cut the rear stair wall for the 2 floor hallway from the scrap roof that I replaced. I found an extra main entry door that I fitted to this space and will use some baseboard trim around it. The doorway's a bit weird since the hall came out so narrow. The House needs to be 50% larger in width and some in depth to make the spaces as elegant as they would be, but I had to selectively compress the model so it would fit on the railroad. In HO, I could have made it larger, but not in O'scale.

HBTRR Mid-Wall Fit

To get this wall to fit exactly next to the steps AND settle down into the rabbet at the rear of the stairwell, I had to notch the lower edge of the wall piece. I used a razor saw to make the rabbet cut and the scroll saw for the initial notches.

HBTRR Mid-wall Rabbet Cut

Last thing I did was create the missing closet door. I had to cut away part of the Masonite and insert the door in its place. I don't know how this happened, but it was exactly the right width. I must have been paying attention when I drew this wall originally.

HBTRR Closet Door

I realized at this time that the walls flanking the stairs needed wall paper too. I may have to print more if I can't find any scraps to fit. I also double-checked that I had enough Rail Scale Models laser-cut Victorian-style shingles. I do!

Everyone have a safe, healthy, non-boring weekend.


Images (8)
  • HBTRR Project Piles
  • HBTRR Chandelier Repaint Mask
  • HBTRR Attic Floor 1st Coat
  • HBTRR Attic Floor 2nd Coat
  • HBTRR Attic Paint Limit
  • HBTRR Mid-Wall Fit
  • HBTRR Mid-wall Rabbet Cut
  • HBTRR Closet Door

Thanks Mark!

I did one more thing today (Saturday). I recreated the flooring prints. My last attempt had me running out of inkjet ink in the middle. I found a nicely defined parquet in the SU Podium's material selection. I then enlarged the B/W checkerboard that I used in several projects (Nighthawks, Distillery Power Plant, etc.). Making it larger will work for the foyer floor in the House. I going to lay it in a 45° pattern. I now have enough good flooring to do the House. The previous wood floor I printed didn't have enough definition. The flooring has to go down before the baseboards, just like in actual practice.

HBTRR New Flooring Prints

Meanwhile something's gone wrong with my VM Fusion/Windows emulator that I use to run Windows (CorelDraw) on my Mac. Windows starts, I put in my password, the little circle of dots starts going around, then it switches to a gray screen with "Just a Moment" in the middle and this stays on for hours with the fans running like crazy. It gets hung and doesn't seem to want to get past it. I put in a tech support request to VM Fusion to see if they can figure it out. I was working really well. So I went to SU, drew the flooring and set the view directly from above, and exported each pattern as a 2D graphic. I printed this out of the Mac Preview Viewer. There's always a work around. But I need my Coreldraw working. I was almost going to create the graphics in Mac Keynote, but then realized I could do it with SU since the patterns were already on there. SU has a selection of standard views, one of which is directly overhead. It also lets you display it with perspective on or off. When off and viewed directly overhead, you basically have a flat 2D graphics program which was perfect for this task.


Images (1)
  • HBTRR New Flooring Prints

Very nice work Miles. I'm repairing a simple Ameritowne building and it's giving me fits. My hands are too big to get where I need too sometimes. You're attention to detail is amazing.  I really like the chandelier !

Sorry to hear about your expensive "free" flu shot. Glad no one was hurt. I can't believe the Troopers wouldn't respond to an accident on an Interstate. Unbelievable.


I'm thinking out of the box a little and am trying out different color schemes going a little more wild. In Lambertville, NJ and Montreal, Canada I've seen houses of this age with some more radical coloration like this street in Montreal.

Here's one way it could look. I've also tried more violet, but my spouse didn't like it. What do you think? And be honest!

Screen Shot 2020-09-26 at 12.05.46 PM

In a word, just no. Aren't you recreating this?house-by-the-railroad


Images (1)
  • house-by-the-railroad

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