Continuing Saga … Nighthawks Project: Details, Details...

Finished the outer stair, added the first windows and attached the stair to the building today. I finished masking the outside stair and painted the brown trim. Then I masked that and started working on the tin roof. This picture shows the entire sequence starting with 1) painting the brown trim. 2) a coat of Tamiya Burnt Iron which gives a good old metal look. Then 3) I took it outside and did a glancing low-angle Tamiya rattle-can Bare-metal Silver to give a brighter look to the high spots, but leave the dark brown in the trenches. Finally 4) I used rust weathering powder followed by direct application of Vallejo Shadow Flesh which is a great rust color. I dry brushed this to collect the corrosion at the lower edges of the roof slopes.

NH OS Roof Painting

The roof looks about how I expected it should look. I left the wall color the Tamiya Gray Primer and it needed to be toned down a bit so I used AK interactive dark gray wash. It looks frightenly awful when you're putting it on and you think, "Oh good lord, what the heck am I doing to my beautiful work?" But, after you wipe it down, it works out pretty well. You just have to have faith like Indiana Jones stepping off what appeared to be an abyss in the 3rd Raiders movie.

NH OS Tint Application

Here's the finished weathering. Not too much, just some wear and tear.



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Hmmm…. for some reason a whole bunch of this post didn't. Here's the pictures you're missing after the outside stair was completed. I dropped it on the layout to see the orientation and as I thought, the backside with the stairway door will not be easy to see from the layout front, but could be viewed from the bridges area.

NH OS Position on Layout

I added 40 X 80 Evergreen Strip window sills and painted them Badger ModelFlex "Sand" which made a nice limestone color.

NH Window Sills

Today I installed all the remaining building's windows (main building since there are four in the turret and three gable windows remaining). For some I added some Builders In Scale lace curtains to add some interest.

NH Windows in

In looking through all my drawings I found the plan view of the roof part that has the turret floor attached. I took the turret bottom and placed it onto the drawing to see exactly where the bottom turret is situated and found that it is pushed off the corner just enough so I can cut out the wedge WITHOUT touching the aluminum core or the steel ball, and I did it. To keep the piece still since it was impossible to put in a vise, I embedded in a piece of stiff un-cured Sculpey Clay. With it stabilized the cuts were actually easy. Here's looking down.

NH Bottom Turret Fit 2

And here's looking straight ahead.

NH Lower Turret Fit 1

I wanted to start working on the interior since the laser cut stools kit is coming soon (they're shipped). I made a cardboard mockup before cutting plywood since it's so much easier to work with. My first attempt turned out to be a bit too tall. I wanted the counter top to fall under the wide sill from the pass-through window.

NH Counter Mockup 1

I got out one of my Artista figures and decided to knock off about 8 scale inches.

NH Counter Mockup 2

I have some nice 1/16" aircraft ply to which I traced the counter top. I cut this piece out with scroll saw, trued it up with the belt sander and then further finished with diamond files and sanding sticks.

NH Counter Tops

I used the vertical parts cardboard to lay out these parts on the same piece of ply, and had sort of a minor miracle. The five pieces stacked together exactly was the same distance from a previously cut area on the ply to the other edge. I mean it was EXACTLY the same distance… completely random. This dimension had nothing to do with the length of the parts. 

NH Counter Parts Miracle

Here's all the parts, sanded, waiting for stain. I bought some Minwax Mahogany Stain today to try and get the color of the painting's woodwork. I'll use the same stain for the bar stools. 

NH Wood Counter Parts

I going to do some panel designs on the base pieces using some thin strip wood which will also be pre-stained. Staining before gluing means the glue will be basically invisible. I'll probably glue it with Aleen's Tacky Glue. After gluing, I gloss the assembly with polyurethane vanish. Tomorrow I'll do the staining and hopefully the stools will arrive so I can build those while the stain dries. I'm still waiting for #2 grandson to be available to start sculpting the figures (but just between you and me, I'm thinking that he's busy catching up with his friends since he was away at camp for four weeks).



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Thanks all!

Yes! That's why it's a miracle. In my experience the amount of material needed is about 1/4" too short. This was the first time in my memory that the distance was exactly right. In German the word is umglaublich (unbelievable).

Going to cardiologist for my 6-month A-Fib checkup. If it continues as it is he's moving me to a one-year cycle. Then I'm stopping at Costco hoping to find more of those great LED shop lights still on sale for $20. I want to add another one in the shop over the one table that's poorly lit (my picture taking table) and another to replace the florescent fixture over the "bridges area". Over the next year or so, I'm going to change out every florescent lamp in the train room with LED. They're twice as bright, use half the power and have warmer color.

I'll be back in the shop when I get back and get some more work done.

Thanks for the good wishes Mark. I am now cleared for one year intervals.

I didn't buy two more shop lights since they're no longer on special, but I did find them back in the racks at Costco and bought one ($27 instead of $20), and I installed it over the one table that was in the "dark" so to speak. That table is now going to be outfitted to be my photo studio. If I'm going to continue to produce magazine articles for RMC (or others) I need to be taking better in-process pictures. I have way too much clutter in my images and that makes it hard on the photo editors to drop the backgrounds out of the picture. If you go back and look at my substation article, you'll see that a lot of the images are floating on the page with no background.

New Shop Light

Here's two images shot under the new light. The first is with no iPhone flash and the second with the flash. The flash fills in very nicely.

NH New Light Photo

I did stain ALL the counter parts, including the striping for the edging and pieces for the raised inner panels. I decided to attempt to dress it up with a raised panel design. I first was doing it mathematically by adding up the widths of the outstrips, doubling that number adding a bit more for clearance between the inner panel and the edge rails and use that dimension to cut the center panel. Of course, I subtracted the gap allowance from the sum of the side rails thereby negating the clearance. So after I scrapped all those pieces and decided to actually measure the size on the workpieces. This took a tad longer but I got all the pieces cut and stained. Always stain before gluing since stain won't take where the glue is.

NH Counter Staining

I glued up one corner and stuck the top on to see what it looked like. The only trouble with using real wood is the grain is way out of scale. It might be better to make it out of styrene and simulate the wood finish. If you modeling rough, rural, outdoor woodwork, the grain adds some grittiness to the scene, but this is supposed to be fine furniture and there is no exposed grain. I'll live with it. I'm mitering the corners so the trim lines up.

NH Counter Fitting

And when I got upstairs for dinner, a tiny box was waiting for me with the laser cut stools. They look very, very fragile, and should look pretty neat when built. They were having trouble with the axis motors doing circular interpolation so they sliced some dowels of the correct diameter for the seats. That was good customer service. MiniEtch is the company that did it. They nested the drawings differently than I did and used less material. I should learn from them. Since I typically don't do model work on the weekends, it will wait until Monday to see how they go together. I imagine you could make these little things conventionally, but I couldn't really understand how to do the cross-bracing without driving myself nuts. Now I just have to be careful removing them from the fret.

NH Stools Laser Parts


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