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Hello everybody, 

I'm planning on scratch building the Pennsylvania Railroad's Haverford station which is located along the original electrified portion of the PRR's mainline. While the station is currently in pretty bad condition (thanks septa), I want to date my model to how it would look between 1920s-1940s. (Here's a second modern-picture). Architecturally speaking, it is very close to Wynnewood Station. Several of the original stations (c. 1870s) were build in this same style including Narberth as well. 

I'm not picky about all the tiny details, however I do want it to be a pretty good resemblance of the station. I'm a decent woodworker and was planning on making the walls out of 1/4" MDF and the roof out of balsa wood. The main station building will be my focus, then I will make the passenger shelters. 

Somebody had recommended that I make the singles out of cheep sandpaper that has been painted black but wanted some more opinions on that. 

Mainly, I wanted to pick everybody's brains on how to make the gothic stone looks on the facades of the building. I figure my best two options would be to either etch the MDF with a Dremel for the pattern or coat the sides in drywall plaster and carve it into that. 

Any other advice would also be very appreciated! 

I'll post pictures as I build; I plan to photograph the actual station sometime this weekend as well. 

Last edited by Prr7688
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You might want to look at Plastructs styrene sheets.  Look at their catalogue, pages 53-57

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/file...0_CatalogSMFL.pdf?53

Also look at the N Scale Architect:

https://thenarch.com/catalog/b...-scale-sheets?page=1

Architectural model supply houses may also be able to help

https://www.modernss.com/colle...riant=23686175948858

Looks like a fun project!

 

John, thank you for the quick reply! I should have mentioned in my post that I'm trying to avoid using hobby sheets, I don't have any experience with those and am trying to avoid trekking out to the store. I appreciate the help nonetheless! 

I don't think you would have much luck with carving MDF with a Dremel. The drywall compound idea is better. 

Another approach (which isn't as crazy as it sounds) is to glue on individual "stones" made of thin slices of pink foam insulation. I have never done this with random stones, but I have had good luck doing it with cut stone:

TrollyBarn 3TrollyBarn 9

The pieces were sliced using a razor blade. You could easily start with pieces like this and cut them to shape after slicing. Either that, or make several "sticks" of foam of different sizes and with different profiles and then slice them.

Nothing simulates stone like pink foam.

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Last edited by Avanti

I agree with Avanti on using rigid foam for the stonework, but I would not cut individual stones.  It is fairly easy to carve stonework into the surface of rigid foam.  Here is a masonry wall I did with ¾” thick foam.  Not sure if Art Williams (Chugman) still posts here, but he did a very nice curved arch stone bridge using ¼” foam over MDF.

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@Lehigh74 posted:

I agree with Avanti on using rigid foam for the stonework, but I would not cut individual stones.  It is fairly easy to carve stonework into the surface of rigid foam.  Here is a masonry wall I did with ¾” thick foam.  Not sure if Art Williams (Chugman) still posts here, but he did a very nice curved arch stone bridge using ¼” foam over MDF.

Oh, I totally agree. Carved foam is my favorite material. I do stone walls that way all the time. The reason I didn't recommend it here is that it looks to me that the subject structure will require walls that are thinner than can be readily achieved with sheets of extruded foam.  I suppose you could shave down pieces of 1/2" foam, but I think that may be more work than individual stones.  Dunno. 

My favorite building supplies are Polystyrene and Precision Board. Sometimes I use them in the same building. The 1st photo is Precision Board that can be cut and carved like wood, the grey blocks are spray painted with texture paint.. 2nd photo, lumber yard roof is black sandpaper. 3rd photo is Precision Board, #4 is finished with horizontal lines scribed to be like wood, the addition on the left is made to look like cement blocks.Photo #5 Northport Sweet Shop is Polystyrene and made to look like brick and stucco, The Bank is Precision Board all hand carved to look like stone block. Photo #6 the Insurance store is a combination of Polystyrene & Precision Board.

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Hi all, thank you again for the advise; it gave me a lot to think about. I decided to 'get my feet wet' with a smaller project before trying the actual station. For this, I chose a standard PRR passenger shelter. Different variations were found throughout the system, however the basics of the structure remained relatively constant. The plans that the PRR used for station shelters are found here. While I used the dimensions for the sides, I chose to elongate the structure to emulate the ones found in the Philadelphia area such as at Morton and Berwyn. The 'Haverford' keystone station signs are applied with double sided tape so that when I do model Haverford station, I can change the name of this station to a different stop. I'm not sure if this will be the permanent base for the shelter so it is not glued down yet, once I pick a permanent base, I will add the support post that go from the ground to the horizontal beam. 

Since this will be going on my temporary Christmas layout, I put in Christmas posters from the 1920s and 1930s. Of special note is the poster advertising PRR's discounted Holiday train service in the fourth picture. The other ads have familial meanings; the Sunkist orange ad is for the stories of my grandparents who would get oranges as a treat in their stocking during the Great Depression, the Fuller Brush ad is for my mom's cousin who sold Fuller Brush, and the Mickey Mouse is for my Grandmother who loved the original cartoons from the 30s and 40s. I'm going to use Dept. 56 fresh fallen snow to winterize the scene later on. 

The last shot is on my 'quarantine floor layout' (gotta have something to keep me entertained) with MTH Strasburg coaches. Poor lighting necessitated the flash which does not do justice to the beauty of the coaches. 

 

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Last edited by Prr7688

Well everyone, I finally decided to give the pre-molded walls a try.

I welcome any feedback that anyone might have. I am a mere mortal compared to the scratch-building Gods here on the OGR Forum so go easy on me!

What you are seeing is a cumulation of 2-3 months of "rainy day" work. I haven't dedicated a lot of time to this, but the time has been spread out so easier to just make one big update for now.

First, I got some more pictures of the prototype (from last summer) which I used to get measurements. Based on my height/reach, I used the assumption that the distance from ground to bottom of the overhang (awning?) is 10'. This also made calculations easy.

The current condition of the station leaves much to be desired, I found a great thesis paper on the PRR mainline stations which has some backdated pictures as well as this picture on ebay. There is another great picture in Don Ball's Pennsylvania Railroad 1940s and 1950s book showing a P5 hauling empty hoppers westbound through the station. The book also has a picture showing a GG1 eastbound that shows the Slate Blue color that the station used to have where-ever there is white in the pictures above.

Back to the model... I wanted to use MDF to increase the structural intergrity of the building so that I could move it form place-to-place until I build a more permanent layout. I then used 1/4" by 1/16" hobby wood to square out the windows.

The window frames and door were painted the slate blue that I mentioned above. (Anyone recognize where I harvested the door from? Hint: it's plastic!).

For the window panes, I used Twitchy Train Group windows and cut them to size, the image below shows the before and after of the cut. The panes have been painted slate blue since the picture.

Enter the plastic molded walls: I used JTT Architectural Model Parts field stone. The size of the stone is a little smaller than the prototype, but I won't lose any sleep over it. I used a primer to paint them a tan color, then followed up with a wash of gray acrylic paint to weather them a bit.

(In lieu of a spray painting booth, the backyard works just fine! And no, I didn't spray the lawn that tan... it's hibernating Zoysia grass)



Finally, after cutting the sheets to size and gluing it to the face of the MDF, I was ready to glue the entire thing together today.

I have the roof cut out and the paint is drying, hoping to get that one next weekend.

The next thing to figure out is the station shelters: See prototype here.

Not sure how much time I will be dedicating to this as the weather gets nicer, hopefully it will be done by the end of the summer!

For now, I will leave you with two image of the first shelter I built. These were taken around Christmas when I finally got a Legacy PRR engine to compliment the style of the shelter. When the main station is done, this will serve as the inbound shelter until I can model the actual prototype of that (which at the rate I'm moving won't be done for another 2-3 years!) at which I will change the sign to a different mainline station.

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Last edited by Prr7688

Here's with the roof painters-taped roughly into position.

Ignore the bulking HP power supply, it's my only DC source for the LED as of now. Somewhere, I have old HO gauge transformers with a DC output that I'll use until I build something more permanent.

I'm not one for excuses, but the building looks really rough in the photos here as the front overhang part of the roof isn't lined up at all and the top window frame isn't in yet. Need to get some tacky glue for that as it's a bit looser fit than the others.

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Gene Maag, I've never heard of Precision Board before seeing your post.  A quick search reveals it is a high density urethane material in different densities.  How do you work with this material?  Where do you get it?   I saw one reference for a 12" x 12" x 2" for $75.  That seems a bit pricey to me, but perhaps that is an industrial grade material while for our O gauge needs a lower quality (and cost) material is available. Please tell us more!

Dale

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