Post a write up and pictures of Homemade or Kit-bashed Layout Buildings you have made or modified or scratch built. 

I will start with one of my first kit-bashed Plasticville buildings , the Bachmann Coal Station, number 1975.

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The project was to make a raised roof, (which had a conveyor to spread coal), on the the Coal Station to replace the 1975 flat roof.  I always liked the looks of that style coal station.  I used 1/8 inch tempered Masonite with one smooth side.  The smooth sides were scored with a knife to look like siding.  Windows were cut out and made and installed in the top section.  The parts were glued with Elmer's glue.   A sheet metal roof, obtained at a train show, was installed.

Finished Coaling Station

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View of the under side of the new roof.

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 Now let us see one of your homemade or kit-bashed layout building.

Charlie

 

Original Post

Three of the 4 buildings in this corner scene are kit bashed.  The Atlantic Ice and Cold storage was scratchbuilt.    The flat on the far left is Joe's Pickle factory kit from Korber,  next from the left is sections of the AHM 2 stall engine house kit sitting above the track from the yard, the largest multi-story building on the right is a kitbash using Ameritowne Wall sections sitting on top of a scratchbuild concrete foundation.

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My contribution is an rather amateur in comparison to the great work by you guys.

I found some foam core poster board material being thrown out at work. Being part vulture, I scooped it up with intentions of using it some how on the layout. I decided to make an old factory building made of brick. 

There is an old factory in St. Louis called the International Shoe Company that has really great brick work. I couldn’t find an image of the building as a whole, so I used google street view to capture some images of certain features. I then photoshopped the building facades together and printed them off. 

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With a small layout, the factory will also serve as a pass through tunnel.  Goal was to cover this front corner on the upper level.

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I cut and pasted the images onto the foam core board. Then I glued and taped the foam core images onto a cardboard box for support.

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I added roof pieces then added a small top floor area to give it a little more character.

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 I will be adding some pink foam tunnels/base of the building.

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Overall I was very happy with the result. $0 project that took a couple hours to build.

JD2035RR posted:

My contribution is an rather amateur in comparison to the great work by you guys.

I found some foam core poster board material being thrown out at work. Being part vulture, I scooped it up with intentions of using it some how on the layout. I decided to make an old factory building made of brick. 

There is an old factory in St. Louis called the International Shoe Company that has really great brick work. I couldn’t find an image of the building as a whole, so I used google street view to capture some images of certain features. I then photoshopped the building facades together and printed them off. 

 

 

With a small layout, the factory will also serve as a pass through tunnel.  Goal was to cover this front corner on the upper level.

 

I cut and pasted the images onto the foam core board. Then I glued and taped the foam core images onto a cardboard box for support.

 

259B7A66-FDC2-4009-BC00-4D8A70BA738C

I added roof pieces then added a small top floor area to give it a little more character.

 

 

 

 I will be adding some pink foam tunnels/base of the building.

 

 

Overall I was very happy with the result. $0 project that took a couple hours to build.

 I like it! It actually turned out pretty cool!

Sean

 

TCA 14-6985#

 

Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight.


Great looking buildings Chris! One question though is where did you learn to paint the clouds?

JD, the building turned out nice! Nice work.

Here is all I have for scratch building. It started out as a sign board that I cut and painted.20190418_11363320190414_15382720190414_15534620190418_113642

Mike

USMC 5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

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Hey Mike g:  My daughter and I painted the clouds using the "cloud stencils" made my New London Industries...   Saw them at a demo at a local train show year's ago....  I am pretty sure they are still available on line for about $15.00.   I used blue masking tape and attached my stencils to a 4 foot stick so I could hold them up and control them.   

If you're going to paint them with the layout in place.. you'll need to get some thin plastic sheeting to cover the layout as the overspray is hard to control, and a carbon filter mask is advisable as most of the spray can white paints are solvent based.   

The results are great and pretty easy to achieve,  and it goes pretty fast.... I'd probably recommend you get a 2 x 4 foot piece of cheap scrap plywood or masonite, paint it the same blue as your room and spray some test clouds to get the hang of it first...

David Minarik posted:

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All scratch except for the powerhouse (Altoona Model Works) and switch tower(Plasticville).

I've seen this steel mill posted a few times, but I dont think I have ever commented on it.  It is absolutely one of my favorites.  

Wow most of you fellows are much more detailed and professional at building than my toy like creations.

Colorado Hauler -  I had to really look hard to see the Plasticville 1975 Coaling Station in your super creation.  Great job.

JD - That was quite an effort to create that International Shoe building.  The building turned out great.  My family is from St. Louis and my mother worked at International Shoe as a secretary before marrying my father.  Three of my fathers family worked for Western Supply Co., a privately owned business that made shoe dies for the several shoe making companies in St. Louis.  One uncle, a salesman,  showed and gave us samples of the first flip flops made from dies for the shoe companies in the early 1950's.  Little did we know flip flops would be made by the billions for 70 plus years.

I have a few more buildings to share but will hold off on this topic to see your buildings as mine are not near a good as almost all the contributions above.  Keep them coming and I am sure many will be encouraged to kit-bash or build a scratch building for their layout.

Charlie

First, a re-work of the Lionel Coaling Tower with some odds and ends.....inspired by an article written by the late Art Curran of Kalmbach.......

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......and the last 2 pictures lead you into my second kit-bash, MAX FOODS......from the Lionel Sub-Station and Municipal Building kits.

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Max is our nearly 13 year old golden doodle who lives with my son in Philadelphia.

Peter

By the way.....I am the owner of the MAX FOODS trademark.  

 

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MJCAT posted:
David Minarik posted:

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All scratch except for the powerhouse (Altoona Model Works) and switch tower(Plasticville).

I've seen this steel mill posted a few times, but I dont think I have ever commented on it.  It is absolutely one of my favorites.  

I totally agree. It is also an extremely good use of the space in a corner of a layout. Well done. 

Phil

TCA Member

NYCHS Member

MTH RR Club

     All of the above pictures look really great and scratch building is my game for my layout.  I have over 13 scratch built buildings on my layout.  Here is a picture of my coaling tower I made in 1983.  It is constructed of 100%  cardboard, Popsicle sticks, and matchsticks.  Just to show my methods I am including 2 pictures of Stankus Pallets made in 1994 and one shows the cardboard inside of the building. Scratch building is something I have been doing since 1980 and all the building have held up quite well with no warping.

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Lary,   Very nice work with the cardboard and popsicle sticks !!

Peter,  Max Foods came out great,  I remember following this build, as I was doing a similar kitbash with the Lionel Municipal and Electrical Sub-Station kits at about the same time.  Photos below....

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chris a posted:

Lary,   Very nice work with the cardboard and popsicle sticks !!

Peter,  Max Foods came out great,  I remember following this build, as I was doing a similar kitbash with the Lionel Municipal and Electrical Sub-Station kits at about the same time.  Photos below....

DSC02822 [2)DSC03159 [2)DSC02833 [3)

 

Chris,

It looks like you have a very nice looking layout.  I would like to see more of it.

 

Dave

I scratch build all my building's. Here is my latest addition to my layout. The Watermill, Barn, Windmill  and Bridge are made from Precision Board. The water wheel is powered by an old electric alarm clock. The Covered Bridge and Maple Sugar House are fabricated from Polystyrene. This completed my New England scene all custom built

 

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genecm

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Great work by all.  Glad to hear of several scratch builders coming out and they have been hiding superb modeling skills. 

I love scratch building as I have been a serious scratch builder from my teen years with U control and free flight model air planes to a two year project of a 95 ft Coast Guard patrol boat with tube radio control.  It started from an feature in a Model magazine and I ended up writing a letter to the CG and they sent me a set of blue prints making super detail achievable. I have scratch built my layout turntable and round house for less than $10 each.

Charlie

IMG_1777IMG_2030Raised the roof on MTH's plain but sturdy Car Barn to create a two stall Engine House of sorts.

100_1152-001100_1153IMG_1634IMG_1866Later on during the final days of my railroading I failed to realize I had hand tremors and decided to build my long desired Lumber Shed. To say the least it required quite a few clamps.

IMG_1767IMG_1765IMG_1777Covered it with HO scale corrugated roof and siding and retired from active Ogauge railroading circa 2010 (health issues).

A&Y RY[NC's Southern/N&W connector].

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Bridgeport Scrap Metals is a scratch-built background structure. It is three inches deep and overhangs the rear edge of my layout. The main building is made of basswood and the brick addition is from an Ameritowne plastic kit. The two layouts in my basement include numerous scratch-built structures – truss bridges, a trestle, factories, and small railroad shacks.

Photos by:

MELGAR

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Great job.  It's hard to believe there are so many people doing scratch building like back in the 70's and 80's when there was nothing available except "Plasticville" to work with.  I have read so many "model railroading mags and railroad craftsman mags I knew I could possibly refine my skills the way them old timers did it.  And now I is one.

Keep em coming I love this blog and hopefully I can get my act together in the fall or winter and get an article to this magazine and get a bit of my layout in shown in it.  I have to admire the really old guys from the 40's and up who worked with nothing and made fantastic railroads back in the day.

Lary posted:

It's hard to believe there are so many people doing scratch building like back in the 70's and 80's when there was nothing available except "Plasticville" to work with.

Lary,

Lots and lots of us routinely scratch build using traditional techniques. You should totally join the tribe.

Here are a few of my 100% scratchbuilt structures:

MOW shed (mostly balsa):

BIkeTrip 1BIkeTrip 2MOW Roofoverview 2overview 3overview 4

Gateman Shanty: (balsa and Bristol board):

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Tool shed (100% coffee stirrer sticks):

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Engine shed (mostly pink foam):

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--pete

 

 

My heart is warm with the friends I make, 

And better friends I'll not be knowing;

Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,

No matter where it's going.

                        Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

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Pete,   great work on all those scratchbuilds,  inside and outside details and weathering are exceptional.... I really like the pair of photos above,  that is really outstanding,  heck if you weathered the people a little and knocked down the high resolution focus, I'd have trouble telling them apart !!!

chris a posted:

Lary,   Very nice work with the cardboard and popsicle sticks !!

Peter,  Max Foods came out great,  I remember following this build, as I was doing a similar kitbash with the Lionel Municipal and Electrical Sub-Station kits at about the same time.  Photos below....

 

 

Thank you, Chris......it was a fun project.

Here is Max helping during the mock up.....

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Peter

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Really like the light setup you did.  Fantastic.  I also added lights to the Menard's door company.  Got tired of their phony plastic lights that did not work.  Had a bending jig for model airplane fuel lines and bent some tubing and added grain of wheat type bulbs and finally lights.  Interior is also detailed a bit and lit.

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At this stage in my modeling, virtually all I do is scratch build. Not only do I get the satisfaction of the creativity but, can get one-off buildings that are unique to my layout. The Green Dragon and Burlesque Review structures are my O scale versions of the beautiful HO designs by Doug Foscale of Foscale Limited, which other than about six kits, does all his buildings in HO. I "scaled them up" to what looked good to my eye and built them from scratch. The apartment tenement is my scratch built version of a Walther's HO kit but, in clapboard rather than brick facing. The Phillips Garage and Tobacco buildings are also scratch built but, from my own imagination.

 

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Main street. Building floors added or removed. White front building homemade.

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Grain Elevators

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Large building w/ pop up

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Cement block plant

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Water tower

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Oil field production unit and oil and water tanks (painted gray)  and behind is a Tank Farm w/ popup

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Gas well Christmas Tree ( 2,000 PSI working pressure)

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Keith Johnson

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My simple Masonite and brick paper buildings for my toy 027 1950s layout are not of the quality, craftsmanship or detail of most of you real modelers.  We have some super talented modelers here on OGR forum.

My construction is typical of that used in the 1950s for my 1950s style layout and I have two of the buildings my father made in the early 1950s for me and my brothers Christmas 027 layout.  I will share them later.

One of my first buildings made for my layout was a four stall round house to serve my homemade $10 turn table.

The first consideration in building a $10 roundhouse is to decide how many stalls the RH will have. 

I think the minimum that looks good is three.  Many more can be added than three but I find that you cannot see and enjoy your engines as much when they are in the RH as all that one sees is the engine fronts.  I decided to make my RH a four stall one and I am very pleased with it.  It has a good shape verses a three stalls and fits my area very well.

I like the stepped roof style RH and I like lots of windows so as they are typical of the era as electric lights were not all that common in the early times and windows provided daylight.  I have windows on both sides, all along the back wall and on the stepped roof wall facing the front.  I did not leave room or have room for a shop or tool room that many RH have.

My roundhouse is made from my typical 1/8 inch thick, one side smooth Masonite tempered sheeting.  A sheet costs about $13 for 4ft x 8ft sheet and you will only need one half of a sheet or less.  I cut this with saber saw, or jig saw.  I used my old Craftsman 18 inch jig saw with 1/3 hp motor, now out of storage, to cut out the windows after drilling a hole to allow get the blade in the window area.  You can use a sabre saw for this if that is all you have.  The smooth side is put on the outside of the sides and back wall.  Some 1/8” Masonite strips were used to reinforce the bottom and door frame. 

Front of Round House

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The outside walls will be covered with modeling brick paper, glued on with Elmer’s white glue after the building is assembled with Elmer’s glue.

The roof is made from Masonite too but the rough side is up to be the exposed roof surface, to simulate  gravel on a wood and tar paper roof.  I have a step in the roof with windows in the bricked section between the two roofs so the roof is made in two parts. 

 

Four Tracks and four Stalls in Round House

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You can see how I determined the size of the RH by fitting it in over 4 sections of track.  I made sure not to include my one section where I can drive on the TT and directly to this one section with a long consist of engine, coal tender, wrecking crane car and wrecking caboose.

The picture below shows how I had to cut out part of the rear of the RH to go over a Marx switch machine housing.  It also shows I had make sure the RH did not get too close to the tracks.  It is a tight and custom fit.

 

Rear of Round House - wall over switch machine, Electrical connector (from 9 volt batteries) for RH lights right of switchIMG_0100

I assembled the RH with Elmer’s glue and added plywood angles to strength the wall to roof joints.  I painted the inside walls brown and the inside roof light gray to better illuminate the inside.  The outside of the roof was painted light gray, with a dusting of black paint to be dark dirt.  Then I installed the brick paper doing a good job around the windows.

The windows are made from clear plastic sheeting from boxes lids from toys or other heavier clear plastic.  The windows had panes made from black 1/16 inch auto pin striping on the inside.  The windows were glued on the inside with "Pliobond" rubber cement, but contact cement or Aleen's Tacky glue will work.

Inside RH showing Roof and wall braces, windows and some lightsIMG_0165

 

Picture showing double thick front wall and thicker bottom brace.  I painted the center of the tracks in the RH black to simulate a pit below the tracks to let workers work on the under side of the steam locomotives (shown in picture below).IMG_0173

 

I made RH stacks, with covers to keep rain out.  The stacks are to remove smoke for the steam engines.  Balsa wood was used to make the stacks.  I like the square style stacks better than round ones.  Rain covers for the stacks were made.   I also installed a ladder or two to get on the roof.  Ladders were made from N gauge railroad tie plastic strips with the rails removed and every other tie cut out with a pair of diagonal wire pliers and trimmed with a X-acto knife.

Ladder, stacks and Roof, and also emergency generator from Lionel searchlight carIMG_0167

  Close up photo of a Stack with cover and dust on top!IMG_0169

 

Lights were installed in the ceiling of the RH in two rows and are operated by a slide switch on the control panel.   I am big on night train operation with the room lights dark or dimmed and lots of controlled lights in all building, flood lights, street lights, yard lights, cars and engines, etc. 

See how the lights let the engines show up in the RH in a semi dark roomIMG_0195

  Photo showing the balsa wood TT operator shack on TT bridge and view into RH.IMG_0197

Photo from outside into lighted up RHIMG_0201

 

Another neat photo of lighted RH in semi darkness, just to encourage you to build a TT and RHIMG_0203

I chose not to make doors for the front of the RH as I wanted to see the fronts of the locos inside and I would have had the doors open most of the time and they would just get in the view and way.

I love my round house and it is my favorite building on the layout and the most fun and satisfaction to build.

Charlie

I have a different experience and perspective on this subject.

First, I think this is a great topic and most of the above kitbashes are terrific. Kitbashing is highly creative, and must be wonderful to successfully do.

At the risk of putting a damper on this thread, I have not been a successful kitbasher yet. I never took photos of my last kitbash attempt, which was unsuccessful.

I had a very nice International Hobbies 2 stall engine house, that I decided to turn into the front of my Yankee Stadium. I created the Stadium front, but I did not think the final creation was that good. In the end, I wished that I had my original engine house and never kitbashed it.

Part of the problem is that I think my original concept was a mistake. Although the stadium front hid the trains running behind it from view, which could be a good thing, it also hid my beautiful scenicked baseball park from view, especially from the view of children who are not tall enough to look over the stadium front and see the baseball park, which is a negative thing.

The moral of the above story is multifold.

First, think long and hard about your concept when kitbashing, so that if you do it well, you will be happier with the kitbashed structure than the original structure.

Secondly, IMO, it will help you be a good kitbasher if you first put together well at least a few kits to create the original intended structure before taking a stab at kitbashing.

Also, when first attempting kitbashing, use a model or model parts that you don't particularly like "as  is". Then, you have very little to lose if your kitbashing attempt does not turn out well.

Another consideration to keep in mind: have the correct saws and other tools for kitbashing, and have some experience using them well, to increase the chances that the end result of your kitbashing will be good. 

The term "kitbashing" is very good, IMO. When you do it, you are truly bashing your kit, destroying the original intended structure. Good luck when you do it. When it turns out well, it is highly creative and can give you a unique structure to enjoy.  Arnold 

 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

EmpireBuilderDave posted:

I agree Arnold.  My start at kitbashing first destroyed two pricey kits, so I entered my design with some serious trepidation.  Most of these kits are pretty expensive so you have to enter a kitbash with a strong stomach or bank account. 

Yeah. By my thinking, "kitbashing" is best practiced using random boxes of mismatched Plasticville parts, at least at first (look under the tables at the train show). This greatly lowers the stakes and makes experimentation and practice much more palatable. 

A close relative to kitbashing are the so-called "craftsman kits". These are usually a box of pre-cut raw materials, and they are another "ice breaker".

Arnold's comments point out the fact that when you are buying any kind of kit, you are getting two different things: (a) a box of parts and (b) a carefully-thought-out design for a structure. These are two different things, and for many beginners "b" may be just as challenging as "a". Another way to address this is to scratchbuild a REAL building, working from photos. That is what I did with my gateman's shanty shown above. This lets you concentrate on materials and skills--inheriting the design from the architect of the real structure.

--pete

 

 

My heart is warm with the friends I make, 

And better friends I'll not be knowing;

Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,

No matter where it's going.

                        Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

I have been "kit bashing" since a kid, turning my disliked Marx #21 into a double ended/cabbed diesel, uh, not particularly successfully.  I have lots of practice, and attack expensive kits with no trepidation.  I like them to be "different".  Might be good idea to start small, and work up.  But if you can make today's trains' electronics work, gluing together a box of sticks is well within your grasp.  

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

Homemade Coal Mine and Coal Loading Station Operating Accessory

A Bachmann Coal Station was used to make a Coal Mine and Coal Loading Station operating accessory building that can load coal into a coal car remotely.

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The Bachmann Coal Station kit was used to make the Coal Mine Entrance into the underground mine in the mountain.

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A new “A” frame roof was built for the top out of 1/8 inch Masonite with a window in the end and the end was scored to be vertical siding.  The roof was roofed with some of the kit roofing.

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The Coal Loading Section was also made of Masonite.   The outside walls were scored with a knife to be vertical siding.  Windows were in the installed in the side and end walls. 

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A slide gate valve was made of plywood and held opened with a rubber band.  A 12v solenoid (DC solenoid rectified to AC) was use to hold the slide valve closed and to return the solenoid plunger out to engage a notch in the arm of the slide gate valve to hold it closed.  A coal storage funnel was made from card board stock.

 

Picture of Plunger return rubber band, slide gate with hole in center and notch for solenoid plunger, black solenoid and card board coal funnel is shown below.  This rubber band holds the solenoid plunger in the notch in the arm of the gate and keep the hole closed, ready to hold and drop coal.  See the wire in bottom of cone tied to the solenoid plunger which is operated to break up coal jams in cone.  The black bridge rectifier can be seen that converts the DC solenoid to operate on AC.

This picture shows the slide valve closed (hole in slide gate is not under the funnel hole and the solid part of the slide gate is blocking the funnel hole)  and the solenoid arm is holding the slide gate closed. 

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  This picture shows the slide gate open (the slide gate hole is now under the hole in the funnel).

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Picture of slide gate return rubber band.  This makes the slide gate valve stay normally open and pulls the slide gate to open when the solenoid is triggered.  Both rubber bands are easy to replace as the are in open screw eyes and around posts and last a few years.

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 PS:  Recently (9-4-2017) it was not dumping.  Turns out a plot of piston stoke from the magnet shows the most pulling power is when the piston is 1/16 to 1/8 inch out.  It was much more so I had to modify by adding about 1/16 inch wood to the sloped part to make the trigger pull when about 1/16 inch out.  That fixed it.

 

Picture of Power graph for Radio Shack Solenoid I used.  You can see the pull in oz is much higher at 1/8 inch or small stroke.

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Picture below shows the 1/16 inch thick strips of wood I added to the notch (appear whiter) to make the piston get more into the magnet and shorten the stroke for more power.

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 The coal is dumped into a coal car when activated with a push button on the control panel.   A flat roof for the Coal Loading Section was covered with sheet metal roofing.  Two 12 volt mini Christmas bulbs were installer in the outside corners of the floor and floor was cut out to illuminate the track below and inside the Coal Loading Section.

 

The picture shows the lights inside to light windows and cut through bottom to light coal car area below.

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The picture is from the outside of coal mine loading station showing the lights working for inside the building and lighting the car below

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Like most active accessories, the coal mine/coal loader should be located for easy hand access by the operator.  The coal must be hand loaded into the funnel and the slide gate valve must be hand closed.  Lionel plastic coal is used which came with a Lionel coal dumping car from the 1980s. 

This was a fun project, especially figuring out a working coal car loading system.

Charlie

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Sound like it was a fun project and it looks really great.  Nice lighting inside the building.  I laugh when I see the little gimmicks people use to get things to work and I do the exact same thing.  Stick a shim here or there and glue a piece of bent wood to make it work and fill a gap.  Again great job kit bashing.

EF701E6D-393D-43E2-8C3C-FE7F9F2DF53D

This diorama I built for Turkey Point Lighthouse Society and is displayed at Elk Neck State Park in Maryland. Park personnel were able to obtain the original blueprints from the national archives and each item was scratch built in 1/4 scale. Now back to the layout and to built some for me.

     Dennis L. Schlossman

  Denver, NC

  TCA, LCCA      

     Yadkin & Catawba Model Railroad Club

     Logo

      SE Shortline and Narrow Gauge Museum

Newton, NC

     E-5, United States Marine Corp 

      

 

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I have two buildings from my brothers and my childhood layout on my layout.  They were both made by our Dad, about 1950, using his childhood pedal powered scroll or jigsaw.

One building is a small train station, made from Masonite with the roof covered with model railroading  roofing paper.  The building has cuts scribed in to resemble siding.  It has widows and other parts sawed out by jigsaw after drilling a hole and making inside cuts.

Train station built in 1950, roof paper was originally Green IMG_0082

 IMG_0085

Charlie

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The second building is a gas or service station.  It is made from some type of thin wood covered with paper on both sides.  The siding has model railroading brick paper glued to the side to simulate brick siding.  The two garage doors have windows cutout with a pedal driven jigsaw.  The rear windows were made from some plastic window covering with cloth support simulating window panes.

Gas Station built in 1950  IMG_0089

IMG_0102

These building construction methods lead me to build several of my building using Masonite and brick paper which is still available from hobby shops or on eBay.  I got mine from Walthers years ago.

Charlie

 

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