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Thread: Builder's Railroad Project: in the Beginning...

  1. #1096
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    bernheim II: Shed Paint & Landscape Start

    Got the second coats of paint on the shed and started landscaping the base. All the while I cast the rest of footings.

    The roof is a base coat of rust red and then Dark Iron. The wood work is Tamiya flat brown. Tomorrow, I'll lightly abrade the dark iron to bring up some of the rust. I will alcohol was the wood. Then I do some rust work on the exposed NBWs and do some weathering power work. By that time, all the footings will be fully cured and I'll finish them up and install them. I sanded and trued up all the ones that had cured from the last two days pours.

    (Picture didn't load even though it was only 1.5 MB)

    Before laying down any Sculptamold I needed to mask the areas where the building was going to set. With a smaller structure that weighed less I would have applied food wrap under the building and put the plaster right up to it. But this building is heavy and a bit dedicate so I made place holders instead (like I did with the boiler house). I traced the profile onto some cardboard and cut out the pieces.

    I also made a 0.040" Styrene sidewalk with scribed expansion lines and some scribed cracks. This two was traced to make a cardboard template. These pieces were affixed to the base board with some 3M77 spray adhesive. This was just needed to hold down the edges so the SM wouldn't creep underneath.

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    I masked the RR track and got the SM ready to apply by adding some W-S Earth Color Tinting to make it less white. I then slathered a layer over the entire board and got it into all the ties. Before it set up hard, I pried the templates out since I didn't want them to be hardened onto the board which could have risked popping the plaster loose. When I pulled it off, the edges were pretty clean. I tested the sidewalk and it fit nicely. When I do the ground cover it should be a pretty clean installation. The edges are slightly raised which I'll knock down with the sanding stick when fully hard. You can also see that I smushed the shed into the wet plaster to denote where the footings are going to be. I then took a footing and smashed the plaster some more so it will be easier to embed the footings into the "ground". The rectangular hole in the base is the passthrough for the AC converter that's attached to the building.

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    The plaster is relatively thin and should be dry tomorrow so I can start ground cover. At least that's the plan. Tomorrow is also my 48th Anniversary and we're having a special dinner out at Mesh in Louisville.

  2. #1097
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    Bernheim II: Shed Complete

    Finished painting the shed and cleaned up, painted and installed the concrete footings. I spent the rest of the day cleaning plaster off the track and cleaning up the edges next to where the buildings were going to go. I painted the styrene sidewalk too. On Monday I'll treat it to bring out the expansion joints and cracks.

    The Sculptamold (SM) takes a long time to dry especially when air can't get to the backside. It's been 24 hours and there are still areas that are wet and too soft to really work with. I shouldn't have bothered to paint the rails since almost all the paint has been removed in the process of cleaning off the excess plaster. When all is fully dry I will re-spray the rails. The footings' holes are a little big and I'll probably use some filler to close it up a bit. I was going to sand off the dark iron color to reveal the rust base coat, but as soon as I tried it, the paint came off the standing ribs down to the styrene white, so I stopped and added rust weathering powder to the surface. If it was a flat surface, it wouldn't have been a problem.

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    I need to some research on how to model buried spur tracks. Since I'm not actually sure what to do next and this detail is front and center on the finished diorama. Any suggestions? You can see the wet areas of the SM. By the end of the weekend, they will all be dry and ready for paint and ground cover. Have a nice weekend!

  3. #1098
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    Bernheim II: All Done

    Well... I did a full-court press yesterday and actually, sort of, finished up the Bernheim 2 project. It needs to thoroughly dry and then get some more spritzes with wet water and scenic cement to secure all the grass. For the track, I painted everything earth color and then picked out the ties with medium gray as if they were aged wood. It seems to work. Here's some final, but not display, pics.

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    When finishing the sidewalk I ran into a problem that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I painted the styrene with two coats of a custom mixed concrete color (Tamiya Deck Tan and Medium Gray mixed about 50:50). I then oversprayed with Dull Coat to protect it from the alcohol wash that would bring out the joints and cracks. Doh! Isopropyl alcohol dissolves Dull Coat. So as I was wiping off the excess, all the paint was coming off too. I decided to clean off all the paint and start over, but what was left was all the cracks nicely filled in with paint. So I then air brushed two light coats of the same concrete mix that gave it a concrete color and let the colored cracks show through. The results were very pleasing and are a way I'll probably do this in the future. Serendipitous discovery... kind of like Teflon.

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    I showed these images to the Shapira Family last night. They are the owners of Heaven Hill Distilleries, and their response was wonderful. Max Shapira, the patriarch and CEO wants to get an article written in the local Louisville paper about my hobby, the railroad, my interest in "Bourbonism" (a recent term coined by our mayor), and the creation of this model. I'm looking forward to that.

    Removing the middle rail on the Ross track worked well to simulate 2 rail scale. Of course Ross track is taller than scale spur tracks, and if I went to scale height rail I would then have to change out the trucks on the Atlas Steam Era freight car. The viewers will not pay attention to this. They will be looking at the building and comparing it to the picture from 1870.

    The building dropped into its socket very nicely. I'm not gluing it in. It will be easier to move this if I can separate the building from the base. Prior to doing any ground cover I sanded down any raised edges around the socket to make the transition to the building very flat and even.

    They are now deciding how and where I should deliver it so they can have the base and clear case made.

    Andre Garcia (River Leaf) and I are still trying to determine if there's enough interest in this complex model to offer one to the market. I'm going to prepare some more elegant pictures for him to display at York and see what kind of interest it generates. It's going to be expensive due to the extensive and elaborate cutting costs. If it wasn't for the bricks it would be a simple, but the bricks add an enormous amount of time on the machine.

    Let me know if any one would like something like this on your railroad. If you want one built, that can be done also. I'm getting pretty good at it...

  4. #1099
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    Boy, I leave for a few weeks and BOOM, you finish the second distillery. Looks fantastic.

    jeff

  5. #1100
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    Well that's what happens when you stop paying attention. Not only did I finish Bernheim 2, but I finished a Trumpeter 1:32 TBM-3 Avenger. I documented the build on my other thread in WAB. Check it out.

  6. #1101
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    A Pretty Picture

    The editor of Railroad Model Craftsman asked me to take a new picture of the Bernheim 2 Distillery outdoors with natural lighting and vegetation. He felt it would work with the articles better than those that I originally took. I was a bit anxious about it since I don't actually own the model and didn't want it to get damaged before I deliver it. But I bit the bullet and put the whole deal in the trunk with the other stuff in the back seat and took it all to a nice spot in Cherokee Park. The end results were pleasing and are accepted by the magazine. Still don't have a publication date, but I'll let y'all know when I do.

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    I didn't realize that I was taking these pictures on the edge of an active golf course until reminded of it by a range marshall. I took one more pic and left the area. The last thing I needed was golf ball smacking into one of those completely unfixable windows.

    Natural light enabled me to use a small f-stop so I had good depth-of-field and got it all into pretty good focus. I can't do that indoors.

  7. #1102
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    New Topic: Petrochemical Refinery

    Well folks, if you're up to it, I'm about to describe another biggie; a Plastruct model petrochemical plant that will occupy one of the last unfinished areas of the layout. The model is a kit in name only. It's really a very large scratch-build project with very little instruction, prints that are not in the scale that I'm building, and lots of details that are lacking that I will fill in as I go. The model includes 9 unit operations, but I'm planning on adding a cooling tower and some buildings to house control room and maintenance. In my career I spent a lot of time wandering around these kinds of plants so they're not strange to me.

    Started construction today with assembling some of the bigger pieces: 2 spherical HP storage tanks, a large storage tank, a horizontal reactor and a 50 scale feet distillation tower.

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    Work started by truing up the mating edges on all these pieces. That was done by sanding the edges on a piece of medium grit paper adhered to a granite surface plate. I used a file to then knock down some of the flash on the edges. The rest will be removed by sanding and filling the seams after the solvent adhesive is fully cured. It sure will be since we're heading back East tomorrow for a week trip.

    The distillation tower needed to be cut to length from a longer piece of ABS tubing. I used the same method to cut this as I did when making the boiler house. I used a surface gauge on the surface plate to scribe a line around the circumference which was square to the end. Then I carefully sawed-turned-sawed around the line until it parted off. A final sanding on the NWSL Precision sander gave me a clean, square edge.

    The plans called for it to be glued to a 12" (scale, 1/4" my world) base, which was not included. Instead of gluing together 2 -1/8" pieces I went with a leftover piece of 1/4" MDF from the Bernheim project. But before doing this, it needed something more, so I made a flange and added a dozen resin nut/bolt/washer details around the ring, glued the ring to the tube and then epoxied to the MDF base. The results are pleasing and make mechanical sense.

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    More details are going to be needed to really make this look like a real piece of chemical apparatus, but I shouldn't go too overboard (famous last words) since it's all going to be 10 feet away from the average viewer placed at the back of the layout.

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  8. #1103
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    Just checking in. After a week back East and the York Model Train show, I returned to Louisville with a sore throat that has morphed into one of my monster bronchitis/sinus infection medleys. It sucks and I am not in the shop doing anything. Stay turned.

  9. #1104
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    Hope you feel better soon.

    jeff

  10. #1105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Builder 2010 View Post
    The editor of Railroad Model Craftsman asked me to take a new picture of the Bernheim 2 Distillery outdoors with natural lighting and vegetation. He felt it would work with the articles better than those that I originally took. I was a bit anxious about it since I don't actually own the model and didn't want it to get damaged before I deliver it. But I bit the bullet and put the whole deal in the trunk with the other stuff in the back seat and took it all to a nice spot in Cherokee Park. The end results were pleasing and are accepted by the magazine. Still don't have a publication date, but I'll let y'all know when I do.

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    I didn't realize that I was taking these pictures on the edge of an active golf course until reminded of it by a range marshall. I took one more pic and left the area. The last thing I needed was golf ball smacking into one of those completely unfixable windows.

    Natural light enabled me to use a small f-stop so I had good depth-of-field and got it all into pretty good focus. I can't do that indoors.
    Wow---I am truly speachless (in the literary sense) by your truly remarkable detail and craftsmanship.
    (I believe a bottle of HH Green Label might get me over it ;-)

    A memorable thread indeed. Cheers in advance of your continuing project.

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