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

  1. #1291
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    NH: Repairs and other things

    The patch is completed although there's still some touch up painting to be done. It's a reasonable solution to a ridiculous self-imposed problem. If I can match the red decently, it would almost disappear. It almost looks like a real building repair… It's a benefit using the Plastruct color as the base since when sanding you expose more of it instead of removing it if I had painted the red.

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    I cut and fit the interior doors. I wanted to match the orange that Hopper used for his door. I also wanted brass push plates like shown in his painting. I first mixed some red into the light yellow I used for the walls, but it was a bit too pink so I added some more straight yellow and got very close. I also put a coat of Tamiya clear gloss on all the woodwork.

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    My first approach for the door push plates was a using a sheet of gold MicroScale decals, but after wetting them they started falling apart, so immediately went to plan B. I used some PE fret brass that I polished with some steel wool. There's nothing that simulates polished brass than polished brass. I also put a coat of clear on the brass so it wouldn't oxidize too badly.

    I getting antsy to install the interior walls and realized that first floor windows and doors need to be fitted prior to this happening. I designed the building to be laser cut and all the doors and windows were going to be custom-cut. When I decided to go "old school" and build it out of styrene, I changed the window sizes to conform to Tichy window dimensions. I even went further when I was gluing up the interior window frames I used the actual windows to space the frames correctly. However, I didn't change the door openings to conform to the Tichy doors that I purchased. And they were completely wrong-sized!

    The door frames had transom windows, but my openings didn't include this. Furthermore, the frames fit tightly, but the opening was so much shorter I was having to dissect them. So I decided to build the frames from scratch to hold the Tichy door. The width of the opening was .094" wider than the door, so I needed to pack out 0.047" on each side. I had some 1/8" X 0.015" strip so three stacked together gave me .045" which was just about perfect. I added a piece at top to fill that space too. Then added some 0.088" X 0.020" about 1/32" back from the frame edge as a door jamb stop.

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    The door fits nicely. I'm going to airbrush the doors, but probably brush paint the frames, both a flat brown.

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    With a brick building the windows and doors are often set into the structure like this door is. Most of the doors available from the likes of Grandt Line (RIP) and Tichy are framed for frame buildings where the frame stands proud of the siding. The exterior stair will be clapboard so the doors and windows will be more conventional. Again, I'm not going to use the transom window and will cut the frame down to remove it.

    The last thing I did was blank off the door that will no longer be used since I'm eliminating the back door and will be hidden by the exterior stair.

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    I still have to deal with the cellar windows, which I was not able to get factory built ones to fit the space. I may scratch build them. They're pretty simple affairs. Fitting all these details takes a lot of time.

  2. #1292
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    NH: Window Fitting

    We had a nice lunch with our daughter yesterday and then went to the Speed Art Museum at the University of Louisville, but I still got into the shop at around 3:00. I continued working on the windows. I did find that I had purchased Tichy windows for masonry without a flange for the second story windows, and was using the Grandt Line windows that I already owned for the larger first floor windows. Since the 2nd floor windows would inset more shallow when view from the front since they fully fit into the window openings, I decided to cut the flanges off the first floor windows and, in effect, turn them into masonry windows. I used the micro saw to this. These Grandt Line windows have a mold defect in the vertical mullion where it breaks at the same place all the time. It's right where that little bit of flash is. I'm always having to reglue them.

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    The window fit in the space nicely.

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    I got all the windows fitted and ready for painting. Then I got to work on the cellar windows. I decided to fabricate them out of styrene sticks, but because they're so small, I'm building them on a piece of thin 0.010" styrene sheet cut to the window opening size, and after it's all cured, I cut the middle out leaving a complete frame. I never built windows this way, but it actually worked very well.

    I cut each strip long so they stick out on one side and then go back and cut them all off flush. This way, I don't have to cut pieces to an exact length which takes much more effort. I'm using 0.020" X 0.030" for the wider piece, and then 0.020" X 0.020" square on top for relief.

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    I enlarged the cellar opening to make them higher since the window frames were a bit thicker than I would have wanted and it would have left very little room for the glazing. I cut about a 1/16" off the top of the opening using the micro-saw and Xacto. These windows too will be painted with the rest of them next week. The window is not asymmetric as it appears. It simply wasn't pressed all the way into the opening evenly.

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    I've decided that instead of trying to cut the master turret with the wood and metal, that I would make a resin casting of it and cut which would be much more easy to do since it would be all one material. But first I have to order some new silicone mold material from Smooth On. The stuff I have has kicked and cured in the bottle. Even though it's two part, one part will cure eventually left on the shelf. This one did. I'll keep you posted.

  3. #1293
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    NH: Outside Stair Construction

    The fact is, young people are often more creative than us old guys. We need their insights. Look at the age of people in the control room of Space X, Elon Musk's space exploration company. Very young and very energetic.

    Monday… happy Monday. As a retiree with a deal with my wife that I'll do no model building on the weekends, for the first time in my life I look forward to Mondays more than Saturdays.

    I finished up all four cellar windows and put a mullion down the middle. Unfortunately, since they were all custom made to the size of the holes that I created, they vary in size a bit. In this picture, the larger one will be partly occluded by the outside stair (which is the second thing I did today). These will be painted and glazed off the model and then installed.

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    Since I drew the outside stair originally in SketchUp and then in CorelDraw, I was able to stick the drawing onto the Evergreen clapboard styrene and then cut out the main profile piece. For the rest of the parts that determined its width, I used the Tichy door molding to determine the width since my SketchUp drawing used a door from their 3D Warehouse and it wasn't sized the same. I gave an 1/8" clearance on each side of the frame and cut the piece out. The thin cross-section of the sides broke on one side so I glued it back with a backing piece to reinforce it. I roof is "corrugated metal" styrene left over from making the cooling tower in the refinery. The bottom piece is a chuck of novelty siding left over from making the Victorian Station. Gotta hold onto all those scraps.

    I glued all the pieces up with the side pieces butting up against the profile piece. I used 1/8" square stock to reinforce the corners. I used angle blocks to set up the right angles. For the transition pieces for the roofing I used some thin styrene sheeting to wrap the angle and give it something to glue to. Notice I numbered all the pieces to keep it all straight.

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    The roof design gave me some pause. The slanted portions would drain straight down so the corrugations when linearly, but the flat pieces needed to be pitched outwards so the water just didn't sit there. So I made some tapered supports out of some strip stock and glued the roof pieces to these.

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    Here's the completed structure put next to the building as it will sit. Please note, this is not the correct wall. It the wall around the corner on the right.

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    I used some small styrene angle for the corner trim and some 0.020" X 0.100" strip for the fascia boards. The window opening is sized for the large Grandt Window that I used on the first floor with the trim facing the outside as normal practice. I then started working on the angled framing that will support the upper landing. I'm using 0.040" X .188" which looks very much like a 2 X 12 structural member. The pieces on the wall are just being fitted. There will be angled members down to them and I'll probably put an NBW on them to make it look like something is actually holding them to the wall.

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    I'll finish all this up tomorrow and get ready to paint and weather all of it. To connect this assembly to the building I think I'm going to install a wood block between the upper slant roof and lower slant panel and hold it to the building with a screw from the inside. It will be a much cleaner installation and should be easy to do.The screw would be in an unseen area.
    Last edited by Builder 2010; 10 Jul 18, at 01:45.

  4. #1294
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    NH: Outside Stair Construction Cont.

    Work continues on the outside stair. After I had cut and glued the diagonal braces and trying it on the building I quickly found out that I was putting the right most brace right through a window so I had to reshape it to be a small bracket like the center one.

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    I went ahead with the wood-block-screwed-mounting. I measured and cut a piece of thick ply (scrap laying around) and CA'd it between the top and bottom. I needed a bit of shim stock to get the fit perfect. I placed the stair up to the building in its finished position and marked the inside of the building where the screws should go paying attention to the ledge that will support the second floor. I then drilled the exterior of the building with a clearance hole for the self drilling screws that I was using. I didn't depend on their "self-drilling" attributes.

    When I started driving the screws I was putting too much torque on the whole assembly and didn't like it. So I drove the screws into the block with the stair off the model to pre-cut the threads into the tap-drill-sized hole that I drilled in the wood block. This enabled me to re-drive the screws home without breaking anything. I then took it all apart to prepare for painting and windows installation.

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    I wanted to dress up the brackets and and add some gussets since the joints weren't very strong. I have a decent selection of NBWs from Tichy.

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    In this image you can see the large clearance holes for the mounting screws. The bracket pads will be painted the trim brown that I'm using on the rest of the model.

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    Lastly, I painted all the windows and doors, primed the outside stair and started masking it for airbrushing the brown trim and starting to get the tin roof painted.

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    While I was laying out all the windows, I found out that I had not re-drawn the turret window panels since I decided to go from a laser-cut structure to a hand-built one. I will draw them up tonight after I finish posting. There are a lot of windows in this little building.

  5. #1295
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    NH: Outside Stair Completion

    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.

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    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.

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    Here's the finished weathering. Not too much, just some wear and tear. As you can see I added the windows and doors to this assembly. I also had to add the windows to this wall before attaching the outer stair. The Tichy windows come with glazing material cut to size and window shade material. Those are on the second floor. The Grandt Line Windows on the first floor don't have glazing. For these I cut 0.010" clear styrene sheet measured with the digital calipers. I used G-S Hypo Cement which is basically a plastic cement that applied through a capillary tube so you can be very precise.

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    The last thing I did was add window sills using 0.040 X 0.080" styrene strip painted with Badger Model Flex sand paint. Badger acrylic is a nice paint to airbrush since it's already pretty thin and the bottles screw directly onto the Badger 33 mm siphon cap so it's a quick job to spray the strip before cutting and then touch up the space between the sill strip and the bottom of the window frame and the cut ends of the strips. I was laying the building on its side and wore aware some of the paint on the roof edges. Lighting differences make the colors look very different. I also sprayed the insides of the first floor windows since they are supposed to be the rest room windows, the cellar windows since they wouldn't be nice and clean anyway. A layer of Testor's Dullcoat did the trick.

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    I put the building on the layout in its final position to see how the stair will be viewed. You really won't ever see the stair doorway.

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    We're heading to Chicago by the way of Wisconsin tomorrow to pick up the kids at camp and spend time checking out the U of Wis and then a day and half in Chicago before bringing younger grandson home. So work will resume on Monday. As I noted earlier, I intend on getting grandson to sculpt some Edward Hopper characters and building the bar stools.

  6. #1296
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    NH: Windows and Furniture (Part A)

    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.

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    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.

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    And here's looking straight ahead.

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    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.

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

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  7. #1297
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    NH: Windows and Furniture (Part B)

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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).

  8. #1298
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    NH: Furniture Part 2

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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  9. #1299
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    NH: Stool Building

    Happy Monday! Before getting to work I had a minor repair job. The roll-around work table that I bought in 1999 at an IKEA in Venlo, The Netherlands, needed a re-wheeling job. It was rolling terribly and I thought it was because the wheels were binding on little bits of model making debris on the floor. What it actually was is this...

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    The tires on the front two casters were disintegrating. And therefore were rolling very badly. I ordered four replacements from The Home Depot on-line and picked them up at the store today. and installed them. Now it rolls as it should. It's also over-balanced with the front edge of the table extending out over the wheels quite a bit to provide knee room and I have a heavy, cast iron woodworker's bench vise attached on the front also. I think that's why the front wheels did this and the back two were still intact. I replaced all four.

    I finished building the counter, using a combination of Aleen's reinforced with thin CA. I then stained all the stool parts by just dipping the entire fret into the stain and blotting off the excess.

    I removed all the parts I was going to use from the fret and here they are. In this image I already started gluing the seat bases to the seat tops.

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    I "attempted" to glue the first one together and immediately found that, since these are cut out of solid wood, not ply, the cross-braces are extremely fragile and I already broke more than I'd like to admit. I also found that gluing them together was as challenging as I imagined. The tooth pick gives a sense of scale… they're really tiny.

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    I did get the second attempt built and put it next to the completed counter and quickly discovered that the stools are too tall! About 8 scale inches too tall. Sitting that high would be uncomfortable and ridiculous.

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    I attempted to modify the stool height by removing material from the top of the legs, but this drastically changed the angle of the leg and made the cross-braces no longer able to join one another. I then took off material from the bottom by cutting just above the bottom rung. This height looks about right with that large Artista engineer sitting on top. When I sculpt (Grandson may not be available if his social life continues next week as it has this past week), I'm going to manage the scale a little better since this figure seems a little bit oversized. The bar is a scale 36 inches high.

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    I'm going to put a brass foot rail on the counter panels to give them something to rest their feet on. Still have to do the gloss coating on the bar. I'll do that when the stools are all done. The cross-braces are so fragile, I'm wondering if I shouldn't harden them by soaking them in CA before attempting to assemble them. I may also glue some very thin styrene behind to reinforce the cross-grain braces. Should have been ply.

  10. #1300
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    NH: Bar Stools and Coffee Urns

    Making these stools was ridiculous. I had enough cut to produce 12 stools. I ended up with 7, and even with that, it's touch and go. They're sooooooo fragile. I had 8 done and set in the back of my work zone. A glue bottle bumped into them and two disassembled. I was able to get one back together. Instead of trying to paint them with clear gloss, I ended up dipping them into the bottle of Tamiya Clear Gloss. This worked okay, but even getting my tweezers to let go broke some joints that needed repairing. Next time I do this (actually, there never will be a next time) I would have them cut out of 1/32 aircraft ply or laser board. Laser board is rugged, but it's not wood and would need to be painted. This picture is before dipping.

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    I also coated the counter assembly with two coats on the sides and three on top. I sanded between coats with 3600 grit wet abrasive cloth. It's very wet in this image.

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    Next up was the Westport Model Works resin coffee urns. They had a square plastic pad that was supposed to the the base, but it wasn't good enough for me. So I first made a styrene set of supports for the square. I didn't like how it came out, so the next version was some brass legs bent and cut from PE sprue material.

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    I covered the cylindrical exterior with Bare Metal Foil, and painted the top and legs with the Molotow Chrome Pen. Didn't know what I did without this exceptional source of very bright, metallic finish.

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    Westport included a soldered assembly to represent the spigot, handle, valve and level tube. I installed this and then painted it also with the Chrome Pen with a touch up of semi-gloss black on the valve handle. Just tried it in the building here. I'm worried that gluing the stools in before all the front window work will put them in jeopardy. They're that delicate. Westport's urns appear to be of two different sizes.

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    I think I'll put all this aside and start working on all the details that surround the curved from window. There's trim above and below that will need to be crafted. I also need to start building the turret room, the mansard roof and the gables. Lots more to do. Just for the heck of it, I may attempt to build some stools out of styrene. I have the proper sizes to do it. Styrene does give you the opportunity to weld the pieces together which may be more secure. These stools could also be 3D printed in a laser/resin process.

    When we went with grandson #1 a week ago to visit the University of Wisconsin, we got to tour their "Maker's Space". They had 9-filament additive machines and 5 FormLabs Laser/Resin machines. The laser machines, since they put no torque or load on the part being created, have very high resolution and can do intricate shapes (Bar Stools) without lots of supporting webs. I was drooling and wanted one in my shop. Unfortunately, they're over 3 grand and that would make some very expensive bar stools. It's the modeler's dilemma.

  11. #1301
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    NH: Roof Construction Begins

    The last post was yesterday's progress. Today started with building the two-layer Mansard roof that gives this late 1800s building so much character. There is the lower roof which spans the width of the building plus a small 1/8" overhang on all sides, plus the attached base for the turret.

    Instead of pasting the plan onto the large piece of 1/16" aircraft ply, I laid it out the old fashioned way. I made datum lines and measure x and y coordinates to set up the intersection points for the hexagonal turret.

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    I drilled the 5/16" hole in the center of the turret space for the pin on the lower turret dome and then fit it to the building as a test… and it passed.

    Name:  NH Lower Turret In Place.JPG
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    The Mansard curved walls are supported by six formers that held together in egg-crate fashion. I did all these layouts on SketchUp and then Illustrator/CorelDraw so I was pretty sure everything registered properly. I glued the plans to the ply and then cut them out individually on the scroll saw. A little clean up of the straight edges on the belt sander, and then clamped the sets (3 each) together to finish sand the curve with a Dremel sanding drum and opened up the notches so they would fit together. I suppose I could have screwed six pieces of ply together and cut them all at once, but that's an afterthought.

    Name:  NH Mansard Frames Patterns.JPG
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    I glued them together with CA and Aleen's and held them flat to the surface with a piece of ply (the upper roof) and a heavy cast steel angle block so they would dry nested together properly. Not glued down yet in this image.

    Name:  NH Mansard Frames.JPG
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    After gluing down the frames (again with Aleen's and CA weighted until it set), I dug up some old and very poor quality balsa sheeting left over from the monster B-17 project that was completed 8 years ago. I learned a trick building that plane; soaking the balsa with vinegar to make it pliable. Normally you wet the convex side of the curve where the grain swells and helps form the curve in the direction you want, but this balsa is so bad I soaked both sides. I used this balsa to build the bomber's fuselage and it was just awful. I scrapped all of it for the wing skinning and bought all new material. This is not that good stuff. I had to find pieces that weren't already split. After soaking them I glued them down with both thin and medium CA. I estimated the corner joint on the first piece by holding a straight edge held as close as I could with the diagonals I drew on the roof and used a #11 blade to cut it that shape. I then used that newly cut edge to trace the intersecting next piece and trimmed accordingly.

    This was much easier to do on SketchUp. You skin both edges and click on "Intersect object with model" and it puts lines on the drawing where the parts contact one another. You just erase the extraneous edges and you have a perfect junction. It's a bit harder in real life.

    Name:  NH Mansard Roof WIP 2.JPG
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    I ran out of time and have one more face to install. I will finish sand the corners and the base and then paper them over with first, black construction (tar) paper, and then with Rusty Stumps Victorian Fish Scale Shingles. Before I do that, I will paint the exposed portions. I also cut the upper roof flat, and then will cut the slightly pitched actual upper roof surfaces and their triangular supports. These too were laid out from SketchUp. I will put up a barrier board around the roof's perimeter (rain gutter). Downspouts will connect to scuppers.

    I have a lot of errands run tomorrow and Friday which may curtail a lot of shop time, but I'll try.

  12. #1302
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    Just an FYI on materials. While cleaning out 'stuff' from my house, I had a few clip boards. The ones I had were made from thin Masonite. I thought worth keeping so I cut the metal clip off and added the board to my stock pile. Building your roof made me think if this so... for what its worth.

  13. #1303
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    NH: Roof Construction Ends

    Good quality Masonite is an excellent material. The angled roof supports you'll see further down on this post are made of 1/8" German Masonite that I bought when living there. It is significantly higher quality than the material I'm now buying at THD and Lowe's.

    Finally got a couple of hours work out of rapidly-growing #2 grandson. He leaves on Saturday to visit other set of grandparents in California, and when they return school soon starts, so this session may have been it for a while. He turned 14 in June. That is not a real Herman Miller Eames Chair he's sitting on. It's a 40 year old knockoff we bought in the late 70s. The real one is upstairs without it's bottom cushion since a button popped off and it was sent back to H-M 5 weeks ago. They take a lonnnnnnng time to do warranty work.

    Name:  NH Helper Making People.JPG
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    He made some sugar dispensers and napkin holders and then started working on the first person. Making O'scale people from scratch is not for the faint hearted and I really wonder how Artista does it. Sugar dispensers are clear scrap plastic model sprue paint the that Molotow Chrome Pen and some white put on with a toothpick.

    Name:  NH Suger Containers and Napkin Holders.JPG
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    I probably will need to make the people because at some time in the not-to-distant future they would be on the critical path and will hold up buttoning up the building.

    While grandson was doing his work, I was continuing to work on the Mansard roof. I glued on the upper roof base and trimmed the edges to conform to the curved lower roof. I then cut from patterns the upper pitched roof panels and the angle supports that lie underneath. I had to sand and trim the supports so they were all the same. This picture shows the in-process step of the gluing the roof pieces onto the forms.

    Name:  NH Upper Roof Construct.JPG
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    After all four pieces were in place, I added some filler material under each of their exposed edges and used thin CA to tie it all together. Sorry about the soft focus.

    Name:  NH Roof Before Filling.JPG
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    Last thing I did was add a bunch of joint compound to fill in all the remaining gaps and blemishes. This will be soldered next session… tomorrow? Not sure… exercise and then taking grandson to tennis practice. Otherwise, it will be Monday, which BTW is my 73rd B'day. I'm going to use some Balsarite balsa conditioning coating to seal it and make it more secure to accept the adhesive on the "tar paper" that goes one next.

    Name:  NH Roof with Mud.JPG
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    While this was starting to dry, I began working on the turret structures themselves. I'm using styrene for all the construction other than the lower plate since it so easy to hold together with solvent cement. As I was cutting the other plates to support the window sets I realized that the two small edges of the bottom hex plate go back into the building at right angles to the building and NOT the correct angles to complete the total hexagon. But, the rest of the tower needs to be hexagonal. We'll see how this works out.

    This building is why model railroading is such an amazing hobby. It uses techniques from all kinds of model making, even including miniatures and doll house building. It has some electronics in the LED lighting system. It uses scratch-building model airplane techniques in the use of former and balsa skinning. And lets not forget fine arts sculpting in making those four tiny people. I am not good at sculpting and am not hopeful that I'll learn how to do it soon enough.

  14. #1304
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    NH: Turret Construction Start

    Very short session today. I sanded the joint compound on the Mansard and added just a tad more to further fill a depression. Joint compound shrinks a bit so two coats is often needed. I then got back to the turret structure.

    The upper turret roof is framed in 1/8" square styrene that serves as a spacer and the upper structural framing supporting the windows. I then sanded the injection molded Tichy windows on the True Sander so the edges were truly square. I set the Chopper fence to cut more 1/8" stock to make the side framing and glued these to the windows. I had sanded one end of the square stock and cemented it flush with one end of the window frame, and left the side pieces just a but long which I'm then sanding square and flush on the sander again.

    Name:  NH Turret Build 1.JPG
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    And then, as you can see, I ran out of 1/8" stock and will run to the LHS today while grandson is at his tennis lesson. Won't have any time when I get back to work more so it will wait until Monday. There will be some corner gaps as I glue the four windows around the turret and these will be filled with some flat stock that will meet tightly in the corners. I will look pretty good. I will have to glaze all the windows before gluing them to the turret since access will be limited. And if the windows are glazed before assembling the turret walls means that airbrushing the non-painted surfaces will be out of the question since I'm not masking those acetate windows.

    Went to the LHS and got what I needed, but as predicted, by the time I got home from the tennis lesson, the day was over.

    I was seriously about to buy another plastic kit to build; a Takom kit of the M1-A1 Abrams MBT with a complete interior including the gas turbine power pack. I've been looking at it on line and saw it at the shop last week. So I was going to buy myself a birthday present and… it was sold. So if I want one, I'll have to order it and then it won't be an impulse buy, and I'll have to be thinking about it more. Then there's the problem of having about 8 other high-scale models on my wish list and if I'm ordering one, should it be that one? Oh! The decisions that I'm required to make. And then there's more train stuff, getting the Bronx Victorian laser cut, and getting to work on the engine house. Will this torment ever end???

  15. #1305
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    NH: Turret Construction WIP

    Today I assembled the turret's window structure. I had to buy additional 1/8" square to do it and got to work today to finish this important step.

    While I had created a full-circle of supports on the hex piece, this was in error. Actually the hex is open at the back and connects into the attic with a hallway of sorts. So I removed the back two framing pieces and adjusted the hex piece as you'll see in this next image.

    For window glazing I decided against using styrene but tried something else. Many, many years ago I was getting my shirts laundered at a place that included some nifty acetate collar protectors. I ended up saving them and throwing hime in a box thinking that, "someday I might need this acetate to make windows in some building or another." That day was today.

    I had to cut the pieces to a measured width with the calipers, then cut one true end at right angles, then measure and scribe the other length and cut that. They make nice windows and I glued them in with the Formula 560 canopy cement. Dries clear. Doesn't fog or craze acetate.

    Name:  NH Shirt Plastic Windows.JPG
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    I needed to then mask the window frames and acetate so I could spray the entire turret without fouling the windows AND I could glaze the windows AFTER putting the turret together since there's limited access.

    Name:  NH Turret Window Masking.JPG
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    Instead of attempting to glue the styrene window frames to the wood turret room floor, I made a another hex piece that would hold the window frames and this would be glued to the wood substrate. Here's the windows glued to the bottom frames. The rearward view shows the modified hex plate.

    Name:  NH Turret Windows.JPG
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    The gaps at the frame junctions needed to be filled. I'm doing this with some thinner strip stock joined at their edge. I just got the first corner done before we had to leave for my birthday dinner.

    Name:  NH Turret Trim Start.JPG
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    I had to try it out on the building. I'll be building a clapboard wall that will be coped to snuggle against the Mansard portion of roof, continue over the top to the mid-point. I'll then build a mildly-curved roof similar to those that will run back from the gable windows. You can see the added piece I put on the hex plate to change its configuration.

    Name:  NH Turret Fitting 1.JPG
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    Getting the turret built was a big step and a critical one to the appearance of this building. I had to change its dimensions since the Tichy windows were taller than the laser cut windows that were part of my original design. In fact a lot of thing changed when I went from the laser cut to the DIY build. I'll be making a cardboard template of the side walls since they're going to require some fancy cutting to nest into that roofline.

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