Sunday, June 2, 2013

Company Houses, Ooops.

I just noticed, as some of you who visit my other blog, HobbyDr's Game Table, that the picture of the jig in the previous post, is actually the ladder jig for the Battering Ram project. I don't know how that happened, but the jig for the stilts used the same two squares, taped down, just without the wood pieces. This is what I should have posted.

 You know, when first posted that shot, I thought the wood was a little strange. Don

Monday, May 20, 2013

Company Houses

These are from a competition I started on the Terragenesis site last June. The theme was objects in a row, and they had to be closer together than a single one was wide. My thought was to scratch build three Company Houses down a mountain side. As my layout was to have a Coal Mine, these houses would end up there when the competition was over. Though I never started it, I had planned on a Company Store on the slope below the houses.

I began, of course, with styrene. Clapboard for the front and left sides, with V-Groove for the wooden floors. As the back and right walls were not going to be seen, I went with Plain for them. (Actually, I never intended to make any interior details, so  all the inner surfaces would be plain as well. Though I was making three houses, I started just with one to test the proportions. The side walls are 12' wide by 8' tall, with the roof peak at 11'.The front wall is 20' wide.
 I liked the size, and window/door placement.
 The plain back and right-hand side.
 I figured houses made by the coal company would be built using common doors and windows, according to a standardized plan, so I made this template. I didn't want the houses to be exactly the same, just close. This template maintains the three openings spaced equally, but allows different door and window arrangements. I drilled holes in the corners to mark doors 30" wide by 6'6" tall, with the windows being 30" by 36". I decide the pattern I want, lay the template over the front blank, then mark them with a scribe.
 The first house with the roof installed, plus a flat roof over the porch. The roofs are plain styrene. I plan on using paper or masking tape to represent tar paper.
 The second house. Here you see two doors in the front wall. The door on the right has a small stoop, and is the actual entrance. I envisioned this house to have small children, and the left door opens onto a closed-in porch.
 The third house, with a door on the left, opening to a small porch.
 The three houses with the floor joists installed. Also, a scale 1x8 has been added as a corner board, hiding the exposed edge of the side wall. Compare to the picture above to see the improvement.
 The three houses are going to sit on a steep slope, so various height stilts were needed. I taped these two squares to make a jig that would hold the styrene strips in alignment while gluing them. The wood blocks have marks for the various sizes.
 Some of the different stilts.
 The stilts in place, with cross-bracing installed.
These are now packed away in preparation of moving. Still left to finish is the door and window trim, porch columns and railings, and  view-blocks inside. Then tar paper and paint. Thanks for looking. Don

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Quick Update

I know, I had just started posting after a long absence, then suddenly I was off the grid again. A hard drive crash on my primary computer, along with a virus on my backup, knocked me off line for a while. Replacing the drive was fairly simple, but I thought all my pictures were gone. I did burn a CD of my most recent shots (the last two years worth) before the drive went fully ka-flooey, but I was afraid all the earlier ones were lost forever. Then I found the memory cards I had used to transfer all my shots from the old computer to the new one, which I had never erased and reused. So now everything has been restored, and I hope to start posting again. See you in a few days.  Don

Friday, March 1, 2013

Plastics Factory

This is a little project I was working on last fall. It is an 'N' scale...........

'N'scale? When the heck did this happen? 'N'scale? Are you kidding me? 'N'scale?

..........Plastics Factory. Uh, yeah, 'N'scale. For years we lived in small condos, and I collected a fair amount of  structures, motive power, track, and rolling stock. It wasn't until we moved into our house in 2000 that my interest moved to 'HO'. Even with the room for a larger scale, I still was planning an 'N'scale layout (probably based on Lionel Strang's Appalachian Central). The 'HO' was going to be set in the late '60s, with shorter engines and rolling stock, while the 'N' was going to be modern, with lots of big GE units. So let's continue.

Yes, a Plastics Factory that receives pellets in large covered hoppers. It is based loosely on a project in Kalmbach's HO Lineside Industries You Can Build  book. It was mostly scratch built from PikeStuff  modular walls, while I decided to utilize a Walthers' Superior Paper Company that I assembled several years ago. The kit came with two buildings, the Main Building, and the Kraft Mill. I was using the Mill as a Power Company, so the Plastics Factory is made from the Main. It was a little larger than I wanted, so I broke apart all the joints so I could down size it. (The second picture is the box cover, and you can see how much it shrunk, in both length and depth.)  Also, this model would be against a backdrop, so I could 'salvage' the complete rear wall. Normally, I am gifted in deconstructing assembled kits, but this one proved problematic. Besides being very thin, the plastic had become extremely brittle over the years, and I suffered more than few ragged edges.
 The box art. The original model had four windows across the front, and six along the length.
This is how large the full size back originally was. You can see the ragged edges. This one was the worst.
The yellow receiving silos are from the HO scale IHC Concrete Plant. The trough between the two yellow rails will contain the unloading track. The rails are pneumatic tubes, and the wires (solder) couple to the bottom hatches of the hoppers. The track that goes into the building has strips of styrene glued to it to simulate a concrete floor. I also added the loading dock. The little square room on the lower roof is there mainly to hide a very bad seam,
 Here the unloading track is in place.
The white tanks came with the kit. I scratch built the little pump house.
This is where it stands now, though the windows have all been painted. Maybe I can find the time to throw on some brick color and install them before I pack this up.   Don 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Angled Factory

This is another project from Art Curren's book, a factory with odd angles to fit a triangular location. It uses one of his favorite kits, the Burlington Mills. I like it, too. Four basic walls, but with excellent molding, and reasonably priced. The manufacturer made many variations, molded in different colors. I collected them for years, when I could find them on sale. This is cast in white, so I think it's Marrying Sam's Wedding Chapel. Art's model was painted brick red, but as I was building this, found I liked the white.

The basic building is made from two kits. I pretty much followed Art's cutting diagram for the walls. I scratch built all the docks, platforms, and stairs.
You can see the upper roof has multiple angles. The main roof is flat. The walls are capped with some PikeStuff tiles.
 I wrapped the foundation with some Evergreen Dressed Stone sheet.
Building this was mostly a nervous distraction, so I didn't take any WIP pictures, sorry. These pictures didn't come out well either. I'll try to take some better shots before boxing this up. Don

Inspiration from an Old Friend, Pt.12

Holy Crap, Batman, has it really been 14 months?! When I posted Part 11, I never intended to take this long to wrap it up. There are several contributing factors, not the least of which is I've always been a 95%er in most of my endeavors. I maintain a high level of enthusiasm through most of a project, then find it hard to stay motivated that last 5%. (Maybe I need to see a shrink.) I was also a little burnt out, not only by the length of this project in particular, but by model railroading in general. (Sadly, an all too common malady with mrr's.)  And it wasn't like I stopped modelling entirely. If you check out my HobbyDr's Game Table blog, I spent quite some time with my Mile Fort, Sci-Fi Bunker, and Battering Ram. And I actually did do some railroad modelling I didn't document at the time. (I will correct that presently.)

So, what say we wrap this puppy up!

Here we are back in January of 2012. I wanted to make a nice sturdy base that would allow me to expand the parking lot and railroad access around the building. I made it out of some white wall panelling (plain side up), and some one-bys I ripped from some 2x6 southern yellow pine (several years old, and very stable). The top was glued, then stapled to the frame. The pneumatic staples tend to pucker the panelling, and you can see where I had to sand everything flush.
Here is the cardboard template I pieced together so I could cut the parking lot out of a single piece of styrene. (It eventually took two, but only one joint is pretty good.)
Yeah, Artz Partz, in honor of my inspiration, Art Curren. I made these two decals with Print Shop. This first one is a more modern design on the new addition of the factory..........
 .............while this faded, old-style sign was 'painted' on the original part of the building. "Widgets, Whatsis, and Geejaws." (Their product line adapted to the changing times.)
Which brings us to today, with the parking lot paved, complete with oil stains.
A walk around the building.
A closeup of some wooden pallets, heavily distressed with a wire wheel in a Dremel.
End of the line, or at least the siding.
I'm a little disappointed with the quality of these pictures. I took them with the factory sitting on a large sheet of styrene, and all the white may have fooled my camera, which has always taken great shots. I will try to take more, if time allows.
Well, that's it for this project. I really wanted to put on more decals ("Office, Parking, Shipping, Receiving, etc") but I am kind of under the gun. I don't know where this model will be in a month, because I don't know where I will be in a month. Artz Partz could well end up in a dumpster. For that reason, I will not be starting any new projects, and doubt I will be able to finish the uncompleted ones. I will, however, try to post all the progress I have completed up to this point. Don