Category Archives: Structures

Wouldn’t It Have Been Easier…

As I had mentioned in a previous post, I have been working on the background scenes along the lower level. Noticing an uptick in work on the actual layout, my wife asked what I was working on downstairs. When I explained that I was finishing the background scenes after having all the foreground scenes in place.

She just looked at me and said “wouldn’t it have been easier to do the background scenes before finishing the foreground scenes?”

As I have said before here, yes, it would have been. But when planning and building the benchwork I had pretty much envisioned the foreground but not the background. So that’s what got done first.

The biggest hole was at the north end of Jackson. The biggie here was the support post that came right up through the benchwork.

The problem support post, seems like everyone has at least one.

As you can see, it is right up against the backdrop. The track plan for Jackson was lifted right from a Model Railroader track plan. I had changed out a lot of the industries as they didn’t fit my local. The spot where the post is was a mobile home park.  That wasn’t going to work.

Going through my stuff I came across a Design Preservation kit that I had gotten and never done anything with. It was their #35500 Tera Surplus Window Warehouse. Design Preservation is now a division of Woodland Scenics.

Initial layout and construction…

It was a big bag of modular pieces. I started by laying out the pieces along the backdrop and around the post. This gave me an idea of how many modular sections I would need. Height was determined and what each wall would look like – blank, windows and door locations. I then determined what I had and what I needed. And than off to the LHS for the missing wall sections. Being rail served was out of the question. There wasn’t any way to squeeze a turnout and track in there.

So it would be a large (tall) industry that was not rail served. I came up with a design that had a south wing three stories high. The section around the post was five stories and the north wing, shorter than the south wing, was also was five stories.

Assembly went quickly. If you haven’t worked with these, a straight edge is all important to keep wall sections even. As with  with the caboose, progress outpaced photos. The first photo is of the raw walls assembled and set in place.

Basic construction done and doing a test fit. Also planning on where the cork base will be needed.
View from the other side.

You can also see the sheet styrene that acts as the foundation and extends out as the driveway. I then added the outside steps, base for the external tanks, smokestack and loading docks. Once those were placed or figured out I trimmed the base styrene. Then I placed it along with cork sheet (to bring it up to level to match the roadway)  and marked the cuts. That done I cut the cork and nailed it in place.

Adding the cork base to bring it up to height.

With that done I started adding more details. I added a roof over the loading dock and cut and fit roof sections to the different parts of the building. I also planned out external details and drilled holes to mount them. These included roof vents and blowers, external wall mounted blowers and duct work. Additionally, there is a pair of external tanks with piping.

On the bench trimming the styrene to size.
Test fir after cork install.
Alternate view of test fit.
The foundation for the outside tanks. Numbers aren’t measurements, but number of windows needed.

The last photo is the base for the for the tanks. The numbers there are not measurements, rather they are the window count. Yes, there are 82 windows as well as  2 exterior doors and 2 dock doors. The actual roof over the dock was not added to the frames at this time to make painting easier.

Off to the spray booth…

Then it was off to the paint booth. The building was bigger than my paint booth and made painting interesting. As the primer was drying I cut the windows and doors off of their sprues. I cleaned up all the flashing on the parts and then they headed to the spray booth also.

Primer coat on, waiting for it to dry. Then it’ll be time to paint.
Alternate view of primed building.
The 82 windows, 2 doors, 2 dock doors and details in the booth with primer coat on.

After the primer was dry I airbrushed the building the final color. I also airbrushed the windows, doors and details. I hand painted the window sills (concrete under window frames). The smokestack was painted at the same time. I then masked off the side wall for the company name (sorry, should have shot pictures for this). This is done by masking off a large section and painting it white. I then mask off the white border and I then apply vinyl stick-on lettering for the company name. It was then over coated with the black. I let the black dry for maybe 15 minutes and then start peeling (carefully) the lettering and masking tape off.

And here is the painted building on the bench.

Painted with windows and tanks installed.
View from other end with tanks installed. Other details will be added to external walls.

With the paint done and before the final details were installed it was time to install the lights. Instead of any kind of interior details I decided to use the Woodland Scenics Light Diffusing Film. The instruction aren’t as straight forward, but once you figure out what they want you to do they made sense. I would add that you should wipe down the interior to clean any paint dust off the surface so the glue dots (supplied) will stick. I use Polly S plastic prep, but as the whole Polly Scale line of paints is gone you would have to find an equivalent. Also, I found the supplied glue dots did not hold well and bought some “heavy duty” glue dots that worked better.

The first piece installed:

Applying the Woodland Scenics light blocking sheet.
What it looks like on the outside. No lights on.
Lighting it up…

After applying the film to the first section, I had to figure out lighting. I had ordered from Amazon a pack of wired LED lights. They are surface mount warm white lights. They are mounted on a 1cm x 1cm circuit board with a resistor and are rated 12v to 18v. There are 20 LED’s for $14.00. Here is a link. For the back wall I used white 1/4″ foam core board. It’s easy to cut and glue in place.

The question was where to mount the lights. The original plan was to mount them to the rear wall facing the front walls. I tested this by mounting a couple with doubled sided tape. There were very bright windows with the light fading to the other windows. I then mounted them to the front wall facing the back white foam core wall. The lighting was more balanced through all the windows.

With the lights on.

There are four LED’s mounted in this section evenly spaced. Like I said the light is evenly distributed with no bright spots.

With that figured out I finished applying the window film to the rest of the walls. I mounted the rest of the lights to the inside of the walls and cut and fit the foam core to the rest of the building. I additionally used two of the lights mounted up in the roof over the loading dock. In total there are 12 LED’s lighting the building. I also added two goose neck lamps over the two exterior doors, these are from Woodland Scenics.

Finished view from north end.
The finished building with all exterior details added and “powered” up.

And with the overhead lights off.

Lights on looking from the north end of building.
Lights installed, looking from the south end of building.

As you can see before these pictures I had also added the rest of the detail parts. These included all outside ducts and blowers, fire escape, roof access ladder and external tanks and piping. I also did some light weathering, dirt, dust and light rust.

And then it was done.

Finished building in place, scenery time.
Finished building in place awaiting scenery.

Haven’t decided yet as to wether I’ll pull it out and paint the upper portion of the support post sky blue yet. Just happy to have it done.

With this building done, all the buildings for Jackson are done along the backdrop. Now it’s time to start completing the scenery along the backdrop.

Up next, we start this process.

Till then, stay safe and happy modeling…







So, here we go with catching you up with the various projects that I’ve been working on. I believe that they should be pretty much in the order that I worked on them, not that it matters.

I started first with the kits from Scientific Models that I had received for Christmas in 2020. As I had mentioned before, they were the Protestant Church #89545 and The Parson’s House #89546. I had built a couple of smaller kits from them, a corn crib and bleachers for the ball park and enjoyed them enough to try some of their larger kits.

Starting with the church. The fit was very good except for two things, will touch on those in a moment. Since I was trying to recreate a childhood memory, I was hoping for a church with the steeple centered on the front of the church. The steeple in the kit is offset to the left of the church. Thought that maybe I could modify the kit once I had it, but not so. The left side wall (looking at it from the front) is shorter because of the steeple and I would have had to track down matching siding and make a whole new wall. So I went with the kit as is.

As they always say in reviews, the fit was excellent and the order of construction is logical. The problem I ran into is the steeple. In particular the roof. The roof frame is two pieces that slide together to gives you a base for the for the roof panels to glue on to. At the bottom is a tab that fits into a slot on the top of the steeple base. That slot is the first problem. It should run on the diagonal from corner to corner. It does not, but is offset. Which then means the roof section is not square with the base. I had to enlarge the slot to get the roof to set right.

The tab on the steeple roof.
The hole on the steeple needed to be enlarged for the roof to sit right.

My first thought was that this was a “one off” problem. But thinking about it, since this is a laser cut structure, the CAD drawings had to be wrong. And since they had one assembled for the artwork, they would have caught the problem and corrected it for production. At least that’s the way it works in my world. The second problem was the actual laser cut roof panels for the steeple. There is a gap on all four sides. Looking back, I should have taken a bar sander and created beveled sides and then the panels would have sat better. Despite the gaps, this should be easy to cover with shingles.

Other than that everything fit well. If you look at the picture of the top of the steeple, you can see everything fits well and tight.

The church assembled and painted.

Scientific Models Protestant Church.
The church waiting for windows.

With everything painted it is ready for final assembly and shingles. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to go about making stained glass windows.

I was also working on the Parson’s Home kit at the same time. I could work on one while the glue dried on the other.

It was full steam ahead on the Parson’s Home when I quickly realized a minor problem and stopped.

The house is built around a core structure, with all the outer walls glued to it. What I realized was if I had taken it to the point of the church, I would not be able to add lights to it when done.

Two of the “rooms”.

There are basically four rooms with an additional two with the front and back extensions. I stopped because I want to figure out the rooms and add lights accordingly.

The house as it is and a preview (of sorts) of what it will look like.

The rear of the house.
The side wall in place.

You can see from the photos that the porch and porch roof structures a quite heavily framed. The upside is I should easily be able to hide a light in the roof structure to act a a front porch light.

And that’s where I stand with these two structures. I have researched the stained glass windows. I found an Etsy site that has a downloadable Jpeg for them. Probably the way to go.  Haven’t moved forward as I have been refocusing on finishing the lower level (mostly) and these are for the upper.

As I said, love the kits. The kits from Micro-Mark’s Scientific line of structures are of very good quality and fit. And there is a great selection of railroad themed structures.

Till next time, stay safe and happy modeling…


I finally received the interior rooms from Roomettes Lighting. I didn’t realize that the company was located in Ontario ( and no, I don’t have a problem with Canada, I used to work for a company based in Toronto ). It’s just mail between the two usually takes awhile. In this case, almost two weeks. So if you want to order, you should know this in advance.

The other thing you should know ( and it’s not a big deal ) but they only accept payment by Paypal. Again, not a big deal, I’ve had a Paypal account for years and it’s usually one of the payment options on all websites. Just was a little surprised when it was they only option.

The sets that I ordered were the Broadway Apartments set for the Walthers Parkview Terrace Background Building( 933-3177 ). I had bought and assembled two of these quite awhile ago and was getting ready to throw some lights in them when I came across the Roomettes Lighting website. I thought individually lit rooms with interiors showing would add far more interest. Just took awhile to get around to ordering them.

Finally here and what you get…

I ordered them on May 25th and when I got the confirmation and shipping information a day or two later I was surprised to see the estimated arrival date of June 10th. In addition I was a bit thrown when I saw the tracking info from Canada Post. That’s when I did a quick check of where the company was located. If you’ve ever tracked a shipment ( and who hasn’t now that everyone gives it to you and it’s easy ), you’re going to find Canada Posts tracking info a little vague and even more so once it hits the States.

But, it finally arrived.

They finally arrived.

Opening them up and it’s what I expected as they have a pretty good description of what  you are getting, plus pictures of the rooms.

So what was included in this set? Well you get ten rooms plus ten Woodland Scenics LED Stick-On Lights ( JP5741 ). The four sheets of rooms are glossy and printed on heavy paper ( cardstock ). There are kitchens, living rooms,  bathrooms, bedrooms and an entry (I think).  They are die cut and release form the sheet with a quick pass with a razor blade to cut the little tabs holding them in place. In addition the rooms are perforated along the fold lines.

The Roomettes set Broadway Apartments for the Walther’s Parkview Terrace Background building.
What’s included: the rooms.
What’s included: the Woodland Scenics Just Plug LED lights.
Putting them together…

In the instructions they note that there are column numbers by each  room. In this case, 1 through 6. This matches up to the six columns of windows (from top to bottom) on the building. I decided to place the rooms as displayed on Roomettes website for the first building. I’ll mix it up on the second building.

As I said, they pop out pretty easily. A quick fold of the tabs, a little white glue and they were together. OK, so I had to hold the tabs while the glue set, but they do go together pretty quickly. They also suggest running a little glue along the perforated edges for strength and light blocking. Did this also. I numbered the rooms with a column number and a floor number just to make placement easier.

The assembled rooms marked for where they are going.
the rooms assembled, pre light installation.

I thought about ( and they suggest it in the instructions ) of adding some 3Dness to the rooms. An example would be there is a headboard in the bedroom, I thought about adding the rest of the bed. Or adding addition chairs in other rooms. Seemed a bit much for something that is against the backdrop. And the rooms have a pretty good 3D look on their own. Would do this on something with bigger windows and near the front.

I added the lights. Their suggestion is to use a high quality tape to hold the lights in place. I opted to glue them in place. They also suggest painting the outside of the rooms black to block light. I decided to wrap the rooms with painters tape. Reinforces the lights and blocks light. Probably not necessary, but did it anyhow.

The rooms – lit and ready to install.

The last step before installation was to dress up the rest of the windows, the ones without actual rooms.

Adding window treatments to the “unoccupied” rooms.
Adding the rooms…

After the other windows were taken care of it was time to add the rooms to the apartment building.

Nothing special here, I used Elmers Tacky Glue to glue the rooms in place. The fit was perfect. This is evident in that the corner rooms have cut outs in the side walls for the windows on the building sides. They lined right up.

The rooms with the lights and the outdoor lights ready to be hooked up.

In addition to the room lights I also added the Woodland Scenics Just Plug Entry Wall Lights (JP5655).  Roomettes had shown these on their finished model on the stairway landings and I liked the look. This is something that would have been far easier before the stairways were added. Spent a whole night getting them fitted in place working around the stairways and support posts.

Next up was what to do with the wires. With ten room lights and four wall lights there were plenty of them. First thought was to simply pull them through the floor and hook up everything under the layout. Bad idea, as the underside of the layout is always pretty congested. Looking at the empty space in the building I began wondering how much I could fit into that space. My plan was to hook everything into 3 Port Sharing Devices (JP5681) and then wire those into a Light Hub (JP5701) . From there the Light Hub would wire into an Expansion Hub (JP5702) for power.

What I could fit into the back was the three Port Sharing Devices. This cut down the number of wires from 14 to 3. Acceptable.

wires bundled and plugged into the port sharing devices.

Hooked the 3 wires into the Light Hub and then it was time to power it all up. I used the Woodland Scenics Power Supply (JP5770) and this is what it looks like…

The apartment building lit.

In planning the lights I had looked at a couple of options. One was to add the Sequencing Light Hub, but I felt that the lights would sequence far more often than normal. The second thing I thought would be cool that is offered by Roomettes is a LED RGB module to simulate a TV.  The module itself is inexpensive, not so much the controller for it. At $100+, I could buy a real TV.

And it’s ready for the layout.

Now on to the other building. And after that I will look the layout over to see if I can add a set to something close o the front with larger windows or open doors to show off the interior. The kits are reasonably priced and I would encourage you give one a try.

I would like to take this time to apologize for the amount of time it took to finish this post. Between the actual work and committing the work to the written word, it has been close to 2 months. For whatever reason, the number of household projects has been far more than usual this year. And there are still plenty to go. I will update you as I find time to get things done. If nothing else fall and winter are on there way and that is definitely a return to the basement.

Till later, stay safe and Happy Modeling …

Christmas in April…

My wife and I are at a stage in life where if we need something we generally just get it. Doesn’t mean that we’re out constantly shopping, It just means we don’t have to think about it. In fact, we’re also at that stage of life where we are looking around and thinking we got too much “stuff”.

So apparently when my wife asked before Christmas what I wanted, my reply of “I don’t know, I hadn’t really thought about it” wasn’t the correct response. I answered incorrectly to the follow up question also, which was – “what about for downstairs?”. Meaning the layout. My answer was “I don’t really need anything right now.”

Let me explain. Early in our marriage, when money was tight, we would shop together and watch what the other would longingly look at knowing that it was out of reach at the moment. That was how we built gift lists for each other. As our situation improved there was less hesitation in buying things and the advent of the Christmas wish list came into being.

So after she “suggested” that I think about and put together a list so that she and the kids had some idea of what to get me, I started to look around and see if I was missing anything.

Turns out there were a few things that I had wanted but hadn’t gotten around to getting.

I follow several groups on Facebook and one of the popular topics that pops up often is track cleaning. Answers range from bright boys and gleaning to one of several track cleaning cars. As I now was running a bright boy over the rails on a regular basis the thought of a track cleaning car over the rails was appealing. But which one?

In the groups this is like asking which is better? Digitrax or NCE? Loksound or Soundtrax? HO or N scale? And the list goes on and on. It is, as I know, a matter of personal choice. Something that you started with, like and stay with. The intriguing answer was “one of each”.

And that was what went on the list. On the list was a CMX Products track cleaning car, a Centerline track cleaning car and a Walthers track cleaning car. Each operates a little differently. The Walther’s car has an abrasive pad spring mounted on the bottom. Much like a bright boy. The Centerline and CMX car use a cleaner and pad system. The CMX car is an actual tank car that you fill with your preferred cleaner. It drips this onto a pad that cleans the railhead. The Centerline car has a cloth covered roller that also runs on the rail head.

Of course just because I asked doesn’t mean I received all three. I did get the Walther’s and the CMX cars. The Centerline car will be in the future.

The cars…

Walther’s 40′ plug door track cleaning car
CMX Products Clean Machine Track Cleaning car.

And they work great. The cars are both very heavy and offer a lot of rolling resistance. To get them around the layout I am using two BLI SD-9s. These engines are heavy in themselves and have great pulling power, The setup is one engine pulling the two cleaning cars in the middle and the other engine pushing.

Make up of the track cleaning train.

Even with the two engines, you have to give them more throttle than you would normally use. Otherwise they can get hung up on high spots like switches and mainly road crossings. But it is fun to run and the amount of dirt they pick up is surprising. I look forward to adding the third car to this consist.

The other things I had on the list and received were a couple of buildings from Micro Marks Scientific line. They are the Parson’s Home #89546 and the Protestant Church #89545.

Couple of new laser cut kits for the layout.

They are for a future town on the upper level and remind me of visiting my grandmother when I was little. I have had a couple of their kits and though the fit is great, I had some issues with the wood being a little brittle. Of course knowing this going in helps. When I get to them I will update.

Next up, my first actual DCC conversion/install.

Till then, stay safe and enjoy…


Not Sure… A Quarterly Update?

Wow, it’s been a while. (Major Understatement). While I would love to say that while I haven’t had the time to sit down and write, I have gotten a ton done on the layout.

Truth is, other things have eaten into available time. Personally I would have thought with the current pandemic keeping myself and my wife at home, I would have more than enough time and money. We don’t do anything or go anywhere. Big trip out is to pickup curbside for the things we ordered online.

First there were the home projects…

Part of it was the home projects. Last I left you I had only to make and mount the cabinet doors on my wife’s shelf system. I formally called it a project on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving it was merely to paint the kitchen. As you may recall I was having the heavy lifting on the other things done professionally.

Yeah, that didn’t work out. The day we were having the appliances installed, we also had the guy who was doing the final measurements for the new granite countertops. He kindly informed me that when they installed the countertops the appliances would have to come out. Additionally, because we had a portion of the counter with a 10″ overhang for a breakfast nook, we would have to add support for the stone countertop.

Yes I removed and reinstalled the appliances (which I had paid to have installed). And yes, I tracked down the brackets for the overhang. Which meant I had to remove the old countertop (yup, paid to have this done) to install them.

Also in there, my wife’s parents needed some light work done around their home and didn’t want any outside workers in their house. I was it.

That all being said, I did get some work done. It was one of those get a little done and write about it or skip the writing and get a little more done.

Where I left you…

I will start with the the drive in theater sign.

I remembered that Miller Engineering had a drive-in theater sign, just not this one. This one was much better. As I was exploring it I noticed that it was a limited run piece. And they were out. The scramble was on as I now had to have THAT sign. I did find it on Amazon without much of a markup from suggested list. Once I had the sign I realized that it was going to need a little work before hitting the layout.

Next project up, Drive In theater sign form Miller Engineering.

As you can see, it has everything needed for basic installation. The problem would mainly be in the gray portion of the sign. It’s rather flexible, plus it had a slight bend to it.

The naked base.

My plan was simple. I would build a base around the circuit board that looked like a brick planter base and would work up from there, strengthening the gray portion and ending with a walkway for putting up the letters on the marquee.

First step was to give myself something to glue to. Using Evergreen I-beams glued to the outer edge of the circuit board gave me a good starting point.

Added styrene I-beams for gluing surface.

A larger piece of styrene was added to the I-beam to give me a larger gluing surface and a little added clearance for the wiring harness .

Additional styrene strip added as gluing surface.

Next I added the brick sides. The brick work is cut from a brick wall left over from some unknown kit. They measure out at just under 4 feet high. Was shooting for 4 feet, but went down to the nearest mortar line for easier cutting. Once in place I cut out a piece of styrene for the top. I split this and cut out a notch to fit around the upright gray portion.

Brick base done.

To finish off the planter I then added plastic to form a concrete cap around the top.

Concrete cap installed.

Two larger styrene I-beams were cut and added to the edges of the upright gray portion of the sign. These alone straightened  and strengthened the upright. I attached them with white tacky glue as I was afraid anything stronger may attack the sign material (I had done the same with the initial I-beams around the circuit board ). So I cut a piece of .040 sheet styrene and glued them connecting the upright I-beams.

Still a little floppy, I added triangular braces to each corner. This finally had the desired effect. The sign was now straight. I then added the walkways to the top of the sides.

Walk way done on this side.

After the walkways it was time for paint. First was the mortar lines. I did this in my traditional paint and scrape method. To recap, I paint on a coat of concrete paint over the brick, let it set a bit and then scrape off the paint from the brick face leaving the paint in the recessed mortar lines . Obviously the concrete cap was painted concrete, the upright portion was painted white and the walkways were painted black to blend with the sign at the bottom of the arrow. I then added some foliage to the planter and it was ready for the layout.

The Miller Engineering road sign ready for the table.

Next up was to find its home on the layout. Not having a sign when laying out the initial drive-in layout became obvious. There really wasn’t a good spot for the sign. So I made it work as best as possible .

Once I found the signs spot I cut away the plaster to the foam. A slot was cut through the foam for the signs pigtail.

The plaster cut away and hole for the wiring harness cut through the foam.

I then dropped the sign into place.

Working on the drive in theater scene.

To finish the scene a gravel drive will be added to the end of the asphalt section. A fence will be added next to the road and drive-in service drive. The fence will hide a couple of spotlights that will illuminate the drive-in screen. A bunch of Woodland Scenics cars with lights will be added to the ticket booth and street turning in to the drive-in.

Though this will make a killer scene in the dark with everything lit, my plan is to add a sandwich board sign advertising a “Flea Market Today” so the scene makes sense in the light of day also.

And that’s it, that’s as far as I have taken this scene.

Up next…

What’s up next? I’m not sure, will look at the images I have and decide. The last several months have kind of been the squirrel in traffic approach to model railroading. Been working on several things, will see what I actually have been recording .

I promise it will not be as long to the next post. Til then,

Stay Safe and Happy Modeling…





Back to the Layout…

With all the kits that I have been doing you may be wondering if I had forgotten about the actual layout. The answer is no, I have been spending time on that also. With the Woodland Scenics kits that I put together I now had a vision for the town of Addison. As the first thing you see when entering the layout room, the bare plywood was bugging me.

First thing was to get the empty space around the outside of the peninsula filled in. You can see it unfinished in this shot.

Looking at the end of the peninsula. Farm on the right and the drive in on the left.

First I had to pull the fascia and paint it. Once back on I filled in with plaster cloth, a coat of plaster and a base coat of paint.

Plaster cloth in place on outer ring.
Other side of peninsula with plaster cloth in place.
Coat of plaster over cloth. Ready for base coat of paint.
Base coat of paint on, ready for base scenery.

After that I started placing the buildings in Addison looking for what looked best.

Playing with placement of buildings in Addison.
Alternate view of new block in Addison.

Once I had what I liked I moved on to putting in the foundations in place. As well as the core buildings I also placed the depot and gas station just off the highway that runs along the fascia.

Gluing bases down for depot / gas station.
Plaster in around building foundations.
Ground color down around building foundations.

I also placed the platforms for the depot.

View from the other direction, also showing team track / depot freight track.

I then started adding the buildings.

Overall station scene put in place.
Most of the buildings set in place for trial in Addison.

However, before I could put everything down I had to get everything wired up for lighting. Which is where I’ll leave you for now as that is a story in itself.

Til then…



Woodland Scenics Structures…

Much like the rail cars I have been building and reviewing most of what I present to you was purchased back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. While at a train show during this period my wife picked up for me pretty much the whole selection (at that time) of Woodland Scenics metal structures.

They are: The Pharmacy D221, Gas Station D223, The Dr. Office – Shoe Repair shop D224, Floyd’s Barber Shop M111 and Tommy’s Treehouse M107.

These are great little kits. I just always thought them a bit small  when put next to other HO structures. Not out of scale, just small. And that’s why I never did anything with any of them except the treehouse.

Anyways, I came across them (again) and decided it was time to put them together. Once I did start working on them I figured out exactly where and how to use them. The pharmacy, Dr. Office and shoe repair are basic 4 walls and roof kits. The gas station comes with the outside details and the barber shop comes with both outside and inside details.

I won’t go into great detail on how I assembled them. Basically cleaned the castings. Then using a T bar sander squared up the walls. I used CA to glue them together. Primed and then painted them. I stuck with the advertised colors for the buildings. The barber shop required painting the interior before assembly.

Floyd’s Barber shop.
Interior pieces for the barber shop.
Woodland Scenics pewter metal buildings.
Woodland Scenics gas station.

The barber shop painted and going together.

Woodland Scenics barber shop interior completed.
View thru the front window.
Another view of shop.
Finished shop with lights installed. Ready for layout.

And the pharmacy, Dr. Office and shoe repair.

The woodland Scenic buildings ready for the layout.

The buildings will be going into Addison and form the core of the downtown area of this small town. The structure size does work well with the other buildings in the town. I am in the process of putting together this scene and should have photos soon.

Till then, stay safe and Happy Modeling…


A Couple of Small Filler Projects…

This will be a quick little review of a couple of small filler projects. I had seen these kits in the Micro-Mark catalog. They are from their Scientific Models brand. The line was reintroduced back in 2018 and they have been adding a new kit roughly once a week. They have some great kits in both O scale and HO.

The two kits I got hold of were the corn crib for the farm scene and a bleacher set for the ball field.

I started with the corn crib. The kit itself is a pretty straight forward laser cut kit. The parts remove easily from the sheet they are cut from and the fit is very good. I did run into a problem with the wood for some pieces being pretty brittle. This happened in the frames for the structure, but they have extra frames so it worked out.

Scientific corn crib kit.
Handle with care, the wood is very brittle.
Base frame work together.
Sides and ends on.

As i said it went together rather well and needed very little sanding to even up corners. I hit it with a light coat of flat white, without primer, as i wanted it to show some age.

Painted and ready for corn.

Before gluing on the roof I plan on painting or dying with possibly food color some rice. It should stand in for corn cobs rather nicely i think. Once I figure out exactly where it place is, I’ll add a bit of weathering to age it a bit more.

The bleacher set is for the ballpark, or rather along the right field line of the ballpark.

Basic scenery in along with the town’s new ball field.

The kit went together quickly with no problems. I still need to figure out how I want to paint it. Probably paint the railings and the supports and leave the benches a weathered wood.

Scientific bleachers for the ball field.

Again, they were great little builds. Micro-marks line has become rather extensive, from little scenic adds to some nice small structures. And granted, they were only sitting around for months and not years (decades), it was nice to get them built and off  the workbench.

Next time will be something more substantial. Till then…



Workbench Wednesday #5…

Welcome to workbench Wednesday #5. These are things I was working on as I was waiting for glue or paint to dry on the grain complex. They are filler buildings to run along the backdrop in Jackson.

As I had mentioned in the original plan there are feeder barns and stock pens in this area. I built the grain complex for the end of the siding, but tried various small industries to fill in the rest. Problem with that was then there would be cars set that would have to moved to switch the complex.

I decided to go a different route. Instead of a lineside industry, I added several small businesses and a coupe of apartment buildings. All modelled from the back. The apartment buildings are Walthers ( Parkview Terrace Apartments (PN. 933-3177). They are perfect because they are made as a backdrop building. Liked the colors that they were shown in but not the raw plastic. So I painted them to match the box art.

Since I wanted to light them and the fact that they were open on the side that would go against the backdrop I sealed the backs.

Backside of the apartments, light block added to the left one.
Apartments from the front, one with and one without the rear backing.

For the businesses I used what I had on hand. Again they are from Walthers. They were a group of buildings I had picked for a main street scene. Wasn’t going to happen. They are simple kits that Walthers had made for them from Kibri. Only a couple of different styles with different architectural detail and color. Since I only needed the backs, I measured what depth I would need and cut off the fronts. And again added styrene to the open side so that I could light them without light leaks.

The row of shops from the rear. Cut down for the backdrop.
What was the front of the shops, now cut down with styrene covering the opening.

At some point in time I got bored and assembled them without thought of painting them. The plastic color is not natural, so I will be painting them (unfortunately brush painting) before installation. In addition all buildings will have something in the windows (curtains, blinds, etc.) so that they look occupied. I plan on blocking some windows so that when lit not every window is aglow.

This is what the scene will look like when done.

Background buildings in place.
Looking from the other direction.

It should be a rather convincing backdrop for the town. The apartments and shops will fill space without really registering in your mind that they are there. Of course they will need a lot of weathering as they are right along the tracks. That, and some trees and a fence, plus ground cover and the appropriate details and it will be a great scene.

That’s it for now. In full helix mode (update to follow very soon) so no more of this kind of work for awhile.

Will post on the helix soon, till then…

Workbench Wednesday #4…

In this edition of workbench Wednesday I will continue on with the grain complex.

Having finished basic construction it was off to the spray both. Not a easy task as my booth is two feet wide by two feet deep and the complex is just under 30″ assembled. The walls are all flat white. My first pass through with the roof was a dull silver, however they really stood out. I didn’t think any amount of weathering was going to change that. So I repainted them a light grey.

In the pictures the walls and the roofs look a lot closer in color than they really are.

complex painted, awaiting weathering.
Alternate view.

Side note: after painting and before weathering I added the shingle roof to the office.

I started to weather the building using Pan Pastels ( I have two sets, one is weathering earth tones (rust, browns, white) and the other has black and grey tones. Really like the thought of them and all the demos I have seen make it look easy. However, it requires a lighter hand than I seem to be able to master. So I went back to my weathering chalks. I’m use to them and can control them better. I did use the pastels when doing the rust color and I think it turned out well. Baby steps I suppose.

Anyways, this is how the complex stands now.

Sorry about the angle, complex weathered.
Main building with dust collectors and grain loading pipes weathered.

I also did the grain bin. I used a technique that I had used on a sheet metal sided grain elevator to highlight the banding on the bin. Not one hundred percent sure I like the look. I’ll let it sit a bit and decide if I still like it before permanently installing it.

Grain bin finished and weathered.

And this is the complex sitting in it’s new home.

The complex set in place.
Looking south down the mainline at the complex.

I still have the large transfer pipe to weather and I have to add the window “glass”, but for now it is basically done.

Since I have the helix now to work on, I’ll walk away from it now before deciding if it needs a little more and what fine details to add.

I will get you an update on the helix soon. Till then…