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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
To finish off the planter I then added plastic to form a concrete cap around the top.
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.
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.
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.
I then dropped the sign into place.
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.
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…