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 Tenement Row by Smallshaw

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Karl Osolinski Posted - 03/29/2013 : 4:50:33 PM

Hello folks,

Been some time but I finally did start a new model.

I've always admired the work of Earl Smallshaw. He has a gift for making creative and interesting models and scenes that I really enjoy. His Tenement Row was featured in the February, 1989, Model Railroader and I finally decided to build my version of it.

Since Earl's model was going against a wall he didn't have to model the street side or even put all the windows in the sides that couldn't be seen. His finished scene is just perfect and it's a favorite of mine. I'm going to build the buildings complete and have the storefronts below the living area all different. Northeastern makes a kit for the three buildings but I prefer to scratch build the models and make them all a bit unique.

Here's the very not complete first building. With my bad hands it took some time to cut out the 33 window and door openings. I used the Monster Models aged brick for above the storefront and I love the stuff. I cut the openings in the brick using my Unimat jigsaw but it was a little too aggressive to use on the 1/16th basswood (Monster brick is 1/8th thick). Also, I cut real glass (microscope cover slips) for the 30 windows and storefront...no windows in the 3 backdoors.

I plan on combining this model with my last street scene (Gruhn Guitars).


Karl O.
Berkley, MI

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Rick Posted - 02/15/2019 : 09:34:05 AM
Karl, thanks for sharing your inspirational work with us.
Frank Palmer Posted - 02/15/2019 : 08:41:19 AM
WOW, what great lines. It doesn't matter how you start it's how you finish. And man did you finish.
ocalicreek Posted - 02/14/2019 : 8:37:17 PM
Whatever works! Functional drawings may not be pretty, but they obviously help get the job done, and what a nice job it is!

Guff Posted - 02/14/2019 : 12:17:38 PM
I love all of the setbacks, different levels and building textures of the new building. The building is a showpiece from any viewing angle. Wonderful job!
TRAINS1941 Posted - 02/14/2019 : 10:30:25 AM
Well the drawing might not be perfect but the building turned out real nice!!
Karl Osolinski Posted - 02/14/2019 : 07:53:13 AM

Hello folks,

Since I finished the C&F Auto Repair (for Chester & Frederic) I've been back working on this larger project. I'm not sure what kind of business it's going to end up being but I do have most of the buildings finished. The backwall staircase was a bit chippy but it's done now and I can start the scenery and details.

A few folks have asked how I measure stuff in a photo for scratch-building a structure. It's pretty simple what I do...I pick out an object (like a window or door) measure it and that dimension becomes the scale. So, if the window is 3' in real life that measured dimension, no matter what it is, becomes 3' to measure the rest of the building.

I make a crummy drawing of it then a cardboard of the building and go on to make the structure... as you can see, my drawing skills are pretty lame. This is the building in the above photos...ouch.

Karl O.
Berkley, MI
George D Posted - 01/28/2019 : 8:01:54 PM
Beautiful work and good information on the castings.

Bill Gill Posted - 01/28/2019 : 6:05:57 PM
Cool stuff and models and info as always, Carl. Thanks for posting it all.
ocalicreek Posted - 01/28/2019 : 6:04:59 PM

I've read somewhere that two part epoxy resin doesn't play well with the blue stuff. I was about to get some when I read that, then changed my mind. However, now I may have to get some since the Miliput appears to work just fine!

I also have some Stadden figures in need of painting. They are indeed beautiful castings.

As for the rest, I second what Rick says...there's just a lot to take in. I'll return later for a second read-through.

postalkarl Posted - 01/28/2019 : 1:02:17 PM
Hey Karl:

Love the spiders pencil and the glasses. The building is also lookng very cool.

Karl S.
Rick Posted - 01/23/2019 : 09:35:19 AM
There's so much in this last post of yours I don't know where to start.
Let's just say Thank You for sharing about your how-to's and new products.
John B. Posted - 01/23/2019 : 09:30:05 AM
Karl, love the glasses! AND the new construction! (Block by block stonework!)
TRAINS1941 Posted - 01/22/2019 : 1:03:02 PM
Great building. Nice mold making Karl and the way you did it.
Karl Osolinski Posted - 01/22/2019 : 12:16:41 PM
Hello folks,

Thanks again for all the kind comments and interest shown in this build. I very much appreciate every response.

So, I've got a few new/different things to show here today...

I was building a very old Concor kit (1928 Mack truck} and it had an extremely small Mack hood emblem in the kit. I thought it would be neat to add this emblem to some other Mack trucks I've built but Concor has been gone for many years.

I read about a thermoplastic mold compound that is activated in boiling water and ready to use and make a casting in less than 10 minutes...so I got a pack of it.

Now this emblem is really small - .019 thick and 5/32 round...

and I really didn't think that the stuff could even pick up such small detail in the tiny plastic casting...but I tried it anyway. I boiled the blue blocks for 3 minutes and then pressed the emblem into the now very soft mold stuff...YIKES!! It worked - I couldn't believe it picked up the detail in this little part...

I got out the Milliput...

...and pressed it into the mold. Milliput dries in about 3 hours and I took the casting out of the mold (nothing sticks to this Blue Stuff).
It worked!!!

The Milliput dries rock hard and I just sanded the little disc down and I had my emblem!! Now I can make a bunch more for all the Macks I've made that need the "Big M".

I had seen a model built by Jason Jensen by combining 3, KC Craftsman kits and really liked the way it looked. Jason is a fine model builder.

I really couldn't get the kits so it was time to get the rulers and the sharp pencil out and get to measuring up Jason's model and try to make a scratch build of it...to the drawing board!!

I got the measurements I needed and started the buildings...

I wanted to change some things around and wanted to add a staircase on the rear wall - like the one on this signal tower I built...

Here's what it will look like...I hope

I wanted a weathered brick foundation on this model so I cut some old Trains of Texas walls 3/8" high and then beveled the corners rather than make just a butt-joint...I used the 45 sander I made for doing this...

I like straight rows of shingles so I glue on a thin sheet of graph paper to make sure the rows stay nice and straight...the shingles are #512 from Wild West Models.

I noticed some discussions on small, needle tip bottles for dispensing glue and other stuff. I use bottles from Techni Tool and put a piece of brass rod in the needle to keep the tip open...

I also have a little tub of Vaseline in my paint rack and with a quick wipe of it on the brass rod keeps the needle from sticking or clogging up...

I finally found some very nice HO scale figures from Andrew C. Stadden in England. They are the best that I've seen and I'm anxious to get to painting some of them...these are his HO sets 5, 6, and 7...

If you want to try a new glue, this stuff is kind of interesting. This is the first I've used it but it really does work! It's very weird...you shine the light on it for a few seconds and the glue hardens. I tried it to hold together a couple roof cards and it worked great. Neat stuff.

Well, that's all I've got for now...


Karl O.

Guff Posted - 01/22/2019 : 09:30:49 AM
Darryl said it all. Please keep sharing your work and methods!

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