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 5 Strong St., Newburyport MA - HO, styrene

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
jbvb Posted - 04/30/2018 : 9:45:00 PM
Until the B&M Eastern Route was abandoned through Newburyport, Strong St. was across the tracks from the depot. In my era, it was all residential except for a store at the corner of Merrimack St. There's space for five buildings, but one of them was an empty lot back then.

Strong St. is next to the backdrop, running downhill from Washington to Merrimack. #5 is well below the tracks, just uphill of the area where the Eastern bought someone out about 1880 so they wouldn't have to build so much retaining wall.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
railman28 Posted - 09/23/2018 : 1:50:13 PM
I just love the helter-skelter way the windows are laid out on the right hand wall. I wonder how that happen on the prototype.
Excellent building on your part.
jbvb Posted - 09/23/2018 : 12:41:28 PM
Mike, a foundation with a furnished first floor would probably get it into Merit Award territory. There won't be any contests for 9+ months, so I'm working on operations, the Tour de Chooch and my own enjoyment: Signals and structure lighting let me operate in a dark room, but I doubt anyone else knows the layout well enough.

Galen, the comments provided were informative. The Appearance score was about what I expected - I'm pleased with my execution but most of the complexity was color separation.
ocalicreek Posted - 09/22/2018 : 11:40:08 AM

I admire the intent of the Achievement program and other contests insofar as they push modelers to excel and build better models - as long as it does that. Popular vote contests are more fun in the sense that there's no pressure to document the build, but they provide little incentive or constructive criticism to improve your skills. Do you feel the judging gave you what you need to know in order to make a better model?

Michael Hohn Posted - 09/22/2018 : 11:28:47 AM

From my experience, achieving a merit award is difficult with small, relatively simple models like yours. Everything has to be virtually flawless.

You came close so I suspect there are a few things you could do to push it (or a similar model) over the top. For instance, you could add a foundation; I think I see a little foundation in one photo. If appropriate to the age of the house it could be hand-carved plaster or hydrocal representing stone.

As I watched you build it I thought one of its strong points was is fairly close adherence to the prototype. Indeed, I see that you scored highest under conformity. Well done.

I entered models similar to yours for judging and some barely made enough points, others fell short. After those close calls I only entered models that I built as real show pieces.

deemery Posted - 09/22/2018 : 08:12:37 AM
Originally posted by jbvb

Thank you, Pete and Jim.

Alas, 5 Strong St. didn't get a Merit Award in the Mahwah contest room:

1. Construction: 18 of 40 points, "Interior detail would have added construction points"

2. Detail: 9 of 20 points, "Nice electrical meter and wires, need to clarify which door, which windows were scratch. Better doc - pictures needed"

3. Conformity: 24 of 25 points "Model matches drawing accurately. Nice model despite departure from prototype"

4. Finish & Lettering: 15/25 points, no comment.

5. Scratch Built: 5 of 15 points, no comment.


And that, my friends, is why I have no interest in the NMRA Achievement program, especially Comment #2. I want to build models, not write essays about them. Comment #5 deserves an investigation of the judging.

jbvb Posted - 09/21/2018 : 9:51:02 PM
Thank you, Pete and Jim.

Alas, 5 Strong St. didn't get a Merit Award in the Mahwah contest room:

1. Construction: 18 of 40 points, "Interior detail would have added construction points"

2. Detail: 9 of 20 points, "Nice electrical meter and wires, need to clarify which door, which windows were scratch. Better doc - pictures needed"

3. Conformity: 24 of 25 points "Model matches drawing accurately. Nice model despite departure from prototype"

4. Finish & Lettering: 15/25 points, no comment.

5. Scratch Built: 5 of 15 points, no comment.

I know most of the people who might have been judging, and a couple are forum members, so please don't beat them (or me) up. I guess I'm flattered that my windows were hard to tell from Tichy & Campbell's. And entering structures without detailed interiors might be wasting my time. And I certainly could provide more pictures, but I've also heard judges complain when too much is provided.

At any rate, I added some lighting prior to installation on my layout:

The fixture is a slice from a large clear styrene sprue, bored out 11/64". Inside is an MRC 'Light Genie' #025320 'Mini LED White'. Its SMD LED and 12" leads are soldered to a circuit board about 0.1" square. Its color temperature is somewhere north of 5K, so best to represent a fluorescent light.
BurleyJim Posted - 09/07/2018 : 06:26:56 AM

Orionvp17 Posted - 09/06/2018 : 11:09:43 PM
Nicely done, James!

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 09/06/2018 : 10:42:58 PM
Thanks, Mike. Agreed, Dave. I did curtains and window shades today, then fixed the gutter and made a downspout. Then I glued the roof down and snaked the interior back inside. This is how I'll take it to Mahwah:

The photo reveals some work I wish I'd done better (the other side's attic windows in particular), but this isn't a front-of-the-layout model. My goal in bringing it to this point is a Merit Award towards my Structures AP certificate. And I have twelve more lots awaiting scratchbuilt structures in this part of Newburyport.
Michael Hohn Posted - 09/05/2018 : 11:25:27 AM

Great job on the details. They really make your house look complete.

deemery Posted - 09/05/2018 : 11:22:20 AM
Unpainted wood screens rot quickly :-(

jbvb Posted - 09/05/2018 : 10:18:12 AM
Thank you, Pete and Ray.

I reapplied some of the styrene panes, but the results weren't always an improvement (the attic windows on the other side got worse ). So since this model won't be very visible once it's on my layout, I went with Krystal-Kleer as gap filler. Still some cleanup and touch-up to do on the house, but it needs window treatments too:

I've used craft-store ribbon as window screen before, but this time I wanted an adjustable screen. I tested the ribbon to see how MEK affected it - no change, so this ribbon is probably nylon. And the .010 x .020 styrene strip kind of melted into it. But the first screen came out too small.

The second one fits. This technique only looks good from one side, of course. And because the prototype screens often used wood frames in this era, I think I'll say these got painted white rather than left unpainted.

Shades and curtains next, then the mail slot and touch-up.
Ray Dunakin Posted - 09/03/2018 : 11:36:14 PM
Nice work!
Orionvp17 Posted - 08/30/2018 : 9:56:44 PM

Please let us know on the windows! I have "glazing issues" here with a locomotive....


in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 08/30/2018 : 9:50:13 PM
Earlier this week I took advantage of a cool morning and airbrush-weathered the house. Then I buckled down and worked on the glazing. And then I shot some close-ups:

It was easy to get at the attic windows, so they came out fairly well. Note to self: Fitting was easier where the primary mullions ran vertically. But I fear the Construction judges won't like gaps between clear styrene panes and mullions in the larger windows. I will try again over the weekend, but I may have to fall back on Krystal-Kleer or Canopy Glue.

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