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 In-ko-pah RR: New project

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Ray Dunakin Posted - 12/25/2019 : 12:12:45 AM
Last year I got kind of burned out on the railroad stuff, plus had a lot of other things going on. So I took a break from it that lasted over a year. In October I finally got started on a new project for the railroad. I'm building a new structure to replace one of the oldest buildings on the layout. Unfortunately I'm having some bad tendonitis in my right arm which has slowed my progress considerably, but here's a look at what I've done so far...

The bakery building in Dos Manos built ten years ago. A decade of constant exposure to the elements has taken a toll on the structure:

The biggest issues were due to the materials and methods I was using at the time. The windows were glazed with thin polycarbonate plastic which has yellowed and fogged. The second story windows were built so that they could actually be opened, which made them very flimsy and subject to warping, for a feature I never used.

The false front was too thin, and made of styrene. It warped, creating a gap that allowed water into the building. The roof and second story were both removable to provide access to the interior, but this also caused problems with gaps, leakage, and fit:

The new building will be made using Sintra PVC board for walls and other major structural components, with styrene details. Access will be via removable rear walls which will be secured with stainless steel screws. All windows will be permanently closed, and glazed with real glass. The design will be basically the same but with a few changes.

I started with the frames for the second story windows, building them up from various strips of styrene. I lightly scribed each strip with simulated wood grain:

The walls were cut from a sheet of 6mm Sintra. The exterior sides of the walls were scribed with grooves and wood grain, and then I began assembly:

The storefront features lots of windows and a recessed doorway. I built this entire assembly a section at a time using styrene strips. I used steel machinist's blocks to keep everything square. (I didn't have those when I built the original structure, and as a result the storefront was slightly off-square.)

When I tried to fit the storefront assembly to the structure, I found that I had made an error in that portion of the structure. So I had to tear out a section of the wall and overhang. Then I rebuilt it to correctly fit the storefront assembly:

That's all for now, more later.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
robert goslin Posted - 01/18/2021 : 01:21:29 AM
looks good Ray. I like the wood finish on the back wall.
And good pick up on those cheap toys, for the display. Should look excellent.
If they had "for model railroads" written on them, they would cost three times as much.
quartergauger48 Posted - 01/17/2021 : 5:21:05 PM
Outstanding and excellent work as usual from you Ray'..Very nice. The drug store lighting is terrific'...
Ray Dunakin Posted - 01/17/2021 : 2:49:32 PM
Originally posted by Guff

The removable interior sure paid off! Thanks for the hardware tip.

Yeah, I build all my structures with removable interiors these days. It makes detailing the interior, or doing maintenance/repairs, a lot easier.
Guff Posted - 01/17/2021 : 11:43:06 AM
The removable interior sure paid off! Thanks for the hardware tip.
Ray Dunakin Posted - 01/17/2021 : 01:10:16 AM
When I finished the exterior of the building back in 2014, I also made the removable box that will contain the interior details. The walls, floor, and ceiling were also finished, so all that remains is to add the interior details and lights:

I'm taking a couple shortcuts on this project that will make things easier for me. First of all, I found some inexpensive 1/24th scale tool and hardware sets online. These should work well to represent brand new hardware, with minimal work needed to make them presentable:

Secondly, I decided to make enclosed displays for the two windows. This means the only view into the interior will be through the glass on the doors, so I won't need to put as much effort into detailing the interior.

I built the display enclosures out of 3mm Sintra PVC board:

Test-fitting the enclosures in the room interior:

That's all for now, more later.

k9wrangler Posted - 01/16/2021 : 10:40:15 AM
Excellent and exciting to see how nice you’ve made the renewal of the store look.
friscomike Posted - 01/16/2021 : 09:34:40 AM
Ray, the structures look amazing. Nice work and attention to detail. ~mike
Guff Posted - 01/15/2021 : 12:48:09 PM
Always a pleasure to see your building art!
Very impressive!
Pennman Posted - 01/14/2021 : 5:18:14 PM
Excellent reconstruction Ray!! I can see that you use a lot of thought before actually getting into the work. In your case, it appears that it definately paid off for you.

Ray Dunakin Posted - 01/14/2021 : 3:27:57 PM
My next project involves this brick hardware store:

This structure has held up remarkably well despite nearly 7 years of continuous exposure to the elements. The one area that needs refurbishing is the roof, which is becoming faded and worn:

The main work to be done is adding interior details and lighting.

Ray Dunakin Posted - 01/14/2021 : 1:23:27 PM
Originally posted by robert goslin

Ray, you've done a fantastic job of rejuvenating this structure. I really like all the interior detail, right down to a working desk lamp.
The roof treatment is great. Using real rust.
How long will it take to get the final effect you want ?
And that street scene looks great.
Always enjoy your work. Any chance we might get a drone flyover of the layout soon ?

Thanks. I definitely want to do a flyover with the drone, but I think I'd like to get a few more things finished first.

I'm not sure how long it will take for the rust to reach the final stage. A lot depends on the weather and we've had a pretty dry winter so far.
Michael M Posted - 01/14/2021 : 08:46:12 AM

As always wonderful work there. I'm sure many are inspired by your work.

One of the benefits of having a layout outside is the natural weathering your buildings get.

sgtbob Posted - 01/14/2021 : 04:40:05 AM
OUTSTANDING as usual from you.

robert goslin Posted - 01/14/2021 : 04:21:54 AM
Ray, you've done a fantastic job of rejuvenating this structure. I really like all the interior detail, right down to a working desk lamp.
The roof treatment is great. Using real rust.
How long will it take to get the final effect you want ?
And that street scene looks great.
Always enjoy your work. Any chance we might get a drone flyover of the layout soon ?
Ray Dunakin Posted - 01/14/2021 : 02:44:11 AM
Well, I cut a second set of glass semi-circles, slightly smaller than the first set, and discovered that they didn't fit correctly either. Apparently the arch is not an exact semi-circular shape. So I ended up just trimming the ends of the first set until they were roughly the right shape to fit.

The glass was secured using clear silicone sealant. Normally I do this before the window frames are installed in the building but of course that wasn't possible here. As a result it got a little sloppy and I had a lot of excess silicone that needed to be removed:

I decided to enhance the look of the faux metal roof by giving it some real rust. I used the iron paint, and chemical rust solution, from Sophisticated Finishes. Right now it's a bit too orange but over time it will become darker and more brownish:

The sign that hangs down over the entry was in very poor condition, but looks much better now:

The upstairs office has a simple, three-bulb light fixture on the ceiling. I removed the old grain-of-rice bulbs and replaced them with "chip" LEDs. Then I used silicone to glue clear glass beads to each LED, making them look more like lightbulbs and also helping to diffuse the light:

The desk lamp had to be completely rebuilt. I used a "nano" sized chip LED, with a fluted metal bead as the lampshade. A tiny, frost glass bead was used to represent the lightbulb. The lamp was painted gold. The brass tube on the bottom of the lamp fits into the lamp's base on top of the desk:

Now all of the incandescent bulbs have been replaced with LEDs. Each subassembly worked fine, but when I connected the plugs between the various parts of the building, I ran into problems. Apparently the sockets for the two-pin plugs were rusted out. So I had to eliminate the plugs and sockets, and instead used small copper alligator clips to make the connections.

At last the building is finished and reinstalled on the layout:

That's all for now. Enjoy!


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