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 S. Pettit inspired engine house scratch build
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Premium Member

Posted - 10/22/2009 :  1:37:40 PM  Show Profile
I had originally planned on using the Stoney Creek Designs engine house on my layout, but that has now changed. Our good friend Mario posted a link to one of his many web pages that featured the modeling of Steve Pettit. The first model featured was an engine house. I was hooked at first sight. It had all the features I wanted. It was open on the sides to allow viewing of all the details inside. It also had an attached machine shop and an overhead crane. I had planned on modifying the Stoney Creek kit to achieve this look, but with a lot of encouragement from the members here I have decided to try my hand at scratch building Steve's design.

Here is a picture of Steve's model:

Photo by Mario Rapinett - http://www.modvid.com.au/html/body_steve_pettit_on3.html

Right now I'm putting together a shopping list of supplies that I'll need. Windows and stripwood are on the list. I'll also get some of Brett's shelf castings and I'll need many other detail castings as well. I already have some castings and the CHB machines for the shop from Brett. I want to light the interior too. I've read that LED's are the way to go. Any input on this would be appreciated. Anything else missing from my list? Oh yeah, corrugated metal for the roof.

After I get the windows I can start drawing up the plans.

I'm excited about this project and can't wait to get started.

If anyone else is currently building this engine house or something similar, please feel free to join in. The more the merrier and we can help each other out with any problems we may run into.

Country: USA | Posts: 23733

Randy May
Crew Chief

Posted - 10/22/2009 :  1:59:46 PM  Show Profile
I seen this recently and thought it was exceptional!
I'll be glad to see you proceed on it to follow along with your pics,
for I to will do something on its order as a car shop on the Columbia Pacific Timber Co.
Thanks to Steve Pettit and his creativity.

Country: | Posts: 722 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 10/22/2009 :  2:47:40 PM  Show Profile
Rick, this looks like it will be really fun to watch come together. Are you going to use Brian's method of attaching the plan to the substructure and then build over that?
As for the led's from everything I've read the amber colored ones are the way to go. I was going to try some of the new ones from
http://www.ngineering.com/lightng.htm they have some really small ones that will work very nicely. The site has all the technical info you could want and if you don't see it drop them an email or call and you will great service. Pat

Country: USA | Posts: 4503 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/22/2009 :  4:14:09 PM  Show Profile
Randy, feel free to join in when you get around to it.

Pat, thanks for the link. Lots of useful info there. Not sure what you mean about attaching the plan to the substructure.

If you're talking about doing this:

Photo by Mario - http://www.modvid.com.au/assets/images/m_workbench_June_2009_036d.jpg

Yes, this is how I plan on building it.

Country: USA | Posts: 23733 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 10/22/2009 :  4:21:36 PM  Show Profile
Rick, in the dvd that Scott mason did with Brian he actually uses the drawn plans and attaches them to cardstock and builds right over/on this. It becomes part of the structure, he uses graph paper to draw the plans which help him with keeping this straight and true. Now that I got a better look at some other pics this will not work in this case as everything will be stick build because of the open frame. Pat

Edited by - belg on 10/22/2009 4:23:19 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 4503 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/22/2009 :  4:27:47 PM  Show Profile
Pat, I never saw the DVD so I'm not familiar with that technique. No, I don't plan on doing it that way. I would think because this structure will be open you would see the card stock unless you were to do both sides. This would add to the cost and would take more time to do.

Country: USA | Posts: 23733 Go to Top of Page

Frederic Testard

Premium Member

Posted - 10/22/2009 :  6:00:50 PM  Show Profile
This is an exciting project, Rick. I'm looking forward to see your own version of this smart facility.

Country: France | Posts: 17652 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/22/2009 :  6:46:12 PM  Show Profile
That is a great sample structure. I will be following along with great interest as an Engine house is on my to do list.

Country: USA | Posts: 11671 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 10/22/2009 :  6:57:08 PM  Show Profile
Same here, I find this very exciting and inspiring!



Country: USA | Posts: 5863 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 10/22/2009 :  10:12:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit UKGuy's Homepage  Send UKGuy a Yahoo! Message
Rick, I am really pleased that you decided to take the plunge and scratchbuild this structure, I am sure from your past work that this will be an exceptional model.

Although this is not exactly what I 'want' it has all of the elements of something that I would like to build (someday) and I am looking forward to following along and learning a bunch of stuff as you progress.

Obviously post lots of photos and throw in some info as you build, this will probably be the first topic I 'subscribe' to, just so I dont miss anything.


Country: USA | Posts: 6277 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 10/23/2009 :  06:43:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit railphotog's Homepage
Don't overlook Rusty Rails for detail parts, he has some excellent cabinets and workbenches on his site in both HO and O scales. http://rustyrail.com/ No connections, just a happy customer!

Bob Boudreau
My model railroad photography website:

Country: Canada | Posts: 4027 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/23/2009 :  08:46:47 AM  Show Profile
I'm glad to see so many interested in this project. This is good motivation for me. I just hope I don't let you guys down.

Bob, thanks for the link. Definitely some things there I could use.

I studied Mario's pictures last night and it looks like the trickiest part of the construction will be the change in angles of the two roofs. I've got a pretty good idea of how it was done, just need to draw accurate plans to get it right.
Mario said he would take more pictures. This is going to be a big help. Love that guy. Thanks Mario.

Also pulled the SierraWest machine shop off the shelf and started in on the lathe. I cleaned up the castings, but that didn't take long because Brett does an exceptional job of casting. I also drilled some holes where parts will fit together.
It's incredible the detail in these machines and how tiny they are. Here's a picture of the handles and gears.

Country: USA | Posts: 23733 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 10/23/2009 :  12:11:13 PM  Show Profile
Rick, As you clean up and drill the castings try to save the dust and little curly pieces in a containor and use them on and around the machinery after they are in place.

Thanks for the invite to post some of my pictures here. I'll take some later today. Roland

Country: USA | Posts: 1912 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Premium Member

Posted - 10/23/2009 :  12:35:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit NVNGRR's Homepage
Another source for LED's that I have know of is www.theledlight.com. The smallest I can find on this site is 3mm. But the prices are not bad. Scroll down to number 17.

Kevin Miller
Winlock, WA

Country: USA | Posts: 364 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 10/23/2009 :  2:30:48 PM  Show Profile
I have posted many photos of the enginehouse. I started with measurements of the space available and drew them on a piece of cardboard,then did a mockup with cardboard and played with that until I found what I wanted. 1/8 by 1/8 stripwood from Michaels was glued onto the cardboard (prestained) then lightly sanded to hit the high spots. Walls were drawn on a piece of typing paper and framed with the same wood spot glued to the paper. Really nothing new here. Wall boards scored with a razor saw, stained dark, dry brushed tan on the inside light gray on the outside. Grant windows were used, but on the inside I glued small pieces of HO stripwood to hide the plastic. I think this shows in one of the photos. All weathering was done with craft paints and Bragdon chalks. I will answer all questions, but this is getting a little long. Roland

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Country: USA | Posts: 1912 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 10/23/2009 :  3:51:43 PM  Show Profile
Roland, really nice job on the engine house. Looks like you have more room still in the main building for details.



Country: USA | Posts: 6444 Go to Top of Page
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