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Author Previous Topic: Bar Mills Gas Station at Shady Grove Topic Next Topic: Mike Chambers Wit and Wisdom
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New Hire

Posted - 03/17/2019 :  8:13:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
New Here, and to repeat just a wee bit from the arrival track, I've been accumulating kits and equipment for over 30 years and the time as come to slay one of the dragons. I selected from the collection RDA's J&J Tool because, to be honest, if I make a complete hash of it I can live with the loss, and if I feel bad about it, an injection molded version still is available. So, without further ado, assuming I can figure out the arcane procedures for posting photos I'll get on with it.

But first a bit of warning: work will probably proceed sporadically at best. I welcome any and all constructive criticism, if you think it might offend then please contact me off line.

OK then:

Hopefully there are two photos of the main stone structure in the clamping stage on the kitchen table. This is one of the first kits I acquired and it has substantial urethane resin castings of no fixed thickness. First step was to square up the backs of the four walls, which prompted my wife to dub this project "The Stinky Building." There was a lot of truing and sanding in an attempt to get opposite sides to match, and a fair amount of material had to be removed. In the end, I think I got fairly close. I used 5-minute epoxy to bind everything together, and used 1/4" strip wood in the corners to reinforce things. Squadron green putty was then applied to disguise the seams. Once that hardened I chipped away at things to try and blend things into a hopefully harmonious whole. I also tried the old plastic ship modelers dodge of using white glue to try and hide a seam where the putty was insufficient or else would contribute to rather than alleviate the problem (I think). I live in hopes that the prime coat will hide a multitude of sins.
And here we arrive at something that I'm not sure about. How best to proceed: should I prime with grey auto primer, or a flat white enamel? Should I then follow with a tan paint? The structure will be sited in Southern New England and I'm sort of using the Bradford Soap factory in West Warwick, RI as a guide (the old Valley Queen Mill: more on that at a later date) and that building is more brownish gray than grayish brown, if that makes any sense.

Ah, bugger it! Can't upload pictures keep getting Operation not allowed. As they say, more to follow

Country: USA | Posts: 12

New Hire

Posted - 03/17/2019 :  8:34:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


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Posted - 03/17/2019 :  9:38:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
not which is the opening direction.

Make sure the image is not too large keep it under 800 pixels on it's longest side.

It's only make-believe

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Michael Hohn

Posted - 03/17/2019 :  9:43:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by JWNoank


I added a slash after the left bracket in the end tag.


Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

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Crew Chief

Posted - 03/17/2019 :  11:00:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit ocalicreek's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Those cast resin structures are indeed stinky, and RDA kits notorious for being tricky to align at the corners...that may be putting it mildly depending on how your kit's castings look. I kitbashed one of their kits that was injection molded - far less stinky, but still WAY out of alignment at the corners (and brick, too!), requiring some creative thinking.

Welcome aboard!


My Train Blog: http://ocalicreek.blogspot.com/

Country: USA | Posts: 631 Go to Top of Page

New Hire

Posted - 03/18/2019 :  07:05:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Mike, now that you mention it, I think I recall something about that final slash. Must have missed it in the instructions. Hopefully I will do better in the future. Back to J&J Tool:
The main building has two additions: a brick boiler room with a steeply pitched roof and a “wooden” office but a stone gable end wall. Neither of them thrill me and as a colleague at works says “They all must go” (that is usually said in response to frustration with the Boston Red Sox). With regards to the boiler room I plan on making quite a different addition from styrene. The office I’ll either do in clapboard or else stone. A few years ago I made RTV rubber molds from my Hermanson’s Mill kit, and cut up bits of a wall I cast. I suppose it could be done in brick as well. More to follow...

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Bill Gill

Posted - 03/18/2019 :  07:42:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John, I think there is a build thread for that kit somewhere on the forum. I haven't found it yet, but if Louis looks in on this thread, he'll find it.
One thing that has caught my eye with photos of any RDA kits I've seen is that the stones don't line up around the corners. Some re-carving there may help.
Come check out some of the stone painting I've done. I've used both dark and light gray auto primer and also camo tan/desert sand as a base coat and then multiple thin acrylic craft paint washes to subtly distinguish individual stones and blend and disguise problem areas. Another thing that can help hide seams is either baking SODA brushed into the gap and thin CA dripped onto it. It sets instantly, but can be carved for a short while before it gets rock hard. Or thicker CA can be worked into a gap with tip of a toothpick like "putty". Both take paint well and lend some strength to the joint.

Edited by - Bill Gill on 03/18/2019 07:45:05 AM

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Engine Wiper

Premium Member

Posted - 03/18/2019 :  07:46:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit Railrunner130's Homepage  Reply with Quote
After I built my first RDA kit I swore them off. Unfortunately, I bought a second one before I started work on the first. I imagine they work well for some people but not me. Perhaps experience and time will allow me to do a better job on the second. Time will tell.

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New Hire

Posted - 03/18/2019 :  07:48:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I would suggest using a gray auto primer, or possibly one of the Krylon or Rustoleum camo colors to prime the walls. The use of a more neutral primer color will avoid the possibility of some white showing should the final paint color get chipped.

Jerry Beach

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Bill Gill

Posted - 03/18/2019 :  08:03:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John, I haven't seen the Bradford Soap Factory in the flesh, but did look at a variety of online photos this morning. Depending on the time of day, etc. the basic background color of the stones looks either a pale warm tan or a light gray. The tan camo spray colors I've seen tend to be more "neutral". However, Krylon and Rustoleum also have flat tan colors that could work if you want to go in that direction. Rustoleum also has a lighter gray auto primer. Krylon's gray primer is darker. I think lighter would be a better base if you go that direction.

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Premium Member

Posted - 03/18/2019 :  08:52:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maybe someone has a link to a build thread, but as I recall, the way people were filling the gaps on RDA kits and plaster kits, was to put masking tape on either side of the exposed 'crack' leaving maybe 1/16" Then use thinned styrene putty (or plaster, for plaster kits) to fill the crack. As the putty starts to set, carve the stone lines.

The problem I have with RDA kits is the windows, which don't fit very well and have very oversize mullions.


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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Premium Member

Posted - 03/18/2019 :  10:31:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by JWNoank


Try this:

You were missing the / as in |/img| to complete the statement.


Whoops! I didn't go down far enough to see Mike caught the error too.

Edited by - BurleyJim on 03/18/2019 10:39:43 AM

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New Hire

Posted - 04/07/2019 :  10:08:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Been a long time since we rock and rolled. In between life and all that sort of thing, since my first posts I've hosed down JJ Tool with Rustoleum automotive primer, followed by dustings of Tamiya grey and dark tans with mixed success. I then individually picked out stones with various grays, browns, and even grimy black, and things started to look a little better. Then came in the india ink and isopropanol washes. I think I got a little carried away there in places, but I'm hoping that when I go in with chalks and dry-brushing at the end it will lighten up a bit. This build might not turn out to be layout quality so don't spare the horses on constructive criticism and/or advice.
Next comes fabricating the replacement boiler room in brick, as the large resin lump provided is unsatisfactory in my view. I plan to make a shell in styrene and then apply MicroMark "Aged Factory Brick" paper to the shell, complete with details from another of their papers. This will be a single story, and flat roofed. I intend to square up the bottom of the provided chimney, place it on the roof, along with an RSLaserkit rooftop water tank. Here I have a potential architectural problem: the water tank is fine if its to provide feed water for the boiler, but will be too low to be of much use in fighting a fire on the second floor of the stone mill. Question: will it look stupid there, or is the feed water supply a reasonable explanation for its placement. Anyway, hopefully here is a picture or two of the show so far:

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Premium Member

Posted - 04/08/2019 :  07:49:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Looks pretty good to me. I kitbashed the styrene version of RDA's Easton Mill starting here http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=20091&whichpage=51 and extending across the next several pages of my Eastern Route thread, but the part of it I used was only brick.

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Bill Gill

Posted - 04/08/2019 :  08:12:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John, the colors look pretty good to me, especially if you intend to lighten a few darker areas.
One observation having nothing to do with your work:
In the photo below the two areas circled in yellow look like the pattern of stonework repeats itself. A little selective carving and/or filling with a touch of putty would disguise that.

One other thought about the brick boiler house:
If you use that brick paper for the boiler house walls, the contrast between its very shallow relief and the deep relief of the resin stonewalls might look a bit incongruent.

Country: USA | Posts: 2674 Go to Top of Page

New Hire

Posted - 04/08/2019 :  11:02:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the encouragement. Interesting observation, Bill. I did notice in the stone gable end wall of the “office” which I haven’t used there is a decided vertical line in the stonework that looks like the master was composed of two pieces. I’m wondering how these kits were originally compiled. The DNA runs through them all like a dose of salts. I guess repeats and reorientation of bits should come as no surprise. My only real squabble with these jobs is the lack of means of ingress for employees, aside from the huge cargo doors, which are there in droves.

About the contrast of low- relief v bold relief, the papers I refer to have as much relief if not more than brick styrene or Plastruct, which is what the resinous blob supplied with the kit is comparable to. My uncertainty was directed more at the placement of a roof water tank on a roof below the peak of the main building. The boiler room won’t be a huge investment in time or money, so if it doesn’t work, I’ll try until I stumble on something that does. Thanks again for the feedback. I appreciate it.

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