Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shingle Shed and Shifty Shack 08

Made a few daylight pictures this morning, with a better view of the roof.  There is nothing like sunlight!  Whatever I do with the building foundation, and, the "something yet to be determined" it will go on, I want to make it portable. . .

My wood floor is pretty rugged--it was recycled from an old foundry, and installed as is. . . . so, my penchant for weathering extends to interior finishes!

Thanks for looking.  There are photos of every step in earlier posts. . .
In light of my recent conversion to O scale I am interested in selling a backlog of HO kits and miscellaneous items. If you are interested drop me a note.  Items are being dropped from the list as they are sold, so, if you want something, ask before it disappears. . .I would gladly entertain offers on groups of items, especially the car kits or plastic buildings.  Thanks for your interest.

MFG Number Name Desc.
Builders in Scale
Weiry and Son New, Box Wear s

C&C Crow
NP Mississippi Tower New, Dust s

California Model
Triangle Cafe Opened by prior owner, appears complete s

Downtown Deco 1049 Patterson Hardware New in Shrink, bought after release s
Fine Scale Miniatures Jewel 9 Bartholow Coal New s
Fine Scale Miniatures 155 Coal Dock New, Box Wear s

Laser Kit
Polar Bear Cafe New s

Wintersrun Tower Opened by prior owner, complete s
Beanfield Siding Opened by prior owner, complete s

Cats Head Pier New s

MFG Number Name Desc.
Funaro C 508 NH NE Caboose 1 of 2 New c
Funaro 6005 B+M XM SS Box New c
Funaro 6914 Abbots Twin Tank Milk New c
Funaro 6750 War Emergency Hopper New c
Funaro 1049 Dairyman's Milk New c
Funaro 6970 J+L Coal Tar Tank New c
Funaro 6321 DLW 1924 Phoebe Snow New c
Funaro 7030 National Oil w/AB Brake New c
Funaro 6181 Wood Sealy Hopper New c
Funaro 3052 Wabash Box Unwrapped, may be damaged but looks OK c
Funaro 7084 Wabash Auto Box New c
Funaro 7090 Erie Covered Hopper New c
Funaro 6650 GTW Auto Box New c
Funaro 6590 B+M Well Hole Flat New c
Funaro C508 NH NE Caboose 2 of 2 New c
Tichy 4026 USRA SS Box Westerfield Decal Clinchfield c
Tichy 4030 SS Cement Service
Tichy 4026 USRA SS Box Westerfield Decal West. Maryland c
Tichy 4026 USRA SS Box Westerfield Decal NS c
Westerfield 11601 R7 Reefer Orig. Roof One Piece Body c

Westerfield 2501 Comp. Gondola CM+St.P Milw.
Westerfield 3803 Boston and Maine, USRA DS Orig. One Piece Body c
Westerfield 6003 ACF 40' Reefer, 1911-1920's 1911-1920's Art c
Westerfield 2201 Clausen Pickle Coffin Tank Car

MFG Number Name Desc.
GP38-2 2007 P+W Ready to Roll, looks good, may have loose hand rail m
H-16-44 NH 564 Master Series m

Faller B-945 Coal Mine Opened by prior owner, appears complete m
Kibri 9492 Station Reichelsheim Opened by prior owner, appears complete m
Kibri 8365 Row House Opened by prior owner, appears complete m
Kibri 9350 Station Feldafing Opened by prior owner, appears complete m
Vollmer 5711 Coaling Facility Opened by prior owner, appears complete m


Lest you think all I do is play with a laser, I have plans to paint these little guys to go along with the Shifty Shack.  Burros in 1:48. . . .one of those things that is hard to resist.

My wife made some prototype photos of the neighbors.  They might be Burros, but they are total hams. . . (cue rim shot).

This paint job will require a little thinking.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shingle Shack and Shifty Shed 07

Well, sadly, I was so excited, I did the roof without taking any pictures.  I laid the shingles on long, trimmed them with an offset chisel blade, and then cleaned up the cut edges with a little paint.  A little dry brush with white, and I had a credible roof.  Painted some foil tape to look like rusty metal, and I had my ridge cap.

Will have to take a daylight picture.

I went on to start carving foundations for the Shingle Shed in Balsa Foam, but had to stop to make dinner. . . . . more on that one when I get back to it.  Folks on the RR line indicated that they wanted to know more abut that, so, I will have to make some good photos.  Here I though everyone knew what Balsa Foam was. . . .Still thinking about the base for the Shifty Shack. . .

Paper Track

(Yes, except for rails and spikes)

This is an experiment that pre-dates the Shingle Shed and Shifty Shack--Paper Track!  Ok, forgive the bad rhyme.  I wanted (need is a strong word) a piece of ON30 track, and I dreaded cutting little wood ties and ballasting (my most hated task).  I also wanted the impression of detail.  While not to the standards of anything prototypical, I made paper tie plates to match the size of HO spikes, and reduced the number of spikes to something a human could manage. . .

These are the bits on their frets.  Although so much is not prototypical, for some reason I decided to draw 39' lengths, which is sort of prototypical. . . . . since one drawing can be flipped and mirrored, I can get 4 variants from this length, enough to avoid the appearance of repetition.  The notches identify the sections, and let me get things stacked.

Everything was painted on the fret, and then glued together still on the fret. . . . The first result?

Spiked the rail and then touched up the paint . . . the cinder ballast is. . .painted 60 grit sand paper laser cut so the ties (laminated paper) could sit into it.  I sized the ties to standard gauge to show of the narrowness of the track gauge. . .

Not a bad first test, though, we will see what sticks, and what is done differently next time. . . .

I like being able to stack and align the frets, such that the individual parts go down easily, in one swoop.

Aside from the touch up on the spike heads, the track was complete and weathered once assembly was complete. 

I am working on drawing a turnout now.

Shingle Shack and Shifty Shed 06

I switched back and forth between both buildings so things could dry.

But started getting excited about the Shingle Shack, as the end of the superstructure was in sight.

I took it into the light, and it was exciting to see what happened with the gaps in the boards. . . .

The door knob is made from thin solder, with a little paint rub.  The door is paper, just like the building.  It has a paper hinge, but is glued in place.  It could move, but, I figured a moving door was an attractive nuisance.

The window was sprayed with lacquer--the clear glass looked cool, but made absolutely no sense considering the dilapidation of the structure.

After hurting my arm patting myself on the back, I darkened some of the shingles that I made for the Shingle Shed to go on the roof of the Shifty shack.  The trapezoidal roof bits fit spot on. . . thank you laser!

Shingle Shack and Shifty Shed 05

What came next?  Well, I am not sure of the order, but as I recall sometime in here I spent some time getting the glass in the walls on all the buildings--microscope cover slips.  I hate cutting the stuff, so, I designed the majority of my windows to accept the sheets as is and hide the margins.  Then, on the one I absolutely needed to cut, I managed to improve my skills--so perhaps I will be more willing to cut next time. 

Here is the Shingle Shed being glued together:

One nice thing about O scale is that you can use real tools when putting it together.  After building a canoe for a friend's film last summer I had plenty of spring clamps.  I am looking forward to getting the roof on this one, since the reflections in the glass will show off the double hung windows, also in paper.  If you look at the interior image, you can see the squares cut to hold the slide cover slips.  I painted the mullions on both sides to strengthen them.

HO Scale brick building

I love historic brick structures, and, wanted to see what I could do with a simple vector cut pattern.  At first, I tried a more elaborate photo pattern, but decided it just was not worth it in terms of cut time.  I settled on something I thought was pretty cool: laser cutting laminated material.

I began by gluing a sheet of railroad board to a sheet of chip board, and adjusting my cut so that the laser would just cut through the railroad board.  One interesting out fall is that enough white showed from the railroad board (without char) that I could use it as mortar by just painting the surface.

The other interesting thing is that it is possible to cut all kinds of detailed brick work--vector files are so fast and easy to draw.  I did test a stronger cut at the edges and corners, but burn out caused by the laser dwelling in one spot made this effect not worth the effort--maybe in acrylic, but not paper.  That said, laser etching acrylic with such a tight pattern induces serious warp (experience talking).

Otherwise it is just a stack model.


The next experiment will be to pre-color the bricks with paint, and then cut through the paint--cool idea alert--how neat would it be to paint a brick wall before assembling anything?

I have an O scale building to try this on, but, it will have to wait till I finish a couple other things.

Shingle Shack and Shifty Shed 04

Lets skip the part where the attachments to my frets were too fine, and the pieces fell out--is that cool with you?  In any case, next step was to cut the well fretted walls.  I designed the boards such that marks representing nail holes would line up with the framing.  The boards are separate, but are joined by paper bridges that will be later hidden by trim.  Some boards were deliberately separated from others in groups so that they would end up with different paint characteristics.  Everything was cut from "railroad board", AKA poster board. 

The entire thing is essentially a stack model.  I drew it as a set of elevations, and then extrapolated the layers from there, accounting for material thicknesses, plus a little tolerance at the corners.  I was excited to skew the window frame at a slightly different angle than the walls--I did not want a "perfect" plastic window in a structure that I designed to lean.

Oops, forgot to mention that. . . the Shifty Shack leans in two directions, as if the prevailing wind consistently hit one corner.  I also left the triangulated portion of the roof square to one side, as it would remain, while leaning the walls below--a subtle detail, but something I can scarcely ignore having seen this sort of thing in the field. . . 

After a spray painting with "Chocolate brown", I proceeded to paint the walls with acrylics.  The spray paint is an important step, as it seals the paper.  That said, I let it soak in, and apply just enough to color it brown--not so much it sits on the surface.  

Rewind 20+ years: one of my illustration teachers taught me to water color on hot press (smooth paper).  The paint stays wet longer, and pigment settles out in interesting ways.  You can easily apply and lift paint.  While not the same, I used pretty wet streaks of white, black, and burnt sienna paint on the wall.  It was applied and removed with a fan brush that I attacked with an Exacto. . . Anyway, I always say a thank you to Fritz for showing me how he handled paint--it was an eye opener that impacts me subtly to this day.  

On to assembly!

You can see in the following photos how the separated boards keyed together.

The paint looks a little rough there, but when trim is applied with other details, your eye does a lot to complete the illusion of weathered boards.  The representations of the locations where nails might be present (I don't dare call them nail holes" help I think.  It adds a bit of detail to something otherwise utterly simple.

Shingle Shack and Shifty Shed 03

I shingled and shingled my heart out, only to discover that I should have had the sense to reinforce things.  Cue screeching tires while I got some Masonite scraps and did an impromptu interior structure.  Knew I should of done it first, but I was just so darn excited!  Oh well.  Somebody, me, had to take a break and switch to the other model.  Cue Shifty Shack. . . .  .

First go around, I cut the frame for the Shifty Shack from Cinch Board, similar to chip board, but has an interesting cross section that is very absorbent on the cut edge.  By the time I primed the edges there was serious paint build up on the other surfaces, now good.  Skipping ahead thanks to the fact I am doing these first posts after the fact, I switched to acrylic. . . .ahhh, that worked better.

I etched detail on what would be the interior.  The thin cross section (almost a perfect scale 2x4) was made possible by having the laser skip around from place to place, and make multiple passes, thus allowing heat to dissipate while I cut.  I first glued it with solvent, but quickly decided that CA would get me moving to the next step faster!

I hit it all with good ol' rusty metal primer.  It sticks, and is a good base color for wood, and for rust, depending on how one finishes it.


Shingle Shack and Shifty Shed 02

Getting down to brass tacks, I am an architect, and, I have access to a good model shop that features a small laser engraver which can cut paper with ease.  I am also comfortable with several cad programs: it was a natural for me to start drawing.  I drew my materials in cad, then multiplied them by 48, so I would them measurable in 1:1.  I draw 1:1 all day, and, it is nice to have a graphic example of just how big each possible material I can cut in is.

I drew the Shifty Shack first, and went on to draw the shingle shed.  For purposes of catching you all up in good time, I will give you the readers digest version. . .

I went on to lay everything out on "frets" which support the paper parts while I paint.  I left small uncut sections to keep the parts attached, which also keeps them organized until needed.

I also drew shingles, and laid them out on sheets.  In addition to cutting the shingles, I also created masks, so I could use rattle can paints to undercoat the shingles with a variety of colors.  These sprayed stripes correspond to the cuts on the shingle sheets, which made the base painting a snap.
Where parts were delicate or hard to handle, such as window sills, I made small handles to hold them until glued.  The handles were a big help, the flexibility of the paper allowed the handles to be bent as parts were applied.  

I started stacking and painting the various parts on the Shingle Shed next.

Everything was first undercoated with brown rattle can paint to pre-color and seal the paper.  That was followed by acrylics, and dry brushing.  

I am a big fan of paint and weather as you go, so that the entire thing appears before your eyes.  I like to avoid the high stakes game building the entire thing in a pristine state, followed by a session of weathering. Who wants to spend a ton of time building something, only to have the stress of distressing it after the fact. . . not me.  Can't always do it this way, but it is nice when you can.

More in a minute!

Shingle Shack and Shifty Shed 01

Perhaps we should catch up a bit before we get going.  I am going to roll back, and make a few posts to bring everyone up to the current state of affairs! 

Meet the Shifty Shack, as it stands on my kitchen table.  Been working on this for a little bit now.  This, and its counterpart, the Shingle Shed, are my first forays into O scale.  Something I tried after being inspired by some of the fantastic modelling one sees on the Railroad Line Forums.

Read on and I will catch you up to present.