Monday, February 4, 2013

Krueger Electric 01

I'll be hosting the February meeting of the Color Country Model Railroad Club.   It's going to be great fun to share the models with fellow members, and to show them the laser cutter and the workshop.  I've started making a couple of models in preparation for that meeting in order to demonstrate a couple of techniques.

It's a bit of a sad time for members of the club because we have just lost a member and friend.  Ed Krueger passed away on January 24th.  Given that Ed was an avid HO scale model railroader it only seemed appropriate to honor him with an HO scale model despite my recent conversion to O scale.

I started by purchasing a brick texture from Clever Models.  I chose their aged brick, imagining a building built in the late 1940's featuring steel windows and concealed lintels with painted signs.  After doing a rough layout in Autocad I modified the Clever Models texture in Photoshop.  Signs were created on individual layers.  I used the "History Brush" to fade the sign, and allow the brick to show through.  I adjusted the transparency of the history brush, and the layer itself until I was happy with the result.  I went pretty fast.  In the future, I might also want to layer in a chipped paint texture.  

I printed the art on archival paper, and spray laminated it to black railroad board.  From there, I cut the sub-walls from some cinch board that I happened have (I don't normally use cinch board due to the cost, but I had it on hand).  I accounted for the thickness of the paper face and the adjacent walls in my cuts so that the finished model would fit together precisely in a saw tooth fashion.  These were then spray mounted to the paper sides.  

In the midst of that work, I cut several frets of windows and doors for the project from black railroad board.  One advantage of having your own laser, even a basic one, is that you can cut very fine sections--sections so fine that it would be hard to sell them commercially.  You can see in the photo below that I etched the line between the sash and the fixed portion of the window (this particular design based on my memory of small buildings in Providence RI).  

The windows are built from two pieces, while the doors are made from five pieces.  The long tail below the door accounts for the landing and steps that will sit in front of it.  As is my regular practice, the doors and windows are primed with spray paint before being finished with acrylics.  

Starting with the laser mark, I drilled the door knob location to accept a brass wire.  Not the most detailed knob in the world, but enough to create a good impression.  

Working in from the outside, I folded in the brick and added a black paper ceiling over the door opening.  Having the door in place really starts to bring things to life. 

With luck, I'll be able to get these models done well before the meeting.  

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