Post by Ray Dunakin on Jun 28, 2017 21:51:22 GMT -5
I haven't had a lot of time for modeling so far this year, and what time I did have, has mostly been spent refurbishing older models. The newest structure is a through, plate girder bridge. Until now I've just had a crude temporary bridge made of wood, which has become badly warped:
I built a permanent replacement for it. My previous plate girder bridges were all made using a structural fiberglass material called G10. This time, I wanted to try making it out of Sintra. I used 6mm Sintra for the deck and sides. The interior braces were made from 1mm Sintra. The rest of the details are styrene. I got a bit lazy on this bridge and decided to leave off the rivets -- where it's located, no one can get very close to it anyway. The underside of the bridge is strengthened with three lengths of 1/2" square acrylic tube, plus three sections of extruded aluminum angle for good measure.
I sprayed it with red primer followed by gloss black. Then I weathered it with a thin, alcohol wash of gray acrylic paint. Then I used RustAll to create reddish rusty streaks. Next I used Sophisticated Finishes' "Iron" and "Rust Solution".
Two of my earliest structures on the layout were really starting to show their age. The paint was faded and worn (beyond the intentional weathering). The clear plastic used in some of the windows had yellowed, fogged, and warped. Slide cover glass used in a few places had broken or fallen out. A couple signs were faded, and both structures had minor damage caused by a raccoon. One of the buildings still had incandescent "grain of rice" bulbs, which I wanted to replace with LEDs. Here are the "before" photos:
Good thing you've kept those buildings modular so you can touch-up or repair them over time. I can only imagine how difficult it might be otherwise. As for those raccoons, are you sure they weren't fly-by-night contractors in disguise?
Post by Ray Dunakin on Jul 18, 2017 23:14:18 GMT -5
Recently I've been working on a new building for the town of Mineral Ridge. This will be a saloon called "The Grizzly Bar". That's a double pun -- not only the obvious "bar/bear", but also there is a piece of mining equipment called a "grizzly" consisting of a series of thick metal bars used to separate oversized rocks from the rest of the ore.
Anyway, this saloon has to fit an odd-shaped space underneath a mine tram bridge. There will be a small covered porch or patio area attached to the main building. I'm not going to post a step-by-step at this time because I plan to use this build in a magazine article. But for now I will post a few in-progress pics:
PS -- On Thursday I'm leaving for my annual Nevada/Mojave ghost town trip, so I'll be offline for a while.
Post by Ray Dunakin on Oct 11, 2017 21:19:47 GMT -5
I've set aside my model of the Grizzly Bar saloon for now, and started work on a new building for the Mineral Ridge mine and mill. This will be the power house. It will eventually contain a diesel-powered generator, an air compressor for the mine, and possibly a blacksmith's shop.
The major components (walls, roof, etc) are made from 6mm Sintra:
This is the main room. There will be a smaller room added on one side. The floor is 3mm Sintra, and won't be glued in until after I get the roof installed:
The smaller room was also made with 6mm Sintra. I use these steel machinist's blocks to keep everything square:
Here, I've started adding the roof:
There are openings on the rear of each room, for access to the interior. The rear walls will be removable:
This is where the structure will sit on the layout:
Fitting the roof of the side room into the roof of the larger room was a bit tricky. I used scraps of Sintra and some Dynaflex 230 paintable sealant to fill the gaps:
Another shot of the structure temporarily placed on the layout:
The smaller room will only have one window, located close to the cliff, so there is no need to detail the interior there. But the large room has multiple windows, making the interior fairly visible. The interior is built as a separate model that slides into the rear of the building. Because the exterior will be clad with corrugated metal, for the interior I am simulating the appearance of a a wood-framed structure. The interior walls are scribed to give it a little bit of a corrugated look. The framework is built up out of strips of styrene:
Post by Ray Dunakin on Oct 18, 2017 21:39:52 GMT -5
A little more progress on the power house...
I made the ceiling for the interior. It is detailed with rafters, and will be attached with screws so that I can remove it to access the interior:
I also adding some frame detail to the inside of the front wall. This detail had to be carefully placed so it would line up with the removable interior:
These shots through the side window shows how it all comes together:
Next I started on the corrugated metal exterior. I had previously used real, galvanized, corrugated steel from Rainbow Ridge on my Assay Office building, and considered using it again on this one. But this building has more windows and also many more angles and joins, and the steel is difficult to cut or bend. So I went back to making my own corrugated metal out of .001" thick shim brass sheet. This comes in a 6" wide roll, and I cut into 4" x 6" sheets. I heat the sheets of brass with a plumber's torch to anneal them. Then I place each sheet between two pieces of the corrugated steel, and scribe the groove using a dull pencil:
I start at one end, and scribe a short section at a time until I've gone more the half the length of the piece. Then I turn it around and start scribing the other end, and meet in the middle. Next I flip it over and scribe the other side. When it's done, I trim off that piece (about 1" wide), remove it, place the remaining brass in between the steel, and start over on the next piece. Tedious, but eventually I get it all done. The pieces of corrugated brass are then sprayed with oven cleaner to wash any residue off. After rinsing with water they are set out to dry.
I glue the corrugated metal to the structure using Dynaflex 230 paintable sealant. At this time I have completed covering the exterior walls and have just started on the roof:
There is no need to apply metal to the rear walls, since they will be up against the cliff and not visible. In this photo the rear walls have been removed:
Here are a couple shots showing how it will look on the layout:
Post by Ray Dunakin on Oct 29, 2017 22:14:55 GMT -5
Before I can go any further with the building, I need to create the interior details. These will determine the locations of smokejacks, etc. I'm starting with the largest and most important item, the generator. This will be a "good enough" model -- something that will look good when seen through the windows -- rather than a precise scale model. I'm basing it on this diesel generator I photographed at the Diamond Tunnel mine in Eureka, NV:
I began by building up the "core" shape of the engine, using layers of 6mm and 3mm Sintra:
A piece of 6mm Sintra was added at one end:
I decided that the rectangular openings on the sides were a bit too small, so I cut a little off the top and one end to make the openings larger. The rounded top of the engine was made using a section cut from a 1" styrene tube:
Then the sides were laminated with .020" styrene sheet. The styrene wrinkled slightly in a few places when the glue dried, so I filled in those spots with Squadron white putty and sanded it smooth:
Next I added the arched extension at one end of the top of the engine. I also cut and sanded the top of the engine so that one side has a flat, angled surface, as on the prototype:
The next step is adding the various shapes that protrude from the "core". I began with the piece seen in these two photos:
Post by Ray Dunakin on Nov 3, 2017 20:57:28 GMT -5
I've made a little more progress on the diesel engine...
This part was made from a piece of 6mm Sintra mounted on a sheet of .020" thick styrene. The bolt heads were made from thin slices of hexagon rod:
The plastic "pupils" from a set of cheap googly-eyes was just the right size for the disks on the side of the engine block:
At this point I realized that I had made a mistake when I added the arch at the top of the engine. There is supposed to be an overhanging extension at the front of the engine block, with the arch on top of that. So I added the overhang, then extended the front of the arch, and cut some off the rear of the arch. Here's how it all looks so far:
There are twenty small covers, plus ten large covers, on the engine, that look sort of like cookie jar lids. I've been trying to find an easy way to make them. Here's my first attempt. I think I'm on the right track, but this one is pretty rough. I'm going to try making another one, and if it turns out good enough, I'll try making a silicone mold and casting the rest of them:
Post by Ray Dunakin on Nov 5, 2017 23:32:15 GMT -5
I'm holding off on those covers for now, and doing something more fun. I started building up the thing that sticks out the front of the engine at the top. It's made of layers of Sintra with some styrene details:
I learned a lot about the engine from from these two sites. For one thing, it's a 300 horsepower Fairbanks Morse opposed-piston engine, probably model 38F5-1/4. This type of engine has two crankshafts, one at the top and one at the bottom. It also has two sets of pistons, which face each other in the cylinders. Also, the large thing protruding from the top front, which I'm currently working on, is a supercharger.
In addition to powering generators, these types of engines were also used in locomotives, submarines, and surface ships.
Anyway, I've mostly been working on adding all the details to the supercharger. The air filter was made from a short segment of 5/8" styrene tube, with a piece of 1/2" tube stuck into it. An acrylic, elliptical dome was used to make the rounded bottom of the air filter (shown bottom up in this photo):
I cut another segment of 1/2" tube and cut a slit in it, so I could wrap it around the first tube. Later I cut a piece to fill the gap:
A few years ago I bought some photoetched mesh with round holes, thinking I'd find a use for it eventually. It turned out to be perfect to replicate the mesh on the air filter:
I cut a strip of the brass mesh to the proper width, then wrapped it around a much narrower tube before installing it on the air filter. I sealed the ends together with tiny bit of thick CA, which was enough to hold it in place. Then I topped off the air filter with a styrene disk to represent the lid. I still need to add the bolt to the center of the lid:
Here's how it looks on the supercharger. I haven't glued it in place yet, it's just sitting there. The other details were made from various bits of styrene tubes and strips:
Here's the whole engine so far. The orange piece was made from the bottom of a prescription pill bottle: