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Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Making molds part 1

I started molding and casting 10 years ago. I did this out of need for parts that I had built or made modifications to so that I only had to build one really well. Then a mold can be made from the master and duplicate parts can be made from that mold with poly resin. I normally use Smooth-on silicone rubber and urethane resins. Here I am going to introduce you to a product that I use if the detail is not critical or intricate and especially if you will only need to use the mold once or twice. This product is called   Composi Mold . The nice thing about this product is that it can be used and then remelted to use again on a different pattern. I used it to create this wall from a Walthers building that I bought at a swap meet and then found the wall missing. I had the wall from a kit I had bought so I thought I would just cast a new one. The thing to ponder here was that this would be a lot of rubber for just one use but I then found Composi Mold at an art supply store in Edmonton. I did some tests and the detail was pretty good. I didn't use mold release on this particular mold as I did not know how it would affect the product when reusing it.  The wall on this building faces to the back of the layout so any small imperfections like those noted in the windows would not be seen anyway. I followed the instructions heating the material in the microwave and gave it a bit of time for some of the very small bubbles to pop out. It has the same consistency as melted honey when you take it out of the microwave.  The pictures below show the master which is brown and the white resin finished cast.  This mold captures the detail that I was hoping for.

Below is the mold and the casting. The mold has since been remelted and reused.

Monday, 19 August 2019

CNR (GTP) E Class Station

I need 4 more stations for my layout and since the trackage is on old GTP lines I have decided to do 3 E class and one B class. My CNR 2nd class is a divergance from this but I am not sure how much I like the design of the station in Melville. This station is built with 6" drop siding and 2.5" vertical siding on the bottom 3'. The next next 2 I do will be stuccoed. I have a copy of the Canadian National Western Depots which has a one page limited drawing in it. This is a cross between actual plans and a general arrangment drawing. From this I drew up the drawings I used in AutoCad and made more than a few changes through the process. Since I now have access to my friend Ray's laser cutter I decided to laser cut this one and thus the next 3. The most interesting part of this process is how you have to change some of the drawings, especially for doors and windows. There are no commercially made doors or windows that were close to the ones I needed. This also gave me the opportunity to have windows in the open or partially open position. In the past I have just used and modified commercial windows and doors. This time I had to plan out doing the drawings with Rays help. This building turned out to be a much  tougher build than I thought it would be at first glance mostly due to the operator bay, the various roofs and the doors and windows. 

Once I had the basic drawing completed I laser cut a cardboard mockup to test how the walls, floor, bay and  roofs would work. It took 3 attempts to get the main roof over the kitchen to be correct. The bay was close and only needed a few tweeks but the roof on the bay took about 6 times to get it right. So I would draw it, cut it out of .04 card stock and then make some tweeks and eventually transferred these new measurements to the drawing and then repeated the process all over again until I got it right. The picture below shows one of the versions of the roof on the building. It also shows the platform which was tapered to fit the track curve on the right end. This is not where the station is going to sit it is just easier to photograph and work with here.

Next came cutting out the styrene pieces. At the top is the platform which is scribed for 8" planks and the inside floor. On the left is all the wall pieces. The thin parts to the right of that are the vertical 3' siding pieces. The parts in the pile on the right are the interior walls.

This shows the floor with the board tecture glued to it. Also shown are the bay walls in the middle and a window installed on the entrance wall.

T he picture below shows a better view of the floor with the flooring glued to it, this was something that I had tried a few years back on the deck on a flat car but the textures you can find now are so much better. I imported the texture in to Inkscape and then scaled it and copied and attached panels together so it was long and wide enough to cover the floor. I then printed it out. Next I srayed the floor with 3M glue laid down the sheet getting a leading edge straight. Once this was dry I flipped it over and out off the excess. This picture also shows the window sashes on the left. Under those are  the window sills and trim. The green coloured parts on the bottom right are door trim and treads and trim for single pain windows. Up beside my tweezers is the 5 panel door without the panels in place. The brown curved piece in the middle right is the top of the desk that goes around the inside of the bay walls and just above that are the sashes for a single window. The yellow parts at the top are the roof panels before they are glued to the main roof. The main roof has been glued together and the sheet of paper with the shingle lines printed on it is glued to it. The green thing at the top is the top of a glad ziplock bag that holds some of the window and door parts.

Here the main roof is all together and I am shingling. Three sides are done. The lined paper is created in Cad to fit a letter sized page. The lines are the same spacing that Campbell uses on the their card stock roof panels. I then spray the roof with 3M and attach the paper. The eeve roof panels had the paper applied before I glued them to the main roof. I do not normally do shingles at my desk but on this smaller table that is infront of the TV. I finished the whole  roof during the 3rd round of the Masters.

This shows the roof for the kitchen shingled and the ridge cap on. It also shows the shingles on the sheet of wax paper to the left. The wax paper was tapped to a sheet of lined paper and rows of shingles were applied. A book was placed on top to keep them flat. You just cut off a strip about 1/4" wide, remove the wax paper and bend them in the middel with a straight edge and a knife. With this angle they fit the roof nicly. You can also see that the doors and windows have been installed. And the  glass is installed in the doors and windows - which is spread white glue. The trim between the 2 types of sidings has been added.

This shows the conpleted main roof with the ridge caps on.

Next the shingles were painted red, then the chimineys were added and everything was weathered and then dull coated. The train order board has been added to the left of the window. It is taken from a picture I have of a real  CN train order board that has been scaled, printed and glued on. Once all the trim was on the bottom board of the building was weathered and dull coated. Then the roofs were installed and the flashing was added. The chimneys were made by gluing brick texture printed paper to a piece of wood that has been cut and a hole was drilled in the end. Theye were then glued to the roof.

This shows what the interior looks like with a  bed in the bedroom. The agent helping a customer at the counter and some people sitting in the waiting room. The tabs on the front wall hanging over are for the outside lights under the eeves. There is an interior light bracket that extends from the tall wall to just over the heads of the people at the counter. The kitchen is at the back and the living room is to the left of the office. You can also see the desk that is attached to the bay wall.

This picture shows the Ensign flag which was printed from a picture I found and scaled down and  glued to the flag pole.  It is just mounted on the platform for this picture when the building is placed it will be in the ground. You can also see the scratch built semaphore that I built. The blades are movable by hand. It does need a ladder. The other detail in this picture is the power connection through the roof and the meter on the wall below. The paltform has been painted to resemble aged wood using the process . The green is CN #12  Floquil (this is not the same as the green #11 that is used on CN locomotives) and the cream is Cat Whisker Yellow from Poly Scale.

This shows the back side of the structure showing one of the windows in the freight room partly open.

Placing the station on the layout at Waldron will be covered in the next post on scenery at Waldron

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Cool Tricks part 1

In the 2nd week in April I was invited by Rob Badmington to come down to Calgary and he would arrange for me to be able to tour some layouts... four in fact. When I was at Rob's I asked him how he painted the vehicles on the road in the photo above and his response was he had not painted them but used the process he describes below. They look just as good in person as they do in the picture. The one thing he did not point out in his description was that the truck at the front in the picture above and the truck on the right in the picture below, was that he placed an extra piece of this card stock behind them that just moves them off the backdrop and gives them an ever greater 3D effect. I have used printed pictures a lot for signs, window curtains, textures for walls and floors and building interiors but had never thought of using this trick before.

This  is Rob's description of how he did it.  He begins the process with photos.  " I painted a road on the backdrop to blend with a 3D road on the layout - see the picture above and the picture below. For the record, I used Google Street View to provide an image of what I wanted on the backdrop and painted it myself. From the ( third picture) I used various vehicles captured by Street View and printed them out in a appropriate size, cut them out and then glued them on the backdrop. In the other picture, I used a Street View image from the South Fraser Perimeter Road (4th picture) to give me an idea of what to paint, and again used cut out vehicles to fill the road."
So give it a try... play with it a bit and see what you can make happen. If you use a program like Inkscape which is free, the scaling is really very easy with just a small leaning curve. For era's before Google Street there are main street pictures that you can find and do the same trick with. To stick them to the  backdrop just use a kids glue stick and if you do not like it you can just wet it and remove it with out hurting your paint.
Rob has another cool device he created that I will cover in another post.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Sask Pool Livestock Pens

I just finished this structure. It was built from styrene and my own drwings from memory. There is about 80-90 hrs in to it from the start of the drawing process. The loading can accommodate 2 36' stock cars at the same time. As a Sask Pool facility it would have normally been on the same track as the elevator but because of space I placed it at the east end of the yard opposite the loading platform.

The picture below shows part of the drawing showing spacing and position of the posts.

This shows the whole drawing. I had to punch in all the post holes for the front fence and loading platform into this piece of foam on my bench because the loading platforms had to be built in the standing position. I then used the same drawing to punch the post holes in the layout. OH... to make the holes in that nasty foam!! I first punch them with a compass that I have because it has a sharp point and then with a piece of pointed dowelling to make the hole big enough to get the post in without too much fighting. All the posts are 6" except for the ones on the front to the loading platform which are 8" so the 4x4" stringers to sit on.

This is the pattern I used to make the sides of the chutes and the associated fence going back. I also used the pattern on the right to make all the gates from. You also get to see one view of how the loading platform goes together. The picture is shinny in the middle because I put glue from a kids glue stick on the paper to hold the posts in place while I attach the the 2x10" boards. The hole in the top is where the pattern for the loading chute floor was.

This is the pattern I used to make most of the fences as the post spacing is the same for just about all of them. Again it is shinny from the glue. I just add a little more glue each time I make a different fence and when it is done you can peal it off without tearing the paper. I go through a lot of paper for any build I am doing.

You can see the completed platform on the left and the one in progress on the right. You can also see the marks on the front 4 posts that shows ground level.

Here I have added the stringers from the sides of the back posts to the top of the front posts forming a V. Then the joists are placed on top of the stringers. Once that is complete the top boards were added. Once this was done it was painted and weathered and moved to the layout. Each section of fence was built at the bench and moved to the layout and then glued together in the corners on the layout. This type of build had it's challenges.

All the gates are movable and the slides in the loading gates also slide back and forth. For the gate hindges I used eye bolts and a bent piece of wire for the eye to slide on to. The piece leaning up against the gate is the spacer that goes between the platform and the car.

Each board (2x10") was cut and then glued on. Once glued, nail marks were added in the board against each post. Even the gates have all the nail marks. They were then airbrushed white, weathered with either paints of chalks. This facility only has maybe 4 years of life left.

Here you can see the portable truck unloading chute that can be moved into place if a larger truck needs to be unloaded. Next to the chute there is a hydrant and hose for watering animals.

The feed troughs were made by cutting styrene 1/2" tubing in half. Ends were added to these pieces and then angle iron legs were added. The water troughs are made from 1/4" styrene tubing, painted , weathered and then had water added to them using white glue. Because this was a local facility it was the farmers responcibility to feed and water his own animals.

A 36' stockcar was able to hold 10 cows. The first pen on the left will hold 20 cows, the middle pen will hold 13 and the last pen will hold about 8 but is really for small stock like sheep and pigs. As I was adding the scenic material to the pens I used a horse and a cow to stomp them around to make the marks in the dirt before it dried.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Grain Elevators part 3

Here are some pictures of the completed National elevator. That leaves only 5 more to finish. The office for this elevator is beside the elevator because of a lack of space on my layout. It is not a common position in Western Canada but did appear. You will get to see it better installed pictures in a future post on the scenery for Waldron. You can just make out the lighting rod above the roof hatch. There will be an annex that will go on the other side and will be done in the next month or so.

Here you can see the Rear of the Ford 1 Ton on the lift. The decals are custom made. The driveway in to this elevator is at ground level because of the depth of the cut that the tracks run through. This was not very common but did occur. The small door at the bottom of the wall leads to a small walkway between the bins on the inside.

In this picture you can see the front of the Ford 1 Ton that is on the lift. The pipe coming out the side is for loading grain in to a truck outdoors. Could be clean grain or screenings from the cleaner floor.

Shows the driveway floor and the outline for the scale. The edge of the scale usually has a piece of belting to fill the gap between it and the main floor. The grating over the pit was done with scale 1"x2" glued in on edge. There is a pit under the grating .You can also see the beam for the scale

This show the cleaning floor. Maybe some day I will get around to detailing this floor but I would first have figure out how to build a Carter Day 245 and disk cleaners. Maybe a larger fanning mill. There would have normally been stairs going up to the cleaning floor but because I have cut this elevator down to 35' the stairs would have been to steep, so the ladder was installed.

This shows the back leg and hopper along with the chutes coming from the bins.

Shows the truck hoist in the raised position without the truck on it. The LED is mounted between the floor joist on the cleaning floor. The pipe that is tied up is for loading trucks.

A look at the black board shows that most of the bins have grain in them. The tool between shovel and the broom is a flat piece of metal with a handel welded to it and is used to clean out the corners of the truck box without having to reach over the back of the truck with a shovel. You would just go through the tailgate and pull out the grain.

Here is look inside the office. The agent is helping the farmer fill in his permit book for 1959. That is the LED in the corner by the door. Everything in the office is scratch built.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

CNR 150T Coal Tower

I scratch built this from CNR plans with modeller liberties.These plans came in a bundle from the CN Lines. I drew up the tower on my Cad program. I draw in Cad at 1:1 and then I printed it off at scale. See How I scratch build At the time there were no kits or plans for wood towers for CN coal towers that I could find. There was a nice kit made by Kanamodels although they have closed their business. I do not have any pictures during construction as I didn't take many of those pictures back when I was building this structure.
This is built from styrene except for the wood retaining wall. This dock is at the end of it's life and will be retired in 2 more years with the end of steam.

This is a view looking back from the ash pit on the west side of the yard.

The CNR plans were for a 300 ton 3 track plant. When I drew it up I cut it down to only a 150 ton with two tracks because of space restrictions. In the plan there would have been 2 tracks going underneath the tower. The model is build from styrene sheet and some wood 12x12 beams on the roof of the unloading shed and the retaining wall. There is also steel supports that hold the beams in the roof in place.The stucco is made using the same methods as I used for the 2nd class station. The roof tops are sandpaper representing a tared roof. The doors, windows,walkway railings, chain drives and coal chutes are Tichy. The windows were reworked a bit to be more accurate for CN. There are little cleats on the concrete pillars to tie back the chains. The unloading grating was built from some screen that I had around and I added 2"x12" planks to it so workers could walk on it to open chutes on the cars. The upper walkway grating is from Plano and the chain is from A-line. There is a light in the unloading bay and on the poles at the outside corners of the walkways using SMD LEDs. The track to the unloading bay and under the tower is code 55. The rail on the outside chutes is code 70 same is in the yard tracks. I then did weathering on it using my air brush and chalks. Not really too tough a build except for getting slops on the hoppers right on the bottom of the tower and the unloading hopper. The structure was formed from .04 plain styrene and some tubing for the hopper concrete posts. The raised ground level for the pit was made using foam insulation. This model has to be movable so that I can access the track work behind it if repairs are necessary. I have not yet completed the scenery behind it including painting the backdrop.

This view shows the unloading pit. There are planks 2"x12" that are movable for the workers to walk on to get out to open chutes on the hopper cars and the grating spacing is closer on the left side. There is also a pit under the grating.

This is looking at the entrance to unloading from the east. The rise from grade to pit level is 5'. The unloading track then starts to descend to the ash pit which is just behind the top of the passenger car. There is room to unload 4 cars at a time. The cars are not spotted because of the grade, it is easier for the yard crew just to dump the cars while still coupled to a locomotive. There is a yellow height restriction signs on the support leg on the left. There are also signs further out on the approach track that passes the left side of the tower. There had already been one incident of a transformer on flat car taking out the side chutes.

This shows the back side. This picture is very difficult to get when it is in place on the layout. The chutes will go up and down but I do not move them very often as they are very delicate

This shows the night lighting

Any questions my email is on the about me page.

Making molds part 1

I started molding and casting 10 years ago. I did this out of need for parts that I had built or made modifications to so that I only had to...