Sunday, March 14, 2010

O-Scale - Part 1

I know, you are probably thinking - doesn't this guy have enough irons in the fire, why the heck is he building in o-scale?    Two reasons - I am an o-scaler in a way - I've dabbled in On30 for many years, well before Bachmann was making equipment for this scale.  Also, I've been following on the Railroad Line Forums,  the progress of this artist from Sweden building an On30 layout set in coastal Maine.  Besides being an incredible artist and modelmaker, he uses some very creative construction techniques, primarily due to the expense and or difficulty of obtaining American model railroad supplies.   One technique he uses, the one I became interested in trying out for myself, is using artist pastel paper as a substitute for stripwood.  He is able to create very realistic looking clapboard and vertical board siding using paper, along with paper "cedar shingle roofing"  
So, I figured I give it a try and for the subject matter I choose a freelanced basic small wood barn that is very common here in South Jersey.   While many are now in very advanced stages of decay (including my neighbors barn that collapsed during one of our recent wind storms), this barn would be representative of one from the 40s or 50s - a little worn from it's proximity to the coast, but was painted about 15 years prior and still is fairly structurally intact.    So here is my in progress photo - still much work to do, including the roof, but I'm fairly pleased with the results, given that the only wood on the structure are the corner posts, and those only because I got a deal on a bunch of Northeastern stuff on clearance.  The remainder of the structure is paper over a cardboard box.   Oh - except the door hinges - I fabricated those from .010 styrene and .030 styrene rod.   The walls and doors and some trim are from about 1 1/2 sheets of 8.5x11 pastel paper.  The roof will take one sheet to do.   Also, another interesting fact - there is very little glue in the structure -  the cardboard box is held together with some white glue, but all of the siding is secured by two-sided carpet tape.    The basis of the technique is to use this colored pastel paper - I choose a light tan for the walls.  First the paper is painted with various craft paints for effect, and then it is cut into 1/4" strips and stuck to the side of the building.  
Steel mill folks - don't fret - I have been busy on the mill too.  I actually finally got around to laying all the approach tracks for B-furnace, so the trackwork in my blast furnace complex is finished with the exception of the highline.  I also have been working on a few valve prototypes for the By-Products plant, and elsewhere.  Once they are complete I will start casting these.    I also did a little work on the electronics of the layout and some organization and clean up items.  With the weather getting a bit better and daylight longer I hope to be able to soon make some of the improvements to the basement I need for the final section of the layout.  This section will contain the main yard, some other industries, and the open-hearth steel making complex and blooming mill.  Once the basement is ready and the benchwork up, I can start laying the extensive trackwork, including, hurrah, narrow gauge and dual gauge trackage.  I can't wait.

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