G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a work in progress shot of my old time gas station, my Maui project. I think the add-on distressed "planks" add a new dimension to the Precision Plastic sheet, which servedd as a template. Unfortunately, I ran out of strip styrene and it ytakes days to get here from the mainland. Next time, plan ahead, yah? Sorry about the picture quality. The image is really much bigger and better than this.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Richard,

S' matter of fact, I do. Although I don't know if by larger, you mean, better quality or bigger surface area. Either way, I have both. In fact, when I showed this to Uncle Russ Reinberg, he wanted more detail, so I attached a huge JPEG to an e-mail I sent to Finescale. He liked it, but I haven't heard back from him since. On his site, however, he told another poster that he has a file on styrene modeling, so I don't know what that means.

To get off on a slight tangent, I am happy with the way the walls came out (they are in our suitase and heading back to LA with us in the morning). I wish I had brought more stuff, cause I coulda finished the project by now.

But back to your question. Because our new laptop has that crappy HP bundle of photoware, I am reluctant to try to send an image by downsizing it to MLS dimensions, so if you are on anything but dialup, it would be easier to just e-mail you and attach the photo at full size. Otherwise, as soon as I'm at my desktop, which has Elements, I'll forward, or post a "bigger" image on MLS. Lemme know.

BTW, when we first arrived here we stopped at WM, and I checked out the various bags of stone they had on sale in their garden department. They were all locally quarried, so I don't know if they are the same as the ones you used on your project. Do you recall what theym were labeled?

Back to you...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Tbug. Now here's how I dunnit.

First I got me a bunch of styrene strip (0.030 x .250 in this case) and roughed it up by dragging two different Zona saw blades and a blade from my Skil saw longitudinally across each "plank." There's no real science to this. It's just a matter of how distressed you want the board to look. For example, if this was new "wood" I might make a pass or two with only one fine-tooth blade. In this case I made three passes in both directions, because I had to hold the piece down with my thumb, which got in the way of my scraping.

After cleaning up all the fuzz (and there is a lot!) with what I think is, a suede shoe brush, I washed all the pieces in soapy water, let 'em dry, and stuck 'em on a strip of doubled-over masking tape (I didn't have any double-back tape) stuck to a piece of cardboard--to hold the pieces down so that I could paint them. Once again, painting--or aging, if you will--is pretty subjective. It's what you think the "wood" should look like. I started with three coats of thinned Folk Art medium gray, letting each coat dry, then went over this with three coats of brown. Again, it's what you want the color to look like. There is no plan. Finally, I went over everything with a very thin coat of black, to make some of the grain pop and to further age the "wood." Although this building looks like it's unpainted, in the future, instead of brown, I'll try a thin wash of say, red, or whatever color a building might be painted.

After all the pieces had dried, I got out my Chopper, number 11 knife, some TAP acrylic cement (in a little needle applicator) and had at it. Having read an article in The Gazette about a similar project using wood, rather than styrene, I followed the author's tip and used Precision Plastic clapboard siding, which I had previously glued to my 0.100-thick styrene walls. The idea is to use the Precision Plastic sheet as a jig to hold the individual planks in place. I guess you could eliminate this step and glue the planks directly to the walls, but believe me, it's a lot easier to have a guide to keep those buggers straight and make it easy for them to overlap. Anyway, ya measure and cut a plank to size, lay down a bead of cement, and slap that baby down before the glue dries. The reason I love styrene and liquid cement, is everything sets up so quick and is pretty strong.

Although you could keep all planks uniform in length, say like in a new house, I chose to make mine look really old and worn, so I cut a notch here and there, or put in a knot hole, or mixed up the lengths of the planks--to make everything look random. Again, this is all very subjective, so let your imagination be your guide.

I made one mistake, which I'll try to hide when I glue the walls together (Coming Soon!). Because I am impatient, I glued end boards to each wall--to see how they would look. Now, when I go to match up the walls at the corners, I'll have an unsightly gap or at best an untreated piece of wall. What I shoulda done is either layed the planks flush with the ends of the wall (leaving out the corner trim), or left the appropriate amount of space for a piece of angle, which could be applied over the corner joint. Live and learn...

Hope this answers your question. Now, I gotta build the front overhang, make some storm shutters for the front windows, make the front and rear doors (they are diagonal planks), and build the roof. After some thought and a bit of discussion with Russ Reinberg (Finescale Railroader), I've decided to go with standing seam, aged to look all worn, pockmarked and rusty. Because this gas station is modeled after a structure in the South, I chose the metal roof, because they're common down there. But shingles would be OK, as would tarpaper or even corrugated metal. Again, it's what you like.

Whew, I'm spent now. However, if you have any further questions, holler.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
Joe,

Boy that looks great. You did a very fine how-to also but then writing's what you do for a living isn't it? It shows in your presentation. Thanks for the pix.

I don't recall the trade name on the rock but I'll see if I can find an empty bag still laying around. I actually think it's unlikely you'll find the very same brand down there anyway. The rock in the bags ran between about 1/8" to around 3/8". I picked out the size I wanted leaving the smaller ones.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,007 Posts
Joe,
Great work. With all the time you spend in Hawaii, especially Maui, you should be modeling sugar trains ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Aloha and mahalo, Richard. Actually, the idea of modeling sugar cane trains has crossed my mind, mostly because I like neat old buildings and Hawaii has a ton of them. One day we drove to Paia (surfer town) and the number of old-time, false-front stores there is amazing. Some have been gentrified into health food stores and eateries, but some are as they were in the plantation days. Then there's those neat old Hawaiian style churches and in places like Lahaina, platation-style houses with tin roofs. Plus there are numerous stone buildings. Unfortunately, except for photos, I don't have any current reference point regarding real sugar cane trains, although I get up close and personal with the faux sugar cane train, the Lahaina Kaanapali & Pacific, which goes by five or six times a day. I know there was once the Kahului Railway, which had some serious locos (Praries, I think), but I've never seen much of what ran in West Maui, which is where we are. I have seen some abandoned trackage buried in the dirt in Lahaina, and it is 40-inch gauge. Honestly, I expected Boone Morrison to model Hawaiiian railroads, as he is so into the place. But he's still into Northern California modeling, as I recall. So that leaves only you, brah! Hey, but wait, you live in Northern California and model the Oahu Railway. I'm all kahaha.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,007 Posts
Only live in N. CA brah, born on Oahu. My name was originally Kapuaalahoonioniikealahao (lit: the child that rocked the railroad) because my Grandfather was hanau on the train to Waianai ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all for the kind words. Man, this is turning out to be more work than I planned. In addition to jumping up every few minutes to answer the door to trick or treaters, I spent the evening cutting and distressing the pieces for the car port, and the front and rear door panels (made 'em out of Evergreen scribed siding cut diagonally) and the ceiling of the carport, which no one will ever see. Then came the washing and setting out to dry. Tomorrow: painiting, and y'all know how much work that involves. I still need to make the roof, imstall a floor (in addition to it being merely a floor, I hope it will serve to take the bow out of the walls, which bent because the base and the siding are disimilar and shrink/dry at different rates). The I gotta make six brick foundation pillars (I'm thinkin' Magic Sculpt) so the building can sit above ground (to keep critters out). And finally, the front steps. Here, I'm gonna cheat a bit andf rather than make steps from scratch, I am going to use some Plastruct prefab stairs and just cover the treads and side plates with (you guessed it), more distressed styrene. I swore there would be no interior, but now I'm weakening (or going crazy) and maybe I'll put in some shelves with some cans of motor oil, soda pop bottles and assorted junk that you'd find in a small gas station. Oh, a pot bellied stove would be nice. And maybe a dog. And an old geezer whittlin.' And, and and...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just a quick progress photo of my old-time gas station project. I've been working on the front overhang, which is more trouble than it's worth. Mistakes abound, like getting glue on my fingers and then touching the paint. Or cutting pieces too short. Anyway, take a peek...

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,007 Posts
That is looking good Joe! Better resize the image before the moderator finds out though :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, I got lucky this time. Truth is, I tried to follow Shad's video instructions--about downloading the image into your web space, then making a thumbnail, and finally linking it. But I never could find the icon for thumbnail, despite all kinds of searching, and was ready to just give up, when I went back to my post and found this big image. So who's fault is that? And while it looks huge it's actually only 62K and I know of one person whose images are around 100K. Anyway, I don't understand computer programming and I plead ignorance!

As for my project, thanks for the kind words. I spent the last couple of days fiddling with that stupid overhang--gluing some backing behind the dormer thingy so it hangs plumb and making the trim boards. Lots of mistakes, like bad cuts, etc. I am kinda bummed and tempted to just glue the walls together, put on the roof and let it go. But the anal me has me fiddling with details, so I guess I will paint the inside walls (so they're not pain whjte styrene) and buy some thin plastic sheet to make the roofing, which I'm trying to make look bumpy and stuff. I gotta stop looking at those pictures in Finescale Railroader and on the Terrapin Modeling Company web site. The stuff there is so good it has me trying to live up to standards I'm not sure I can reach. Come to think of it, that stuff that Kapuaala guy does, are in that same category...

One of these days I will do what the other guys do--build a simple box, cover it with Precision Plastic sheeting, paint it and let it go at that. Ya think?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,393 Posts
Joe

The Auto-Thumbnail button is located in the Insert Image dialog's toolbar as indicated in the image below.

 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top