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Back in December 1974, Model Railroader published a how-to article on building Perkins Produce House. It was a great article; it included plans as well as very detailed step by step directions. It was one of my first scratch-built models. The magazines at that time really encouraged me to build models from scratch, and I learned a lot of techniques from them.

I built this in HO using IBM data cards for the siding.


It was always one of my favorite buildings and once Doug suggested that one of my sidings should be for produce, I resurrected my memories and ordered a copy of the magazine. It was time to build the 1:20 version!

I started by scratch building the windows.


When I built Matheson Textiles, the large acrylic pieces were protected during shipping by these plastic pieces - they're double wall construction, with vertical beams going between the walls. Naturally, I kept them, hoping I could use them in the future. You can cut the material with a sharp knife and they work well for the walls.


I used Precision Products aged clapboard siding and glued it in place using Welder - a contact cement that Richard Smith had suggested. The windows were then glued in place.


The base was some cut stone from Precision Products. It was painted with a wash of alcohol and India ink. I created the sign using Paint Shop and then printed it on "papilio" inkjet white waterproof vinyl. I sprayed Krylon Matte Clear on top of it.


I went over to the paint store and got a quart of exterior green latex that I thought might be pretty close to the color I printed.


When I redid my MTH water columns awhile back, I saved the hollow cylinder piece for some reason. Now I found the reason. I cut it diagonally, and then soldered it together at a right angle. A bit of brass strip was soldered in place for the bracing.

Today, I put it outside and put some dirt around it.












It's now ready for action!
 

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A fine model Bruce ... it looks great installed on your railroad.

Since so many folks seem afraid to deal with windows and doors, perhaps you could say a few words about your classic double hung windows. They reall add to teh character of this building.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Thats one nice looking building! Great job!
Best, Ted
Ted Johnson
GYT&S RR
(Grit Your Teeth & Spit RR)
Bouse, AZ
 

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Wow, Perkins Produce! I remember it well! Never built it, but I must've bought that issue of MR during one of my bouts of "SOMEDAY" daydreaming. I'd look at that article and daydream about the buildings I'd have in a layout that never got built. I remember that it looked like it would work well between two levels of track!

Which issue in "74 was it in, btw? And did you need to buy an entire back issue, or just the article? (See, you got me daydreaming again!
)


P.S. Hey Shad, the new editor is kooool!
 
G

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that is a fine addition to any layout.

...and, for me your pics were an eye-opener!
with many fine modelled buildings, i saw here, there was often something "wrong". but i could not make out, what it was.
your last four pics made clear, what it was: most models look after exactly, what they are. placed ON the layout.
your model is planted in the earth!
 

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Posted By Gary Woolard on 10/20/2008 10:09 PM
Wow, Perkins Produce! I remember it well! Never built it, but I must've bought that issue of MR during one of my bouts of "SOMEDAY" daydreaming. I'd look at that article and daydream about the buildings I'd have in a layout that never got built. I remember that it looked like it would work well between two levels of track!

Which issue in "74 was it in, btw? And did you need to buy an entire back issue, or just the article? (See, you got me daydreaming again!
)


P.S. Hey Shad, the new editor is kooool!






Hi Gary, I also like this building, and, through the kind assistance of Bruce I have a copy of the article now - it is from the December 1974 issue.

I will build one soon, following Bruce and his very good model of it which stirred memories just like you!

The basic building in 1/20th scale is 12" x 15", the height is variable, depending on if the garage is built under one side; alas I will not have that.
 

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Bruce,

Another fine example of your craftsmanship. I'm truly impressed. Your work and ideas are always a great help to fellow scratch builders.

Doc
 

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I built this building in HO almost 30 years ago. I still have it in storage someplace.

It was my first scratch built building and was really fun. Your picture looks almost excactly like my model.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks.

It would be neat if Model Railroader would scan all their past plans and put them on a CD. They have had some really neat buildings...


I decided the loading dock looked a bit too empty. I had to position this stuff so I'd be able to see it. I don't get over to the other side of the building very often.







 

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Very nicely done. I remember building an N scale version of that structure. I love your execution of the upsized version
 

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Bruce,

Fantastic. I know I can always count on something to my liking from you, as you are among the handful of MLSers (and bums that hang around other sites) who love to scratchbuild, and whose work I admire. Good show!

I too would like to know how you built the widows. I believe you were the one who showed us how to do it some time ago (I have clipped and saved that post), but just in case, could you tell us again? I'm sure it involves using a jig and all, but your window module (i.e. the sash, sill and all) look so neat and tidy and the muntins/mullions are so dead-nuts straight, which is hard to do in any scale. BTW, for my next scratch window build, I am going to scavenge some small pieces of glass to use as a jig, since MEK or Weld-On or whatever, won't stick to it. I've used wood in my sytrene station project and had to unstick some picees with my X-Acto knife.

I'm also curious about how you did the wall sign. Did you match the exterior wall color to the color of the billboard art? It seems to blend in quite well with the siding. The reason I ask, is that in my latest project, which I really didn't need, I would like to "paint" your typical Coca Cola sign on the side wall and have been considering using the stencil and spraypaint technique. But your way seems so much easier...

About back issues of Model Railroader (and by the way, why don't they run plans anymore?), one reason I belong to the National Model Railroad Assn is that members are entitled to avail themselves of the services of the Kalmbach Memorial Library, which has about every magazine on record. For a nominal fee, they will copy any story for you.

You said that you did this building in 1:20.3. I flip flop between that and 1:22 because of size, reverting to the smaller scale for buildings set slightly back from any railroad equipment (locos, cars, etc). Thus my station, which sits on the railroad right of way is done in 1"20.3. The only reason I'm not consistent about scale is size. Those dang 1:20.3 buildings are huge!

Finally, it seems you have been modeling for quite some time, which explains a lot. Or maybe it's just my way of excusing that fact that you are a way better modeler than me. Anyway, beautiful work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, Joe. It's fun to be an inspiration. :D


I've just sent a draft of an article on building windows over to Marc at Garden Railways. He hasn't committed to publish it, yet.


I also have some old pictures over on my web site: http://www.jbrr.com/html/building_windows.html But, it's not very detailed. It does rely on a jig to get everything square. There is some unsticking to do!


I may have to join the NMRA...but the problem is not knowing what a plan looks like makes it hard to request it. ;) Heck, I'd settle for little thumbnails just so I could see what they look like ahead of time. I've been buying back issues from RailPub. I bought some from the 50's - lots of plans back then.


For the sign, I went over to my local paint store and found a shade of green that I liked. Unfortunately, the smallest container they sell is a quart; that will last a LONG time. I brought it home, scanned the color and then used that color in Paint Shop to get the background. I had originally scanned in the O scale version of the sign from the magazine, but it didn't have a uniform color background; so I just ended up creating it from scratch. I found the cornucopia on the web. Anyway, it isn't a totally accurate match, but it looks close enough. That adhesive backed vinyl is pretty neat stuff to work with.


Yep, 1:20 is big! But, you should see how small the Produce house looks next to Matheson Textiles! All of my later buildings are made to 1:20 scale, and I'm slowly phasing out my smaller 1:22 buildings.
 

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Yep, Bruce, that's the post I have in my vast collection of stuff scammed off the web. And as I said, I'm goin' with glass for a jig. There is an ornamental glass shop in our town and I'll stop by and see what I can beg--just a few small squares would be fine.

I agree, it's difficult finding the article you want and the only way I do is when I accidentally stumble across some reference to said article in another story. Otherwise, like you, I prowl local model train shows and train stores, although that is getting harder to do. Along those lines, a few months ago I went nuts, suffering in silence, when some woman wandered into one of Orange County's model train stores and dumped boxes of her late husband's MRs, Railroad Model Craftsmans and such, on the store owners doorstep--for free! I wanted to grab her and get my hands on those mags!

Anyway, looking forward to your GR article.
 

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I loved that old building. It was one of my very first craftsman type kits in N scale.



You've done a beautiful job and brought back some great memories

Thanks

Dave
 

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Bruce's work (and others - Peter Bunce, rudy allard, Richard Weatherby come to mind immediately as well as a number of MLS members) does inspire me to try new techniques. I have the bad habit of relying on just a few approaches I learned long ago instead of experimenting with new and maybe better ways.

Two points that Perkins .. errr Salmons (named after our mutual friend Bart Salmon I assume) Produce bring out are:
1) Windows - they so often strike the character of the building and deserve some effort to get right. Just settling for whatever commercial window is handy does not always get the architectural job done. I really like the trchnique of casting windows in resin (see http://ovgrs.editme.com/PostOffice for example)plastic but my attempts at casting would probably not do justice to Bruce's nice double hung traditional windows. If only a few windows are needed then scratchbuilding is possible ... and likely not too difficult in styrene. Some special windows like the windows in my big station (see http://ovgrs.editme.com/Station) I built a few years ago require a bit of thinking outside the box. I think the point is that just settling for a cemmercial casting may not be a good choice and that having a go at the windows yourself may not be as difficult as you think. It sure is a lot less expensive.

2) Plans - While I agree that MR and other mags (RMC may have even been better - remember the old series of buildings by E L Moore?) have published a vast array of plans, it is not very easy to find what you want. My collection of MR goes back to 1959 and I have an index ... but that does not mean that finding some interesting industrial building is going to be easy. My own preference is to "study" or observe the erchitecture of the area around me (or where I wish to model if it is not local). What I am looking for are buildings that have something eyecatching in their architecture and that are somewhat typical of the region - I want to establish an atmosphere with a building as well as trying to have some eye candy. There are some constraints clearly. Real buildings are usually much too large to model in their entirety so need some compression. Also if the eye catching architecture depends on intricate small details it may be beyond my capability to recreate in a robust enough package to stand outdoor conditions. In other words, the architectural interest should be in the shape not the add on ornamentation. Once I find a real building, I sketch what I want from it and sometimes with the use of a mockup but mostly from the elevations, design the model building to be built.

Regards ... Doug
 
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