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The earth moved. My small cabin project finally reached completion, so I dragged that baby outdoors for some shots au fresco.

Basic details: 0.100-inch styrene sheet walls covered with Precision Plastic clapboard siding (small board size). Lots of Evergreen styrene strip for the windows, trim, cellar walls, front porch, and stairs, all distressed with a saw blade and painted Ceramcoat gray and burnt umber to resemble weathered wood. Tarpaper roof is Tyvek, a Dupont material used in postal envelopes, painted with Polly Scale Grimy Black and stuck down with acrylic matte medium as per Ray Dunakin's tip (see: Hotel Torgo). Lots learned. Mistakes made. Pretty happy with the results. Until my envisioned outdoor railroad comes to be, the cabin will be set indoors in a small diorama, because it can't stand without a hill behind it. Camera: Canon 50D with probably a 24-105 L-series Canon lens fitted with a polarizer. Mild Photoshopping, just to tidy up the images. Step by step photos of the whole project exist, but I won't bore everyone with 'em.

Hope you like it.







 

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Stunning! Amazing! Rarely have I seen such a beautiful structure!

Now, a suggestion. If that is to be the final home for that structure (or if the home will be similar), you might want to weather the uphill side more. Water running down the hill would likely hit the uphill side, and any dirt ot might be carrying would be splashed up onto the siding. I expect that that one wall would be rather dirty, unless the building is intended to exist in a very dry climate.
 

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Joe
That is really a awesome job, with a little detailing and this would pass for a real structure, great job
Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, gang. Kenneth, that is not the final location of my cabin, merely a setting in a sort-of dog park/nature preserve behind our housing tract here in So Cal where it has been pretty dry (hence, the dirt). If I ever build my outdoor railroad, the cabing will sit on a slight hill covered in Baby Tears (a ground cover) with a trestle running behind it and all set in the shade under some Pittosporum trees. I have about 200 feet of Aristo track, four wide switches and a plan, but my wife knows that I'm a great starter and a poor (read, "Lazy") finisher, so she won't approve any construction unless I assure her that the job will get completed. So my cabin will join other structures on part of the living room floor, which my wife has graciously deeded to me. As I mentioned, I will have to build a diorama out of blue foam and stuff so that the building has a base. I should do that next, but I get performance anxiety whenever I take on a new modeling technique and I'm afraid to start, as I don't know what problems I'll encounter. I have read dozens of articles on diorama construction, but still have cold feet.

Dennis, you're right about detailing. Actually, I ordered some hinges and a hasp for the door along the right side of the "basement," but so far the folks at Ozark Miniatures have not sent me my stuff.

One thing that's difficult to do--and this applies especially to the cabin because it's supposed to look weatherbeaten--is to seriously age/beat up your work. The serious finescale modelers do that all the time, but us large scalers seem to fall in love with our creation and leave it untouched, or nearly so. In the cabin's case, I could have broken some of the boards in the foundation, maybe painted them darker and lighter so they don't look so uniform. But at this stage, I was happy just to have finished a project, so I quit while I was ahead.

Kevin, I'll go into my Adobe Lightroom where I spent the evening and cull some assorted "work in progress" photos. Boy, is Shad gonna love seeing his server crash under the strain. :)
 

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Oh, oh! After disparaging Ozark Miniatures, I checked my email inbox to learn that my order has been shipped. Great! I'll drag out my tube of CA so I'm ready to attach those pieces as soon as they arrive.
 

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Thanks, Bob, although I am humbled by your work. And that dang beautiful, neat, complete work area of yours is what inspires me to keep working at my hobby.

Anyway, the roof is Tyvek, which is what the postal service, among others, uses in those Priority Mail envelopes. Ya can't tear the stuff apart, which is the whole idea, I guess. Anyway, Ray Dunakin, another great modeler, used Tyvek on one of his buildings, which stay outdoors, I believe, in a very hot environment (but they do get a nice breeze off the ocean). The Tyvek is painted on both sides (I did only one and regretted it, because if the material curled, you could see the unpainted side), then affixed to the styrene roof with a medium of your choice. Ray, because he wanted permanence, chose acrylic matte medium, spread on both the roof and over the top of the material. But you could use Sprayment or Krylon Spray Adhesive, I suppose. For that matter, you could use masking tape instead of Tyvek, if you were modeling only indoors. I used tape on my general store and it looks pretty good, even after 10 years of sitting on the living room floor. My only hitch with matte medium--and I apologize to Ray for bringing it up, as it looks like I am faulting him, which I am not--is that for me it dried with a sheen, which I had to kock down with Bragdon's weathering powder. That was probably a good thing, as it brought a new element into my weathering process. For example, I was able to dirty up the chimney, the porch, the underside planks, etc. I finnaly stopped because I was getting carried away making everything look way too dirty.

The windows are scratch built, although I could have used Grandt Line. I worked from the plans in MR, scaled up to 1:22.5, and did not use a jig. I simply took whatever was handy (those small machinist's squares, a block of wood) and started from the corner until a had a complete frame. Then I added the muntins, eye-balling them so they sat in the middle of the frame (I'm pretty good at estimating). Although I've used MEK as a "glue," lately, taking my cue from you, I've been using Plastruct's Platic Weld, which seems to cut through paint a bit easier. In the past, I built the entire window assembly and inserted it into the opening in the styrene wall. But lately, I've been piecing them in, which has led to all kinds of problems. Suffice to say, ya don't wanta see what that building looks like on the inside :(

There's more fiinishing work to be done (hotel, gas station, general store, Orbisonia firehouse) and if that's not enough, I have decided to plunge ahead on my Pacific Coast Railway sidedoor caboose. Turns out we have to go to a wedding up north, so I figured I could squeeze in a trip to the California Railroad Museum in Sacramento where the prototype is located. I emailed them and they have said that if I get there before the museum opens, I can have access to the caboose--to get some photos and such. Also, they will let me look at all the documentation that came with the car when Ward Kimball, the Disney cartoonist and such, donated the car to the museum. That's what you get for being a museum member, which I have been for years.

Other than that, Bob, there's not much going on.
 

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Posted By joe rusz on 08 Aug 2012 11:38 PM
I should do that next, but I get performance anxiety whenever I take on a new modeling technique and I'm afraid to start, as I don't know what problems I'll encounter. I have read dozens of articles on diorama construction, but still have cold feet.


I can't imagine why you would have concerns about trying a new technique. Everything about this cabin is way better than most of us can come close to. There are of course people like Ray (that you refer to) and a few others, but for the most part you rate in the top few modelers on this forum. The only problem I see is in how well it would hold up outside. But most of the materials seem like they would be fine out in the real world. My attempts at scratch building hold up pretty well. But I don't have much to lose if they don't. It yours didn't hold up it would be a big lose. Thanks for sharing.
Bob
 

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Are you sure this is a model? I could swear this my old family estate in Beverly Hills. (Beverly Arkansas) Missing a few trees, but after the still blew up they were sparse. And I don't see Ted in his usual spot on the porch, so I guess this could be a model, but damn, it makes me homesick.
 

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OK Kevin the dieseldude, you asked for cabin building tips, you got 'em. My apologies to the rest of you who have to suffer through this.


Strip show: distressed (with a Zona saw to make grain) styrene strips taped to cardboard for painting. Sprayed with Krylon Gray Automotive Primer as base, then brush painted to desired "wood" color with Ceramcoat gray and burnt umber. Make more strips than you need because if you come out short it's a lotta work to go back and make more (I make this mistake every time).


Making stairs: sure you can buy 'em in wood from Banta for $16 bucks, but I work in styrene which is neater and more fun. Basically, strips of desired tread width (9 scale inches in this case), stuck onto risers with Plastic Weld (eats your brain). I cut little triangles, then attach them to the long pieces.



Making widows: strip of appropriate size, say, 3 scale inches, stuck together. No jig, although that would help. I just grabbed whatever was square and started at the corners. Used my Chopper to cut the strips to the same length.




Making room for the window frames: I know ya can just stick 'em on top of the clapboard, but that's mostly not prototypical because then you get a space between the clapboards and the frame. So I gouge out room so the frames can be recessed and fitr nice and snug against the clapboard siding, which id Precision Plastic sheet, if ya haven't aleardy guessed. Small-size boards, as they make three sizes.




Frames with windows and those dreaded muntins (those cross bar thingys). Again, a jig would be nice, but I'm lazy, so I just cut my cross pieces to size and just stick 'em in. I have a pretty good eye for positioning them so they look even. I beveled the bottoms of the sash just cause I thought they looked better that way. This building needed only five windows, but if you are building a factory or sum'thin' I'd consider RTV molding, off-shore labor, or heavy drinking.



Oh, oh! Looks like a double post (sorry, Shad). Anyway, them carved out window holes. They look kinda messy because the siding got glued to the base material (1/8-inch styrene sheet) and I had to chisel the stuff out).




Finished window installed. Pella couldn't have done it better.



Chimney making 101: You could use a big piece of styrene strip, but the bigger the chimney, well, it don't work. This one is 0.040 strip cut to shape (ya can see it with the little notch to go over the roof top) then clad with brick sheet. I go nuts everytime I do this because it's difficult to get the brick sheet to go around a corner. I use a blowdryer (no mousse) to heat the brick up and sometimes she's a bend and sometimes she's a break, which leaves you with a gap that ya gotta fill with Bondo or something, which further delays the process and causes lots of cursing, followed by more drinking.



The finished product: primered and painted with RR paints, box car red and I dunno. Thin wash of gray was brushed over the red brick and allowed to flow into the cracks to simulate mortar. Repeat and salt to taste. This is kinda a trial and error process and there is no right or wrong way. Hey, it's a model, not the statue of David!



Finshed front wall, ready for painting.



Finshed end walls, after masking (I hate you!) and painting. Sprayed with auto primer first and allowed to dry thoroughly. Then airburshed with Poly Scale Reefer White with a dose of Engine Black added to take down the" I'm so pretty in white" look. I added too much black and the buidling looked dirtier than planned, but do ya really care?



Bow Wow: What happens when you bond materials of dissimilar thickness (i.e. the Precision Plastic clapboard sheet and the 1/8-inch-thick styrene) together. The thin one dries differently than the thick one and shrinks, pulling on the underlayer and causing it to bend, big time. I tried adding interior bracing but it bent too. Finally went out and bought two clamps so I could get the walls to mate properly.




Putting the clamps on 'er: See what I mean? I succeeded in getting the whole thing together and she's all one, but I worry that one night we will be awakened by a loud "pop" as my cabin comes unglued. BTW, you do know that when you're assembling your walls, the ends go over (on top) of the front and back walls, 'cause otherwise the roof won't sit flush against the end pieces (think about it and call me when ya figure it out).




Moving right along (whew): with the basement surround complete (that's where all them stained planks went), I built the front porch and added the railings and stairs, as shown here. Then I glued (actually, Plastic Bond-ed) the cabin to the underframe, then stuck on the roof, etc. And coovered it with Tyvek and all of that I mentioned in the beginning of this epic, which I call "War and Pieces."

Any more questions, I'll be in the bar.
 

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Great work Joe. I built a similar structure about two years ago, in a board and batten style, indicative of little farmhouses of the 40's in East TN but had to pack it up when selling my last house and didn't get to finish it up. It's 90% finished though i guess but still needs some other details. I took it out of the box and photographed it laying on the N scale layout i just started to shoot it and uploaded a picture of it to my profile if you care to look at it. The doghouse and outhouse are also behind it but still haven't taken the time to figure out how to attach photos right in responses here other than using photobucket.
I used fine grit wet dry sand paper for the roof and glued it down with [hopefully] good exterior glue and then painted it with flat black enamel. I like your brick chimney a lot. I took the easy way out and just built a metal stove pipe, which, for my model, was pretty typical. I also built the windows and four panel doors from styrene. fun project! I did build a jig for the windows though as gluing them up without it proved futile in my case and I needed 8 total so....
I drilled the poplar base to accept the LED from a solar garden walkway light i tore apart and tinted the led to look more warm. i figured i would mount the solar cell on top of the outhouse or hide it in the weeds or something. Never got to finish it further or weather it [i figured Mother Nature would weather it...and in a hurry] My plans were to build some sort of concrete base for it and be able to bring it inside over the winter. Mayber some day I'll finish it.
Again, great work. Hopefully when i finish mine it will look as believable as yours does.

Scott
 

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Thanks for the "how to" pictures, Joe. You do fantastic work for an old East side kid! "Hey Stella! We had 2 beef on wecks and 2 Gennys. Whats da damage?"


-Kevin.
 

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Scott, that's really a great looking house. Very nicely screwed together, so to speak. Your handiwork is a lot neater than mine. And the outbuildings are a nice touch. I feel priviledged to be in such fine company.

Russ, thanks. Tried calling you to get your home email (I've misplaced it) so's I could give you a sneak peek at my project, but tyou were AWOL. BTW, I'm stopping by the Cal RR Museum next Friday to research the Pacific Coast RR caboose. The docents there have been very cooperative, but then I am a member, albeit only the cheapo kind, not "Conductor," or "Super." If we lived closer to Sacto, I'd go there more often as it is a cool place.

Kevin, yer welcome. No beef on weck or Jenny this time. I spent most of our stay working on my last ever story for the magazine (not my idea) and fighting with my cousin, so the only thing was stop by Antionette's on Union for the best ice cream in the world.
 

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Joe, you seem to be able to do terrific stuff no matter what medium you're working in! And your 'how-to' instructions make this thread a definite 'keeper'. Thanks!
 
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