Friday, November 15, 2019

"Agricultural Implement & Paint Dealer" - Part 3 - Front wall and Garage Doors

With the attic refinishing project complete (that's a whole other story) I finally had a chance to turn my attention back to the Enosburg Falls implement dealer. 
The first thing I did was adjust the front facade of the building to match the prototype photo I have showing how the large overhead doors were arranged before they were boarded up at some point in the 1990s. (See this photo)
This required cutting one new opening in the front wall and enlarging the opening with the two smaller doors. As I was enlarging the door openings, I made sure to allow enough space for the two windows above each smaller door. 

Before I cut the openings, I tried to find commercial garage door castings that would work. Everything I found in my stash of gas station kits and plastic doors were either too short, too wide, not tall enough, or too tall. Scratchbuilding was the only option. 
I tried two approaches to the garage doors. For the taller single door, I started with a piece of Evergreen .015 clear styrene, cutting it slightly larger than the opening to provide a surface to attach it to the door opening from the inside. Then I added styrene strip for the vertical and horizontal portions of the door. A coat of white paint - being sure not to get any paint on the window "glass" completed that door.
For the two smaller doors I cut a rectangle of .015 styrene wide enough to accommodate both doors and the center post between them. 
Then I cemented the trim strips to the styrene base. The vertical trim was fairly straightforward, the horizontal trim pieces were installed overlength and then trimmed to fit with a fresh razor blade. 

One everything dried, I carefully cut out the door openings and filed them square. After painting, I'll add clear glazing to the windows. 
I can't say I like either of these approaches better than the other - if you needed a door painted a color other than white, I suspect the second approach might be a little easier. 
One thing I do know - it was far easier to scratchbuild these than the two or three evenings I wasted trying to find a ready-made solution. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Swing Gate v1.0

If you looked at Video Update #6 you saw a live demonstration of the swing gate. Actually, the gate in the video wasn't quite complete - so in the interest of full disclosure here are some photos showing that it is indeed more than just a "piece of plywood and a couple of hinges..."
The underside of the plywood "bridge" is braced along most of its length by a plywood brace. Note how the brace gets thinner as it gets further from the hinges - an attempt to minimize sag and at the same time minimize the pressure on the hinges!
That plywood brace is itself strengthened by a couple of pieces of 1 x 2 arranged in an "L".

The hinge end with the bridge in the open position shows the hinge arrangement - nothing fancy here, I told Stic to just be sure everything was really sturdy! I think there's two boxes of screws holding this thing together!
This shot shows the swing gate in its fully open position - it opens up enough to touch the fascia on the layout. 
Next trick is to figure out how to get the track in place. Stic tells me that's my problem. 
Thanks to Stic Harris for his help with this project, and with all the various thankless tasks I always seem to assign him! 
Today also happens to be his 50th birthday. He's taking a well-earned respite from model railroading to enjoy coastal Maine with his lovely wife. And he's officially joined the ranks of those us who complain we're too stiff, sore, or otherwise impaired to work on top of or under our layouts!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Video Layout Update #6

Just released on my YouTube Channel!

A video update on the Richford Branch layout - including the chance to see Stic Harris conduct the first "walkthrough" of the swing gate. 

Plus some other stuff. 

What else could you possibly waste 5 minutes and 41 seconds on? (don't worry, it's not Stic the whole time....)

Just click HERE to go directly to the video. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Just about reached the end ...

I've started to experiment with photo backdrops. Yes, I plan to trim it to the ridgeline and not have the white borders on the final backdrop!
... of the woodworking phase of layout construction! 
Two significant (at least to me) accomplishments in the model railroading realm this week. 
First of all, I'm happy to report that the significant benchwork construction is (at long last) completed - that means all the subroaded and fascia has been installed, See below for an overall view of the layout:

At this point the only construction left is to complete the swing gate and install a couple of shelves in some key locations. The shelves will prove useful for a place for visitors and operators to put their beverages - oh yes, and in case we ever operate the layout formally there'll be a place to store throttles and paperwork and the like that isn't the surface of the railroad!
There's still some track laying left to complete - primarily on the two peninsulas - the shot below shows the CV yard in Richford - obviously it's awaiting roadbed and track!
The other thing I finished was a clinic on the layout that I just presented at the NMRA Mid-East Regional Convention in King of Prussia, Penn. For those keeping score, this is actually the second all new clinic I developed in the last 6 weeks - I'm hoping that this one will be a layout progress clinic that I can regularly update. I'd like to get as much mileage out of this as possible! 
The clinic was well received despite the 10 o'clock start time (that's 10pm!) and some issues getting my computer to talk to the projector.