US Style Track in S - Jameston & Leven River RR

Discussion in 'Techniques' started by JimG, 22 February 2016.

  1. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    That is a magnificent building Jim:thumbs:. To be finished in red brick?

    Not going cobblestone or concrete the area to inset the track :eek:?
  2. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    Yes, but a different red to the other buildings at the left hand end next to the car float dock. I'l probably use Halfords red primer as a base for them and the Vallejo primer for this building.

    I've been thinking about that. :) But I'm up against it for time so I'm thinking about the vestiges of cobbles or setts immdately adjacent to the building facade which disppear at the fence line where the tracks begin - with plenty of weeds, nettles and whatever the American equivalent to rose bay willow herb is. :) I also wonder if decrepit American buildings have forsythia growing out of cracks - like here in the Bristol area. :)

  3. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    I ploughed on with detailing the buildings.


    The details of the brick arches were cut from thinner 1mm MDF - still a bit thicker than scale but I find that a slight accentuation of depths can look better when viewing at the regulation three foot distance. The window recesses in the bag in the right were cut along with the main sides from the 1.5mm MDF.


    Getting into the American mood. :) With the layout set up in the lounge to work on, a quick temporary workbench is made up from a bit of MDF clamped to a workmate - here in front of the TV on Sunday evening with the NFL Red Zone churning out. Packers lost - not pleased. :'(


    The joints on the MDF are made with glue in the brick interlocks but this is not sufficient since I find the MDF can de-laminate quite easily and an MDF to MDF joint can give way. So the joint is reinforced with a piece of 2mm square stripwood stuck in the corner. The belt and braces are brackets to hold the wall at right angles and I've used my big hot glue gun for this since the hot glue weld covers a fairly large area to avoid delamination. The glue also sets quickly which cuts down the holding time.


    And here's the final, for now, result with all the arch detailing done, the window and door recesses fitted and the brickwork placed in the cornices. I have to create more details for the cornices and the CNC mill might well get involved in that. I've also fitted all the sills, cutting them from 2.5mm MDF in the laser cutter. The next job will be do build a base for this building on the baseboard so that it can be positioned and removed when required. The base has to fit round the fittings for four Tortoise motors and the frog juicers so there will be a bit of fiddling ahead. :)

    I think I will have a "window fest" for all the windows required for the buildings. I think I will be using the same basic principles for all the windows for all the buildings so I can get into gear to churn out a lot of the basic bits and pieces in one go.

    I might even start painting it. :)

  4. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    Another week and another pile of bits. :)


    These are all the parts to build the goods shed next to the large building. I'm refining my design as I go along to get better and neater joint work on the MDF. I decided to put some buttress work on this building and my early work with buttresses required a lot of built up support on joints where the brickwork was on the inside of the joint. However I used a method in the previous building whereby I extended one of the walls in the joint and cut holes in the wall to allow the brickwork from the mating wall to be inserted, and I could then put the 2mm square joint strengthener on the non brick side of the joint. The pile of parts show the projecting side of the buttresses stuck to the main wall sections and extended back by a goo0d few millimetres. The one problem with this methoed of construction is the pile of small burnt cubes from the socket holes distributed all over the place until I learned to get the vacuum cleaner on the parts immediately after they had been cut. :)


    In this picture, the 2mm reinforcing of the projections can be seen and the joining up operation has been started on the parts with the cut faces of the buttresses.


    And this is the front face of the above showing the buttress work so far.


    Now the construction has been completed and horizontal 10mm x 6mm bars have been glued into the notches in the backward extensions to firm the whole thing up. Even when the glue has fully set the 1.5mm MDF is still very flexible. Brackets are also hot glued to the end walls to support them fully. I've just noticed one minor problem. The inner extensions go right to the top of the walls - they should have stopped about 10 mm below to allow the roof to be recessed behind the coping walls. A bit of work with a razor saw should rectify that.



    And the building roughly in place in the layout. A loading platform has to be built along the front of the building and there will also be a canopy over this platform.

    The back story on this building is that it was built with the arrival of the railway and the design was a bit more utilitarian than its mid-Victorian neighbour.


    I based it roughly on a mix of the two buildings in the upper centre in this picture of Pensicola warehouses from the Shorpy archive, and added the buttresses to break up the slab sided look of the building. The double-framed arched windows come from the right hand one and the general building style from the left hand one.

    The coming week will be aimed at filling in the last buildings - a power house and another warehouse and loading bay for the factory at the other end of the layout.
    Last edited: 13 October 2018
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  5. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    Onwards and upwards - yet another building to plug the remaining gap in the backscene. :)


    ...the Packard factory in Detroit. The attraction of this building was that it was a mix of brick and concrete and it was also of such a design that I could make it in sections and use up a lot of large offcuts of MDF left over from previous buildings.


    This is a section from the top picture showing more detail of the brickwork and concrete...


    ...and this is a section of the upper part showing the construction method with the concrete shuttering. The building was in the process of being extended upwards by two storeys.


    Here are seven of the sections cut out and with the recessed ornamental brick panels and the lower brick panels


    A closer picture of the sections and the ornamental brick panels placed together. The main sections are cut from my usual 1.5mm MDF and the decorative panels are cut using 1mm MDF to give a recess in the case of the ornamental panels and a small projection in the case of the lower brick panels. At the moment I am undecided on whether to use 1mm MDF strips or Plastikard strips to represent the concrete vertical pillars to cover the joins. I might just go with Plastikard and use suede paint to get rid of teh smooth surface.


    All the sections are held together by two lengths of wood - the offcuts from the lengths used in the previous warehouse. :) I'm trying to use up all my odds and ends as I go to prevent the "it might be useful someday" pile increasing. :) I also discovered that my Emblaser was cutting very slightly out of square when joining all these sections together. I've fudged around the slight inaccuracies and I'll have another go at the Emblaser to true it up.



    Here's the building in place, adjoining the decrepit old storehouse. There will be a couple of loading bays next to the siding.

    The last hole to be filled is between this building and the first building and that will be a boiler house for the industry at the far end of the layout and there will be a discharge pit between under the siding for coal. The gondola is sitting just about where the pit will be. I've got a building lined up for that and I'm hoping to get that drawn cut and built by the weekend which will mean that all the basic building work is finished and all (!!!??) that remains is the painting and detailing. :)

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  6. unklian

    unklian Western Thunderer

    Just noticed the name of your layout may have a musical connection .... you're not a Doll by Doll fan by any chance ??;)
  7. simond

    simond Western Thunderer


    This is lovely, I’m interested by your approach, which seems to mirror my own - a Welsh loco shed, here

    Porth Dinllaen in 0 - Page 36 - 7mm+ modelling

    Delighted to chew the fat about lasers and architecture, any time!

  8. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    No musical connection at all I'm afraid :) - just names from the locale I grew up in - the Vale of Leven between Dumbarton and the southern end of Loch Lomond. The river is the Leven and Jameston (locally pronounced as "Jimson" with a glotal "t" between the "s" and "o") is one of the towns in the Vale. I used local names (to me) since I remember seeing a gazeteer of the US way back in my primary school days in the 1950s where about every Scottish town name seemed to have at least one re-incarnation in the States. :)

    Jamestown Village in the Vale of Leven

    Although I always remember the spelling of Jameston as in my layout name, akin to the Scots spelling (Jeamstoun), rather than the anglicised spelling of Jamestown today

  9. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer


    I'm afraid that my Packard building construction arose from a very Scottish tendency of making use of the leftovers from the previous buildings. :)

    My Emblaser has a maximum cutting area of just over A4 size - 305mm x 210mm - and the sheets of MDF I get from Maple Street come in 500mm x 250mm sizes. So I tend to get at least 40mm strips left along the length of the sheets, and they are usually a good bit wider. So the design philosophy was set by using these long thin strips as best I could. :) If I hadn't had this consideration, I would probably have cut the walls in long <305mm sections with the minimum number of sections. As I mentioned above, working in short sections threw up a problem of the Emblaser cutting very slightly out of square, only becoming a bit noticeable after joining three or four sections together. It is out about 0.25mm in 150mm in the Y axis so not noticeable for most things, but it would be nice to get it spot on.

    But it's all good fun and I'm now getting quite used to using the cutter having now hit all the problems I am ever likely to find. :) I would like a more powerful cutter to minimise the multiple cuts required to cut cleanly through the MDF - like the machine you have - but the simplicity of the Emblaser, which makes it amenable to modification, is an attraction - as well as its cheaper price.