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Messages - Jim Donovan

Lastly, I worked on a method of creating realistic windows, having mullions showing on both sides of real glass. I found it is possible, and as matter of fact the inner framed mullions allow for the cut glass to be put in place, then the frame is put over and glued to the outer window, avoiding glue getting on the glass entirely and presenting a realistic look. However, to accomplish this Clover Glass has to be used. Available directly from, it is only .006 of an inch thick (microscope slides are 3-4 times thicker) which works out to about 1/2 inch thick in HO scale, still thick but doable and the glass is exceptionally clear. Since I'm going to the trouble of creating interiors I want big windows that can easily seen through. Here are the first test windows for the back and how they look in place:

Next update I will post detailed CAD drawing of the window so you can better see how the back frame with mullions holds the glass firmly against the outer frame and outer mullion's creating a clean look.
While the 3D printer waited for me to fix it I designed interior wall parts and had the laser printer cut them out. The theme for the interior first floor is to be a Victorian European look with wallpapered walls, extensive wood trim,  skirting and lots of paintings. Here is what I came up with:

Since my last update I have been designing, printing and cutting additional parts primarily for the interior. The resin 3D printer has had several failed prints so it was time to change the resin tanks's bottom FEP film. The way a liquid resin printer produces an object is there is a UV light panel under the resin tank. The UV panel produces a light pattern that is appropriate for the layer being 'printed'. After a few seconds the resin between the printing plate, which is about .05mm from the bottom is hard, the plate moves up .05mm taking the the now hard shape with it and the process is repeated The floor of the tank consists of a special type of clear plastic (FEP film) which is held in place by interlocking plates screwed together to form a seal that keeps the resin tank watertight. Over time this film gets beat up, scratched and turns cloudy until it no longer allows enough UV light through. When that happens it is time for new film. I mention all this for those that might be interested in a resin printing and offer some tips that can help. I will highlight any tips in red as I go forward. Below you can see the worn old film and what the tank looks like with the new film attached. Film is the only real disposable item on the printer. The manufacturers say the uv light panel is also disposable but it will operate several hundred hours and I have only ever replaced one and that was from me accidentally breaking it.

Tip: The FEP film takes a beating, that is why I spend the extra money for the improved version NFEP. FEP film from Amazon is about $12.00 and the much better NFEP is about $19.00. I have found I can go about six months using the NFEP film and only two months between changes with the old FEP film. Moreover because you need to handle resin carefully the less you need to clean the tank the better.

Another tip, make sure you ONLY use a clean plastic putty knife when attempting to remove stuck dried resin from the film. It can be easily torn or damaged using anything that is sharp or made of metal. Trust me, I know.
Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Re: Monday 27 November 2023
November 27, 2023, 07:13:15 AM
Good Morning Everyone. Graig best of luck with the new venture.

As for me, woke up to gray chilly weather. I was able to send some time modeling yesterday but the 3D printer started acting up. I will be checking it out today. Not much else to report from central Florida. Hope everyone has a great day.

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Saterday November 25, 2023
November 25, 2023, 07:20:21 AM
Good Morning;

Looks like I am first at the club, I will get the coffee warmed up. The Boss is off with her girl friends this morning to golf and have lunch. That frees me up to get some air brushing of parts completed and watch some football this afternoon.

I woke up to cooler weather (for Florida) so can air the house out later as well. Hope everone enjoys the day.

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Re: Friday - 11/24/2023
November 24, 2023, 06:58:26 PM
Good Evening Folks;

Well another Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was a good one, family, friends and great food. Today I played plumber, fixing a sink that did not want to stay put. I also made progress on design and 3D printing parts needed for the building I am making.

Not much else for today. See everyone tomorrow.

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Re: Thanksgiving 2023
November 23, 2023, 07:33:13 AM
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope it is a great time for all. Prayers for all who are enduring war (but I find myself unable to extend that to those causing the wars). I give thanks for all we have and special thanks for all who made this possible.

Scratchbuilding / Re: Building a Yardmaster Tower
November 22, 2023, 07:03:37 PM
Very, vey impressive, thank you for sharing the methods and results. I've mark this build to print out and build a version based on your work. Really nice.

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Wednesday, 22 November 2023
November 22, 2023, 06:49:10 AM
Good Morning Wveryone;

Well Happy day before Thanksgiving in the US. Tomorrow we will be gathering with Deb's sisters, and neighbours. Deb's sister is truly a great cook so I am looking forward to the day.

As for today some yard work and bench-time. I might work on a HO truck that has been waiting to be finished. Other the that I hope it's a good day for everyone.

Scratchbuilding / Re: Elevated tank for service area
November 21, 2023, 10:52:00 PM
Very, very nice.

Once the front brick sheet glue had fully dried I decided to use dry chalk pigments rather than staining or painting the brick. I had tested this out on a smaller project and liked the look it produced. I went with a rust red color then highlighted areas with a dark yellow and a brown. At this point here is what it looked like:

I used a clear spray matte varnish to lock the pigment to the brick and protect it. I ended up spraying four coats as the wood just absorbed each like a sponge. When dry I coated the entire surface with sand grout. I used a cosmetic brush to lightly remove the excess. I did this three times to make sure all the crevices between bricks were filled with grout. So here are the two steps:

With the brick coated with grout I lightly spray wet water on the service and then scenic glue.This were having used wood glue is important. Regular white glue will loosen due to the water and the thin sheet will buckle. Even having used wood glue I had a couple of spots try to curl but used clamps to hold the wood in place until dry.

I like the look grout gives the brick. I learned the technique watching a Kathy Millatt  video a couple of years ago and have used it ever since. I am not sure what happened to the photos I took of designing and making the front column work. So I will just end this posting here with a photo of the front so far. Stone columns decorate the brick front. The arches are lined with stone as well. There are several daisy's on each inner arch wall, daisy's being Deb's favorite flower. The columns are based off the prototype photo with an ivy design embossed across the top decorative limestone. Circular decorative vents will go in the squares formed by the horizontal stone work. I wetted the brick lightly and spread super glue on the backside of the decorative stonework before clamping each to the other. Wetting the wood helps ensure a strong bond and resin parts glue best with either epoxy or CA. The columns are intentionally at the height of the top of the models 'floor'. There will be a stone basement that the ground floor will nest into. That is it for now.

Wow, thank you to all the nice compliments and interest in this project. I have been working towards this one for the past year. When you name the building after your wife you better get it right and I could not think of a better company she would own. Those that know Deb know she loves her clothes and dressing up. When we go on a cruise I better pack a suit and the tux is a given. Deb is the little girl who always loved to dress 'pretty' and she never outgrew it.

Back to the construction. Graig you are right, the laser produces a very dark cut going through 3 mm Baltic Birchwood plywood. It is manageable for two reasons, first it is only three ply keeping the glue issue down and the air assist helps protect the laser opening. More importantly I am using the plywood as a substrate. All surfaces will be covered with 1/32 Monster Modeling brick or hidden by the windows and doors. I doubt anyone making craftsman kits would want to use this plywood but for scratch building it allows for a very strong structure and provides an easy surface to 'hang' other materials on it.

I am essentially making the building from the ground up. Looking at the photo of the real building you can imagine each floor like a shoe box, sitting on top of the floor below. I will use 3D printed columns, brickwork and trim to allow each floor to nest onto the floor below. That is why in the Tinkercad image you see each floor in a different colour, each will be a different design.

Due to file size limitations of Tinkercad I am unable to show a complete 'finished' design of the entire building so I will have to settle with screenshots of the various parts that make up each floor. For the first floor I made a complete replica of the double door entrance found on the prototype building. The hinges and handles will be 3D printed separately so they can be painted as seen and attached to the main part. As this project will include an extensive interior I will need to finish the inside of the doors and windows as well. Inside the enclosed walkway will be two of these:

With the shape of the first floor set I had the laser cut the various walls, floor and ceiling. I used Elmer's Wood glue as I will be gluing sheeting to the walls and don't want water to loosen the joints. The laser took 5 passes moving at 400mm per minute to cut each part out. About 3-5 minutes per part.

In the first photo you see the outer walls are glued to the floor and each other. The eventual ceiling I played with trying some ideas like cutting brick and various colours. There is a lot more work needing to be done before I can make an acceptable brick pattern with the laser but it was worth a try. All will be covered and not seen.

In the second photo you can see the idea I have of an enclosed walkway. This is to allow the ladies of the day to see the fine fashions available inside before entering while keeping them out of the sun or rain. I got this idea from a walking mall we saw in Italy and the idea stuck with me. You may note that 1/32 Monster Modeling 5 row American brick is glued to the plywood substrate. I again used Elmer's Wood Glue. There is very little charring left by the laser and it took only 2 passes at 400mm to cut this thin sheeting, about 1-2 minutes.

More in a minute.

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Re: Tuesday 21 November 2023
November 21, 2023, 07:27:58 AM
Good Morning Everyone;

It looks like it is going to be a beautiful day here in Central Florida. I need to get some yard work done so today is a good day to get it done. Then some bench work fun.

 I like the idea of suggesting to friends to join the forum. I have a couple who would be great additions. Anyway, hope everyone has a great day. Here is a photo to start the day

To make this project the most important tool is going to be Tinkercad a free online entry level CAD program.

Sponsored by Autocad, the maker of Fusion 360, it is designed to be simple to learn and use. Geared for use in schools, even a grandfather like me can learn it. There are plenty of videos available on YouTube that help you become competent quickly. For basic projects like designing windows and doors it will quickly produce the files needed for a 3D printer or laser cutter to make, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. However I am pushing its abilities to its limits on this project.

Tinkercad is based on the used of creating, merging and subtracting shapes to create the final design. Cubes, spheres, cylinders and such are created, attached to each other, stretched, erased and so on. An advantage of using such a program is you build up a library of finished projects which can then be used in new projects. Also finished files as can be found at sites like Thingiverse and Cults can be imported (limited to less than 25mb size). More on these sites later but here are their locations if you'd like to see the wealth of designs that are available.:

Usually the final shape in Tinkercad might be made of of a combination of perhaps 200 shapes. However I am finding this project is pushing past 1000+ shapes for many parts. It appears I will need to take the plunge and learn Fusion 360 soon. However, Tinkercad is a great place to start and has allowed me to do much.

The inspiration for this scene is a building my wife and I saw in Canada during a recent cruise. I learned it was built in 1900 and was originally a wine distribution firm with the owner's family living on the upper two floors. I hope to bring as much as I can of its elegant design to Debra D's Bouquet of Distinction

So here is the initial design. More complete design images will be shown as we go.

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Re: Monday 20 November 2023
November 20, 2023, 11:55:19 AM
Had to get my honey do's done this morning so the afternoon is mine. I have been able to get some time to work on additional designing of my current scratch build project. Frankly I should clean up the bench instead but oh well, modeling is a lot more fun. Jamie, hope you have a special day with your gal. Actually I hope everyone has a great day as well. Off to the garage and see what trouble I can get into.

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