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Topics - nycjeff

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Kit Building / Two small FOS builds
« on: May 07, 2021, 04:56:20 PM »
Well, since I just finished a large scratch-build structure, I wanted to downsize a little, so I ordered two small kits from FOS. Actually I ordered one kit and the other was free- how cool is that ! As an aside, I just passed 925 pictures in My Gallery.

Here are the kits. Bud's Gas and Bait, which I ordered and Jimmy Kings BBQ which was free. Both are small kits, which I appreciated since, as I said, I just finished a large complicated scratch-build.

I decided to go with the free kit- Jimmy King's BBQ first. Here are the kit's contents laid out. There are no instructions with the free kit, but it is fairly straight forward.

Here are the braced walls. I usually use 1/8 square strip-wood for my bracing, but since the walls were so small I used some 3/ 32 instead.

The walls were sprayed with rattle can dark grey primer first and then dry brushed with a khaki color craft paint and finally a brown color. One wall is not wood- it is a pressboard material, but that wall is completely covered with a sign as shown.

Jumping ahead, here is the assembled building. The signs make this kit and as always the signs in a FOS kit do not disappoint. I painted the supplied base with a dark grey color for concrete and I used the provided roofing paper for the roll-roofing. I first sprayed it with rattle can camo with a green tine and then cut it into 3/8 wide strips.  The roof cards that were supplied with the kit were a little thick so I set them aside and cut some of my own from cardboard from the back of a yellow legal pad. The kit's pictures show the pig sign on one of the walls, but I decided to make it a roof-top sign using some more of the 3/32 strip-wood for the sign support. I also used one of the doors from my Tichy stash instead of the one supplied with the kit.

The kit came with a nice metal chimney, but I decided that the smoker in the side structure needed a large round vent pipe. The smaller roof vent is a plumbing vent in the back corner of the larger part of the building. More in a minute

Scratchbuilding / Farm outbuildings
« on: April 11, 2021, 01:34:11 PM »
As I'm going around my layout with my layout tour I have been doing some small upgrades in areas that I had done many years ago. One of these areas is a farm scene along the upper level shelf. I decided to replace a couple of the plastic farm outbuildings from a Bachmann kit with scratch-built wood structures. Here are two of them...

First is a small hay barn. As always I drew out a template for the walls. I used 1/16 square strip-wood for the framing and 2x8 boards for the siding. I aged the siding boards by cutting them at the corners and in the middle.

Here are the completed walls. I next sprayed them with a rattle can tan color for a primer base and then I dry brushed them with a craft paint barn red color.

Here the walls have been assembled and a roof card cut out from the cardboard from the back of a yellow legal pad. I really liked the roofing job that Steve Custer did on one of his recent builds with gift wrap tissue paper, so I thought I would give it a try. I used some black tissue paper and distressed the edges with my Exacto knife and then glued the 3/8 wide strips with full strength wood glue. As you can see I cut a ragged hole in the roof card and then glued some 2x6 strip-wood below the hole for exposed roof joists. I was pleased with how this came out

Another view of the assembled walls and the roof.

A closer look at the roof. For a detailed tutorial on how to do the tissue paper roll-roofing look at Steve Custer's FSM Branchline Bucket Coaling Station build thread in the Kit Building area of the forum, he does a great job explaining the process.

I finished my hay barn by cutting a piece of foam to a good hay pile shape, spread wood glue on the foam and then sprinkled some sawdust on the glue for the hay. This little structure is a big upgrade from the plastic that I had. More in a minute.

Scratchbuilding / Building an REA Freight House
« on: March 19, 2021, 12:33:54 AM »
For some time I've wanted to try my hand at a large structure scratch-build. To this point I have built several smaller structures and enjoyed doing them. I have done several larger craftsman kits and I now have the confidence to try a larger scratch-built structure. I have long admired the Foscale REA Freight House kit, so I am going to try to build my version of that type of kit. I have copied some pictures of that kit from the web and the forum to use  for my build. As per my usual scratch-build process, I first draw out some scale drawings using doors and windows as a guide for wall size and overall look.

The basic materials for any scratch-build are wall materials and doors and windows. I buy my wood wall material from Northeastern and the doors and windows from Tichy. The wood clapboard wall material comes in 4 x 24 inch pieces as shown and Tichy has an entire catalog of choices for doors, windows and other structure parts. This material is reasonably priced and both companies ship orders in a very timely fashion.

Shown are some of the windows I plan on using for this build. Most of these windows come 12 to a pack and they are the same windows that many kit manufacturers use in their kits.

This is the most common window for my build.

This is the first wall. It is made up of two pieces of 1/8 clapboard siding and one piece of board and batten siding for the peak area. I placed the windows in their locations and drew an outline of each on the front side of the wall material. Cutting out the window openings requires a sharp Exacto knife with a new #11 blade.

This is the backside of the first wall. You can see that I used blue painters tape to join the two wall pieces together. I then use my pin vise to drill small holes at the corners of the window openings as shown in the picture. The holes in the corners gives me a starting and ending point for my cuts. I find that this is very helpful.

Here are the two opposing large walls for the first structure of the complex. When cutting out the second wall to match the first remember to place the material with the outside surface of each wall facing out and the inside surfaces of each wall touching. Don't place one wall on top of the other with both outside surfaces pointing up. If you do this you will not get a true mirror image of each wall. Don't ask how I know this. The vertical wood bracing holds the wall sections together and you can see that I used a wider piece of bracing to attach the peak area to the main wall. This wider material gives me more of a gluing surface to work with. More in a minute.

Rolling Stock / flat car and gondola loads
« on: February 21, 2021, 01:07:02 PM »
Over the years I've enjoyed building loads for my flat car and gondola fleet. A couple are from manufacturers, but most are loads that I built from pieces from my stash.

These concrete pipes are from Tichy. The floor stays are painted styrene shapes. I used black thread for the end tie downs.

These larger concrete pipes are also from Tichy, the floor stays are painted strip-wood and again, I used black threads for the tie downs.

The  I-beams are styrene that I painted and weathered and the spacers between the beams are also styrene channel that I painted.

The black pipes are drinking straws cut to length and painted black with strip-wood spacers. The bands are rubber bands.

The iron coils are from an unknown manufacturer and the floor stays are painted styrene angle iron shapes.

Another black pipe load, this time on a flat car. More in a minute

Scratchbuilding / FSM tribute build
« on: January 07, 2021, 11:29:24 PM »
While waiting for some scenery materials to be delivered to finish up my Campbell's Schrock Meat Company build, I started on a small project that I have been wanting to do for some time. While looking through the excellent thread on the FSM that John Siekirk has been putting out, I came across a picture that really interested me as something that I wanted to add to my layout.

I know that this is just one of literally hundreds of structures that the incredible George Sellios built, but this one spoke to me. I have done some scratch-building before and wanted to give this one a try.

This is the future location of this structure. It will replace the signal bridge that is located there now. This is the entrance to my lower level yard area and the bridge spans the arrival and departure tracks of the yard.

First up was the bridge structure. I drew some basic diagrams to determine the size I wanted. Shown are the front and side views.

These are the styrene shapes from my stash that I will use to build the bridge. I am not trying to build an exact duplicate of the original, my talents would not make that possible. I don't know if anyone's are. George's work is just on another level.

Here, using my templates, I've started to build the side supports. I used the I-beam and angle iron shapes for these and used super glue to hold things together.

The bridge structure has been built. George did not put the angle pieces at the top corners of his bridge, but I felt that they were needed for more structural stability. If you have seen any of my build threads, you know that I like to add extra bracing to all of my structures. That's it for now, more later.

Kit Building / Campbell's #411 Schrock Meat Company
« on: December 11, 2020, 12:03:41 PM »
This is my first Campbell's kit build. In doing my research on Campbell's kits I noticed a lot of negative comments, such as they are 40 to 50 years old, they are just a bag of sticks and that they were not much more than a scratch-built kit. I have done a few smaller scratch-built structures on my layout, so none of this scared me off. So, here we go...

Here is the box that the kit came in. I was impressed with Campbell's service. I received the kit less than a week after ordering. They included a nice sanding stick with my order. Free stuff is always good. I also ordered extra hanging sides of beef.

There is a lot inside the box, some of which is pictured here. I could immediately see why many called these kits scratch-built type kits. There are none of the complete laser cut wall sections with door and window openings already done for you. What is there includes many pages of drawings and templates, that were done in the 70's and 80's by a lady named Sherry Collins. I mention her name because of the very good quality of these drawings. I was a residential general contractor for many years and I saw many blueprints that were not as good as these are.

After spending a lot of time reading over the instructions I realized that by following them step by step I would achieve my best result. The first portion of the kit to be built is the Slaughterhouse section, which is the biggest sub-assembly and an entire kit in it's own right. Each wall requires several wood wall sections be glued together and the door and window openings need to be cut out. The locations are lightly stamped onto the wood wall sections and this picture shows one of them with the window openings highlighted with a pencil

The instruction say to use either masking tape or light paper on the back of the wall sections that have openings that need to be cut out. I used masking tape. My research said that in some instances the wood from these kits might be brittle with age and that the backing would help prevent the wall sections from splitting.

This picture shows the tools that I used to cut out the openings. First I used my pin vise to drill holes at each corner of the opening and then used a sharp new blade in my Exacto knife to cut out the opening while using a steel rule to guide the initial cuts. It usually took about 6 cuts for each line with extra cuts at the corners. Don't force out the wood that you will be removing. It will come out easily when the cuts are all the way through. Use the door or window as a guide and with a little filing they will fit nicely. In the upper left you can see one of the walls with the sections glued together and bracing installed. One way that I differed from the instructions was in the amount of bracing used. I like to use a lot of bracing.

Here is one of the front wall sections with the openings removed. Many complaints about these kits that I read about concerned having to do this step, instead of the openings already laser cut for you. Having done some small scratch-built structures already, this was not a problem for me and it shouldn't be for anyone. It just takes a little patience and care laying out the openings and being careful while cutting them out. More in a minute

Kit Building / RDA Delaney Iron Works
« on: November 09, 2020, 04:37:51 PM »
For this new build, I thought I would do something a little different. A while ago while looking at different kit manufacturers on the web, I found Railway Design Associates or RDA. RDA was acquired by Rail Scale Models and that is where you find these kits listed under HO Injection Molded Structure kits. These kits are very reasonably priced and many have a turn of the century industrial look- which makes them perfect for any transition era layout. When researching RDA, I found Delaney Iron Works, but Rail Scale Models did not offer it at that time. Instead I got their Middleton Mills kit which I built as a branch line railroad office headquarters. Recently I found that Rail Scale Models offered Delaney Iron Works and I ordered it immediately. This kit is a complex of buildings for a low price. I really like the look of this kit.

When researching RDA kits I found many negative comments, but when building the Middleton Mills kit I found that it took only a little extra work to solve the so-called problems. Modelers expecting a Walthers Cornerstone style kit would be disappointed with an RDA kit as they take a little more effort, but anyone who has done any craftsman kits will take the problems in stride. As I go through the build, I will discuss the so-called problem areas.

So, here we go

Here is a picture of the kit as it came to me. Inside the box were three bags- one labeled stone building, one labeled brick building and elevated walkway and the last labeled warehouse. I received the kit within a week of ordering it and it arrived with no damage or missing pieces.

I decided to do the stone building first and here are the sprues with the stone walls. The stone wall detail is something that RDA does very well in my opinion and that was one of the reasons I was drawn to this kit. One of the complaints I saw on the web was the fact that the sprues and attachment points were thick  and that it was difficult to remove them and you had to do some trimming and file work before they were ready to use. As I said before, this is not a typical plastic kit and anyone who has done a craftsman kit will find the prep work very easy to do.

First I sprayed both sides of the walls with a rattle can flat red primer color.

Next, after the red primer dried, I sprayed the walls with a very light coat of rattle can flat grey primer by holding the can about a foot above the walls. This gave me a light misting coat of the grey.

Next I mixed a wash of light grey craft paint and water and spread that over the wall. While the wash was still wet I wiped off most of the wash with a paper towel removing the wash from the stone surfaces and leaving it in the mortar joints. If you're not happy with the first try, it is easy to do it again until you get a result you are happy with.

Now the fun begins. I used five different colors to paint the stones in the wall. I will detail the colors in the next post. Using a fine brush, I painted individual stones until most of them were painted. The unpainted stones blended in with the others due to the priming and the wash. The result looks a little bright at this point, but the use of an AI solution, dry-brushing and weathering chalks will tone down the colors into a hopefully realistic looking stone wall. That's it for now, more later.

Kit Building / KC's Workshop Steelton Feed and Seed
« on: October 20, 2020, 01:22:32 PM »
For my next build I am trying my first KC's Workshop kit. I wanted to try a larger kit this time and after looking at this kit I decided to add on to it to make it even bigger. So, we'll see what happens. This kit is a reissue of an older KC's workshop kit called K&W Butter Co. and there is a build thread on that kit by Dave K. back in 2016. Dave did a wonderful job and I used his thread for valuable information on my build. Dave, if you want to post some pics of your build that is fine with me.

First the picture of the box. It says this kit is a 4 exacto knife difficulty level- we'll see.

The contents- laser cut wood walls, different roof materials, stripwood trim, windows, signs and castings. Also some nice foundation pieces. This will be my first kit with a standing metal roof and I'm looking forward to trying something new in roofing styles. The kit also came with a stairway jig that looks like it will be very helpful. I've had problems with building stairs on past kits and it looks like the jig will help me make better looking stairs.

I laid out the wood walls and found that one was slightly damaged.

This is the damaged wall piece. I don't think it will be to hard to repair.

I started out by sanding the edges of the wood walls to make sure they are square. As has been explained many times in multiple threads, the edges are uneven as a result of the laser cutting process- I think it's been called a kerf. I first use a piece of sand paper and then use my sanding stick for harder to reach areas. It's worth the effort. We don't want problems when assembling the walls.

I braced the walls with the provided stripwood and also added extra bracing at the gable ends for a better glueing surface for the roof cards. I learned a lesson about larger kit walls after using my AI solution. I'll explain more about that later. That's it for now, more later

Kit Building / inquiry about jv models
« on: October 11, 2020, 12:35:15 AM »
Hello all, does anyone know about  or have any opinion about JV Models craftsman kits ?   Jeff

Kit Building / Bar Mills Babcock Boiler build
« on: October 06, 2020, 06:04:14 PM »
My next build will be Babcock Boiler by Bar Mills. This is my first Bar mills kit. I liked the look of this kit with it's roof details and side assemblies. After looking at the build thread that Karl (postalkarl) did, with his usual exceptional results, I decided to get the kit. Bar Mills proved to be very easy to order from and I received the kit within 10 days of my order. Upon opening the kit I also discovered a 240 grit sanding stick with the kit itself. Free stuff is always nice. So let's get started

The obligatory picture of the box and the free sanding stick.

The box contents. I really have to clean up my workbench one of these days

I spread out the laser cut pieces, the stripwood and the roof card.

I cleaned up minimal flash on the door and window castings with small files- you can see one in the picture. I think I bought the small files at Harbor Freight, which is a tool supply house type store down here in the Phoenix area. The prices at this store are very reasonable and they have many small sized items that apply to our hobby very well.

I added bracing per the instruction with the included stripwood and then weighted the walls down while the glue set. The weights are my ballast material containers which I got at Michael's.

The braced walls. I always add additional bracing, especially at the roof peaks for both structural integrity and additional glueing surface for the roof cards. That's it for now more later

Kit Building / CCK Conocoheague Coal and Ice build
« on: September 11, 2020, 06:45:17 PM »
The new structure for my layout is this CCK kit. This is my first kit from CCK. I had a few issues while building, but it all came together well in the end. I chose this because I liked the look of the building and it fits in well with my layout look, which is rural Ohio in the late 1940's. I didn't build this as a coal and ice structure, but rather as a beer and ice business. So, let's get started.

This is a picture of the kit box.

A picture of the box contents

More contents- the signs and roofing materials

The walls and bundles of stripwood. I cleaned up  the wood walls by moving them gently along a piece of sandpaper to insure smooth edges

Using the proper stripwood I braced the walls per the instructions and also added extra bracing at the gable ends for additional roof support later

Using craft paint French Wine color, I painted the doors, windows and corner trim pieces after making sure there was no flash along the edges. I used small files to clean up the little bit necessary.

That's it for now. more later

Layout Tours / MOVED: track ballasting
« on: August 14, 2020, 01:25:28 AM »
This topic has been moved to my layout tour thread. I just wanted to continue my layout tour thread, I'm still getting the hang of all this.

nycjeff layout

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / nycjeff layout
« on: August 14, 2020, 01:11:48 AM »
On my layout, I did not ballast the track before scenery. I know that many people do that, but I wanted to make sure that all of my trackwork and wiring was working properly first. I put down the first layers of scenery and now am finally getting around to ballasting my track.

This is my track system for the mainlines and branch areas. I used 1/2 inch homosote, or sound deadening board as Home Depot calls it down here in the desert. I used a wood rasp and rounded both edges and then glued cork roadbed ro it. The track was then added and fastened with track nails.

In my yard areas and staging areas, I covered the area with pieces of homosote cut to size and then put down the cork and track

This is what my mainline track looks like before ballasting. The scenery extends up to the edges of the cork roadbed

My base ballast material is just dirt from my yard collected in a coffee can

I then sift the dirt. The very fine granules go through the sieve and I remove the larger pieces and any twigs from the sieve with my hand. I save the very fine materials for my base scenery layer.

This is what I save for my base ballast material. I remove some of the larger pieces before the next step.

This is what I add to the base material from my yard. The black and grey granules are from Michael's floral section. The red is Woodland scenics fine ballast material.

I then put these materials in with my base dirt. I don't really have an exact measurement, I just add until it looks right to me

This is all of the above listed stuff mixed together

I then use a spoon to position the material on both sides of the track making sure to cover the sides of the cork roadbed.

Using my finger, I remove the ballast from the tops of the side ties. That's it for now, more later

Layout Tours / nycjeff layout
« on: August 06, 2020, 04:15:29 PM »
I've been working on my layout since 2007, it's a two level around the room shelf style with a center peninsula and a helix. My layout room is P shaped. It's 32 feet long and one end is 13 feet and the other is 18 feet. The lower level is 40 inches high and the upper is 60 inches high. I model the New York Central's Big Four line south of Cleveland on the lower level and a fictitious branch line on the upper level. My time period is the late 1940's.

Lower level engine service area with open roundhouse and turntable. Both are Walthers kits. The turntable is the 90 foot. Coaling tower is also Walthers. Both buildings along backdrop are kitbashed Walthers parts. Area is still a work in progress

More engine service area views. Sand facility is Walthers and service areas are Peco inspection kits and kitbashed platforms

My lower level staging area, with 6 track Eastbound yard with return loop and 3 track Westbound yard and return loop. Both return loops are the lower levels of my helix

Helix view. Interior of helix is open through upper level. Helix is single track on cork roadbed with 3 inch rise between levels. 7 turns gets me to the upper level

View looking down upper level peninsula. Building in foreground is a scratch-built version of Rural Post Office build thread by ACL1504.

That's it for now. More to come

Kit Building / Foscale Rohlen Welding build
« on: August 06, 2020, 12:27:36 AM »
This is my first build thread and I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the pictures and/ or the lighting on my workbench. I'm working on my camera and lighting skills. This is my third Foscale kit, I've already done Tower One and Yard Office One. All of these kits have gone together very well using the well done instructions. I will include pictures of the other builds when I can.

The Rohlen Welding kit was no exception. The only problem I had was a missing Card A, which with ReadingBob and ACL 1504's help was quickly taken care of.

This first picture is all the walls braced to prevent warping. I have found that using more bracing than called for is a good thing

The next picture shows windows painted with craft paints as well as the corner trim pieces. I used light advocado for these pieces.

The walls were then stained with a medium dark A and I. I don't have a precise formula for this stain. I just used it because I was happy with how it looked.

I applied the shingles included with the kit to the two side walls and dry-brushed one of the walls with my main color- cafe au lait. Another craft paint. Sorry about the picture quality, I warned you.

This is enough for now, I have to see if this post even goes through. Hopefully more to come

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