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T O P I C    R E V I E W
jbvb Posted - 01/31/2008 : 8:10:46 PM
I'm modeling the Boston & Maine's Eastern Route in HO standard gauge in my 207-year-old house's attic. The attic has its pluses and minuses - plenty of space, just up the stairs and finished, but the combination of the sloping ceiling and a 36" minimum radius meant I could only do an around-the-walls plan. Also, it can get a bit hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

The layout incorporates my Rowley MA modules, presently the only finished scenery, in the rural northern half of the attic. The southeast corner is where I'm building my compressed version of West Lynn, MA including the General Electric River works and the West Lynn creamery.

This photo shows the mainline curve passing the future creamery (spur under the file) and the Saugus Branch (long staging tracks) coming in from the left. I'm spiking rail on the branch, building the switch comes next. The flying plywood is actually pretty rigid with the flange below and the backdrop partially installed, it will get better when I bring the backdrop around to the left edge of the photo.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
jbvb Posted - 01/24/2021 : 11:19:00 PM
Thanks, Pete. I know three people liked it, but no further feedback to date. Much easier to evaluate myself at a convention...

Today I picked up another old, old project. I'd built the acrylic/plywood carcass for Batterman Press sometime before I joined RR-Line (2006, maybe). I'd cut/painted 'concrete' strips to glue on not long after I bought the 4x8 sheet of .040 styrene, and also painted a bunch of Holgate & Reynolds vacuum-formed brick sheet for the infill.

Later I found out Weld-On acrylic cement would bond styrene without damaging Floquil paint, which was good. Even later I figured out I needed to attach one wall with magnets because the 'concrete' strips would cover its screws and my energy doesn't like to be asked to do an interior before the exterior. So there it sat until today.

I've done the final fitting on the acrylic, now I need to install the rest of the 'concrete', make the magnets work, find the brick sheet (you'd think that much would be hard to lose, but my attic is clearly big enough) and get it presentable.
Orionvp17 Posted - 01/23/2021 : 5:39:27 PM
Nicely done clinic, James!

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 01/23/2021 : 5:28:06 PM
Thanks, Mike, Pete, George and Scott.

Today I presented New England Passenger Trains for the NMRAx event. That was different from any other presentation I've given since I started about 1985. The NMRAx tech setup had me doing my presentation blind; I saw my slides on my screen but not the audience, the host or the techs. So I just talked for ~45 minutes with no visual or audio feedback whatsoever I got the timing reasonably accurate, but I could have shortened the intro to say more about the last three slides. The questions I got were good, but I have no idea how big my audience was (aside from the two B&M modeling friends who've emailed congratulations).

Now I've toasted myself with a rum drink, I'll continue researching B&M wood/steel underframe RPO/Baggage cars. Perhaps some real world modeling after dinner.
CNE1899 Posted - 01/22/2021 : 7:39:10 PM

The houses are looking very New Englandy. I really like the machine works as well. Those meters are dead on!
George D Posted - 01/21/2021 : 10:56:54 AM
Nice looking meters, James. I hadn't heard of using a plane on styrene before - interesting. That 0.060" styrene should be plenty rigid.

Orionvp17 Posted - 01/21/2021 : 10:00:05 AM
Nicely done, James.

in Michigan
Tyson Rayles Posted - 01/21/2021 : 08:03:31 AM
Great job on the meters!
jbvb Posted - 01/20/2021 : 10:28:35 PM
I'd made an electric meter for 32 Winter St. and made 28 Winter St.'s this evening:

.040 styrene box, .080 diameter clear sprue dome, .025 phosphor bronze wire conduit, flattened for solder blob weatherhead and right angle fitting.
jbvb Posted - 01/17/2021 : 10:50:33 PM
Thanks, Mike. Since my last post, 32 Winter St. has progressed a little more:

I've been working on the fit of the roof. I also applied a little 'dirt splash' weathering around the bottom edge while cleaning my airbrush. And I figured out how to hold the rather flimsy side door canopy. The roofing is a 3M tape I bought for its green tint - it's made many window shades for passenger cars and structures. But it's also got effective stickum. The upper 'rolled roofing' sheet extends under the shingles, like flashing, and is firmly stuck to the styrene underneath. The two 1x4 braces will require careful handling, but I hope not to lose the canopy itself.

I also picked up a 4' x 4' sheet of .060 styrene. I still have some of my 4x8 of .040, but that isn't rigid enough for long-span floors and large walls. The first application was Gorin Machine in Bexley, built in 2015 from Walthers modular walls:

I made separate floors so I can go back and light and/or detail if the mood strikes. But after the paint dries and I install them, visitors won't be able to see through the building in unrealistic directions. Some new techniques I tried worked out well:

Using a 4' drywall square to mark and scribe;

Using a 'hand seamer' (sheet metal tool) to break after scribing.

Using a hand plane to smooth broken edges and fine-tune the width of strips.

Tyson Rayles Posted - 01/11/2021 : 2:47:43 PM
jbvb Posted - 01/10/2021 : 10:15:40 PM
Thanks, Stuart. DigiCompuTron-A-Matics is waiting for color laser-printable transparency film to arrive. My NYC boxcar's elderly decals crumbled so it's waiting for a new set. So I worked on 32 Winter St.:

I haven't seen my picture resizing tool screw up that way before!

I remember rarely seeing daylight in the street side of that house - neighbors were close and passers-by were within a yard of those windows. So I modeled shades with tape. The kitchen addition has curtains made from red see-through Xmas ribbon, but nobody will see that unless it's picked up. No gutters IIRC. The model needs a little paint touch-up, then electric (visible) & gas (invisible) meters and the canopy over the front (side) door. Maybe tomorrow depending on deliveries.
SDB Posted - 01/05/2021 : 7:25:07 PM
James, thank you! Very interesting thread. I should browse the scratchbuilding forum more often. I now see how you did the portico. It's really a work of art.

jbvb Posted - 01/03/2021 : 4:28:30 PM
Thanks Mikes (2), Bror and Stuart. I agree that low angles are tough for any peel-and-stick shingles I've found. I've used Campbell shingles once, but I don't think they represent asphalt shingles well when viewed from high angles. I'll try asking B.E.S.T. if they can get thinner stock.

Stuart, 28 Winter St. is in Newburyport, MA at the corner of Washington St. I have an index on page one of this thread. Here's the link to the 28 Winter build thread:

SDB Posted - 01/03/2021 : 1:58:44 PM
Hi there --

I've been lurking on this thread for many years, but haven't said anything. I've also visited your layout during Tour du Chooch in past years. I really enjoy what you are doing. You're doing a great job capturing the feel of Boston's North Shore.

The Georgian style house (red house) is awesome. I'm not familiar with the exact prototype, but it certainly is a convincing example of a classic 18th c. New England house of its type. My question is, how did you make the portico? Is it a scratch build or is it a casting from somewhere? However you did it, it looks great!

Michael Hohn Posted - 01/03/2021 : 09:11:15 AM
The houses are looking great; I like the scene you are building. Wonderfully New England.

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