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 Tenement Row by Smallshaw

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Karl Osolinski Posted - 03/29/2013 : 4:50:33 PM

Hello folks,

Been some time but I finally did start a new model.

I've always admired the work of Earl Smallshaw. He has a gift for making creative and interesting models and scenes that I really enjoy. His Tenement Row was featured in the February, 1989, Model Railroader and I finally decided to build my version of it.

Since Earl's model was going against a wall he didn't have to model the street side or even put all the windows in the sides that couldn't be seen. His finished scene is just perfect and it's a favorite of mine. I'm going to build the buildings complete and have the storefronts below the living area all different. Northeastern makes a kit for the three buildings but I prefer to scratch build the models and make them all a bit unique.

Here's the very not complete first building. With my bad hands it took some time to cut out the 33 window and door openings. I used the Monster Models aged brick for above the storefront and I love the stuff. I cut the openings in the brick using my Unimat jigsaw but it was a little too aggressive to use on the 1/16th basswood (Monster brick is 1/8th thick). Also, I cut real glass (microscope cover slips) for the 30 windows and storefront...no windows in the 3 backdoors.

I plan on combining this model with my last street scene (Gruhn Guitars).


Karl O.
Berkley, MI

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
John B. Posted - 06/03/2019 : 9:16:33 PM
Super nice watch towers Karl!! Cool to know a dead flat 'paint'!
Karl Osolinski Posted - 05/29/2019 : 09:36:18 AM
Originally posted by Rick

Yet more outstanding modeling and a good tip too.
Thanks Karl.
The bricks on the first model.
Is it a sheet?

Hi Rick,

Thanks for looking in...

Yes, it's the Monster brick sheet. You can see where I cut out the sides used for the shed under the stairs.

Sure wish you could still get the stuff.


Michael Hohn Posted - 05/29/2019 : 09:29:21 AM

Very nice. I like in particular the Milwaukee Road tower with its simple lines and makeshift storage under the stairs.

TRAINS1941 Posted - 05/29/2019 : 12:03:35 AM
Some really nice modeling Karl!!
Mario Rapinett Posted - 05/28/2019 : 5:36:29 PM
Karl.. I assume you still cut the basswood cladding with a blade... I would do more scratch built projects if there was an easier way . Thanks for the updates mate
Rick Posted - 05/28/2019 : 4:02:42 PM
Yet more outstanding modeling and a good tip too.
Thanks Karl.
The bricks on the first model.
Is it a sheet?
Karl Osolinski Posted - 05/28/2019 : 3:15:37 PM

Hello folks,

Still adding to this project and "thanks" again to everyone who is still following along and participating in this endless undertaking. I very much appreciate it.

I wanted a small watchman's tower behind one of the buildings so I checked out some old Model Railroader magazines for ideas and found this diminutive little guy in the August, 1964 issue.

I did make some changes to it but it generally follows the looks of the model in the article. It is very small - 1-1/8" square and 2" tall. The stairs lengthen it by 1" - but still a very small footprint.

I also found some plans for an even smaller tower so I slapped one of them together. It's even smaller than the first one - 7/8" square and 2" high. The stairs overhang by ".

I've looked for the "flattest" dulling finish for years and think I've tried just about all of them and was never really happy with any of them. Then, I found this stuff...

When I opened the bottle I thought I got hosed...the stuff is a thick paste and when I tried brushing it on something it dried to a white, thick chalk. Yikes...

Then I read the label - it's a BASE not a paint and it needs to be mixed with a thinner to use it...you just can't glop it on full strength!

Tamiya didn't have much on it so I checked around and found that the military guys dilute it with Future floor finish (or whatever they call it now) and airbrush it onto their models. The mixing ratios varied but for a "dead flat" it said to mix it 1 part of the base to 3 parts Future - so that's what I did. I couldn't believe my eyes - it was the flattest, non-reflecting flat I ever used!!

I was painting some people using oil washes that always seem to leave a little sheen on the figures so I sprayed them with the new mix...after they dried they were DEAD FLAT.

I don't understand how a glossy floor finish mixes with this stuff and dries completely flat...I guess it shall remain a mystery and will continue to haunt me for a very long time!


Karl O.
Berkley, MI
Mario Rapinett Posted - 05/18/2019 : 12:35:50 AM
I tried to call you today, but i left a message... I need some modelling advice
cheers mate
Karl Osolinski Posted - 05/16/2019 : 4:55:27 PM
Originally posted by Mario Rapinett

Hey Man..... what's happening mate.....trust all good, down in the cockpit.....cheers from your Aussie bloke...

Hi Mario,

Thanks for checking in...

I've been trying to populate the area in and around the Rapinett Motor neighborhood but every time I get going on it some troublemaker impedes my progress...all it's been doing is keeping the local police force busy and me painting more people.



Mario Rapinett Posted - 05/13/2019 : 10:20:41 PM
Hey Man..... what's happening mate.....trust all good, down in the cockpit.....cheers from your Aussie bloke...
quartergauger48 Posted - 04/30/2019 : 5:15:54 PM
Originally posted by CandPS

Here is another picture. I also use the method to transfer text, like on the rolled up canopy.
I hope I did it right this time inserting the photographs.

Very extraordinary work'. That is an excellent siding job and sign.
John B. Posted - 04/29/2019 : 9:10:28 PM
Karl, What more can one say....BRAVO!!
Rick Posted - 04/22/2019 : 09:43:59 AM
Karl, glad that the falling light didn't turn into a complete catastrophe.

As usual, beautiful modeling and photography.
bandman Posted - 04/21/2019 : 10:22:55 PM
Karl, first time poster and long time lurker here. I thoroughly enjoy your artistry in modeling. Thank you for sharing.

Horton Monroe
postalkarl Posted - 04/21/2019 : 8:45:36 PM
Hey Karl O

That is some beautiful modeiong.

Karl S.

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