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Author Previous Topic: São Martins de Rio Valbergue Topic Next Topic: Trying to ID this kit
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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/16/2012 :  8:05:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I got a copy of Laser Modeling 3's "Winchendon Machine Company" for Christmas. I didn't get the machine tool or boiler add-on packages, as I already have lots of SS Ltd, Model Masterpieces and other belt driven machine tools "in stock". The base kit comes in a box with a huge number of laser cut parts, plaster castings, styrene castings, stripwood, fiber optics, etc.

This will not be a conventional build thread, since I tend to work "bursty". So it may be some time between updates. But over this long weekend, I got a good head start on this kit and came away with some observations/tips/lessons learned to pass along.

dave
Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 6447

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/16/2012 :  8:14:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Let's start at the bottom and work our way up. The kit comes with a 1-piece plaster cast stone foundation, and 4 pieces for the coal kit. I believe this is a softer plaster than hydrocal, it's definitely easier to work (which is A Good Thing.)

The kit instructions warn you to not depend on the plaster foundation being square and level. That's good advice, but we can certainly true up the foundation. I bought a marble tile at a home store, and spray-glued sandpaper to it. This makes a perfectly flat sanding surface. I used a carpenter's trick I remember from high school shop; I ran a pencil line around the top of the casting. Then I sanded it a bit on tile:

The goal was to make the pencil line disappear, without removing too much of the casting. The castings were pretty square/flush to begin with, so not much sanding was necessary.

The 4 pieces that make up the coaling pit required a lot more work. I used a vixen file (http://toolmonger.com/2009/11/10/coarse-ladies/) to cut grooves to square off the ends of the castings, and then cut shallow slots in two sides to accommodate the other sides. I then glued the 4 sides together. edit Note this is assembled upside down, to make sure the tops of the 4 pieces are flush:

After this dried, I worked up a small stiff batch of plaster, sprayed the casting with water, and then filled in the cracks and gaps. A bit of reshaping and carving with a dental pick (particularly during that magic time before the plaster has fully set) finished off the stone work.

edit There's a wood base that goes with this, a wood box that encloses the conveyor and a ladder, that I still need to add.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 01/16/2012 9:15:21 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 6447 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/16/2012 :  8:28:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My standard technique for coloring rock is to prime with artist gesso. This provides a uniform surface with good 'tooth' to take subsequent paints. After the gesso dried, I primed with a tan craft paint.

Usually I'll use make-up sponges to apply subsequent colors, but since the walls were already assembled, I used paint brushes instead. I was after a weathered granite color, so I mixed Payne's Gray and neutral gray (Payne's has a bit of a blue-purple tinge to it, giving a good granite look.) I drybrushed that over the stone. Next came a dry-brushing in spots of burnt sienna (a reddish tone). I mixed some tan with the neutral gray and added that as a third coat. Raw umber (a dark brown) was applied concentrating on the bottoms of the stones. Finally, I dry-brushed titanium buff highlights on the top of the stones. The two brushes I used for this are a bristle #8 angle shader (like this one http://www.dickblick.com/products/princeton-natural-bristle-angle-bright-series-5200ab/ ) and a bristle fan brush (like this http://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-scholastic-white-bristle-fan/). I really like bristle brushes for drybrushing, because they're relatively stiff.

Finally, I added some chalks to some of the stones, particularly dark gray chalks to resemble coal dust in the coal pit.


dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 6447 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/16/2012 :  8:38:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Next I tackled the floors. This structure has a machine shop on the ground floor and offices and drafting room on the 2nd floor. The latter, of course, would be a lot cleaner and neater, and that's an effect I wanted to capture on the floors.

I started with staining both floors an oak color (yeah, that's gen-u-ine Flo-Stain Oak, but I could have also used Minwax or any commercial oak stain.) (After I clean all the paint off the top of the Floquil bottle and cap, I put a thin coat of vaseline to help reseal the bottle.)

On the ground floor, I mixed some oil paints, a gray-green (Grumbacher 'greenish umber') and dark brown (burnt umber) into a stain, and brushed it across the floor. When that dried, I brushed alcohol and ink across both floors, to pull out the floor nailing details.

Then I applied heavy chalks to the ground floor emphasizing the corners/edges near the walls and the posts, and a light dust in the corners/edges of the office floor.

From left to right there's a light gray ash color, a dark grey charcoal color, a blue-gray and a kinda rusty red brown.

I think this captures the expected difference between the two floors of the structure and puts the dirt where I'd expect dirt and dust to normally collect.

edit I forgot to mention: The ground floor warped a bit, so I added 1/8" stripwood bracing to it. This brought out most of the warp, but caused other problems as described in the next installment. The 2nd floor also has a slight warp. I'll have to assemble the 2nd floor framing separate from the floor, so I can glue the floor down with a lot of weight to pull out that warp. See next posting for how I did this on the ground floor.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 01/16/2012 9:18:03 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 6447 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/16/2012 :  8:54:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Next, ground floor framing. All of these pieces are laser cut from basswood, and they're very delicate.

For the ground floor, I decided to keep the burnt color on the wood that naturally occurs from the laser. I matched that color by cheap artist acrylic burnt umber, so I painted the light surfaces this color.

The instructions say to build the posts on the floor. But I didn't do that (and that was probably a mistake.) Instead I assembled the posts with the main beams. On my kit, at least, there was an issue with the laser cutting. The posts are cut from 1/8" stock, and the beams are cut from 1/16" stock. This would be OK, except that the grooves the beams fit into are 1/8" rather than 1/16" wide. This is unfortunate, since it makes assembly a bit tougher and the whole assembly a little less strong. edit

But anyway... As you can see, I assembled the structure on its side, which makes sure that the beam assembly that is closest to the wall will be flush with the posts themselves. When this was done, I flipped it over and assembled the other outside beam. I used the floor to keep the posts in alignment.
.
Then I flipped the assembly up, and assembled the middle beam, being sure to keep it centered so the angled pieces align correctly on the center posts. Note the post spacing is NOT symmetric. The left-hand post assembly is different than the others to accommodate the end door, and the next post is closer to this end than the rest of the posts. The center beam piece is also different from the end pieces, as it doesn't have a diagonal brace where the door is.

Now I was left with a bit of a problem: How do I assemble the floor to the posts? In retrospect, what I should have done was cut a center piece for the ground floor that fit within the cast plaster foundation. Instead, I had to work around those stripwood braces (which, frankly, aren't quite enough to pull the warp out of the floor. I'm still thinking about that problem.)

What I ended up doing was creating an assembly jig. I started with a piece of 1/8" plywood. Then I ripped those 1/8" masonite strips (on my hobby table saw) and used double-sided tape to anchor them to the plywood so there would be a strip underneath each post opening, but there was a gap for the 1/8" stripwood bracing.


Next I pushed the floor onto the posts. I added glue at the bottom of each post, moved the floor back to where the bottom of the floor was flush with the bottom of the post, and put the whole assembly on the jig, with weights to keep things down. I also used weights to hold the end pieces (left and right) against the floor.

I can glue the ground floor assembly to the foundation now.

There's a ground floor office that needs to be added. As I write this, the paint on that is drying. But that's for our next installment. The other thing I need to do at this point is plan the location of the machines and the belt run. That's going to take some time.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 01/16/2012 9:26:28 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 6447 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/16/2012 :  9:12:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A couple of comments on this kit in general. The laser cut parts are very well done and there are at least 10 sheets of laser-cut parts (not counting shingles or window glazing.) But it's a challenge sometime to find the right sheet for a given part. The ground floor and 2nd floor posts are cut close to each other, you have to look carefully to notice that they're not all the same length. These pieces are fragile and I broke several of them, but glued them back together quickly. I'm using NESL's "Flamingo Glue" for assembly. ACC might well be a good alternative, but sometimes ACC introduces stains in the wood that I don't like and of course it can be a little too unforgiving.

It's generally better to paint pieces while they're still on the carrier sheet, but some of the roof rafters, in particular are cut across the grain and warp -a lot- when you paint them. Of course, the trick is to paint both sides and add weight until the paint is thoroughly dry. I like the dark weathered wood for the machine shop ground floor, but will probably paint the office walls and posts white on the 2nd floor.

The instructions are not as detailed as, for example, a Fine Scale Miniatures kit, but there are lots of photos. (Plus there's a photo section on the LM3 website, see http://lasermodeling3.com/products/winchendon-machine-shop/wichendon-gallery/.) So you have to study the pictures very carefully and fill in details between the steps in the instructions. So this is not a good kit for the first time craftsman structure builder. But with the one exception of the mis-matched slots on the framing, the laser cutting is excellent. I can't wait to tackle the sheets with office furniture, desks, chairs, drafting tables, etc.

It'll be at least a week before I can get back to work on this. After planning the machine locations, etc, I'll have to take time out to build the machines. So the structure will sit in this partially framed condition for quite a while. But I hope what's here has given you an idea of this kit and some tricks on how I'm building it.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 6447 Go to Top of Page

TRAINS1941
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 01/16/2012 :  10:33:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave a very good start. Thanks for pointing some of the pitfalls. I'm sure it will make it easier for those that follow.

Looking forward to the next installment.

Jerry



Country: USA | Posts: 9367 Go to Top of Page

CieloVistaRy
Fireman



Posted - 01/16/2012 :  10:36:46 PM  Show Profile  Send CieloVistaRy an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Good start. I enjoy your detailed descriptions. There are some ideas that I will take with me.

Arthur

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=40645

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George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/17/2012 :  06:59:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This looks like an interesting project, Dave. Thanks for providing us with all the details.

George



Country: USA | Posts: 14022 Go to Top of Page

smason2
Fireman

Posted - 01/17/2012 :  08:05:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks great Dave. I'll be following along.

Scott



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Popz
Crew Chief



Posted - 01/17/2012 :  08:27:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good morning Dave

Thanks for giving such great detail on your foundation. It looks super and am going to try it out. Thanks again

Mark



Country: USA | Posts: 539 Go to Top of Page

slimjerkins
Fireman



Posted - 01/17/2012 :  09:13:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking good Dave.

I can see about a dozen or so scale reflector lamps hanging from the beams. Magnet wires could run along the tops of the beams and routed down into the basement where you can hide your current limiting devices. Or - run a buss down each side and use a little surface mount limiters glued to the side of the beam.

Or - just use the lights they give you in the kit!

Have fun Dave. I'll be following.

-slim



Country: USA | Posts: 1320 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/17/2012 :  09:48:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by slimjerkins

Looking good Dave.

I can see about a dozen or so scale reflector lamps hanging from the beams. Magnet wires could run along the tops of the beams and routed down into the basement where you can hide your current limiting devices. Or - run a buss down each side and use a little surface mount limiters glued to the side of the beam.

Or - just use the lights they give you in the kit!

Have fun Dave. I'll be following.

-slim

But remember, I model the 1890s, so lighting would be subdued at best. I'm still pondering how much lighting to add...

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 6447 Go to Top of Page

Orionvp17
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 01/17/2012 :  09:54:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is looking really good, Dave. Love the floor colors and the granite work!

Pete
in Michigan



Country: USA | Posts: 5465 Go to Top of Page

slimjerkins
Fireman



Posted - 01/17/2012 :  09:54:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by deemery

quote:
Originally posted by slimjerkins

Looking good Dave.

I can see about a dozen or so scale reflector lamps hanging from the beams. Magnet wires could run along the tops of the beams and routed down into the basement where you can hide your current limiting devices. Or - run a buss down each side and use a little surface mount limiters glued to the side of the beam.

Or - just use the lights they give you in the kit!

Have fun Dave. I'll be following.

-slim

But remember, I model the 1890s, so lighting would be subdued at best. I'm still pondering how much lighting to add...

dave



OK, six then - every other beam. Makes the job easier!

-slim



Country: USA | Posts: 1320 Go to Top of Page

railman28
Fireman



Posted - 01/17/2012 :  09:58:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A fine start Dave, It looks likes it's going to be a very interesting build.

It's Only Make Believe

Bob Harris

Country: USA | Posts: 4328 Go to Top of Page
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