Railroad Line Forums - Scratch-building Graves - 2017 challenge
Railroad Line Forums
Save Password

Forgot Password?
  Home   Forums   Events Calendar   Sponsors   Support the RRLine   Guestbook   FAQ     Register
Active Topics | Active Polls | Resources | Members | Online Users | Live Chat | Avatar Legend | Search | Statistics
Photo Album | File Lister | File Library
[ Active Members: 6 | Anonymous Members: 0 | Guests: 100 ]  [ Total: 106 ]  [ Newest Member: Diosvanys ]
 All Forums
 Model Railroad Forums
 Mike Chambers' Craftsman's Corner
 Scratch-building Graves - 2017 challenge
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Reply to Topic | 
Author Previous Topic: Lous Galloping Geezer Topic Next Topic: 9 Crates in Nine Minutes  

Crew Chief

Posted - 01/01/2017 :  7:19:51 PM  Show Profile  Send mark_dalrymple an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Hi guys.

I decided to flesh out my progress on this project with a few extra photos and detailed explanations to those in the official 2017 challenge thread. I'm trying a few new things in this build which I thought it would be good to document. I've not use matt board on anything apart from pretty basic stuff before, and I'm trying a new stucco technique and medium.

Well - I'm indulging myself in a sketch to scratch for this challenge. For this project I've decided to attempt a scratch-build with a few alterations of Bar Mills Graves Elevators. I love the design of this kit and spent some time with a calculator when it came out working out just how much it would cost to get it to New Zealand (it worked out at around $650NZ). Those of you who saw me leave Scranton in 2015 will know exactly how many models I took back home with me! The pile when held with straight arms went above my eye level! And so, as much as I would have loved it, I couldn't afford this kit. I must add there were a few Bar Mills kits in that pile.

I started with a few pictures of the kit and a few doodles. This is a kit that looks great on all sides, and as appealing as that is, on my layout that usually means a whole heap of work that will never be seen. My favourite sides were the rail side, the side with the elevator shaft and the fire escape, and the angled wall with the wooden additions between these two. I also obviously needed the front entrance way, so I left the other side wall intact back to the second elevator shaft. At this point I cut the remainder of the structure off with a 45 degree wall going back to the rail serve wall where it meets at 90 degrees. I also kept in the 3-4 story break in the roof line, although mine is a triangle. I had to reduce the length of the rail serve side, curtailing the small office and covered deck.

Plan of my scratch-build showing measurements in mm. The dotted line shows where I have omitted part of the original structure.

And here is a sketch of the changed side of the structure.

I based my dimensions on clapboard size and window size. The windows I will be using are slightly shorter than those in the kit. Basically the stucco bottom level worked out to be 50mm high and the other levels 40mm high with about 7mm extra added for the cornice. This is pretty consistent to my typical allowances for scratch-builds. I am using 3.5mm matt board for the base and stucco walls and Northeastern random clapboard for the upper timber levels. The corner trim will be scale 6" by 6"s, and I will use 6" by 2"s for the meeting of the stucco/ timber walls and as a division to split the main front wall into two sections. The cornice will be made from some spare Campbell timber pieces spliced together. I was lucky enough to find an almost complete Montgomery's feed and seed for $12 which I have kept for scratch-building supplies.

Here is the base cut out ready to go.

And here is the walls for the elevator shaft and the stucco bottom story walls glued in place.

And the back wall and rail serve wall glued in place.

More soon, cheers, Mark.

Country: New Zealand | Posts: 852

Crew Chief

Posted - 01/03/2017 :  01:47:37 AM  Show Profile  Send mark_dalrymple an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Hi guys.

Firstly I cut some interior bracing 'floors' and glued these in position. I cut these the thickness of the clapboard walls smaller than the outer stucco walls so the two different mediums should finish almost flush (with the clapboard protruding very slightly). I had also cut the elevator shaft side walls smaller to also allow for the thickness of the clapboard. I had worked out where all the openings would go and chose the doors and windows before assembly. I had carefully marked these on the matt board and cut them out with a very sharp blade.

I put the windows and doors in place and marked the edges of their facings with a pencil. I masked these with painters tape. I marked where the rails for the lift would go and masked these, as well as the loading dock and office addition.

I applied Reeves course texture gel with a flat blade on all the stucco walls including the top and inside of the parapet walls. Once dry I sanded with 120 grit sandpaper. I reapplied where necessary (wall ends mostly) and again sanded.

I then applied a full coat of course texture gel by stippling with a paint brush.

More soon, cheers, Mark.

Country: New Zealand | Posts: 852 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn

Posted - 01/03/2017 :  08:23:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Very unusual approach to bracing but I expect it will be extremely effective. As you pointed out it takes a fair amount of planning. Your stucco looks very real.


And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing. Bob Dylan

Country: USA | Posts: 2131 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/03/2017 :  08:59:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I can't imagine building this structure from scratch. Way to go Mark.
Your stucco looks terrific...


Country: Canada | Posts: 1041 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/03/2017 :  3:10:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That sure is a very cool stucco job Mark'.
And a great scratch build'..Good for you on a very tricky build...


Country: USA | Posts: 4099 Go to Top of Page

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 01/03/2017 :  7:42:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Nice work Mark!

Country: USA | Posts: 2104 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/03/2017 :  8:59:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is looking awesome so far Mark! I'm sure you've heard of Emmanuel Nouaillier and his work with foam-core, but on the off chance that you have not you can Google him for some tips that would be at your standard of work (which is top class).


Edited by - Socialtrader on 01/03/2017 8:59:30 PM

Country: New Zealand | Posts: 107 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/03/2017 :  9:16:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Mark, nice to see your work being displayed here once again!
And it Looks like your off to a great start.
I've never tried that Reeves course textured gel before, looks like it does the job nicely.

Greg Shinnie

Country: Canada | Posts: 6789 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 01/06/2017 :  8:14:11 PM  Show Profile  Send mark_dalrymple an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Hi guys.

Thanks so much for all the comments!

Thanks Micheal. Yep - It sure does take some forward thinking - and when you are scratch-building something this complex you are bound to run into a few problems. I added vertical timber bracing on the corners of the clapboard and one down the centre of the large wall to help beef things up a bit more. I cut small squares in the centre matt board brace floor to allow for these. When I add my 6" by 6" corner trim I always glue it in place with the clapboard face up. The 6" by 6" really represents facings around the corner of the structure and these sit an inch or two proud of the clapboard. In this way I can glue some bracing on the back of the wall right up against the join of the 6" by 6" trim an the clapboard wall and then glue the other wall hard up against this bracing.

Thanks Bob, quartergauger and Carl. The stucco was quite easy to use and I was happy with the results. I think the two coat method is the way to go.

Thanks Bede! Yes - I have a folder fulled with colour photos of Emmanuel Nouaillier's work. Extraordinary modelling.

Thanks Greg - Its nice to be back at it again! I definitely recommend the Reeves textured gel. I did give that final coat a sand when dry as well.

Photo showing the front elevator shaft.

Photo showing the stucco with some colour on. I mixed up a 2:1 mix of Floquil antique white and foundation.

Here's the walls being cut out. This is the addition to the front left of the structure.

And the small walls - elevator winch house, rooftop stairway, cornice. I have almost run out of Floquil grime - which I use for weathering, so for these walls I mixed up a 3:2 mixture of reefer white and aged concrete which I then thinned down by 50%. I thought the colour was pretty close.

And here are the main walls weathered up. I used my usual method of a quick coat if grime followed by dabs of dirty oil based paint cleaner (the sludgy stuff from the bottom) smeared in with a paper towel followed by A&I - all in quick succession.

We have friends over for dinner tonight so modelling is momentarily on hold while I found the dining table again! I'll start messing it up again soon!

More soon, cheers, Mark

Country: New Zealand | Posts: 852 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 01/12/2017 :  5:35:48 PM  Show Profile  Send mark_dalrymple an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Hi guys.

Well - a bit more progress. The table is nicely messed up again!

First up we have a picture of my stencil. I found some 'Graves elevator' signs online and printed some off. I enlarged a couple to get 'Graves' lettering and tried some different sizes and positions until I found something I liked. I cut this out (on plain printer paper) and taped the stencil in position on the wall.

It was very flimsy so I kind of held the part I was working on down as I painted, using a dabbing method and trying not to get paint under the stencil. The results were average - what with the flimsyness of the stencil and the roughness of the stucco. Using a fine paint brush I touched up the black and the stucco colour. Results shown below. I'll see how it looks as things progress and will make up a big framed sign to cover if I am not happy.

Here is the weatherboard wall with the sign burnished on and with the cornice in place. I sized the sign and then printed it on plain printing paper. I gave the sign a good coat of Dullcote to seal and once dry sanded down the back with a cheap nail file. I work in a pulling motion from the centre of the sign outwards, and find that a layer of paper seems to roll off. If you can break small holes in the sign and take edges off without destroying the sign, all the better. I then use a blade to apply canopy glue in a thin layer with a full covering, carefully position the sign, cover with a piece of baking paper and burnish into the undulations of the weatherboards using my thumb nail. The cornice was made up by laminating several pieces of strip wood together and the corners were mitred with my mitre saw.

More soon, cheers, Mark.

Country: New Zealand | Posts: 852 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/13/2017 :  01:14:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking Great Mark! That is one cut up building.


Edited by - Philip on 01/13/2017 01:15:07 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 2001 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/13/2017 :  12:33:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fabulous work there Mark!

It's Only Make Believe

Bob Harris

Country: USA | Posts: 4064 Go to Top of Page

robert goslin

Premium Member

Posted - 01/13/2017 :  5:18:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Mark. Your making excellent progress. The signs look brilliant.

Regards Rob

Despite the cost of living, it's still popular.

Country: Australia | Posts: 1686 Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic: Lous Galloping Geezer Topic Next Topic: 9 Crates in Nine Minutes  
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Reply to Topic | 
Jump To:
Railroad Line Forums © 2000-14 Railroad Line Co. Go To Top Of Page
Steam was generated in 0.48 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000