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 Steam Era Structures Build (Organ Works)
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Author Previous Topic: SRMWs kit No. 240 HO Car Shop - Diesel Shop Build Topic Next Topic: Campbell Sand House: Challenge Project #3
Page: of 13

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 01/06/2021 :  08:59:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Onto the next post....

Country: USA | Posts: 4143

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 01/06/2021 :  09:10:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello everyone.

My next project is for a modeler friend who recently moved, which required him to take down his old layout. I offered to help him rebuild with a scratch built HO scale structure of his choice..

During our discussion of possible subjects, he mentioned "Steam Era Structures," a now defunct kit company from Cincinnati Ohio. He had purchased "some paper plans only" of a few kits from the owner, who had agreed to sell them, after the company closed.

There were no building materials included, and just a few leftover cast details were thrown in. A structure called Opanskys Organ Works caught his eye, and we agreed I would tackle the task.

A few pictures still exist on-line of the built up versions...

Some of the 5 full scale sheets ..all wall & roof card templates were missing...

Measuring directly off the plans, I cut some mock up pieces, which will become the templates for cutting the actual wall sheet goods.

We thought the model a bit smaller than anticipated, so I made both units about 15% longer, but didn't change the width, or the height. Here's the 2nd mockup...

I started with the foundation, which is about 1/16" smaller than the wall perimeter. It's 4 scale feet high. I began with some 10" x 2" X 1/4" thick plaster of Paris blank sheets I'd poured months ago, and cut them into 1/2" high widths with a razor saw.

Before going any further, I glued thin card to the backs of each to resist cracking and failure. I need a total of 10 lengths. 4 for each structure and 2 for the connector area.

I began scribing blocks rows into the plaster with a dental pick, each about 3/32" high. Random stone sizes with no vertical joints lining up. Need basement windows openings too....

This is going to take a LONG time...one piece already broke on me....GRRR

Till next time....doors, windows & walls....

Country: USA | Posts: 4143 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/06/2021 :  09:19:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This task will be no problem for the experienced modeler that you are. Looks like you have a handle on this already and it looks good to me. I have done the same thing before in using the card to fortify the hydrocal walls. I will be following along with the build.


Country: USA | Posts: 4694 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/06/2021 :  10:07:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, nice to see another modeler helping out a friend in need!
I'll volunteer to keep the bellows pumped for you, while you work your magic again.

Greg Shinnie

Country: Canada | Posts: 9027 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/06/2021 :  10:25:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That looks like a good set of drawings, and the overall look of the structure has a more real-world look than some offerings. I'll be following along, good luck with the stonework.

Country: USA | Posts: 6794 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/06/2021 :  10:26:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks like a great project, I will be following.



Country: USA | Posts: 4240 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/06/2021 :  10:39:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Damm, fourth in line to get a front row seat.

I'm watching and taking notes.


New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds

Country: USA | Posts: 3941 Go to Top of Page

George D

Premium Member

Posted - 01/06/2021 :  11:21:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's a fascinating building design. I'm sure you'll please your friend with the build.

Nothing like starting with a hard task - carving plaster.


Fly Army

Country: USA | Posts: 16770 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/06/2021 :  11:46:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good way to start off the New Year Carl.

Looks like you have a good start here.

Dental pick I didn't realize you were a dentist before becoming a modeler!!


"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 13194 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Supporting Member

Posted - 01/06/2021 :  12:03:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl -

Looks like a nice challenge for you. Always liked the SES kit designs, but have not see many built.
Your friend is a lucky person.

Country: USA | Posts: 298 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn

Posted - 01/06/2021 :  2:40:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Youíre starting with a splendid design. And you can tweak the design to make it even better.

Plaster (or hydrocal) is an excellent medium for stone. My favorite when thereís going to be a lot of foundation visible. Your stonework is going to look very realistic Iím sure.


Country: USA | Posts: 7189 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/06/2021 :  3:03:13 PM  Show Profile  Send mark_dalrymple an AOL message  Reply with Quote
A very neat structure, Carl.

I'll be following your progress.

Cheers, Mark.

Country: New Zealand | Posts: 1267 Go to Top of Page

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 01/06/2021 :  7:23:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rich, Greg, James, Bob, Bernd, George, Jerry, Jim, Mike and Mark, thank you for following along.

Interpreting the Steam Era Structure idea from just paper plans is a bit of a challenge, but what the heck?! It's on the small side, so it shouldn't drag out too long.

Country: USA | Posts: 4143 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/07/2021 :  06:59:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i'm pulling up a chair....
this is always the best show in town.

diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggie', until you can find a rock.

Country: USA | Posts: 220 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/07/2021 :  09:38:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Deal me in! I'm sure your ability to 'upgrade' the original design will enter into this build.


Take the red pill

Country: USA | Posts: 6154 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer

Posted - 01/07/2021 :  09:45:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Organ Works now that's music to my ears. Ready set go.


Country: USA | Posts: 6128 Go to Top of Page
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