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HO "Gothic Arch" dairy barn in styrene

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  • HO "Gothic Arch" dairy barn in styrene

    On my HO B&M Eastern Route, I have been working on a farmstead on the south bank of the Rowley River. The house is a kit, but I wanted a large, modern (for the 1950s) dairy barn, and with reasonable space for animals, vehicles etc. I only had room for a half-structure, up against the backdrop.

    There are several kits in the right size range, but I didn't really want to build only half a kit. Also they were older structures, and what I'm trying to show here is someone who decided to "get big" rather than "get out", with the blue "tombstone" silos on the backdrop and the bankers grinning as they watch him try to pay off the debt.

    Searching the web, I found a plan with the right general look here:

    I had been thinking about this for years, but got off the dime last night.

  • #2

    Interesting choice, and an elegant philosophy to go with it!

    Keep us posted!


    in Michigan


    • #3
      I have room for the full (half) depth of 18 feet, and height is no problem. I cut the length down to about 100 feet to allow for pens, sheds etc. so it'll actually be about 30 stalls - still pretty big for an HO farm. First, I made a rough template for the building's profile. I had corrugated cardboard handy, but shirt cardboard would have been better.

      Some time back, I bought a 4x8 of .040 styrene, so in the vein of "when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail", I cut off an 18 scale foot wide strip. I made the floor 101 feet long to match my hardboard foundation. Then I marked off 6 interior formers and two ends .040 taller. I cut them out with EMT scissors, clamped them all together and filed them to the same profile:

      I cut out a front wall 9' high and started to assemble it, using liquid cement, tube cement and little bits of cut-offs as bracing.

      More as I progress, but my wash needs to be hung.


      • #4
        I always loved these structures. That is a lot of roof to shingle. . . . . looking forward to seeing it.
        Peter (swissrails)


        • #5
          A great project, James, and a great way to depict a large structure in limited space. (BTW, the site with the plans was a great find.)


          • #6
            Last night I got the roof assembled. In that "looks like a nail" theme, I decided to use .040 styrene because I could get the 14" width in one piece. It was enough trouble to form that I would probably splice .020 if I did it again.

            I tried rolling the curve into it, then tried a heat gun over a 1 gal. jar as a form. The soffit is an Evergreen HO scale 4x10. Elastics, fingers and MEK closed that gap and I trimmed the roof this morning.


            • #7
              Interesting project, James. That 0.040" styrene has to be tough to work with.

              The sky is not my limit, it's my playground.


              • #8
                If it was me, I would score the roof length wise with a knife, the score lines would be about 1/4" apart. This would help the polystyrene bend to take the curve and also make it look like planks. Once you put the shingles on, well, no more score lines.

                Just my opinion. Nice project, by the way.

                Christopher [:-clown]
                Clowning around with trains.


                • #9
                  Chris.......missed you. Of course Chris is right, scribing the styrene would have made the job easier. With a scribe half the thickness deep, it would have bent as easily as .020.

                  Very nice James and this will certainly make a good backdrop building.

                  One little trick to consider before you go much farther, is to add a slight amount of the roof on the back side, into the wall.

                  This way, the ridge stands proud of the wall and the building actually looks much better this way.

                  It doesn't have to be much, just enough to break that hard ridge line on the wall and the plane where it would now touch would be hidden.
                  Dave Mason


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the hints Dave & Chris; I got the roof assembled ok and now I'm working on the side sheathing and framing the windows & doors. I'll try scribing the next time I want to form a shape like that. Given that the foundation is in place, I don't have a lot of scope for setting it proud of the backdrop, but I may be able to work in something like that when I figure out what to use for a ridge vent (the plans show a heart-shaped cross section, probably sheet metal). Photos when I have a chance.


                    • #11
                      I had the wood stove going yesterday, so I brought the barn project downstairs to work on it in the warmth.

                      The plans don't include windows, but my farmer and all his neighbors would remember the '38 hurricane vividly: I made them 2 feet square and 10 feet apart to suit the 24" stud spacing. I set them high because the barn is going to see a lot of cow traffic.

                      They and the door are framed with .010x.060 strip. I scribed the tongue & groove lines 9 scale inches apart with a square and a fine stainless sculpting pick I got as part of a "tool guy"'s set. 20:20 hindsight: I should have allowed for the extra depth so I could have applied .020 v-groove sheet instead. But I wanted eaves on the ends and it didn't take *that* long.

                      I need to finish the end doors and then it'll be ready for paint. I'm not sure how successful it will be to model half-doors open, but I can experiment with the left end, which won't be visible when the building is in place.


                      • #12

                        The tongue & groove lines and those windows already make a tremendous difference in the model. Nice work. :up:


                        • #13
                          Bruce I agree with that. James your last effort has transformed this from plastic in to a structure. Beautifully done!

                          "Always remember to never use absolutes."


                          • #14
                            Nice and interesting build. What are EMT scissors?


                            • #15
                              Great barn project and that plan cite is priceless.Thanks.
                              Johnathan (Catt) Edwards

                              100% Michigan made