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In-ko-pah RR: New project

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  • #76
    Thanks, everyone!


    • #77
      The project I've been working on recently is one with very significant personal meaning...

      I finished the exterior of the stone building on the left in 2013:

      I designed this building to represent a former bank building which has gone through many different occupants over the years, and is currently home to a custom jewelry shop. It was intended to be a tribute to my brother Jim and his wife Maggi.

      After finishing the exterior, I built the removable boxes that form the two interior rooms. Here's the room for the ground floor:

      That was as far as I got -- adding lights and details to the interiors got put on hold while I worked on getting some of the other Mineral Ridge buildings put together. After the untimely deaths of my brother and his wife in 2016, I wanted to go back and finish this up, but it was much too painful emotionally. Only in the last few months have I gotten to a place where I felt ready to take it on.

      The first item to complete was the door of the bank's vault. It's loosely modeled after this vault door in the ruined Nye & Ormsby Bank in Manhattan, NV:

      Several parts are missing on the prototype, so I also relied on photos of similar vault doors that I found via Google.

      The door and doorframe were built up on a sheet of styrene:

      After trimming off excess material around the door frame, I began adding hinges and locking hardware:

      Once assembled, I painted the door in an era-appropriate style. I added a slight bit of weathering and scuffs to represent typical wear on a vault in an old building which has at times been virtually abandoned. Then I glued the door assembly to the wall:

      Next I made some ceiling lamps, using three different styles of acrylic beads for each lamp:

      Wider holes were drilled through two of the beads to accommodate an LED. The base was sprayed with black primer, then hand painted with brass paint:

      The remaining two beads were glued together, then glued to the base. Holes were drilled in the ceiling and the lamps were glued in place:

      Now I need to make a display case. The lower half of the case was built using sheet and strip styrene plus a couple pieces of Sintra PVC board:

      The frame for the glass front was assembled from styrene strips, using a pair of machinist's blocks to keep everything square:

      The rest won't be visible so it isn't fancy:

      After I painted the case, I glued a tiny LED into the inside of the display area. The wire leads run through a hole and out the back:

      I used slide cover glass for the top and front of the case. It was glued in place using clear silicone sealant.

      I made a small, round table using bits from an old robot model I bought years ago, plus a styrene rod and some styrene sheet material. The display bust was made of thin Sintra with styrene details.

      Another display was made by cutting down a plastic cake pillar and capping the ends with thin pieces of Sintra:

      Here is the finished interior:

      I used real photos of my brother's jewelry for the frame photo displays on the walls. The jewelry inside the display case was made by reducing photos of his work and adding a black background. This was printed onto self-adhesive vinyl, then sprayed with flat clear coat. Then I used a very fine brush to carefully apply artist's gloss medium to each of the items, making them stand out from the flat background.

      That's all on this for now, more later.


      • #78

        Not only is this an inspirational model, the workmanship is outstanding. A wonderful project that I know you will cherish.

        Well Done!!



        • #79

          my deepest condolences to your loss, of which I only learnt now.

          Your model reflects strong dedication to get it right and I feel it shows a great deal of love.

          You surely did honor your brother's memory.

          Best regards,



          • #80
            Outstanding as usual! And a great tribute to your brother.

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


            • #81
              Just terrific in so many ways, Ray!


              • #82
                Absolutely gorgeous, Ray. What a nice tribute.


                Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin


                • #83
                  A beautiful tribute, Ray. A beautiful structure, inside and out.



                  • #84
                    Beautiful tribute Ray. The details are wonderful. The crown mold is incredible!



                    • #85
                      Awesome Ray'...Completely outstanding and beautiful work. Congratulations on an excellent project.



                      • #86
                        Outstanding work Ray. An a great tribute to your brother and his wife.

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


                        • #87
                          Fabulous, Ray!!


                          • #88
                            Thanks guys!

                            After seven years of constant exposure to the elements, the building's exterior was in remarkably good shape. However it did need a little bit of refurbishing.

                            The stones on the front of the building were resin castings. These castings shrank slightly, leaving unsightly gaps, and a few had come loose:

                            I filled the gaps, using a gritty, acrylic putty made for artists, called "ceramic stucco". The excess paste cleans off with water. I thought that the gritty texture would be a nice effect but it ended up leaving tiny traces of grit on the stones too. It's not bad enough to bother redoing it, but if I were to do this again on another building I'd use plain acrylic paste.

                            After filling the gaps I repainted the entire front of the structure, and weathered it with grime and "bird poop" on the ledges.

                            The east side of the building was textured and painted to look like random stone construction, very similar in appearance to the real stone retaining wall on the cliff behind the building. This area still looked good, with only slight fading. I touched up the paint on a few stones here and there just to make it "pop" a little.

                            However, the two signs on this side of the building were badly faded and becoming nearly unreadable. I went over them with some fresh painted, applied by hand with a brush. I made the colors more vivid so they wouldn't fade so quickly.

                            Unsurprisingly, the top of the building had the most wear due to pounding rain and hail. In some places the paint was nearly worn off. I sanded them to give the surface "tooth" and repainted them.

                            Next I went to work making a sign for gallery. This would fit in the arch above the storefront. I used Slater PlastiKard letters and glued them to 0.040" styrene rods. I placed a thin strip of brass between the rods to keep them properly spaced while gluing the letters with solvent. Once the letters were secured I removed the brass.

                            The entire sign was sprayed with flat black paint. Then I used a fine brush to apply gold paint to the front of the letters. The styrene rods were trimmed to fit the arch, and the sign was glued into place:

                            Smaller signs for the windows were printed on self-adhesive vinyl. These were mounted on a brass strip and glued in place on the inside of the storefront. Then the storefront was glued into the building.

                            That's all for now. The next step is creating interior details for the second floor, which will be the jewelry-making workshop.



                            • #89

                              That is just OUTSTANDING. I am lost for words. Can't wait to see what you do with the workshop.




                              • #90
                                Another masterpiece in the making!!