Saturday, October 26, 2013

Long-Bell Lumber, Atlas Lumber shed

I wanted to build a lumberyard using the Atlas plastic kits, but wanted to make it a larger, multiple building complex.    Using three Atlas kits, I am going to kitbash one in to an office and hardware sales area, build one mostly stock, and kitbash the third to be all lumber, and no saw area.  I am going to show the building of the third unit in this entry.

The preliminary layout is shown above, with some creosote treated lumber in the upper right and some coal bins in the lower right.  Previously I have built the Fine Scale Miniature Barnstead Lumber and blogged about it here:  I love lumberyards, logging and the related industries.

I bought three of the kits on special.

Since I was not using any of the interior on the building I am using as the office/showroom, I was able to cut those parts to fill in the loading dock area to store lumber using those parts.  I assembled it on the supplied base, but did not glue it to the base yet.

I cut most of the base away, and the small office that comes with this kit, I had already stolen for use in my logging camp.

Here is the assembled model, before painting.  Note the base has been trimmed to fit the structure.  I wanted most of the plastic on this model to look like weathered wood.  I painted all the wood portions of this model with a light tan color, then used Alcohol and Ink to weather the boards.  

I also dry brushed some gray paint on the boards to simulate some old paint, and some white on the trim.  Long-Bell Lumber, a Kansas City based company, painted their structures gray with white trim.  I cut stripwood to fill the bins.  I have not glued them in place yet, as I have not finalized how I will arrange the lumberyard.  I also made some units of plywood, shown here in the four bins to the lower right.

I cut sheets of plywood from 110# card stock that I had printed cut line on.  I also had a color print of several different types of plywood to put on top of the stack.  The edged of the cut paper were colored with colored pencils, and the glue was brushed on the sides of the stacks to hold them together.

For the taller plywood stack, I glued the colored plywood to a block of balsa, just to see how it would look.  Certainly easier than cutting all that paper.  The right side of the building had some cast on detail that I removed, and the scribed the siding back in place.  The base was painted ModelFlex Concrete. 

Next in this series, I will cover the structure built stock, as the manufacturer intended.  That will be a quick entry. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

From O scale to HO scale, a Plasticville Kitbash

In one of the many online groups I belong to, someone mentioned that the O scale Plasticville hanger was obviously too small, and would be an easy kitbash to HO scale.  I ran across one at a hobby shop in Columbus Ohio, so I picked one up.  This is what the manufacturer shows it is supposed to look like. 
 The planes are not even large enough for HO scale, let alone O.  I sold the planes on ebay for half the cost of the kit.  It seems to be a reasonably rare kit, and many times the planes were lost, so the collectors are looking for the planes.  

For scale purposes, here are a couple HO fire trucks to give you and idea of how small the building really is.

Certainly not O scale, except the side doors, which are way to big for HO.  Both sides are the same,  so I had two doors to hide, or do something with. Someone on suggested and overhead door, and another suggested adding an office wing.  Those sounded good to me, so I did both.

The overhead door was easy.  I cut out a section, framed in a door, and used some corrugated plastic for the roll-up door.

On the other side, I cut out the same square and designed a shed roof office addition to be 3d printed.

For printing on my Afinia printer, I exploded the drawing as shown above.

Here is what the windows looked like as they come from the printer, and

here is what they look like ready to paint.

Because of all the glass, I felt I needed to detail the interior.  For that I used a combination of things I printed on my printer, and more detailed items I designed and printed at  In this view you can see the rolltop desk and chair printed at shapeways.

The desk on the right was printed on the Afinia printer, as was the desk and file cabinet in the fore ground. The chairs were printed at shapeways.

The tables in the corner are from the scrape box.  The flowers and vase on the right are scratch built.  (I made a bunch of flowers for an earlier project, and so have lots left over.)  The lamp on the table in the left corner was also printed on the Afinia.

I probably could have scratch built the whole thing with not that much more effort, but I like the idea of telling people, "that is an O scale kit.  The roof has multple skylights, and a couple vents.

I painted the vents silver that rusted them up with Sophisticated Finishes iron rust, one completely rusted up and the other only slightly.

The vents are on the back half of the roof, and on the front are a couple small skylights.  I painted them with Sophisticated Finishes Copper and Patina solution.

On the center front of the roof is a cupola skylight that is supposed to have a wind sock on it.  I painted it white and gave it some rust around the edges.  SOooo the question is, how does one model a wind sock in HO scale?

From this overhead shot, we can see the large center skylight, and the placement of the office to the left.  I plan on adding a fuel tank in the corner behind the office, but I will probably wait for that until I get ready to install this on a layout.

 The signs were made from computer files I have collected over the years.  I printed them on good photo paper, sprayed them with flat finish, and glued them in place.

With the door open you can see in the office, and the soda pop machine.  The planes are from AHM, and are listed as 1/100 scale, but that is probably just close to right, knowing AHM.

I have several airplane kits that I hope to get to one day, but in the mean time, these old models will do fine as stand ins.

I did a hanger previously, a one plane hanger that you can see here:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Arch Roof Garage, low relief back drop building

This is an experiment build.  I was just wanted to try some different techniques and ideas, and this seemed to be a good building to use for that purpose.  I have no idea what I am going to do with the structure in the end.

I wanted to prints some items that were about as wide as my printer would allow, and, although the roof came out fine, I had some issues with the walls.  They had some warp that was a little hard to work around, but I think that since this project, I have figured out the issues.  1.  Make sure the print platform is level; it was off a little when I printed this.  2.  Preheat the print platform, which I now always do.  

A drawing of the assembled building.

Here are the exploded parts, oriented for printing.  I actually printed it in several pieces, as this would be too large for my printer.  The roof needed to be turned 45 degrees in order to fit on the build platform.

Here are some of the parts.  The roof has been primed, and the walls and doors are ready for primer.

The I-beam above the garage door is a styrene shape, not something I printed.  I am going to try printing something similar in design with the roof material printed in transparent, so when the building is lit, the light will shine through.  Generally not what one might want, but there are many translucent roof panels, and I want to give modeling some a try.

Here is the building pretty close to done.  I may add some more signs, and I do need to add window glass.  If anyone is interested in the signs, I will be posting them on

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Just for Giggles, spiral Chimney, glass block windows

There was a thread on by UnityRR that had a picture of a twisted chimney, and there was some speculation as to the best way to model one.  

I thought it would make a unique addition to my box of junk box, so I decided to design and print one.

Here is the second design, the first did not go well, and then the first print.  And yes, there is a hole down the middle.

I found picture of another twisted chimney on line, this one a larger girth chimney with only a 90 degree twist.  So I decided to model it too.

The twisted sisters, wasn't that a rock-n-roll group? 

After the test print on the first, I added a straight section to one end so that the chimney could be trimmed to fit a slopped roof.

I sent samples to UnityRR, and he emailed me these pictures.  Note that after he added the terracotta tops, he realized that he had the top on the wrong end of the taller sister.  

He popped the top off and put it on the correct end.

I was contacted about the possibility of making some glass block windows, and since I had some transparent filament on order, the timing was perfect for giving it a try.

They were interested in building this structure in the Fairfax district here in KC.  I went out a measured the blocks, came up with a drawing, and

printed out a couple test shots.  The one on the left is a scale 4" thick, and the one on the right is 8".

The thinner one is slightly more transparent, but I like the thicker one as it give more gluing surface around the edges.

The A W Enterprises building in Chicago,, is a building I am thinking of adapting for use on my layout.  I did some test drawings, and then did a test print.

 I used a black gel pen to color in the mortar line on one side, just to see how it would work, and not that would be, not so good.  The Fairfax building has black mortar, and I have not figured out a way to make the black mortar lines on the transparent blocks.

With some back lighting.

Held right up to the light.

I think these will look great back lit in a building.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Slaughter House, 3d Printed, Down on the Farm #3

The next building I am making for my farm diorama is the slaughter house.  Below are the plans from the South Dakota State University web site.
I have adjusted the drawing from my print.  I found several issues with my first print job.  I added printed in place bracing to the corners and the  top and bottom of the walls.  I also added thickness around any openings in the walls.

The printed building is kind of flimsy, the reason I added bracing to the drawing should I ever want to print it again. 


I painted the building with Badger's Modelflex Concrete, and the windows with white.

One of the reasons I added thickness around the window and door openings was to make it easier to install them.  With the update, the inside of the windows will be flush with the inside of the walls.  It also provides more surface for glue.

From above you can see some of the bracing I added.  The hallway wall on the freezer room was crooked, not that anyone would be able to see that through the windows, but just in case, I did add a header to connect the walls and straiten things out.

I made the roof out of .080 styrene and reinforced it as shown.

Cutting both sides of the roof the same size seemed the easiest, and then I just added a strip at the ridge and sanded it flush.  

For roofing, I decided to use paper printed (2d) shingles.  To give them some depth, I decided to cut them in to strips, and notch each row half way with scissors.  It sounded like a good idea, but three hours in to it, not so much.  It better look really good when I am done for me to do it again.  

I am not making a removable roof and fully detailing the interior, but I did want to have some detail showing that might be seen through the windows.  Just inside the windows in a holding pen and scalding tank on one side, and a table on the other.

Well you be the judge on the roofing.
I used my Ash Grove Red weather powders on the roof.  On this side you can see the holding pen and the scalding tank through the window.

On this side one can see the cutting table through the windows.

And, if you have read this far, then maybe you are interested in earlier posts in this series.