Dec 18, 2011
I'm trying to remember- Does this style of depot have one chimney? Or two?
You know, with just a little squint (or no glasses) It looks like a heavy frost or a light dusting of snow on the roof. It's really coming along nicely
I'm not sure, but I guess I'd better be finding that out!
I had that exact thought a few nights ago, right after some real snow fell here. I think once the shingles are in place, I might try to mimic that look.
It's Getting Crowded In Here
The depot interior is finished. I built benches for the waiting area, put down a horrid blue and white linoleum floor, and place a few figures in strategic locations to create the illusion of a busy depot. The two seated figures were originally wearing shorts, not exactly appropriate for November in northern Minnesota, especially in 1920. Also not appropriate was the bright yellow dress that the female figure was wearing. Since these people will barely be visible, and will be viewed through plastic windows, detail isn't super important, but that bright yellow dress would have been out of place. I painted the dress brown, and painted over the bare legs on the two seated men.
As I said, detail isn't really important for the figures in the waiting area, they simply need to provide some colors and shadows to provide the sense that there people inside. The freight area is a different matter. Since it has large open doors, the interior is clearly visible. Detail DOES matter here. I spent a lot more time on the pieces for this section. The crates are cast metal, carefully painted with multiple shades of brown and gray, then washed and weathered to look like wood.
I still have a couple of pieces to add to the freight room - a scale, a couple of brooms, just an assortment of stuff to make it look "lived in". The waiting area is completely finished. It has to be - the depot structure is now permanently attached to the platform. There's no way to get in there to add more.
Under The Lights
With the fake interior installed, and the structure permanently glued down, it's time to turn on the lights and see if the illusion works. First, let me apologize for the lousy photos - I'm struggling to find the right technique for getting good shots of the lit interior. There's a trick here that I just haven't figured out yet.
Here's looking in through the bay window at one of the figures seated on a bench in the waiting area. You can also see his buddy standing beside him, and the clerk at the ticket counter. Part of the horrid linoleum floor is visible as well.
I haven't decided what this guy is doing yet. He's too well-dressed to be a depot worker. My best guess at this point is that he's a professor from Minneapolis, accompanying some secret cargo travelling from the West Coast. Some mysterious relic from South America or the South Pacific perhaps?
There's some sort of tall tale being told here. From the posture, it must involve wrestling a bear.
That's all I have for now. The photos really don't do justice to the lighting, it has to be seen first-hand to get the full effect. Or I need to figure out how to take the pictures correctly.
Or testing a new underarm deodorant....
What material was used for your linoleum? I am guessing it might be some sort of wrapping paper?
It's just a pattern that I downloaded from http://www.cgtextures.com/, printed on paper with my inkjet printer.
New Year's Confetti
Like many people, my New Year's Eve celebration involved lots of small bits of paper. Thanks to the bad cold that I've been fighting, which triggered the occasional cough or sneeze, my bits of paper would occasionally fly through the air, like New Year's confetti. A few pieces landed where they were supposed to - on the roof of my depot, where they're intended to look like decorative roof shingles.
I started by cutting a piece of plain white printer paper into 1.37 inch (10 scale feet) strips. Using a special pair of craft scissors, I then cut across those strips, in 1/4-inch intervals, to produce a pile of scalloped strips.
Turning these scalloped strips into roof shingles is a simple matter of gluing (with plain white Elmer's glue) a row of strips across the bottom edge of the roof. A second row of strips is applied, overlapping and slightly offset from the first row. Repeat with a third row, then a fourth, and so on until the roof is covered.
As soon as I finish covering the entire roof surface, I'll paint the whole thing a dark gray color, then apply my mix of weathering chalks. If all goes well, the end result will look like a roof covered with asphalt shingles.
The depot is very nearly done. Roofing shingles are glued down, the roof has been painted, and has been mounted to the structure itself. All that remains is to install a chimney, some flashing along the roof/wall joints, and then some weathering. As soon as those last few things are completed, it will be ready for placement on the layout. That placement includes hooking up power for the interior lights, which is the topic of this post.
Obviously, due to the amount of work I'm putting into these structures, I want to be able to reuse them on a future layout, or even take them to show at a contest or other event. For that reason, I won't be permanently mounting any of them to the layout. I'll also need to be able to easily connect/disconnect any power going to the structures. After giving this some thought, I've settled on the cheapest and easiest means of doing so that I could come up with - the 9-volt battery connector.
I purchased 50 of these for $3.00, so they fit within my modeling budget. They're easy to install, and easy to connect or disconnect.
They're also easy to conceal - just dig an extra-large hole under each structure, and stuff the whole thing through the hole. The building sits on top, completely hiding the wiring and the connector.
Now all that remains to install is a train order signal, and the agency is ready to go?
Doh!!! I forgot all about the signal...
I am officially declaring the depot finished. Today I installed the train order signal (scratchbuilt, of course), which I believe was the final addition.
The train order signal is built from a piece of brass tubing and a commercial styrene ladder. If you've been reading my stuff for a while, you can guess what the arms are made from. Yep, they were cut from that plastic "For Rent" sign. The arms are movable too, so I can position them differently from time to time, just for variety.
Here's how the finished product looks sitting on the layout, all hooked up with the lights turned on.
Stunning, just stunning !!! What a great finish Tracy.
Thanks Steve. I'm sitting here nitpicking over things that I see in the photo. I forgot to put handles on the freight doors. I forgot the baggage cart that I bought specifically to put on the depot platform. There's gray paint under the eaves above the checker players. The camera is brutal!
Move on to the next model. You're the only one who'll notice.
It's a really nice model.
What about having a telegrapher standing out front, with a pair of forks, ready to hoop up?
It looks great! Thanks for allowing the rest of us watch how you do things.
Your Luggage, Sir
Yes, yes, I know that I declared the depot "done", but I realized after making that claim that I had forgotten a couple of details. First was the baggage cart that I bought specifically for the depot. Some of you will recognize this pile of red and green parts as one of the Jordan Highway Miniatures kits.
Yep, I used a kit. I decided that trying to scratchbuild one just wasn't worth the effort. Maybe next time. I'm not a big fan of using styrene to represent wood, because it usually doesn't come out looking like wood. However, I'm fairly pleased with the outcome of this one. I think I found the right mix of colors.
Here's how it looks sitting on the depot platform. Right there in the spot that I left open for it.
Perfect! Now to do something about those missing door handles...