Sunday, May 31, 2015

Schrebergarten: Fences

Garden spots are small and of course fenced off. You certainly don't want kids to run across nearby tracks. Another Noch kit provided the fences. When convenient I glued the various pieces together with plastic glue, and mounted them on the baseboard using regular white glue.

Just before dinner, I ran out of fence to install, but you get an idea of how the two garden plots are laid out. Garden plants and greenery is next.

Schrebergarten: Sheds

I had planned the garden spots in Talheim for a while, so I've been collecting various supplies for them over time. One of these is Noch's garden sheds kit. This is a set of small sheds made from laser-cut cardboard. I intend to use the two small sheds, but ended up building all three.

The kit comes with the appropriate glue, so there is no guesswork involved on that front. Putting it together is as easy as one might think (how hard could this possibly be?), and the resulting sheds are surprisingly sturdy.

Shed 1 was put together in no time and is a cute little building. The roof is made from rather thin cardboard. I'll need to take some care when working around these little sheds.

Shed 2 is slightly more involved, but came together quickly as well.

I messed up the wall angles a bit when gluing one side of Shed 3, but noticed it only when reviewing the finished building and wondered where that gap came from. So, as it turns out, while it is an easy kit to build, you still need to pay attention. I forgot to take a photo of Shed 3. Maybe some other day.

I need fences.

Schrebergaerten in Talheim

The area between the Koef shed and the mainline in Talheim has an odd shape. In real life the prototype would allow creation of "Schrebergaerten" (garden spots) on such unusable property along the tracks. I can do the same.

In order to build the gardens off the layout, I cut a base piece from poster board.

I painted the board my standard earth brown, sifted fine sand into the wet paint, and left the board alone to dry, while working on something else.

A couple hours later, I returned to the board and ... well, that didn't work. The poster board had warped and the paper cover came off.

On the second try I used insulation board as the base, painted it, sifted sand, and left it to dry.

Time for some sheds.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hallelujah Papermill: Plant Office

At first I thought there are parts missing for the plant office, until I realized that the vertical sections are not to be filled with additional plastic pieces, but rather be painted... Hrmpf. Fine. So I did. I spray-painted the walls in a more appealing color than the rather ugly gray molding they came in, and brush painted the vertical sections in Floquil Roof Brown, which creates this rather ugly color combination one often sees in seventies industrial buildings that want to be cool.

The main entrance door was indeed missing, though, along with the canopy over the entrance. The canopy was quickly made from a piece of flat roof. I decided to look at the club for the missing door ... and then changed my mind and built it from strip styrene.

I used Evergreen .030x.040 cut to size on the NWSL Chopper, and a strip of .010x.040 strip styrene for the floor piece.

After testing the fit with some adjustments, I spray painted the door frame and mounted it with the glass from the kit.

The office is quite a bit smaller than I expected, so I decided that it will be some kind of logistics and plant operation office, while the main office is in a nearby town. Because it is so small, I might have to build one more operations or shop building to fill the space along the paper making building.
I'll worry about that another day.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Junior Operator

Train 376 on the way from Nowheres to Bakersfield. Engineer Franziska just got clearance from SVL Dispatch to proceed to the bottom of the loop.

Hallelujah Papermill: Finished Paper warehouse testing

Once I move the spur back a little the warehouse will fit well in the space.

Clearances are fine. As expected, I need to cut back the end wall a little bit, too, to have enough space. I will need to dig out that old track from the homasote.

A car spotted at Door 7.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hallelujah Papermill: Door 7

We're back at the dining table witnessing building surgery. The Dremel is helpful in making the required cuts.

Since this is my last chance of having the wall section flat on a work surface I cut the opening for Door 7 and used a baffle from Walthers "Magic Pan Bakeries" kit to create a weather-proof loading spot.

The roof is puzzled together from several pieces because there was no piece in the box that fit this section of the building. If I had paid a little bit more attention, I could have saved myself some work here. "Measure twice..." and then remember what you measured, instead of measuring a 3rd time and cutting the roof half an inch too short. In the end the roof will be covered with a gravel layer, so it doesn't matter much that the roof structure looks a bit cobbled together.

I let the glue dry completely over night because I need this piece to be stable for the next step.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hallelujah Station

The modified Hallelujah station building now fits perfectly between track and backdrop. We assume that the SVL main (in the foreground) got added later, thus a new platform was built (see mockups along the main) and the station building continued to be used.

Hallelujah Papermill: Measure twice ...

Hmmmm ...

The good news is that the surgery on the north wall of the Finished Paper warehouse had the desired effect. The building fits between the mine spur on the left and the loading spur on the right:

The bad news is that the south facade needs more surgery to fit over the hidden mine spur. Never mind that track embedded in the homasote...

And the "ooopsie" of the day is that I didn't take the wall width of the covered car loading area into account when laying out the spur to the warehouse. Clearance between the run-around track and the warehouse wall is just a little bit too tight. While even the longest cars fit, they fit just barely and every operator will be scared for their switch men in that location. You can see how tight it is with the bulk head car on the right in the photo of the north wall above.

Thankfully, I have enough space to move the loading spur and the warehouse building a quarter inch to the back, which will alleviate this super-tight situation.

The part of the spur outside the covered loading area will be served by a loading door in the middle of the wall section facing the track. I intend to treat this as a dedicated car spot, so that crews will have to put a specific car to this door ("box car CN&W 46529 to Finished Paper Warehouse, Door #6"). That wall is about 70 scale feet long, so there is enough space to position any modern center door box car.

While standing in front of the layout and contemplating building arrangements, it became crystal-clear where the offices from Walther's "Magic Pan Bakeries" kit would go, and what to do with the open space between said offices, the paper machine building, and the chemical unloading facility.

But first, I need to do some more surgery...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hallelujah Papermill: Kitbashing the Finished Paper Warehouse

The Finished Paper Warehouse for Hallelujah Paper needs to be modified to fit into the space I have for it.

I started off by fitting extra wall sections to extend the warehouse space.

Roofs were found in the boxes, too. Good.

Moving on to rebuilding the support structure, so that it is not as deep and a bit more solid.

Now comes the fun part: Shortening the north wall. I scribed the wall from the inside, and very carefully from the outside to get a clean cut.

I wanted a clean corner. So I need to remove the light brick work and the middle window, and replace it with an edge window fitted with brick work to the edge of the building.

Edge window moved

Cuts cleaned up, and some brick work fitted to the edge
When this building gets painted the remaining gaps from the gaps will mostly disappear. In the above photo I already installed the roof. Remember, one purpose of this building is to hide away the mine spur behind the paper mill. The middle section of the building hangs over the hidden track. The story goes that the spur actually curves away from the viewer into the back drop "leaving the room". To accomplish this effect I cut the roof at an angle to widen from the loading doors toward the middle of the building, and installed a roof edge suggesting that the building ends before the back drop.

The main warehouse section extends "into the back drop".

I've built up enough of the building that I now need to bring it down to the club to make sure it really fits into the space I have planned. Depending on clearance of the hidden track, I might have to cut more from the rear wall at the bottom of the picture, but I hope I can avoid that.

So far, so good. Let's see what this looks like on the layout tomorrow.

Hallelujah Papermill: The problem of the Finished Paper Warehouse

I decided to use a half-finished building I found under the layout as the basis for the Finished Paper Warehouse at Hallelujah Paper. There's only a tiny problem: The building doesn't fit into the allocated space. As you can see in the photo above the warehouse is too deep to fit between the Hell'N'Begone Mine siding and the warehouse spur. The closed loading dock is very appropriate for a paper loading facility, but too short.

I should fill the empty space behind the spur with more warehouse space and might want to add a loading door next to the spur.

The other problem with the building: There are clearance issues between the Mine track and the internal support structure as well as the foundation of the building.

How I kitbashed the building is in part 2.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Prepping for Hallelujah

A dozen Tortoise turnout motors have now pigtails soldered on their contacts for use in the Hallelujah area at Silicon Valley Lines. Still need to finish up the spade connectors and sleeves on the other end of the cable.

Loading dock cut off
I really like the station building that was floating around the Hallelujah area. It's an old Pola kit and I promised myself I'll find a spot for it on the layout that makes sense with the paper mill and other new industries under construction in Hallelujah.

As it turned out this was a bit more difficult than I expected. Even when working with 15 linear feet of benchwork, there just was no good spot for the building, except one location squeezed between track and the back drop. However, while the building fit just perfectly, there was a clearance issue between the loading dock next to the platform and the track. After some deliberation we decided that the loading dock needs to be removed and cut back to the loading ramp of the freight house.

Cuts cleaned up
I pried a piece of the stone wall from the loading dock and fitted it before the opening left by the cut-away dock. Since there is some overhang from the platform roof, I decided to extend the platform a bit and built a small platform extension from styrene.

Stonewall fitted to loading ramp and glued in. Now working on the platform extension.
Platform extension glued in place ...
After the glue set up, I used flat black, roof brown, and CSX gray, as well as water, to paint the platform extension, and hide away the cuts. Tomorrow I'll use weathering powders to tie the newly painted areas into the existing faded paint work.

While at it, I also added a station sign.

... and painted.