Friday, August 27, 2021

SVL: August Modern Ops Session

For the first time in months, I was able to participate in an ops session at Silicon Valley Lines in person again. This was a nice opportunity to catch up with other club members and enjoy the atmosphere of being in the layout room. I ran Bayshore Yard, which was a very relaxed assignment with plenty of opportunities to railfan trains run by remote operators.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

1000 pieces in 10 days

In case you were wondering what I have been doing lately, here's part of the answer. Not only was there a lot of reading material on a recent transatlantic flight, but also this puzzle (Ravensburger No 16 726 5, "Danzig").

Didn't look too hard, so I started it on the living room table last week. The house fronts were fairly easy once I zeroed in on colors and window styles. Filling in the roofs and surroundings was an exercise in occasional frustration. However, with persistence and patience I eventually finished it. It was a slow-going slog for most of the time, except today. The last 100 pieces almost placed themselves.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Delivery from Germany

I have not been to Germany for a while, so various ebay orders have been piling up at my parent's place. This summer two of our children went to visit family, and they brought back a treasure trove of stuff. Lots of original paperwork from the 1970's, including schedule books, maps, and a Güterkursbuch from 1972. Various books and magazines about the Bundesbahn in the 70's, some original artifacts, and some history books about railroads in Württemberg. I also picked up a collection of original rules and regulations from the 1930's, 40's, and 50's.

Lots of stuff to go through. I'm planning to post some of the more interesting original paperwork here over time. 

Friday, August 06, 2021

Untergroeningen Station Building (2)

[ part 1 ]

I've constructed the station building shown in part 1 in Tinkercad, which is a very easy to use online 3D CAD tool. I know it mostly as a tool for users that want to send the resulting model to a 3D printer. Tinkercad makes exact sizing of the model very easy. Measurements of elements are readily accessible, and changing values is trivial.

Developing a 3D model from photos and drawings is interesting. Especially the roof geometry remained a challenge, though at last I finally figured out what the geometry actually must have looked like, based on how the roof lines develop from the walls and what I can deduce from photos taken at eye level from the ground. 

I didn't want to 3D-print the station building, but rather wanted to build a paper model. Much more economical than springing for a 3D-printer and filament. There are many instructions and tools to unwrap 3D models. Dedicated payware like Pepakura (Windows only), Unwrap3D, plugins to Blender, or the native UV Editor built into Blender. I found that unwrapping the whole building became very cumbersome, so I exported only the roof structure as STL from Tinkercad, imported that to Blender, manually set seams using the UV Editor, and constructed a sensible unwrapped roof. Exporting the unwrapped roof from the 2D view in Blender leads to a very low-resolution PNG. I took a screenshoot instead, scaled it to the right dimensions in GIMP, and printed it. Not high-quality, but more than sufficient to cut the shapes. Since the walls are basic boxes I just measured and cut lengths of card stock in the right dimensions.

The photo above shows my first attempt of the paper building on the Untergroeningen module. While the walls look properly proportioned in the 3D model on screen, the paper model is a bit too plump, or fat, when comparing to prototype photos. The roof seems to be a bit too flat as well. The next version is going to have slightly higher walls, and a slightly steeper roof. Adding 3mm to each story and the roof should do the trick.

When comparing with a freight car on the tracks, the building sits too low as well. I need to raise the ground a few millimeters and have a proper building foundation.

Otherwise, I'm pleased with how this scene is developing.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Untergroeningen Outbuilding - Completed

 [ Untergroeningen posts ]

The outbuilding is now completed. I added windows and added more weathering. This was a fun build and gave me confidence that I can tackle the larger challenge of scratchbuilding the main station building.

If you want to read the whole story of constructing this outbuilding, start here.