Model Of The Month: Time to build Union Station!

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Bill Nelson, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    carving the arches

    refer to the photos on the last entry


    the first thing I do when carving the window/door arches is cut a blank of foam that is as wide as I desire for the outside diameter if the arch. I want each arch to be close to the same height, so I line up the bottom of the blank with the top horizontal mullion on the door/window casting. I center the window/door casting on the blank and trace the top curve of the casting on the foam . at this time I also make three reference marks at the top center, and where the two angled mullions are. this gives me a reference for the keystone placement, and the cut lines for the stones that make up the arch.

    With the reference lines on the foam, I draw two more arches, one above, and one below the original arch line. the inside (lower) line, I taper outward a little on the bottom, to help it line up better with the stones on the sides of the opening. I also draw in the keystone. then I cut that shape out. at this point it is way too thick. where the angled lines that mark the stone cut lines are, I extend those lines down the sides of the block of foam, so when the top is shaved off that location mark won't be lost.

    Then along the lines of the keystone, I cut halfway down into the material. then I come from the sides, starting at the bottom. and shave about half the material off the arch, up to the keystone cut line. this gets the sides of the arch to approximately the desired thickness. the keystone is a little fat too, so I shave a little off the front of it. then I use the reference lines on the sides of the arch to remove a little material to make the lines between the stones on the sides of the arch. then with a little clean up, and beveling of the edges, it is ready to glue on.

    I used the yellow foam from a chicken tray for this set of arches, as I though it would photograph better than the white foam. It did, it was also a little denser than the white foam ( Midwest foam, purchased at Hobby Lobby) , and was actually a little easier to work with than the white stuff. I wish I'd learned that earlier, as there are only two more window arches to carve, on the end wall opposite the tower.


    Bill Nelson
  2. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    AAASL-1a  U S back  wall #1.jpg AAASL-1a US   J ST.  side#1.jpg Progress

    I got nothing done over the weekend, as I contracted something nasty that left me incapable of doing anything on Saturday, and I slept all sunday trying to get back into shape to go to work on Sunday Night. I have been busy since, and have all the wall space covered except the back side of the tower. The last thing I did was the back wall, which will be invisible when the building is installed on the club layout . I should have done that wall first , as a practice, but I did it next to last, having started on the front of the tower, the most visible wall; mark that up to a failure of strategy.


    Before I get to the back wall of the tower, I need to glaze a round window casting, and inlet it into position on the back wall, and do the buttresses on the back wall. I also need to finish the buttresses on the Jackson Street side , (the unpainted side), of the the station finished, as they are only done to the top of the windows on the lower floor. Once the buttresses and the back wall of the tower are covered in stone, it will be time to give the unpainted portions of the station several coats of paint, and inspect the rest of the station carefully to be sure there is nowhere that needs a little touch up.


    Once painted on the outside I will need to progress to further design work for the interior and the lighting, and design work on a removable roof. Then I will need to work on the base of the structure , Jackson Street, and the passenger platforms, much to do, but it is looking good.



    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  3. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    Looking good. Glad you are feeling better.

    Tom
  4. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    AAASL-1a US FA #3.jpg slow going on these buttresses, but I'm making progress, as soon as I wrap around the back side of the tower wall buttress I can start rocking the back wall of the tower, but I should get the roof designed first, so I don't cause myself any extra problems problems
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  5. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    AAASL-1A  US & J St. # 2.jpg AAASL-1A  US & J St. # 1.jpg AAASL-1A  US & J St. # 3.jpg Jackson st bridge

    at the club I did some work on the Jackson St. bridge, part of the base for the station

    The entire base is still just a mock up. we found a bag of DPM modular brick walls at the club, leftover from some projects on my own railroad. I may be able to lower the base height some. and use two story sections of modular walls to greatly speed up the base construction. I will probably end up using thin high grade plywood , painted on both sides to minimize warping, for the road surface.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    AAASL_1A  US  ngt eff.#1.jpg No progress since the last post, as I spent Tuesday making a run to Nashville for a Cardiology appointment. Good news there, My defective heart valve is still working OK, and my enlarged aortic root has not enlarged in the last two years, so it is looking more and more like it has always been big, rather than something than has been getting bigger over time.



    Looking through my stuff I found a boxcar caboose project that had been abandoned , due to the bay windows being too large. I hadn't given this abandoned project thought in years, till I saw some of Tyler's bay window cabooses in his Whiskey River Railroad thread. His caboose work got me to thinking my caboose roster was inadequate for the size of my RR. in taking a photo of this car before I removed the over size bay windows, I used the union station as a back drop. the first shot was washed out by the flash ( I later fixed that with Graphic converter) I tried a shot with out flash that was too dark, brightening it up with graphic converter gave me a bad photo, which shows how nice this structure will look with lighting, so here it is.


    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  7. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    ASL-A1 US w bs #1.jpg working on the base.

    I had originally planned to build the base for this structure with the same foam carved rock method I used on the main building. When I started realizing how much work this was going to be I started looking for other methods. I initially passed on the idea of using DPM modular wall panels as being too expensive, but after Christmas my train budget was such that that was possible, so I whipped up the wall sections in a couple of weeks instead of a couple months. still lots to do, but here is a photo of the project as it stands. soon I will start putting together the passenger platforms.


    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  8. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    ASL-A1  USstrt lv bs #1.jpg ASL-A1  USstrt lv bs #2.jpg progress on base

    at last night's train club meeting, I took two new sheets of foam core, but the base in place, and used the old very segmented foam core street level mock up to make a cleaner more accurate foam core mock up. When I got home and watched my hockey game I used the mock up as a guide to cut and splice sections of heavy styrene sheeting together to make the street level base.



    I had a stack of Rix 1930's overpass railings, and ran a bunch of them down the edges. I didn't run them all the way down the helix side, as I'm not certain where the location of the intersecting street will be. I want to run streetcar tracks down the Jackson street viaduct and down the intersection street, so I 'll need to know exactly where that street is before I go any farther with the railings on the helix side . I'll need to order more, as I do't have enough for the Jackson street viaduct. .


    Looking through my loose parts I found some Central valley bridge parts I was able to add on top of the I beam that spans the two brick sections, and that not only looks a lot better, but stiffens the whole thing up some.


    the passenger platforms are on the work bench now.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  9. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    ASL-A1 pssgr pltfrm #1.jpg ASL-A1 pssgr pltfrm #2.jpg passenger platforms

    I have put together the passenger platform for the helix side of the Union station complex. This is built up from four Walther's wooden passenger platforms, one box. the possum hollow side only has the brick bases assembled so far it is six units, one and a half boxes of the platforms. (the other two will go to my home railroad for the station @ Montgomery Furnace when I do my rebuild. I considered scratchbuilding the passenger platforms. I'm sure I could have done a good job, but I was also sure that it would take a lot of time, and probably would not be as sturdy as an injected plastic kit would be.


    The Walthers wood platform kits are well designed, and have good detail, sadly they are not cheap, with all ten sections 2.5 boxes of platforms cost me about $60-$65. This is huge, as I have about six dollars in foam core, maybe $10 in foam , $25 in a resin casting kit, and perhaps $15 in paint , and another $15 in glue on the main building, for a guestimated total of approximately $71 materials for the main building.

    When I first considered using DPM modular wall systems for the base, I discounted that idea due to the estimated cost. later as I started to see both how nice the main building was turning out, and how long it was taking, I started looking at some of the DPM modular wall sections I had leftover from the massive Imperial Desk and Chair building on my home layout. I decided it would be worthwhile to spend outrageously to speed this project along. I have not done a careful inventory of what was used, but I think I could have easily used $120 worth of DPM modular wall sections, evergreen styrene, and the Rix overpass railings ; so this has not been a cheap project. I think It will be well worth it though, as this will likely be the most notable structure on the club layout. It has also been a lot of fun.

    perhaps by the end of the next meeting I can install both the passenger platforms. the base may take a couple more weeks to get ready as it will need LED lighting, and also trolley tracks in the street, that may make this a lot trickier than it would be otherwise.


    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  10. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    ASL-aa1 #1 @ PS#2.jpg ASL-a1 #1 @ PS#1.jpg getting there!!

    With the passenger platforms almost done , the windows and doors on the brick base, and the Rix 1930s overpass railings on the street level , The Union station is getting a lot closer to ready to go. it is mocked up on my workbench. On site, the passenger platforms won't extend under the base like they do here, but I had to set it up that way on the work bench to keep it from falling off the work bench

    #1 was near the work bench, and was drafted for a prop, needs a good dusting
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  11. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    ASL-A1 US W str trks.jpg trolley service for Jackson Street!!!

    I went up to my RR room and found a couple pieces of super flexible Peco code 83 flex track that I can bury in the jackson street viaduct to add a little trolley action to the club layout .


    Once I establish the angle the next street interests, I can lay out the needed curve, and use plastic welder to bond the ties to the plastic road sub surface. then I can build up the road surface so the ties are buried. The Briney can run off of over head or the rails, so I don't have to worry about overhead just yet I'll Just have to be sure the Jackson street viaduct is stout enough to support some overhead.



    I have a nice Bachman Briney trolley. I also have an old Ken Kidder import that is much less nice, and is geared too fast.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  12. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    ASL -1  US  st up #1.jpg ASL -1  US  st up #2.jpg ASL -1  US  st up #3.jpg more of the pieces n place

    today I carried the base, the, passenger platforms, the street level, and the main structure to the club to test fit them, and work on the next street for the trolley. I'm gong to build up the road surface with foam, to properly bury the code 83 Peco flextrack to make streetcar tracks.


    It needs minor adjustments to placement , but is looking good. I'm looking forward to getting the Jackson street trolley line started.


    Bill Nelson
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  13. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    ASL-1A   US  trl trks #1  .jpg ASL-1A   US  trl trks #2.jpg ASL-1A   US  trl trks #3.jpg trolley tracks

    For trolley tracks, I am starting with some Peco code 83. I like to hand lay track, nothing else looks that good, but I'm more than willing to cheat to save time. On the Jackson street viaduct, the road's undersurface is styrene so traditional handlaying would not be an option. I'm going with the peco code 83 because I had some on hand, the code 83 track does not stick up as high as code 100, and will be easier to bury in the street. The peco track is nice for super sharp radiuses, as it is very flexible and bends to a smooth curve.




    I added some of the next street onto the Jackson street Viaduct / Union station street level piece, also styrene, and stiffened it with some painted wood glued on the back side. I used plastic weld glue to glue the track in the desired location on Jackson street, and then forced the track into the tight curve to get it on the other street. then I glued it down on that street's plastic.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  14. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    ASL  US  bss  srv  alst 1.jpg ASLa-1  lghtd bs #1.jpg lighting the bus

    as I'm working on the Union station, I was setting up some buss lanes along the side of the station. I had acquired a Jordan Miniatures 1940's city bus, which I have been building to park next to the station. I have been working to add tons of LED lighting to the station, and decided to add some to the bus as well to help it really stand out.



    I had experimented with a 3 led array in one of my flats, and decided that it was a little underwhelming; hardly noticeable @ the clubs light level, so I removed it , and have put it in the bus instead. The bus has a much smaller volume, so it should light up like a christmas tree.



    Like all Jordan models, the buss has full interior detail, With the lighting, I'll have to see if I can scrounge up some people for the inside.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  15. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    ASL-A1-US elevtr#2.jpg ASL-1a US elev cg  grnd flr.jpg ASL-A1 US blcny lv #2.jpg working on the interior

    I have been working on the interior, and on lighting. @ Autozone I picked up a LED lighting strip that has a much greater density of LED's than the ones I have previously used. with small building I have had an issue with the Leds being too bright. Well on the station I need too bright! I had some Led strips in the base section hooked up to a battery @ the club the other week, and Bob, working in the area didn't even notice the base was lighted until I was packing the base up to take it home.


    Besides working to add the Led lighting, I have been working on the elevator. I have been making an old style wire cage elevator using some Scale Scenics brass micro mesh, Central Valley Girders and some leftover parts from a Central Valley truss bridge kitbash. besides the elevator cages, I have made a railing for the tower balcony level using some red cedar lumber, and some railings that I did not use on the Noch stone Viaduct I used on the Narrow gauge return loop @ Gegokayooosa NC. on my home layout.


    In the photos of the tower you can see a note card with the size of the opening in the balcony level traced on it. I want to make a ticket and information desk to go in the center of the tower, on the ground floor. If it is smaller than the balcony level opening, it will be much easier to get in place, as I can lower it straight down the tower.

    I have a hot and ground wire jumperd off the end of the LED strip that lights the ground level. I have run these wires up the inside of the tower wall, so they will be accessible on the roof. The ceiling of the balcony level, which is also the floor of the Belfry level, will have led lights on it, it and the tower roof, will have wires run up to the roof level. I can hook the wires all together up there to light up the tower,

    The elevator is going to be parked up in the belfry area. I am considering getting silly and making a wild scene up there, either a Super hero's operations center, or a Mad scientist's clandestine laboratory. It would not be hugely obvious through those skinny tall windows; but it is a lot of fun to reward folks who look extra carefully into the nooks and crannies of a scene.


    I'm getting ready to make an order from Walther's, and I'll order an SS ltd station detail set. I'll also order some Pulpwood cars for the pulpmill Tyler is working on for the club, and a light steam Tsunami for a MDc 2-8-0 that Dr Tom has, that desperately need better sound. I'll also pick up some Mantua 1880's combines to add to my caboose fleet.



    This is getting morE fun all the time!!!!!
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  16. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    ASL -A1  US   trly  trks 2-18-13..jpg ASL-A1  drk US  #1.jpg ASL-A1  drk US  #2.jpg ASL-1a elv&C #1.jpg ASL-1a elv&C #2.jpg more work.

    I have re done the trolley tracks @ the street level. last week at the club I found out the Swinder Street (the street parallel to the backdrop) was too wide , and got too close to the mainline; so I had to cut it down, and that required repositioning the trolley tracks so they would run down the middle of the street.


    When I ran the tracks town the street with the tight curve from Jackson to Swinder Street. I added a dummy switch so it looks like streetcar trackage runs straight down Jackson Street as well. My Bachman Briney is misplaced somewhere on the overflowing work bench, I pulled my Ken Kidder streetcar out to see if it would make that tight curve and it does.

    I got more led lighting under the street level of the station I took some pictures without the flash so the lighting doesn't get washed out.

    The rainstorm has slowed my satellite service way down, I'm posting this now, and going to bed, I'll add the photos later .

    I found my Briney, I have a long skinny table between my work bench and the rest of the family room. There is a large ship model on it, and the Briney got put in front of the ship model. them a can of dust cleaner got put in front of it. the Briney is so small it was obscured by the can.

    Up in the tower I have built the Belfry level elevator cage, and some stairs and a catwalk that lead to a roof level access. the little shed on the roof that houses the stairs has a door that is ajar, so one can look down the stairway opening into the stairway sown to the belfry area. am seriously tempted to make some kind of wierd scene in there. Ok it is time for me to get a nap so I can catch the big hockey game tonight and be ready to go to work. We have tickets, but it is dicey to get to work on time on my current ***** schedule, so I'll catch this Predators/ Redwings game on TV.


    Nelson
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  17. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    a_union_station_roof_work_b.jpg
    after a long period of working on other projects at the club, as well as being more than a year into the massive rebuild of my
    home RR; at the train club last monday Bob gave me the saignment of finishing at least the basic work on the Union station; mainly the roof. he correctly stated that as one wolks into the room, Union station is one of the most prominent features, and the lack of a roof seriously detracts from the whole Jackson street yard's apearance. H is rioght so I have started to build a roof for the long section of the starion, and have re routed the wires that stick out of the tower, and trimmed them, so they will be less obvious. The wire connection above the tower roof will allow the wires to be disconected, so the roof and the second and third floors of the tower could be removed for further detailing, or maintenance. I'm going to try to find some laser cut fancy shingles I can paint to look like slate. I am considering getting fancy and adding skylights, which would be an impressive feature; but If I do that they will have to be very carefully designed and placed so one could not see the LED lighting strips directly
    a_union_station_roof_work_a.jpg

    a couple months ago I had my workbench cleared off with nothin on there but my work board with the North doors to the crooked creek engine house on it. They are awaitinf scratchbuilt hinges. as you can see my workbench has reverted to it's natural chaotic state. I am going to be starting a new job on Tuesday, escaping from the graveyard shift. with a shorter work day, all weekends off, lots more scheduled days off. I won't know how to act (as if I ever did,)
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  18. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    Very very nice. Good work Bill.
    Tom
  19. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    a_union_station_08_15_14.jpg

    I have the tower roof, and it's lighting wiring all tucked in; and have painted the foamcore structure of the main roof with several coats of sparay paint to prevent any warping. the underside of the roof structure is painted white, to relfect the interior lighting. I have made an order ot Walthers, and have ordered some BTS laser cut shingles in the french pattern, which I will paint grey, with some purplish undertones, to represent a slate toof. I'm toying with the idea of addind soem skylights, but they wouldhave to be very carefully places so one could not see the bar that supports the LED light styrip.

    while I made real good progress at the beginning of this project, I will have been working on it for two years in another month. Time to get my dead *** in gear and see if I can ever finish anything.. I have gone through the whole thread, and eddited the posts to show the full images instead of the thumbnails


    I wore my thumb out converting these five pages to full images; it is going to be a bear to do so on my main thread that has 60 pages or so.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  20. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    a_stones_done_on_back_end_of_us.jpg

    I have escaped the Graveyard shift; and am adapting to life as a daywalker . I'm working shorter hours, actually have holidays off, and will have vacations possible over time. working with a school system so will have two months off in the summer.

    In spite if all these gains, I'm still having to get my body's natural clock reoreiented, so I haven't done much on the RR. I have stopped to spend ten or fifteen minutes at a time carving stones for Union Station. I have made progress on the walls with only the back side of the tower mostly unfinished. I have some small detail stones to put in place allong the tops of every wall, before I'll go and put the l;ast several coats of pewter gray acrylic paint on the building.

    I have done some rearainging of the wires that stuck out of the tower roof. I have a twist connection between the mai floor lighting, and the second and third floors on the tower. I have not made permanent wire conections, as I want to be able to remove the tower roof and the tower third floor for cleaning, maintenance and interior detailing. the towers second floor has an opening to the first floor, with a railing, so it will be dificult, but not impossible to acess the ground floor of the tower for cleaning, maintenance and future interior detailing.


    other member at the club have done a lot of ballasting and ground cover in the Jackson Street Yard area, so the whole scene is looking much better. the roof, with the inside painted white really brightens the interior lighting on the main floor, so it is looking really good when it is in place. I'll have to take my camera to the club, with the building, once the walls are painted.


    I'm still studying the roof to see if I can devise some skylights that would look right, without adding months to the build time. that would make the roof pop. I ordered some laser cut shingles, but missinterpreted the size of the package, or the size of the roof. may study possible home made soloutions for a slate roof


    Nelson





    a_08_30_14_us_helix_wall_almost_done.jpg
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