Thursday, December 25, 2014

Office Shelf Layout Update

Along with all the work I've been doing on the Walthers Commissary building, I've been making some progress on other parts of the office shelf layout project. Now that I have a better idea of the final size of the Commissary building, I've been able to finalize the track plan and pavement layout, at least for now. This plan seems to be ever changing, so something may be different than this by the time I'm done.

I'm still working with the same track plan I posted back in August, but with a small modification. Rather than having a mainline running across the front, I've decided to make both track dead end sidings that would serve only this particular industry. This means I'll be able to have a car parked on both tracks at the same time and be able to put a loading dock between the two to get to the front most track.

A look at my latest mockup of the office shelf layout.
A better look at the loading dock mockup I built from old cereal boxes.
The plan for the loading dock is to create it from the modular kit from Pikestuff shown below. It comes with four main pieces and two ramps, so the plan would be to only use one of each piece. I mocked up a version with two main sections and one ramp, but it just took up too much space. This just means the front track will be reserved for just 50' boxcars, anything longer like the bulkhead flat cars would have to use the rear track.

Pikestuff modular loading dock kit.
Another slight adjustment to the overall plan is the road running along the very front edge of the layout. My plan for this is to make it half of a road. It will still give me the look I'm going for and save some space. I plan on making it more of an industrial driveway or short access road, so it should be pretty easy to model.

At this point I am happy with the progress I've made and I continue to really enjoy this project. Its a lot of fun to come up with all these ideas and build the mockups to try things out. The next steps are going to be getting the loading dock kit and deciding on some more of the smaller detail parts for the layout.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Structure Build: Walthers Commissary Building Part 9

It took a little longer than I wanted, but now I have all of the major pieces glued together for the Commissary building kit. It was actually pretty easy to get everything assembled. The only problem I ran into was some of the glue running into places that I didn't want it. I'm using Testors liquid cement and it dries clear on top of the paint job, so it doesn't look all that great in a few small places. The good thing is they are in areas that will be difficult to see when this thing is done.

A look at the front of the assembled structure.
I have to say this thing looks much better than I expected it to. Not bad for my first kit build. There really isn't anything I would change about it. I like how the black stands out against the red brick color and the concrete accents help complete the look. With just a little more weathering, it will be perfect.

A look at the back of the assembled structure.
The next step is figuring out what I want to do with the roof and then the interior. I want to go with either a gravel or tar paper roof, so I've got some things to look into before I can work on that. For the inside, I've started mocking up some floors and walls using craft wood and cut up cereal boxes. I'd like to have it all made out of styrene in the end, but its looking like the cardboard might do the trick.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Structure Build: Walthers Commissary Building Part 8

Progress has been relatively slow overall on this kit, but its been a fun project so far and I'm very happy with how its going so far. Since my last post I've gotten the two loading dock door sections modified to my liking and repainted. I actually went ahead and removed all three individual door sections from both pieces, which leaves a good sized section open to see through into the interior of the building. This means I have to at least do something with a floor on the inside now, otherwise the front of this thing would look pretty strange.

A look at the front of the kit temporarily assembled to show the cut out doors.
Once that was done I repainted the two doors with spray paint. After that there was only one thing left to do before I could start assembly: another idea from Southern8099 which is painting the insides of the walls black to prevent light from shining out. I do plan to light this structure with LED's so I defintely needs to do this step. 

I happened to have some black acrylic paint sitting around so I decided to do this the hard way and paint it with a small brush. I had to paint the back of the three walls as well as the four loading dock doors. It was a pretty quick job and it works great. I took my mini LED work light and tried to shine it through from the back, but the acrylic paint stops the light altogether. I just hope all this extra paint doesn't interfere with the gluing process.

A look at the backs of the main components painted black.
The only thing I messed up was not painting the back of the window frames before gluing down the glass pieces. Now they are going to be permanently green, but that may not be a big deal because they are not exactly easy to see from the outside. The next step if assembling these main pieces. I'm hoping to get that done in the next week or so.