Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Prototype Pic of the Day #12

LSRC Locomotives | Image Courtesy of Steven McKay via
While I am in between modelling posts, here is another pic related to the Detroit & Mackinac. Shown here is a part of the Lake State Railway (LSRC) fleet in Saginaw, MI. On the left is former D&M #181 and on the far right are former D&M #469 and #1280. Both #181 and #1280 were repainted in LSRC's blue and white, while #469 was not at this point.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Structure Mock-Up: Walthers Commissary Building

When it comes to my office shelf layout project, I've gone through several ideas as far as which buildings I want to work with. The only problem is deciding which ones are going to be the best fit. So rather than buying them and hoping they work out, I've decided to mock some up with styrene poster board and cardboard to see how they will fit. Plus, this way I can physically lay the track out to see how I want things before nailing it down for good.

The two building kits that I've been thinking about doing are both from the Walthers Cornerstone series. One is the Commissary / Freight Transfer background building kit and the other is the Heritage Furniture background building kit. I chose them because they are just about the right height to fit on the shelf and are not too deep so they won't eat up the entire depth of the layout. I'm hoping to fit both in, but I'll have to wait and see. Up first was the Commissary building. 

Walthers Cornerstone Commissary/Freight Transfer background building.
When I first decided to mock this one up I thought using 1/8" thick styrene poster board would be the way to go, so I headed up to Dollar Tree and bought myself a couple of large sheets. I ended up going real low-tech on this one and just took the overall dimensions of the stock building and cut some sheets to size. I just wanted to capture the size and shape, so I wasn't concerned about all the minor details. After a lot of cutting, some sanding and gluing, I was well on my way to a good representation of the kit.

A look at the rough shape of my Commissary/Freight Transfer building before adding the loading dock.
After putting together the four sides and the roof, it was time to move onto making the loading dock and overhang. For the loading dock, I did this by cutting some narrow strips and gluing them together into an L-shape. I then glued that to the front of the building and added a couple of small rectangular pieces to fill the gaps at either end. For the overhang, I cut the triangular end pieces first then glued the two long strips to those making one large piece. I then glued that right to the front wall and called it good.

A look at the front of the structure mock-up.
For some finishing touches I thought it would look nice having something to represent the windows and loading dock doors. To do this, I just cut some scrap cardboard from a cereal box to sizes that looked about right, then just super glued them right to the surface of the styrene sheets.

A look at the end of the structure mock-up.
The whole point of this thing was to have something that I could thrown down on the base structure to help plan the track layout. I was using SCARM to do this before, but I'd much rather go with something you can see and feel to plan my track layout. It may be a bit more work, but I think it will be worth it. Here is a look at how much room this will actually take up on the layout. Now I just need to work on the placement.

Trying out the mock-up on the layout for the first time.
This thing came out much better than I had hoped and it will serve its purpose just fine. I even went ahead and added a little bit of paint for fun. It's not quite done yet, but you get the idea. I may or may not end up using this kit, but at this point it looks pretty good. Only time will tell though.

A look at the front of the structure with some paint added.
That's it for now, just need to add a little bit more paint and it will be all set. Up next is the Heritage furniture building.