Saturday, April 25, 2015

Office Shelf Layout Update

With the weather getting nicer around here finally, other than the few 30 degree nights lately (gotta love Michigan weather), I have less and less free time for my two hobbies, but I still try to at least make some time for them when I can at night on the weekends. I usually end up working on this and other modeling projects between 11:00 pm and 2:00 am on Friday and Saturday nights. Keeping to that schedule has worked pretty well lately. Sure I could use this time to sleep, but I'd rather get some time in on the layout, even if it is just a few hours once or twice a week.

Anyway, tonight I took all the weights off the layout and found that the glue worked pretty well for holding down the track and paved area. There are a few high spots in the paved area, but nothing that isn't manageable, so I'm happy with it. With this done it feels like I've finally made some real progress.

A look at the layout with the track and paved area glued in place.
Another thing I've been working on is what to do with all the dead space to the right of the commissary building. A few weeks ago I bought some DPM modular building pieces to try and mock something up that would sit flat against the back wall. I don't want to take up too much of the depth since I wanted to have a parking area and a few vehicles. 

The plan for now is to get enough pieces to make a two-story wall that runs from the edge of the commissary building all the way to the other end of the layout. I haven't worked with any DPM parts or kits in the past, so this will be a learning experience, but I'm looking forward to it.

A look at the beginning of my DPM modular mockup.

These things are actually pretty neat and I'm really hoping they will work out as planned. There is definitely some cleaning up and fine-tuning to do once you cut all the pieces from the sprue, but that's not so bad given the amount of freedom you have designing with them. 

A closeup look at some of the DPM panels in place on the layout.
So far I like the look of the panels I'm working with. They seem like they will blend in nicely with the commissary building. The only issue I see right now is that the DPM sections have brick all the way to the ground, while the commissary has a concrete base. Not a huge deal, just something I noticed. Another thing I need to figure out is how these new pieces will interface with the commissary. I'm thiking about just butting it right up to the existing wall and have it set just enough off the back wall to meet the narrow column of bricks on the commissary.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Office Shelf Layout Update

Lately I just haven't had as much time as I would've like to work on this project. I've been busy repainting the kitchen in our house, which turned into a bigger project than I had planned on. That's taken up the last two weekends and the weekend before that I was out of town so I just haven't had any decent stretch of free time for modeling until this past Saturday night. After putting some finishing touches on a few areas in the kitchen, I decided to put in some work on the layout. In my last post I left off with the main paved section cut and glued together. 

Since then I've made a few changes. I ended up cutting a new top layer to include a lead up to the track for the loading dock section to go between the two tracks. Doing this ensure there would be no visible seams in the paved area. By that I mean seams between pieces of poster board that I wouldn't be able to blend together very easily. I know because I tried with some spackle and it just didn't work at all. After cutting the new top I glued it to the other layers and painted it. This is how it looked before I glued it down to the layout.

A look at the larger paved area for the layout
Its hard to tell in this picture, but the whole piece became very warped as the acrylic paint dried. The ends were noticeably lifted up, which had me tempted to scrap the entire thing and start over with styrene. Instead of starting over, I decided to put some heavy weight (approx 50 lbs) and let it sit for a couple of days. That seemed to help a lot so I decided to keep things the way they were.

The next step was to secure the paved area and the track to the base cork layer. To do this I just used Elmer's glue and left the 50 lbs of weight resting on top of everything.

Found a good use for my 1000's of hockey cards to help glue the track and paved area
I'm going to let this sit probably until Friday night when I can get back to modelling. Until then, I need to get online and order a few more detail accessories  for the project. Things like chain link fence, the loading dock, and a switch stand. Progress is definitely slow, but its nice to always have something to work on when I am bored with my other hobbies.