Friday, June 5, 2015

Office Shelf Layout Update

Over Memorial day weekend I was finally able to get some more work done on this project. It's become several different mini-projects right now and I've just been bouncing back and forth between them without really focusing on one specific task. That's not the best way to get things done, but it works for me.

One of the mini-projects lately was building one of my switch stand kits. That part was pretty easy, it was fixing up the track that took the most time. Below is a look at the ties I cut from some old scrap track. The longer ones just have the tie plates and spikes sanded off. To get the wood grain look back I just ran the back of my xacto blade along the top.

Modifications to the turnout.
Once the ties were glued back in place, it was time to add the switch stand and brass rod to connect it to the rails. While I probably could've gotten a thinner piece of brass to look more prototypical, I just used what I had leftover from my road sign project a while back. It might look a little big, but that's fine with me and it is definitely an improvement over the way it looked before. I might be going overboard with some of these small details, but I like it.

A look at the modified turnout and nearly completed switch stand kit.
A look at the complete switch stand kit.
I love how this thing turned out, but now that I think about it, I wish I had not glued it to the ties before painting everything. Now it is stuck on the layout and I was worried about knocking into it, so I decided something needed to be done to protect it. That's why I glued a Dixie cup upside down over it.

Protection for the complete switch stand kit in the form of a Dixie cup.
Another small project was putting together and painting the Pikestuff loading dock kit. The kit went together pretty easily and should work just fine on the layout. This was another mockup I did in the past with cardboard and as the next picture shows, it is just about the exact same as what I already had made up.

Side by side of my mockup and the built up Pikestuff kit.
The tricky part about this was getting the end of the ramp section to meet up with the concrete pad I had leading into the ramp over the track. I ended up using my xacto knife to score the top side enough to where I could snap the end off, just like cutting any other piece of styrene. A little bit of sanding and it butted up nicely to the concrete pad.

A look at the chopped off end of the loading dock ramp.
Since the ramp was only three pieces (there was a back piece that I didn't use), I decided it would be a good idea to cut and glue in some styrene cross members to help keep the piece stable for cutting and sanding. They are never going to be seen and it was done with scrap styrene so it worked out nicely.

Styrene supports added to the underside of the ramp.
Test fitting the loading dock kit on the layout.
After getting the loading dock aligned with the cement pad leading up to it, I decided to paint the bottom edge the same color as the cement. I thought this would help make it look like the dock was built on top of existing cement. At least this way the color transition between the two looks a bit better.

Using Frog Tape to paint the bottom edge of the loading dock and ramp.
I did this with some Frog Tape and the results were pretty good. Here is how the side of the dock looks now. I really like how the loading docks match and are just different enough from the concrete areas to stand out. It would look strange if they were all the exact same color.

A look at the loading dock and ramp after being painted.
While progress has been pretty slow, I really like how this thing is coming along. My next project will probably be getting the DPM walls put together so I can paint them to match the commissary building. I've got a week of vacation starting Monday, so hopefully I can get some good modeling time in over the break and make some progress on this project.

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