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Slim’s Shoe Shop

I’m still plugging away here. One of these days I’m going to have to actually get up into the loft and work on my layout. This is a little O scale kit from Wild West Scale Model Builders. The kit contains materials for a number of different options, and I chose to build the “saloon” version. I also wanted to try the old rubber cement “peeling paint” effect shown here. I’d never done that before.

I love the little figures that were created by Railroad Avenue. They come painted, and their slender shape suggests the body styles of people in past generations. A while ago I read that they were not going to be made any more, so I stocked up. I can’t tell from their web site if they are still available or not. I wanted to create a conversational grouping in front of the saloon. I added the transverse stripwood below the model floor/base. I do this on all my models; I think they look better that way than sitting right on the ground. I also created a styrene base (painted dark brown) for when I put this structure on to my layout. Styrene is better than card stock because it doesn’t warp. I’ll blend it in to the surrounding terrain with scenery materials.

This is a head-on view of the structure that I created from the kit. The sign is one of the options I mentioned. The barrels, crate, and chair came from my miscellaneous details supply.

Only one side of the kit has a window. You could create an opening, of course, in the other side, or the back side, and insert a window from another manufacturer….I like Grandt Line castings. I don’t do step-by-step pictures any more, but I always start these building projects by staining all the laser cut wood with my preferred stain, alcohol and leather dye. I made the base stain for this project to be a light weather wood gray, so that would show through when I rubbed off the rubber cement. See earlier posts for a description of the stain. I stain both sides at the same time, so there is no warping. Using the alcohol as a medium also helps to resist warping. Water or water-based paints are not good.

I did use a reddish acrylic paint for the base coat over the gray stain. I wasn’t sure how enamels might react to the rubber cement I wanted to put in places on the walls. Even at that, I applied the paint in a dry-brush fashion, so it didn’t soak into the walls. The doors and trim were base coated and weathered in enamel. I like to put handles on my doors, and this kit didn’t include any. I have used the heads of pins before on HO or S scale models, but this handle (and the one in front) are made from the heads of very small finishing nails. Just paint the nail, drill a hole, insert, and cut off from behind. Then add a dab of Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue on the back side where it won’t show. They make a very nice appearance for 1:48 scale.

Here is a close up of the side wall after I peeled the rubber cement off. The technique worked exactly as advertised, and left a worn and peeling look to the paint job. Be sure to be very random in doing this, but keep in mind that wood walls like this weather more on their lower sides than under their eaves because of sun and rain exposure.

Additional weathering is achieved by the cautious use of weathering powders, sealed with Testers Dullcote.

The kit includes nice strips of heavy paper shake shingles. I stained these using the same method as the walls, and weathered with light dry brushing and the powders. The cap shingle strip needs to be cut into individual shingles and overlapped as shown. There is no chimney flashing included with the kit, so I cut a little square piece out of thin styrene. Then I used a new mounting process I developed. I should have taken a separate picture of this, but didn’t think about that until it was too late. I’ll try to describe it. The chimney is styrene tubing (included with the kit). I cut it to the desired angle, and then inserted and glued a short piece of square basswood in the bottom of the chimney. It makes a good handle, and a secure way to insert the finished chimney assembly into the roof. Then I cut a small hole in the flashing square, and slipped it up and glued it to the angle cut on the chimney. I painted the chimney and flashing flat black and let it sit overnight. I think chimneys generally extended above the roof ridge line to facilitate good smoke disbursal, so select a spot to drill your roof mounting hole accordingly. Insert the chimney assembly with a tiny bit of glue (I used Aleene’s on everything for this model), and make sure it is very upright. The tacky glue sets up fairly fast, but gives better working time than CA glues. I see now in looking at this picture that I forgot to include the three guy wires I usually attach to chimneys. I can put them in later.

I created variety for the four figures on the porch by placing one on a crate, one in a chair tipped back against the wall, and one reaching for the door handle to open the door. Groupings like this are always more interesting if you can suggest that the little people are talking to each other, or doing something together.

Western window glass was not very good quality, and often had a rippled look to it. I achieved this by brushing some canopy glue on the inside of the windows. The glue dries clear, but the brush strokes appear as ripples.

Finally, I wanted the structure illuminated. You probably noticed the red wires running from beneath the styrene base in some of the other photos. I use “grain of rice” bulbs that run on 12v DC from an old power pack. I dip the bulbs in Tamiya Clear Yellow X-24 acrylic paint for the amber effect. The kit has detailed interior roof trusses, similar to the exterior one in photo #5. It is very easy to bend the bulb leads into a little hook, and place it over one of the trusses so the bulb hangs downward. I soldered longer leads (the red wires) on to the ones that came with the bulb to extend the connection below my layout.

You can see a little rippling on the glass at night in this photo from the front.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yard Goat Images has a change in their web address. Please update your files. You must now use the letter “s” after the “http” at the beginning of the address. We are going back to Colorado at the end of June to complete a video on the C&T Scenic Railroad. It will be focused on their “Friends of the┬áCumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad” volunteer program. It should be available for purchase next fall.

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This is the color postcard-sized picture that comes with the Hunterline King Post Truss Bridge kit.

This is the color postcard-sized picture that comes with the Hunterline King Post Truss Bridge kit. I have admired Hunterline products for several years, so when I had the opportunity to pick up this little bridge kit at the Narrow Gauge Convention in September, I bought it. You could scratch-build most of the Hunterline products from pictures or plans, but I thought I’d try one of their kits first.

The first step is to scrape some wood grain into the basswood supplied with the kit. I got over-eager, and stained my wood first, so I had to come back and do the wood grain after the stain had dried. That worked out alright, because I decided the wood needed a second dip in the stain anyway.

The first step is to scrape some wood grain into the basswood supplied with the kit. I got over-eager, and stained my wood first, so I had to come back and do the wood grain after the stain had dried. That worked out alright, because I decided the wood needed a second dip in the stain anyway. I use leather dye mixed with isopropyl alcohol for my stains.

The kit comes with plans for three different bridge widths, which I had not realized, but is a very nice feature. After some clearance testing on my 23 inch radii, I determined that the narrowest bridge, the 12 foot clearance, would work alright for me.

The kit comes with plans for three different bridge widths, which I had not realized, but is a very nice feature. My bridge will be on a curve, so after some clearance testing on my 23 inch radii, I determined that the narrowest bridge, at 12 scale feet wide, would work alright for me. I cut out that part of the plan, and taped it to a scrap of homasote, under some wax paper. I wanted to keep the bridge as small as possible to conserve space on the layout. I plan to have two of these bridges, separated by a snowshed, on the turn-back curve below my Silverton mining area.

Using the drawing I positioned and glued the bridge ties to the stringers.

Using the drawing I positioned and glued the bridge ties to the stringers. I used Elmer’s carpenter’s glue for this, applied very sparingly, and then I weighted the whole arrangement down overnight to insure a solid bond. You can see how the second application of stain left some variation in the coloring which I like. This is simply achieved by throwing all the ties into the stain, and then removing them one at a time. The first ties to come out are lighter in color, and the last ones are darker.

The kit comes with nut-bolt-washer castings, but they are extremely small, as you can see from the upper sprue in this picture. The lower sprue has larger castings from Grandt Line.

The kit comes with nut-bolt-washer castings, but they are extremely small, and hard to see, as you can tell from the upper sprue in this picture. I’m sure they are prototypical, but those on the lower sprue from Grandt Line, will be more visible.

The instructions call for the bridge ties to be bolted every fourth tie, and in the center of the bridge.

The instructions call for the bridge ties to be bolted every fourth tie, and in the center of the bridge. You can see what I mean about NBW casting visibility here.

Here is the bridge with the diagonal bracing in place. The long brace under the center of the bridge will pick up the central brace and the truss rod.

Here is the bridge with the diagonal bracing in place. The long brace under the center of the bridge will pick up the central brace and the truss rod.

I gave the completed bridge a dusting of rusty weathering chalk from AIM in the areas where the NBW castings were located. I also used some light brown weathering chalk from AIM generally on the other bridge surfaces. For the time being, I didn't seal this powder in with dullcoat, and maybe I never will. AIM suggests sealing the powders only if the model will be handled a lot, and bridges, once installed, don't fall into this category.

I gave the completed bridge a dusting of rusty weathering chalk from AIM in the areas where the NBW castings were located. I also used some light brown weathering chalk from AIM generally on the other bridge surfaces. For the time being, I didn’t seal this powder in with dullcoat, and maybe I never will. AIM suggests sealing the powders only if the model will be handled a lot, and bridges, once installed, don’t fall into this category.

A view of the other end of the bridge, showing a bit more of the truss rod.

A view of the other end of the bridge, showing a bit more of the truss rod.

My completed bridge. Compare this to the first photo in this post.

My completed bridge. Compare this to the first photo in this post.

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