CP Executive train in Albany

CP Executive train in Albany

Monday, April 11, 2016

Structure - Albany Tomato Company (part 5)

It has been over three months since my last blog post and how time flies. There are several reasons for this.

I have been sick for over 6 weeks with some sort of flu/cold/bug thing. It has made it very difficult to be in the proper, concentrated mindset required when building a model. One of the core rules I have set for myself when doing model railroading related activities is that I must be enjoying it and willing to concentrate on the project at hand. There are certain aspects, such as repetitive cutting of pieces or detail painting, which I don't enjoy. And for those things, I just need to push through them. But, if at any time I am hate the process so much that I just want to rush through it I shut myself down and go to something else. Mistakes made by forcing myself to do something are worse than letting a project sit for a while.

Also, the brickwork is tedious. Because the walls are so large (long), and because I don't want to have splice joints in them, I need to carefully measure and cut the walls. Any mistakes mean getting another long piece to try again. I intentionally ordered more than was required but as this stuff is relatively expensive and must be mail ordered I need to work carefully. Unfortunately, one joint was unavoidable but I think I did a good job. There are no external details like vines or drain pipes to hide them, which is unfortunate.

However, it has been fun too. As the walls go up I overlap the corner joints and then once the cement has cured I carefully use a file to sand the overhang off. I originally thought about using a knife to cut mortar joints at the edges but gave that up because I am sure it would look oversize and sloppy. It is better to omit a detail then add a poor rendition of one.

Once all the external walls were covered, a faced a conundrum. I could glue on the roofs and then apply the brickwork to the roof interior walls, or I could do them first and then add the roof. One roof over the loading dock north-west wall will be removable (at least until the interior detailing is done), but I can glue on the other two. But, if I do that then painting the wall surfaces red will over-spray onto the roof. If I spray all the walls red and then glue the roof, there might be a gap between the wall brick sheet and the roof (necessary to let the roofs drop down.)

The windows are also slowing the project down. Because they are masonry windows, they don't overlap the window openings. So, each opening was cut roughly with a hobby knife and then I used fine metal files to get the openings into the right size and shape. I am sure the ones that are supposed to be the same size are slightly off, but they are close enough.  

I need to build the windows accurately and then glue them in the openings. I will paint them gray before inserting them, as painting them in situ may lead to gray paint on the red or red on the gray. I will likely paint the delicate frames gray, mount them onto clear plastic, paint the backside of the window black to prevent seeing through it, and then glue the assemblies them into openings. Before that, I will glue styrene support pieces from the back over the openings which the window assemblies can be attached to.

Thankfully, many of the windows were covered with corrugated metal at this time so I don't have to build a ton of windows. And, I find building doors and windows fun (at least in G scale) and the strip styrene is cheap enough that any errors can be tossed out without much of a financial impact.

Next Steps
I am still thinking this through. My order of operations must carefully consider painting of the walls and windows, interior access, and roof joints. I am progressing slowly to avoid getting stuck in a box. Since I work on the kitchen table and everything has to get put away after a build session, it is getting annoying to set it all up and tear it all down. But, a September deadline is looming closer!

However, encouraging is that Mr. Kilian saw my building at a recent train show and was very impressed. That made me very happy, and I am glad he approves of what I am doing. 

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