Sunday, November 20, 2016

The St Thomas Freight House, Part I

At the end of Hiawatha St, there was a classic Grand Trunk designed freight house that stood for almost a century.
 Into the later part of the 20th century it was certainly looking worse for wear, but in the era I model it was an important structure and was well cared for.
The location on the layout for this structure only allows for about 1/3rd of the width due to choices I made, but I will copy it's full 140' length. Over the next couple of blog posts I will share how I built this structure.
I chose to build this model mostly from styrene.  I like working with this material. It's quick and easy. Scribe and snap. A little solvent cement and we're off. There's a large variety of siding styles available, along with shapes for trim pieces, etc.
As the structure is meant to be in good repair grain should not be visible in an HO scale model. If you don't agree, have a good look at photos of wooden buildings and freight cars. Grain is only visible in planks that are due for repair or replacement.

I started by creating a basic drawing. I used photos to help me determine door and window locations. I adjusted the window sizes to match Tichy castings that I felt looked close.
The locations of the doors and windows was transferred onto a piece of 0.060" thick styrene. And the pieces were numbered to ensure that everything goes back together in the same order.
All the lines are scribed and then snapped, with the window and door "plus" discarded.
Using the 4' level as a "fence" the pieces are reassembled and glued together with solvent cement. This is left to cure fully for at least a few hours.
Board and batten siding is then applied over the core. Again glued in place with solvent cement. The liquid is flowed all around the edges and in through all the door and window openings. This is weighted down and allowed to fully cure.
Working from the backside all the door and window openings are cut through the board and batten siding. The openings are checked against the castings and the battens are trimmed to clear the casing trim of the window.
The windows are glued in. The door openings are trimmed with jambs and casing. And freight doors are added, which were cut from basic scribed siding.
The 2 sides were created using the same techniques.
The 2 sides are now glued to the front, with lots of steel blocks in play to keep things square. The front wall is a tad bowed right now but we'll fix that as we go along.
At this point the dock/floor is needed. I cut a piece of 5/8" ply to a dimension of 2 3/4" x 19 7/8". The perimeter was wrapped with some scribed siding and the top is decked with the same material. All this is secured in place with Lepage's No More Nails. A great product which joins these dissimilar materials very well.
We'll leave the project at this point while the deck fully cures. There's a roof to create, internal bulkheads for bracing and support and trim bits. And then paint!
Stay tuned!

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