Friday, April 17, 2009

Bunn's Feed & Seed, Part 7: Final Details

Wow. I can’t believe this is the 7th post in this series. Well, maybe I can. One of the recurring thoughts I had during this project was that there is a large number of sub-assemblies that make up this complex. There are: two buildings, a silo, a railside loading dock, an office stoop, dust bin, metal siding, wood siding, wood doors, metal sliding doors, metal roof, tarpaper roof, a complex roof line, signage, cool rooftop piping detail, open windows, and so on. It’s all this stuff that makes this visually interesting, but it also takes time because it’s completely scratch-built. As I mentioned in the first post, the elapsed time to build this project was 6 weeks. As the end of the first month started to creep up, I started taking fewer pictures, and concentrated more on making progress to bring the project to completion.

Hopefully in this post I can wrap-up with a discussion of some of the various smaller scale sub-assemblies. In future construction-related posts I’m going to try and refine my presentation style down to 1 to 3 posts for a build to make the story more succinct. Live and learn.

The railside loading dock is built up from balsa strips as specified in the article. The stoop at the office door was built the same way as is the framing around the roof-top cyclone on the addition.

Mr. Moore recommends making the roof top piping for the delivery system from balsa strip that has been shaped into cylinders and wrapped with paper. I substituted with roughly equivalent diameter styrene tubing as I did with the silo pipe.
[Carved cyclone on left; built-up on right]
He also recommends making the cyclone dust collector that is atop the addition roof from a carved piece of balsa. I tried that, but I didn’t like the look. I redid the piece by building it up from 0.012 inch sheet styrene. Unfortunately, my cyclone tapers to square ends, and Mr. Moore correctly gives the ends a circular planform to match the incoming pipes. However, I’m happier with the built-up version since it appears – at least to me – to be more symmetrical and has smoother sides. It’s painted Tamiya flat aluminum.
Sizing and installing the pipe was a bit of a trial-and-error affair. I worked back-and-forth between the article and the model to more-or-less get the sizes and placement of the components correct. To get things assembled into a fairly rigid structure, the styrene tubes had a small bit of wire glued inside each end. These wires were then super-glued into neighbouring tubes to get the whole pipe assemblage to hold together. The joints were then loosely wrapped with paper scraps – although it’s maybe a little too loose in some instances, but overall, it adds to the slightly haphazard and organic look of the place
The roof-top wood pipe supports were added after the pipes were in place and painted. I used super-glue to hold the supports in place and positioned them with tweezers. Before installation the supports were given a wash of thinned brown and flat black paint.
When all this piping was firmly in place I applied several washes of thinned flat black paint to tone things down. Some washes of thinned PolyScale dust were also applied to the roof and the supports.

The roof over the main doors on the addition is made from balsa as per the article and roofed using the same masking tape method used on the addition’s roof. I’ve you’re building along with this story, use sheet styrene instead – I’m sounding like a broken record on this point ! – to eliminate warping during assembly.
The main sign on the barn was simply printed with my computer. I used white letting on a black background to make the words stand out a bit more since the barn is a deep red-brown shade. I also changed the establishment date to ‘1973’ in honour of the article’s publication date.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bunn's Feed & Seed, Part 6: Roofs

[Barn roof panels]

When it comes to building the roofs it’s all about the balsa.

I followed Mr. Moore’s recommendation to build the roofs for the buildings from 1/8 inch sheet balsa. I drew and cut the roof panels so that the grain ran parallel to the long axis of each building. This may have been the wrong thing to do since there was a little warping when the overhangs were painted and the coverings were glued down. On future builds I’ll use 0.060 inch or 0.080 inch sheet styrene instead, but, as I’ve mentioned previously, in this project I was trying to stick close to the methods discussed in the article.

[Addition roof panels]

The roof panels were attached to the walls with super-glue. I had to pay special attention to making sure the panels were firmly glued to the wall corners to help minimize warping caused by painting and gluing the roofing material. There were a few times when I had to go back and do a little more gluing to secure sections of balsa that gapped during later stages of the roof build.
The ‘metal’ panels used to cover the barn roof are made using the same scribing technique discussed back in Part 3 that was used to make the siding for the addition. However, in this case, the scribes were made in every fourth groove.

The scribed panels were attached to the balsa with a very thin layer of white glue washed over the balsa. The lower panels are applied first, and then the upper one, slightly overlapping the lower panel. To finish off, a strip of paper was glued along the ridge.
The addition has a little bit of the main structure protruding into the roof. The side walls for the protrusion need to be installed before proceeding with the addition’s roof. These side walls were cut from styrene – dimensions as per the article – covered with scribed siding, and then glued in place with super glue. A small balsa roof extension was then installed over the sidewalls.

Mr. Moore recommends covering the roof with ‘tissue’ strips to simulate tar paper roofing. I wasn’t sure if he meant using tissue-paper or facial tissue. Instead, I used strips of masking tape. I used this method way back in the ‘70’s – can’t remember where I read about it – but it can be effective since it does give the roof surface a little texture. Don’t rely on the tape’s own adhesive to hold it in place. Use some white glue. I still have a scratchbuild from the ‘70’s on which I used this method; it has held up well and still looks passable.

After this project was done I read a few other scratchbuilding articles from that era and found that ‘tissue strips’ refers to single-layer facial tissue cut into strips and glued in place with thinned white glue. No doubt this would work well.

The roofing on the addition was finished by adding a paper strip along the ridge to simulate flashing. I think the strip is a little too wide, but once some weathering was done on the roof, and the overhead piping was added, it becomes less noticeable.

The barn’s metal roofing was painted with Tamyia flat aluminum, and the addition’s roof was painted with Tamyia medium gray. Later, both roofs were weathered with thin washes of flat black. Also, a thin washes of Polyscale Rust was used on the barn roof, and PolyScale Dust was used on the addition.

The chimney was then added to the barn roof. This is a scratch built item. Styrene embossed with HO-scale bricks were used to cover a balsa core cut to the size of the chimney specified in the article.

One last item that Mr. Moore doesn’t appear to discuss in the article: I found that the roofs need to be notched in order to get the placement of the silo correct. My silo’s diameter is probably a little off, which necessitated the roof notches to help make sure the footprint of the overall complex is maintained. Unfortunately I didn’t realize this until the roofs were in place and covered. I had to cut the notches, and do some touch-up, when they were firmly glued in place. Do some test fitting to make sure everything lines up before gluing down the roofs – this will go a long way to making final assembly easier and neater !.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bunn's Feed & Seed, Part 5: Silo

Building the silo was one of the most enjoyable parts of this project, and I really looked forward to working on this piece while I was nearing the end of making and installing all those finicky windows!

The basic structure is rather simple to build: cut a cardboard tube from an empty roll of paper toweling or toilet paper to the proper length, and then wrap it with 1/32 inch balsa.

Before wrapping, lightly score the balsa with vertical lines spaced a scale 6 inches apart. I used an ‘almost’ sharp HB pencil for this task. Make sure the grain of the balsa and the scoring are both vertical. The pencil will leave dark gray coloured lines along with the grooves, but once the wood is stained, they improve the overall look of the silo by enhancing the definition of the boards. Also, lightly draw on horizontal lines to use as guides for the bands, but don’t score the balsa with these lines.

I used super-glue to bond the balsa to the tube – I have no idea what Mr. Moore used. Gluing the balsa to the tube is a little tricky. Attach a 1 or 2 cm length at a time by applying a few dabs of glue to the tube in a vertical line, press the balsa and tube together, hold for a few seconds until the glue sets up, and the repeat until the balsa is completely rolled onto the tube. Sometimes, where the vertical scoring was a little too deep, the wood would split along a score during bonding. No problem. Just poke a dab of super-glue under the split and rebond it to the tube.

The horizontal bands are thin strips of thin paper. To attach them to the balsa, spread a thin layer of white glue on one side and press the band out along one of the guide lines drawn on the balsa. I made sure that the beginning and end joint of each band came together at the back of the silo in order to hide it.

Once the glue is dry, the silo was stained with a thin mixture of Model Master Acryl Armor Sand, Polyscale Mud, Model Master Acryl Flat Black and Model Master Acryl Thinner loosely mixed on an old CD – I find that old CDs make good paint mixing palettes.

[24 degree cone on left; 14 degree cone on right]
I deviated from the article a bit on the construction of the roof. Mr. Moore specifies just taking a piece of construction paper, cutting out a 14 degree wedge, and wrapping it into the conical shape shown in his construction drawing. This was a little too simplistic for me. First, I drew the circular roof plan on a piece of 0.012 inch styrene. Please note that I think there is an error in the article’s instructions for the roof: I think the wedge to be removed from the circle should be 24 degrees instead of the 14 degrees as written. The 14 degree cone seems a little too flat when compared to the pictures on the article. The styrene circle – with the cut-out 24 degree wedge – is then formed into the conical roof shape. Super-glue along the cut-out wedge edges to hold it together.
A circle, the same diameter as the silo, is cut from 0.020 inch styrene and glued inside the roof to form a base for it to sit on. Wood strips are then glued to the inside surface of the roof that overhangs the base to simulate rafters.
The roof is surfaced with wedges of fine grit sandpaper. The sandpaper is not meant to replicate any particular roofing material, it’s merely to provide some texture to an otherwise flat, smooth surface. As far as I can tell from the photos in the article, Mr. Moore left his roof as raw construction paper. Super-glue was used to bond the sandpaper wedges to the styrene.
[Silo base]
The silo base is built as per the article and then stained with a mixture similar to that used on the silo, but with less of the Armor Sand colour in the mix.
[Testing the placement of the silo]
The delivery pipe is built up from styrene tubing and painted with Tamyia flat aluminum. Prior to installation it was painted with a very thin wash of flat black to tone down the shine. The inside of the lower portion of the pipe was painted flat black.
[Delivery pipe before sanding & painting]
[Finished silo]

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bunn's Feed & Seed, Part 4: Windows & Doors

Construction of the windows and doors is probably the most retro area of this retro project. If you would like to improve the realism of this building, I’d recommend using commercial castings. I wanted the model to be fairly close to Mr. Moore’s original, so I stuck pretty close to his instructions.

[Window frames ready for installation]

Each of the window and door openings on the buildings were cased with strip wood as per the article. I pre-painted the strips prior to cutting and installing to make finishing easier. The side windows on the barn were framed first: both inside the opening, and around the outside perimeter. All the other openings were just framed around their perimeters since it appeared that inside framing unnecessarily reduced the opening size, and didn’t add to the overall look. It was tedious too.
All framing was attached to building structure with super-glue. Raw, unpainted areas on the frames were touched up after the glue had set.
Once the window and door frames were in place, the inside surfaces of the walls were painted flat black. This helps to make the walls a little more opaque, and helps to obscure interior views.
Mr. Moore recommends making the windows by first scuffing frosted acetate with pumice, and then drawing on the mullions with a ruling pen filled with black ink. I more-or-less followed these instructions. The window material is 0.020 inch clear copolyester that was lightly scuffed with a very fine sanding film to obscure the view inside.
The mullions are added by taping the scuffed copolyester to a piece of paper that has the mullion pattern drawn on and then tracing on the pattern with a fine-point, black Sharpe pen. Cut the window a little oversize so there is material to glue when attaching the window inside the wall opening.
Mr. Moore recommends making the various doors from cardstock. Once again I subsitituted with sheet styrene. All were made from 0.020 sheet styrene. For the hinged doors on the barn, the door panel pattern is drawn on the 0.020 inch styrene The door panels themselves are cut from 0.012 inch stryene and glued on the drawn pattern. The door knobs are pin heads that are attached by first drilling a hole of suitable diameter into the door with a pin-vise, and then gluing the knob in place with a dab of super-glue. The sliding doors on both the addition and the barn are made by simply scribing vertical lines into 0.020 sheets and cutting to the size specified in the article.
[Layout of a door]