Sunday, April 11, 2010

Amtronic ranch

This is the second HO scale project utilizing the leftover parts from the L'il Aqua build. The first was the L'il Overlook project that used the cab of the AMT / Ertl L'il Gasser kit. This one uses portions of the passenger compartment from the AMT Amtronic kit as the basis of a retro-futuristic ranch house.

The build is actually pretty simple. The upper half of the Amtronic passenger compartment was assembled more-or-less as per the kit instructions, but was modified slightly at one end to accommodate a main entry door (note that it doesn't have an alternative entrance, so it's probably a fire hazard!).

The front door was an item included in a Tichy Train Group variety pack of HO scale windows and doors I bought last year. The porch lights are also items from Tichy Train.

I should note that the parts in the Amtronic kit don't go together well. I had problems with fit on the L'il Aqua project - which made use of the Amtronic cab - and also had problems with the passenger compartment in this project.

The windows especially had to be finessed, and I'm still not too happy with the end result. The black seals banding the windows were an attempt to hide some rather hideous gaps. The 'seals' are just strips of 0.012 inch styrene.

As well, the windows were painted light grey on their inner surfaces to prevent seeing inside the building.

It turns out that the bottom edge of the Amtronic passenger compartment is slightly curved. I sanded it a bit to flatten it, but only a little because sanding it completely flat would have not allowed enough overall height to install the door and the entry-way modification. Scenic bushes and grass was used to hide the remaining gap once the building was placed on the base.

The retro-future wouldn't be complete without an old-school satellite dish, so one I had in the scrap box was added to the roof. The basketball hoop is scratchbuilt from some plastic tubing, sheet styrene and balsa. The basketball is a plastic bearing painted orange.

The trees are from JTT Scenery Products and I really like the fine canopy and branch structure. The trunks are ok, but one can see that they are made from twisted wire - it's not completely unpleasing, but a superdetailer would probably clean them up a bit, I just painted them with a loose wash of grey, flat black and brown to tone down their colour.

What's going on in the driveway? I'm not too sure, but it might have something to do with leaving unattended bikes where they might accidently get run-over!

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