Sunday, January 2, 2011

Grille’s: A beginning

Grille’s is another project that became something else once I began gluing the kit together. I bought the Walthers’ Al’s Victory Service gas station kit thinking that a retro-styled gas station would look good on the layout. I assembled the walls, placed the partially finished building on the layout, and looked at it for awhile. And awhile, and awhile, and awhile more. It looked too old, and just sat around unfinished for a long time.

These days lots of gas stations are closing down around here. Most are eventually bull-dozed and then redeveloped once the site is cleaned up. Some get repurposed instead of demolished. One nearby station was converted to a used car lot. I figured I’d move the station near Art Park and repurpose it to a grille and cafe with a hot rod meets eco-friendly theme. Yeah, well, I know, hot rods and eco-friendly? It’s still a work in progress, but I think it’ll work out.

The eco-part is going to be a grass-surfaced, roof-top patio with a view along the highway, Art Park and the railroad switching action. The kit has a slightly sloped flat roof that needs to be converted to a level, flat roof. This means the molded on roof supports need to ground off and new ones - ones that are level - need to be added. A Dremel with a sanding drum and a sanding stick make quick work of grinding off the moldings. I also needed to shorten the wall between the two parts of the building so that the two flat areas that’ll comprise the roof-top dining areas can be connected via some stairs.

{These are the moulded-in roof supports.}

{This is what it looks like after they're ground off.}

{The large flat-roof is test fit to make sure everything fits well.}

Since it’s an entertainment spot, the building was given a wild paint scheme - purple, toned down a little with some thinned black wash. To prevent things from getting too bleak, the engraved panel lines on the kit were lined with white. I used a ‘galaxy marker’ I found at an art supply store. It’s basically a fine-point pen with a permanent, paint-like ink. It goes on smoothly and is very opaque. The problem I found with these pens is that the cap doesn’t have some sort of positive-action, snap-lock to click it securely to the pen body. One night I didn’t slide the cap on all the way and the pen was dried out and unusable by morning - a waste of $2.50.

The inside was painted flat black and black card-stock was used to block views since I don’t intend to detail the interior.

The roof sheets were glued on once the interior was dry and the clear plastic window glass was in place. Parts of the end walls were cut even with the roof panels, and styrene extensions were added so that the exterior staircases to the roof could be installed. Those stairs were items from Central Valley.

Still lots of work to go on this one.

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