Sunday, April 28, 2013

What does Omnivagant mean for trackplans?

[The magazine's logo letters seem to match pieces of an omnivagant trackplan :-) ]
I’ve started to wonder about this question. Looking for some answers I searched the Model Railroader 75th Anniversary collection again and found that ‘omnivagant’ was used only once: in Linn Westcott’s Decatur, Jackson & Newton Layout of the Month I posted about last December. He never goes much into what he meant by that layout-wise other than stating, “wandering anywhere and everywhere”. 
I decided to look for ‘omnivagant’ in dictionaries to see if I might unearth more information. It turns out it’s a rather old-fashioned word and isn’t listed in modern dictionaries – well, at least the ones I checked. I couldn’t even find it in my father’s old Oxford Universal Dictionary (On Historical Principles), but I did finally find it in Sheridan Improved: A General Pronouncing and Explanatory Dictionary of the English Language courtesy of Google Books. But, its definition, “wandering every where, or in all places”, only confirmed Mr. Westcott’s statement.
[The definition of omnivagant from Sheridan Improved]
While I was searching in MR’s collection for ‘omnivagant’, I came across another trackplan called the Frogville, Punkin Center & Western Electric RR. It’s an electrified interurban layout designed by R. H. Wagner that appeared in the October 1946 issue’s Layout of the Month feature. I rather liked that plan and wondered if it was omnivagant?

After thinking about this awhile, I’d say a definite, “sort of” :-)
[A snippet of the Frogville, Punkin Center & Western Electric RR]
I’m guessing here, but I figured omnivagant was meant to mean that all tracks went down all streets and roads, and accessed all industries, which they do in the Decatur, Jackson & Newton; with the most important aspect being that, since ‘omnivagant’ applied mainly to ‘traction’ or ‘streetcar’ layouts, there wasn’t a significant road or street or avenue or alley that a streetcar or trolley, or maybe even a small, light locomotive, couldn’t drive down in the urban parts of the layout. In Mr. Wagner’s trackplan, the only deficiency omnivagancy-wise, is that even though all the industries are connected, not all the main roads are tracked. The road into Frogville is only partially tracked, although it could easily be extended to go through to Mosquito Hollow, and switch down to Juniper. However, for the most part, the tracks run adjacent to the roads; hence, my wishy-washy “sort of”. Even though, it’s still a very interesting little layout. I like Mr. Wagner’s assessment of it, “A plain railroad that runs is better than an elaborate one that doesn’t.”

So, that’s why I classified Mr. Westcott’s Union Bay Railway layout as ’omnivagant’, but not Art Curren’s Break The Rules RR.  I’d also say that the Gypsy Trolley Line that appears in the May 2013 issue of MR is omnivagant even though it’s highly linear unlike those other examples. 

I don’t think omnivagant is just the much derided ‘spaghetti-bowl’ trackplan dressed up with a fancy word. It’s true that they both pack a lot of track into a relatively small area, but where the spaghetti-bowl has lots of track for the sake of having lots of track, the omnivagant trackplan is densely tracked because it needs to connect together lots of different places that are relatively close together since they are in an urban or quasi-urban setting.


By the time we got to the place where she thought that object had fallen, all semblance of macho cool I imagined I possessed was long gone and had washed away with the tide. I was puffing and sweating. To make matters worse, the temperature was picking up and I was overdressed for the beach. Once we arrived, I had to stop and catch my breath. She ignored my plight and went right about looking for whatever had fallen from the blob. Any space germ fear she might have had had passed. She was thoroughly examining the beach looking for whatever it was.

After a couple of minutes my breathing was about back to normal. My thinking shifted to looking around the place, and away from if I had remembered to bring my health card on this trip. She was right, there were a lot of rocks of various sizes on this end of the beach, but there were still some purely sandy patches up closer to the dunes, which themselves were becoming more rocky outcroppings and less dune-like. I started to search a bit myself, closer to the dunes since Jackie had the shoreline under control.

“Look at this!” called Jackie waving what looked like a thick, red streamer. I walked toward her. She walked toward me.

She offered it to me and I took and examined it. It was a rectangular piece of red, heavy-weight cloth with some sort of metal stud on one end and was emblazoned with the warning ‘Remove before Flight’. Either those aliens have a good command of English, or, more likely, this came from a more Earthly flying-machine whose pilot didn’t follow the tag’s instruction. I held on to it and we kept looking.

After about an hour we hadn’t found anything else other than a few stray pieces of trash. We sat on some rocks near the dunes and commiserated.

“I guess the streamer was it,” said Jackie.

“Looks that way. This kind of thing,“ I dangled the red strip, “is used on airplanes and helicopters. Maybe that’s what you saw?”

“No, I would have noticed.” Jackie seemed a little disappointed.

“Well, I’ll take it with me anyway. Maybe what you saw fall got washed out to sea. There doesn’t appear to be anything else here other than what looks like some foot prints over there.” I pointed at a duney rock outcropping to some tracks I spotted on one of my sweeps across the beach. “Did you walk over there?”

“No.” But, Jackie got up and took a look at the footprints anyway. “No. Those shoes aren’t mine.” She followed them a bit. “They look like they go behind this rock.”

I got up and had a look. There was a small opening in the rock face and the footprints ducked behind a small boulder that was wedged in front of the opening. “You wouldn’t happen to have a light would you?”

“Just this little light on my key-ring.” Jackie unclipped it from a belt loop and handed it to me.

I took off my jacket and set it on a rock, then switched on the light, crouched down, and tried to squeeze pass the boulder into the opening. After sucking my stomach back to my spine, and slithering around the rock like an arthritic snake, I found myself in a little cave. I propped myself up on an elbow and waved the puny light around to see what I could see.

Unfortunately, what I could see looked like the business end of a gun accompanied by that all too familiar B-movie refrain,

“Don’t move or I’ll shoot.”

The next instalment can be found here.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Missing construction photos found + a start on the roof

I had shot a few photos of the WSMoftheWBB's shell pieces just before and after gluing them together, but they went missing, and I thought I had accidentally deleted them from my camera without downloading. Lucky for me I had just misfiled them, and found them while searching for some other pictures. The top photo are the walls just before gluing up the box - they're pretty basic.
And here is the shell after sitting for a day or two after gluing.
I used a builder's square to line-up the walls while gluing.
And jumping forward to today, I'm working on the roof now that I've rounded up the parts I'll need for it and its lights. The roof is glued up from 2 pieces of 0.060 inch styrene. Along the top edge of the box I've glued in some styrene Z-channel along the perimeter, and the roof sets in it. As you can see, the front wall has a bit of a bow in it that I'll need to take out with a tension piece connected to the back wall.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A review of Kim Adams’ AGO Exhibition

Back in March Debra and I were in downtown Toronto. While she attended to her business, I went down to the Art Gallery of Ontario to see the new Kim Adams show

There are two pieces on display: a big diorama called Artist's Colony (Gardens), and a much bigger stand alone “ship-in-a-bottle” type model railroad / spacecraft / farm equipment piece called, Travels Through the Belly of the Whale.
[The Dundas streetcar goes right by the front door of the AGO]
The diorama is located in the AGO’s Thomson Collection of Ship Models gallery, which as the name makes clear, is full of excellent ship models, and Artist's Colony (Gardens) is located in a little brightly lit nook at the bottom of the stairs leading to the ships. Surprisingly, the light down there is rather low and gloomy – other than the bright, clear light over the Artist's Colony (Gardens) – and doesn’t do justice to the ship models.  I thought the placement of Artist's Colony (Gardens) in this gallery rather odd, but maybe it’s the only place it could be properly lit, and possibly the gallery staff figured all models belonged in one place (there are boats in Artist's Colony (Gardens) after all). Artist's Colony (Gardens)  does make for an interesting contrast to the traditionally constructed ship models, and, if there weren’t any practical constraints, it would have been better placed in the centre of the gallery under spot lights instead of tucked away in a alcove. This might be more dramatic, and would require visitors to snake their way through the ships, toward the brightly lit diorama. This would also allow visitors to walk around all four sides of the diorama. As it is, only three-sides are freely accessible, and the fourth is against a wall. 
[Artist's Colony (Gardens)]
I won’t give a detailed description of the diorama, but there are some photos at the AGO site. It’s basically a wild, densely packed, free-lanced assemblage of scenes built up from HO scale model railroad components – the operative word being ‘free-lanced’, followed closely by ‘wild’. Its production values are high, and clearly a great deal of thought and care went into its construction. Although I’m ducking out of describing it, I can offer a tip for looking at it since actually spending time viewing its various parts is the most important thing. There’s so much going on in the piece, I needed to look at it several different times. Basically, I’d have a look for 5 minutes or so, wander off to see a few ships when others came by, then wander back to take a look at another section when there were no other viewers around. After a couple rounds of this, I’d wander off to another gallery and then come back and repeat the sequence. So, view it in several short sessions, taking a good break in between. I think that way you can avoid being visually over-saturated by the density of the thing and get a better appreciation of the whole. But, I can’t guarantee that this odd behaviour won’t get you flagged as suspicious on a security camera :-)

Artist's Colony (Gardens) is sort of reminiscent of a side of model building that isn’t seen much anymore. Back in the ‘60s and early ‘70s monthly hobbyist periodicals aimed at scale model builders like Car Model magazine often featured projects and models that weren’t so much meant to be replicas of prototypes, but were imaginative what-if exercises – often rather wild and exuberant ones at that. The model railroad press wasn’t immune either, although the free-lanced stuff seen there was nowhere near as wild as what the model car builders were up to. 

These days free-lancing - whether extreme or mild - and imaginative explorations in model building seems rather uncommon. The detailed representation of actual prototypes with models is dominant, and far more advanced from a technological standpoint than it was 40 or 50 years ago, and its wilder cousin – the Yeti of the model building world - is elusive and relatively hidden. It’s too bad that this kind of thing is not as easily accessible as those long ago Car Model pages. Having to go to a gallery to see this sort of thing instead of in a magazine I could once buy at a corner smoke shop seems like an unfortunate development. But, maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places – it wouldn’t be the first time :-)
[Travels Through the Belly of the Whale]
Travels Through the Belly of the Whale is an entirely different piece. It’s sort of a “ship-in-a-bottle”, but the ship is a simple, HO scale model railroad setup, and the bottle is some farm equipment assembled to look like a spaceship.

Yeap, that’s right, the bottle is the hull of a spaceship built from farm equipment. As soon as I saw it, the conical front part said Gemini capsule, and the cylindrical back part – that houses the layout – said Apollo Service Module. But unlike either the Gemini or Apollo spacecraft, this structure has clear, stubby wings where the model train loops out and back into the bottle. Also, the spacecraft has large windows to the interior where the nose-cone and the rockets would go, as well as a smattering of smaller viewing ports. 

Unlike Artist's Colony (Gardens), Travels Through the Belly of the Whale is carefully staged in its own gallery. The natural lighting is excellent, and there’s lots of room to walk around the piece and get a good look from many different angles.

I’m not much into finding meanings in art works. Basically, I’m happy if I like looking at them. I think art works should stand up without ancillary explanatory material.  If I don’t find something interesting to look at, I move on. Back when I was in the 5th or 6th grade in the early ‘70s, our class was taken on a day trip to the AGO. There was one gallery where the ‘art’ consisted of a bunch of rusty old chains strewn about on the floor. As we entered we all dutifully gave it a studious look for a few seconds and most, like myself, probably then wondered when we were getting lunch. Once our guide had everyone corralled around the chains, she asked if anyone could describe what they meant. My friend Rob, who was off to one corner of the group raised his hand and gave what seemed like some sort of sophisticated answer. Our guide was stunned by such an articulate response, so she naturally followed up by asking how he knew that. Rob promptly told her he read it off a little card on the wall. The kids laughed. The guide went red. And so went my introduction to finding meaning in art. I can’t say that this apocryphal story has influenced me to this very day, but it has stuck around in my memory as a lesson of some sort.

All I can say is that I find both of Mr. Adams’ works quite interesting and fun. It’s probably because I’m intrigued anytime someone uses common place objects to make things that weren’t intended to be made from them, and Mr. Adam’s work is a highly inventive take on using every day, utilitarian objects, and the common materials of traditional scale model building, to construct fascinating things. If you’re in the AGO part of Toronto before the exhibit closes on 11 August, I’d recommend seeing these pieces.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

How I installed optical fibres in the WSMoftheWBB* sign

I’ve been putting off writing about the ins and outs of the optical fibre installation job on the WSMoftheWBB* project until I was satisfied with how it turned out. Well, it works, and there’s light, but the whole thing was a big learning experience. I installed a lot of messiness inside the building’s shell before I got the hang of things, so I’m not completely satisfied with the internals, but, as I said, it does work. Here are a few pictures I shot as the job progressed.
Here’s a $2 LED light unit stripped of its outer shell. It’s a rather clean design. I wanted the building to be battery powered so I could place it wherever I wanted and not be dependent upon an external power source, so these things I left as battery powered – they need 3 AAAs. There are 4 inside the building.
I found some styrene tube in my scrapbox that fits snuggly over the LEDs and cut it into lengths that are about 15 mm taller than the LEDs. These were then slipped over the LEDs and glued in place with sparing amounts of super-glue.  These tubes are to hold the fibre ends in place over the LEDs. More on this later.
I added some more internal structure to both add stiffness to the shell and provide a base to mount the LED units. The inside surfaces were painted flat black to help prevent light from bleeding through the walls. The inside surface of the sign is also painted black.
This is a test placement of the LED units. I had to make sure that I could replace the batteries from the bottom and nothing was blocking. Once I was satisfied with the placement, I glued them in with superglue.
Before gluing the sign in place, I added a number of styrene blocks cut from square-section styrene tube to the inside lower edge of the sign so there was something to securely attach the bottom of the sign to the top of the front brick wall.
The front wall was painted with Krylon red spray paint, and when completely dry after a few days, was washed with a loose mixture of flat black and Tamyia Smoke to tone it down and bring definition to the bricks. The service door entries and street level vents were given a little extra black wash to deepen their shadows. When I'm walking over the to real WBB from Yonge St., this is the view that I see, so it was the one that 'clicked' in my mind that I was close to capturing a likeness of the building. Seeing the entire model head on with all the lights lit is a little odd, because one can never actually see that sort of view from street-level.
Here's the back wall while the paint was drying. I have no idea what the real one looks like, so this is completely freelanced. The brick stripe is the same Krylon red as the front wall, but the main surface is loosely brush painted with Poly-Scale aged concrete, flat black, and Poly-Scale L & N gray. It dries to a nice grimy, flat finish.
These are - I think - all the tools I used to install the fibres. I used plain old sprue cutters to cut the fibres.
I had a 50 ft roll of 1mm diameter optical fibre on hand, and bought two more 100 foot rolls so I'd have enough to finish this job and extra for future projects. I estimate that I used around 130 feet for this project - that includes waste and test pieces. The roll on the left is a complete 100 foot roll, and the one on the right is the remnants of a second 100 footer after the job was done. The original 50 footer was used up.
It's a little hard to see, but that is the business end of a 1 mm diameter fibre. 
I used my old - they're probably 10 years old - sprue cutters for cutting the fibre, and along the way I broke its return spring. They still cut, but they're now a little awkward to use.
Over each of the styrene tubes I slid onto the LEDs, I then slipped a piece of shrink tube. The shrink tube was about 15 mm taller than the inner styrene tube. I had this idea that I'd fill each styrene tube up with fibre ends and then heat up the shrink tube with a hair dryer to collapse the shrink tube tightly around the fibres, and presto, they would all be held firmly in place. It didn't quite work out that way - more on this later.

Here's what I did to install each fibre.

1. Make sure the hole into which the fibre will be inserted is completely clear of plastic debris from drilling and any residual glue. I re-drilled many of the holes, and widened some with an exacto knife to make sure they were clear.

2. I unspooled some fibre from the roll and clipped the end to a point with the sprue cutters. This makes it easer to thread the fibre into the hole.

3. Once the fibre is through the hole and a decent length is pulled into the building, use the sprue cutters to cut the free end square. 

4. Pull enough fibre through to insert the free end into one of the styrene / shrink tube / LED tubes. Don't make the mistake I did and be too stingy with the fibre. Make sure it goes into the tube parallel with the side walls and doesn't lean against the sides and tilt them - this puts the fibre and the tube in tension, and I found the fibres had an annoying tendency to pop out.

5. I tried to evenly - and somewhat randomly - spread the fibres out amongst the tubes so if an LED fails it wouldn't take out an entire section of the sign, but spread the unlit lights over the whole sign. One drawback of this approach is that the inside of the building becomes a rat's nest of fibres.

6. Once the free end of the fibre is in the LED tube, cut the other end with the sprue cutters. I left 0.5 mm to 1 mm of fibre sticking out from the sign. They could be left flush with the sign, but the light isn't as bright. Friction will hold the fibre in place while you proceed to install more. I'd install 20 or 30 at a time before taking a break.

7. I used a dab of Micro Krystal Klear to hold each fibre against the inside surface of the sign. I stupidly used superglue on the first batch of fibres I installed. I installed maybe 10 or so, put a dab of superglue on each, and turned on the LEDs to check things. I was very happy with the result and went away for an hour to do something else. Upon returning, the LED ends and superglue were just blobs of free-hanging goo! Aargh! I took them out, cleaned things up, re-drilled the holes, and re-threaded the fibres. This time I used Krystal Klear to hold them thinking that it was just a high-quality white glue that isn't reactive. It worked fine.

8. The bottom and side fibres were installed first. The top row was done last.

9. I found that it was useful to temporarily hold some fibres in place with tape. When an LED tube only has a few fibres in it, the fibres can pop out as you work inside the shell if they get brushed up against during the installation of other nearby fibres. Once a tube has 6 to 8 fibres inserted, their mutual friction seems to hold them in place. 
Here's the first fibre I installed. I was very happy!
The lights that are inserted in front brick wall that illuminate part of the sidewalk, and the light  over one of the back entry doors, were also made from optical fibre. I could have used small LEDs, but I was determined to use optical fibre wherever I could :-) Basically, I cut 5, short U-channel pieces from a square section styrene tube, glued 12, 12 inch lengths of 0.5 mm fibre into each piece for each light. The idea was that the dozen fibres at the free end would be inserted into an LED tube. Again I used Krystal Klear to glue the fibres into the U-channel.
That is a 0.5 mm fibre. Very small, and the fibre is very flexible. Each of those U-channels was painted flat black before installation. All 5 of these lights were installed before the top row of sign lights were.
Here's what the back delivery entrance light looks like.
This is one of the front 4 lights. Unfortunately, I didn't get that one installed too squarely, but it lights up fine.

And finally, here's the what it looks like inside from one end to the other.

Not my finest effort, but it does work. 

To secure the fibre ends in the LED tubes I resorted to dabbing a blob of Krystal Klear into each tube, and after it hardened, used a blow dryer to chinch down any remaining flexibility in the shrink tubes. This doesn't completely seal off the LED ends, and some light does still come out. To me this isn't a big deal, since that'll help create a soft light in the main entrance area. Although, light leaks from other parts of the shell may need to be dealt with.

Turns out the fibres move a little as the glue settles and dries. I panicked at first because some fibre ends got spotted with white glue - reducing the light intensity at the sign - others moved slightly out of contact with the LED, also reducing light output. But, after things completely dried - meaning the glue's milky whiteness was all clear - I liked the result better than the super-nova light intensity of the unglued fibres. The sign illumination is dimmed a little and it now has a rather pleasant unevenness from one bulb to the next - the lights have different intensities which I think is more realistic in that real outside bulbs probably age, get dirty, get loose, and maybe even burn out with the result that not all the bulbs burn with the same intensity.

One last thing: the LEDs are switched on and off with a long wooden skewer. 
*World's Smallest Model of the World's Biggest Bookstore

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Let there be light!

"When the wife's away, the husband doth....install optical fibre." - well, I never really understood that Shakespeare fellow. But, I did spend 3/4 of Two Mules for Sister Sara, 1 episode of William Shatner's Weird or What?, and 1/2 of a Mad Men episode stalling the rest of the sign's fibres. The inside of the building is a messy rat's nest because it took me awhile to figure out how to put these things in and make them neat. I need to spend some time getting the fibres secured better, do a little untangling, and sealing the LEDs around the fibres. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Incredible 1970 Turbo Train Awesomeness

"New from the ground up."

It's a shame that the dream was never fully realized.

Space Germs

I can’t believe I balked at coming out here. The view from up here on the dunes is unbelievable: blue skies, warm gentle breezes, unspoiled beach, ocean waves. Couldn’t ask for more. A couple of old fashioned El Camino-style PCCs were pulling into the parking spurs just on the other side of the dunes. The day’s first surfers were arriving. There were some small waves rolling in, and conditions looked perfect for a beautiful morning of surfing. The first arrivals were pulling their boards from the PCCs’ cargo boxes and squeezing into their wetsuits. 

“Mr. Bryce?”

I was just standing there on the dunes surveying the scene. Not a care in the world. I felt almost drugged. Maybe it was ‘lev-lag.

“Mr. Bryce?”

 I figured I’d spend the rest of the week here investigating this ‘UFO’ sighting thing, and then go back to the mainland to visit Melissa over the weekend. 

I touched my jacket pocket to make sure her note with her address and number was still there. It was.

“Mr. Bryce!”

“Yes,” I replied as I snapped out my reverie and turned to the voice. It belonged to a small blonde woman dressed in a tie-dyed t-shirt and clam digger pants with sandals and beads to complete the ensemble.

“I’m Jackie. You wanted to meet me?” She offered to her hand for shaking.

“Yes. Hello Jackie. Thank you for agreeing to see me.” I took my identification from my jacket pocket with my left hand and shook her hand with my right. “I’m following up on a report you made about a UFO sighting.” I flipped my id back into my pocket. “Can you tell me what you saw that morning?”

“I was on my deck doing Tai-Chi just before sunrise and I saw a big, bright blobby thing floating in the sky way down there.” She pointed up the beach, off to the north. “That’s my house down there”. She turned around and pointed down the opposite end of the beach towards a modest house on metal stilts perched above the dunes.

“Your eyesight must be great. Your house is a long way down there.” I squinted down the beach to see what she was pointing at. I seemed like a little black box on the horizon.

“It’s 20/8.”

“Where did it go?”

“It turned inland and dropped behind the dunes.” She turned around again, and with her arm traced an arc from the north beach, over the dunes, and down to show the flight path.

“Was it fast?”

“No, not really. More like a fast car than a fast spaceship.”

“Anything else come to mind?”

Jackie paused for a moment, “I think something fell off.”

“Are you sure? It was still fairly dark”

“ 20/8 vision. I see everything.”

20/8!  I need to add alfalfa sprouts to my burgers. “Ok. Did you go and look for it?”


“Why not?”



“Space germs.”

“Space germs?” 

“I didn’t want to get any space germs.”

I didn’t want to get any space germs either, but since this thing likely didn’t come from space, there didn’t seem much chance of that.

“Let’s go take a look.” I started to walk up the beach. Jackie hesitated, but followed my lead.

“I don’t see any surfers on that end of the beach.”

“It’s too rocky up there. The surf is very good here, and further to the south near my place,” Jackie informed me.  She was a bit ahead of me now. Boy, was I out of shape. Keeping up with her pace was going to cause heavy breathing. And not the ‘I find you attractive’ kind, but the ‘please slow down before I have a heart attack’ kind. As we walked she gathered her hair and slipped a scrunchie from her wrist around it to make a loose pony-tail. This apparently super-charged her stride and we walked even faster.

The next instalment can be found here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Richard Feynman on why trains stay on the track

This week I came across this section of a longer interview with Richard Feynman where he explains why trains stay on the track. There's a rather good graphic novel about his life called, naturally enough, Feynman. It's an easy and entertaining read, and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Update on installing the sign's lights

I'm in the process of installing the optical fibres into the sign now that the building has been painted and the signboard has been glued into the main facade. I figure it'll take a week of spare time to get all the fibres in place. Since I've never done this type of job before, I'm spending lots of time figuring out how to install this stuff - trial and error. My opinion of this job swings back-and-forth between "I'll never do this sort of thing again for as long as I live" to "It's not so bad now that I've got things under control". I'm in the later state right now, and working my way down the sign installing fibres. Hopefully in a week or so I'll have a completely lit sign and some notes to post on how it went.

Reno job #1: The Post Office

I was at George's Trains a couple of weeks ago and saw this Post Office in the resale section. I liked the size, proportions and colour, so I bought it. It wasn't glued together very well - which will be to my benefit when I take it apart - and has a couple of pieces missing, but I think it will be a fine building after it's renovated. However, the updated version probably won't be a Post Office. Not too sure what it'll be just yet.
The Post Office has a simulated glass block window wall over its main entrance. I thought I'd tune it up a bit and colour some of those blocks much like the above wall section that belongs to a church - built in 1961 - that is down the street from my house. For now, the Post Office is residing on my workbench awaiting disassembly.