Friday, February 19, 2016

HOJPOJ Reno: Storage tank and shack

Just across the tracks from the main complex is a small storage tank and shack. There are pipes - modelled by wires - which run from the brick building, over the tracks, and into the shack roof. I guess inside the shack are some valves and things for controlling whatever is flowing in those pipes. This is another part of the HOJPOJ build that has not survived the ages, so I built a new one.
The shack is built up from scraps of balsa and then surfaced with E. L. Moore's tried-and-true 'paper' metal technique.
This method involves making a tool with a ridged pattern that resembles corrugated metal, placing a sheet of paper on it, and scribing the pattern into the paper with a pencil, dried-out pen, or sharp stick. I had made a pattern back when I was building Bunn's Feed and Seed and thought I had stashed it away somewhere in the workshop. I searched for a couple of weeks but couldn't find it :-( So, I went ahead and made another. My new pattern, like my old one, is made from curved plastic pieces, suitably flattened, leftover from an HO-scale quonset hut kit that were super-glued to a piece of wood. You can see it in the upper left in the above picture.
In this picture I've taped a piece of paper - I pulled a sheet from my computer's printer - and have started scribing with a pencil. Use a low angle to keep the pencil tip from pushing through the paper. Over on the right you can see a piece of bamboo skewer that I also tried as an embossing tool - it works fine too!
The roof panels are a little different. For these, only scribe every 4th line. 
Once the paper is scribed, 4' x 8' panels are cut out and these are then glued onto the balsa walls. For this, I just use an ordinary household white glue. 
And here it is, all done! I tried to make it look a little more haphazard by varying the lengths of the paper panels. It's ready to be painted with some acrylic aluminum coloured paint.
The tank was built around a discarded aspirin bottle. It turns out this one is just the right diameter as the original at 11', but is only 17' long compared to the original's 21'. Not a big difference. 
The narrow opening was cut off with a razor saw and circles of 1/16" balsa sheet were then glued on each end. At this point I hunkered down to finish the model and didn't take any photos along the way. But, basically, the bottle is wrapped with construction paper, and the hatch on the top is built up from a section of styrene tube topped with a thin, styrene disk and a sprue stub - yes, styrene again, the anti-Moore material :-) Well, look at it this way, he was economical and used things he had on hand instead of spending money when he didn't have to. I did the same.
The tank is supported by four little balsa wedges that simulate concrete blocks. The tank is painted with a number of loose washes of several greys, white, aluminum and black. After the shack was painted with a base of aluminum, it was washed with a thin neutral grey, and then a gloppy rust mixture. After painting the shack and the tank were glued together to form a single unit.
Once the model is on the diorama, some holes will be drilled into the shack's roof for the delivery pipes, and a support arm for them will be added to the front of the shack.

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