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    • August 12, 2020 12:00 PM EDT
    • I’ll double that WOW and raise you a superb. 


    • August 12, 2020 10:05 AM EDT

    • August 12, 2020 7:24 AM EDT
    • Holy Cow ...............

    • August 12, 2020 1:27 AM EDT
    • Thanks guys!


      After seven years of constant exposure to the elements, the building's exterior was in remarkably good shape. However it did need a little bit of refurbishing.


      The stones on the front of the building were resin castings. These castings shrank slightly, leaving unsightly gaps, and a few had come loose:


      I filled the gaps, using a gritty, acrylic putty made for artists, called "ceramic stucco". The excess paste cleans off with water. I thought that the gritty texture would be a nice effect but it ended up leaving tiny traces of grit on the stones too. It's not bad enough to bother redoing it, but if I were to do this again on another building I'd use plain acrylic paste.


      After filling the gaps I repainted the entire front of the structure, and weathered it with grime and "bird poop" on the ledges.


      The east side of the building was textured and painted to look like random stone construction, very similar in appearance to the real stone retaining wall on the cliff behind the building. This area still looked good, with only slight fading. I touched up the paint on a few stones here and there just to make it "pop" a little.

      However, the two signs on this side of the building were badly faded and becoming nearly unreadable. I went over them with some fresh painted, applied by hand with a brush. I made the colors more vivid so they wouldn't fade so quickly.



      Unsurprisingly, the top of the building had the most wear due to pounding rain and hail. In some places the paint was nearly worn off. I sanded them to give the surface "tooth" and repainted them.



      Next I went to work making a sign for gallery. This would fit in the arch above the storefront. I used Slater PlastiKard letters and glued them to 0.040" styrene rods. I placed a thin strip of brass between the rods to keep them properly spaced while gluing the letters with solvent. Once the letters were secured I removed the brass.



      The entire sign was sprayed with flat black paint. Then I used a fine brush to apply gold paint to the front of the letters. The styrene rods were trimmed to fit the arch, and the sign was glued into place:


      Smaller signs for the windows were printed on self-adhesive vinyl. These were mounted on a brass strip and glued in place on the inside of the storefront. Then the storefront was glued into the building.


      That's all for now. The next step is creating interior details for the second floor, which will be the jewelry-making workshop.



    • August 10, 2020 6:52 PM EDT
    • Excellent work as always Ray !



    • August 12, 2020 2:10 AM EDT
    • Update:


      My chief concern as we move from making the core to making a mill is fit.  If locomotives catch in the loader shed, it won't work.   If box cars (actually box car; we only have one...for now!) catch on the loading dock, it won't work.  I decided to schlep the whole assembly out to its ultimate location to do a test fit.  First, some glamor shots:


      I learned from a brief foray into musical theater at some point you just have to run the show to see how much work the cast and crew have accomplished.  This served the same purpose.  I can "see" the finished mill, now.


          Back to the fitting...I had considered actually taking apart the tracks, slipping them into the structure, and running trains back and forth.  That seemed like a lot of work.  Instead, I laid the whole assemble over the existing tracks, then reached into the box-o-tracks for extras.  I figured by making sure these staid aligned with the rails beneath, I could get a good fit:

      Next up was a whole lot of trial and error.  The limiting factors is Komaka Iki's width relative to the shed portals.    That ultimately drives the distance between the outermost wall and the track where I staged the box car.  After some jiggling, I think I got it:

      The loading dock will align the 12" straight track, per Tim's suggestion.  I can use the empty space for ramps leading to ground level.

      With everything in place, I traced the tracks, marked center lines, marked off the dock area, etc.  I am feeling confident enough now to order my "corrugated metal" from the hobby shop.  In the meantime, I can cut the dock, make a simulated unloader area in the shed, and get some weather proof sealer for the joints.  I am hemming and hawing about a plan to make a cut-out inside the shed to imply the conveyor system.  I am also kicking around whether or not to make the roof removeable.  The fact I cannot foresee a reason to remove the roof indicates I should probably be able to remove it. The 2x4 braces in the corner may offer an anchor point to screw in the roof.   Likewise, I am debating windows and doors.  I've no desire to do the interior, but it will look too plain without some large windows to let in outside light.  I've also no real desire to pay for commercial products, and I am not sure how I would integrate them into the corrugated sides of the building. I've got time to figure this out!


      Updates as progress dictates!






    • August 11, 2020 6:35 PM EDT
    • Hiccup

    • August 11, 2020 6:34 PM EDT
    • Cliff Jennings said:

      Rooster, how did you make (or purchase) your vinyl lettering?'s called barter but I did have my overall plan in place. I was just saying that I worked with both vinyl and water slide decals and prefer the vinyl myself.

    • August 11, 2020 6:34 PM EDT
    • Cliff Jennings said:

      Rooster, how did you make (or purchase) your vinyl lettering?'s called barter but I did have my overall plan in place. I was just saying that I worked with both vinyl and water slide decals and prefer the vinyl myself.

    • August 10, 2020 7:53 PM EDT
    • Rooster, how did you make (or purchase) your vinyl lettering? You had a thread on all that, right? 


      Looks great!! I love that shadow effect, with the gold on red!

    • August 10, 2020 6:42 PM EDT







      I have done both vinyl and decals but I personally prefer the vinyl. Dan, yes you can get the vinyl to tuck carefully with a heat gun and the proper plastic squeegees. It's all a matter of what you are comfortable working with. The line under Utility is my fault as I scored it into the side for a level line reference.

    • August 11, 2020 11:52 AM EDT
    • Nice work!  Great instructional steps and photos of how and what you have achieved.

    • August 11, 2020 9:49 AM EDT
    • Actually, it wasn't too bad. The balsa blocks are shaped on top and bottom to almost the right curve, and they are the correct width. The sides of the clerestory are also cut (though you have to make a second piece the same curve to add width.)

      Here's the ancient "Surform" shaper dug out of the bottom of the toolbox for the first time for 20+ years.



      The underside is final-shaped using a layer of sandpaper on the roof and rubbing the roof into it.  There is going to be a layer of roof covering (probably wide masking tape) over all this to hide the blemishes!

    • August 10, 2020 11:17 PM EDT
    • Fiddly == getting all those curves juuuuuuuust right. Fiddly.

    • August 10, 2020 6:32 PM EDT
    • That looks fiddly...

    • August 11, 2020 7:30 AM EDT
    • Eric said - "So when are the Twins coming to O'ahu? Nice, nice work!"

      Yes, the build is very nice.  Right now they are in route back to our home base for the next level of work.  Power control and graphics are waiting to be installed.  There have been sightings of there travels.

      As far as making a trip to Paradise - Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, wore it out.  I've heard the bridge as not been built, yet.  And our days of hurling across the sky in a steel tube are behind us.  ;-)

    • August 10, 2020 8:24 PM EDT
    • So when are the Twins coming to O'ahu?   Nice, nice work!

    • August 10, 2020 6:29 PM EDT


    • August 10, 2020 8:26 PM EDT
    • Ruby is an appropriate color as this project is a process of taking junk to jewel!