Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Long and Owen Agricultural

Ready to install on the railroad, Long and Owen will be a nice replacement for what has been just a label for the industry.
One the industries in Farmington is Long and Owen. They sell farm implements as well as seed, feed and fertilizer, all of which, of course, is delivered by rail. Initially, I was thinking of scratchbuilding this industry but then found a commercial kit which looked pretty much like what I was thinking of. It was the Laser Art Structures George Nickel's Supply company. It turned out to be a fairly easy construction with laser-cut peel-and-stick parts. It went together quickly and was painted, lettered and ready for the railroad in about two days.If the rest of their line is like this one, I highly recommend these as good-luck easy-to-assemble structures which would look good on anyone's railroad.
     It looks like I have two more structures to build for Farmington before I can permanently lay out the city and start scenicking the area. Both are grain warehouses, one frame and the other, brick. Starting the frame building will be today's project.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Another Saloon

A small local saloon with no entertainment other than a mediocre piano player. The multi-colored cable at the distant left of the photo is  what connects the building with the electronics for the sound and lighting.
Some Farmington citizens are a little concerned that a second saloon has worked its way into the life of the town. The place is small, though, with only three tables and the bar. There's only a piano player for entertainment with the room upstairs is occupied by only the owner. It looks like it might be a quiet place for a fellow to have a beer and visit with friends.
     With the Coronavirus isolation, there was plenty of time to work on models. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been assembling an old Master Creations saloon kit. This pile of laser-cut parts was from the early '90s when you had to assemble windows from a bunch of tiny objects you hoped you could find on the parts sheet. It was tedious work but interior details were provided and a sound system with "realistic" saloon sounds plus lighting. I finally finished the thing today and am very ready for something else to work on.
The long bar at the Corner Saloon. Note the beer mugs
on the bar and behind the bartender.
Working on the interior was the most fun for me. The wide front windows should allow most of it to be seen when the lights are on. I meant to take photos of it before I glued the building down but, in my haste, forgot it. I did manage to get a few shots through the windows, though, which are featured here.
     Some bottle-shape castings were provided in the kit which were duly painted and installed on the bar but, in my opinion, the nicest pieces were the beer mugs made by Busch. These scale mugs come in both clear (for empty mugs) and amber (for full ones). A touch of white on the top of the amber mugs put a realistic "head" on the brew. A bunch of these were scattered around on the tables and bar.
     1.5 volt light bulbs are installed in the bar, under the eaves, over the signs and in the upstairs room. These are controlled by the electronics. I have yet to see them work but they are supposed to come on in some sequence. It will be interesting to get it all operating.
     A large speaker is mounted in the building to provide the sound effects which seem to be rather dated and cut as opposed to what might actually have been heard in a bar. I think a better scheme could be developed with the more modern devices now available. I will try that in a future project.
Another shot looking through the front door at the piano on the right and bar
on the left. Note the mug on the piano for tips.

     The circuit boards are quite large and will be mounted under the layout. Wires for the speaker and lights will come to the model through a hole beneath it.
     The Corner Saloon was named after the Corner Bar in Virginia City, Nevada at the corner (appropriate enough) of B and Union Streets. The original has been in the same spot since 1875 when Piper's Opera House, in which building it resides, was built. Although there were several years of vacancy in the 20th century, it is back in business. Drop by both Piper's and the Corner Bar the next time you're in Virginia City.

The oversized electronics are on the left with one board sequencing the lights while the other provides the timing and substance for the sound.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Even More Structures

Three new businesses have arisen in the last several days, and yes, I have been graciously given a portion of my wife's quilting room for a workspace.
Farmington keeps growing. Three more businesses have been constructed in the last couple of weeks and the main street is filling up.
     There are not a lot of photos showing the various businesses in Farmington. Most of them are livery stables it seems. The three just completed are all kits I had on hand but seemed to suit the area and are typical of the occupancies you would find in a small town.
     The one of the left is known as Becky's CafĂ©. Next door to it is a small office/store area which is currently "For Rent." This structure is a Main Street Heritage kit based after a store in Silver Plume, Colorado. The paint scheme is based on the colors in use on the prototype. The real estate and surveyor's shop was built from an old Dyna Models kit from the 1950s-60s. The false front of the kit was very plain and didn't look right to me so I added a small cornice with some Tichy corbels. The last building is also a Main Street Heritage building which looked right for a small professional office, in this case an attorney's firm.
     The boardwalks in front of the buildings may look like a typical kit, not extending any further than the building itself. According to the photos, though, this is the way many places were. The builder took care of what he thought was important and left the rest of the street to his neighbors. If the town had the money, it would complete the walk throughout but this was not universal. I may add some more walkway when I get to my final installation depending on the locations of each structure.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

More Structures

Both new structures will find a place on a street in Farmington.
Two more merchants have decided to move into the growing town of Farmington. L. Miller, a dealer in dry goods and notions, has moved into a gold rush era stone building while the McCormick brothers have established their butcher shop next door in a brick structure.
     Both structures were constructed with Main Street Heritage kits. The Miller building is a combination of two Weekly Record kits, one stacked upon the other. The balcony railing is a Grandt Line product. Typical of gold rush buildings, I added iron shutters on the front doors. They are Model Die Casting parts made long ago for some of their structure kits. Over the years I have amassed several sets of these and am glad to have a place to use them. Their initial purpose was for fire protection but most were retained for security reasons. Today, if you visit California's Mother Lode country, you can still see many of the old buildings with their iron shutter.
     The brick building was from another Main Street Heritage product called Billy's Place. While intended for a small bar, I thought it the right size for a butcher shop.
"What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar" so spake Thomas Marshall, Vice-President under Woodrow Wilson. The sign is roughly full-sized.
The Coca Cola decal was made from a sign found on the side of a building in southern Missouri while Owl cigar sign was found on a building in Jacksonville, Oregon. The Coke sign was printed on my Alps printer while the Owl sign was printed on an inkjet printer on Testors inkjet white-backed decal paper. The Testors system is nice. The decal film has to be sprayed with a protective layer which protects the decal when it is immersed in water. In spite of the spray, the film is thin and is easy to work with. I recommend it.
     Main Street Heritage made several small resin-cast structures which are nicely done and easy to assemble. I recommend them highly. It is a bit of a shame, though, in that they appear to have gone out of business. I checked their website earlier this month and it has disappeared. If anyone knows if they are out permanently, please let me know. In any case, you can still find kits on ebay or in stock at some hobby shops.

Friday, February 14, 2020

General Store and Lodge Hotel Arrives at Farmington

The Dyke & Harrold store and the Central Hotel in their approximate final positions at Farmington.
Another view of the D&H store. The curved steps at the corner were a partic-
ular challenge.
As mentioned in my last post, I am now concentrating my efforts on Farmington. Besides the Central Hotel mentioned in my last post (, the Dyke & Harrold General Merchandise store has arrived. Soon after construction was finished, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows leased the second story for their lodge hall. Soon after, the Post Office department appointed O. D. Dyke Postmaster and what better place to put the business than in his store. All institutions are now open for business.
The prototype store with some slight additions due to moderni-
The D&H store was scratchbuilt from photos and measurements taken at the still-standing store. The prototype was built around 1873 and the Odd Fellows have met there ever since. Styrene scribed siding with Tichy windows and doors were used.
     The construction was straight-forward with the only problem area being the rounded steps at the corner of the building. They do add a nice look to the building, though, and were worth the trouble.
     The Central Hotel and associated Central Saloon were built, as mentioned, by my friend, Doug Taylor. I added the signs taken from a couple of closeup photos of the hotel entrance. In one of the photos, there is a light post outside the building with the hotel's name on it so that had to be added, too. The small space next to the hotel is still vacant but will soon be leased out to some going concern.
A closeup of the D&H front entrance. What is the somewhat
blurry red item at the end of the porch??

The Central Hotel and Central Saloon. The small red saloon signs were copied from a prototype photo of the building. The oval sign on the front porch column shows that the establishment serves California-made Boca Beer. The building to the left is for lease. Apply at hotel.

The real Central Saloon with its signs was obviously popular
for cyclists.
The light outside the hotel. See the prototype photo below.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Farmington Gets a New Hotel

The new Central Hotel as it sits on the workbench (yes, mine is as cluttered as anybody else's). Signs and other details still need to be added.
My next major project is to build out the town of Farmington. There are a couple of signature structures I will need to scratchbuild but a lot of the town will be populated by commercial kits. One of these signature structures is the Central Hotel. It was located across the street from the S&C depot and is very near the tracks. Unfortunately for me, there are no good photos of the hotel. I did have a kit made by JL Models which was the right size, though, and thought this would fit. A couple of weeks ago, I made some custom decals for a friend of mine and great modeler, Doug Taylor. He offered to build a structure for me so I suggested this kit. I am more than happy with the result, especially with the lack of good prototype information.
     Doug also built one of the livery stables which now resides at Milton. Thanks, Doug!
Downtown Farmington in 1914 complete with McKeen car. The Central Hotel is somewhere beneath the trees near the center of the photo. I do have the Sanborn maps for the area so I know the size which is why I chose the JL kit to represent the building.

3D printing on the McKeen

McKeen's special ventilators can be seen near the top center of the photo. The strange shape was to filter out moisture picked up by the vent.
The Elegoo Mars printer is very compact and inexpensive.
While I like the way my McKeen motor car turned out (, I was still bothered by the unprototypical vents on the car.I wasn't going to change the bulk of the ventilators as they didn't look too bad. The front vents, however, were of a different pattern designed for this car.

The finished 3D-printed ventilators. I made a few extra plus
some of the other ventilators for another McKeen car I have.
 Fortunately, I had a solution. A few weeks ago, I invested in an Elegoo Mars 3D printer. This machine was rated highest for its class last year. You, too, can have one for only $229.99 at Amazon. Anyway, I thought that producing a couple of these unique vents would be a good test for the machine. They turned out great and a pair now reside on the S&C Motor 99.
The ventilators installed on Motor No. 99.