Jac's Lines Scratchbuilding Challenge

Discussion in 'Competitions & Challenges' started by Jac's Lines, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member

    Ok, I have done basically no model railroading since October -- busy job, lots going on, but also a general loss of motivation. I think, though, that a challenge might get me back in gear, so I'm going to throw my hat in the ring.

    This is a mill of some sort in LeRoy NY, on a spur off the Erie RR from Rochester to Buffalo. I think it's a pretty cool structure, with lots of interesting lines. I think it was for grain storage of some sort (they grow a lot of corn out in these parts). LeRoy is where Jell-O was invented, for all you history buffs. They have a Jell-O Museum in town which, I am sorry to say, I have not ever visited.

    The pictures aren't great -- it was cold and snowy today (yes, the 7th of April :curse:). I think picture #4 is what I'm going to try to duplicate for the challenge. More updates (hopefully) as I do some more planning...

    Attached Files:

  2. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Yes yes yes! Now get up and get going! A fascinating structure with loads of character that'll make an eye-catching model for sure! Let us encourage you to begin right away and don't let up until it's done! (and that secondary structure with the faux stone siding is cool too...or is that real masonry? Either way, you don't see that modeled all too often)
  3. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Oh my, this is gonna be a NICE competition!
  4. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

    That is going to be an awesome mill to build! Looking foward to seeing this come together.
  5. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Wow! What a building!
  6. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member

    I have some updates (someone was fiddling with the resolution setting on my camera, so they're a little blurry -- sorry!)

    Basically, I've been working on the main section of the building, trying to get the lines right, windows placed in the right sections, etc. A lot of the preliminary work was in planning and drafting just to get everything to look right -- I think it's coming along pretty well.

    Everything is made of wood, and is in HO scale. Windows and doors are Grandt Line castings. The real challenges here have been the roof lines and the silos. For the silos, I soaked scribed sheating in water, and then slowly wrapped it around a bottle of craft paint. This was held in place with rubber bands until it dried, and then was glued to cut sectionbs of a mailing tube. I stained with a mixture of walnut and india ink diluted with alcohol. At first, I was going to do wire bands as in the prototype, but they didn't ever quite look right (the first couple of pictures show this). So, I switched over to metal bands (really just cardstock painted rust colored). I think this looks better, even if not 100% to prototype (banish your critcisms, infernal rivet counters!:mrgreen:).

    I'm waiting for some more supplies to arrive, then I will work on the composite shingles, concrete block chimney, and the long warehouse at the back of the building. That will bring me up to the requirements for the challenge I think. If time permits, I may work on some loading docks and the grey building up front (it is faux masonry siding).

    Attached Files:

  7. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Fantastic! (HO, right?)
  8. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    WOW,amazing structure!this sratch build challenge will be quite interesting!--josh
  9. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    That is looking awesome.
    Can't wait to see it finished and all weathered up! :thumb:
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Fantastic, that's about all I can say...
  11. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Flat out amazing!
    You mentioned that it was all wood. Is the clapboard wood as well? Or is it styrene?
  12. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member

    Thanks everyone. That structure just cries out to be modeled, and it's been fun so far.

    Ocalicreek -- yes it's HO scale. The building footprint to far is about 9"x7"

    Play-Doh -- the clapboard is also wood. I didn't build it board by board, it's 3/32" clapboard siding (the generic stuff from micromark).
  13. jesso

    jesso Member

    Amazing! You have put some great detail into it!
  14. kitwrecker

    kitwrecker New Member

  15. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    You are right, this structure cries out to be modeled – and you did a great job :thumb: :thumb: .
  16. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member

    Thanks everyone. I've been doing work on this and am almost done. I'll post some pictures later in the week.

    I had a question, though. In browsing the web, I found this kit from Branchline Trains' Laser-Art line (Branchline Trains)

    Basically, it appears to be identical to the scratchbuild that I am doing for the challenge, but with the layout mirrored. The RPI Model Railroad site claims that this kit is based on a prototype that was in Model Railroader, but it didn't have a reference and I haven't been able to find a concrete reference to an article. I am actually a little disappointed since it took a long time to figure everything out with this building if there is a plan available somewhere. The bigger issue, though, is that Laser-Art claims that this was a coal distributor, not a grain complex. I did some research at the local library today, and maps from the 1890s-1920s indicate that there was a facility called NB Keeney and Sons on this site. They were a dried bean and seed distributor, not a coal distributor.

    So, in a roundabout way, I have two questions:

    1. Does this structure ring a bell with anyone who has either built the Laser-Art kit or seen the MR article? If so, does the article and/or instructions indicate what this was used for?

    2. Does anyone know if this looks structure looks right for a coal distributor? All of the distributors I have seen show larger, taller and more silos at coal distributors, and I can't for the life of me figure out what all the additional warehouse space would've been used for.

    This is driving me nuts, especially since I can't figure out what signs to put up -- is it a coal distributor or a dried bean facility??? I'm inclined to follow what the library research shows, but I'd like to know for sure.

    Thanks in advance if anyone knows anything, and I'll try to get some more pics up this weekend.

  17. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Nice job..!! By sheer coincidence, I'm building a coal distributor and it's got two silos just like that..!! It's an old Sudyam kit I got off eBay. I started to put the "cables" around the silos but they looked too much like...string...Also a pain in the...to wrap around and keep straight and evenly spaced. I had figured on maybe putting straps instead of cable. Would this be "protypical"..?? Also, what did you use to make the straps..??

    Here's a link to my build:
  18. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Stick a name on there you like, like "Emerson Bros." and let the viewer decide (or wonder) what's in there! For more operational fun, let it be a coal distributor one session and a grain/feed distributor the next!
  19. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member


    Well, this is more or less done. There are still a lot of details that I'd like to do, including fastener details on the silos, some staircases to the doors at the front of the structure, and gutters/downspouts. Otherwise, I think this is as done as it's going to get before the 30th.

    I took pictures of the final version outside, which I kind of like. If I get around to doing some updates or better pictures, I'll post more pictures to this thread sometime.

    Attached Files:

  20. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member

    And here's the comparison of the prototype with an indoor shot of the model. Pretty darn close, I think...:mrgreen:


    Attached Files:

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