My First Structure

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by 2-8-2, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Well, I did it. I replied to the "It's Friday/Weekend Modeling Plans" thread for this week saying I intended to buy my first structure...and I did! I went down to the LHS and picked up Whistlestop Junction by Bar Mills.

    My initial thought when I opened the package was, "Oh crap...I bit off WAY more than I can chew." I knew these kits were advanced, and that's an understatement. Pictures on the internet are nice, but nothing compares to being able to see items in person before buying. The detail in this kit just blew everything else on the shelves away. It was also very expensive, but in the end, I just had to have this kit.

    My wife was excited about it, and she decided that the colors will be slate blue w/ off-white trim for the structure. Hopefully my digital camera will cooperate and I can show my progress (or lack therof) in building this kit. Given the small detail parts, I think I'll start tomorrow by first reading the instructions a couple times, then giving everything a coat of paint. I figured it would be much easier to paint now then later. I'll just touch things up as I go.

    Wish me luck! :thumb:
  2. HPRL

    HPRL Member

    Good Luck! You will really like Bar Mills products. Take your time and it will come out just great.:thumb:
  3. Big Mark

    Big Mark Member

    Looks a very nice kit, look forward to seeing your progress
  4. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    I got a base coat of paint down this morning. I decided to use stenciling brushes to drybrush the paint on. For those not familiar with how stenciling is done, the brushes have a large knob handle and you tap the paint on. This technique worked very well. After tapping on a thin/medium coating of paint, I brushed across the surface, which gave an even coating. The finished appearance looks slightly weathered. I went with this technique hoping that paint would not get into the detailing of the wood, and it worked. Even in N scale, there are nailheads in the siding of the walls and some wainscoating at the bottom.

    The drawback is that I now have to hand paint the interior portion of all the details, the actual thickness of the wood. This process is going to be tedious, but it needs to be done. I think for future projects, I'll have to seriously consider investing in an airbrush. I took pictures, but you can't see how the paint turned out. Once I get a few window trimmings attached to the walls, I'll take some pictures.
  5. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    Can you post some pictures of your 'drybrushing' technique? Can you really get as sharp and precise as Nscale with an airbrush? How much do those run?
  6. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Sure :)

    I still have some pieces left to paint, so I'll do a step-by-step on how I did the drybrushing with a stencil brush. As for the airbrush...we can find that out too. I bought one tonight. Granted, it's an El Cheapo, so hopefully it will give some decent results.
  7. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    I'm not much of a painter. In fact I really dislike painting. I guess if I want to model trains, it's something I'll have to learn to like.
  8. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Looks like a nice projct. Can't wait to see the results.
  9. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member


    Well, this project came to a grinding halt this evening. I guess I didn't think about how multiple coats of paint would affect the detailing on the wood. When I tried painting the wainscoating and trim, it didn't cover so well and I ruined the detailing.

    I'm still going to put the structure together for practice, but this won't be going on my layout. Chalk this one up to experience, and a lesson learned.
  10. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    Don't give up yet -- almost no structure is beyond hope whatever happens to it. You just need to adjust the 'story' that lies behind the building...

    I always build the structure (or at least the vast majority of it) before painting. This allows you to fill and sand all the edges appropriately. Obviously, contrasting parts are painted separately and attached later. Make sure you use quality paints intended for models. I always use solvent-based paints (normally Tamiya). Water-based paints cause warpage and aren't quite as intense for the same thickness of paint. With a wood Bar Mills kit you can't possibly remove the detail with good paint, as it's fairly coarse compared with some highly detailed plastic N-scale kits. On the other hand, it doesn't matter if you do...

    At the final end of your stick/wedge (?!), there's always the 'burnt down ruin' option -- don't overdo it but you can get a great burnt shell structure for your layout...

    It'll all be ok -- keep having fun!

  11. HPRL

    HPRL Member

    Hey 2-8-2...all is not ruined. These model companies are really great people because they want you to purchase more of their models. Call Bar Mills on the phone or e mail them. Tell them exactly what happened even if it was your mistake and ask for replacement parts. They will send them for free.

    Remember - try not to get it done overnight. I did Northeastern Teniment Row. I screwed up the railings and porches. They sent me a new set of detail parts no charge. This model took me 2 months to build. Matter of fact, my spouse says it should be placed in the High Rent area as they came out too nice.

    Take a deep breath and call Bar Mills. You will be surprised. Again, Good Luck:thumb:

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