Team Freight Dock

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Honger, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. Honger

    Honger Member

    A team freight dock was a place where many different industries and railroad patrons could have goods delivered and picked-up. Boxcars, reefers, flatcars, and many other types of railroad cars could be spotted here for delivery/pick-up. Farmer Jed could pick up his new tractor, Thompson Mercantile could pick up the latest shipment from Sears Roebuck, etc. This provides a great modeling opportunity for both operation and visual interest.

    My inspiration for this was an MR article by John Armstrong detailing a scratchbuilt loading dock. I mixed his design up a bit and this became my first scratchbuilding effort. Started in 1998 when I was senior in high school, it lay dormant throughout college and my first few years working... until now!

    When I revisited it, my freight dock was a skeleton and deck composed of bare wood. I started with an amonia/indian ink wash. Unfortunately, no one informed me back in high school that you should stain before gluing. :eek:[​IMG]
    I finally decided that I wanted it to have the well-weathered paint look. I drybrushed a muted green on the structure. I used a diluted brown drybrushed on the deck. Finally, I gave it another wash, this time with an alcohol/india ink wash. I was pleased indeed!

    After some “Gauge” discussion concerning the use of aluminum foil as a starting point for corrugated metal roofing, I was inspired. Using scale 5’x10’ and 5’x15’ sections, I burnished them over corrugated styrene sheet and then glued them down. Progress pic:

    And a close-up of the roofing:

    And the finished product:

    I’ve since washed the roof in an alcohol/india ink solution. Be careful doing this as it seemed to loosen some of the glue. Ack! However, it took some of the luster out of the foil. I want to further texture and weather the roof to look like a rusty, beaten old roof. We’ll see what I come up with.

    There is a hole in the end of the dock (you may have noticed). That is where I am going to locate a jib crane for unloading freight. Stay tuned and let me know what you think.

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

  3. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Nice work Joel.
  4. zedob

    zedob Member


    I love your weathering job on the wood.
    Nice job, but I'm gonna play the devil's advocate here.

    1. Tin usually if not always comes in 3 ft wide pieces and 6',8',12' or 16' lengths. Now-a-days you can order it right off the rolling machine cut to whatever length you want.

    2. There should be 1x4 runners, unless the roof was fully sheathed with wood, about every 3 to 4 feet for the full lenth of the shed for the tin to be attached.

    I don't expect you to change it, it does look good and old and most people viewing it won't know the difference.

    Just a heads up for the next tin roof. :thumb:
  5. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    I'n real life I'm covering an arbor roof with tin. Just bought 25 - 26'' wide x 10' long pieces. In my neck of the woods, 26" wide seems to be standard.
  6. zedob

    zedob Member

    You know, you may be right. 26" sounds familiar. Been awhile since I put up a tin roof. Maybe it was that newer stuff, not the Ruffles style, that came in 36".

    Then again, I may be totally wrong, which wouldn't be a first.:D
  7. Honger

    Honger Member


    I'm actually a civil engineer with structural background, so a lot of what you say is painfully obvious to me now. However, since I did the structural part of this project when I was in high school, I didn't know this kind of info. I went back and forth on whether or not to redo it, but decided to stick with it as I originally created it... just for my own satisfaction.

    Thanks for playing devil's advocate though... I really do value the input on actual prototype information.

  8. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    I'm also a civil engineer, although probably with less structural background. One thing I've learned is that, far too often, any similarity between what was designed and what was actually built is pure coincidence.
  9. zedob

    zedob Member


    I helped put up a pole barn years ago for my cousin and got a quik lesson on how it's done. I don't know off hand what they call those particular boards, though.

    It's interesting to look back and see how many things MRRing opened my eyes to. Especially buildings. This hobby is really a great educational tool. It's rather diversified.
  10. Honger

    Honger Member

    I totally agree zedob.

    I speculated to my wife that perhaps the roof of my frieght dock came from discarded corrugated metal siding from a grain bin or other structure. In fact, I had a great idea that I still wish I had excuted...

    Think about this:
    1. Lay out all my corrugated aluminum foil in the shape of a building wall. Now, decal those foil pieces and weather them as a unit. Decal them for some company name or otherwise.
    2. Now, take all of those foil pieces and seperate them, randomize them, whatever.
    3. Place those panels over the roof of the freight dock in random order so that the decals were effectively like a scambled puzzle on the roof of the freight dock. Add another layer of weathering so it looks like it has been on the dock for awhile as well.

    What do you think?
  11. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    These would be called Pearlings ;)

    Cool idea with the decaled roof all mixed up :)
  12. zedob

    zedob Member


    That's probably one of the better ideas I've heard in a while. Never seen it done, but having torn down barns and rebuilt them using the same tin and don't see why it wouldn't be prototypical.

    I'm sure there's a real life building with old sign tin mixed up. Cool idea, really.

    Yeah, I wasn't sure if those were perlins or girts, or whatever. A quick look in my "Builders vest pocket refernce book" didn't turn up anything. I'm just a jack-leg nail bender at best when it comes to carpentry. I could probably hold my own at a construction site without getting yelled at too often, but I'm no master.
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Cool idea with the "reused" roofing... :thumb: I pass a barn on my way to work every day that has at least three or four different kinds of roofing -

    - Original wood shingles (can't see if they are real cedar shakes or not...)
    - Corrugated metal, all rusted
    - Plastic tarp (temporary? but has been there for at least 5 years)
    - Metal patches - much newer, non-rusty corrugated roofing.
    - Bare wood (the original sheathing I suppose)

  14. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    You could even do two or more signs and mix parts of them all together. Give someone a prize if they figure out what was originally being advertised. :thumb: :D :D
  15. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Nor am I by any stretch of the imagination :)
    Just remember what Yoda says: Try Not. Do or Do Not!!! :D (keeps the yelling down ;) )

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