O'Neills Fabrication - HO Scale - An in-depth tutorial for building SWSM kits



  • BTW Bryan, when using the steel wool, go very lightly and look at the strip wood under a good light as you do it. The look of the wood will change. Stop when you like the look. Phil
  • I'm traveling most of next week, so I went ahead and painted the stripwood using the damp brushing method we used for the main building.


    I'll start working on the walls when I get back.

    Enjoy the Super Bowl!!

  • Keep it coming!!
  • I hate it when work gets in the way of modeling. Waiting to see what comes next.....Rick
  • Looking forward to your take in the welding shop Phil!
  • Looks good, should be dry enough to glue together when you get back.
  • I'm ready to start the welding shop walls. However, I need to go back to the stripwood I prepared. The wood looks good with the paint, but there is one last step that is critical. Following the instructions on p. 52, you create a very light slurry with 408.5 and paint it on the wood with a flat larger brush. This really creates a neat look. Try doing one and comparing it to the wood that hasn't been treated. You'll like the look.

    After removing the laser cut walls from the carrier sheet and coloring them with 408.5, I'm ready to trim the door and window openings using the 3" and 4" stripwood. Here is a shot of my work. I concentrated my weathering efforts on the two side strips by the large door. This trim in the real world would have suffered a lot of abuse over the years. However, I tried not to overdo it.


    Note that the trim hangs out the front of the wall. Also, be sure the side with the scribed walls faces the interior, not the exterior.

    Next, I'm ready to start the front wall. Because I need the stripwood to be flush on the sides of the wall and the bottom, I use the wood guides.


    As Brett states on p. 53 of the instruction manual, take your time and carefully select each piece of stripwood to show off all that detail work you did. Here is my front wall before trimming and a detail shot of the wood.


    I really like the look and I have to tip my hat to Ken Karns and his advanced wood tutorial. I did my homework and tried some of the techniques in his tutorial and I'm glad I did.

    Practice tip #1: When weathering stripwood at the bottom where you want some wood rot, start with your No. 11 blade and make some slices at the end of the board. The slices don't need to be long. Follow up with your steel brush and stab it at the end of the board. This will loosen up some of the wood. Follow up with the handy-dandy sanding stick Ken highlights in his tutorial and sand down the fragments. Finally, dip the end in your A/I solution. It may take more than one dip to get the look you want. DO NOT USE BLACK CHALK!! Right Alan!!! Of course, we all learn from other's challenges.

    Practice tip #2: Nail holes. There has been a lot of debate on this forum about using nail holes. I tend to stay away from them unless I have a spot where some carefully placed nail holes would enhance the look. The Welding Shop wall is one of those spots.
    As you can see from the picture, they are very small. I use a knitting machine needle to make the nail holes (Thanks Bill for the suggestion). Here is a picture.


    Next time: The Welding Shop Back Wall

    Thanks for following. Phil
  • Nice. I tend to stay away from nail holes as well. in HO scale they'd be hard to see in most places (or so it's been said anyway), so just a few here & there. Less is usually more. I did find a nice little tool at the dollar store for doing them in their craft department. It and a scribing tool for a buck. I also found a nice embossing tool there for knot holes.
  • Your usual excellence. I like how the door and window frames came out. Those can sometimes be problematic to match the paint/weathering of the walls. The lower dry rot/weathering is also well done......Rick
  • Thanks Alan and Rick. Ken Karns has certainly helped me to be better with aging the stripwood. Phil
  • Looking Good Phil! Thanks for sharing this.
  • Looking great Phil, really like the graining, knots and peel effect, masterful results.
  • Very nice aged look to the wall.
  • Thanks Karl and Bryan. Working on the back wall now. Phil
  • My build has definitely slowed down, but we all face distractions. It was nice to get back to the work bench. I finished the back wall. See below.



    I've been taking my time and not rushing the installation of the siding. As a result, I believe I have achieved the look I was after.

    Now, I need to get to those side walls and we need to talk about creating a trap, which is a Brett innovation that ensures the walls go together very well.

    Thanks for following. Phil
  • Progress is sometimes slower than desired or anticipated, but your results are worth it....Rick
  • Love the boards!
  • edited February 2021
    The four walls of the welding shop are finally finished. It took a bit, but I am more pleased with these four walls than any other I produced? Why? I took advantage of all the various details you can add to stripwood. I carefully followed Brett's instructions (yes, he knows what he is talking about), and I reviewed Ken Karn's advanced wood clinic and tried some of his advanced techniques. I don't consider myself a beginner or a master, but you can never stop learning.


    Next time: Windows, doors, and other details for the welding shop.

    Thanks for following. Phil
  • Progress is progress regardless of speed. The main objectives are the results and you definitely have them!...Rick
  • Again, slow progress. Just too many other things pulling at me.

    I did finish the doors for the welding shop.

    IMG_2786 (2)

    I concentrated on putting a great deal of wear on the boards for the full effect.

    Practice Tip: There will be times when you just can't get to the workbench. When you do, don't rush to make up for lost time. Don't compromise your commitment to the quality of your build.

    Thanks for following. Phil
  • I know how that goes Phil! I had big plans for this past weekend myself, then we ended up keeping the granddaughter overnight. Weekend shot, at least for workbench time anyway. No worries though. She's loads of fun and thinks we're great. You can't waste that time, its over too soon. I did get the loading dock tweaked and the light fixture over the main door on my build, but that's it. Fortunately, there are no liquidated damages on this project.
  • Appreciate the call out are doing a wonderful job on the walls and doors above. Top shelf my friend...Ken
  • Doors look awesome!
  • Phil,
    Great work on those doors. Beautifully done.
  • Ok, I haven't totally taken a vacation from building this beautiful kit. I have had opportunities to work on it when I can.

    Where did we leave off? Oh yes, p. 56 of the instruction manual. Now that the walls of the welding shop as well as the doors and windows are complete, it's time to add some great detail to the walls. This is definitely where Sierra West kits differ from other kits. On p. 56, Brett has you do a number of tasks.

    The first task is to create some hoses that will hang on the wall. Taking the small wire he provides and cutting them to 3 - 4 inch lengths, wrap them around the handle of a paint brush at different points to get various size circles of wire. Then carefully squeeze the wire into an oblong shape. I left some of mine in a more circular form. Once you do this paint them white, green or red. Once I did this, I weathered them with grey chalk.


    Placement of the hoses on the wall can be as creative as you want it to be. I decided to do what Brett suggested. Below is a picture of his finished wall which I will roughly use as a guide.


    As you can see on the left, there is a stand of 55 gallon barrels. I want to make sure my hoses don't hang down too low and interfere with this stand. Therefore, I took out of couple of barrels and then put some tape on the wall to remind me where to place the hoses.


    I then places each of the hoses where I thought they should go.


    Once I was satisfied with their placement, I took a small felt marker and marked where the wire hanger should go.


    I then found a drill bit the size of the wire I will use for the hangers and drilled holes where the marks are located.

    Now, it's time to make the wire hangers. They can be simple straight pieces or more elaborate ones. Here is one of the more elaborate ones.


    To me, you need the more elaborate ones for the larger hoses and the simple straight pieces for the smaller ones. I used CA to glue them in place as well as the hoses. Here is a shot of the wall after gluing them on.


    If you have any single wire hanging down, be sure it is hanging straight down.

    I also started working on the large resin lamp shades. I put them as well as the mailbox on a popsicle stick and painted black. Once dry, I will paint the shades green and the mailbox brown with some metal color accents.


    Finally, there are some bottles that will go on a shelf. I wanted a green glass look and Bill Obenauf taught me to use gallery glass to get the perfect look. The green color can be darkened by adding in a little dark green.


    Don't be fooled by the color when you paint it on the bottle. It looks milky and a light green, but as it dries, it turns clear and dark green. I then painted the top with one of the Reaper metal colors.


    Next time: I'll finish the details of the welding shop walls and then put them together. Hopefully it won't take me a month to do this.

    Thanks for your patience and your following along. Phil
  • I have heard of the Gallery Glass but haven't tried it. Based on your work here I think I'll give it a go. Nice job on the hoses, not always easy to get that natural "hang".
  • Love how the bottle came out. Everything coming together really well. Hoses are very natural.....Rick
  • edited March 2021
    Hoses and hangers are looking good Phil,
    planning pays off, busy but natural.

    The gallery glass looks good, but here's my thoughts, try using yellow instead of green, to simulate the oil in a clear bottle, (you could also have them filled at different levels)

    Also the caps...


    I know these beautiful things are tiny,
    my thoughts.
  • I love this guy! If ya gotta paint ‘em, paint ‘em right! Wish I knew half of what he does!
  • Thanks guys for the comments. Also, thank you Karl for the clarification. I wasn't sure, but now I know. Phil
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