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



  • Starting on p. 58 of the instruction manual, let's put some shingles on the welding shop roof and the tower roof. This is what you will need.


    Please note that you will need two sheets of shingles for both roofs. You want to do both sheets at the same time to make sure you have a consistent color.

    Using three different craft paints, as described by Brett, and using paper towels, take the paper towel and dip in the paint, blot off any excess paint until almost gone, then start dabbing the color on the shingles.


    Alternate between the colors and make sure they blend on the shingles. Take it easy in using the white color. When you are satisfied with the color, you are ready to cut out the shingles and start applying the shingles.

    The roof card that Brett provides really makes applying the shingles very easy and straight.


    As you can see from the last picture, you do not want to line up the shingles, but make they staggered like you would if you were shingling a real roof.

    Instead of applying the shingles in the middle, I went to each end to make sure I had some shorter pieces that I could use for the tower roof. Here is the finished welding shop roof before and after trimming the excess shingles. Be sure to follow Brett's instructions to create a small lip of overhanging shingles.


    Next is the tower roof, which is in the shape of a cone. You will work on one quadrant at a time, then trim it, then go to the next quadrant.


    When working on the other quadrants, you need to carefully fold the previous quadrant under the one you are working on. This makes it easier to apply and trim the shingles.


    Once you have completed all four quadrants, glue the edges together and make sure the roof is square.


    After gluing the tower roof base (see instructions on p. 60), it's now time to use the plain strips for the corners. These pieces need to be bent a bit before gluing. I found that bending them on a 1-2-3 block works the easiest.


    Here is the finished tower roof.


    Next time: I will need to glue the roof on the tower and apply the roof vent and finial casting. Then it's on to the addition floor support and porch.

    Thanks for following. Phil
  • Still quietly following along here Phil. Thank you for the great work you are sharing. It really is great.
  • I concur, nicely done and appreciate your taking the time to showcase your build.
  • Continued excellence. Great work and instruction. You show accurate assembly is not that difficult. It just takes time and patience....Rick
  • Beautiful job
  • Shingles are looking great Phil, wonderful progress and another very informative post.
  • Glad to see you back at work Phil! I think I spent more time on the shingles than on the rest of those roof sections. Looking good
  • Can't say more than everybody else : great work and instructions.
  • edited April 2021
    Now that the tower roof is finished, I blackened and installed the metal roof vent and finial casting. I used the same technique I used for the last roof vents by installing a wire that fit through the roof. This really works well. I've also discovered a new way of applying the tar around the roof vent. I use a generous amount of 5 minute epoxy and let the roof vent cause the epoxy to ooze out around the vent. When it is dry, I paint it grimy black. This technique works well.


    I then used my brown chalk mixture (left over from staining the wood) to dull down the roof a bit. It was too new and shiny for me. I'll add more roof weathering later when the building is in place on the diorama.


    Now, it's on to the addition floor support. More graining and staining, double-sided tape, and careful measuring of the wood.


    I also added some very subtle nail holes that were accentuated with a little AI.

    Here is the support in place.


    Next time: The addition porch. Just a note, in a little over 6 month, there has been over 10,000 views of this build. I really appreciate everyone following along.

    Thanks. Phil
  • it all looks great phil. i like the different color on the addition. it adds a little spice to over all look.
  • Looking great.
  • Lots of platforms and timberwork in your immediate future. it's cool that the instructions take you from the easiest to the most difficult as well.
  • Great update Phil...looking really nice
  • Thanks all for your comments. Like Alan says, I'm headed for a lot of platforms and timberworks. I'm looking forward to planning the layout for my diorama. I'm thinking, trees, trees, and more trees!! Phil
  • edited April 2021
    Looking great Phil, continued thanks.

    The weathered, split, broken clapboard section really grabs my eye. (In a good way.)
  • Well I'm plodding along, trying to get some crafting done in the middle of working, traveling, playing golf, running grandkids. That's ok. Life does get in the way of crafting, but remember this is a hobby that you should enjoy when you get the chance to enjoy it. Of course, I am in one of the most tedious parts of the build - adding supports and railing - so I need to go slow.

    Practice tip: When you do get into a tedious part of the build like I have, please take your time. Glue one part, step away from the bench, let it dry, then come back and glue the next part. If you get in a hurry, disaster will strike!! Also, think through how you want to build and glue each support. There is no one right way.

    Let's get back to p. 62 of the manual. We first need to build the addition porch frame.


    Notice I have used two-sided tape to hold the pieces in place and the position of the stripwood guide. I bet you can see a pattern emerging in each step. If you use the tape and guides, you will have a better chance of getting things square and tight.

    Once I finished the frame, I cut the decking using my chopper and weathered the end that will be sticking out.


    I didn't spend a lot of time on the other end of the decking since it butts up against the addition. I didn't glue the decking to the addition because I thought of another way to do it later. Stay tuned.

    Next, we need to build another support.


    I forgot to mention that you need to use a square as well as the tape and guide. As you can see, I placed the beams down first. Then I added the cross beams.


    Once the support is dry, I came in and put some very small nail holes in the appropriate spots.

    Now it's time to add the deck and support to the Addition, using my modified approach. First, I glued the support to the underside of the deck. I used my weights to make sure it was square.


    Then I glued the deck to the Addition. Everything came out great and I know the deck is level and the supports are at a 90 degree angle.


    The last step is to add two cross beams for the pipes to be added later.

    Now, it's on to the stairs. With Brett's stringer and tread guide as well as the stringer, making stairs is easy. When adding the stairs, follow the instructions and put a stair at the top, bottom and in the middle. This stabilizes the stair case and makes it square.


    Ok, looking at the instructions, I could tell that gluing on the stairs and adding the railing was going to be tedious because all of the railing beams had to be lined up so the railing would be straight. I decided to add the stairs first and then add the bottom beam. I used a square to make sure all the beams were lined up.


    I then made sure the long rail, when glued to the beams would be long enough to hit the porch rail at the right spot. Then I glued the long rail first, followed by the porch rail. I finished with the porch rail on the short side.

    In the end, it looks great, but I tell you, it took some planning and patience to pull off.


    I hope these instructions and pictures makes it easier for you when you get to this point.

    Next time: Upper Deck and Lower Landing

    Thanks for following. Phil
  • Tell me about it! I haven't been able to touch anything in about a month! The wife had surgery, the granddaughter, travel slowly picking up at work, and so on and so on! Keeping everything straight level and plumb was interesting. I did my installation on the same piece of glass I use to stain lumber to make sure everything bottomed out at the correct elevation. I recommend a high initial tack glue for these assemblies.
  • Keep up the good work Phil. It is enjoyable watching this go together. Thank you.
  • Great work Phil !
  • Turned out very nice. I can never seem to get the porch rail straight.
  • Really nice work Phil. Love the porch and railing and kudos on a great welding shop.
  • Totally agree with Joel. Makes me want to start on mine.... :smiley: First finish the locomotive I am doing now. Can't work on two things at the same time.
    Great tutorial Phill.
  • very nice Phil
  • Great update Phil and love the stair treads.
  • Outstanding coloration and weathering, I really love this little corner of the dio. Continuing to really enjoy your build!
  • The glacial pace continues. I'm finally finished with the upper deck and lower landing stairs and rails. It's tedious, but well worth the effort. It really adds to the model. Just take your time.


    Next time: Main Building Drive Under Canopy.

    Thanks for following. Phil
  • Looking great Phil......Rick
  • Phil, I tell the sales guys I engineer for: "you can have it right, OR you can have it right now!" Don't rush it buddy.
  • Emery has it right!...looks great Phil
  • Thanks Rick, Emery and Ken. I would like to go faster, but too many things pulling at me right now. However, I still enjoy going to the bench from time to time and getting things done. Phil
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