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



  • Ed, that's the way I like it!! Phil
  • Thanks Ed. I appreciate that. Phil
  • Ed, I didn't have ivory, so I went with white wash instead. I liked the look. On the next step with regard to the addition, I plan to change up the stain as well. You'll just have to wait and see what I come up with. Phil
  • edited November 2020
    Phil, I like the end result. The tutorial will be very good, you explain it very well.

    I see that your workplace is very orderly, I am ashamed to show mine, it is full of utensils, tools, contraptions, ...

  • Now we start the clapboard addition. I'm excited to do this since I haven't had the pleasure of working with board on board clapboard siding. If you think about it, the possibilities for creativity are endless. I'll be conservative with regard to dilapidation, but I definitely want to create some because it will be so easy to do so.

    Here is what you will need for the next step in addition to your wire brush.
    Brett's first instruction is to pull all the 8" stripwood from Bag #2 and texture and stain as before. If you remember, the stripwood had a very rich brown look to it.
    IMG_2196 (3)
    This would lead to a nice result, but I've been tainted by the use of color by Jose Manugo in his O'Neill's build. As you may recall, here is a picture of his build.
    Jose Build
    As you can see, the clapboard addition and the tower has almost a yellowish tint to it. I decided to go in this direction. How do I do that?

    The great thing about Rembrandt pastel chalks is you can mix colors almost like you mix paint. The only difference is there won't be a homogenization of the colors with the chalk, but I don't want that anyway. So what is the goal? I want that yellowish tint, but I do not want "yellow", but I want it to be on the dirty side. Here is how I came up with the color I wanted:

    The original stain consisted of 408.3, 408.5, and 234.3, with 408.3 being the darkest brown. I decided to substitute 408.7 for 408.3, which is a lighter brown. I then added 227.5, which is a yellow ochre.

    I took a few test pieces and grained them. I then applied the 408.5, 408.7, and 234.3 is small, but equal parts. I then applied a heavier coat of 227.5 because I wanted the yellow ochre to be the predominant color.

    Here is the result:

    I really like the result and it will give me the look that I'm going for. As you can see, the yellow ochre came out well, but it is softened by the browns I also applied. As I apply the stripwood to the addition or tower, I may dirty it up even more by applying 408.5 with my finger. That remains to be seen.

    Also, here is a comparison of the stains that I scraped off the glass after staining. I like the difference. The yellow tone will contrast well with the white wash I applied on the main building.IMG_2355

    Practice tip: 1. Don't be afraid to experiment with different combinations of Rembrandt chalks. They have so many colors to choose from. This is what will distinguish your model from others.
    2. Follow your fellow modeler's builds on this forum. It's amazing what creative ideas each of us will come up with. As Sam Walton used to say, copying someone's creative ideas is the greatest form of flattery.

    Now, let's get to work on graining and staining all that 8" wood. There's a lot!!

  • I like the wood color idea Phil. Nice take!
  • Really loving your tutorial Phil. So much great information. The warm color tones are superb!
  • Now that the color has been decided, preparation of the stripwood is underway. It just takes time since there is so much wood. However, this stripwood will be used for the addition as well as the tower.
    More to follow. Phil
  • I did all of that in one sitting, and my hands were a bit tired afterwards!
  • It can become addicting... Once you started, you want to see the results.. :wink:

    How can one possibly go wrong with such an extra tutorial !! Great work Phill.
  • You appear to be an alchemist with all of the dropper bottles
  • Turning lead into gold... :wink:

    But that's a load of stripwood !!!
  • Stripwood into gold perhaps?
    Looking great Phil! Thanks for this.
  • Thanks guys. Wouldn't that be nice - stripwood into gold!!! Maybe I am an alchemist!!

    Actually, I found that glass dropper bottles are great for things like Jax Black and Jax Brass and other frequently used items. The dropper makes it easy to deliver small quantities when needed. Also, the glass doesn't react to the acid in Jax. Finally, I like to recycle. When I use Jax, I pour it into a small container for use, then I use the dropper to draw it back into the bottle. The residue created from the reaction of the Jax with the metal castings settles to the bottom of the bottle. When I use the Jax the next time, I draw from the top and it is clear and free from the black residue. This way, you can use the Jax over and over again.

    I'm glad you guys are following the build. I'm very happy to provide the in-depth tutorial and your positive response just makes me more motivated to do more. Phil
  • Well, I truly tried to turn the stripwood into gold.IMG_2357
    With the addition of the yellow ochre, the stripwood does have that "gold" look to it. This is exactly what I was shooting for.

    Now, let's get to the building of the clapboard addition. We start with the gabled left wall.IMG_2359
    Brett outdid himself when he produced laser cut walls to accomodate board on board clapboard siding.IMG_2371
    The ridges make it very easy to butt the stripwood for perfect alignment of the siding. In fact, after adding each piece, I would look underneath to make sure each board was in the slot.IMG_2369
    I decided to proceed cautiously and do only 2 - 3 runs of stripwood before letting dry and putting it under a weight to ensure the wall remained flat. I had heard of warping from other builds and wanted to make sure the wall remained flat. Also, I decided to trim the stripwood as I went with regard to the inside of the door and window. I find that it's easier this way.
    As with any board on board construction, you can let your imagination run wild and do all sorts of things to show dilapidation and wear. However, I caution you not to overdo it. I want to show some damage or wear, but I tend to underdo it. Let me show you an example of what I do.

    First, I measured the board and weathered it. In this case, I like the yellow look, but I want to dirty it up a bit.
    Second, I take the piece and with my exacto knife with a No. 11 blade, I cut out part of the stripwood to show a broken off piece of the siding.
    Third, I touch up the piece with a little chalk left over from my staining of the stripwood and alcohol. Otherwise, the color of the wood where you cut out the piece would stick out.IMG_2367
    Here is the final glued in piece. It really adds to the look of the wall.


    Here is the finished wall before I do the final trim. As you can see, the color of the wall varies from picture to picture due to lighting, but this picture does the best job of showing the richness of the yellow ochre.
    IMG_2372 (2)

    Next time: I'll trim the left wall and start working on the two small side walls. Thanks for following. Phil
  • edited November 2020
    Here is the trimmed left wall. I really like the look of this board on board clapboard siding. IMG_2380
    BTW I used my Xuron clippers to trim the boards on the outside edges. It worked great and was very precise. Phil
  • Looks great Phil ! Lovely color aswel.
  • Looks fantastic Phil. Definitely gonna have to pick up an O'neils now!
  • Tom, I’m sure Brett can take care of you. Phil
  • The worn boards really make the wall pop.
  • Great weathering on the siding boards
  • I'm finished with the walls, door and window on the addition.

    IMG_2384 (2)
    After doing the gabled wall, the side walls were very easy. As for the door, the window, and the trim, just follow Brett's instructions on pp. 26 and 27 and you can't go wrong. I used my terry cloth tool to apply a little "White Wash" paint and then toned it down with some of the chalk I recovered from staining this wood. BTW the door and window went in with very little sanding.

    Next time: Gluing the addition walls together.
  • Continued excellent instruction......Rick
  • No Ed I didn’t. Just liked it. Phil
  • edited November 2020
    It's now time to glue the Addition walls together. Before you do so, make sure you sanded away enough of the cardboard on the side wall to make a proper fit. In gluing these walls together, it's a bit tricky because you don't have as many contact points. Therefore, it is essential that you use your weights to ensure the walls are at 90 degrees and firmly in place.


    As you can see, the walls are surrounded!! However, this ensures the proper fit. Also, don't be in a hurry. Let the glue dry properly before adding the next wall.

    After gluing the three walls together, it's time to add some bracing. You start with two floor braces.


    Again I used my weights to make sure the braces stay in their proper place. Make sure both floor braces are glued towards the front. BTW, the shadow makes it look like there is warp in the brace, but there isn't.

    Next, glue in the rear wall. It should be flush against the backs of the floor braces.



    Finally, some trim is placed at the rear of each side wall.


    The addition is now done.

    Next time: Building the Addition Floor Frame.

    Thanks for following. Phil
  • "Don't be in a hurry" is the advice that I usually disregard.
  • I have run into more trouble when I do get in a hurry. Phil
  • Ok, a warning - this update will involve a lot of pictures!!

    We are in the process of building the Addition floor frame. Actually, it's not complicated - easy in fact - but it introduces working with Brett's wonderfully engineered templates.

    Here is what you will need for this step:
    You need to pull out Template A. In the upper left hand corner of this template is the Addition Floor Frame.IMG_2398
    Let me take a step back and talk about Brett's templates. Certainly the castings and instruction manual sets Brett's kits apart from other kits, but the secret sauce in any of his kits is the advanced engineered templates that are also included. These templates enable any modeler to have a better than average chance of succeeding in building a beautiful model. For example, using the addition floor frame as an example, Brett could have just printed the outline of the floor frame and this would probably be enough for a good modeler to use to create the floor frame. However, Brett includes breakouts for each piece which makes is sooo much easier to cut stripwood. He also includes a bunch of dotted lines to help the modeler line things up. I'm so spoiled by these templates that if I ever attempted to build another kit, I would be lost.

    Let me show you how I like to use Brett's templates:

    I have a piece of hard board that I use which will accommodate a full template. Why not just slap the template on the workbench and get started??? I prefer the hard board because (1) I like to tape each template down so it doesn't move on me; and (2) if I need to use my workbench for something else, I can simply move the hardboard to another location and not interrupt the work I'm doing on the template.
    There is actually a methodology to taping down the template that I picked up from Bill Obenauf. I believe he learned it from his shop teacher in high school. Here is how you do it.

    First, tape the upper left hand corner.
    Second, use your hand to make sure the template is flat on the hard board and there are no wrinkles. While holding your hand on the template, tape the lower right hand corner.
    Third, again using your hand to make sure the template is flat on the hard board, tape the upper right hand corner.
    Finally, and you guessed it, use your hand to make sure the template in flat on the hard board, tape the lower left hand corner.
    It works every time!! At this time, if you do not want to mess up your templates, you can put a layer of wax paper over the template using the same methodology above. I used to do this, but now I find it easier to build straight on the template. (A second warning!! - if you build straight on the template and use double-sided tape as suggested, please, please don't fold the template to put it back in the box!!! The tape will stick and the template will tear when you reopen it.)

    Now to the work at hand and the addition floor frame. We are basically building a box, followed by the addition of a number of floor joists. Sloppy cutting will lead to stripwood that doesn't fit properly and will not be square.

    Let me show you how I do this, using the template. The first step to cutting any stripwood, using the template, is to sand one end of the stripwood with the true sander.
    Take this stripwood and lay it down on the stripwood breakout. Carefully line up the sanded end to the breakout. I typically just cover the line. Use your razor blade to cut the other end. You will notice dotted lines to help you line up the blade.
    Once you cut the stripwood, square up the cut end with the true sander and place the cut stripwood on the template to make sure it properly fits. Make the necessary adjustments. Remember the old saying, "Aim small, miss small." I do all this work using my lighted magnifying glass.
    You will notice that you will need to cut two pieces exactly the same length. I've explained it before, but let me go back over how to use your chopper and true sander to easily produce identical pieces.
    First, measure and cut the first piece, as described above.
    Take the first piece to the chopper with the blade down and set the length using the black metal stop.


    Cut the second piece with the chopper. Take both pieces and put them in the true sander. Using the same black metal stop and your finger, slowly sand both pieces. This ensures they are both the exact size. It really works!!


    Here are all four pieces ready to go.

    Now it's time to build the box. First, place your two-sided tape on the template as shown and place the scrap guide pieces on the edge of the left and bottom wall of the template as shown.
    Glue the pieces in the order as indicated in the instruction manual.
    Once the box is glued and dry, you can remove the scrapwood guides. Now, it's time to cut the 8 joists. However, you now know how to replicate each joist, as explained above.

    One practice tip, however. It's possible for the longer top and bottom pieces to "flex" a bit and throw off your joist dimensions. I cure this by gluing the first joist in the middle, as shown below.


    Here is the final result.


    I'm going to let this dry overnight before proceeding to add this floor frame to the bottom of the Addition.

    Next time: Pulling the floor frame off the double-sided tape and fitting it to the Addition.

    Thanks for following. Phil
  • i really like your trick with the chopper for cutting identical pieces. it's going to become a part of my usual routine from now on.
  • Kevin, don't forget the true sander as well. It really takes both to make them identical. Phil
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