Loco and Service Shops

edited February 2013 in HO Scale Builds
I am pleased to be able to share with you the “official forum build” of Sierra West Scale Models latest offering, the Loco and Service Shops, which, along with the Donkey Repair Yard, comprises the final touches on the Logging Camp diorama. I have been waiting for this ever since I won best of show in 2008 with the other two parts, Main Street and Essentials. Now I will be able to finish the dio - it has a long history of shipping, ruin, rebuild, reshipping, re-ruin, and resurrection again - now it will get the rest of its parts.

It is difficult to get into a new build right now as I am still reeling at the loss of Kevin - I know he would be urging me to “model-on, big E” - and so, with that in mind, I dedicate this build to him, to the memory of his excellent modeling work, to his cherished friendship and camaraderie and pledge to make my best effort to represent that memory with a quality build. As Brett says in his opening remarks, “Now stop fooling around and get your fingers dirty!” Pics of the contents as required:


The resin casting - there are a ton of them including a nice couple of tanks


Metal casting are abundant - and varied - lots of details here - there are two baggies with other parts I did not open


  • This will be great fun to watch! Kevin would be very touched...
  • I'm really looking forward to following your build of this Elliot. Kevin would be proud.

    Awesome kit, outstanding builder, I cant think of a better combination.

    This is going to be a great thread !

  • Eagerly looking forward to this build. I'm getting ready to order this kit from Brett.


  • Hi Elliot,
    I have watched our builds from afar for several years and have your article on the Twin Mills build and wish I can get to the level of building you are at. I am really looking foward to learning alot from you during the build.
  • Woohooo.

    This is going to be fun. I'm sure Kevin will be peering over your shoulder as you do the castings. i know you'll do him proud Elliott.
  • The castings supplied in the kit look awesome (as usual). Will follow along and look forward to the build. All the best.
  • Thank you for your responses - i'm excited, too- after a bit of hesitation I plunged in and colored the framing - as I was doing it I remembered the amount of tedious effort necessary to build all those frames in Twin Mills - this is sure making things more efficient, especially considering how exact they are - no problems with corners here. I placed them on the open construction manual for a couple of reasons - one so they would show up, second to compare for size, and third a lot of folks have never seen any of Brett's manuals - they are works unto themselves - well worded and complete - none of this "look at the drawing and figure it out". BTW, this structure is bigger than I expected - it is going to be a cool addition to the dio-a cool interior and lots of exterior texture and pattern.

  • Wall framing looks great Elliot, nice colour and contrasts.


    Incidentally, your picture is showing up in your original post to all of us. Try logging out and logging back into your account and it should show up for you also. Thats why I deleted your second picture post..... forum glitch maybe.
  • nailed it buddy!
  • edited February 2013
    Awesome!! I'm very excited to see this come together, Elliott and I'll also add that there's no better builder for the job! Thanks for keeping Kevin front and center in this project.

    This is going to be a special build and one to bookmark.

    Indeed--"build on, Big E" (because Kev's got a tee time in April!)
  • Not happening Karl - but I can see the first pic of the contents - thanks for the comments guys - not moving as fast as you guys expect as new methods are being employed and there is a learning curve working here. There is an almost limitless number of color combos possible with the chalk system - I expect that once the siding is affixed further work on the interior frame could lighten those studs somewhat - we will see.
  • Brett had the same problem once, took a couple of days for it to "fix itself".

    Yep the chalk is incredibly versatile, I use it for almost everything currently, wood, details, scenery.

  • Might try "lightly" sanding the inside walls of the studs to remove some of the weathering to get that "out of the sun" look.
  • Something like this maybe.
  • I really like the coloring of the stud walls. The laser cut walls are really nice. Can't wait to see this with your other builds.
    Can't wait to see more updates!
  • WOW !!! They must be some very clean and tidy sheep. Ha.

    The walls inside the service shop would be dark, dingy and fairly monotone due to all the soot, grime, grease and smoke that would be flying around.

    A beautiful barn but way too clean for an engine house.

  • Ya you are right, as usual. It was just a thought tho.
  • I would also agree with Karl and from what I see the framing colour looks fairly close to Chuck Doan's Doane Valley Shops interior framing [attached image "borrowed" from ""] which I would consider an exceptional study outside of the real thing. image
  • I do plan to rub on the studs a bit to get some contrasts but they are fragile and it is best under those circumstances to wait till the siding is on - the will be much more "handable" then - thanks for the comments -always helpful - tests today and tomorrow for my renal failure - then back to the bench - nothing stops me!
  • Clinic is in session! Great way to start this memorable build with the pics of the kit contents, all the castings, the framing laid out on the bible...I mean manual, great stuff. Go slow so we don't miss a thing! -K
  • lookin good.
    Stevo in OZ
  • Hope that all the tests went well Elliot. I'm looking forward to updates when they appear.

  • Elliot, Glad Karl said something regarding your pending tests. I totally did not catch that when I made my post! Surely hope all goes well, I'm in the medical field so I can understand where you are. You're attitude is everything and sounds like your on it! One of my favorite sayings..."Life's too short for some day"..all the best. -K
  • Thanks guys - peritoneal dialysis is a very empowering treatment - my test results show my membrane is preforming better than average and all my numbers are in the center of each range - I am no longer anemic and have stopped one of my blood pressure meds - tomorrow I will start working on the siding and show you my first efforts some time soon - appreciate the concern
  • Elliot, glad to hear your tests show an improvement
  • Glad about the positive news Elliott. looking forward to your progress shots.
  • Thanks for the good wishes - appreciate them - I am feeling much better.

    The exercise of preparing the boards for the siding has several steps - first you texture the boards - I used my Vojtech saw and scraped it across the surface - and then you apply a coat of A&I. Once that has dried you are to dust with gray chalk - I omitted this step as my coloring was just fine without it - and then smooth out the fuzzies with steel wool - I used a steel brush to do the same thing ( one has to do with one has). Now the fun starts. Peeling paint - apply a layer of mineral spirits - wait for a few minutes for it to set and paint over it with ceramcoat white - now here is where the rocket science comes in - the coating must be thick enough to pull off but you cannot overwork the paint or it starts to mix with the spirits and the effect is lost. Here are three strips - the top one was undercoated and thus no real peeling occurred - the bottom one had some peeling but the paint was overworked and thus only a little effect was achieved - and of course the middle one came out right - but I could have pulled the paint off a little sooner and got more peeling than I did - one last note, scotch tape did not work for me - but masking tape did - not the blue stuff but the manila colored roll - on to color the other 49 strips - yep I counted them.

  • nailed it bro! the peeling paint is right on... your loco shop walls are gonna look awesome
  • Wow - great to hear that you're doing better - it must have been quite an ordeal.

    The boards look great!

    I also had some trouble in the past using scotch tape. I found that the tape's adhesion properties degraded exponentially with each use. I went though a lot of tape just to treat a marginal area. Although, lightly scoring the paint coating with a sharp blade prior applying the tape may help break-up the cohesion of the paint film [not sure if you did this or not]. Looks great though - I am excited to see this project unfold!

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