The Sawmill Project kit #308



  • Thanks for the insights Karl and Bryan - yes, the "hard work" has been done before one even opens the box, leaving the builder to just do the fun stuff. There's a reason most builds, including competition winners, seem to follow SW kits as designed so closely...
  • Bryan, this is outstanding. I can't thank you enough for showing us so much detail. You can just imagine how helpful it is to some one like me who has no prior experience - thank you!
  • Thanks guys. I have most of the castings placed now and will have some updated pics soon. I started cutting the lumber for the wood stacks last night and estimate that there is about a scale 1/2 mile of lumber feet in this particular detail.
  • We hear about details on details. What about details inside of details? I'm trying to get this to line up to look right and it's not quite there yet. The joining of the 2 materials won't be visible inside the machine.imageimage
  • HI Bryan- you mean there is a cover over that section right? Brilliant idea!
  • James, there is no cover for this. It's just the angle that it will be able to be viewed once the roof is on will prevent a top down look like the 1st photo. I only need to get the cut boards lined up straight and butted up against the uncut slab and it should look just fine. I need to find some pieces for the edges that were cut off as well.
  • edited July 2014
    How about just one piece of wood with slits cut on one end to match the saw blades. Like a long tined fork. The whole uncut part sticking out and the cut boards are going thru the cutter. That is what I am doing with mine. lookin' awsome.
  • I agree Wayne that that would be the ideal way to do this, but I had quite a time just getting these little slabs cut. I don't think I could cut one that way, because I tried. This will work if I line it up right. You will never be able to see inside the machine unless you have a removable roof which I don't plan on.

    On another note, this notice appeared in the local paper. As you can see there were many applicants. Mr Sawtooth is seen here giving the new hires instructions which probably include things like: fill in the gaps in your arms, don't come back looking like you just came out of a coal mine, and get that toothpick our of your a.....

  • edited July 2014
    Awesome idea in the picture above with the cut boards. Did you use a scroll saw ? If not you may be able to keep the board together using either and electric or hand scroll saw. Your build continues to be amazing in every way. Details on details and details in details. Very cool.

    It looks like the ad worked. The crew looks like they will be hard workers for St Mary's Lumber company although I would be worried about that guy taking it easy on the right. He may need a little persuasion. You would think the toothpick would have been enough.

  • Bryan, it looks like you have a weeks work painting up that motley crew. I'd really like to see some progress steps as you do so if it isn't too much work to document.

  • edited July 2014
    Jim, I used the Dremel scroll saw which was tough to keep a straight cut. I was only able to cut about an 8" thick slab and sanded it down to about 4". When I tried cutting the tines of the fork I just wasn't able to keep straight lines with this or a razor saw.

    And yes you would think that a toothpick placed there would be enough to motivate anyone, but I guess not.

    John, I will post some progress photos of the figures and yes I was figuring on about a week to complete. However, there is no wife or kids at the house for the next 48 hours and I have nothing better to do so...

    While I have been working on the figures I've also been dirtying up the sawmill with sawdust. I started by mixing some of the sawdust I have accumulated through the build and mixing with Desert Sand pigment. I put it in logical places and brushed foot paths then set with AK Sand and Gravel Fixer. I'll start using the same pigment to dust up the tops of cabinets, etc.

    I hope it's OK to post a link to another forum here. These are the set of steps I will be following for painting the figures:
    I will start by giving 2 coats of diluted paint to all of the components--skin, shirts, pants, etc. It's easier to touch up solid colors. Then I will work on shadows and highlights. Below is a military figure I painted using these instructions.

    I will use the 2 figures below to document progress. They are both from Phoenix. The one on the left was part of a 2 man saw team. His arms were set holding a board that he will be putting on top of the wood stacks. The guy on the right is a farmer that was holding a pitchfork. I cut that off and drilled a hole in his fist to fit a log roller which was placed in his hands while the epoxy cured.

  • Bryan, Love the last overhead shot of the saw mill floor, the spread out saw dust looks really, really good! Some outstanding modeling here...if you're going to have LPs the clothing being subtile and somewhat uniform is the way to pull it off. What's the deal with the Russian tank crew guarding your saw mill build site? Gives a new meaning to
  • Looks great... I think adding sawdust to the mill floor is so very hard and you nailed it Bryan.

    Thanks for the figure painting link as well. The military guys got nothing on us when it comes to structures and scenery however they are miles ahead when it comes to figure painting. There is a French guy (cant't think of his name right now) who has several excellent books out on figures...
  • Bryan, ditto...ditto...ditto... Dato!
  • Yes no trespassing and no strikes or else.

    The military guys sure do have an advantage on the figures with the wide selection in various materials. It's too bad we don't have a better selection of high quality figures, preferably in plastic or resin.

    At this point the figures are painted solid colors. I went skin, shirts, pants, jackets, details. By painting just the solid colors at this point it is easy to touch up. Next will come shadows and highlights.

    I took the model outside this morning and got a couple of shots just to document progress. A couple of areas I don't think seen before are the end of the mill where the rejects are tossed. Note the water line that goes to the boiler and will attach to a tank on the hill above the retaining wall. The other end of the mill by the maintenance shed where I have been piling up junk. This will hide the wires that will come out of the ground here. I am considering changing this pile to a stack of pallets. The log roll has bark debris accumulating. And the loading dock is starting to come along as well.imageimageimageimageimageimage
  • Bryan, this is totally outstanding work! Period! Bar none! I feel I'm right there in the mill and I can smell the sawdust. As my wife just said. "'s crazy good."

  • Marty, I like your wife.

    Like I said...48 hours and nothing better to do. So the first pic is our model subjects posing for the camera after their shadows and highlights. I really like how the face turned out on the one. Too bad most of the faces were cast very poorly.

    Last pic shows them in their future occupations- a wood stacker and a log turner. With a little sawdust powder added for good measure.

    Remember, these guys started out as part of a 2 man saw team and a farmer. I've learned not to rule out figures just because they are intended for a purpose I don't need.imageimageimageimage
  • Bryan, the layers of detail you have put in are incredible. So many to see. Everything really blends together so well. Top shelf work!!
  • Amazing work- love the debris at the log roll and the charcoal in front of the boiler - little things like that bring a scene to life.

    The figures look great too! Figures can be the weak link in any rail dio. As Brett notes, this hobby blows others away for scene setting and landscaping and structures, but figures require a different set if skills which have to be practiced (apparently- I haven't tried yet). Many fantasy gaming sites have good technique blogs but often the intent is to over emphasize things like eyes and clothing.
  • Aspen models has some good info on painting for those who haven't tried yet like me. I have the blacksmith figure in o scale which is nicer than I thought it would be when it came. I'm saving it for the SW Tractor repair shop. ScaleHumans makes fantastic figures too but RK won't ship out of the US anymore :(

    But enough of this - back to the sawmill !!!
  • Everything is looking fantastic Bryan. The details are all superbly finished and the sawdust on the floor looks fantastic and natural. The placement is all logical and it really adds to the realism of the model, as Brett stated, not something that is easy to pull off but you have done it masterfully.
    Another great area is the log rollway, all the debris looks superb and is exactly how many rollways looked in the photos I saw.

    Excellent modeling all around, looking forward to more.

  • Thanks guys.

    James, that blacksmith from Aspen has a lot of detail and a good figure to start with.
    Karl, I just couldn't imagine a rollway without a ton of bark debris on it.

    I promise this is the last update on the figures. Most have found their worksites. You can see Mr Sawtooth giving some positive encouragement to one of the mechanics. The companion to the 2 man saw team is getting ready to engage the dual husk. The bean counter is busy at his desk. I used figures to accentuate the depth of the model by placing some in the distant rooms.

    I've run into a minor snag. I started putting together the trusses. I want them built and temporarily installed while I finalize the light placement. The snag came in when the truss did not sit flush on the roof beam. It seems that my walls are about 1/16" too wide. Goes to show the tight clearances on this model. I ended up taking about 1/16" off of parts "sweb" to make the truss sit square on the timber. Shouldn't be a problem but will probably have to carry this fix to the large trusses as well.

    It's opinion time. I'm also thinking about the tin roofs. I've seen lots of great pics online of painted roofs. Mostly light gray/silver, red and green. I'm debating painting one or more of the roofs. Most likely gray or green, have it faded with some rust streaks. Thoughts?imageimageimageimageimage
  • edited July 2014
    The figures look outstanding, really add a wonderful dimension to the dio. I love the dude in the chair...

    Glad you improvised on the truss pieces. Sounds like you will be just fine.

    Karl and I went round and round on corrugated vs. wood. Obviously settled on wood as there was so much corrugated I felt that color would overpower the structure. The wood roof just blends in.
  • Excellent work Bryan. Everything ties in very naturally. I'm normally not much of a figure person but you've pulled it off wonderfully. I personally like the idea of a faded green roof with some rust streaks.

  • Bryan, my jaw dropped when I saw the figure placements. It looks like they were custom made fir those placements. I lime the first image with the guy holding his head without the hat. I wish I had the talent to get this detail into a HO diorama. I can't wait until I see this diorama in person. As fir the roof, how about doing wood with corrugated patched section(s).

  • The figures really tie everything together. Can't wait to see more.
  • Thanks Brett. The large trusses turned out to be just the right size.

    There's one vote for green roof, thanks Michael. The roof I'm thinking about is only the tin roof covering the boiler and maintenance sheds, not the main roof-that will stay wood.

    Marty, the figures were actually custom made for those positions. By that I mean about 1/2 of them had separate arms/heads. They were designed for another "job" by the manufacturer. I assembled them to the shape I needed which meant some filing and filling joints if the parts didn't line up right. I'd like to get better with painting figures myself since I feel like they add life to my dioramas. I think you could do it in HO better than the paintjob on pre-painted figures with a little practice.

    Thanks Dustin
  • Terrific work on the figures Bryan, placement and poses are really well done. They add so much to your scenes in the mill.

  • Bryan, you are a Wizard - thank you for continuing to show us so much detail. Your build is an instructional document . . . .
  • Thanks Karl and John. Very kind words indeed.

    I've temporarily placed the trusses with the exception of the rear wing wall extension and the little pieces of blue tape are the approximate location of the lights. There are 16 because that's how many I can put on 1 of the power boards from ngineering without needing resistors and other goodies. 16 sounded like a lot until I put the pieces of tape on, now it looks kind of sparse in their placement.

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