O scale Woodcutter's Shack build by an N scaler

edited March 2016 in O Scale Builds
okay, i think i can officially drop the N scaler from the title, since all of my n sale stuff has been sold. anyway, i received my kit yesterday (saturday) and tore into it today.
contents of the box:
72 resin castings cleaned of flash an ready for primer:
117 white metal castings ready for blackening:
i've read through the construction manual a few times and i've come to a decision regarding the castings. i suspect the woodcutter's shack manual was written some time ago and utilizes older techniques that the dueling shacks manual, so i think i'm going to use the techniques in the dueling shacks manual.


  • This will be fun to watch! And yes, the wood cutters shack was released in January 2011 so the newer dueling shacks kit has newer techniques. However, the techniques in the wood cutters shack are fantastic. That's what is so great about evolving techniques, it gives my customers a choice. I can't imagine using the same techniques for every kit. Not only does everything look the same after awhile but it is awful boring too! Enjoy Kevin!
  • i take it i should pick up the paints you recommended then, huh?
  • Great pics Kevin, always STILL amazes me what is in Brett's kits.
    Cant wait to see what you do with this one, its a fantastic kit.

  • Only 189 castings? You must have lost one or two.

    All kidding aside, you are going to want to drill a hole in the water tank casting, stick a toothpick in it and prime it that way. Otherwise you will miss a side of the tank that you are going to want to show off later. Drill the hole in the bottom of the tank (or even where you are going to put your spout). You will never see the hole once the tank is installed.
  • edited March 2016
    when i get around to that one i'll do exactly what you said.
    i noodled around with the L shaped workbench. it seems to be everybody's favorite casting and i can see why. it's real cool to be able to add separate details where you want to.
    this is the result after about 90 minutes at the workbench. critiques welcome:
  • That looks really good. The wood on the bench has a nice worn-smooth look like a bench that has been used for a long time. The rag and extra tools add to the used look.

    Rolling tool handles between your (chalk covered) fingers will give the handles a nice used look. You had a couple of air bubbles on the gear castings in your blackening solution. This is a tough problem to address with castings with a lot of nooks and crannies like this gear. The only solution I have found is to brush them while they are submerged in the blackening solution. This seems to get the most coverage on the casting.
  • bryan,
    i brushed the heck out of them when they were swimming in the blackening solution. i'll unglue them and give them another bath and work on the tool handles as well.
  • edited March 2016
    Good move Kevin. Hold the casting submerged in the blackener with a pair of old tweezers. While submerged, swirl a small detailing brush around the casting to dislodge any stubborn air bubbles. Check the casting to insure no trapped air bubbles were stuck on while blackening and repeat as necessary. Wash the heck out of it with clean water making sure all the residue from the chemical is removed. I have been using and instructing this method in my kits for over 15 years with tremendous success. Many modelers use this technique today and in fact have no idea where it originated!
  • i redid the workbench details and while i was at it i worked up a few more:
  • wonderful work Kevin.

    These O scale details must be a relief to your eyes after all that n scale stuff.
  • Looking fantastic... The "L" shaped bench is a home run!
  • Home run is right. You really put some nice finishing touches on the bench. I really like the garbage can as well. It's grimy in the right places and rusty in the right places.
  • wes: it is so much more fun than trying to play around with the microscopic details in N scale. i'm so glad i made the change.
    bryan and brett: thanks, i appreciate it.
    i try to do a casting every morning before work. this morning i started on the kerosene tank. got it all colored and dirtied up, drilled the hole for the valve and test fit it. buffed the valve and painted it blackened steel (reaper), painted the valve handle red, dirtied it up, picked it up in the tweezers and launched it into the ether. i searched all around the workbench for about a half an hour and couldn't find it so i called brett. he's sending me another valve casting. there aren't too many manufacturers that i know of with customer service like that....
    thanks brett
    here's the tank casting:
  • installing the legs/bracing on this puppy is much tougher than it looks, but i managed to get 'em on this morning. the manual says to use scraps for the bracing but because i haven't started on the walls yet i don't really have any scrap wood, so i took an h.o. 2x6 and used that instead.

  • Perfect!
  • i wouldn't go quite that far....
    but i am happy with the way it turned out.
    i also did this one yesterday...
  • edited March 2016

    i did a color test this morning. the top three boards are from the tar paper shack before i gave them the final gray wash.
    the next three are a blend of two different ochres.
    the three after that are an experiment. i was looking at karl's build of this kit and his walls were a beatiful silver/gray and he said he got that color by using black chalk. i tried it and i think my attempt at it is too blue, but i'm thinking it might be okay for the porch decking.
    the last two are another experiment, this time using black and white. it's pretty clear that i didn't use enough white, so i'll go back at it again tomorrow and see what that does.image
  • edited March 2016
    time to call it a night.
  • As Brett so eloquently says... 'perfect'.

    Such a great job, that bench is a stand alone model all by itself ....

    I used to hate epoxy, but, after you've used it a few times, learned that its very forgiving and learned that you just have to leave it alone (and not fiddle) until tomorrow its a fantastic medium to use, and the best in certain situations, as advised.

    Very nice work Kevin.

  • I think that the aged grey boards look great Kevin. Maybe another polish with some steel wool to bring out the 'silver grey shine' that modellers have found so elusive for decades. Also if those bottom five boards were mixed up they would blend perfectly together, despite the different colours used, great variation, perfect for a sunbleached decking.

    That's the beauty of Bretts incredible techniques, easy to master, and once you have mastered them after a few builds you can adapt them with slight variations, as you are doing with the colour changes to suit your own taste,
    Bretts chalk technique is such a versatile and adaptive one, with so many uses and effects, once mastered by following the instructions in the manuals for a few kits it provides an incredible modeling foundation to build on.

    Keep up the great progress.
  • Both benches turned out great. Like Karl, I like the gray boards...give the steel wool treatment a try. You will like the effect.
  • thanks gents. i feel like i'm starting to get the hang of these techniques (at least i hope so) and i'll give it another shot with the 000 steel wool and see what happens. frankly i was really nervous about trying nothing but black, but i was happily surprised with the end result, and hopefully i'll be able to coax that silver/gray out of it.
  • stained some siding boards today. i used straight black.
    here's a batch before they were steel wooled:
    and here's how they look after a good steel wool scrubbing:

    i'm a disappointed in the way they're turning out. i think maybe i should hit them again with a touch of white. Thoughts?
  • Yes. Add some white and blend it in with alcohol. It will "gray" it up.
  • so to try and "fix" what i did to the boards, i swabbed alcohol over them and pinching them in steel wool, pulled the boards through the steel wool and this is the result:
    as you can see...quite a few boards have been treated with the black chalk. i'm a little happier with the way they look now, but i was really (over anxious) hoping to arrive at a silvery tone. this is getting closer but not what i was after.
  • edited March 2016
    I think those boards look really nice Kevin. You were looking to achieve a color different than what I presented in the manual and you are there. Your boards have character, great texture, etc... and will look wonderful on the shack.
  • edited March 2016
    thanks. after taking karl's advise i'm pretty happy with the look of the boards. i dowsed them in alcohol and pulled them through an old sock, and now they look better than what i posted.
    the only reason i deviated from the manual was because it called for the same colors as the tarpaper shack and i wanted something a little different. when i saw karl's build of the woodcutter's shack i loved his silver/grey look and that what i was trying for. i think i came close.
  • the walls are boarded, but they're a little too "pristine" for my tastes. Not sure what i'm gonna do about that though. i am open to suggestions.
  • Keep in mind that the WCS is his residence, as well as a functional building.
    The structure would be kept in good repair and wind proof/ water proof, this structure is not a run down storage shed for discarded items.
    Now that the walls are built you could 'pop' off a couple of specific boards and give them a split, (not broken, just a split) to add definition, then glue them back in place, or add some extra weathering to certain boards condusive to their placement on the structure, ie next to the oil tank, or under the eaves, etc. Also some weathering along the bottom of the walls due to moisture or 'backsplash' from the rain. However, keep in mind the front wall has a deck and details covering a lot of the lower part of the wall. Many subtle possibilities...

  • I agree with Karl on applying strategically located weathering (bottom of walls, next to oil tank, etc). I would also throw out there that you could drybrush a nice light gray (barnwood) over the wall to accentuate the edges of the boards. I also like the look of light sanding on my models. It gives a similar look as drybrushing. I use a high-grit paper and lightly sand with the grain.
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