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- how did you prevent the bents from going out of plumb, inward to the other bents, and not twisting because of the bents weight distribution?Marty
That's been my busy day just about EVERY day for the last 8 months. It's not hard work. In fact it's FUN work but there's a LOT of it with more added constantly. Until Micro Mark starts selling additional hours to add to one's day, I don't see the pace changing much!
Welcome to the SierraWest forum and thanks for the nice words. I'm very flattered by your comments and glad that you've picked up a few tips here and there from my work. I think you'll find some of the best (and most helpful) modelers in the hobby right here on this forum. And I can safely speak for most of them...we all are standing on Brett's shoulders and have him to thank for getting the ball rolling for us. Don't be shy about sharing your work with us and being open to suggestions. The worst thing that can happen is your skills will improve--and you have to admit knowing us. (The second part is the deal breaker for a lot of people!)
I've been making more progress and will share some pictures later today.
BTW--Hey Brett: What kind of mine is this? Gold? Iron ore? Coal? Just trying to plan ahead with ideas for tailings and stuff like that.
Next up is a small but really important step.
You need to cut 24 little spacers. These are blocks that go in between each leg and bent. They need to be perfectly square in order for the final structure to be square. Fortunately, there's another acrylic jig that makes it fast and easy. Before I began, I made to put a brand new blade in my chopper and also brand new sandpaper on my sanding block for the Tru sander. These little spacers will end up being 4 scale feet long. But, you cut them a hair longer so that you can sand them down perfectly square. Follow the directions for cutting the first piece, then set up your chopper. I set the stop on my chopper allowing for the 1/64" described in the directions--in my case, it was just at the other side of the 4' mark:
After cutting a piece, I gave it about 5 or 6 passes with the sanding block, then put the piece into the jig for a test fit. I mentioned earlier I was trying to get them to fit "not quiet as tight as 2 puzzle pieces" in the jig. Getting the same "feel" from piece to piece is what I tried to pay attention to.
If you've ever been frustrated by putting small legs on a dock, platform or pier because they weren't all the same size, these instructions and this cool little jig remove all the hassle.
One last tip: You cut 24 of these spacers and 21 are required to assemble the tipple. Cut, but don't sand down the last 3. Those are used to mount the ore bin gates. You'll do a final measurement of the spacer and make any adjustments, so it's possible that you may need a spacer to be a hair longer or shorter. Sand those three down as needed when you get to that step (on page 21.)
Before assembly can begin, you'll need to have ore bin casting colored and weathered. It will slide in between the bents. The ore bin is first painted flat black then weathered with rust colored chalk. For the most part, this casting isn't in direct line of sight for the viewer because of all the timbers that will be blocking it. So, there's no need to spend a ton of time weathering it perfectly like you would a metal barrel placed in the foreground. However, it still needs a decent treatment. I weathered mine with a heavy layer of rust colored chalk and then, using a fine brush added a line of black chalk around the bottom seams. Using a soft make-up brush i dragged the chalk down.
Right now it's upside down, but when the bin is turned over and installed in the tipple, it'll have a shadow effect. It's not shown in the pictures above but the "down spout" portion is also almost completely black. There are some other weathering ideas in the manual. You just don't want to leave it one solid color.
Okay...on to assembly.
The bents are put together on Template G starting in the upper left hand corner. Again, I laid wax paper over the template to keep glue drips from sticking to the template. I also used my little taping method to keep the wrinkles out of the wax paper. Using double sided tape, attach a small square to the bottom left hand corner. Add a couple rows of double sided tape to help hold the bents.
Position an outside bent against the square and use another square to keep it straight up and down. Then glue three spacers to the bent.
Glue an inside bent to the 3 spacers and check for square.
Next, you glue down 3 more spacers, slide in the ore bin and attach the next inside bent.
3 more spacers and then the next outside bent.
Now you glue down 2 spacers followed by the side bent (the piece constructed with Template C). There's a discrepancy on the assembly template. The placement of the "end cap" is off by about 1/16". The measurement for the top of the side bent is correct. You simply need to place the end cap further up (right to where the "end cap" line is pointing):
Finally, cut and square the end cap and glue it into position. Square it up and let everything dry. Next time we'll add the internal spacers.
Excellent job so far.
Where di you get the holder for the pastels?? I looked in Michaels the other day but they didn't have anything like that.
THE DOLLAR STORE!!
They're actually pill organizer boxes. I used a little paint thinner to remover the letters for the days of the week so I could write the chalk numbers on the lids. Most drug stores have them, too.
(You can thank Joel Freedman for this tip!)
It's really moving along nicely. A couple questions,
- I assume you are using carpenter's glue? How does it stick to thd end grain against the chalked wood?
- how did you prevent the bents from going out of plumb, inward to the other bents, and not twisting because of the bents weight distribution?
No carpenter's glue. I use Canopy glue almost exclusively. It set's up quickly, forms a really strong bond, and works on almost every surface. The only reason I don't like carpenter's glue is because in the past, I've been able to see a tiny amount of that yellow tint after it's dried. I'd rather not risk it.
For the second part (keeping the bents plumb), I used all the machinist squares and heavy right angles I could find to keep them straight until the glue dried.
But, I should point out, the assembly isn't complete yet. There are a bunch more spacers that get added in the next step. Those help stabilize the tipple beyond the gluing process. Does that address the question? I probably should have made that clearer.
Really nice colours and graining, love the way the grain is slightly darker than
the main beams, perfect effect.
Adding the internal spacers to the tipple is a bit of a challenge. It's tricky to get fingers back into the location where they need to be placed and not break loose on of the legs or other pieces. What I found helpful was using a pair of straight tweezers. Normally, I use angled angled tweezers for just about everything. But with a long straight pair, I could reach back into the tipple and hold the spacer flat and in line. A machinist's square placed on the inside helped act as a stop on one end.
I made sure to sight down the rows of spacers. You might be able to see the two crooked ones in the middle row of the first picture below. From one side they looked fine but a look from the opposite direction showed otherwise. A quick tweak while the glue was still wet allowed me to adjust them into perfect alignment.
After adding the 8 second row spacers, two spacers are installed around the chute of the ore bin. You should have 3 left over spacer blocks. Put them in a safe spot until they are installed with the ore bin gates. Finally, 3 leg assemblies and the leg base are glued into position and the tipple can stand on its own:
8 cross braces are added to the bottom of the structure. Again, there's not much room to reach inside the tipple in order to place the pieces. The manual shows using a scrap of stripwood to help line up the braces. For the internal braces, I cut a piece with a notch on one end and an outside angle directly off the template:
Then, when you lay the tipple on it's side the guide will snug up squarely in the same position each time.
With those additions, the tipple now looks like this:
Next up, the wall (actually the wood floor) is added along with the gates.
You guys are going to love this one! Normally, this would be a complex build but Brett's taken out as much of the frustration as possible. And I'm not even up to the really fun stuff!
Been away from the forum for some time. Just to add what everyone is saying, WOW. What a build so far and what a learning experience. The guys who have bought the kit will find some invaluable info here.
Keep up the good work bud.
We've noticed you haven't been around much…people are gonna start calling you "Bill". Bwahaha
Thanks much for the comments. Between all the new castings, tool and techniques, this is fast becoming my favorite kit.
I need to get more active again. Between the mountain biking and surfing this summer aswell as a sparked interest in 1/35 military vehicles, the model railroad stuff has taken a back seat.
However your thread has renewed my energy to start again. Cant wait for Brett to release his next O scale offering.
Before adding the floor, chute supports are cut and glued to the inside of the ore bin (red arrows). There is a cutting template for these six pieces. The clamps hold pieces of scrap wood that act as guides insuring the tops of the chute supports are at the same height as the angled timbers.
Once the glue has dried, remove the clamps and guides and add the flooring. The 6th piece will need to be notched while others will need to be trimmed shorter to fit inside. You work your way up to the top where the final piece will need to be split and sanded level with the framing timbers.
Next, the chute floor is added. 21 pieces, 7 per chute. I've got 3 glued down in the first picture. You might be able to tell in the last picture that there's one more row that needs to be added.
The side boards go in next. These are small angled pieces cut from the same stripwood as the floor boards. Rather than just cutting them freehand off the template, here's a little trick to get all the pieces and angles to come out the same. Using some scrap material I cut and taped down these pieces to the template. The long piece on the right acts as a stop; the other pieces will guide the blade.
Cut the first angle on a piece of stripwood, then slide it forward against the stop. Cut again and you've got piece one. Slide the stripwood forward to the stop and make another cut...there's #2. Repeat the process until you have 18 of these little pieces.
When installing these pieces, I used some thin scrap so that they lined up flat against the back of the vertical timbers. In turn, they'll line up in the front. Two rows are added, then 3 spacers (the 3 spacers I mentioned putting in a safe place) are test fit which will support the gate castings. You also want to use a piece of brass rod at this point to make sure the spacers are clear of the holes. I followed the manual's example (not shown in the pictures) and made a paper template simply because it was lighter and easier to support while getting the correct placement of the spacers.
It's a good idea to get an angled view--site down the structure and see that the 3 line up correctly. You might be able to see the end spacer is slightly off and that would cause the gate to hang crooked. After gluing the spacers, I double checked the positioning with the actual castings.
Once the 3 gate supports are glued into position, the final row of chute side boards is added along with the small vertical chute support boards.
The wood for the front wall has been added in the picture above. There's only a little bit left on the ore bin: the side walls, the gates and the landing.
I'll remember to use this as a guide. And to take my time doing things.
Thanks for taking the time to post such great pictures and your comments on the build.
Are NBWs for all the bents, etc?
Karl--thanks as always. I 'd hate to try building this without the jigs.
Marty--I think all the NBWs required are laser cut and included. I've only added 6 or 10 (whatever the manual called for at this point. There are a lot more in the box for later steps).
Phil--you're doing just fine! Remember, we were all in your shoes at one point. Aim to make each model better than the last, ask for help, and be open for suggestions. Oh yeah...and have FUN!
Got lots of work done over the last few days...
The side walls of the ore bin are made from a row of stripwood fastened to the template. Rather than use glue to hold the boards, I tried some of that transfer tape that I picked up at the last Expo. It lays nice and flat, no mess and the template won't ripple due to the water in the glue. Once they're secure the walls are cut out following the lines on the template.
To install them, I again used a piece of scrap to make sure the wall lined up tight against the inside frame of the bin.
Finally, some trim pieces are added along both sides and front, and the bin portion is done.
The gates for the bin come next. In addition to the metal gates themselves, pillow blocks, gears, hand wheels and wire rod are needed.
3 rods are cut to length and will be fed through the gears and pillow blocks later. When using a Dremel (or even a pair of wire cutters) I ended up with flattened ends like you see in the middle. What worked best was just a plain old straight edge razor. The brass rods are thin enough to cut simply by rolling the blade back and forth over the wire.
Next, the pillow blocks are epoxied to the gates. By the way...I've given up on those plunger-type tubes of 5 minute epoxy. I just use the two bottle stuff. It costs a little more, but it'll last a long time and will never accidentally clog up like the plunger kind. To attach the pillow blocks to the casting, it's important to scrape or sand off any of the blackening chemical so that the epoxy will bond correctly.
After the epoxy had dried completely, I began weathering the gates. I added layers of chalk, working from dark to light then back to dark. First, I hit the casting with raw umber 408.3 and alcohol. Next, some burnt umber 409.5, burnt sienna 411.3 and some gold ochre 231.3 highlights here and there. Then I added just a little pure black in the middle to simulate built up gunk and grease.
Finally, using a toothpick that I whittled the tip off (so it had a spade end on it) I ran it across the teeth where the gears run to remove some chalk. After that, I used the same toothpick and hit the tips of the teeth with silver stencil paint--it's a dry paste like stuff that works good for highlighting really tiny areas (The gates are set at an angle catching the light so it looks really shiny. It's a lot more subtle than what you see in the pictures).
Once I had all the gates weathered, they were epoxied into position on the front of the bin.
Also, the truss rods were installed. Mine fit pretty tight so rather than risk getting a shiny spot from a drip of epoxy, I left them in the holes unglued. They ain't going anywhere.
The last two steps for the lower part of the tipple are the stairs and the landing. Two sets of stairs are built using the laser cut stringers and guide.
The landing is chipboard covered with stripwood. Sand and test fit the chipboard, paint it brown and plank over the top. After that, cut out the opening, add a piece of front trim and sand the piece to fit. I had to trim and sand just a touch here and there to get it perfectly flush with the outside timbers.
And that does it for the bottom. Next up is the little house on top of the tipple.
As far as the gates...it'd be a pretty tall order to make them operational because the parts that'd move are actually cast as one piece. But hey, I appreciate the vote of confidence!
Thank you so very much for your exquisite documentation and photography.
With the lower portion complete, it's time to move on to the little shack on top of the Tipple. This is the first SW kit (or any kit for that matter) I've built using laser cut framing. After working with them…I NEVER want to stick build framing again. Ever. So fast and easy!
The walls are marked on the plywood sheet. Two things are important in this step:
1) after cutting them from the carrier, make sure all the tabs are sanded off completely and that you have nice flush surfaces all around. This will affect how square the building will be and how it fits onto the tipple.
2) keep track of the "front" and "rear" pieces. It'll be obvious if they get mixed up because they're two different sizes. For reference, start thinking of the "front wall" as the wall that goes above the ore bin gates.
The front and rear walls are made of two pieces that get glued together--the smaller piece on top of the larger. Again, take the time to make sure everything is square! Once glued and dry, stain the 5 wall components with chalk and alcohol on both sides.
Next, 35 pieces of siding from bag #1 get textured. While I used a few different tools, I tried using a card file too. These things are used to clean the "crumbs" out of the recesses of wood and metal files. The bristles are thin and REALLY stiff, and the rows are tight together. I like that feature a lot because it insures that the grain of the wood will remain in scale. The third pic is a close-up of what I mean.
Once the texture is added, the boards are given a quick wash of raw umber 408.5
For the final color, the manual say to use a "maroon" craft paint. Rather than just picking one called "maroon", I grabbed 4 or 5 from the store and tested the colors out on some coffee stirs. Ultimately, I went with the Ceramcoat "Barn Red" on the right.
All of the boards were painted with a thin coat of Barn Red and allowed to dry thoroughly. The peeling paint effect is added using 220 grit sandpaper. This is one of those steps where your creativity comes into play! I wanted a wide range of peel/fade to the boards. So, I sanded some of them with the recommended sandpaper. Others were hit with different grades of steel wool, a scratch pen or a green scotch-brite pad. Different coarseness; different result. I also left a handful of boards untouched so that I could adjust the effect as needed later while I build:
No matter what tool is used to sand off the paint, the boards are left with sort of a pink tint. To get rid of that, a stick of raw sienna (243.3) is rubbed over each board:
Then, you rub the chalk off with your finger. This is another area where it's up to your creativity to find a look that's right to you. I watched for the pinkish hue to disappear. The chalk warms up the board, hides the pink, and gives it more of a "wood" tone. So, here's a look at the range I got after these steps:
Now, the front and rear walls are boarded as are the right side wall #1 (the one with the door opening) and right side wall #2
There's a 6" piece of square stock in the misc. bag that is used to trim the boards on right side walls #1 and #2. Cut along the outside of the square stock leaving the boards with a "trap" that's the exact width to butt into the adjoining walls.
There are plenty of pictures in the manual for this process. When complete, the walls look like this; ready for assembly: