I’ve been working on the Cheney Lumber scene for the better part of a year, and the only major item left was the drying shed. The photo above is the image I’ve been working from, and gives a good view of the shed construction. I have an aerial photo of the mill, but this is the best image for details.
I had the pad and lumber stacks in place, so I had to build the structure in situ. I also thought there was a good chance the building would be destroyed if I tried to build off-site and then put it in place.
The building appears use untreated lumber in a simple post-and-beam construction. The roof appears to be fairly new corrugated sheet metal. It’s a bit hard to gauge the lumber dimensions, but 1/16″ basswood looked about right. This is a 10 x 10 in N-scale, so probably a bit oversize, but not objectionably so.
There appear to be five support beams. The roof has a very shallow slope, so I cut the posts accordingly. The plate has parts for the support beams and braces. I couldn’t find anything small enough for the braces, so I cut them from 1/16″ sheet balsa. During assembly I’d cut those in half by eye.
The support assembly line. The balsa sticks are actually tools with markings for post spacing and beam spacing on the pad. White glue for everything.
Footer plates. It was going to look odd if the posts rested directly on the pad without any attachment. This is 1.5 mm ‘L’ channel cut 1 mm wide and coated with grey primer.
Support beams assembled and ready for weathering. The outer beams are at top, inner in the middle, and center beam at bottom. I didn’t bother with the rafter notches. The footer plates are fastened with CA.
Weathering the wood with powdered black pastel applied with a brush.
Support beams in place. I didn’t put footer plates on the interior posts.
Framing complete. Before putting the stringers in I test fit some cardstock to check the roof pitch. It wasn’t quite enough, so I put another 1/16″ ridgepole in place. The braces on this side and the dock side had to be put in place after the roof stringers were up. Even with a removable backdrop and taking the boom off the crane, it was not fun. Not particularly hard, just really fiddly while trying to preserve scenery. I’d add plate detail at the upper joints if this was a bench project, but it’s not nearly worth the effort here.
I cut some cardstock to mock-up the roof. I have some styrene corrugated sheet metal, but it’s on 0.040 stock. That’s much too thick, so I’m looking for better ways to simulate the material. I also wasn’t completely sold on having a bright white roof in a small scene. The roof looks new in the photo, but I was concerned it would be a bit overwhelming. After living with the cardstock roof for a while I decided it looks OK.
Once the roof is sorted, I’m considering putting a chain link fence between the track and the log pile. I’m pretty sure the prototype would want to keep logs off the track, but I’m concerned about breaking up the ‘flow’ of the scene. The logs on the track thing does bother me, though.
Making It Official
I’ve had a metal Northern Pacific logo plate for a couple of years, and decided to go ahead and mount it to the layout, already.
The layout is hinged, so like the 4077th, it can in theory be moved. I needed just enough space to get the clamp in place, but first had to literally block traffic:
While the glue was setting, I noticed there was a fair amount of ballast piled up from ballasting the track, so I recycled it back to the ballast bag.
A fallen flag raised.