I’ve spent the better part of the past two months building the second warehouse for the downtown side of the layout. While the first warehouse was basically a box, the second was a bit more challenging, as the 1948 prototype photo shows:
Like the first warehouse, the track geometry in relation to the scenic divider dictated that the rear of the building would be cut off at an angle.
The basic construction was 1/4″ foam board faced with printed texture. It’s a bit difficult to see exactly what materials are used on the building, and enlargement of this very lo-fidelity image seems to indicate that the siding is clapboard, so I went with that. Rolled tar roofing is typically only used on flat roofs, so I selected shingle for the topside.
The first step was to scale the building, a process made much easier with the 40′ boxcar next to it. The roof slope had to be estimated, but I spent a couple of summers roofing, and I estimated the slope as 3/12 (pronounced ‘3 in 12’). This turned out to be a little steep, but not objectionably so. A good chunk of project time was spent creating templates for the doors and windows, but now that I have them, they’re in the library for re-use. I have a selection of Tichy doors and windows, but nothing really matched without modification, and I wasn’t excited about mounting several dozen clerestory windows.
The next step was to form the basic structure:
The drawing for the door end on foam board.
And the cut-out piece.
1/16″ balsa makes up the floor. Because of the building size, I had to butt two pieces together. Everything is glued with CA.
Walls, view blocks, and floors in place. After the walls and view blocks were installed, I spray painted the visible interior with Flat Black. I then used printed Concrete texture on cardstock for the visible floors.
When I put the model next to the track, I noticed a problem.
No competent architect is going to design a rail-served warehouse where the loading doors don’t align with the boxcar doors. I removed the wall and made a new one with the correct spacing. Much better.
At this point I printed the sides and door textures. I screen grabbed the sign and modified the perspective as best I could, and while it’s not perfect, it serves the purpose. If you’re not careful with your image scaling, problems will ensue:
The clapboard on the bottom print is exactly twice as large as it should be. While correcting that, I noticed that my siding is on the opposite side of the building from the prototype, so I flopped the windows. The top print is the corrected version. I also tried printing the windows in a light grey to see if they would look better than the black I’d used for the first warehouse. They don’t. On models black seems to work better for windows. I didn’t fix them, because by this time I was tired of fooling with it. No real excuse for not doing anything other than laziness.
For the main front doors and rear door I drew a template, and for the side doors I a scanned a Tichy product that was pretty close, and scaled the image. Then I printed the textures on cardstock, cut them out, and applied them to sized 0.030 styrene.
The door rails were made from 0.030 x 0.040 styrene strip washed with Rust. There’s a strip across the front of the building, and I used the same dimensional styrene painted Light Grey for that. The corner boards are 0.060 L shapes. This was the smallest I could find, and they are a bit oversize, but appear to work well. The shapes come molded in a sort of dirty grey, so I didn’t have to paint them.
Next was fabricating the clerestory. This was fiddly because the rear had to match the cutoff angle of the back wall.
I cut a piece of styrene 10 mm wide to get the spacing between the clerestory and the building wall. From the photos, I decided to use 0.030 sheet styrene for the roof structure, and printed medium grey shingles from Clever Models. I finished the clerestory, then proceeded with fitting the main roof. It took some trial-and-error to get the roof to match the necessary cut off angle.
Getting everything lined up consumed time, but the end result is OK.
The prototype photos show a sort of angled roof over the false front, but I couldn’t see what the roofing material was, so I used shingles. I used a bench grinder to form the roof angle for that piece.
The last step was the loading dock. I seen from experimentation that 1/4″ foam board and 1/16″ balsa just about matched a boxcar floor height, so I’d thought to mount the model on foam board with an extension for the dock, then glue Concrete texture to balsa. The first part worked well but when I went to use CA to mount the balsa to the foam board, the white-glued card stock delaminated from the balsa. I went to the tested method of facing the foam board dock with Grey painted 0.030 styrene. That worked a lot better.
Final details included adding pallet jacks, pallets, and an antenna to the roof. The photo doesn’t show much in the way of roof detail, so I didn’t add any.
I weathered the model with pastels, and that went well until I smudged a place on the front. I’m annoyed by this, and would love to be able to fix or at least mitigate the error. Maybe white pastel?
Completing the scene will include putting a ‘back lot’ of scrap pallets and equipment at the rear, and a parking lot with some period trucks in front. This was my seventh scratch building project for the layout, and the most ambitious. I’m OK with it except for the smudge on the front. The model took longer than expected: records show that 8 baseball games and one soccer game were required. So the advice I’ve been reading in the hobby press is true: if you don’t have room for a layout, but know what you want to build, build structures and rolling stock. They do take time.