After completing the platform it was time to turn attention to the crane mechanical house. This is where the operator and one would assume a Diesel engine are located, as the winch and boom appear to be electrically driven and there’s no visible power cable to the crane.
Before moving on to this part, I added weight to the interior of the platform and painted it Light Aircraft Grey. I was concerned that the boom, although made of styrene, would make the crane top-heavy, so I added weight as low down on the structure as I could. Prior to roof installation I added some weight to the rear of the mechanical house to offset the anticipated boom mass. I painted the platform a standard color because I had a lot of steel to paint and wanted something easily reproducible.
Some of the tools used in construction are visible here. The tracks are a mock-up of the installed crane tracks to check clearances and part fit. The pieces at the bottom are from the mechanical house. I cut several of each piece then chose the best. I then lined them up and drew construction lines where I wanted the windows. This ensured that the windows are reasonably level and in line on each wall.
The mechanical house was constructed following the photo and used 0.015 styrene sheet for the walls and roof, while 0.030 sheet was used for the base. It’s not clear from the image what the siding is, so I developed an off-white vertical wood batten texture. After experimenting with color I printed the texture onto #110 cardstock, then used CA spread thinly to skin the walls.
Windows and doors are from the Tichy variety pack I bought a while ago. the 2513 door, 2512 window, and three 2518 windows make up the package. There aren’t any pictures of the front of the cab, so I assumed a large window with safety bars. The window is the 2512 window with the mullions cut out and the frame sectioned to fit. The trim is based on the Cheney Lumber – sponsored Studs baseball team colors of blue and white. I figured even in 1948 there’d be protection against a log coming inboard, so the large window has a safety grill of 0.5 mm rod painted Flat Black.
The windows were glazed with material from a report cover I had laying around, and there’s enough material to glaze an N-scale city. A diagonal piece of styrene to hold the structure square and Flat Black paint complete the interior.
I’d marked the center of the platform and the mechanical house base, then used a drill press to put a 1/4″ hole in both. I also fashioned and drilled a circular piece of 0.030 styrene to attach to the base of the mechanical house. This provides separation between the house and the platform, and serves as a bearing surface for rotation. A 1/4″ wooden dowel serves as the kingpin. I don’t anticipate fastening the bottom end of the king post: like battleship turrets, I expect gravity to keep everything in place.
Roof pieces were cut and sanded to fit, then overlain with a Tarpaper texture. I’ll add the smoke jack for the engine when the model is nearly done. Now all the easy parts are done: time to move on to the crane supports and boom.