Wednesday 21 December 2011

Dannen Feeds

George's building is left and Peter's is to the right. We both used different details to finish off the displays.

Building a small diorama

I asked Peter Mumby to do a write-up for the Dannen Feeds kit we each built together this fall. I took the photos as construction progressed. The following are Peter's comments.

Over the last little while, George has been gently prodding me away from my lethargic role as an armchair modeller, and towards something a little more productive. To this end, during the winter months we have been getting together for a few hours each week to work on a number of projects of mutual interest. Last season, for example, we built a group of Branchline Models passenger car kits. The hours expended of this enterprise really made us appreciate the diligence of those assemblers in far-away China. At any rate, this year we elected to start with something a bit more basic - a couple of "entry level" laser-cut wood structure kits.

The main structure is assembled and ready for painting.

Our first project was the tiny Dannen Feeds "simple to build" kit from RailroadKITS. This kit consists of laser-cut wall section, two sizes of stripwood for bracing and trim, plastic widows and door castings, and signs printed on glossy paper...all packed in a little plastic bag. No instructions are included, but are available on the company website. The photos of the finished structure are the most useful part of this printout.

Construction started by removing the walls from the carrying wood and doing a little clean-up with sand paper. Nail holes were added using a pin on scale 2 foot centres while the sides lay flat (using a ponce wheel would make the operation more efficient if you could remember where you stored the darn thing!). The heavy stripwood (1/8" square) was added to the end of each side for bracing (avoid the front lower left corner where the large door will go). Bracing on the end walls was offset to allow the sections to interlock. Since we were not planning on the trim pieces having a colour different from the walls, we added the 1/16" trim pieces to the wall ends at this time and used the same material to frame the upstairs door and add the projecting support for the hoist unit.

White glue and a heavy square were used to assemble the wall sections prior to adding the sub-roof material. Additional trim material was added along the roof line at this time. George then sprayed the entire structure with Floquil caboose red tempered with a few drops of boxcar red. The window and door castings were sprayed Floquil antique white. Plastic glazing was then added to these castings prior to their installation with a dab of Walthers Goo. Window shades cut from brown paper bag material were then added. Since we planned to model the structure with a hint of interior detail, and all front doors open, cardboard floor section were cut, sprayed Floquil grime with streaks of roof brown and glued in at both levels.

We sanded the backs of the sheets with the signage as thin as possible.These signs were then cut out with a sharp hobby knife and glued to the building walls. We surmised that the "Purina" sign was metal, so it was mounted smoothly; the other signs were pressed into the siding material using the dull back of a hobby knife.
The feed house is painted with signs applied and ready for roofing. The slate roofing has been already added to George's building. We both used different roofing material. If you look inside originally the flooring was painted the same colour as the walls. Since the doors are left open I popped out the flooring and spray painted them Floquil grime, then streaks of roof brown, I then dry brushed a little reefer white on and lastly added chalk weathering. The floors now look more realistic.

We bypassed the enclosed "tar paper" material. George used Northeastern HO #SH63 gray slate material on the main roof, and BEST #3046 dark green 36" rolled roofing on the side roof. I used the dark green material throughout. Joint lines were scribed onto this material. A Durango Press #DP-26 smoke stack was attached to the lower side wall and a wire guy line was added to the hoist unit support.

A piece of foam core material was cut to provide a base, and basic scenery elements were added before the structure was set in place. Details such as figures, barrels, sacks and handcarts were used as teasers to suggest that the interior was complete and business was booming. With a final application of chalk weathering, we were off to find a suitable location for this little cutie on the layout! ...Peter Mumby

A look at the front of both buildings reveals a lot is happening. On George's to the left the twins (they are Juneco section men and are painted the same) are hard at work. One inside and the other hauling feed bags up using the chain and pulley system. The chain is a fine chain which I purchased in bulk and the pulley is out of my parts box. We used the same pulley on Peter's model although he needs some chain still. The second floor men are actually cut in half to make them fit.

A look inside George's building. Most of the detail parts are cast metal Juneco parts. Juneco still produce feed sacks, boxes, brooms. pails, milk cans and skids. The second floor employee is actually an engine man that was cut down to fit. The doors included with the kit were cut in half, painted then glued to the building in the open position using Walthers Goo.

We decided to leave this wall blank on both buildings although we did have another billboard to apply. To add some more interest to the building we added a smoke stack to the sides. George's building.

We used the Purina billboard as that is a common sight in our area. The Dannen Feed sign that should have been used here was saved for another project. All the small signs add a lot of interest to the structure. George's building

Peter used a coal box to add interest to one side of his building.

Peter also used a ladder and barrels to add interest to his building. He had a hand cart that looked better outside the building than inside so he left it out.

We really like the looks of the building with the doors open. You can cram a lot of details just inside the door as George did. The base is GATORFOAM. We had a small sample that was cut in half. It was just enough for both building scenes.

GATORFOAM, is a Luxcell surface with a core of extruded polystyrene that is great for use as a base. It is easy to cut and does not warp, twist or delaminate when painted or glue and water is added.

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