Saturday, 23 June 2012

Johnsons Loft and Boat Works - Early Construction

This is a great photo included with the kit, but many of the items used to build this model are not included with the kit beginning with the windows, doors and sign. There has been alternates added. In the kit are many additional details that would work well when kitbashing.
 Building a Mill
 a Railway Design Associate kit

This spring I picked up a RDA kit, "Johnson's Loft and Boat Works" when visiting Paris Junction Hobbies. It is a neat looking New England design model that I could see fitting into my WRD expansion. I had not tried any of the RDA kits in the past and for the price it was worth a try...I must mention it was 30% off and I love a deal. This structure is typical of a New England smaller frame mill, supply building or as seen a marine manufacturing company. Mine will probably become a mill supplying wooden wares although I really like the though of trying a water front scene with a boat loft.

Since the weather this past week was way to hot to venture outside...thank god I am now retired...I remember a lot of these 40C days sitting on the engine with no air movement, waiting to depart town. The place I hated sitting on the engine in the heat the most was Aldershot yard near Hamilton, Ont. It is in a valley...all sun no breeze. I was back modelling  through the heat wave and got a good start on this kit.

Before beginning this kit some thought needs to be given as how it will be tackled. There is a lot of stuff included with the kit but not all of it is usable to finish the model as seen in the included photo. I find the instructions are just average at best. I feel this kit can be a great jumping off point for a kitbasher. If you check out RDA web site this kit may have began as part of Indian River Mill Works and-or Durham's Tool and Die and it appears some of the parts from those kits are included with this one.  Railway Design Associates

The RDA kit is injection  molded styrene, which can be easily cleaned with a sharp hobby knife. There are plenty of imperfections that need to be cleaned up, but that is typical of many kits, especially at this price point. I found they are very easy fixes.

The windows seen in the builders photo are not the same as those included with the kit. The ones viewed below need to be installed from inside the structure which is fine. The window trim that is engraved into the walls are not all that great so I decided to paint the windows the same colour as the wall. This will hide any rough spots. I did not want to make new window trim or purchase new windows that could be installed from the outside, both of which are options. The doors in the kit are very good for the side wall, and are made by Tichy. There is some cutting to be done so that they would fit.  I plan to separate the doors and model them as open. I also will add flooring for each level and some interior details. I also want to include some lighting to this building.

This kit comes with a lot of details such as a laser cut wooden cupola, some Tichy doors, cast plaster loading dock and steps, plus a spur full of detail parts and vents.

The cast plaster platform and steps are easily finished using Woodland Scenics earth colour liquid pigments. I used Stone Concrete first (C1217) and Stone Gray (C1218). I then used some chalk weathering, black and red on the bricks. Lastly some Bragdon weathered brown finished off the effect.

The walls are assembled and awaiting painting along with the doors and windows. The plaster casting have been finished with Woodland Scenics  concrete and stone gray. The flooring are painted and weathered and will be installed after the walls are painted.

The side wall before assembly was embossed to reflect nail holes. I glued corner bracing on to help support the walls... which are left over cuttings from Danby Coal. The basement windows casings had to be enlarged to make the windows fit.

I had a lot of problems deciding what to do about the doors on the two ends. None of the kit doors fit or were even close to fitting. Since I am modelling open doors I decided to use the two passage way door on the bottom floor and cut the white baggage doors in half and trim to fit for the top floor. The laser cut doors also do not fit and I cut them up and used what I could. I used scribed wood for the backing. I broke down and used two of my baggage style doors left from other projects for the second floor on both ends. I built a sliding door for the top floor at one end from scrap wood.

The floors are made from card stock and got a coat of Floquil Rail Brown along with the interior of the structure. I just brushed it on. I used this colour since the jar was almost empty and was not good enough for airbrushing. The floors got some weathering also with Flouil Grime and White. Once they are installed I will add a little chalk weathering in the areas that the moment the model is ready for painting and detailing but I am off to the lake again....George Dutka

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