Thursday, November 22, 2018

Engine Servicing Pits

Things as always have been a bit hectic lately, and my backlog of posts has been exhausted. Chris and I spent a day working on some modifications to the layout that I'll report on shortly, but in the meantime here's a few pictures experimenting with building the engine servicing pits that I'll need.

Here's a Kent Cochrane photo c1946 that shows the servicing pits. This used to be the inside of an engine house, and you can see the stone foundation for the pillars between the doors and also just beyond the locomotive. I wrote more about the photo when I picked up a different copy of in an earlier post. This one is a second exposure from a slightly different angle.

I looked at a variety of options to build them, including entirely scratchbuilt. But I like the drains in the Peco ones (although I don't know for a fact if there were present here), and thought I might need the stairs too, so I bought a couple of them to see what I could do to modify them to match the brick-lined ones here.

I narrowed the top "flange" of the model and scratched it up with a razor saw to make it look like wood rather than concrete. For the based of the wall I used a piece of .040" x .060" styrene that I roughed up with a mill file to look like cut stone. The brick is Plastruct, and then a piece of .040" x .080" styrene to extend the wood over the brick. I didn't color the brick, but the floor, wood tie, and the stone base were done by stippling Pan Pastels into wet paint as I described here.

I'm' happy with the general results, other than the Plastruct brick looks like little loaves of bread. So I ordered some brick sheet from N-Scale Architect, and started on the first one while I wait for them to arrive.

As you can see, I've only done the floor and the foundation stone. I'll cut  the brick sheet and paint/weather it before installing, and then I'll do the top strip to finish the wood before painting/weathering that. Based on the photos, I don't think I'll be using the steps after all, but I will add the wood bridge across the middle. I have three to build, but they go pretty quick. An added benefit is that the tie plates are already part of the model and will hold the track securely. While they aren't an exact match, if I feel like it I can add additional detail.

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