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Author Topic: A Small Suburban Station
Ed Bommer

Posts: 435
Post A Small Suburban Station
on: February 5, 2020,
Quote

It has been some time now, since I last posted anything that occupied my workbench.
This is a project done a few years ago and for which I made a presentation at a local NMRA Division meeting.
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It shows the transformation of a lowly Plasticville depot into something a bit grander. While these structures might be a trifle undersize in O scale, they are cheap and offer great kit-bashing fodder!

Here is what it looks like, straight from the box. Sort of toy-like, but look again. It has potential to become something more, with a few alterations and detailing.
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First, the bottoms of all four sides were cut off to leave a 1/8" high (6" scale) 'step' at the doorways. These were then glued to the tops of there respective panels. Strips of styrene were cemented over the upper wall seams, corners, window sills and lintels over the doors and windows. One window in the rear wall was shortened by raising its sill to become a later modification 'restroom.' Plastruct O scale sheet brick was applied to the lower walls.
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It's beginning to look better already!
More later,

Ed Bommer

Martin
Administrator
Posts: 887
Post Re: A Small Suburban Station
on: February 5, 2020,
Quote

Nice, Ed!

Want a balloon?

Ed Bommer

Posts: 435
Post Re: A Small Suburban Station
on: February 6, 2020,
Quote

In the previous posting, nothing was said about the roof and rafters. This detail helps mark the structure as belonging to a railroad. Railroad companies often built toward the 'heavy duty' side.

Here is the track side of the modified Plasticville depot. When I 'topped' the walls, the space above the bay window had too many seams to try and match the stucco wall panel, so it was done by covering it with thin, scribed styrene to represent vertical wood sheathing high up, under the eaves and out of the weather. Also I erred on the height of the doorway steps along the bottom of the structure. They ae 1/4" high. An added 1/8" step at the rear door and the platform surface will make the trackside thresholds even with it.
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Smaller stations often had oversized framing and heavier construction than commonly used for similar sized structures. Most small suburban stations built in the 1900's were not much bigger than a typical house, but they often were built with much heavier materials.

This was not done for bragging rights, such as exaggerated, temple-like terminals built in larger cities. While spending the money to initially build these stations heavier, the idea was to get it built to last.

Here is how I framed the roof, with 1/4" x 1/4" styrene. 12 x 12 rafters would not usually be found in such a small building, except for a railroad. Often such framing supported heavy, slate roofing - to last 100 years or so. Notches were cut into the tops of the back and front walls for the crossties. Rafter extensions and their angle bracket supports on the side walls were fitted up in a jig, then cemented to the building.
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The jacks, or corner rafters, were glued to the underside of the roof. These help the roof stay in place on the depot.
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The stucco areas were painted with linen color artist's acrylic. The brick panels got a wash of white acrylic to highlight mortar seams. The same white was used on the rafters, window sills, corner edging, top girts (they hide the upper wall seams), lintels and upper bay window areas. Weathering of accumulated soot was done with chalks.

More about details next time,
Ed Bommer

Tom-
Dempsey

Posts: 121
Post Re: A Small Suburban Station
on: February 6, 2020,
Quote

What, no fully lit superdetailed interior?

Martin
Administrator
Posts: 887
Post Re: A Small Suburban Station
on: February 6, 2020,
Quote

Slick!

Want a balloon?

Ed Bommer

Posts: 435
Post Re: A Small Suburban Station
on: February 7, 2020,
Quote

Well, no fully detailed interior. There is a secret from the general public. This depot is floorless, not flawless.

Stations have signage, an important detail especially for the 1940's to 50's era that I model. It was simpler time. Western Union to send a telegram. Bell System to make a phone call from a booth. Be sure to carry enough loose change to make a call!
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Those were the days when the old LaSalle still ran great, before e-mail and a portable 'phone' that is a sophisticated mélange of computer, camera, message center and entertainer. But I digress . . .

I did not make any ads to paste on the station, as it has little open wall space. There was a small billboard at the entry of the parking area for a Chevy dealer's "OK Used Cars" and another across the tracks for a savings and loan bank.

Here is the track side of the station. The doorways to the waiting room and REA office will be even with the platform. Steam still powered some train in my era, and appropriately there is some soot build-up under the eaves. The brick work on each corner was given black painted steel angle covers, to protect them from haphazard use of the baggage cart on the platform. The chimney was enhanced with an uptake extension and some acrylic paints. A vent pipe for the restroom sewer connection was added to the roof as well.
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And here is how it will sit on the layout. A concrete walk way for the back and both sides, as well as a B&O style brick platform, await completion.
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Ed Bommer

Tom-
Dempsey

Posts: 121
Post Re: A Small Suburban Station
on: February 7, 2020,
Quote

Very nice

Martin
Administrator
Posts: 887
Post Re: A Small Suburban Station
on: February 7, 2020,
Quote

Very good looking - shows what can be done using good raw materials.

Want a balloon?

Ed Bommer

Posts: 435
Post Re: A Small Suburban Station
on: February 8, 2020,
Quote

Now that the station is more or less complete, it's time to get the plot on the layout ready for it.

As I follow the B&O,this drawing was used to help position the station. It specifies the set back of the structure from the track. It also shows the minimum width of the brick platform and it's relationship to the rails. Getting this done close to the plan helps make the setting be more realistic. The B&O station shown here is 16' x40'. The Plasticville station is close - about 15' x 30' or so.
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Card stock was used for the concrete walk and the parking area surface. The concrete walk was cut out separately, sprayed with a textured tan paint to represent older concrete and marked off in panels with a pencil and square. The white card stock parking areas will be sprayed later, with Rustoleum high heat resisting black used for barbecues. When it dries it has a bit of tone that is close to that of asphalt.
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The station platform is cut from 1/4" foam core sheet. The brick was printed on the computer with the program "Brickyard" by Evans Designs. The curb edging is painted on, with linen color acrylic.
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This station is located at a junction on the westbound main line to a branch which also had some passenger service. Another platform like the first will be added for the main line. With it will be a wood plank crossing to it on the branch track. It will all look much better after I get the scenery done!

Ed Bommer

Ed Bommer

Posts: 435
Post Re: A Small Suburban Station
on: February 10, 2020,
Quote

Here we are, on the last installment about this project.

Added detail included cutting the rear door upper panel for windows, painting window sashes and doors, glazing and installing 'blackout' window shades.

These were common along the eastern seaboard during WW II. Buildings near the shore or what could be seen from the bay or ocean had to have black window shades drawn down every night to avoid showing light. U-Boats lurked along the US Atlantic coast, awaiting the next convoy of ships to Europe or a stray intercoastal vessel to torpedo.

A coal bin door is on the back side. These allowed coal dump trucks to back in and chute their load into a basement bin. To compliment this, a cellar door was put into the concrete walk on one side of the station. The parking spaces are striped with white chart tape, short pieces of Code 125 rail were set in place at each parking space. Best not to bump into them! The gray Plasticville tower is very close to scale and is based on a 1905 B&O design. It controls the junction and a grade crossing.
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The branch line track rises from this point to its end in a small town and a wye on the other side of the layout . A concrete retaining wall and steel railing was added for the platform rise. A trash bin and baggage cart were added. The original Plasticville benches were kept.
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Here is the result, after more of the scenery was in place and the main line's west bound platform completed. A park-like area between the tracks has a mowed lawn and flag pole.
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The small waiting shed on the east bound track by the grade crossing is a flag stop. The main passenger stop at Edgewater is only a short distance away, so most east bound trains just roll by.

The layout has an inset here to reach the junction switch. All switches were hand-thrown. Portable, plug-in throttles were used to run the main line trains. Control panel throttles were used for yard and branch line runs. A short section of track between the cabs was a mandatory stop for changing control. Much like prototype operation, when awaiting clearance at a junction or yard limit.

Ed Bommer

Tom-
Dempsey

Posts: 121
Post Re: A Small Suburban Station
on: February 14, 2020,
Quote

So I take it from the tenses in that this layout has been taken down or changed significantly? At any rate, it looks great to me.

Ed Bommer

Posts: 435
Post Re: A Small Suburban Station
on: February 14, 2020,
Quote

Yes Tom,
The layout was dismantled when we moved to a smaller place in Tulsa. Previously we were on a large lot in ranch country. With that came brush fires, loose cattle and some snakes. Not all that bad, but the fires were scary. They came mostly from lit ciggies thrown from passing pickups into dry as tinder roadside grass.

Keeping the property edges and area cleaned up and mowed became a near profession aboard a tractor. My Baltimore & New York layout was featured in the photo albums area of this forum which no longer exists.

After the move to down-size, about half of my rolling stock and other models were sold or given away. The depot and its platform was sold at the 2010 March meet to a fellow O scale modeler from Maryland.

More recently, my B&O Class A-3 4-4-2 built by modifying an All Nation No. 5 kit, was sold to an O scale modeler who is a member of the Rockford IL O Scale scale club.

I still work on models and have a workshop with possible room for a switching layout. Someday maybe????

Here is the B&O 4-4-2 at its new home and two recently done passenger cars.
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The private car "Virginia City" is a rebuild of a pre-WW II Walthers 'junker' bought at the 2010 March Meet.
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"Lake of the Isles" is the rebuild of a 1948 Kasiner 'junker' found on E-bay for $10. The Kasiner kit was based on "Empire Builder" diners built by ACF for the Great Northern in 1948.
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Another car in the shop gets decal work later today. I was given a partly-done Walthers heavy-weight, 4 compartment / lounge / observation a few years ago. Not the best build, but it will become PRR's "Federal Hall." It was one of the last Pullman observations of its type in use just after WW II. Photo later, if all goes well!

Ed Bommer

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