M&K Sugar Mill -- An Industry for the Triple O

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, September 20, 2020 8:31 AM

Eric, 

 it is really taking shape! Re using the cans is really cool, too!

 Also, just wanted to say that your photo in GR really looks fantastic!

Congrats on that as well! 
Paul

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, September 21, 2020 7:03 PM

Paul,

 

Thanks on both accounts, the photo and the progress.  As I said elsewhere, the former was suprise and an honor!

 

The latter continues at the pace of my patience with the process of makig siding... Anneal, scribe, cut, crimp, paint, repeat... For sanity's sake - and because I can only spray about 12 cans worth of panels in the lee of our coconut tree at at time, I twidgeted away on one of the loading sheds nominal details, the drawbridge that runs from the mill, crossed the track, and allows the sacks of refined sugar and workers to cross over to the loading dock. 

 

     I made a frame of scraps from some project (mine or my father-in-law's, no idea) and bored some holes into it to serve as rotation point.  I had a piece of metal rod left over from my failed attempt to use a robotics motor to power a locomotive, and Kid-zilla and I tapped it into place.  Hey, at least it is still being used as an axle!  Affixing the door to the axle was a problem.  My original plan to use cotter pins and jewelry links proved twidgety, fragile, and visually obtrusive, so I just used thin wire to wrap around the axel, through a small hole in the brinde, and back under the door, taking advantage of low light and distance from the wire to "hide" it in plain sight.

 

     On the top of the frame, we tapped two holes and put 3mm grommets in them.  Then we ran lengths of jewelry chain through the grommets, wiring them to the bridge as we did the axle on the lower portion.  We stuck picture hanging nails through the chains on the backside to hold them in place, the glued the whole assembly to the mill.

 

   The faux draw bridge is below:

This is taken from about 5' closer than any viewers will ever get. There are a few more details to go in this area.  The first is the approach to the "pit" where the conveyor would be.  If I had a longer run of track, I'd make a small  rise.  Episodic bouts of poor MOW practices have led to the conclusion that tight turns, tight spaces, and short runs do not favor grades!  I think I'll make the approach to the "conveyor" concrete, probably using stucco to be consistent with the rest of the mill, and place timbers across the conveyor area's lip along with a few stringers underneath them and possibly alongside.  This should still meet the goal of implying some sort of depression under the tracks.  The other detail is a simulated door to the loading dock, which, as mentioned, will be made from scribed styrene and match one on the other side.  Hopefully, the hobby shop survived the latest shutdown.  

 

     Meanwhile, I located a 4' length of PVC, shown below alongside a ruler and the mill:

It needs to be tall,  but there is a point where realistic looks ridiculous, too.  At 6" above the mill roof's peak, I think it will look tall enough to be impressive without becoming a PVC Sears Towe looming over the "mountains" behind it.  Still weighing that, though...

 

 

   Before closing this update, a few thoughts on the annealed beverage can process:

 

  1. Not all cans are  equal.  Some companies make thinner cans, apparently, and they are much, much easier to work with, requiring only one run through the crimper.  
  2. It stinks.  The whole house smells like hot metal for about 3 hours.   Anneal at your own risk!

 

Updates to follow as required (anneal, scribe, cut, crimp, paint, repeat...)!

 

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, September 21, 2020 7:04 PM

York1

Eric, nice work.  I've been following your progress.  Thanks for posting the photos.

 

York1,

 

Thank you, and you're welcome!

 

Eric

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Monday, September 21, 2020 9:58 PM

Eric, 

  This is very educational, for me at least! I'm learning a lot about the interior workings of the mills. I'm glad you included the shot of the ramp, I was having difficulty visualizing it, but now I see it very clearly!

I have seen mills from the outside, and at some distance. That's a great model in that it shows what is going on inside! This is the purpose of many great museum models, to teach. 

 Great progress!

Paul

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Monday, September 21, 2020 10:04 PM

Eric,

also, I wanted to ask about " annealing" the cans. Let me clarify: is this similar to how tank car shells are rolled, and then heated to remove all stresses? To keep them from springing back to their original form? You would be doing this to keep the panels flat?

Just curious....

Paul

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 4:51 PM

Paul,

 

Thanks again.  I've learened a lot about local history through this project.  Sugar was to the Kingdom / Territory / State of Hawaii what steel was to Pittsburgh in or cars to Detroit in every sense - political, social, economic, political.  It also cast a long shadow as the mills went silent.

 

From a modeling perspective, beyond techniques, this has been a learning process in selective compression, selective detailing, and selective adaptation.  That drawbridge, for instance, has no prototype of which I am aware.  It is necessary to complete the work flow, however in the chosen location.  The location, of course, would be an unlikley spot for a mill, but constraints fo the garden forced the choice.  The footprint of the mill is too small for the style that dominated the industry for the heyday of high cane and high iron, but the smaller mills were only served by estate railways and, because no one alive today remembers them and they exist only as ruins, would not be evocative of Hawaii's sugar history.

 

As for annealing, yes, this is to make it more pliable by heating.  In an earlier project, we accomplished the same things by wailing on the material with mallets.  This workd for the project in question, but we are noticing some of the material starting to curl.  It also proved less malleable during the crimping phase.  

 

Eric

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 6:48 PM

O.k., thanks!

Great technique, it could come in handy in the future.

Paul

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 10:21 PM

Pual,

 

Happy to share!  Wish I could take credit for inventing it! Still, it is tedious, and if I ever take on a large commercial structure like this again, I think I'll splurge on commercial, pre-ribbed styrene!  By the way, here , is what 100 beverage cans look like after being rendered to 4"x2.5" simulated corrugated metal siding:

Sadly, even by using the annealed, uncrimped scraps to the left, this probably not enough material  It is, however, enough material to move forward.  Spraying the siding in the lee of the coconut tree proved wasteful.  I think (pray?) I can spray the cans after they have been affixed to the foam core, but I am not sure I am willing to take the risk.  Anyway, there is enough material on hand now to continue the process of turning foam into 1:24 scale mill.  I should be able to turn-to on that tomorrow.

 

    I did spread stucco up to the dark strip that simulates the conveyor's pit.  This will let me build a shorter "bridge" over the pit itself with material on hand,  Maybe it will also enhance the impression there is a "pit" in there.  I'll size it to fit between the ties of the 12" straight tracks to hold it in place while giving it enough room to wiggle a bit laterally.  I can add some walkways on either side, too.  I am also reconsidering how best to cover the outside of the shed in the event styrene may not be available locally.  I may go back  to craftsticks, but, regardless of glue, I have found these tend to pull away from core material over time.

 

Progres...slow....but progress!

 

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, September 24, 2020 6:46 PM

Update:

I started off lightly with the future smoke stack.  Based on a suggestion from a cane railroad enthusiast in Australia, I cut my PVC "stack" to about 6" above the mill's peak.  Local  prototypes came in dark, light, and dark-and-light.  I think I am going to go with "spray can primer black" to make it stand out from the mill!  All had some sort of lip near the top I will have to emulate, too.

 

I then proceeded applying siding to the mill .  The same gentleman tipped me off to "DAP 3.0" as an adhesive.  It is foam safe, tacky enough to adhere on contact, and slow drying enough to allow for adjustments.  I needed a lot of those!

 

I decided to start with the mill's backside to allow for experimentation and mistakes.  I first marked up some basic dimensions to begin estimating the number of panels, each of which is about 4"x2.5":  

I then began experimenting with placement.  I knew there were variances in width and length of my panels, so I figured I had to leave room for overlap and screen for "too skinny" pieces, saving them for other areas near the edge.  I found that the crimping crunched the width about 1/8", so I made marks every 2 1/8".  This proved to allow for overlap and the occasional "skinny" panel.  I also dressed the edges to their tops  using a straight edge.  I found it was easier to layer glue on the foam and press panels in place than to put glue on the panels and then press them to the core.  The results are below:

Residual curl in the panels meant some did not adhere.  I am not sure if I should let this be and call it "character" or try to fix it with CA glue later.  The bond would be panel-to-panel, so there would be minimal threat to the foam underneath.  These gaps, though, are enough cause for concern to disabuse me of spray painting panels on the foam!  I have lots of annealed scrap waiting to be trimmed, crimped, and painted to cover that remaining strip of foam along the top.

 

There was only minimal overhang, and, by shear dumb luck, the placement of the panels corresponds to the sill of the windows!  See below:

Incidentally, the PLAYMOBIL crew was doing MOW work.  TONKA-Dude stepped in.

 

I'll let all this dry overnight before proceeding with the paneling.  Have I mentioned this paneling is tedius?   I'll use the technique again, but probably not on a project of this size!

 

 

Updates and progress dictates!

 

Eric

 

 

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Thursday, September 24, 2020 10:02 PM

Eric, 

coming along nicely!

Reminds me of 2 scratchbuilt projects years back...my 1:20 caboose, and a freight shed/ brachline station. On both of these, I had a sub structure of 1/8 inch , and 1/4 inch plywood, covered with a skin of coffee stirrers from Smart and Final. I had to do small sections at a time, maybe 2x2 or 3x3, and would glue the stirrers, and clamp a flat piece of scrap material to hold the stirrers flat until the glue dried.It was time consuming, but worked out O.K. 
Carry on, great job!

Paul

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, September 27, 2020 10:40 PM

Paul,

Thanks.  The problem I am having is twofold.  First, the mill is just BIG, and I scrambling to find things to hold the metal in place.  Second, I mounted the mill on an oversized piece of backerboard.  I am not sure I can stand the mill "on end" to lay a flat, heavy object on the panels.  I experimented near the apex of the roof today by robber banding a piece of scrap wood over the panels, and that seemed to work.  I also tried taping panels down, but that failed.  This week, I'll see if I've the rigth combination of bungee chords.

 

Have a great week!

 

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 2:58 AM

Progress limps along...

I puttered about last week trying different ways to get panels to lie flat.  Taking another's suggestion\, I used bungee cords (no clamps big enough!) over large flat bits of foam to hold everything in place while the glue dried. At least it stuck, but now with even more glue appearing on the visible side of panels. Super Angry Over the weekend, on a whim, I drove flat head pins into recalcitrant corners and edges.  For grins, I dipped the pins in TiteBond III in hopes it would help bind them to the foam.

Pretty? No.  Secure?  Yes.  At the limit of acceptability?  Barely... That really uneven row along the top will be out of sight, luckily.  I am finding the edges of the foam are just rounded enough to prevent a tight bond. 

Were I to do this again:

  1. I would glue the metal panels onto a plastic backing and stick that to the foam.  That way, I could've gluied anels to each side, put something over it, and weighted it down, fixing the backing to the foam core instead of individual panels
  2. Also, the panel manufacturing is just irregular enough I would have scribed the backng surface with lines 1/4" narrower and 1/4" shorter than the pieces I cut to accommodate for errors. I was able to stretch a few panels accordion style to keep a nominal vertical alignment, but the extra slop would've ensured I could overlap and/or trim to account for error.

I am hoping washes of dark earth colors and rust will got a long way to making these imperfections look like repairs with material on hand in the 1:24 world rather than crummy construction processes in the 1:1 world!  Distance from viewer can only hide so much.

Speaking of paint, my 1:24 helpers below show what primer will do to foam:

Two things to note:

  1. That would've made impressive simulated concrete!
  2. The panels would probably provide sufficient protection for the foam core had I affixed them before painting, especially if I had ensured they all overlapped.

Other items:

  1. I drove past the stack of an old mill in Waipahu last weekend (the mill is gone).  Straight.  No lip.  No platform.  Nothing!  Guess what I modeling our stack after?  Ours will be solid black, however.
  2. I may revert to popsicle sticks for the loader area rather than scribed styrene.  Sort of reverting to my comfort zone with that, but, given no one who is not PLAYMOBIL comes to help me anymore when I work on the mill, I am thinking it may be time to emphasize progress over experimentation.  Hemming and hawing to follow.

 

The program lurches forward!

 

Hope everyone's week is off to a good start!

 

Eric

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 6:03 PM

Eric,

looking fantastic! It's always a learning experience with new materials, but seems to be working out! 

Paul

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, October 18, 2020 7:23 PM

Paul,

A belated "thanks!"  

 

      Progress continued in fits and starts over the last two weeks.   I realized since my last update I had to get that loader shed done before I could finish paneling the mill.  Metal panels overlapping the wooden shed...OK.  Planks overlapping the metal panels?  Not so sure...  There were also issues of how everything needs to come together as I start to seal up the loader shed, such as the interior door to the loading dock and lighting.  Since the last update, I've been cutting popsicle sticks into scale(ish) 8' board lengths and sticking them to the foam with TiteBond III:

There have been some issues on the peaks of the shed where things are "creatively vertical" (a.k.a. skewed), so the occasional shim piece has come out of the box-o-scraps.

   

    The sheet of wood peaking out over the top will be the base of the door.  I'll glue it right to the wooden planking, again taking advantage of the distance from viewer to hide the detail of the fact the door is applied to and not cut through the wall.  A simplified version will go on the inside.  After that, I need to apply some LEDs to the underside of the loader roof, affix the roof, and return to the desultory task of applying the metal sheets to the remaining exposed faces of the mill.

 

     As an aside, I know the original plan of simulated wood siding using styrene would have looked better, given that's how I made the loading dock.  Switching to popsicle sticks brought much needed momentum to the project.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming, and the mill has to be off the lanai before then, even if some details like outbuildings are note done.  Also, I am starting to get the itch to move on to some new projects, which I cannot do with the mill sitting on the lanai!

 

     Somewhere in that time period, I also made the small "bridge" over the simulated conveyor pit:

Workers would push / rake cane onto the conveyor from walkways.  This "bridge" is overkill, but it does help to define the "pit."  There is a degree of slop to all me to jostle everything into position out on the Triple O.  Washes and weathering followed with an eye towards making a light-dark contrast to further the illusion of a "pit."  It actually works to sufficient degree as is.  Trust me!

      

Back to cutting and gluing those popsicle sticks!  I hope to have that done by the end of this week.

 

Aloha,

Eric

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Monday, October 19, 2020 10:36 PM

Eric, 

it's coming along great! The popsicle sticks bring back memories of a somewhat similar project, which was tedious, but produced a respectable result( at least to me, that is). I can not post photos at the moment, but go back to my thread " Paul's Scrapbook" from March.

Frame three is a scratchbuilt caboose that was:

1.  1:20.3

2. Based on Nevada County Narrow Gauge's only caboose, the homemade #2.

3. Artistic license was inspired by articles in GR in 2003 of the "Martin Lines". If you are not familiar, it was an early garden railroader who scratchbuilt trains and track largely from junk and scrap. I loved the rough look. It was very liberating, and decidedly un scale. This inspired me for years!

 My coffee stirrers were applied to a 1/8 " plywood substructure, which I laid a sheet of wax paper over and clamped until the glue dried. Not perfect, but I'm happy with it!
You're doing great!

You've got the Hawaiian theme, and it looks fantastic! The sugar mill will anchor the scene!

Paul

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 10:38 PM

Paul,

Mahalo (thanks)!  Your caboose is incredible.  If this project has taught me anything, it is that consideration must be made to put siding on the core first, if practical.

 

On a more general note, part of the engineering challenge I enjoy is overcoming the difficulties of space and distance.  I  had to accept I don't have the space to have or even build towards a full woodshop, for instance, which has shaped my approach to project and material selection.  Distance from anything that makes model railroad equipment has also informed what I attempt. That 75 cent part is a whole lot more expensive when combined with flat rate box!  Benjamin Dillingham, founder of the OR&L, had the same problems in 1:1 scale, so I am in good company! 

 

Craftsticks are cheap, versatile, available, and relatively scale in our 1:24-ish PLAYMOBIL world.  To  date, they have held up well to our challenging climate as well.  They are not always uniform and sometimes warped, which can present challenges if I am not careful.   I have a saber saw, but I would have to commit some serious time to try and rip scale boards with it, time better spent with TiteBond III and crafsticks for the moment!

 

Bill finally got me off my 'okole (you can translate!) and actually doing by evaluating what I had on hand and not worrying about what I lacked.  Another "pen pal" encouraged me to let go specific scale for the moment and concentrate on making it look "right" in my world.    I've been around this forum and LSC long enough to see more than one project founder on analysis paralysis, and the above pushes have prevent the same here!

 

Anyway, I have some craftsicks to cut and glue before i lose the light!

 

Aloha,

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 2:04 AM

Progress has lurched along...

 

     First, though, thansk for letting me wax philosophical in my last post!  I guess I needed it!  Now on to the project.

     I got to the point it was time to button up the loader shed.  Before that, on a tip form Bill, I ran copper tape along the underside of the sub-roof, soldered LEDs to it, and tinted them yellow using and alcohol based marker.  For the mill itself, I converted scrap wood my father-in-law leaves for the crew and I to reengineer into stuff into a nice beam to support lights in the mill.  Again, copper tape served as the conducter.  Leads run from both light strips to a 3V battery clip that sits in a holder in the loader shed. And the results...

  

...unfortunately amplified the errors I made cutting and  placing the peak.   I will make a simple set of eaves to block some of the light leak by.  I may have to hang a "curtain" to the inside of the roof to hid the rest.  I'll have to get this thing out to its final location to see how annoying the light leak is!  While not incorrectable, it really drove home some of the extra caution needed to scale up the techniques I chose to make this project.

   Before other duties called, I finished planking in the loader shed and metaling over most of the front of the mill:

 

By jove, it looks more done than not!  The beams extending from the roofline will get vertical supports and metal roofing.   Rain and sugar do not mix well, even simulated in 1:24-ish PLAYMOBIL scale!  I still need to craft the "fake" door, but all materials are on hand.  Hopefully, I can turn-to on that this weekend.  I am not sure if I have the aluminum to go  the distance when I start metaling over the roof.  I will have to stock the fridge with appropriate raw materials.

 

I am starting to look towards how to finish this.   The wood will get a coat of TiteBond III to seal it.  Then I have to think about weathering.  Colored prints show the light colors for the metal siding, with relatively heavy rusting to a near red-brown in the "valleys" of the roof and lighter rusting on vertical surfaces.  I am not sure I should use a latex wash or successive coats of spray paint, using a cloth in either case to wipe off the raised ridges of the metal.  The wood will get a variety of earth tones, with some black smudges as appropriate where the trains passed through the shed.

 

I have to get this in place at Pu'u'oma'o (Green Hill) by Thanksgiving.   I feel a few days of "iron horse 'flu" coming on if that deadline comes to quickly...

 

- Eric

 

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Posted by chocho willy on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 8:11 AM

Eric, it is really looking great very industrial looking

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, October 29, 2020 1:40 AM
Yay! I at least got that right on the first go! Thanks, Bill, for the compliment!
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 10:22 PM

Update:

 

I must be getting somewhere, as I am starting to get help again on this project.  My youngerst (aka Kid-zilla) helped me make the frames for the dock's roof, spray paint the underside of some metal, and glued little braces into place on the framing:

Kid-zilla also helped to place a rail above the door, make some rollers from 3mm grommets, and paint some metal scraps I later bent into hangers.

 

  Oldest Son got into the act later and helped me place some scrap craftstick to represent door handles, using the handily available Sugar Cane Ninja to place them at the right height:

I considered but bandoned the idea of using staples for a door handle as I simply couldn't get my fingers back there.  Putting in the frames made that door hard to reach!  Anyway, the Sugar Cane Ninja will let you see our whole door up close:

You can just make out the rollers on the top.  Again, this was a detail that I thought was needed for those just curious enough to look under the roof.  

 

    After that, I smeared  TiteBond III over all the wood to waterproof it (an idea I got from another hobbyist).  It'll get a second coat tomorrow.  With naught else to do, I actually cleared tools, craftsticks, clamps, etc. from the lanai!  Another sure sign of progress!  Only metal work materials and TiteBond III remain in the work area.  The project as it currently stands looks like this:

Only the roof remains before I can weather and place it!  Speaking of which, colored prints show roofs rusted nearly read and sides less so.  I am thinking a heavy wash with acrylics with a good wipedown or the raised ridges.  I rejected spray paints out of an abundance of caution for the foam core.

 

Updates as progress dictates!

 

Eric

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 8:08 PM

Eric, those doors are a really neat detail! This is looking fantastic!

Paul

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Posted by York1 on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 8:52 PM

Very nice work, Eric.  Thanks for the photos.

York1 John       

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 10:22 PM
Thanks, gents! I plan to weather the walls more heavily than the doors to make them stand out a bit. Detail is a funny thing, because at some point we are doing it just to please ourselves as the builder. I really had to think what was "for me," what was for the casual viewer, and what would survive the reality of being outside in the tropics! - Eric
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, November 9, 2020 1:43 AM

Mixed progress this weekend as I again struggled with adhesive selection.  All I had to do was glue metal to plastic.  The gutter flashing simply would not set, and things were peeling off, so I grabbed E6000, walked away, and, 24 hours later, found that most of the little metal sheets had wandered.  I grabbed my contact cement to tack things down, only to find that my attempt to use a weight to hold metal in place had caused the roof to sag.  I jostled it all together, made a metal seam piece, and got things fairly well glued down on the loader area.  There will be some glue to rub off when everything does sit!  Kid-zilla inspects the work below:

I attacked the other side of the roof with E6000, walked away, and saw things had wandered again!  Then it struck me.  As the glue dried, it contracted, and consequently buckled things out of position:

Back to the hardware store for contact cement to fix this. 

To finish this off, I'll use some scrap metal (of which I now have a lifetime supply) to cap the roof.  The plan for the stack area is to cut quarter circles from four plates and glue them in place.  This weekend's setbacks precluded making the styrene trim for the sides.   The whole thing is going to  look more warped and worn than I wanted...

If I am brutally honest, this would be a "failure" if it were going to be any closer to the viewing area than it will be.  I think if I rust the bejeezus out of those roof panels, it might still be OK.

 

At this point, I decided to actually run trains, after I cleaned, sorted, and stowed around my work area.  Someone, however, did not get the message I wanted to watch trains chase their tails as I sipped a beverage.   "Bubbles" ended up in a gondola:

...where she apparently relaxed more than I did: Video - Bubbles Rides the Rails.  At any rate, she seemed to enjoy her experience much more than our new chickens, appropriately named "Annie" and "Clarabelle":  Video - Chicken Run Hawaiian Style.

 

You need evenings like this to make hiccups in projects worthwhile!

 

Have a Great Week!  

 

Eric

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Monday, November 9, 2020 5:45 PM

Eric, enjoyed the videos! Mill looking great, and very imposing size-wise. Like the look of the corrugated tin roof, looks pretty authentic to my eye!

Good job!

Paul

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, November 15, 2020 11:44 PM

Postwar Paul

Eric, enjoyed the videos! Mill looking great, and very imposing size-wise. Like the look of the corrugated tin roof, looks pretty authentic to my eye!

Good job!

Paul

 

 

Paul, a belated "Mahalo (Thank you!)!"  I know I am being a bit overly critical with myself.  Trying to get the metal to adhere has been a real issue, and everytime I addressed it, I saw another flaw. The closer  I got to "finished," the more I was seeing a collection of mistakes instead of a coalescing whole.  I decided I needed to take on a new approach, and on Saturday we placed the mill on the railroad to really get a sense of how it will look.  I also cleared the lanai to make taking it back even more difficult.  Like in theater, there comes a time you just have to do the full run through and see what you have.

 

    We began by masking off the windows and dock to allow for a second coat of paint on the metal.  The boys joined me with surface preparation, helping me pick and scrub off all the glue runs and blobs then took turns applying gray primer:

  

 

 

   After letting that  dry, it was time to prep the location in Pu'u'oma'o:

The two buildings in the back (gifts from my very handy and creative father-in-law) had to move.  We also had to scrape and level the ground to ensure the mill would sit evenly:

This step took quite a bit of trial and error, as the tracks had to fit just right to allow a cane train to pass through the loader or a locomotive to spot a box-car at the loading dock.  Komaka Iki (Little Thomas), our LGB m2075/m2020 hybrid, ground out his gears, and I didn't want to  hook up track power while we were fiddling with things.  Luckily, we have anothr much - and deservedly - maligned battery powered LGB m2075 Christmas Thomas (a missile sponge awaiting full rehabilitation) that worked as a stand-in:

After this, we reconnected all the track.  Naturally, move one track, move half the loop.  Much jiggling and repositioning occurred over about 1/5 of the railroad to get the tracks to reconnect and the electrons to  flow.

 

 

     Our new supervisor, Opal, looked on:

Opal, a rescue pup, joined us on Wednesday.  I wanted to name here Ho'omaluhia (roughly Together Peace, in honor of Armistice day) or Kolonahe (Gentle Breeze, to reflect her temperament).  I lost.  We all, however, gained.

 

 

     Back to the project at hand, I leave with the three primary viewing angles:

  1. From the lanai...
  2. From the grill area...
  3. From the Valley of the Nap...  Note, if you are actually engaging in a nap, all you can see and hear are trains rumbling over the bridges.  This absolutely augments the value of the nap.

 

    The plan now is to weather the mill in place and add details as we go.  It needs a ramp to the loading dock, stairs to that door, maybe a big "M&K Sugar" on the stack (not really a Hawaii thing, but it would be cool!), a water tower behind it, etc.  I also need to make an outbuilding with a switch to allow us to turn the loader track on and off the same way we can power the loading dock track on and off.  Looking further along, I want to really industrialize this area with engine service items for fuel, water, and sand.  Those, of course, will be separate projects!

 

     I'll update this thread as I weather this thing. I intend by and large for nature to take its course, but I've observed that aluminum roof panels give nature a run for its money, so I am going to help the metal along a bit.  I gave the whole mill a dark wash of black today before putting power to the rails, relieving the 'fridge of something it was cooling, and admiring our work.  I am still trying to figure out how I want to "rust" those metal panels, especially the roof.  Once that weathering is complete, I'll consider this thread pau (finished), although the mill and the surrounding area will, in all reality, never be done.

 

Aloha,

Eric

 

  • Member since
    November 2011
  • 1,951 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, November 22, 2020 1:48 PM

Eric, 

sorry, somehow I missed this post. Your mill came out great! You must feel quite proud. Glad to see it on the layout!

Paul

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Great Plains
  • 2,402 posts
Posted by York1 on Sunday, November 22, 2020 2:37 PM

I loved the videos, especially the comments about the chickens.

Great looking layout.

York1 John       

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 729 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, November 22, 2020 8:31 PM

Gents,

 

Thanks to you both for your kind compliments!  

 

FYI, I did apply that wash a week or so ago.  Below are the results:

After a few rainy days, I did try to add some rust.   On the picture below, you can see where I tried to dry-brush on some rust-colored paint.  After that, I painted a scrap piece of siding a rust color and then wiped away the excess.  I did not try a rust wash, as, after discussing the idea with Bill, I assumed that would just puddle up at the base of the panels:

From a normal viewing height, it all looks like this:

You can see the test panel and the dry-brushed panel to the lower right.  I am not sure either conveys a sense of some rust in the channels of the panels.  I did some Google-sleuthing, and colored prints of the era when sugar was king do not show a lot of rust, but these were effectively hand-painted advertisements for period postcards, and no company would've authorized something that would've made them look bad!  On the other hand, contemporary colored photos show an industry in its death throes, when maintenance might've given way to surviving until the next harvest.  Both colored and black-and-white prints and photos show that while the roofs were generally a different color or at least a different shade during King Sugar's reign, this was not universal, and I found little evidence of one really nasty panel amidst obviously well kept facilities.

 

In the "Grand Do-Over," I think I would've started with a red-brown primer on the roof, applied the same towards the tops of the walls, then done the washes and dry-brushed.  As it stands, I think that would do more harm than good, and I am probably going to go with CINCHOUSE's suggestion of dirtying up the area and side near the stack (by dumb luck, both on the actual leeward side!).  Then, I am going to just let this sit for a bit as I finish fitting into place and see what the elements do to it.

 

Speaking of fitting it into place, my youngest crewman found out the hard way that the loader shed will not accomodated his HLW work caboose!  Cane cars and field cars only on that track!  More testing and shimming to come as part of my long  term sneaky plan to add some basic operations to the Triple O.

 

We celebrate the holidays from Thanksgiving to Epiphany on or lanai, so I have to break down the work area. Barring a fit of inspiration, the mill project and this thread will go on hold.  This will finally force me to turn-to on deferred bridge repairs and MOW, and it will let me work out the bugs of the tight curves and approaches surrounding the mill before I commit to outbuildings and the like.  I'll either reopen the thread or start a new one based upon the next phase of the industrialization of Pu'u'oma'ao.  I have already committed to the "Rehabilitation of the Missile Sponges" (toy-to-model conversions of three locomotives that bore the brunt of little hands and high enthusiasm) as our main effort for 2021, so we shall see!

 

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving to All!

 

Eric

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2011
  • 1,951 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, November 22, 2020 11:04 PM

Eric, 

it looks wonderful with the gray primer and black wash. I think this looks quite natural.

My personal take on weathering is this: natural weathering. Out in the sun, fading will occur, dust and dirt will land, and whatever else occurs due to exposure. I have weathered 2 locomotives with paint, but generally I believe things will take care of themselves....

Paul

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