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Modified Walthers buildings

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Posted by ndbprr on Thursday, March 4, 2021 6:05 PM

I just tried using drywall compound with some modifications and am very pleased. I used to use water soluble white paint and a wet finger to get it into the mortar lines. This time I put a dab of drywall compound on the building wall and used a wet finger to dilute and spread it. A little goes a long way.  Clean up was easy with a paper towel that I touched to the tip my my tongue for moisture. Worked great and no dust. Used a new area each time I had to wet the towell.  I also tapered a 1/4" Dowell in my electric pencil sharpener which gave me a point to use around raised edges mostly I used the side of the point but could easily dig out the little pieces in the corners without damage to the paint. Very easy and pleased with the results.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, February 26, 2021 9:31 PM

i look for structures with large windows because they let me build interiors.  Here is a Walters Merchants Row, almost ready:

I spent a lot of time one masking and rattle-can painting, and then more time building an interior with computer printed images.

Another milling plant, renamed and with a bit of adornment, like cutting out the loading dock door and making a small shadow-box:

The opposite side of the building with the other side wall becomes another background building opposite on my layout:

Walthers foray into modular structure components generated the tanning factory.  It was pretty much built as designed, because the the foundations and roofing dictated that:

I added thin brick walls to the inside of the roof parapets, and used Rustoleum Specked Texture paint for the roofs.  The roofs got some additional details.  I put some minimal details and lighting inside the buildings.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by ndbprr on Friday, February 26, 2021 8:53 PM

Are they absurd because the are too big or because we accept and have a thats the way we have always done it mentality?

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Posted by NittanyLion on Friday, February 26, 2021 7:02 PM

ndbprr

Selective compression is a given BUT it would be nice to have buildings that dwarf the trains to be the most obtainable compromise. Walthers steel mill buildings drive me nuts having spent 50 years in the industry. They are a joke.  I realize they need to call a building something but they are drastically undersized as are everyone else's buildings. Calling a 3 story building the Sears Tower is a gross understatement and not realistic.

 

On the other hand, true to scale sometimes looks odd. Most of our trees should be as big as soccer balls and basket balls, but they'd look absurd on our layouts. 

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, February 26, 2021 6:49 PM

ndbprr

My first effort will involve 2 hardwood furniture buildings.  I have an 18" block buttress wall 90degrees to the outside wall

 I intend to put mirrors on either side and wrap the base and end with the hardwood buildings hopefully making the butress wall disappear..  either side will have the name of a different company and separate sidings. 

Sounds cool. Looking forward to photos.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by ndbprr on Friday, February 26, 2021 6:46 PM

My first effort will involve 2 hardwood furniture buildings.  I have an 18" block buttress wall 90degrees to the outside wall

 I intend to put mirrors on either side and wrap the base and end with the hardwood buildings hopefully making the butress wall disappear..  either side will have the name of a different company and separate sidings.

 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, February 26, 2021 4:03 PM

dknelson
This ability to mentally imagine the "hidden" structures within a kit or within a collection of kits is a genuine skill.  Like any skill it needs practice. 

I think Dave said pretty well.

Not knowing what kits you have, we are all anxious to see what you come up with.

I must have missed the part about the Sears Tower

Mike.

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Posted by ndbprr on Friday, February 26, 2021 3:38 PM

Selective compression is a given BUT it would be nice to have buildings that dwarf the trains to be the most obtainable compromise. Walthers steel mill buildings drive me nuts having spent 50 years in the industry. They are a joke.  I realize they need to call a building something but they are drastically undersized as are everyone else's buildings. Calling a 3 story building the Sears Tower is a gross understatement and not realistic.

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Posted by KitbashOn30 on Friday, February 26, 2021 2:26 PM

NittanyLion
It is 1535 feet long.   That's the only surviving part of the PRR freight house complex in downtown Pittsburgh.

Hey, my ballpark estimate based on Google Maps little scale at lower right of screen was pretty good!

Sounds like quite a complex. Wonder how many thousands of tons of freight went through there back in the day. Wonder how many people worked there or in connection with it in its heyday.

The PRR fruit building especially caught my attention since I had just finished reading once again Kalmbach's little book about the citrus and produce industries and the railroads.

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Posted by NittanyLion on Friday, February 26, 2021 1:58 PM

It is 1535 feet long.  

That's the only surviving part of the PRR freight house complex in downtown Pittsburgh.  The freight house was on 11th Street and was about 800 feet long with 8 tracks.  The storage tracks and open air platforms ran from 13th St to 21st St between the Fruit Auction and the Allegheny.  All parking lots now.

In HO scale, it would have been about 42 feet long.

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Posted by KitbashOn30 on Friday, February 26, 2021 11:57 AM

NittanyLion
This one down a couple doors down https://goo.gl/maps/5PdtYoDrD8MDx3su5 is a dead ringer for the City Classics Smallman Street Warehouse modulars (probably not a coincidence.  It is on Smallman Street...).

Man, that PRR fruit auction hall across the street from other side, north side, of Smallman has gotta be around 1500 feet, 450m, long! Surprise

Would make about a 17ft, 5m, model without engaging selective compression.

 

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, February 26, 2021 11:19 AM

richhotrain
   
ndbprr

I don't want to build these kits and have cookie cutter versions of what everyone else has.  It would be nice if Walthers had an  add on set of castings that allow easy extension of the walls between the same kits allowing easy building of more realistic structures. 

 

 

I don't think that is going to happen. Which Walthers building kits do you have? Why not just buy two of the same building and kitbash them into larger, perhaps more irregularly shaped, structures?

Rich

 
There have been kits over the years designed with alterations and modifications in mind, even coming with sprues of spare parts.  Ullrich, Model Die Casting, and Life-Like had some (Life-Like's Mt Vernon Manufacturing being the most famous perhaps). 
 
Walthers for a time did do what you seek: they had an extensive series of "modular" components but they also sold a number of structure kits that were themselves made up of the modular components and could be assembled in a variety of different ways, or added on to, or selectively compressed, and were designed to do all those things.  And Walthers sold (and still does sell I think) separate packages of roof details, fire escapes, etc.  
 
Tony Koester's book on kitbashing for Kalmbach mostly uses Walthers kits as raw material and he shows photos of many excellent examples, although any given posting by Dr Wayne shows stuff frankly better built and more imaginative. 
 
The late Art Curren's kitbashing book, now out of print, used lower end kits from Life Like, Revell, Bachmann, Atlas, Con-Cor, Tyco, AHM and Model Power.  It is still a great source of ideas - one of which is to take the kit parts, make Xerox copies of them, try out different ideas, even tape up a stand-in structure that will tell you where to make the cuts.  The biggest message in both the Curren and Koester books is to train your mind to see potential in a kit that has nothing to do with the name on the box, the pretty picture(s) on the box, or the instruction sheet. 
 
Curren also showed how to "practice" kitbashing by copying the photos of the assembled kit from the box it came it, one example being an AHM farm house and school house combined into something unrecogizable UNTIL you see how he does it and where the parts came from. 
 
This ability to mentally imagine the "hidden" structures within a kit or within a collection of kits is a genuine skill.  Like any skill it needs practice. 
 
Dave Nelson 
 
 
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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, February 25, 2021 9:56 PM

I believe that this was originally the Otis Elevator Company, in Hamilton, Ontario...

...during WWII, they built Bofors guns for the war effort.  Later, Studebaker Canada built cars here, including the last ones ever produced.

Not too far away, to the west, was American Can, a decent candidate for the Atlas Middlesex Manufacturing kit...

East of Otis was the Imperial Cotton Mill...

It's been sub-divided into rental units for small businesses, including artists, and film-makers....

I'm not sure, but I believe that this was one of several Westinghouse plants within the city...

This is the head office building for Westinghouse in Hamilton, and it's currently undergong extensive interior renovations...

This is part of Westinghouse, too, but in the west end of Hamilton...

...and I believe that this was the steam plant for complex...

This plant alone covered 50 acres, and while many of the buildings are now gone, several of the newer ones still remaining are part of a new "Innovation Centre", promoting new industries.
There was another Westinghouse plant in the city's far east end, making air brake systems.

This one, in nearby Brantford, another large complex of over 30 acres, was the Cockshutt Plow Company, which employed about 6,000 people...

During WWII, the plant built landing gear for the Avro Lancaster  bombers (which were built in Malton, now part of Toronto) and wooden bodies and wings for both the Anson trainer and for de Haviland's Mosquito fight/bomber, aka the "Wooden Wonder" or Mossie.

I think that most of the plant is gone by now, but I believe the main office, shown below, has been saved and, perhaps, re-purposed...

I've always been a fan of older industrial buildings, but most of them are so big that it's difficult to show them in their entirety and most of us would be hard-pressed to model them in their entirety, too.

Wayne

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Posted by NittanyLion on Thursday, February 25, 2021 7:53 PM

IDRick
Any idea when these buildings would been in operation?

I don't know when they were built, but they definitely existed in the 1920s.  The tracks were pulled up in the late 60s, I believe.  They've been occupied until very recently, like the last two years.  I suspect that they are being renovated right now, presuambly for apartments.

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Posted by IDRick on Thursday, February 25, 2021 4:03 PM

Nittany, thanks for posting pictures of real warehouses to compare against DPM and City Classics!  Any idea when these buildings would been in operation? 

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Posted by NittanyLion on Thursday, February 25, 2021 3:48 PM

richhotrain

My objection to them is that they appear too large for HO scale, especially if they are situated close to other Walthers buildings on the layout.

Conversely, I find the opposite in buildings I've used as reference.

This building https://goo.gl/maps/hMe9HHfcnfmouHKeA is roughly the same size between the pilasters as DPM modulars. 

This one down a couple doors down https://goo.gl/maps/5PdtYoDrD8MDx3su5 is a dead ringer for the City Classics Smallman Street Warehouse modulars (probably not a coincidence.  It is on Smallman Street...).

This one a few blocks away https://goo.gl/maps/dJXFzRLo8gCrctkM6 is sized more like Walthers modulars, but without pilasters.

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Posted by IDRick on Thursday, February 25, 2021 3:15 PM

Wow, nice work on the kit bashes!  thanks for posting!

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, February 25, 2021 12:43 PM

You can buy them through Walthers, like many other products, but DPM is now owned by Woodland Scenics.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, February 25, 2021 11:16 AM

The DPM modular walls are among my favourites, but I wish they were a little more affordable. 

I'm also a fan of DPM's smaller structure kits, and have several on my layout...

...along with a box-full of unbuilt kits that will be used on the upper level of my layout.

Wayne

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, February 25, 2021 7:38 AM

mbinsewi

Walthers does still sell DPM building kits, along with DPM indiviual wall sections, for building your own, or adding on to structures.

When Walthers discontinued their own modular kits and they became harder and more expensive to find, I experimented with the DPM individual wall sections. My objection to them is that they appear too large for HO scale, especially if they are situated close to other Walthers buildings on the layout.

Rich

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, February 25, 2021 7:27 AM

Walthers does still sell DPM building kits, along with DPM indiviual wall sections, for building your own, or adding on to structures.

Go to page 2 to see the wall sections.

Mike.

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, February 25, 2021 7:09 AM

ndbprr

I don't want to build these kits and have cookie cutter versions of what everyone else has.  It would be nice if Walthers had an  add on set of castings that allow easy extension of the walls between the same kits allowing easy building of more realistic structures. 

I don't think that is going to happen. Which Walthers building kits do you have? Why not just buy two of the same building and kitbash them into larger, perhaps more irregularly shaped, structures?

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by ndbprr on Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:50 AM

I don't want to build these kits and have cookie cutter versions of what everyone else has.  It would be nice if Walthers had an  add on set of castings that allow easy extension of the walls between the same kits allowing easy building of more realistic structures.

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Posted by Texas Zephyr on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 7:46 PM

ndbprr
Have about 15 Walthers building kits to put together.  Anybody have any pictures of modified buildings to show?  Either paint or structural differences.

  I bashed this St. Louis Delmar Street Station from two "Baily Savings and Loan" kits.   Proved to be a bad idea because the hollow moldings didn't cut and fit together well like they would had they been solid.

   

 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 4:08 PM

Thank you Dr. !  Bow

I do have a couple of Flexi-Flow hoppers I'm slowly redoing,  thinking maybe I could letter them for GERN, so I can bring in some extra additives to the milling and bakery plant.

"Grandma Ginger's Foods" is always developing new products. Smile, Wink & Grin

The cold storage addition on the far right is actually all cardboard, with some plastic parts involved.

Mike.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 3:35 PM

Great-looking scenes, as usual, Rob.  Your trackwork always lends a lot to your scenes, too.

I hadn't realised, until you posted, that I forgot to include that Walthers feed mill.  It's in a location where I have plans for something else, and will likely be moved to somewhere on the partial upper level of my layout.

mbinsewi
I certainly can't compete with the good Dr. Wayne!

Don't sell yourself short, Mike.  That's a good-lookng scene with lots of activity, and I can easily envision it as another GERN Industries facility.  I like the depth of the scene, too, thanks to the backdrop...very nicely done.

I also like the weathering on the freight cars, especially that long hopper in front of the tall silos...very convincing.

Wayne

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 8:29 AM

I certainly can't compete with the good Dr. Wayne!  But this structure is built using a refabricated Walthers ADM grain mill kit, and Walthers wall panels.

All the tanks are made from PVC pipe, and the piping is all sprues, and the fire escape work is also kitbashed from Walthers kits.

I still have the silos from the original ADM mill in the original box.  Another project maybe?

Mike.

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Posted by KitbashOn30 on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 10:38 PM

doctorwayne
Shake-out the rag frequently...preferably downwind.

Hmm ... I just can't imagine why that would be a thing ... Wink

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 10:06 PM

KitbashOn30
The drywall mud for mortar is a new one to me. Any important fine details of the process which I might not intuitively see, what with having not much used drywall mud in my life?

I use the pre-mixed stuff, which is available in a fairly small container, but you should be able to do lots of structures from that one container.

If you wish to paint the bricks a colour different from the plastic in which the walls have been cast, assemble the basic structure first.  Use the paint of your choice, and apply it with either a brush or an airbrush - spray cans might work, but in many cases, the paint may be too thick or come out of the nozzle too heavily, filling-in the mortar joints.  Let the paint fully dry before adding the mortar, as you don't want to rub away the paint during the rest of the process

To apply the mortar, I use a clean rag over my finger tips, simply smearing it on (make sure to work it in around details, such as window sills, which protrude above the rest of the brick surface).  It will dry pretty quickly.

To finish the brickwork, it's best to work outdoors, as the resultant dust will make a mess indoors.
Use a clean rag over your fingertips to rub the excess drywall mud off the surface of the bricks, which will reveal the mortar that's left in the joints.  Shake-out the rag frequently...preferably downwind.  Make sure to carefully clean around those protruding details, sometimes with a rag-covered fingernail, although in some cases, you might need to use the tip of an X-Acto blade to get into tight places.
Once all of the brick has been cleaned, you'll notice that the colour of the brick will be somewhat muted, which is pretty-much the first step in weathering.

You can later add more weathering if you wish, and this also includes using washes - as long as you simply apply it and let it run down the walls, it won't affect the mortar (other than making it look weathered just like the bricks).  I would suggest not using a brush to work the washes into the mortar joints though, as it may remove the drywall mud.

Wayne

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