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I proceeded with the slightly narrower doors. I built the frame for each door using 2″×4″ lumber.

Across each

frame I glued 2″×4″ boards at a 45- degree angle, frame.

covering the entire After letting these dry

overnight under a heavy object, I trimmed off the excess flush with the frames. I glued one door into the door frame in the closed position, and the other door to the exterior wall outside of the door frame, in the open position. I wanted the interior of the shed to be visible through the open door. A quick brushing with the ink solution and the doors were finished.

Painting and detailing It was now time to paint the shed. I had no particular color in mind, so I just picked a random color out of my collection of craft paints, an attractive dark red color. I brushed on a light coat of paint, purposely leaving small patches unpainted to allow the weath- ered wood/paper underneath to show through, much like peeling paint would do.

Shingles were needed to cover the

roof. The original diagram mentions asbestos shingles, and shows them arranged in a diamond pattern. Once again, I turned to paper as a construc- tion medium, this time using regular white printer paper. To achieve the di- amond pattern shown in the diagram, I used a set of pinking shears (those funny looking scissors with the saw- tooth blade) to cut strips of this paper ¼″ wide. A simple, straight starter strip was glued to the bottom each of each roof panel, followed by one of the sawtooth strips, with the “teeth” pointed downwards, overlapping the starter strip. Another sawtooth strip was laid above and overlapping that strip. This was repeated until the en- tire roof was covered. The final strip was another straight piece, applied across the ridge of the roof. Once the glue had dried completely, I trimmed off any excess from the edges and sanded them flush. Having never seen, to my knowledge, asbestos shingles, I wasn’t sure what color to paint them. After doing some research online, I determined that they could be found in a variety of colors, so I simply chose gray (no particular rea- son other than it just seemed like the right color). As with the red color that I used for the shed, I found a gray in my collection of craft paints and proceeded to paint the shingles.


The final step in the construction of the shed was to apply some weather- ing. Three basic colors of powdered


Now complete, the model is ready to be situated on the layout. The open door reveals a workman sitting on the edge of the speeder and suggests that the shed is full of useful tools and equipment. The weathering gives the model a well used, but not dilapidated look.

chalk were applied: white and black over the entire structure, and brown around the bottoms of the walls to a height of about two feet. For a project that was meant just to fill the time, I was quite pleased with the results.

Adding a scratchbuilt handcar Of course, now that I had a handcar

shed, I needed a handcar to put in it. There is at least one commercially pro- duced kit on the market, but one of my goals for this layout is to scratchbuild as much as possible, so I really didn’t want to use a kit. There are several good handcar photos available on the Internet, and with this commercial kit to use as a reference, I thought this would be a simple scratchbuild project. It turned out to be a great deal of fun. I started by building the frame us- ing the cast metal frame from the kit as a guide. Using 2″×4″ lumber, I re- produced the frame, measuring 4′-3″ ×7′-0″.

The company who makes this hand- car kit also sells the wheels separately. I didn’t see any reason to try to scratchbuild those, so I purchased a set of wheels. These wheels fit perfectly onto a piece of .028″ brass rod and were held securely in place with a drop of cyanoacrylate.

With the wheel and axle assemblies completed, I finished the car platform with 2″×4″ lumber glued across the frame. Ordinarily, there would be an opening in the center of the deck for the drive gear. I did not include any un- derbody detail, nor would there be an actual drive gear or other mechanism, so I did not include that center slot. In- stead, I built an enclosure out of styrene meant to imply the presence of that drive gear. To top off that enclo- sure, I built the pump lever using more .028″ brass rod. It’s not a perfect model of a handcar, but when viewed through the open door of the shed, as I had in- tended, it looks just right. More impor- tantly, I now have the confidence to build as many more as I want. This was my second completely

scratchbuilt structure. I’ve been a model railroader for a couple of decades, but scratchbuilding was al- ways intimidating to me. A few months ago, with some prodding from a friend, I tackled my first structure and became addicted to the point where I look at something in the real world and wonder how I can scratch- build it. If, like me, you’re intimidated by the process, this handcar shed is an easy structure to build and would make a great learning project.


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