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Kitbashing a small freight house


railroad scene was depressing I would argue it was interesting. Most struc- tures, even if no longer used or useful, were still standing. The stars were aligned. I just needed that “A-ha mo- ment.”


Lightning strikes


A casual conversation with a model- ing friend about a freight station pro- duced a somewhat grainy photo taken in 1974 of a boarded up former New York Central building that had burned down shortly after the photographer had shot it. While wood framed, it had a four-sided roof covered with slate shingles with exposed rafter tails. What really caught my eye were the bright green plywood panels covering the doors and windows. It was time to take the kit from the shelf and look it over with fresh eyes. Looking through a Tichy catalog I discovered that part No. 8125, the freight door with transom, would fit if the openings were enlarged. Even with the kit’s walls glued together, it was not too difficult a job using an hobby knife and sanding stick to allow a press fit. Tichy provides four doors, enough for the three trackside doors and the end door. Looking through my parts collection turned up a Grandt Line No. 5060 station window that would fit the opening to the left of the end freight door. I decided to enlarge the right hand window opening and in- stall a Tichy No. 8033 door with tran- som. These were brush painted gray. Next, I turned my attention to the of- fice section. There was always some- thing that bothered me about the kit, and now it was very apparent. The of- fice was either too big or the freight house was too small. Since my freight house would not be receiving l.c.l, I did not need to enlarge it. Studying the of- fice, I decided to shorten the side walls by one section, or eleven scale feet. I had to slide a hobby blade down the in- side of the back wall joints to remove it. Then it was a simple matter of scor- ing the wall, also from the inside. After affirming to myself I was on the right path, I used a sanding stick to add a bevel to the wall cut to allow the rear wall to be glued back in place. The low- er concrete wall sections were then shortened as well.


The roof Next, I removed the chimney-looking spires from the tops of the walls so I could construct a new roof. I quickly decided the best course of action would be to make a mock-up. I used shirt cardboard, which is thin, can be cut with scissors, and glued using white glue. In short order I determined the


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The Walthers Cornerstone Freight House (above) was modified with a smaller office sec- tion. The pilasters were removed (opposite) and green panels were placed in the window openings. Because visitors usually see the roof (below) I decided to have a four sided sloping roof on the taller section, “NYC-like.” Long and short rafter tails were cut from styrene and Bollinger Edgerley shingles were used to cover the roofs. Colored marking pens were used to highlight some shingles and metal flashing was used on the ridges.


peak would be four scale feet above the top of the walls and the ridge would be eight feet long. From there I made the four sloping roof sections. I could now step back and study the structure from all angles. It was a simple matter to transfer measurements from the card- board to Evergreen Scale Models .040″ styrene. Once the styrene roof was to- gether, I turned it over and marked out locations for each rafter tail in pencil,


placing them on two-foot centers. Tichy Trains set No. 8147 includes 22 long and 88 short rafter tails. I used a long rafter tail for each corner and short tails for the rest. Gluing them on went quickly by grabbing each one with tweezers, putting it on the mark and touching a small brush with liquid solvent to it. (Work in a well ventilated area.) I painted the new roof assembly Krylon gray primer.


SEPTEMBER 2012


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