Sunday, September 10, 2023

Small project: completing a layout structure

From time to time I like to mention modeling projects that, though quite small in scope, may be interesting to some readers for what is involved. This is another of them, this time on the layout.

I have had a packing house in my town of Ballard for some years, named Guadalupe Fruit. But I never got around to adding a roof or canopy above the door onto the loading platform. You can see that below. It just seemed to me that such protection would be wanted, both in summer sun and winter rain.

I had in mind a simple kind of canopy, and I had in the stash some very nice ribbed-seam roofing material (Builders In Scale, no. 501, looks like aluminum) which I could use for this. I chose an angle for the canopy roof to assume (by eyeball) and cut side pieces from 0.020-inch styrene sheet to shape. These were glued to the underside of the roofing material with canopy glue, with 1/8-inch square styrene blocks in the inside corners. I also added a front edge with scale 4 x 6-inch styrene strip, and a trim strip along the upper edge with scale 1 x 6-inch styrene.

[I will avoid any jokes about the fact that “canopy glue,” named for model aircraft canopies, is here being used to assemble a canopy over a building doorway. The names are the names. I hope there is no confusion.]

Although this kind of metal roofing is often galvanized and can be left unpainted, I decided it would likely have been painted the same color as the building. I used the original color of the building, Testor’s “Flat Aircraft Light Gray” (no. 1233). 

I decided that the canopy roof should show dirt and weather, so used Pan Pastel weathering materials, which is a quick and convenient process. I included a little rust staining. (For some reason, the weathering looks exaggerated in the photo below.)

With that done, it was easy to attach the new canopy to the building. Like nearly all the buildings on my layout, the structure for Guadalupe Fruit is not attached permanently, but is only set in place. So I could turn the building up on end and allow gravity to hold the canopy in position while the canopy glue was setting, as you see below, right on the layout.

Finally, of course, with the glue fully set, the building could be returned to its normal position on the layout, and the small project was complete. 

The need for some sort of canopy on this building has been a kind of low-level annoyance for me in the layout room for years. I finally got focused on actually scratching that itch.

Tony Thompson

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