Saturday, November 28, 2015

HOJPOJ Reno: Movin' along

The next job I decided to tackle was to make a replacement pipe elbow for the one that was missing on the far most cyclone. I tried to make one using E. L. Moore's paper wrapped and shaped balsa strip method, but I couldn't master it. I then tried making one from a bamboo skewer that had just the right diameter, but the wood was too stringy and brittle.

What I did next may cause heart palpitations in purists, so maybe you want to skip this part if you have a medical condition: I made an elbow from styrene tube.
I had to eyeball the angle between the two sections of tube, but in the end, it looked more-or-less ok and I didn't have to bend or force the original wooden pipes to connect with the replacement elbow.
The elbow itself doesn't completely match the others style-wise, but when it was finished and painted, it blended into the overall look of the building and doesn't draw attention to itself even though on close inspection one can tell it's a non-Moore replacement.
This is an initial test fitting. There was a bit of sanding and filing required to get it to a snug fit.
One Moorian thing I did do on the elbow was to wrap the ends with glued paper strips to simulate connectors. 
After painting, it blends in not too badly with the other parts. The prototype likely underwent maintenance and repair during its lifetime, so one can use that story on this piece too :-)
The next thing was to make a replacement roof panel for over the door on the far cube. It's just a small slice of thin wood with a piece of paper embossed to look like corrugated metal glued on top. This was Mr. Moore's classic technique for economically making corrugated metal sheets.
Basically, one places a piece of paper over a strip of actual corrugated metal and then scores the pattern into a sheet of paper placed on top. I used a 4H pencil as a scoring tool. I think E. L. Moore often used a spent ballpoint pen.
They don't look too bad when they're done. Mine are a little rough, but I only need a couple of cuttings for the little roof.
The roof's substrate was made from a 1/32 inch thick slice of balsa that was sanded down further to get it about 1/64 inch thick. The paper metal panels were then glued to one side. All that was left at this stage was to paint it.
You can see the finished roof over the door on the far right. Some thin scale lumber strips were used as supports. At this point I also added two ladders to the first level roof. One is clearly seen on the far right, but the second is obscured in this view by a cyclone. The ladders are plastic items from my scrapbox.

Also, the tall smoke stack has been glued back into place in the above view. 
A new cardboard smoke stack flange had to be cut out as the original was torn into two pieces and a chunk was missing. On the original the flange appears to stand-off a bit from the roof, but with the hole for the smoke stack so jagged, I pressed the flange against the roof so the hole in the roof would not be noticeable. All that's left for the smoke stack is to replace some of the broken thread that simulate cable stays.
A couple of other things I should note. I've added the rail siding. It's a piece of Peco code 100 cut to length. The ties were painted before installation with a loose wash of browns and grays and black to kill their plastic-iky look. For ballast, I use N-scale stuff because I think it has a finer look than what's marketed as HO-scale. Once the ballast was glued in place I shloshed on a thin wash of flat black and gray to get rid of the glossy newness. That little balsa shack on the other side of the track is a terminus for some pipes that will come out of the brick building and run high above the track. The building has the holes for the pipes in its front facade, but the wires that were used to simulate the pipe are long gone. 


  1. Nice work, nothing there that troubled me- the pipe repair you have done is excellent and all is in the spirit of E.L. Moore. Really nice to see a scene building up around the structure...I'm used to seeing the buildings in isolation, so this is good.

    1. Thanks Iain. I'm trying to track down the various items in the scene that was shown in the magazine. I don't know what Debra's thinking when she sees me squinting at the article photos through a magnifying glass of long periods of time trying make out some fuzzy detail :-) But, sometimes it pays off. For example, it looks like some of the people are from an old Airfix HO/OO set, some are Weston (and when I checked at their site, some are no longer listed) but many are still of origin unknown to me. Well, trying to track down all this incidental stuff is sometimes as interesting as working on the model.

  2. Seems like you might eventually want to put up a chain link fence around that group of buildings. Didn't his prototype photo show something like that? I know you've got other things first, though.

    1. You've been reading my mind! That's the subject of the next instalment that I hope I can post on the weekend.