Monday, August 18, 2014

More Middletown Tower: 15 minutes really IS long enough

After yesterday's work think session, and even though I realized that progress doesn't always have to be measured in what you actually accomplish, I still regretted not having gotten anything tangible done. You hear and read a lot about how you should always have a variety of projects ready to work on, so you can always accomplish something. Well, I admit I'm not all that good about following that advice. I don't have "10 minute", "20 minute", and "30 minute" project trays like I read about some super-organized folks having. But if you, like me, have something in progress most - if not all - of the time, you just might be able to move the ball forward, even if only a little bit.

So last night, after the guys went home, I had the missus join me in the hobby room/den, put on an old-time radio show for us to listen to, and sat down at the workbench while she read her book. Here's what I accomplished:

I cut up some braces/splices from .060x.188" styrene and cemented two of them to one of the end walls. You can see the two sides of the end wall at the bottom of the pic. Those strips on the inside of the new clapboard will provide stiffness and additional attachment points.
I may have mentioned it before, but in order to determine where exactly the new end wall sections must fall in order to accommodate the trim piece and still meet up properly in the corner, I had to glue another original side on.  The Right Clamp makes short work of this. But this project has also made it clear that I need to get myself another Right Clamp. It'll just make things easier.
Yup - that's all I did last night. Just about 15 minutes' worth of work. It takes a long time for glue joints to set up and cure properly - and that could easily happen overnight. But to glue those joints only takes a few minutes.

Tonight presented a different challenge: I got home late from an after-work meeting. I was tired, brain dead, and only wanted to flip through a magazine (RMC) or watch some (TrainMasters)TV. You know the drill as well as I do. But, building on last night's lesson, I figured "I could at least glue on a couple more splices." It turned out not to be quite that straightforward, but - again - I spent only about 15 minutes (actually +/- 17 mins, not that I was timing it or anything...)

As suspected, once I got the original walls mocked-up/glued-together, I discovered the new endwalls will need to be even narrower than expected. The new styrene is just placed here for illustration - note that the corner joint on the original wall has both a flat surface and a 45 degree angle. This is one of the pitfalls of "scrapbuilding." As always, you can click on the image to enlarge it.

This is where the new styrene wall will have to be glued. Note the overhang to the right, which will have to be trimmed. But even more importantly, note the remaining 45 degree angle to the left. I can't move the new wall any further left to close that gap since it would "walk up" the angle and come too far forward (proud?) of the original wall. Fortunately, it looks like the proposed 1x6 (scale) trim will cover that gap.

And I did get around to cutting yet more braces/splices (love my Chopper!) and gluing them in. You can see all the components here, including the strip of trim at the bottom there.
Yes, it's true. I can attest to the fact that all you need is 15 minutes to make some progress on one of your model railroad projects - provided you've got something ready to go. Don't make the mistake - as I so often do - of thinking you always have to have a huge block of time to accomplish anything. As you know - or will certainly discover - those huge blocks of time are far too rare to count on for regular progress. But these little bits of time - 15 minutes here, 5 minutes there, 20 minutes some other time - will all add up in the long run. And, best of all, they'll result in much more progress than you thought possible.


  1. Hi Chris;

    You may need to bevel the edge to match. Remember that even scratch building you have to account for the thickness of the parts and which overlap,

  2. Funny you mention that - that is precisely what I've been wrestling with tonight(!)

  3. Hope you had success.

    If not, you could also file the factory part to a square edge, and cover the joint with trim strips.