Tuesday, March 26, 2024

This is getting a little ridiculous - and a Tuesday Tip

My last actual update was way back on January 18 - before the big Springfield/Amherst show. Since then, all I've posted have been photos - and even those haven't been posted so often. I've missed more than a few Wordless Wednesdays along the way.

Unfortunately for this blog, the Valley Local Facebook group is much easier to post to. And even that has suffered these past couple of months due to a variety of things including the before and aftermath of the Springfield show, coming down with COVID, the start of my legislative session, helping a friend dismantle his layout, and having the basement flood. But not all of you are on Facebook, so you haven't seen any of those updates.

As for the layout, I have managed to do some more scenery in Saybrook - including installation of some walkways, finally finished the Sunset Diner in Cromwell - including a sign, and I ripped out and redid the scenery at Camp Bethel.

The last post in pictures showed all that, as well as the mocking up I'm doing in Middletown, and some photos of Pete's layout demolition. That last post is from over a month ago. For the last two weekends since then, I've been dealing with the basement flood and cleanup. Fortunately, the layout wasn't damaged.

I guess all this is by way of some excuse explanation for why the blog has suffered. I just don't have the time right now to keep up with it as regularly as I'd like. And what time I do have, I'd rather spend working on the layout rather than writing about it. Hopefully this'll change for the better when my time frees up after May 8 . . .

In the meantime, I will try to post here when I can share something quick and especially helpful - like window glazing. . .

I discovered a building I'd received some time ago from Bill Maguire had some windows that needed "glass." They're really nicely done windows - with top and bottom sashes on different planes, like the prototype. So, instead of cutting two little pieces of clear styrene really precisely per window (otherwise there would have been a gap between the "glass" and the lower sash), I decided to use some Microscale Micro Kristal Klear for glazing. I applied it with a toothpick around the edges of each opening, and then "pulled" it across the opening to basically create a bubble that covered the opening.

Then I set them aside to dry, face up. . . 

That ended up being a HUGE fail since the glazing oozed down to the work surface, essentially gluing the windows to the bench. Fortunately, I realized my mistake in time to pull up the windows and redo the glazing.

This time, I had them dry face down . . .

I'm pretty pleased with how they came out - especially when compared to the time it would have taken to cut up 12 little squares of styrene. If the sashes were on the same plane, I could have just gotten by with one large piece of styrene - not precision cut to fit - per window. But this process is quick enough.

If you try this technique, here are some Pro Tips:
  • Use the point of a toothpick to apply with some precision.
  • Apply to the back so you don't get any (or only little) material on the front.
  • Don't be bashful about the amount of material you use, just don't use so much you goop it all over the window. The material does shrink a bit when drying, so you need enough to be able to "pull" it over the entire opening.
  • Let the windows dry face down and/or on wax paper so they don't stick to the surface you're drying them on.
As they say, your mileage may vary, but I like this technique enough that I plan to use it in the future - unless/until I find some pre-cut microscope glass that'll fit :^)

Let me know if you try out the Kristal Klear and what you think about it.

And thanks also for sticking around. Unlike Facebook, I have no idea how many folks actually read the blog anymore, so it's good to know that you're out there.

In the meantime, I hope to make some more progress on the layout - and hope to have more time to share it with you here!

Till later...