What's new on the front patio? Well, not a new layout this year. Something different, though. I decided that instead of trying to brainstorm a new micro-layout as in past summers, most of which seemed themed to food and drink and two of which still exist if I feel the need to operate, I would take my modelling outdoors, instead. This year's modelling efforts would rest on our patio's new fire-table. Not too close! We're selling the sizzle, not structures at stake (top photo).
The fires of enthusiasm burned just as bright. Introducing the FP&SBSCo. - the Front Porch & Scrap Box Stucture Company. A low-cost alternative to pricey new structures when I have existing structures to work on!! With feedstock structures, tools and scrap box at the ready, the company's first structure project was a train-show dollar-find power house which I have recycled from a previous location in a previous (Vancouver) layout iteration. Painting (before window treatments - above) with lettering, mortar/weathering and signage (below) form the finished product with added Heljan enginehouse side room and:
The power house was destined to be part of my Moose River Paper Co. mill. Relaxing on the patio and flipping through a book on Roadside America, this diminutive fillin' station caught m'eye:
Richard Longstreth's book Road Trip is what really fuelled my interest in this build. Another train-show dollar-find, it had functioned as a flour mill side building in a previous life. Before - I posed it on the covered fire-table with a gondola-load pipe project. More about that later....
This was a POLA kit. Judging by prototype photos, an awning was needed. So I set about building one with styrene (above) but my supplanted supports seemed suboptimal. So, I found a U-shaped girder piece in the scrap box and added some nicely-bent sprues to connect the uprights and provide a signpost then painted. Those side-doors actually slide:
Pre-weathering (above). I like those sliding doors and will keep them open sometimes on the layout, perhaps bracketing a car with propped-open hood inside for servicing. Added weathering and details (below). I was not tired of the project and it seemed like a good year so far:Signs available online - printed off and pasted with more details on the other side:
Only after the project was complete did I realize that the original Pola kit also came with an awning, just like the one I'd added! Online auction site photo:
Though I hadn't found a place to put this decades-old POLA freight station on my Green Mountain Lines layout, I'd assembled it as a Co-op feed mill years ago. First step was to paint the brick grey, accompanied by some lemonade in a Railway City glass:
Finished product with signage, again from online sources. I've been mindful of Lance Mindheim's advice to employ a minimal colour palette. This greyish shade matches well with many other buildings on the layout - no one building catches the eye to distract! Doors were weathered darker, and platform supports painted:
Rear views. Before...rear view with previous feed mill Harvestore and other signs which I removed before painting:
Signs were a combination of online logos, a feed mill signage page from a June 1972 Model Railroader and Microsoft Word fonts. To somewhat personalize this structure, I am honouring New Hampshire-born Rene Gagnon, one of the United States Marine Corps flag-raisers from Mount Suribachi in Iwo Jima. One of the more famous sharers of our surname:
Oh, and the occasional rolling-stock project gets done outside, too. In this case, it's a Bangor & Aroostook swap-meet-special ex-troop sleeper caboose. I plated some windows, cut in vestibules, added the bay windows and a few details, here seen painted but awaiting crests and lettering:
This post shows the completed projects in their assumed natural subterranean environment!
With Trackside Treasure's annual outdoor modelling published, it's time to look forward to another Trackside Treasure summertime tradition - the anniversary post. Perhaps there will be tributes and contests as in other years, and the theme will be...connections...
...one of which is my connection with graphics guru Randy O'Brien, fellow HO modeller and Portage la Prairie enthusiast. Whether building a layout or working on modelling projects, Randy's graphic definitely applies (above). We'll keep the home fires and the mosquito repellents burning!