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(Guest)    J&C Studios O Gauge Archive    O Scale Washington Union Station    Union Station Construction: The East & West Halls
 
 
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Topic: Union Station Construction: The East & West Halls
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JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 512
posted on Sep 23, 2008 04:17 PM:
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The East & West Halls are symmetrical; mirror images of each other. This meant that once I designed one, I could essentially use the same design for the other. These two buildings are much smaller than the Main Hall, and do not have a barrel ceiling to worry about. If I wanted to, these two sub-buildings could have been very easy to implement.

But I have an affinity for patina-colored, pented roofs, as evidenced in my "Building 2" project. Early in the planning for WUS, I was simply going to make all three main buildings have patina pented roofs. And although the Main Hall ended up with something much more interesting, and true-to-life, I still wanted patina pented roofs for the East & West Halls.








The roofs ended up being the most complex and difficult parts of these buildings to create. Pented roofs are non-trivial, and the vertical raised "runes" on the sides of these make them even harder. Most of the time and effort for these two buildings went into their roofs.

To make a pented roof (I have now constructed seven of these), I always measure the dimensions of the top of the building in which the roof will be placed. For these types of buildings (actually, for nearly all of my buildings), I internally brace the four walls with lateral beams, the tops of which are recessed approximately 1/3" from the top of the building wall edges. This does a couple of things: it prevents light-leaks from the interior lighting, and it also simply looks better, in my opinion. It's certainly more realistic looking, since the roofs of most real buildings are recessed this way.



 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 512
posted on Sep 23, 2008 04:20 PM:
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These lateral beams framing the tops of the building create a rectangle. I measured this, and subtracted perhaps 1/4" to 1/2" from both dimensions, as I aim to create a roof that will comfortably fit in this recessed "seat".





I then go about creating a simple rectangle of these dimensions from the same, 3/8" square dowel. This is done with 4 straight pieces of the square dowel, glued together. When that is complete, I then calculate the dimensions of the "upper" rectangle. This upper rectangle will be smaller, and will serve as the top of the pented roof structure. How much smaller, and how high you affix this upper rectangle to the bottom one determines how your pented roof will look. For these roofs, I wanted simple 45-degree angled sides, and approximately 1.75" of height. This was chosen arbitrarily, based on some eyeballing of the model, and what I thought would look "right".





Once I'd made the upper rectangle, I then centered it inside the larger one, and carefully eyeballed diagonal corner braces (see photos) which would be in the right position to be used for the vertical struts. After cutting and mounting these diagonal corner braces into the larger, bottom rectangle, I then cut four equal-sized vertical struts, and glued them to the bottom corners of the upper rectangle. At the same time (before the wood glue had set), I glued the upper rectangle, with the four vertical corner struts, on top of the diagonal braces.

It took a bit of adjusting, to get all four struts to connect well with the upper rectangle, and also to keep the two rectangles centered with each other. But when this cured, I had a pretty solid frame established for the pented roof.




 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 512
posted on Sep 23, 2008 04:23 PM:
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The next step was to start custom-cutting special pieces out of the same, 3/8" square dowel, with opposing 45-degree cuts on each end, to then glue onto the sides. These would form the joists for supporting the patina-colored sides of the pented roof.

This is a lot of work, and there are probably easier/better ways to do it. Each of these angled joists has to be measured and cut very carefully, so that the top is flush with the top of the upper rectangle's surface, and the bottom is flush with the top of the bottom rectangle's edge. (Huh? Yeah, see the pictures...)

Once these are installed, the structure is very strong since there are so many components glued together. If I didn't care about the internal ceilings, then I could have simply started mounting the side pieces onto the joists.





I then used more of the square dowel to create a "nested" elongated octagon of sorts in the center of the ceiling. This was an easy way to create a coffered ceiling. This nested octagon was complemented with some crown moulding, and then the main ceiling piece (simple matteboard, with the octagon cut out) was installed.

The West Hall was the second one I made, and I decided to get a little bit more sophisticated with it. The lower ceiling has four recessed lights - one centered over each of the three palladian windows on the side, and one over the rear entrance. The coffered ceiling would sport two hanging chandeliers (Cir-Kit brand dollhouse items).





The East Hall roof and ceiling is different, both in appearance (slightly) and in construction. I tried a differenct approach with the angled side joists for the East Hall. I used a table saw to cut a regular 2x4 pine stud at a 45-degree angle, essentially ripping a triangular-shaped dowel from one of its' corners. I then sliced this into the triangular joists you can see in the photos.

This did not work out as well as I'd hoped. My thinking was that, if I was careful, I would get evenly-shaped precise copies of these triangular joists. But in practice, this did not turn out well. Maybe if I'd used a better quality wood, which I may try for another project in the future. The pine 2x4 stud split and notched significantly, and although the results were workable, I think the custom joists method used on the West Hall (and the 5 other pented roofs I've made) worked better.





The East Hall has a cut-away in the side, to expose 5 cell amplifiers. This is something I have seen on other pented roofs (the real WUS does not have patina pented roofs). The 5 cell amps are simply cut wood, painted white, with some black screen mesh glued to the surface. These are then mounted onto 1/8" square sticks. To get them to mount perfectly straight, and evenly spaced with each other, I ended up having a custom strip of plastic lasered with little square holes cut out of them to insert the stems of the cell amps into. This is a side benefit of getting CADs lasered into sheet styrene every month or so - there's always a little room on one of those sheets for some small extra parts.

That's the only lasered piece of the entire East Hall roof. There are two vents near the back of the East Hall roof, which are made of 35mm slide sleeves. I painted the slide sleeves flat black, then cut some screen mesh to about the size of a 35mm slide. I painted those screen meshes silver, and inserted them into the black slide sleeves, and then mounted these onto the roof.




 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 512
posted on Sep 23, 2008 04:27 PM:
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The East Hall ceiling is quite different from the West. It sports a larger octagonal coffer, with a red marble tile pattern inside it. This is simply a pattern printed onto white self-adhesive sheet with my inkjet printer.

I had some pieces lasered to create a hanging light fixture, to provide a back-lit appearance to the red tile. There are two bulbs mounted on the top side of this fixture, and the wires run up into the pented roof, and back down over the East Hall's arch portal where it connects with detachable plugs.





The exterior of the sides of the real WUS have more of the recessed arch portals, complete with full domes above each palladian window. Knowing this would be extremely difficult to model, I chose instead to implement simple palladian windows, with keystoned eyebrows. In addition, I placed wrought-iron window guards at the bases of the windows. It adds some character without getting me into the painstaking business of creating more barrel ceilings, and also preserves some interior real-estate inside the East & West Halls.









In the end, these two symmetrical creations are reasonable approximations of the extreme East & West wing buildings of the real WUS, with the obvious caveat of the green pented roofs. It was now time to focus on those connecting halls...
 

   





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