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(Guest)    J&C Studios O Gauge Archive    O Scale Washington Union Station    Union Station Construction: The Table
 
 
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Topic: Union Station Construction: The Table
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JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 512
posted on Sep 23, 2008 04:48 PM:
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Early on in the building of this project, I had made a simple 4' x 8' table to serve as a dedicated work table for Union Station. After a couple years in to the project, it became important to start pondering how this station would be displayed on my eventual layout.

Two things complicated this: 1) I wanted to have a 1" elevation of the whole station so that the tracks behind it would be sunken by that amount, so that the passenger trains would have the doors nearly level with the platform, and 2) I needed a curb of sorts to separate the road/parking lots from the slate sidewalks.

I did this by creating a separate slab of 3/4" particle board, which was mounted off-center towards the front of the table. This slab had a wide curved extension in the front, to provide space for eventual fountains, gardens, and flag poles.

On top of this slab, I mounted 1/4" MDF to serve as the base/sidewalk of the station. It's a bit too tall for a scale curb, but I like the look more, and it provides a more distinct boundary between the sidewalks and the roads.





The first thing I did was paint a wide stripe of yellow in the middle of what would eventually be the front road. When this completely dried, I laid two stripes of 1/16" Chart Pak tape to form parallel lines.





Then I painted the whole surface with a bluish-black asphalt color. When this dried, I peeled up the Chart Pak tape, and this allowed the yellow underneath to show as road markings.





I then took a rag, and dipped it in a watered-down jet-black acrylic paint, and dabbed this randomly to create a more natural, aged asphalt look.





I then set about gluing the 1/4" MDF board into place. I placed the main hall station in the center, after taking careful measurements, and then marked where the floor should go. The flooring is just matteboard, cut to the right shape. I printed out a photo pattern of an actual photo of the real WUS' tiled floor, onto full-sheet adhesive label. I then attached this right onto the matteboard, and then glued the matteboard in place on the 1/4" MDF.









Here you can see the mattboard with what amounts to an over-glorified sticker pasted on it to serve as the floor.





Here, you can see that floor centered on the base/sidewalk MDF, waiting for the main hall to be placed over top of it.





Here you can see two notches cut out of the rear corners of the flooring, to compensate for the corner struts of the main hall building, which extend all the way down to the very bottom edge of the structure.





As progress continued on the various components of the station, I started to create the slate sidewalks. Like the flooring in the interior, these are made of matteboard, with the sidewalk pattern scored into them with an X-Acto knife, painted slate gray, and glued into place.





These photos show the steps involved in the sidewalk process - it's one of the more tedious parts of finishing any city building, in my opinion.





Each piece is dry-fit a final time before being painted.





The gray paint needed to be used to cover the inevitable gaps between the building profile and the sidewalk edges.





The MDF gives me a nice surface to affix things to, and since it's tempered on both sides, it will neither splinter nor warp in any dimension over time. It also plays well with standard white wood glue, as does the matteboard.





In the above two photos, you can barely see the blinking platform lights in the rear of the station - another long & involving aspect of this project, which is covered here: Blinking Platform Lights.

 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 512
posted on Oct 27, 2008 11:35 AM:
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Well after years of having just a wide, curved, featureless apex painted as asphalt in front of the station, I finally decided it was time to do something with it.

The first problem was that the fountain by itself sits too high. At nearly 1.5" tall, the perimeter walls are taller than many of the people on my layout, so how would they even see the nice water, or throw coins into it?

I had pondered this several times, and had tried to think of ways to do it without counter-sinking it into the main slab. Doing this meant taking a jig-saw to the main table, and because of the violent vibrations, this meant completely removing the entire station during the process, and replacing it when done.





Then it was a matter of affixing something to the underside, so that the fountain could drop into the hole without falling to the floor:









And this improved the fountain level quite a bit:





The next step was to create a raised curb of sorts for the other side of the front road, and carve this to shape using a jig-saw (on a different table!) This started as two sheets of 1/4" mdf board, cut to the right sized rectangles, and laid on the table front.





While clamped down, I used a sharpie to trace out the curved apex:



 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 512
posted on Oct 27, 2008 11:40 AM:
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After cutting off the curved portions, I placed them back on the table, and then traced out more patterns that needed to be cut out. This included holes for the fountain, three Dept. 56 flagpoles, and the beds for what will eventually be two symmetric gardens:





To get a curved line that matched the outer curve of the table edge, but just be offset by about 1.5", I made a small tool:





This enabled me to put the pen in the hole, then hold the tool up against the edge of the table, and just trace out the inner curve:









Then I had a lot of jig-sawing to do, and a lot of resulting dust to clean up:





 

   

AGHRMatt
Joined: Mar 1, 2009
Topics: 1   Replies: 3
posted on Mar 1, 2009 03:45 PM:
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Very impressive work.
 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 512
posted on Mar 25, 2009 08:12 PM:
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Thanks Matt! I need to get back to this project - it hasn't progressed much lately...

John
 

   





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