Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Structures: Gabbi's Gifts - 2

Most of today's progress revolved around the windows of the building's upper levels.  I clipped, sanded, glued, and filled as needed to get the three-section window pieces to fit together properly.  I then cut bottoms for them out of card-stock, which also helped them align to the top of the building better.

I also decided to detail one of the upper rooms, which will hopefully show up well once the building is lit.  I cut away the upper right portion of the main structure, then added a card-stock window seat.

The final step of the day was to put a base coat of black on the interior of the building.  This will block the interior light, so that the walls don't glow once the lighting is installed.

Window installations and cut-away for detail room.

Test fit of windows

Window seat

Light blocking paint

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Structures: Gabbi's Gifts - Beginning

DPM Reeds Books kit pieces
The first category that I'm going to work on earning a certificate for is Structures.  For this category, 12 structures must be built.  Six must be scratch-built, one must be a bridge, and those that are not scratch-built should be super-detailed.

While pawing around in my box of n-scale stuff, I found a Design Preservation Models (DPM) kit that I had purchased at a train show years ago.  The kit, Reeds Books, I thought would be a good start.  I can assemble the kit, super detail it, and use it as one of my 12 structures.  I figure that if I can complete one building every month, I'll have my first AP certificate by next year.

Last night I started the kit by cutting off the tabs and sprue from the major walls, then sanding the edges square.  I rigged up a jig from LEGO parts to help with the sanding so that I wouldn't tilt the walls and end up with a beveled edge.

While working on sanding, I brainstormed ideas for the building.  I've decided to create the main shop on the lower floor as "Gabbi's Gifts" in honor of my daughter Gabriella.  As part of the detailing, I'll add window lettering and display racks to the interior.  I'd also like to light the structure.

On the back of the building, there was a nice molded set of double-doors for a loading area.  Big spaces like that are nice for adding detail, so I cut the doors out.  I'll glue them back into place in an open position, and detail the inside of the delivery area.

LEGO sanding jig
Last night's progress

Monday, December 1, 2014


I've decided to begin the quest toward earning the title of Master Model Railroader (MMR) in the National Model Railroad Association's (NMRA) Achievement Program (AP).  A large part of the AP is documentation of what you have built, how it was built, and what it represents.  That's where this blog comes in.  My intention is to update these pages as I go, recording my models as I go.

Though I've modeled many things in the past, I'm going to start from scratch with this quest.  Earning the MMR title is really something that I want to do for myself, and I want it to be a beginning to end journey.  I'm not out to see if I'm better than other modelers.  I'm in it to see if I can do it, and to hopefully improve my modeling along the way.

As part of my documentation, I'm going to try to keep track of costs as I go.  As earning the MMR title is a years-long process, I'm sort of curious how much it will cost.

So, off I go.  Wish me luck!