The Terminal: Complete*

Well, not quite complete, but close enough for the time being that all the major parts are there now! At this stage, I'm pretty much done with all the major work on what has been a six month project.  Starting back in January with the 'elevation' of the ground over the track loop at this section of the layout, the creation of the platforms in March,  the construction of the bottom two floors of shops in March/April, the completion of the terminal structure in May, and really working on the overhead canopy and various lighting and construction problems for the past two months!

Below you can see some of the challenge....the station needs to sit flush with the ground on top of two layers of shops.  The wires also need to be routed to get below all of this stuff to get to the power!
But the biggest challenge has been the curved, 'glass' canopy that extends from the front of the station out over the tracks!  I considered several methods, but ultimately used clear transparency sheets which are thin enough that they naturally rest on the curved arches of the station.  The transparency sheets are held together with styrene strips that act as real bracing and support.
I also needed to route wires for the canopy and station interior lights (along with advertising signs) which, of course, added a lot more work time to the project.  The below photo shows the terminal complex in most of its entirety:
Although I was inspired by the new Berlin Hauptbahnhof, I was not trying to replicate it.  I did like the curving canopy and how it extends out over the front of the station.  In the below photo you can see the canopy coming out to provide a bit of protection at the entry:
Within the terminal interior, you can also see that I added a destination board that hangs from the roof so that travelers can 'see' the destination board when they enter the station and when they are on the main platform area.
I used 'warm white' LED strips attached to strips of styrene within the canopy section to provide light to the terminal.  Of course, further out on the platforms, lighting is provided by lights on traditional lamp posts.  I think the contrast turned out pretty well.
From a distance, as trains enter the terminal, I wanted to have a somewhat 'industrial' look to the canopy, so I used girders from Plastruct on all the arches (you can make them out just a bit below, but probably better in the above photo).  As I mentioned above, its not quite complete.  There are still some canopy sections that need to be finished, and there are going to be a lot more people and other details added to the platforms, but that is 'fun' stuff at this point in the game!
 I've previously show photos of the platform level concourse area with the stairways (salvaged from a Kato overhead station) and various shops.  However, with the lighting now installed in the canopy, I think it looks much better!
So that's it! A 6 month-plus project has finally (nearly) come to a close! I have to say that I am really glad. To be honest, I really don't have the patience for these super-long projects and get distracted or excited about other things so its been a real act of discipline to power through this project (without taking too many shortcuts). 

In fact, I hope, hope, hope to take a break from scratch-building for a long time!  Anyway, some more touch ups and some details and I can start to move both passengers and trains into the new terminal!  Whoohooo!!!


Free Graffiti!

While I attempt to plug away at the massive Passenger Terminal project (Yes, I am keeping somewhat busy on the layout this summer despite the dearth of posts on this blog!) I thought I would provide an update on a much more manageable project: my 'homemade' graffiti for fences and buildings!

I've found that most graffiti that you can purchase is designed more for rolling stock and when you want to essentially cover a structure, you use a lot of expensive decals to do so!  So I decided to grab some graffiti from the internet (free graffiti!), run these images through photoshop, and then compose all the different items together in one sheet so that I could get something closer to the continuous 'wall' of graffiti you often see on structures, walls, etc...

And, of course, I'm happy to share it!  The below URL contains two PDF files with my efforts.  There is a 'full sheet' (8.5 x 11") and a half sheet (8.5 x 5.5" for those using the Testors decal sheets, which is also the image at the top of this post in JPEG format).  Click the link below and you will find both of these documents available for you to download (click on the red 'download' arrow all the way to the right of the screen next to the sheet you want to download):


The image below gives you a bit of an idea of how they look:
The above is obviously the 'fencing' I mentioned in my last post.  Still need a bit more weathering and a top of grass/foliage at the base (to cover the gap and make it look more realistic).

That's all for now, but wanted to share this quick update.  I hope I'm almost at a point with my new station that I can share photos of that soon!


Installing Fences

Okay, despite the fact that I've been AWOL from my blog for several weeks, I am still doing my model train thing!  In fact, I've been spending all of my available hobby time (albeit shortened due to 'summer hours'! :-) ) on my passenger terminal.  However, along the way I've also been playing with adding more fencing along my tracks as I have too many high speed train lines with no protection from wayward plastic people! This must be stopped!

The problem with putting in N Scale fences is that we're dealing with tiny strips of plastic that, given my past efforts, don't really want to stand up straight.  I think I found a solution, which I expect was probably a solution that others have discovered well before me (and is very similar to the prototype) and that is to use pins glued to the fence so that they can be easily inserted along the railway right of way.

I am also trying to come up with more cost efficient fencing than many of the commercially available products.  The below attempt is a strip of styrene, painted a grey/concrete color, with homemade 'graffiti' decals applied.
The pins are glued to the back side and covered with a section of 'channel' styrene.  Underneath the 'channel' styrene is a healthy dose of 'Goo Glue' to keep the pin solidly in place.   This glue is really bulky, but dries really strong and is not 'brittle' and prone to crack off when pressure is applied.
I also have some of the commercially produced 'chain link' fencing from BLMA Models, which was also a bit of a question on how to apply.  I decided to try my luck with pins again, this time using cyanoacrylate (aka "super glue" or "CA glue") which I find is sometimes not very reliable if there is any pressure on the item.
In order to ensure that the pins don't bend during installation, or that the fence doesn't break off the fragile glue bond, I use my pin vise to pre-drill the holes for the pins.
 Then the pins just slide right in!
I clipped the pin heads off after installing...its just easier to install with the pin heads on!  However, this did create enough torgue on one pin that I had to re-glue it! :-)
 Now maybe a little rust, weeds, and other junk and I think it will start to be looking pretty good!  Thanks for reading! Hopefully I can share photos of my completed passenger terminal soon, so stay tuned!