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Thread: Building Chicago - The Post Office (a.k.a. the elephant in the room)

  1. #21
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    Impressive!

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwwojcik View Post
    Woah. I thought you said you were going to selectively compress that thing!
    I've done what I could. I can't say how many times I've stopped and taken stock of this project, wondering if I'm not going over the top, and always come back to tell myself, 'Naw, go ahead with adding dah-dah-dah; you'd regret not having such & such when it's staring at you everyday on the layout'.

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    WOW , this is one of the greatest scratchbuilds I've ever seen , I bet Dr. Nick Muff will even be impressed.

    Nick Muff's KCS Union Station , to me the ultimate scratchbuild , I have all his plans , blueprints photo's on DVD from him , I hope I will be able to build it in N-scale before my time has come.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

    My Flickr Pages

    http://www.janbouli.com

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  7. #24
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    The Post Office isn't very complex, just repetitious in design and great in size. I'm not partaking patient building techniques and it shows with many glue 'burps', etc. Museum quality was not the goal but simply covering mass quantities of deep urban landscape were. It was part of my original design for the layout, but I never really connected it's scale with the reality of placing such a structure on the layout itself.
    Besides, it'll prevent the need to ballast a whole lot of track under it...not one of my favorite chores!

    This KCUS is of great attention to detail, as was one recently on YT about the St. Paul Station (which has been removed by creator), and they are head and shoulders above what I'm able to achieve. I appreciate the comparison, but that level of quality just isn't in this P.O.

    Steve

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  9. #25
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    Not a great amount of progress made. Still have all my digits intact, but I do manage myself when I'm feeling not 100% steady and simply study the pictures instead of grappling with a razor. Also have become aware of the difference in quality of the various cardstocks, foam core, art boards and matting I've been using. Art board is the much preferred material if available for a particular wall as the quality (esp. lack of voids) shows.
    Managed to get the lower "old" section roof on with curbing (& I have no idea how I managed to line all 4 sides up vertically as well as square corners).

    Another part was the monument stairs for the main entrance on the south. As I turned the corner on the build, I considered just how wide it needed to be and not seem anemic. Came up with matching the width of the long side tower walls, 6". Gives a relative overall width of 12¼".


    I've had to resort to Google Street View for something on the Harrison St. side of the building. There just doesn't seem to be a view near street level on the north in any archive. And I'm sure that 6 or 7 decades have changed that side from what I view. As it stands, no two side are alike. I could employ K.I.S.S. design methodology, but I'm in deep enough to warrant pursuing a shade of authenticity.

    Have a great season!
    Steve


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    Great work I know that building well and you are nailing it.

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  12. #27
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    I will begin with my most sincere and humble apologies for first not staying up and in touch with my thread, and second for sort of falling off the face of the earth for months. Nothing to do with the popular viruses making the rounds, but the effects of a chemical and physiological withdrawal, as I quit a 50 year habit of smoking (a pipe) cold turkey without any crutch. The greatest problem for me was the layout was located where I ALWAYS sat to smoke, and I just needed to completely divorce from the habit and all the accoutrements that accompanied that part of my life. Not an easy path that I followed, and it was necessary for me to leave the hobby for a short time.
    So, I'll jump ahead to about 3 weeks ago...
    I choose not to document the steps of the build with the depth of earlier installments, as I had a bit of a 'tude about just how the build was always going to lack the look of a museum quality assembly, and I would be always looking at each imperfection as an insult I did to myself. I had to accept the quality as what i could do, but know it was never my very best effort.
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/attach...8&d=1626303142
    The north face is barely visible in the canyon that will be it's location, and was simply an exercise in repetitive cut and paste, literally. Several roll-up doors need to be made and installed at ground level, as I also need to install wall caps all the way around the building.
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/attach...9&d=1626303142
    The Riverside, with the old section, was pretty much done, simply requiring the upper roof to fit sitting on roof ledgers. There is one tower that the roof slips into between "tabs" to hold and lock it, and there is one obstinate bit of roof that has velcro to keeps it from jutting skywards constantly. The elevator hoistways actually are open on the bottom of both roofs so that I may feed wiring for lights sometime in the future. WAY in the future...
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/attach...1&d=1626303142
    The east entry or primary entry, was a house of cards to get together, and it is still very far from complete. To come-4 bright brass and glass revolving doors and their transoms, as well as a complete (lighted) lobby befitting such a structure. I have no idea how at this time.
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/attach...0&d=1626303142
    The west side of the building was mostly a freelance S.W.A.G., as very few views have ever surfaced of it, and I took full advantage of that modeler's license I forged for myself. There was no parking inside the building that I was aware of, but here I added 3 levels that are open to the street. 2 sets of double passage doors are for fire egress both up and down. The middle tall vehicle door is for postal inspectors to roll out from the HQ building. And the far right, the doorway is actually going to encompass the track under it with a cut and allow trains to emerge from the tracks that will be 2" below. Kind of like the deal that the Pacific Electric had out here in Los Angeles with the postal annex of Union Station.

    Thanks for understanding my set of circumstances, and for following along if you have. Part of this posting is therapeutic, as I begin to roll on since the elephant has become a part of the layout experience and I can move other projects to the front burner.

    Thanks Again!
    Steve
    Last edited by Woody709acy; 14th Jul 2021 at 08:30 PM. Reason: images mangled url

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  14. #28
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    When I was young, I, too, smoked a pipe. Partly collegiate pose, partly a ritual of relaxation, I was lucky to one day realize that I didn't really like the taste (though I enjoyed the aroma). I was able to stop, without the trauma of "quitting." I'm sure it was and is harder for you, but you won't regret sticking with this decision.

    GLAD TO HAVE YOU BACK, STEVE!

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  16. #29
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    I started my previous layout when I quit smoking. I knew I needed to do something with my hands and channeled my carton-a-week money to the local lumber yard and hobby store.
    Moving coal the old way: https://youtu.be/RWJVt4r_pgc
    Moving coal the new way: https://youtu.be/QzmBQ4As_mc

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  18. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by NtheBasement View Post
    I started my previous layout when I quit smoking. I knew I needed to do something with my hands and channeled my carton-a-week money to the local lumber yard and hobby store.
    Wow, exact same story here - quitting cigs cold turkey was the primary reason I got into model railroading in the first place. And if I hadn't, I'm sure I'd be dead and you guys wouldn't have 22 years worth of locomotive reviews to reference

    -Mark


  19. #31
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    I am so glad that we have had those many years of accurate and on point reviews from you. I know that more than once, they have influenced a purchase decision. And sometimes, not...LOL!

    Steve

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  21. #32
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    A quick update to the post office build. I have fashioned a base that it will sit on (hard Masonite), and cut a few bits away not wanted. Next I've mounted several 1/4" dowels trimmed to match a 2 5/16" board I'm using to RAISE the structure above the tracks from Chicago Union Station. [IMG][/IMG]The board, for the most part, will be changed out for more dowels as I lay out a configuration, leaving the station on 3'-6" "columns". Behind the Post Office, the continuous warehouse will have a modification made to allow the Eisenhower Expressway to extend to the edge of the layout.[IMG][/IMG]
    Mostly, I've begun building some of the kits I've accumulated over the years, intending to use the on this layout. 5 of them so far this past week, and another kitbash coming up next, I believe. La Salle Station, with two Faller Mittenburgs and 4 DPM Hillyard Hotels as donors. I have no idea how it will turn out, but going in for it, right or wrong!

    Steve


  22. #33
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    Good luck. Building any realistic part of Chicago’s Downtown is a real task.

    To keep yourself from going completely insane you should follow the example of the Museum of Science and Industry. It has the best known layout of the City. https://www.msichicago.org/explore/w...t-train-story/ This one and the original have inspired generations of Chicagoland kids(even the so called adults). If you don’t have it, get the DVD tour. It has many views of the City never been modeled in any scale. But like any model railroad they did do a lot of editing. They have the handicap of HO. Then again the original version was Q then O scales.

    Another great source of information about Chicago is the collective works of Geoffrey Baer. The part-time tour guide and TV host/producer has an insanely great collection of videos of Chicagoland and the surrounding territory. You can access them through PBS Passport. https://secure.wttw.com/catalog

    By the way, how big is the convention center you are using to house the layout in? I’ve often thought that McCormick Place Lakeside was just about the right size to do the city justice.

    Many faux pax will be forgiven by true Chicagoans, if you include this important detail…
    https://chicagococoasmell-blog.tumblr.com/
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  24. #34
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    Oh about lighting since the building was active 24/7 a couple of undercabinet fluorescent fixtures mounted to the roof should do the trick. Blocking out random windows with black construction paper will stop that goofy glow many model structures exude.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
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  26. #35
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    I've set the P.O. on back burner status for the time being. Was working on my Grand Central Station and shed, but life kind of got in the way recently, but the shed is the next big structure to get plopped down.
    In the mean time, I completed a couple of Outland 3D print buildings, and got a couple more trees planted. Receiving my COLA set has got me revving up other projects as I let it do laps while I tend to wires I need a magnifier to resolder on some E-6's.
    Thanks for your patience; I have looked at the MSI display on YT, and those links are most welcome.

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  28. #36
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    This brings back memories. I worked there for 2 summers (1967 and 1968 - 1968 was the summer of the [in]famous Democratic Convention) while in college. Sixth floor, Pennsylvania Parcel Post.
    Ron
    Ron Petrich
    Sacramento, CA
    <a href=https://www.nscale.net/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=22365&dateline=1664637886 target=_blank>https://www.nscale.net/forums/image....ine=1664637886</a>]

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  30. #37
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    Look forward to seeing your version of the CUS.

    How much territory are you building?
    Use what you know about the world to model…
    Learn from modeling what you don't know about the real world.



  31. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    Look forward to seeing your version of the CUS.

    How much territory are you building?
    I'm going to bash 2 Walthers Union Stations together, mostly for added depth across 10 tracks- about 15" x 16" footprint, and only the headhouse over the tracks, not the true station and offices themselves. I'll fit roads in as I can. Have NO clue how to reproduce the platform rooves or if I even want to. I've found that keeping track clean under them is a recipe for disaster!
    BTW, thanks for the link to Geoffrey Baer. A treasure trove for sure!

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  33. #39
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    Cleaning tracks in tight or hidden areas requires ingenuity. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be yours. The Tomix/TomyTec/Atlas cleaning car can vacuum, polish and even grind rails without your touch. Tank cars filled with solvents with mops underneath dissolve grime and buildup. Masonite and eraser equipped boxcars scrub rail tops by either scraping or rubbing them. Remember, I put wires and support poles, all over my tracks, so I kinda understand your fear.

    Large station canopy roofs can be sturdy and independent of the walls. Those lacey girders are a lot stronger in a roof than on their own. But can be replaced by clear sheets. The girders can be painted on them. Or use thin clear sheets glued to the girders, making a solid yet lacy brace. Tiny Rare Earth Magnets can be used to lock and locate the roof and walls. Since they’d be visible in the roof, steel strip can be glued to the girders. This works visually but also makes the roof easier to remove.
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