Large Scale Central

In-ko-pah RR: New project


I am impressed.

Ray, stick a chimney and you win!

It is so great to be able to follow a new build from you Ray. You are one of the LSC folk who inspired me to try to scratchbuild and I aspire to build something approaching your quality someday. Fun to watch!

Nice Ray!

Ray Dunakin said:

Dan Hilyer said:

That is such a unique building, Ray and you make it look easy to construct. I assume you will be adding LED’s to the eyelets but do the surface lights (buttons) have an LED in them as well? Thanks for sharing your construction progress. I learn new techniques each time I see one of your posts.

Thanks. Yes, the light fixtures will all have LEDs. The fixtures made from buttons have a hole drilled into them, and there are holes in the ceiling, so the LED can be inserted from above.

Ray, when you get to the lights, I would highly appreciate it if you would go into detail (with a lot of pictures because I can’t read!) on the lights and wires and power supply and installation. I still don’t have the LED thing down.

Can’t wait to see how you paint this building.

Thanks guys!

BTW, according to the U.S. government, as of today I am now officially “old”.

The alternative sucks. Congrats!

Well, Ray, if today is your birthday, we have something in common ( birthday!!

Buttons for light fixtures…Much have I still to learn, Master Ray!

Thanks. Yep, 65 today. And yeah, getting old certainly beats the alternative!

Welcome to the Grand Fraternal of Old Farts!

It’s good to see ya playin’ trains again.

We’ve got to keep our fingers nimble!

Nice work, Ray. It’s astonishing what long-term exposure to the elements can to do our work.



Matt Hutson said:

Nice work, Ray. It’s astonishing what long-term exposure to the elements can to do our work.



Or depressing.

Progress continues…

The two post that support the overhang were painted in the same manner as the windows:

Before I get any further, I want to explain a little about how I design and paint a freelanced structure such as this. If I were replicating a prototype, I would simply copy what I see. This building has no specific prototype, so I imagine what the building’s history might have been, based on what I know of prototypical mining town structures that have survived into the modern era.

As I imagine it, this structure was built during the town’s first boom period. It was probably just a single-story building, painted with cheap whitewash. At some point there was a need to expand the business, and with no room on either side, the building was remodeled with a second story. The building has housed many different kinds of businesses over the years.

The town went through many periods of boom and bust, depending on the success and failures of the mines as well as larger economic factors (stock panics, etc.) This structure saw long periods of neglect, resulting in the loss of original paint and heavy weathering of the wood. In later years it was repainted now and then, with varying degrees of weathering between each coat of paint. The blue accents were adding during the most recent refurbishing. Currently the structure is once again showing its age. This is not such a bad thing, since the increasing tourist trade finds it charming.

Now, on to the painting…

The building was sprayed inside and out with white primer. Then I started painting the base “weathered wood” color, once again starting with a lighter brown and gradually adding more layers of color. I want the “wood” to show some variety of coloration, but there’s no need to get detailed with it:

Reaching into the recessed entryway was tricky. I finally bent a cheap craft paint brush and reinforced the joint with glue, to make a brush that could get around corners:

The lower section of the east wall, and almost the entire west wall, will be hidden by neighboring structures. So these were just given a simple coat of undiluted brown house paint:

After the base color had dried, I began work on the finish colors. As usual, I start with a light application of paint, and gradually add more. The white paint is applied using the dry-brush technique. Here’s an in-progress shot:

The storefront is sheltered by the overhang and neighboring buildings, so I will make the paint look less weathered in this area:

Here’s the finished appearance after going over the white and blue a few more times. (The wooden sidewalk has also been painted.)

Here’s a closer look at the false front, after the first application of color:

And here it is finished. Note that the white paint is more solid directly below the fancy details at the top of the wall. I figured that overhanging structure would shelter the top of the wall a little bit:

The top surface bears the brunt of the weather, so I painted it to look very worn. Layers of blue and white paint are visible as well as some bare “wood”:

This side wall is also less weathered under the shelter of the eaves:

Here are a couple shots of the building after painting was finished:

There is still much to be done. I have to add signs to the exterior, I have put glass in the windows, install the upstairs windows and the side door, complete the interior, etc.


Here’s another update…

Prior to painting the exterior, I sprayed the interior with white primer. Then I painted the floor and installed the wainscot. The wainscot was made from .020" thick, V-groove styrene siding, trimmed with .080" half-round rod and a couple different sizes of styrene strips:

The removable rear wall was detailed to match. I extended the paint beyond the ends of the wainscot on this wall, to hide any small gaps that might occur when the wall is in place. The exterior of this wall was painted with straight, brown house paint:

Next I went to work on glazing the windows. Here are the tools I used, and the pieces that were cut to fit the upstairs windows:

I used a toothpick to smear clear silicone caulk on the back of the window frames, then pressed the glass in place:

On these loose window frames there is usually minimal clean up required. Excess silicone is trimmed off with a hobby knife, and if necessary, scraped off using the blade of a very small screwdriver:

Installing the glass in the storefront is much trickier. I had to reach in from the rear of the building to apply the silicone and press the glass into place. As a result there was a lot of smudges and excess silicone on the glass. But eventually I got most of it cleaned off:

The next job was to make and install the corrugated metal roofing. The corrugated metal was made from .001" brass shim stock. I used Dynaflex 230 paintable sealant to glue the metal to the roof:

When this had fully set, I masked off the entire building, leaving only the two roof sections exposed. First I sprayed on a coat of self-etching metal primer, followed by a coat of Rustoleum’s “Cold Galvanizing Compound”. This paint contains real zinc and gives an authentic galvanized appearance to the metal:

Still to come: Signage, installing the upstairs door and windows, interior details, and lighting.


Ray, your work is extraordinary ( you had said you were standing inside the building taking that first photo, I don’t know many people who could have argued with you. I actually liked the from windows before you cleaned them. The excess silicone gave the impression that the glass had been there a long, long time. Thank you for sharing you building projects. Lots of inspiration.


I agree with Dan. The glass marks make it look more like old rolled glass.

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…

The original structure had a small upright sign mounted on the roof of the overhang, and nothing on the false front. This time I opted to paint the name of the bakery on the false front, in large, vintage style lettering. I printed the sign onto a sheet of inkjet-printable, self-adhesive vinyl. Then I cut out the letters to make a stencil, and mounted it on the building:

At first I applied the paint with a stencil brush, which gave it a stippled appearance. I could have stopped there if I wanted it worn and faint, but I decided it shouldn’t be quite so old. So I added a little more paint using an old artist’s brush.

When I removed the stencil I found that the paint had bled under it in many places. This was not unexpected, considering the rough surface:

I touched up the edges of the letters by hand, using a fine tip artist’s brush. Then I lightly dry-brushed some gray-brown paint over the letters to make them look a bit more worn. Here’s the finished sign:

There are several more signs on the building. These are much smaller – too small to be painted on, at least with my limited skills. So I printed them onto wet-transfer decal paper. I wet the area with a setting solution called “MicroSol”. The decals were dipped in water, then transferred to the structure. When the decal was properly positioned, I drenched it with MicroSol and left it to dry:

I had used decals on the old building too, but noticed that the weather wore off the lettering despite being sprayed with Krylon clear coat. So on this structure, after the decals were dry I brushed on some clear gesso to provide an extra layer of protection. Next I lightly applied some paint to give the lettering a weathered appearance:

The signs on the V-groove siding were given the same treatment, with the additional step of gently pressing the decal into the grooves with the blade of a small screwdriver. Weathering was achieving primarily by using the dry-brush technique:

The signs were finished off with a generous coating of Krylon UV-resistant matte clear. I had to mask off the windows and the corrugated metal before spraying the Krylon. Normally I would have added the signs before painting the roof or putting in the glass, but I couldn’t find my stock of decal material and had to order more. The place I get it from was going through a move, so my order was delayed.

Next: Installing the second story windows, putting the posts under the overhang, detailing the interior, etc.


such beautiful work Ray