Saturday 24 August 2019

Another Industry Upgrade

I've turned my JSSX attention in recent times to upgrading a particular area that's been sorely lacking in it's level of completion.  The track has been operable, so trains have been able to run there, but no track ballasting or ground cover had been done and the buildings/structures had been just sort of "roughed in" - and I mean really rough - for quite a long time now.

You may recall my re-construction of the big, long backdrop factory that I had worked on in June and July.  Well, this combination of structures sit in front of that factory and are served by the shortline JSSX.

I originally scratch-built this warehouse several years ago, but it's gone through a couple of changes since then.  I actually shortened it's length by a few inches so it will fit this space a bit better. Up to three freight cars could be spotted here, but one or two at a time has been more the norm.

That small red brick structure is something I picked up at a show for a couple of dollars, but it only had 2 walls...and a roof with a big hole in it. I patched over the hole with a piece of styrene from the scrap box.  I also added a steel-sided wall to the open end and even put a concrete block wall across the back.
The three separate pieces are shown here just sitting loose on the layout. The concrete loading dock is also something that I scratch-built from styrene.  It gives a bit of flexibility to the complex, as it could be a spot for an extra boxcar or a flat car, and I feel it adds a bit more interest to the scene.  I'll also be able to spot a trailer or delivery truck at the end of the dock.

So now I've attached all 3 of the structures to a single piece of MDF, 8 inches wide and 36 inches long. I moved everything over to the workbench to do all this. Once the buildings were epoxied into place, I glued ground cover all along the edges of the MDF to try to hide the edge once it's all set into place on the layout.  With all that done, I can pick up the whole thing as a unit and move it all over to it's place on the layout.

Here's the view of the building with a few other small improvements that I've added.
Added details include the roll-up door on the end of the warehouse, an entry door to the brick building, a chimney and vents on the roof, an oil drum, and tire tracks - likely from a lift truck - on the loading dock. There's a pair of rubber bumpers on the end of the dock to protect the concrete from trailers hitting against it. And you can see a large exhaust fan in place just beyond the rail car.

A detail shot of the loading dock and brick building.  I drew the cracks in the concrete with a .005 black ink pen I bought at an art supply store.  A light pass or two of grime from the airbrush should help to age the concrete.

While I try to figure out what to do to the warehouse roof, next up will be to work on the ballast and ground cover at the rail spur that leads to this business. And I've only just now thought of trying to make a couple of lift truck bridge plates to have laying on the loading dock.


  1. Great work! As usual, you've got a talent for capturing the nitty-gritty look.

  2. Thank you Dave. I'm wanting to give the whole layout that kind of appearance, lots of greys and dark tones. I want it to be the kind of area that I wouldn't be comfortable walking around in.