Hoist House

I have been trying to discipline myself to slow down and take breaks while modeling. By default, when I get into a project I become consumed by it, and want to follow through to completion as soon as I can. I often burn he midnight oil when I start building, and my impatience causes mistakes or problems that I don’t find until later, or else I do something that I later regret.

Example: when building the ice house and creamery kits, I painted the underside of the eaves dark gray instead of white. I wasn’t thinking in terms of ‘modeling’ but was defaulting to how I would draw the buildings: with shaded eaves. As happy as I am with those models now, I still regret that choice, and will likely go back and fix the issue.

Anyhow, I spent the past few days and evenings building the hoist house, but I took a lot of breaks, especially when I was transitioning between steps. This time around, I decided that I would not paint the walls by hand. Instead, I spray painted the walls, roofs, and components (windows and doors), and then painted a few details by hand (a few touch-ups and the inset loading doors). While the spray paint gave some grainy texture to the wood, it did not cause as much warping as hand-painting.


The spray paints I used are a combination paint and primer, which saved me a step. Colonial red satin and white semi-gloss (which was not an accident–the semi-gloss finish matches the Testors acrylic finish better than satin paints, so I can touch up the white details without parts looking ‘flatter’ than others).


The pieces, all laid out. You can see the bit of trim that I painted to match the walls just under the ‘double’ loading doors. This made the raised doors less awkward-looking.


I got a 90-degree square to help keep my corners true. It was more helpful than I expected when holding joints together while the glue set.


Here it is, pre-roof. I haven’t decided what kind of roof the brewery will have. I am leaning toward corrugated metal sheets, but I might use traditional shingles on some areas. I also haven’t put the glass behind the windows and transoms yet. First, I will need to spray the structure with Testors Dullcote, but I am letting the glue set a bit longer before I do that.

Where the Magic Happens

I figured it would be fun to post a picture of my workbench, which is really just an antique spinet desk that I got dirt cheap six years ago. While the desk doesn’t offer much space to spread out, I am able to protect my projects by closing the lid (in this picture, the lid is folded beneath the box and spraycans). This is important, as my cats love to knock things down and chew on them.


On any given evening, but certainly not on most of them, you can find me here, planning and tinkering, drinking Twinings Earl Grey or home-brewed oatmeal stout, listening to some Bowie, or Eno, or Sparks.


Loading Dock for the Malt Store

I have decided not to include a malt house or kiln on this module, due to spacial and logistical constraints. My plans for the malt house were awkward at best. At some point, after I expand the layout, I can add a malt house and kiln elsewhere.

Instead of a malt house, I will be including a malt store, where malted grain is hoisted and stored (historically, grains and malts were usually transported in large sacks; it wasn’t until the mid-twentieth century that hoppers and silos became the preferred method of transport and storage). 

The malt store will be comprised of the N Scale Architect foundry ore house, which I already had, and a grain elevator that I purchased from Train Time Laser. The grain elevator will be a loading dock and hoist house for incoming malts and hops, and the ore house will be where these items are stored (malts need to be aged before they are used).

To transform the grain elevator, I first removed the window that was laser-cut in the front wall, and will be replacing it with a Tichy window that I had modified.

This window was originally designed to fit horizontally, so it had a wider frame on one side and a sill that protruded a bit. I sanded down the frame and removed the sill. As you can see, the hole that I cut to fit the Tichy window was too wide, so I ended up having to shim it a bit.

Next, I pilfered two of the Tichy loading doors from the N Scale Architect foundry (I ordered a set of four to replace them). Using the front wall of the foundry as a template, I cut out squares in the grain elevator to fit them.

Next, I will likely add an awning above the loading doors, and then start putting it all together.

Another Sign

I haven’t been very productive lately, as my family and I have been snowboarding most weekends since the start of the new year. I have a few days off next week, though, and I hope to get some modelling done during that time.

I did take an hour or so tonight to make another Featherstone sign. This one is an alteration of a very rare prohibition-era poster for Drewry’s Extra Stout. Drewry’s was a turn-of-the-century brewery in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I found this poster through an appraisal website:


I fell in love with the design, but I couldn’t find a better photo anywhere else. Instead, I did a lot of cropping, cleaning up, and adjusting before slapping on the Featherstone name. Here it is: