A minor victory this weekend: I finally started putting together the Peco Ratio Carriage Shed which has been in my closet since I started this layout.
Plastic kits are finicky. They don’t look great on their own; they really require some extra time spent patching seams, painting and repainting, and a fair bit of weathering to cover bodged sections.
I built my first Ratio kits a couple of years ago: the Country Station and a Station Platform. It was built for my Inglenook switching module, so the platform shape was wrong for LSR, leaving a lot of awkward space behind it. I brought it to the layout at the office where it been collecting dust since. I happened to run the office trains last week and felt sorry for the station, so I brought it home. What do you know… I’m considering repurposing it as Little Snoring’s station and bringing the Metcalfe Station to the office.
Here’s a few shots of the station:
Looks pretty good, right? That’s because I spent about eight hours just painting it. I used Krylon and Rust-Oleum rattle spray cans on all the pieces, masking off sections to paint details such as lintels and window sills. After spray painting, I used washes of diluted white acrylic paint for mortar, and washes of diluted black acrylic for shadowing and weathering doors, windows, gutters, etc. I then dry brushed the roof with gray to weather the slates. I even detailed the interior with printed cardstock:
Still needs some furniture and a couple of figures.
Inspired by this model, I went to work on the Ratio Carriage Shed a couple of days ago. Out of the box, the model is intended to be two tracks wide, but I don’t have any place for that on my layout so I decided to cut it down to a single track width.
I used plastic cement to bind the halves together.
The kit comes with enough pieces to make two sheds, and the builder can place them side-by-side or join them to make an elongated shed. I’ve only completed one shed, and will likely connect it to the other to make a longer shed, similar to one Hemyock used to have adjacent to its engine shed.
I used Rust-Oleum Colonial Red spray paint to color the parts, then super-glued them together. There were some pretty serious gaps between the side walls and the front, so I filled them with Testor’s Contour Putty, which I then sanded down and repainted.
Finally, I used washes of diluted black acrylic paint to weather the boards.
I still need to add the roof, but the one in the kit is a very thin and brittle plastic. I want to make sure I know how to paint and weather it before I begin, lest I break it. Here’s a photo of the half I’ve completed beside the length of track that I straightened for the sole purpose of placing the carriage shed:
I have five or six Ratio kits still in their boxes and will probably start working on a few of them. In particular, I’ve been wanting to start on the water tower to accompany some coal staithes near the turntable.
I’m also considering the possibility that I will replace the station platform with a longer, thinner version. This would make the space behind the platform less awkward (the space behind Hemyock, the real-life inspiration for Little Snoring, was used as a car park) and would allow me to move the station building toward the left-hand side of the layout, which is ideal in terms of realism.
If I alter the platform, it would go from something like this:
To something like this:
I will think about all this for a few weeks before deciding…