In the next few pages I will attempt to explain how and why I built this structure. I will also show you the process and some of the techniques I used during the construction.

Before we get started let me explain how this project came to be.

The Reason For This Build:

The tool shed idea was originally supposed to be a test to see if I could make it through a project without loosing interest or getting sidetracked. I had started and stopped numerous railroad related projects and was beginning to wonder if I had completely lost interest in the hobby or was there some issue with my attention and interest span. If I could not complete this project in a timely manner and to my personal expectations then I was seriously considering selling off my extensive collection of railroad related kits and using the monies to fuel my newfound interest of traveling around the country via motorcycle.

Most of the projects that I had started but never completed had one thing in common. They were all scratchbuilt and did not have a set of plans or instructions. In other words I was designing on the fly as I laid out, cut out and built the model. Along the way I would come to a problem of design, for some reasons roofs cause most of my problems, and I would loose interest in the project. It would then become another dust collector.

My thought was that if I found a project that I was interested in and if that project had a comprehensive set of instructions then maybe I could complete it in a timely manner. I would also need a project that could be used in the yard of my railroad because the yard is the only part of the railroad that currently exists.

I have always admired the construction articles written by Jack Work. The structure I decided to build is one of his designs and was featured in the September 1958 issue of Model Railroader. The structure looked about the right size to fit into my yard. The article did not have a complete set of plans in the traditional sense of the term but featured an isometric type drawing with sufficient dimensions to lay out the structure.

This article as with so much of Jack’s work, explained how to scratchbuild the windows and doors but I knew from the start that I would be using window and door castings instead of scratchbuilding them. I enjoy building but not to the extent of scratchbuilding windows and doors when there are reasonable castings available.

I made several other decisions before starting construction. One was the condition I wanted the structure to represent. And the second was the color scheme which would be my railroad colors.

Tools and Other Sundries:

Before getting into how the Tool Shed was built, let me talk briefly about tools, techniques and skills associated with this project. I am going to assume that you may want to build your own Tool Shed or some similar project so allow me to throw out a few comments about tool and materials selections.

You will need a few basic tools to complete this or a similar project. You’ll need one or more X-Acto knives with no. 11 blades. All layout work must be done using metal angles and straight edges. You can never have enough clamping devices. Many modelers use a white or yellow carpenters wood glue, I prefer to use Ambroid glue. I also use a medium viscosity ACC glue for adding small parts. Whatever your preference in glues, a box of round wooden toothpicks and a box of the thinner flat wooden toothpicks are indispensable for applying small quantities of glue exactly where it is needed on the model.

I have been a faithful user of Floquil paints for many years however I have recently started to use some of the water based craft style paints for small applications. While I used Floquil paint for the main walls of this structure, I used a craft paint for all the trim. I use a medium stiffness bristle brush for dry brushing the walls and trim pieces.

I have found that given enough time, any structure built from wood will warp and twist itself so as not to sit level. The Tool Shed is not as large as some of my structures so I felt it would not require a thick base to control warpage. In accord with that belief I fabricated a base for the Tool Shed out of 1/4” plywood.

Once complete the model will require periodic cleaning. Dust is not weathering and can only diminish the overall presentation of the model. To clean the model I use a small vacuum which can be purchased from various outlet stores under various names for about ten bucks. I modified one of the nozzles to adapt to my vacuum set which is sold through Micro Mart and other distributors.

Additional references:

Please see Building Hotel Hiser for additional information and explanation of the materials and techniques I use for structure building.

Building The Tool Shed

(And We're Off!)