A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

September 4, 2012

Done in a day....

....or two. I built two new buildings for Brooke this weekend. In between golf, running, lawn work and sundry chores, I figured each building took about one day. That includes drawing most of the parts for the laser.
Stairs and cellar door are additions from the prototype building
The stone house is based on the Matthews House in Manassas, VA. It was a key point in both Bull Run battles. I had to adapt it to fit my steep slope by adding a extended wall for the cellar. The outside stairs and the door to the cellar make it looks like it belongs in the spot I selected.
I decided to place it further away from the tavern and to run the road behind it. I made this structure in S scale (75 percent of O scale) so it needs to be further back from the trains.
Mocking up possible locations
View through the loading doors.

Brooke store is almost done

The store building was based on a drawing in Alexander's book. I made it a bigger than than his plans and added a few detail changes, like the big loading doors. They will face the aisle.
Since this building is close to the viewers, I decided to open up the loading doors and add a simple interior. Note, this is much easier to do before you add the floors. I had to rip out the floors and add the beams one by one, ship-in-a-bottle style.

The roof will not remove but with the open loading doors and all the windows, there is just enough light inside to see some interior detail. Even the attic is visible using the gable windows.
Simple interior.
The store is not finished yet. I need to add the awning, loading dock and some architectural trim.
Close up of the barn doors
One last thing to note, this is the 400th post to this blog. It has had over 354,000 page views according to google stats and 149 followers. The three most popular posts have been: 
  1. Ship Kits for O Scale Civil War
  2. Manassas Junction Art Print
  3. First Transcontinental Railroad Golden Spike Reena...



  1. This is just incredible! I can't believe you can turn out museum quality structures in a weekend like this.

  2. If you don't mind. What does it cost to set oneself up with a laser that can "print" out kits?

  3. A simple hobby laser, such as the Full Spectrum brand, costs about $2500. See http://fslaser.com/40w-deluxe-hobby-laser-engraver-and-cutter

    You would also need a blower, filter and software. The FS hobby laser machine is useful for a small shops that want to cut one or two of an item. For more production volume you need to move up to a Epilog Mini or comparable machine and pay around $10,000-$15,000 plus a matching filter system for another $3K.

    The next step is to learn how to design a laser cut kit. It is not too hard, but some mechanical, architectural and software/CAD experience is helpful. It was pretty easy for me, but I have a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from MIT :)

    I believe that learning to use a laser cutter is a standard skill in most architecture schools these days.

  4. Awesome stuff!!! Do the barn doors move? Just curious, I'm trying to figure out how to build movable freight doors on a structure I'm working on.

  5. The barn door rollers are made from
    laser cut backer board. they do not operate. To make them operate I would have used brass parts. Mine are glued down.