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Discussion Starter #181
Suydam Engine House

I found this on ebay and thought it was interesting because it was almost entirely made of stamped tin. It fit a need I have for an engine house and I thought it would be something different. It certainly proved to be that. Suydam was founded in 1950 by its namesake and focused on buildings and traction equipment. The company was merged into Alpine Division Scale Models, L.L.C. at some point in the 90’s or 00’s and that company is still in business. This kit isn’t available.

Other than the tin sides and roof there were two milled wood strips for the louvers and some other wood for trim. As usual with old kits the instructions were missing. HOSeeker had them but the print was so small I couldn’t make out some measurements so I fudged them as needed.

This kit was designed to be soldered together. There were really nice instructions on how to solder included but I’m not interested or skilled enough at soldering so I used my favorite glue (Walthers Goo) and hoped for the best.

Most of the assembly consisted of laying down a bead of glue, clamping it and leaving it for a day to set. I have over a dozen clamps of various types on my work table for just these occasions. It made building the kit very much an exercise in patience but unlike wood where the material itself absorbs some liquid and speeds the setting progress, with metal you just need to let the moisture work itself out of the glue. To fill in the time I worked on two other projects as well, all requiring long set times.

Each slab of metal had to have angled metal glued along the edges then all the edges were mated to make the building. What ended up was fairly sturdy, the only weak point being the doors. If I put in a floor I could support the center piece and make the sides less floppy but I plan on keeping it open on the bottom as a drop in. For that reason I also added 3/8” square basswood rods along the bottom of the building, to give it the height it needs to fit taller engines over regular track.

The louver piece didn’t fit quite right, I probably should have cut it narrower before gluing it in but instead I left a little gap at the apex of the roof. The louver frame didn’t fit right either, I should have installed it in place rather than assembling it then trying to fit it in.

Wood was provided to build the window frames, but as a simpler alternative the clear plastic window panes had the frame printed on them. I chose the simpler alternative because I feared I’d get glue on the panes and frankly was tired of this building. I also cobbled together a back door from an old business card and straight pin, just seemed like it was needed (naturally it’s going to face the wall so no one will see it).

I had to give some thought to painting this building. Based on googling images of corrugated steel buildings they come in two forms: modern buildings with very even corrugation and a solid color and old buildings with obvious seams, slightly to majorly rusty with patches and blotchy color everywhere. This steel was very regular so the modern appearance seems appropriate but I felt paint would be prone to rub off the metal (similar to a tin can lid). There were photos on the company website showing another building made of the same material, they were able to make the building look like an older corrugated building by using an airbrush masking technique.

My final decision was to spray a flat coat on the building and leave it silver. The metal isn’t completely free of blemishes so it has a little character but if a little flat coat rubs off it won’t be as obvious as paint. I’m going to plate over the track inside the first 6” or so of the building so it looks like it has a concrete floor, otherwise I’ll ballast around it when I do the rest of the yard.

While the final result is a usable building I have a basic philosophical complaint about it: With the arched windows and peaked roof the shape of this building is decidedly older in architecture, but the even corrugation looks like a modern building. If the walls were made of brick everyone would say this is a nice old engine house, if the roof was flat and windows rectangular everyone would say it’s a nice modern engine house. The way it is doesn’t really fit either description. That bothers me enough that if I had it to do over I would not buy this building. Now that it is built though it’s going to be around for a while.
547056

547057

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I think glue made things a lot easier! The likely hood of having a big enough soldering iron and some really potent flux to get thru the coating wound have deterred me trying to solder! Not sure a resistance machine would have worked either as it would have messed up the visible outside. A little paint (will paint adhere to that coating?) and it will look just fine!
 

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Discussion Starter #183
547192

Finished the base for the warehouse. Fence from Walthers, cobblestone from Chooch Enterprises, wagons from RSlaserkits, dynamite shed from Banta. It's too bad I can't source horses and oxen with the proper harness, but I'll figure that out sooner or later. Hardest part was once I started gluing everything to the fiberboard it warped. That had never happened with the other bases. I ended up wetting the underside then clamping it to a thick board overnight, that straightened it right out.
 

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I'm not too good at detailed reviews, but I'll give this a go. Just put together my first "limited editions" passenger car it. These are no longer in production, although I spoke with the new owner and they are planning to do a new run it detail kits for them as well as lighting and interior kits. He also had a large stock of original kits and I believe his plan is to update the detail kits in those for a new release at some point. It's a side hobby for him right now, so no real timeline.

This is also only my second attempt at any kit, so go easy on me! The first was an auto rack that was a little simpler. This seems more if a "craftsman" kit to me, but then I'm a noob.

The pot metal ends and aluminum required a little filing to get a good fit. I think the window panel could have used a little trimming for a better fit as well, but I didn't do that.

I also forgot to paint the doors, so those will get added later, along with under body details (water tanks etc). Overall I'm pleased with the result considering it was a learning curve. I need to find some better adhesives, super glue is great for some of it, but messy for the window strip. I'm confident the next will go better and I have 9 more. I also have an articulated diner that I missing one car for that I need to find.

As for the livery, the blue turned out a little darker than I hoped, so I think I'll go back too the auto paint supply and try again. I also need to find stripes. I've tried micro scale, but they aren't long enough. I suppose I could try using two, but lining them up will be a challenge, especially with my shaky hands.

I'll add some more pictures later of the kit pieces as they come in the box.



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Discussion Starter #187
Nice! I've never heard of those before, but now that you mentioned them I found some on Epay.
 

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I think they were in circulation in the 70s-80s?? They actually seen like they make pretty nice cars if you know what your doing.

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