Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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45° Sanding Jig ~ Friday, March 22, 2013

Looking at real-life equivalents to my current laser-cut house kit project, I almost always see a small extension on the back. I haven't asked the occupants for a look around inside, but I think in a lot of cases these extensions are bathrooms. I don't think many of these houses go back as far as the "outhouse era", but the designs might, especially if they were "1:1 structure kits", aka, catalog houses.

Sometimes the extension looks like it was part of the original construction, but maybe an addendum to the design:

And sometimes it's pretty clearly a literal add-on:

The Drayton house kit's instructions include a floor plan from an original catalog ad, which shows living room, dininig room, bedroom and kitchen, but no bathroom. I decided mine needed an "upgrade". After all, the place has a garage, and at least in cities and towns, my hunch is that a bathroom comes sooner on ones list of desiderata than a car. So I decided to build a little addition. It needed to be pretty minimal, because I'm trying to limit structures to a standardized city lot, and a bathroom extension big enough for a jacuzzi just won't fit!

I picked up a sheet of scribed wood at our local hobby shop. We modellers always try to give our buildings a little variety, and any time one has an addition, it's fun to make it obvious that it's an addition by making the style a little different from the main part of the structure. So I made the boards vertical, and decided to leave the corners without trim.

Untrimmed corners mean that walls have to fit precisely, since there's nothing to hide any mismatches. I tried filing the edges of walls at a 45° angle, but doing this just by hand didn't produce the kind of neat results I wanted. So put together a jig with some scrap pieces of hardwood (cut at a 45° angle with a mitre box) and a clamp:

Here you can compare my jig-assisted and freehand attempts at the addition.

Even with the jig, things don't match up perfectly (plastic might be a better material than wood, since wood flakes and crumbles if you work it down too thin), but glue and paint can help. Here's the final results.

The back (kitchen) door and steps are another bit of kitbashing; the kit originally just had a window there.

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