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HO scale 1950s Finnuken's Pharmacy

Started by Bill Gill, March 05, 2019, 08:08:42 AM

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Bill Gill

A little more work done on the pharmacy. (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

The mosaic tiles in the vestibule were created with GIMP and a neighbor printed the image on his HP inkjet printer on glossy photo paper. Full disclosure: I have not had an opportunity to get an actual close up photo of the tiles in the vestibule, so the first photo has the second photo GIMPed into it.

I scribed the grout lines between all the tiles so there would be real shadow lines when illuminated with low side lighting on the storefront. Unfrotunately when the piece got sprayed with a clear flat finish the ink dissolved and turned into a smudgy blur. I got another print made at a drugstore photo kiosk and it was fine at scribing and spraying.  The overall size of the mosaic is 0.7 in x 0.5 in.

Ray Dunakin

Visit my website to see pics of the rugged and rocky In-ko-pah Railroad!

Ray Dunakin's World


HO doesn't get any better than that. -- Russ

Bill Gill

Thanks, Ray, Russ & Les. lurching forward in little steps.


Super with detail - do your eyes ache ?
Never Let someone who has done nothing tell you how to do anything
Stuart McPherson

WP Rayner

That's bloody brilliant Bill... beautiful job. You must have very good eyesight and really thin fingers... ;)

Stay low, keep quiet, keep it simple, don't expect too much, enjoy what you have.

Chuck Doan

Beautiful work! I remember that exact style of store.
"They're most important to me. Most important. All the little details." -Joseph Cotten, Shadow of a Doubt





That mosaic is just incredible. How on earth did you manage to make it?
Regards, Hauk
"Yet for better or for worse we do love things that bear the marks of grime, soot, and weather, and we love the colors and the sheen that call to mind the past that made them"  -Junichiro Tanizaki

Remembrance Of Trains Past

Bill Gill

Sorry for the delayed replies - I haven't had access to a computer for almost a week.

Barney, Thank you for your kind comment. I can see that you asked something, but the letters are still too fuzzy to read :)

Thank you, Paul. See comment above about eyesight. The thin fingers come with my fat head :)

Chuck, Thanks. There are 2-3 stores in this general area that have those details and I've wanted to combine them all in one place for a long time.

Thank you, fspg2, This is one project that I really worked on.

Hauk, Thanks. Making the mosaic wasn't too hard. I knew shortest all the letters could be was 5 squares tall. Next I blocked out FINNUKEN on a piece of graph paper to see how many squares wide it would need to be. Then I measured the dimensions of the floor space the tiles had to fit into and fiddled a little to come up with a scale tile size that would fit all the letters and have enough room for a border around the perimeter. The extra white squares allowed enough fudge factor to make adjusting the fit fairly easy.

After that it was just a matter of setting up a scale size grid in GIMP (sort of a free version of PhotoShop) that was full of scale size squares. Then I filled the individual squares with a green color and a friend printed out the mosaic on his HP inkjet printer on glossy photo paper.

I lightly scribed all the grout lines so there could be real shadows between them. Then there was a small setback. When I sprayed the piece with Krylon clear flat the ink completely dissolved into a blurred smudge. After a few choice words I got the file reprinted at a drugstore Kodak kiosk, rescribed the lines, crossed my fingers and sprayed it with the Krylon and it worked!

Lawton Maner

The Kodak images worked because they are created from transparent layers of material rather then being sprayed on by the ink jet printer, with a clear layer added at the end to protect the other layers.

Bill Gill

The June issue of RMC is just out and it has article about making Finnuken's Pharmacy. Pretty much all of it has been covered in this thread.


Thanks for providing us with a discount. -- Russ