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Santa Brought Me A Laser

Started by finescalerr, December 29, 2021, 11:57:45 AM

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Go stand in the corner! — Russ


Hi everybody .
Russ and all you other downloaders and fiddlers the very best New Year 2022 , stay safe.
There are some great projects being posted it is such a pleasure to be part of the active group.
Cheers Kim

Rail and Tie

Quote from: Krusty on December 31, 2021, 12:09:56 AM
Very nice. Normally I loath laser-cut wagon wheels 'cos people insist on cutting them out of a single piece of plywood, complete with exaggerated grain going in all the wrong directions. Yours are spot on.

Could not agree more. That and window frames and doors with grain running the wrong direction. Far too common and laziness.


"Leonard, check it out. I've bought an N Gauge locomotive. Half the size of HO. Look...it fits in my mouth!"



Back around 2005 I noticed the same thing as you so I asked Tom Fitzgerald of Crystal River Products to laser cut some Strathmore doors and windows for me. He added them to his line and was the first and only kit maker to do that. He expanded those first three items to include many of his wood doors and windows. Eventually somebody copied him but it never caught on. Most model railroad guys are interested in collecting trains or running them but consider accurately modeled structures a very secondary part of the hobby.

Strathmore (300 to 500 series Bristol Plate) is the ideal material because you can stain it, paint it, and scribe it to achieve virtually any finish or level of weathering you want. For that reason it beats laser board (also called oil board and stencil card). plastic, and any wood with visible grain.

For the record, since my first attempt in 1980, my Strathmore models have proven as durable and warp resistant as any wood model.

One thing a majority of the model railroad hobby seems to lack is an open mind.



Good investment and pretty details !


Russ, I like the look of all your care and attention to detail. Not going out on a limb at all to say: "Inspiring, Good Job!"
Many, many years ago I constructed a small HO scale engine shed with Strathmore paper clapboard siding. Each piece cut to scale width and individually attached with photographic DryMount tissue to a Strathmore multiply paper with a delicately used soldering iron to the activate the adhesive. It was an enjoyable build and has held together for more than 30 years.
I'll attempt a photo or two in the near future after deciphering a new iPhone camera's options.
And thank you for the effort it must take to keep the wheels all turning in the proper direction.


I built several HO structures from Strathmore in the 1980s and '90s. I mostly used Walthers Goo, a rubber based adhesive. All are still in perfect condition and look as they did when I completed them. In HO scale, I found Strathmore a better choice overall than wood except for very distressed buildings. It's an overlooked gem and I suspect styrene was a big factor in its demise. A shame. In the music recording business ribbon microphones, a 1930s design, made a big comeback after the advent of digital because the same thing engineers didn't like about how they sounded with tape ended up being a very positive sound with digital. Unfortunately the model railroad hobby is less open minded and analytical but maybe "generic" modelers someday will rediscover the benefits of some art papers.

Soon I hope to post a few more photos of subassemblies for the horse drawn wagon I'm fooling with.




perhaps it is also of interest to show these early works in comparison to today's ones.
Regards Helmut
the journey is the goal


Okay, Helmut, I found my first three Strathmore structures. I built the first between about 1984 and 1987. It sat in storage for a few years when I moved to another city for a job as a TV reporter so I finished it when I moved to the house I now live in. This model and the others are HO scale. -- Russ


The sandhouse was my second Strathmore model. I drew the plans myself (in the days before CAD). It is my favorite. -- Russ


I also used my pencil, triangle, and compass to draw plans for this enginehouse. It was the final model of the series and I think I built it around 1988 (still in the pre-digital era). Some of you may have deduced that, after that first model, I never again wanted to scratchbuild a window! -- Russ


Thank you for showing Russ, now I can understand all this much better. I also experimented with cardboard models of cardboard boxes with advertising. Drawn on the computer and printed on high-quality paper, the most difficult thing at times was the subsequent cutting.

Here is an example:

Regards Helmut
the journey is the goal

Lawton Maner

Prior to the widespread use of styrene to modeling card stock was widely used; one of the common techniques was to coat parts with diluted Duco cement, let it dry, and then bond with solvent as we do with styrene today

Ray Dunakin

Holy cow, those are great models, Russ!
Visit my website to see pics of the rugged and rocky In-ko-pah Railroad!

Ray Dunakin's World


Helmut, those boxes turned out beautifully!

Last night I ended up assembling the ranch wagon underbody. What a fussy, tension producing couple of hours! Anyway, at about midnight I grabbed my iPhone and snapped a progress shot. Remember, the wheelbase of this little monster is only about two inches. I colored the parts with two ChartPak markers, Cool Grey for the wood and Sepia for the rusty metal. I'm pretty sure this assembly alone has at least 7,000,000 individual parts ....