Little slow around here, so...

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PHPaul
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Location: Downeast Maine

Little slow around here, so...

Post by PHPaul » Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:46 pm

After aborting the "fix up a dozer" plan for Winter Entertainment, I've been casting about for something to keep me occupied. Idle hands and all that...

Finally came up with the idea of building a farm diorama. I was into model railroading pretty heavily some years back, and really enjoy the structure building and scenery part of it, so a diorama was a natural. Plus, I have a pretty good selection of 1/64 scale tractors and equipment, so a farm scene was also a no-brainer.

It'll be basically a farm yard with a barn as the central attraction and various operations going on around it, including loading small square bales into the loft, filling the silo with corn silage, loading a manure spreader with a Patz barn cleaner and whatever else I can think of.

If anybody else is at all interested, I can post pictures here as things develop.

swampy
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Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:53 am

Re: Little slow around here, so...

Post by swampy » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:01 pm

Waiting for the first pic :D

Red Dave
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Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:12 am

Re: Little slow around here, so...

Post by Red Dave » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:15 pm

Cool, what kind of carpet crops are planning to raise? ;)

PHPaul
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Posts: 268
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Location: Downeast Maine

Re: Little slow around here, so...

Post by PHPaul » Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:03 pm

Red Dave wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:15 pm
Cool, what kind of carpet crops are planning to raise? ;)
Dust and smoke, mostly. Just like real farmers... :lol:

porkbelly
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: Madison Ga.

Re: Little slow around here, so...

Post by porkbelly » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:21 pm

Can't wait to see it. I have noticed over the years of reading your post that you are very talented.

Bernie/MA
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:28 pm

Re: Little slow around here, so...

Post by Bernie/MA » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:55 pm

Are you working with brass? Or planning to?

PHPaul
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Posts: 268
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Location: Downeast Maine

Re: Little slow around here, so...

Post by PHPaul » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:19 pm

Image

The barn is a basic kit I bought and assembled when I was doing model railroads. It has set on a shelf in the basement for years. It's HO scale (1:87) but it works okay as a smaller barn in S scale (1:64) All my tractors and equipment are 1:64 so everything else will built to that scale.

Image

Image

The barn in kit form does not have a detailed interior. I'm building a hayloft floor and supporting bents to put inside, and will include a clean out gutter, feed bunks and miscellaneous stuff you'd normally find in a dairy barn.

Image

The silo and silo house will be attached at one end of the barn. The silo is a piece of PVC gutter downpipe that scaled out to a 16 foot silo, cut to 30 feet high. The top is a fruit cup cut to fit and painted. The silage blower is one of my toys with a pipe and snout added out of brass. The silo will be detailed with weathering. The silo house will get shingles and some detailing as well. I have silage wagons and will stage one unloading with some green ground foam as the load.

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I scratch-built the hay elevator out of brass and cut the "bales" from a green kitchen scrubbie. I'll cut a crapload more and stack them in the mow where they can be seen from the door. The elevator is powered by a scale John Deere M.

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I scratch built the Patz gutter cleaner using pictures from the 'net. Also from brass. The "manure" is Woodland Senics ground foam died with a little water color paint. Needs to be a little darker.

I'm working in general from the era when I grew up on a farm: 1955-1970. As far as my inventory will permit, all equipment will be from that time frame.

Further plans, awaiting materials and time, include a windmill (brass) and stock tank (plaster), a fuel tank (plastic) an LP tank (plastic), power poles and lines, an equipment shed, pickup with feed bags (I have an excellent '50 Chebby pickup), a pipe fence feedlot (brass) and anything else I can think of. I haven't decided on an overall maximum size yet, but probably about 3 feet square.

Suggestions/ideas for things to include welcomed.

PHPaul
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Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:43 am
Location: Downeast Maine

Re: Little slow around here, so...

Post by PHPaul » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:03 am

Image

Image

The base of the diorama is going to be blue styrofoam insulation board. Very rigid, light and easy to shape. It'll be covered with "dirt" and grass/weeds/gravel as appropriate.

In order to facilitate working with styrofoam, I built a hot wire foam cutter. The idea was cabbaged from YouTube and adapted to my needs and on-hand supplies. All I had to buy was a roll of 34ga Nichrome resistance wire. The cutting wire is hard to see but it's stretched between the two 5/16ths carriage bolts. The bolts have hex nuts under the wire and wing nuts on top so the depth of cut can be adjusted up and down as needed.

The second picture shows the adjustable spring tension device to account for the fact that the wire expands as it heats up. That keeps the wire tight for smooth cuts.

It took some messing around with various power supplies to get it to work efficiently. The cutting wire is ~ 20 inches long. After testing 5, 12, 18 and 24 volt supplies in various amperages, I wound up using a 30v 1.5 amp power supply. I have a stash of "wall warts" and power supplies stripped out of junk printers, as well as a couple of DIN-rail mounted units I got when I worked at the cannery.

I'm going to attempt a smaller, hand-held version for freehand shaping cuts. Think "wire cheese cutter". The shorter (I'm thinking about 6 inches) span of wire should allow me to use a much smaller power supply. I'm hoping to use a 12v wall wart, but I'll have to experiment to see what works.

Bernie/MA
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:28 pm

Re: Little slow around here, so...

Post by Bernie/MA » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:58 am

For a guy that is supposed to be short on patience I'm amazed. I hope after this op I don't hurt enough so I can work on my project on warmer days. In the meantime I read detective books by Archer Mayer. The settings are in Brattleboro, VT, 20 miles away that I'm familiar with.

PHPaul
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Location: Downeast Maine

Re: Little slow around here, so...

Post by PHPaul » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:28 am

Bernie/MA wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:58 am
For a guy that is supposed to be short on patience I'm amazed.
I discovered many years ago that the secret is to know when to gently lay down your tools and walk away. Sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for a few days and occasionally for a few months... :shock: :lol:

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