Rockingham Junction - Freight House

Publication: Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society Newsletter
Publication: Modelers Notes #80
Publication Date: September / October 2002

By Dave Maynard

Bollinger Edgerly Scale Trains makes several structure kits of B&M prototypes, including the depot and freight house at Rockingham Junction. The freight house kit was simple and straight forward in its construction. The laser cut sides save the most difficult task in a wood kit, that of cutting door and window openings and the parts fit together perfectly. This kit can easily be built by either a novice or experienced modeler and makes up into an excellent structure model. The kit took approximately six hours to build, but there was a lot of down time as it was necessary to wait at least 30 minutes for the glue or paint to dry before moving to the next step. You can work on other models while waiting.

The Prototype

The September 57 issue of Model Railroader magazine has black and white photos of the various structures at Rockingham Junction, a plan showing the general layout of tracks and structures, and plans of the freight house. Boston and Maine, City and Shore by Robert Willoughby Jones, pages 156 and 157, have color photos of the depot and freight house taken in 1955.

The freight house is an interesting structure with its saltbox style roof. In 1955 it looked well maintained and had weathered asphalt shingled roof.

The left end platform serviced the Portsmouth to Manchester track. At one time there was probably a siding on the long front wall facing the Western Division double track main. By 1955 the siding was gone and the westbound track was a good eight to ten feet from the building front. The freight house was apparently then and possibly still is used for storage of track supplies. Recent photos of this structure, contained in the instructions, show that corrugated roofing was added at some time after 1955 and the side s have not been painted for many years.

The Model

I used two tools that are very helpful for kit or scratch building. A MicroMark magnetic gluing jig consisting of a rectangular steel sheet with inch wide edges bent up at a 90-deg. angle. Magnets hold the work piece tightly to the surface. This jig was used to glue the wall assemblies as described on page 7 of the instructions and also to glue the four wall assemblies together squarely. A Northwest Shortline Chopper was used to cut all of the stripwood. The Chopper provides either square or mitered cuts.

The freight house was assembled following the directions save for a few exceptions. I started by assembling the unpainted walls as described on Page 7. I used carpenters glue throughout to glue wood parts together. Generally the glue was applied from a puddle with a toothpick to the wall edges. Excess on the outside surfaces was removed with a paper towel.

The sides were primed using a spray can of light gray automotive primer. The upper portions of the sides were airbrushed using a mix of Poly Scale: 1/3 Depot Buff, 1/3 Reefer White, and 1/3 Sand. It was necessary to apply two or three light coats to properly cover the primer. After the buff color had dried, the upper portion of the sides were masked starting .2 inch above the top of the T section on all four sides. An eraser was run up and down on the masking tape to press it to fit the wood side contours. Then, using a straight edge and #11 X-acto blade, I made several light passes along the masking edge to seal it. The lower sides and doors were airbrushed with Accupaint Passenger Maroon, which is similar to the color of a newly painted structure. The trim strips and lower platform walls were hand brushed maroon. Some of the trim strips were lightly sanded between coats to remove fuzz. Be sure to paint all of the surfaces and edges that will be visible and try not to paint the surfaces that will be glued. The platform top, stairs, and trim at the bottom of the doors were painted with Floquil oak stain. glued with the flat face horizontal.

After assembly of the wall components I reinforced the four walls by gluing 3/16 square horizontal wood strips to the wall backs at the upper and lower edges. The strips on the front and rear walls have to be cut short of the ends to prevent interference with the corners. The end wall corners were cut and sanded flush with the top and bottom edges.

Walls were glued together upright in the magnetic fixture starting with an end and the front wall. The pieces were checked to make sure that the reinforcing strips did not interfere at the corners. Glue was applied to the front wall edge, the pieces were fit together and the excess glue was removed. These pieces were placed into a fixture inside corner and held in place with magnets. After the glue had set up the second end was test fit and then glued repeating the same process as for the first joint. Maintaining position in the magnetic fixture, the rear wall was glued to both ends. Rubber bands were placed around the four walls. Touch up painting of the trim was done as needed. The soffit at the overhang on the front side was glued to the top of the front wall so as not to protrude above the end walls.

The kit supplies a cardboard roof substructure and corrugated metal roof, which was applied to the prototype sometime after 1955. Bend the cardboard substructure at the partial cut and glue to the walls with Carpenters glue. Using light cuts with a #11 X-acto blade, cut the corrugated metal into 1/2-inch wide strips. Cover the substructure with contact cement like Goo or Pliobond and paint an area of each corrugated metal piece with the cement also. Place the corrugated metal tiles on the substructure so that they slightly overlap. On the rear, place the bottom row first and then overlap the top row slightly. Airbrush the roof with a light gray. To weather, dry brush with rust running the streaks vertically. (Look at an actual metal roof to determine the amount of weathering you want to apply.) Apply prepainted trim strips to the underside of the roof edges.

My model was built to look pre 1955. I used Pikestuff shingle roof (Walthers 541-1015), to simulate the shingle roof for that period. I cut a piece of the 1/16 plastic sheet using about three moderate passes with a #11 blade then snapping. I cut pieces 5.8 inches wide X 1.5 and 2.5 inches high. A mill file was used to bevel the upper edge of both sheets so that they fit flush together at the peak. The lower edges of both sheets were also beveled so that they were vertical when placed on the roof. CA super glue was applied to the top front edge of both end walls and the front roof section was held in place until the glue set up. (CA has to be used with extreme care as it can cause severe eye damage.) Zip kicker can be sprayed on the wet CA to accelerate the process. Then CA was applied to the top rear roof edge on both end walls and the rear roof section held in place, with the seam at the peak tight, until that glue set up. (The model can be held at an angle to help the roof sections stay in place.) The seam between the roof sections was bonded with Ambroid plastic solvent applied to the joint underneath. The sections were held together until the glue set up. I lightly brush painted the roof top with Poly Scale UP Harbor Mist Gray using a flat brush. Then I removed any of the residual paint from the roof edges with light filing and hand painted the edges with Passenger Maroon. The roof was lightly weathered by dry brushing Polyscale tarnished black using vertical strokes.


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