Lights and Ivy for 587 Yonge Street

After a week that started with me being worried that our storage locker had been robbed (here), it’s nice to have a weekend where I have no plans. Nothing to do, nowhere to be, nothing I need to be doing more important than working on model trains.  For the second straight weekend, there is also endurance racing on.  This week, it’s those wacky Australians and the Bathurst 12 Hour, where they start racing in the dark at 5:45am and race into the sunrise!! It starts at a perfectly timed 1:45pm eastern, so after watching a triple header of English Premier League games and doing odd jobs around the apartment, I’ve settled into an afternoon/evening of working on trains!  It’s a tough life, I know!

Last weekend before the locker discovery, I was working on the wiring of the LED lighting for the model of 587 Yonge Street/Bar Volo.  The ground floor has a full interior, and to see it, it needs to be lit.  There are interior lights, and there are both exterior building lights and streetlights on the model.  Finally, I’ve set it up so I can display my Rapido TTC New Look bus on the diorama if I want.  Because the bus lights are 12volt (though I am running them off a 9v battery), and the building lights are 3volt lights, there are two separate power systems, though because it is removable, the busses is just a wiring harness for a 9v battery with an inline on-off switch.

Night and Day. Testing the lighting looks like I want it to, and with the first couple of passes of leaf scatter to create the ivy on the walls.

The wiring is noting fancy.  I’m not much of a solderer or wiring expert, so mostly keeping it simple. Red to Positive, Black to Negative, two switches (one for the interior lights, one for the exterior).  They are not fully hooked up yet, but can be touched to a battery to check the solder joints are good, and that I haven’t wired anything backwards (as LED’s don’t work if you get positive and negative crossed up, and I’ve made that mistake plenty of times).

IMGP6646RawConvNot the best shot, but the only one I’ve taken with all the lights on and working, showing the effect aiming to be achieved when the model is done.

With the wiring of the lights inside the building done, before I can attach the building to the diorama base, and finish the wiring beneath to make them work, I need to finish the building.  There are numerous little details, from exterior signage, to the very visible ivy on the lower walls.  To replicate the ivy, I am using a combination of two materials that I used for making trees.  A polyfibre material that can be stretched and teased out to create the lower hanging bits of the ivy, and a static leaf materials called “Super Leaf” for the wall clinging portions.  For the lower ivy, once I had worked up some pieces I was happy with, I glued them into position.  Then, to apply the scatter material above this, I used a combination of white glue and white glue thinned with water.  The first coat was put on with straight white glue to get a good hold, then a thined wash was applied into the first coat of ivy and more of the static leaf material applied.  This was done in stages around the building over a plastic tub, so anything that didn’t glue on could be shaken off into the tub and recovered for future use.

Creating Ivy. Using some foliage clumping material for the lower portions where its hanging down, then applying a white glue base, scattering on the “Super Leaf” material.

Once the building details are done, and its fastened to the base, I’ll finish the wiring and hopefully have a finish line in sight.  For the areas where the adjacent buildings would be, at present I am just going to create view block mockups using black mounting board as if it was a theatre set, so the things that don’t exist just blend away.  Someday in the future this may find a home in a bigger module or layout, And I don’t really have any desire to create accurate bits of the adjacent buildings as I don’t think they would add to the model.

Getting perilously close to being done. Though every time I take several steps forward, I take one back. After taking these photos I knocked the air conditioner off the roof as it wasn’t as well glued on as I thought.

At this point, things are looking positive for the model to be done by early March.  This would be great as I would very much like to take it as a finished model to the Toronto Prototype Modellers meet on St Patrick’s Day at Humber College. As well, sometime after it’s complete, I’ll be setting up a night with the Morana family who own Bar Volo at their current establishment, Birreria Volo on College Street for them to see the model and display it for the beer drinking crowd that miss Bar Volo.

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