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Author Topic: Need Advice on building my first Laser-Art Wood kit.  (Read 7343 times)

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« on: October 19, 2009, 11:04:36 PM »


OK I am too excited and somewhat confused. I just bought #634 HO Wenonah House. I have read several articles on how to build them.  Some places say paint first the build.  Some say build first then paint. 

I also tried a small area of my house paint. And I must admit it looks great. 

Also would love any advice on building it.  Like glue paint and stuff! Or what to do and not to do.  I will say this the kit was expensive but it it beautiful!


« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 11:08:49 PM by Robertj668 » Logged
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 11:35:16 PM »

Thoroughly, and I mean thoroughly, read the instructions. They are the experts. I've built several FSM kits and they were stunning when built. I read the instructions several times and took it one step at a time. When I got frustrated, I walked away for few minutes.
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.

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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2009, 01:10:31 AM »

That is one beautiful looking house.  I have never done a laser cut wood kit, but have learned a couple of tricks scratch building in wood.

Painting every little piece before gluing can be counter productive, depending on the type of paint.  Usually the white glue I use sticks better to bare wood than to paint, particularly paint with any shine to it.  But painting assemblies before adding them to the main structure save a lot of finicky masking.  For example, I would guess that the porch roof is a separate assembly and can be built up, then painted, then added to the house.

Painting wood often raises the grain.  So you may have to paint, then sand, then repaint.

One of the reasons I like working with wood is the harmless glues that you can use.  I like the white glues - Weldbond, Bondfast, etc.  To put it on in tiny quantities, I use a 3 or 5 cc syringe with a 16 gauge needle (large bore) needle with its tip ground off.  Between applications of glue, I set it needle down in a jar with an inch or so of water in it.  This keeps the tip from plugging.  Next to the jar, I keep a Kleenex for wiping the tip of the needle to keep the water from diluting the glue.  With white glue, if you make an error, you can usually take things apart with warm water.  And white glue is a little more forgiving of slight errors in fit than yellow glue.


Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.

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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2009, 09:01:06 AM »

Jim gives good advice.   You would want to paint the stone foundation or chimney assembly before attaching it to the building.   The same for windows and doors, paint first, add your glazing then after the walls are painted, attach the windows and doors.
Painting beforehand is generally better, just try to avoid getting paint on a glue surface.   Yes, glue sticks to wood better than paint.   I use a lot of white and yellow glue.   The pink flamingo glue from Northeastern also works great.

Dave Mason

D&G RR (Dunstead & Granford) in On30
 “In matters of style, swim with the current;
 in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”   Thos. Jefferson

The 2nd Amendment, America’s 1st Homeland Security

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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2009, 09:53:52 AM »

when gluing with white or yellow glue, put a little weight on the assembly to prevent warping. a few people have had a structure ruined by warping caused by water based glue. again, take your time. I have found helpful hints on wood structure building by searching the internet. try to read the instructions before building the kit. it sure helps.
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2009, 10:20:53 AM »

I prefer the yellow Elmer's to the white version. I put a blob on a piece of old bathroom tile (glazed side up) and then apply the glue with a fine (oo or smaller) paint brush. Sometimes I even dilute the glue by using a wet brush. I also keep water and a paper towel at hand. Once I apply the glue I put the brush in water then wipe it clean.

A little white or yellow glue can go a long way.

The other posters give good advice. If I am assembling a building that will be painted, I seal the inside with a sealer, otherwise the walls can bow and warp.

CNE Runner

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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2009, 10:23:53 AM »

This is a subject that takes years to perfect (although you have done an outstanding job on that catalog home). Building a wooden kit is like politics...everyone has their own opinions. The latest issue of Model Railroader has a good article on building a laser-cut wood kit (November 2009 issue) and would be a good place to start. As was mentioned before, reading (and rereading) the kit's directions makes a big difference. I highly recommend Scott Mason's DVDs on the subject...lots of tips to learn from one of the experts...I review all 3 disks at least once a year.

A couple of pointers: To forestall warpage, paint seal both sides of the walls and place some weight on them overnight. I use square stripwood framing on the insides to reinforce the walls and roof materials to provide a joint with more surface area as well as prevent wall/roof warpage.  Use glue sticks to attach laser-cut shingles (and signage) because glue sticks have a very low moisture content and will not effect the wall basswood or (usually) cardstock roof underlayment. Weather your 'creations' appropriately...try to stay away from having structures that look like they were used in a coal yard (unless they were) or have that spartan 'new' look.

Start with a smaller, easier kit and experiment. Tab-and-slot construction makes construction easier [Northeastern Scale Models]. Tab-and-slot makes keeping the walls square a lot easier...not essential after you get some practice and use a gluing jig or a couple of machinist's squares. Be sure you work on a level surface...I recommend using a good sized piece of window glass as a bench top work surface.

Here is a fairly simple laser-cut kit I completed a while ago. This one is from B.T.S. and is weathered to approximate the original Hopewell Junction, NY post office as it appeared in an 1895 black and white photograph.

I can only stress that a long period of practice and research will pay big dividends in the future.


"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"

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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2009, 11:05:32 PM »

I am really glad that I asked. I read and re read the instructions. And probably will reread again as I do the model. What I have done so far is just paint the four side of the main house. Okay I used our house exterior paint.  And I am glad I read the instructions as it did curl the wood.  Well  this evening it is completely flat.  I did let it dry first then weight it down a bit.  The trim is next but I cannot find our house trim paint.

I did not see any raised grain and I do not think I will need to sand it.  I must admit it looks beautiful!

I paid $51 for the kit but my hobby shop guy lets me do a modified layaway.  I pay 1/2 in cash and I get a month or so to pay it off.  During that time he even allows me to make other purchases. So I know I could of bought this cheaper but I like to help out my local Hobby shopand he like to help his customers that he trusts too.

As for glue I have Titebond III waterproof Ultimate Wood Glue I am going to give it  a try.

As for painting the inside I may paint it white and maybe make two separate stories and add lights!  But I be I could do that later.

Any advice on making the Chimney look real?

Below is my house and colors.


PS The November issue of  Model Railroader is what inspired me to finally do this

CNE Runner

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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2009, 10:04:41 AM »

Robert, you have a beautiful - well kept - home. I like the landscaping...just enough without being overbearing. Regarding the trim paint on your model: try a craft/art supply store (Hobby Lobby et. al.) and get some acrylic paints. By mixing two or more of them you should be able to approximate the color desired. Acrylic paints (sometimes called craft paints) are sold in plastic bottles and come in a bewildering array of colors and shades. Sometimes craft paints can be had for almost nothing at yard and garage sales. BTW: I don't sand my painted structures either. If someone notices that fact; I simply ask them to step back a foot or two.


"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2009, 10:46:12 AM »

Speaking of paint you can go to a store like Michael's and buy artists acrylics. The tubes are pricey but they last a long time and are water soluable when wet. You won't get railroady colors like depot buff but you can experiment. If you do try acrylics remember to get a tube of titanium white to dilute the colors. Otherwise you will have cartoon colors.

The Titebond glue will work just fine. Again, I suggest you dilute it a tad. You also may have to sand paint off corners because the glue won't adhere otherwise.

One last thing - I find emery boards indispensable when I work on wooden kits. Stores like Walgreens, CVS and Duane Reade are all good places to buy them. They are inexpensive and some brands come in different grits.

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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2009, 01:26:57 PM »

I think it's mandatory to paint both sides of any wood kit.  You said you noticed a bit of warpage - it will return and get worse if you don't paint the inside.  It doesn't have to be a super job - cheap white or black spray paint will do just great.  Since you've already painted the exterior, put tape over ever opening to avoid overspray before painting. 
Don't forget the roof pieces, too - both sides.

Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"

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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2009, 09:59:53 AM »

As a sideline issue. I bought a Laser-Art  kit of an Aladdin catalog home. The price of the kit was $19.98.  The price of the actual house in1917 was $207.  So we are paying aprox 10% of the price of the original house for the kit.  I wonder how much longer it will be unlil we pay $207 for the kit?

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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2009, 03:14:33 PM »

 you can go to home depot or other paint suppiers and get small bottles of any color sample paints for very cheap the selection is incredible.


PS. On my lighted buildings I always paint the first inside coat black then apply the the finish coat to keep the structure from "Glowing' when lit.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 03:20:19 PM by NarrowMinded » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2009, 07:13:08 PM »

Again I feel lucky to found this forum.  What great information did I get.
Well The model is 95% done.  A few areas need minor attention.
Things that I learned.
Read & Reread the instructions. (Thanks for everyone on that & I did read them)
Take your time. It is not a race.
I like wood model building better.
Get a syringe for certain areas for gluing. (Thanks Jim)

I used was Elmer's Carpenter's Glue and Super Glue Control Gel.  The Super  Glue allowed me to get pinpoint accuracy on some minor details.

The main color of the house was actually my house paint by Sherman Williams.  The rest of the paints were from Glidden trail sizes from Home Depot. (Thanks NM) I did paint both the outside and inside of the home.

Will be in the future.  I plan on making a mock interior of the home with lighting.  It will be separate from the house. Basically the House will go on top of the lighted interior.

Tough areas.
The dormer on the top of the house was the hardest part. It did not marry well to the roof.  I had to use putty to fill in the area to make it look good.
The windows were tough as some of the parts came off when I pealed back the  backing back.

Part of the instruction's I ignored.
For now i did not do the seem caps as I was able to make the seems looks good on their own.
Parts of the instructions I goofed.
Some may notice that the fireplace is on the right and the door is on the left  I glued on the wrong parts. Once I realized this I l dry fitted everything to see if i could continue.  Lucky for me it worked out.

I am very happy with the results and am looking forward to my next wood building.  But the next building will be a plastic Lifelike Church.

I have a few photos below to show the nearly finished product. The roof needs some final touch ups.

Again thanks to all for giving me the confidence on doing this!



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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2009, 09:41:37 PM »

   If this is your first wood kit,you'll be an expert in no time.  Very Good Job!    Jerry
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