Jan 2014 12

Night time in Raparapa

Now that Raparapa has some lights, it's time to show them off!

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Jan 2014 12

Adding lights to buildings

Three weeks since my last update, however all is not quiet in Utrainia. Over Christmas lots of new items were acquired, among them a pair of rail-busses, a land rover, many dozens of people, and some buildings and building supplies. I look forward to adding these to the railway.

Before Christmas however, I spent some time adding lights to Raparapa. I wanted the buildings to be illuminated, but I wanted the buildings to still be removable. To achieve this I came up with a cunning scheme using little L brackets made from metal, and tiny wee disc magnets that attach onto plates. The brackets and plates look like this:

The L brackets attach onto the walls of the buildings a small distance off the floor level. The plates are on the ground, and the magnets go in between, making ...

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Dec 2013 15

Rachel's Building gets a proper sign

When I was building "Rachel's Building" for Raparapa, I didn't have time to make a proper sign for the building front and instead just stuck on a sheet of paper!

Of course a girl like Rachel deserves a far better sign, so today I did something about it.

I started by making up a sign in Inkscape and then exporting it as a DXF file. I imported this into Meshcam and turned it into a 3d shape. I then converted it into some GCODE, a process that took about 10 minutes of pure number crunching.

Then I made up a small mold from some styrene and filled it with resin. I let this set, cleaned it up, and loaded it into my CNC machine. I set the origin to the corner, loaded in a 0.1mm engraving bit, and clicked GO.


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Oct 2013 26

An engaging build - part 4

Continued from part 3...

I've not detailed how I built the station, the church, and Rachel's Building. The remaining builders are either kitsets, or more of the same, so I won't bother going into detail on them. What I will talk about though is something fun Rachel and I did shortly after the grande-reveal, which is adding street lights.

We selected our street lights on eBay, and then patiently waited for them to arrive. Then it was all hands to the deck as we set about installing them.

First off we decided where we wanted lights, marked their locations, and drilled some holes. Now we needed to poke the wires and lamp pole down through the base, and through 2 inches of polystyrene. Simply pushing the wires down wouldn't work, the sharp tips of the wires would soon decide to head off in dif...

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Aug 2013 22

An engaging build - part 3

Continued from part 2...

Rachel's Building

Here in Masterton there is a building curiously named "Daniell's Building". It turns out it is owned by our major, Garry Daniell, and there is a bit of controversy surrounding his reluctance to get any of his buildings earthquake proofed: "I haven't commissioned the detailed structural analysis and I'm not required to yet", "I'm not necessarily going to do anything other than comply." Hmm. One glance at his brick and masonry building and it screams "earthquake risk", not to mention it has people living in it. Certainly a shining example of leadership!

The building itself however is interesting, with DANIELL'S BUILDINGS embossed into the concrete, an interesting mix of architecture, a sloping roof and even a balcony complete with greenery.

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Aug 2013 3

An engaging build, part 2

Continued from part 1...

The Church

Raparapa is a very cozy little town, so a small village church seemed appropriate. I based the model on a real church here in Masterton, opposite the SPCA where our kitten came from.

Working from Google Street View, I sat down with a pencil and paper and sketched up full size elevations of the building to check proportions and sizes.

I then quick quickly cut out all the walls, found some window castings, and set to work:

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