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Monday, January 22, 2024

Modeling Streetlamps ~ It's a Gas, Gas, Gas!

Modeling Electrically Ignited Gas Lamps

When electricity came into use it wasn't used for illumination right away. Instead, electricity was used to ignite the gas lamps.

    This made sense since the infrastructure for gas was already there and worked perfectly fine. Electric ignitors was a logical upgrade to this system.

    Here are my 1890's street simulated gas lamps being ignited and then warming up to their operating temperature.  Pretty Neat-O! That would have been a site to see for real back in the day, yes?

Here is a Gas Lamp as they appeared in San Diego in 1905.

    The closest models that match the prototype I can find are these identical models by both Miniatronics and Viessmann.  Not quite right, but they do capture the flavor. But they are awfully pricey.  Occasionally I'll find one at a bargain price, so I'll pick it up.  Eventually I had the 6 that I needed but four of them have incandescent bulbs. I'm a fan of the long lasting LED's.  So my plan was to replace the incandescents with LEDs.  But I made an interesting discovery about that...

    While looking around at Gas Lamp models I stumbled across this Gas Lamp Ignition simulator module (Viessmann 5066).  And it will power both the incandescent and LED lamps. Well this sounds fun! So I purchased it.

    And installed it under the layout. It only has 5 ports so two of my 6 lamps with have to double up. I chose the two on the extreme ends so that it will be less noticeable that they are in sync.

    Nothing like wiring everything up properly just to have it fail. After going through all the trouble of trouble shooting I discovered that the wiring schematic that came with the 5066 Ignition module was incorrect. Where it showed the brown wires going to each of the 5 ports it should have been the yellow wires (as seen in the correct schematic above).  Nothing going smoothly is par for course for this hobby I guess.

I decided against the Viessmann power supply (5200). It's overkill for my needs. So instead I ordered this basic 15 volt power supply. 

The power connector was installed with double sided mounting tape with a cable clip to secure the wires.

Plug it in and voila!  Now this is where the difference between incandescent and LEDs can be seen.  Incandescent on the left and LED on the right. I'm a big proponent of LEDs but the incandescents are performing much better here.  The LED is way too bright and doesn't have the range of brightness that the incandescent has. The incandescent does a great job of igniting and then glowing dim before slowly brightening as it warms up. Its final operating brightness is more realistic as well.  Plus the pool of light cast by the incandescent on the building and streets is much more pleasant than that cast by the LEDs.  Instructions come with the lamps on how to change the lightbulbs, so I might do that at some point.

But for now I am quite satisfied.

Yes sir!

Quite satisfied!


Monday, January 08, 2024

Jessop's Clock ~ Grand Finale

 Adding the Final Details

to this fantabulous Time Piece.


Photos of the Jessop's plaques were straightened, scaled and duplicated in photoshop. There is no way I can model the clocks mechanism in the base of the clock, so it too will be represented with a photo. 
Then this was all printed onto photo paper with my home printer.

The back of the plaques were painted with the same copper paint as the rest of the clock.

And then applied to the clock. The edges and back were touched up with more copper paint in hopes to seal it all up and protect it from warpage.

And last but not least- the Eagle has landed!

Well whaddaya think?  Not a bad transformation, huh?

Yes sir! Not bad at all!


Monday, January 01, 2024

Happy New Year!


Here's to a Productive Year!

Yes Sir!
A Productive New Year!


Monday, December 25, 2023

Jessop's Street Clock ~ Painting

 Painting This Model Just Like Painting Any Other Model.

Testors Paint makes a nice Metallic Copper color. And its small bottles should be about right for a small project like this.

Here are the colors I'm trying to represent:

Copper. With Gold and Black trim.  On the left is the clock looking polished and shiny after being restored and installed at Horton Plaza.  After several years it has patinaed as seen on the right.

The modified Brawa model has been masked and is ready for the paint booth.

Primered.  The Testors "rattle can" primer works just fine for this. I applied two coats within 3 hours of each other and then let it dry for over 24 hours. Testors recommends 48 hours but the weather has been warm and dry so it should be fine.

Coppered. Wow! It looks like a brand new shiny penny. The paint was thinned 15 drops thinner and 20 drops paint for the airbrush. Two coats covered nicely. The second coat was airbrushed on within 3 hours after the first coat as recommended by Testors. 

Unmasked.  The suspense was killing me as to if the masks did their job. With the spraying done, now is the time for the unmasking.

Success!  For the most part the round masks worked. As expected a little touch up paint was required.
After letting the paint dry for the recommended 48 hours it was time for the...

Golded.  This was rather difficult to paint as the gold isn't showing up so well. It's very similar to the copper color. Hopefully another coat or two will help it pop?

Birds turn.  I'm going to try something different with this bird. I'm going to dip him right into the gold paint bottle!  This could go very bad if I drop him in!

The claw pick up tool seems to have a good grip on him- so in he goes!

Golded Eagle.

Blacked.  It took me way too long to notice that the base is also black.  So I masked off the clock and airbrushed the base black.

Gold Bits.  Some of the details are impossible to model so they are represented with a dot of gold paint. This dot of paint comes way closer to the detail than anything I could model.

Painted. And thus completes the painting portion of this project.

Yes sir!


Monday, December 18, 2023

Jessop's Street Clock ~ Masking

 Preparing the Model for Painting

Masking those round clock faces was a challenge!

But I figured out a reasonable way to achieve it.

This model wasn't designed to be disassembled without possibly damaging it. Otherwise I would have removed the clock faces for the painting of the body. But alas, it's not to be, so I'll have to mask them off. I also masked off the wire leads for the lighting.

The $5 solution was this K&S 7/16 brass tube that matched the size of the clock face frames.  I pressed the tube hard into the painters tape and cutting mat.  Then I carefully X-actoed around the tube.  It took some tries to get it right.

Hmm- not a round as I would like.  I'm in for some touchup painting when the masks are removed.  Getting the masks to laydown over the clock hands proved tricky. But I think I got it. As long as the paint stays off the clock faces I should be alright.

Alright- off to the paint shop. Fingers crossed.

Yes sir!

Fingers crossed.


Monday, December 11, 2023

Jessop's Street Clock ~ Detailing

 Let's See How Close I Can Make This Look Like The Prototype Before I Paint It.

There's no need for this to be a precise model of the Jessop's clock. I would have scratch built it if I wanted that.

 This project is meant to be 'quick and dirty'.  I'll be happy with a 'reasonable facsimile'.

The birds showed up in the mail (Preiser HO Scale # 10169 - Birds (Pigeons, Seagulls, Crows and Birds of prey)) and I quickly found one that would fit the bill (beak?) and it looks great! So we are off to a very good start here! 

On the prototype the bird is on a sort of pedestal. I should be able to fashion one rather easily with styrene.

Using the telescopic abilities of Evergreen Styrene tubes, a ring was cut from a 3/16 tube and fit around a 1/8 tube and glued in place.  For ease of handling, it was then filed to the '1/4 dome' shape while still attached to the length of tube before being cut to size.

And then centered and glued to the clock.  Because of the delicacy of the parts, I'll be holding off gluing the bird on until after painting.

And that's it. I don't think there is anything more I can do before painting.  Other details (such as those arched 'Jessop's' plaques) are best put on afterwards.

Now its time to prep for painting.  Since I'm unable to disassemble this model, how the heck am I going to mask off those round clock faces for painting?!?.

Yes sir!

Round masks!


Monday, December 04, 2023

Jessop's Street Clock

Modeling San Diego's Historic 1907 Street Clock

by Modifying a Brawa Station Clock

Well here is a project from out of the blue.  A chance listing on eBay caught my imagination and might prove to be a good project to get things rolling again with this blog and layout.

Okay? So lets roll!

Jessop's Clock is a large outdoor pendulum clock originally located on 5th Street in San Diego.  It was commissioned in 1905 by one of the city's noted jewelers, Joseph Jessop.

In 1984 it was moved to the new Horton Plaza Shopping Center where it stood until 2012 when it was dismantled and put into storage.  

The clock is scheduled to be restored and reassembled for it's permanent installation in the San Diego History Center in the Casa de Balboa building in Balboa Park for the exhibits opening in 2028. 

Neat ol' clock.  It never occurred to me to model it, until... of these Brawa "Standard Clock for the Station Forecourt" (Normaluhr für Bahnhofsvorplatz) popped up for sale.  It sure does have a family resemblance to the Jessop's clock!  Since the price couldn't be beat (especially since they seems to be out of production now) I purchased it.

While trying to determine if this model could be disassembled for painting I discovered that it is made of brass. Or at least the post is. With some plastic parts. The base is all that I was able to remove. So painting will be tricky.

I don't know what kind of bird this is (maybe a Quail?), but I got to find something similar in H.O. scale to make this work.

So I ordered Preiser HO Scale # 10169 - Birds (Pigeons, Seagulls, Crows and Birds of prey).  I would think one of these would work!

It's a good looking clock. And if I can pull off the transformation it should be a handsome addition to the streets of the layout. 

Yes sir!  A handsome addition!