Puddlejumper's 2010 Summer Firehouse challenge
I have been excited for this challenge, as the last one was so darn fun!

Being a firefighter in our Nation's Capital, I have a desire to have an urban firehouse on my layout. While on a weekend getaway with my wife in Gettysburg, Pa. for the bluegrass festival, my wife suggested we go to Strasburg and ride the wine train. (Yes, you heard right, SHE suggested it!) Never one to turn down a train ride I agreed. While there she bought me a Life-Like fire station kit. Goals for this build:

1. Build a believable rendition of a 2 bay firehouse to house a 2 piece Engine Company and a Hook & Ladder Company
2. give the firehouse an "urban" feel. Many of the firehouses in cities were built in Horse & carriage days or at least when apparatus was much smaller. This makes the quarters pretty cramped for larger, motorized apparatus. I wanna capture that cramped feel. Also I want the building to appear aged, remodeled by the city once or twice, and eventually will be surrounded on all sides by high rise buildings so will have a small, limited parking lot out back.
3. build a firehouse that doesn't scream Life-Like Firehouse
4. detailed interior, not sure about lighting.

I look forward to the challenge, and I'm glad we have 3 months to do it. That might not even be enough time for me!

Here is what I am working with.
[Image: DSC_0273.jpg]

While looking at the parts for the Life-Like firehouse I noticed that the kit builds a building that is not deep enough to "stack" two fire engines inside. In order to fit my two-piece engine company in one bay, wagon in front of pumper, I would have to expand the building. Because the brick detail on the Life-Like walls is so big, I could not use DPM parts because the difference was so noticeable. I went and bought 2 Life-Like police stations for parts, not realizing that it shares many of the same walls as the firehouse.
[Image: DSC_0274.jpg]

And here we have a '68 Ford Pumper and a '72 American Lafrance Hose Wagon that will comprise the Engine Co. I have not yet chosen and purchased a Hook and Ladder Truck but am leaning toward getting an American Lafrance tractor-drawn aerial from I think Boley.
[Image: DSC_0275.jpg]
Looks like a cool build. I grew up around firehouses just like you described, Good luck with it.
 My other car is a locomotive, ARHS restoration crew  
Wow! Cool, Dave! I've always liked fire houses and their extremely clean machines. The new equipment is pretty nice, but I love that older stuff from the '40's -'50's era. Thumbsup

Anyway, it's going to be a challenging, but at the same time, fascinating project. I'm sure that you are up to the task! Cheers

I look forward to following your progress!

P.S. The ladder truck that is carefully wrapped in tissue and gently packed away, waiting for a fire house to "live" in on my "now-finally-being-built" layout, is a 1923 Mack Aerial Ladder Truck! 8-) Big Grin

So WOO HOO, Dave! Have at it!!! Thumbsup Cheers

Lehigh Susquehanna & Western 

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." ~~Abraham Lincoln
I have always wanted to see what someone could do with those kits!
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3-d printed items in HO/HOn3 and more!
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Thanks for the comments guys. Since this is going to have a detailed interior I had to "clean up" the wall castings. I removed all of the casting numbers, flash, and the little nubs used to align the walls (since I am not using the walls in the same sequence anyway).

Next order of business, get some red paint on. I will be finishing the building in traditional red brick. I also blanked out the front door with some brick material, and removed the "BFD" logo. This will get replaced with a stylized FDDC logo.
[Image: DSCN3856.jpg]

Next I printed out some cinder block for the engine bay, and some plaster for the front bunk room wall, as seen here.
[Image: DSCN3857.jpg]

The remaining walls will get similar treatments.
Last update for today. I hope the pics work, photobucket is having some problems.

I used Doctor Wayne's method of rubbing joint compound into the brick relief to represent mortar. I am very satisfied with the result on the long wall. The firehouse I work at has concrete relief detail on the facade, that is the look I am trying to capture here. I am not quite happy with the front, it still needs more work.
[Image: DSCN3858.jpg]

[Image: DSCN3861.jpg]
I'm likin' it! Thumbsup

I definitely have to rework the concrete relief on the facade, that color is just wrong. It needs to be more tan. >SIGH<
While at work today I took a few minutes to take a couple of pics of the front of the firehouse I am working at. This is a single enginehouse. Not my regular assignment but a great example of the type of concrete relief I am trying to replicate.
[Image: DSCN3862-1.jpg]

And a close up of the concrete relief.
[Image: DSCN3863-1.jpg]

So my next order of business will be to rework that detail of the front of the model.
I love the decorative grille work up in the ... (brain fart ... can't remember what it's called ... I get an "F" for the day) ... the roof area! 35 35

Very cool! Just-after-turn-of-the-century architecture? (see if I can at least drag my daily grade to a "D.") :geek:

Lehigh Susquehanna & Western 

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." ~~Abraham Lincoln
I think it's called an eyebrow dormer or eyebrow window. (And no, that's not Cockney for one that's "highclass".) 357 Misngth

P5se Camelback Wrote:Just-after-turn-of-the-century architecture?

Correct. This building was placed in service in 1910, still in the horse-drawn era.
AHA! I get to drag that grade up to a "D" for the day! Thank you! I hate those "F's!" Big Grin

And right you are again, good Doctor ... "Eyebrow Dormer" it is! Cheers Thanks for coming to the rescue! I just couldn't get the light's to go on that far down Memory Lane! Thumbsup Cheers

Lehigh Susquehanna & Western 

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." ~~Abraham Lincoln
First thing's first. I managed to correct the coloration of the concrete relief detail on the front of the structure. I used tan paint to drybrush it to the color I wanted. Once the exterior is done I will weather it slightly to finish it off.

The American La France Tractor-Drawn Aerial ladder truck came in today. It is made by Busch, the same that company that made the ALF Hose Wagon. The Ford Pumper is from Athearn.

I got the walls assembled tonight. This is my first time building a superdetailed structure, so if any of my techniques seem... unorthodox... that is why. I am on a HUGE learning curve for this project.

For the interior walls, I figured the appearance of texture would be sufficient to give the impression of texture. In other words, I printed out the cinder block walls for downstairs and plaster walls upstairs on my computer. I think seeing the texture through the windows and engine bay doors will be quite satisfactory.
[Image: DSC_0275-1.jpg]

I also added a step or sill/threshhold where the blanked out door was.
[Image: DSC_0273-1.jpg]

You may notice that several of the walls have the same window arrangement. Since the Life Like kits have walls that are cast with out of scale bricks, walls from other kits don't match. I was forced to either use only Life Like kits for wall parts or else abandon the Life Like kit altogether if I wanted to use DPM or other scale wall parts. I blanked out 2 windows (may do more, I'm not sure) to partially hide the window arrangements, however it is not really a concern to me since there will be buildings on each side of this one. It will be very difficult to see all of 2 walls at once so it should not be too noticeable.
[Image: DSC_0277.jpg]
[Image: DSC_0276.jpg]

I found an old sign made of plastic suitable for the base of the structure. Also here is a couple of pics showing the placement of the apparatus. Next will be to establish a first floor plan to accommodate the "Watch Desk", 4 poles, an office, a lounge, and a bathroom.
[Image: DSC_0279.jpg]

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