Sunday, September 3, 2017

35 Round House Ascape

Ascape Roundhouse 
More than 40 years ago the ATSG acquired a Scale Structure Limited Sterling Colorado Round House kit.   The Roundhouse served on an early version of the ATSG railroad for a number of years.  The railroad was moved in 2006 and began reconstruction in 2009.  The roundhouse was removed from its crate where it had been packed for more than 5 years.  The construction crew in those early days were far less skilled than our current crew. When the roundhouse was put in place next to the turntable it was apparent that the construction standards did not meet the new building code for the railroad.

Ascape Roundhouse RIP track
Doug Whetstone, a member of the Color Country Model Railroad Club and operator on the ATSG volunteered to reconstruct the roundhouse to bring it up to code.  He completely disassembled the previous round house, discarded everything but the metal parts including the windows, doors, roof vents and details.  He repainted all of these metal parts using paint that he had on hand. He reconstructed the right wall of the building using foam core covered with embossed stone paper.  The new wall looked great.  But then the press of other responsibilities prevented him from further construction for a couple of years.  The management of the ATSG finally revoked the contract and retrieved the building parts for later reconstruction.

Reconstruction of the Ascape roundhouse was resumed in 2015. Using the pattern of the right wall constructed by Mr. Whetstone, the construction crew of the ATSG went to work reconstructing the remainder of the building.  Using plans from the original kit a floor complete with simulated pits was designed to correspond with the turntable already in place.  The roof supports in the middle of the roundhouse were reconstructed using some of the parts from the original kit.  The inner walls were lined with embossed red brick paper.  Overhead lights were installed under the roof support beams.

Ascape Round House
The roof was made removable.  Rather than attaching the rafters to the roof beams, these rafters were attached to the underside of the roof so that they rested on the support beams when the roof was in place on the building.  The roof was constructed from poster board with the roof vents and windows secured in place.  Scored aluminum was cut into appropriate panels and secured to the roof.  The roof was weathered by brushing on ground rust colored chalk.  The whole structure was then dusted with powered graphite to give it a dirty well used appearance.

When the windows were originally repainted, one window escaped and was not painted with the new paint scheme.  When the reconstruction was resumed Floquil paint had been discontinued and it was not possible to match the color scheme used on the windows.  The problem was solved when the roundhouse was placed on the railroad by including painters repainting  this window.

The original Scale Structures kit included a number of details of some of the equipment that might be found in a roundhouse.  These were also metal parts that were retained.  When they were placed inside the roundhouse it became apparent that even with the lights that were installed these details would not be easy for visitors to view.  Thus a construction shed was added to the right side of the building where some of these detail parts could be placed for construction on the RIP track at the side of the roundhouse.  A crane was also constructed for this RIP track to give the whole scene a more used appearance.  Appropriate railroad junk was placed near the RIP track including a set of locomotive drivers.

The motive power of the ATSG now runs much better with a roundhouse for regular maintenance.