Saturday, March 3, 2018

Chattanooga Car Shed... Cupola and Completed

The cupola was a bit more tedious. Thankfully those glass plate photos allow the extreme zoom. As a result we can see that it was not all windows but a pattern of two windows then louvers. I reason that the louvers provided some ventilation for the locomotive smoke. My challenge was how to ensure I could cement the roof evenly and in one application. I intentionally did not add a floor to the cupola for access to the inside. Once I had the roof set using the rubber bands I could apply the CA to the seem between roof and walls from the inside. 

Here is the completed cupola ready for a coat of paint. It was primed white then masked to only expose the louvers which I decided on a green tone. I chose green for a couple of reasons. It appears that for some reason green was common for structure trim. The other, and more important rationale, was that the period photos show the louvers being darker than the windows. Could they have been something other than green? Absolutely. After further consideration I may have used a dark tan. Anyhow I'm satisfied.

In this photo below you will notice that the roof has been painted a gray tone. After MANY conversations and viewing period as well as contemporary photos there is a general consensus that a period photo, although appearing white, is clearly just the reflection of sun light. The reality is that a metal roof would have a gray tone. The question is how weathered would this roof have been. The Car Shed was constructed in mid to late 1850's so not so old given the period pics are 1864. When viewing the period pictures there appears to be little if any wear. Assuming this latter point, there may be a slight sheen which is my current experiment. The cupola roof was painted with a Craftsmart color, Silver Gray from Michael's. This has a slight sheen. The main roof was painted using 2 other craft paint gray colors of a matte finish. Next is to 'dirty' the roofs up a bit with dry brushing and washes. Missed the down spots as you can see.
Windows and louvers are from Grandt Line as well as the Double S corbels on the cupola and the corbels on the main roof. Down spouts are Evergreen round stock just bent. I was pleasantly surprised that they held the shape.

Good friend Andy Salcius shot this one below and of course added some photo shop to mask the ceiling.


  1. It looks good, Thom. Just like the prototype photos!

  2. How do I teach someone I have trains I want to sell or donate

    1. Apologies. WAY late on this reply. However, if you still have trains to sell, post a list at