This old WonderBoard test structure, built in 2000, has been sitting right where it is in this picture for 8 years. When I originally assembled the thing to test the processes of working with WonderBoard, I didn't really have a plan as to what it would be or even how it would look. At that point, I didn't really care because it was supposed to end up in the trash anyway. I let it sit outside all that time just to see how it would hold up. Except for the dirt splashed on by 8 years worth of rainstorms (which is SoCal means "not many") it is none the worse for wear. I had some thoughts of turning it into an auto repair shop or gas station but I didn't know what I would do about the gas pumps and other equipment.
At the June 08 Big Train Show at the Ontario Convention Center in California, I found this kit. It is made in China by Tinstoys and sold by Just Plain Folks. It is a 1930's vintage Tokheim type pump. However, I haven't been able to find this model on their website. The detail on the set is quite excellent, the text on the pump is fully readable if you get close enough. The floor jack and compressor were separate pieces also sold by Just Plain Folks. This was all I needed to get my backside in gear and convert the test building into a gas station.
The apron in front of the original building was not big enough for the pumps and a covered island so I elected to build the island structure on it's own base with a 50's style roof sloping upward from the center. This is the island under construction. The roof supports were made from strips of WonderBoard assembled into H columns with RapidSet. These were then attached to the base with more RapidSet. The roof was made as a separate section in a V shape and the the base was fixtured to the roof upside down to allow better access to apply yet more RapidSet to hold the two parts together. The H columns also provide some additional bracing for the central roof joint.
This is the assembled pump island with the pumps themselves test fit in place. I don't plan to leave the pumps out of doors so they will be a set piece when needed.
The actual roof surface is covered with gravel in the same fashion as the building roof. This is just #5 crushed granite sorted through a 1/8" hardware cloth sieve to filter out the bigger pieces. A layer of RapidSet was applied to the roof before it was attached to the base and the gravel was spread on, wet down and pressed into the wet cement on the surface. The excess gravel was simply shaken off when the bonding cement had set up.
The two bay garage had no place for a work area or office. I considered adding an office to the side of the structure, but instead, I added a closed garage door with a double wide access door attached to it. This will simulate the small space needed for the station office and work area.
The completed gas station and garage is back out on the layout in more or less it's final position. At some point, I'll also make a freestanding sign. I'll build the road going by it later. However, I just realized that I have no period vehicles at all that need gas or service. I'll have to fix that.
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© 2008 George Schreyer
Created 9 Jun 08
Last Updated June 9, 2008