The In-ko-pah Railroad

The first building in this town is a two-story former bank building which has been repurposed as a jewelry studio, a tribute to my brother Jim and his wife Maggi.

I started some preliminary work for this building in 2012, and began putting it together in early 2013.

This was my first attempt at using plastic construction to simulate the look of a stone building. I’m using “Sintra” PVC foam board for the basic structure. The front wall is covered with resin castings to replicate the look of quarried stone. The one exposed side wall is carved and painted to give it the appearance of a rubble stone wall.

The building is surrounded by real rock and real stone walls, so getting the plastic structure to match that appearance as closely as possible was critical.

The structure was completed externally by September 2013. I began to do some work on the interior but didn’t get far. I left the interior unfinished and put the building out on the railroad.

In 2020 I decided to finish the interiors, and also refurbished the exterior as needed.

I used two types of glue on this project: For large PVC-to-PVC joints, I use PVC pipe cement. For smaller joins requiring more precise application, and for attaching styrene to PVC, I use Weldon-16.

I get the “Sintra” PVC foam board from this supplier:

The material for the silicone mold is called OoMoo 30. I like this stuff because you mix it in equal parts by volume, not by weight, so you don't need a fancy scale. It's also pretty forgiving of minor inaccuracies, so you don't have to worry about being super precise. It's made by Smooth-On, but I get it from this art supplier:

The urethane resin I use is also made by Smooth-on, and is just as easy to use as the silicone rubber. It's called Smooth-Cast 300:

Updated November 2020.

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