3.19 Ed's Dirty Dog √

It was a long road to arrive at Ed's. It had a number of various starting points, including Blair Line's Fred and Red's Cafe (below left), which I ultimately rejected as being a bit too inner-city. Then it was going to be a converted trailer. When I found the Showcase Miniatures kit #124, Bud's Red Hots (below right), I thought I'd found the answer.

Then the hurricane hit, and a lot of things changed. I decided to use the office for Haber Coal, which itself had a long history. It was originally going to be Branchline Laser-Art #891 Dan's Welding (below left), but after two tries and a lot of modification, I still wasn't getting anything satisfactory. So, I switched to JL Innovative Design #260 East Junction Section House (below right).

I was at the point of finishing the roof on the former coal yard office when I became dissatisfied with it as well, mostly because the reference images I found were much closer to what I had in mind. The more I studied Smokin' Bowls, the more I thought I should just scratchbuild it, which I ultimately started to do on 19 August 2020.

After gathering all of the materials, I cut the wall and roof parts to size, and began assembly. Notice that I kept the signs from the Blair Line kit, as well as the interior details from the Showcase Miniatures kit (although I never did use them). I lined the interior walls with aluminum foil, which accomplished two things: it created an appropriate stainless steel surface, and it also made the structure light-tight.

Ed (the real one) had a request for the sign:

By the end of the first day I had the LED and smoke unit installed, the platform added, and the main structure painted.

On the second day, things reached the 90% mark, although the main sign represented much of the work. I printed the main sign—as well as all of the other signs—on self-adhesive paper, and applied it to some micro-ply. After cutting it out with a knife, I ground away the irregular areas around the dog's head with a Dremel cutoff disc, then hit all of the edges of the sign with a black Sharpie to eliminate all of the white paper edges.

Having worked as a sign painter, I knew this one required more than the usual amount of bracing (above), which I assembled on a roof made of batten sheet styrene (below). The roof must remain removable so that the smoke generator can be refilled.

The canopy over the order window was next. Somewhere along the way I got it in my head to decorate it with a string of Christmas lights, for which I used five colors of pre-wired 0201 SMD LEDs (below).

The 40 LED wires were run through a slot sliced in the wall over the ordering window with a Dremel cutoff disc (below).

The final touch was a set of shelf brackets under the shelf below the ordering window (below). These were cut from etched brass filigree.

This brought Ed's to the 90% completion mark; the rest of the work involved wiring the Christmas lights and smoke unit.

Reference Images

Smokin' Bowls in Bellows Falls, Vermont, is about what I had in mind for Ed's all along. This is classified as a "food truck" since the structure is really a trailer (you can see the wheels in the first image below).

Named For...

Railwire friend Ed Kapuscinski is always making jokes about bacon.

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