Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:18 am

alan_r wrote:They are certainly too far from the normal viewing position to worry about detailing. These are meant to be more like a scenic backscene, so in that respect they have much more 3D texture than a photographic sheet.

Agreed - looking good 8)

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joshv8
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby joshv8 » Wed May 01, 2019 1:15 pm

A 3 dimensional backscene, very clever. I find myself more and more amazed every chance I get to check in on this thread!

alan_r
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sat May 18, 2019 7:47 pm

Following from the previous two buildings, I made a larger office block with a full cereal box cut to the height of my window print and turned inside out again. I also wanted to hide the end of the old scenic background board, so thought of using two toothpaste boxes, one either side of the board to fit over the end and form the 'transition'
P5_26.JPG
Box scaling

The 'first draft' of the big office block with the window paper stuck on
P5_27.JPG
Big office block - first draft!

This close-up view shows the curse of the PVA glue and paper/cardboard combination! I really must find an alternative glue as PVA is too wet and swells the cardboard, warping it. The grid pattern of the windows just exaggerates the waviness :( Since this building has such long unsupported walls, it offers little resistance to buckling in this initial unmodified form
P5_28.JPG
first draft wobbly sides

alan_r
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sat May 18, 2019 7:58 pm

Rather than turn the toothpaste boxes inside out, I kept them whole for strength and simply wrapped them with a cardboard skin to hold them together and to support the print paper. Because the building will be higher than the backscene, the roof straddles the board and holds the top in shape. It also hints at a deeper building than the boxes used to make it
P5_29.JPG
Skin around toothpaste boxes

Placed over the scenic board end and it works ok
P5_30.JPG
Scenic board end cover building

A view from the rear shows it covering the end of the backscene
P5_31.JPG
Wrapped around the board end

I fixed the warping of the big office walls by sticking a block of expanded polystyrene inside the box and weighing down a flat board on top overnight while it dried. It has certainly flattened the wall and holds its shape well. Unfortunately the paper wrinkled in the [top right] corner
P5_32.JPG
Stiffened building, wrinkled paper

The wrinkle was fixed by sticking a patch over the corner
P5_33.JPG
Patched wrinkle

Nicely recovered if I do say so myself! :D

alan_r
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sat May 18, 2019 8:11 pm

Sticking another window printed paper wrap around the end building finishes it off. This too bowed a little, but I can live with it as the walls are shorter and the distortion is less noticable. The building is floating in mid air a bit for now, but this will be covered by a wider low-rise building at the bottom, perhaps linking to the station?
P5_34.JPG
Completed office buildings1

P5_35.JPG
Completed office buildings2

Overall though I am pleased with my 3D office building 'backscene' and it creates a more interesting way to fill the gap between my old layout backscene and the new wider extension. :)
The cardboard was all rubbish that would have gone into the recycling bin, the paper window prints were printed on the work laser printer and the only cost [to me at least!] was a few squirts of PVA glue. It has proved a virtually zero-cost addition. The big investment was my time. This could be reduced with a better choice of glue as I spent more time on remedial work correcting warping and distortion than on the main construction. I'll have to see what alternative glues I can find and test.

alan_r
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:16 pm

I made some more buildings for the edge background, this time of a simpler construction. Two consist simply of flat card with building prints stuck on, and the middle building is a flat expanded polystyrene tile covered in cardboard and another building print stuck to it. A larger polystyrene block forms a wider foot to the screen to stop it toppling over. The individual building pieces are stuck onto a backing card with double-sided tape to avoid the warping and distortion that always seemed to result from wet PVA glue. They certainly stick well and don't distort, but you only get one chance to position them with no adjustment afterwards, so accuracy and precision is key! The backing card (in white) can be seen protruding at the bottom - this is to catch the rear edge of the base to align it.
P5_36.JPG
2½D building facades stuck to card background

The 2½-D screen takes away any flatness that a standard scenic backscene would have, yet it obscures the back and is in-keeping with the model when focusing on the trains and track.
P5_37.JPG
Building background located onto the layout corner

Viewing the whole scene and it is looking much better. The gap between the two lines of buildings where the road passes between though is quite prominent, so I'll have to think of a way to close this off. Probably another narrow building and a sky print, maybe with a foot bridge to mask the road hitting a flat wall!
P5_38.JPG
The office buildings corner

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manna
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby manna » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:54 pm

G'Day Gents

Strange how we get used to small cottages and farms, on a model railway, office blocks and blocks of flats are a rarity.

manna
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joshv8
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby joshv8 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:07 pm

This is very, very clever. Well done mate

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glencairn
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby glencairn » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:18 pm

Another layout with an individual style. Love it.

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footplate1947
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby footplate1947 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:48 pm

Post deleted as posted in wrong place
It worked last time I used it..............John

Lee
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby Lee » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:58 pm

Well done with the buildings they look very effective 8) :wink:
My N Gauge Layout.


Sunshine In The Lakes <<<<< Old layout no more

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=44159 <<<<< Back to the Lakes (New Layout 2013)

alan_r
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:36 pm

I've managed to get some more train time and decided to tackle the gap in the town centre backscene where the road meets the layout edge.
The gap could be reduced in width with another 2D building, so I got some thick card and stuck another building print over the top.
P5_39.JPG
2D building

This then went alongside the run of other buildings to reduce the gap width to that of the road.
P5_40.JPG
Extra 2D building to close gap


Next, to hide the road from the viewing point, I set about making a new tower block for the space in front of the road. This is made from a tissue box, again turned inside-out. This time it has a slot to clip onto the concrete retaining wall to keep it in position. By straddling the wall and having some of the building on the higher level it gives a theoretical access to the lower level (through the building) without needing to make stairs
P5_41.JPG
Central building - wall slot

Here you can see the box clipped over the wall
P5_42.JPG
Central building - wall slot fitted

alan_r
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby alan_r » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:45 pm

Viewing the building from the main 'viewing point' and its position is indeed in front of where the road meets the gap in the backscene, so it hides the road meeting a flat wall!
P5_43.JPG
Tissue box building location

By adding a second tier to the building it should help to hide this point when viewed from a higher point of view (me standing instead of sitting)
P5_44.JPG
Second tier

The building is finished with a skin of building windows stuck on. Learning from before, this is stuck on with double-sided tape to prevent warping of the carboard box due to wet PVA
P5_45.JPG
Picture skin applied

Viewing the corner from a very low level and the gap is completely obscured.
P5_46.JPG
Low level view

It certainly looks nice and urban - I just need to finish the space in the centre of the layout between the road and the station now - fingers crossed for some time in the future :)

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:31 pm

I really like the tall modern buildings, and your new method looks to work very well indeed :D. I don't often see such an urban scene, so this is a refreshing change - and it would take up too much space in a larger scale . . . !

I also like the clever way you have hidden where the road meets the backscene :D - in my little narrow gauge layout set in the Welsh hills, I have the same issue, but can't really use the same technique :lol:

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End2end
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby End2end » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:34 pm

Great to see some monoliths of buildings on a layout for a change.
Just thinking on your waprng problem, would spray adhesive / fixative be any better than pva?
Thanks
End2end
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