Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Post pictures and information about your own personal model railway layout that is under construction. Keep members up-to-date with what you are doing and discuss problems that you are having.
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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:19 am

Looking very good 8). To take full advantage of your modular approach why not make two alternative contrasting scenes? One urban (e.g. flats, carpark, industrial units or abandoned canal wharf) and the other rural (e.g. open fields, country pub, farm or canal with lock). To make it more challenging, they could represent the same scene before and after 'development' . . . ?

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

Postby alan_r » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:27 pm

...now there is an interesting idea! A time-lapse of development from old to new.
A good opportunity to build a construction site. I've seen these at exhibitions as they show off building frames, cement mixers, cranes, diggers etc and create real interest, and I'm sure it appeals to the sense of construction/engineering in all of us.
Starting with overgrown/derelict lines and buildings, leading to a construction site, then a pristine modern image scene. Brilliant - should keep me going for a while :D
Thanks - any other suggestions, or do we have a winner already?! :lol:

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

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:48 pm

I like it 8) - THREE scenes over time - sounds brilliant!

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

Postby alan_r » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:44 pm

The hole in the backscene was quite prominent so I figured a station would be needed to hide it
P3_36.JPG
Hole in backscene

I had a bit of spare time, so I set about building that station building to cover the hole. Learning from the shed, I decided to go all-plastic for this one. I sketched out a basic design for an over bridge then cut sheets of corrugated and textured brick to give the parts for the bridge:
P3_39.JPG
Roof parts for station bridge

P3_40.JPG
Wall parts for station bridge

Gluing together was very quick and the structure held together well - definitely better that the polystyrene disaster of the shed! Being all plastic, the cement cured in a few moments allowing the next pieces to go together, with just the right amount of adjustment possible. The complete bridge was assembled in about half an hour :)
Placing it on the station platform goes a long way to hiding the hole in the backboard
P3_41.JPG
Station bridge parts glued together

I had plenty of scraps from the doors and cutting the sheet, so knocked up some lean-to buildings to fill the space in front of the bridge
P3_43.JPG
Extra buildings made from scraps

I was pleasantly surprised how quickly these last two buildings were made and from absolute scrap too. I've bought plenty of plastic house kits etc, but I don't think I will be getting anymore as this scratch-building is much easier than I expected and a fraction of the price. It also means buildings will be bespoke and won't look like the same old kits stuff. Happy days :D

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

Postby alan_r » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:54 pm

Testing the bridge with my tallest wagon (loaded car transporter) confirmed it was high enough for all trains to pass underneath
P3_44.JPG
Testing the height

The hole in the backscene is still visible, so I decided to make a canopy to hide it further
P3_45.JPG
Canopy

This was glued on and again tested for height
P3_46.JPG
Canopy fitted

I then fitted some uprights as the canopy appeared to be floating!
P3_47.JPG
Supporting uprights fitted

Here is a closer view of the station. Not necessarily very prototypical, but effective. All I need to do now is find some time to paint it!
P3_48a.JPG
Finished station, ready for painting

Since the previous spray painting was so disappointing, I think I'll brush-paint by hand with acrylic paints to see how that works. With different surface types (brick, corrugated sheets) they will need to be different colours, so spray painting wouldn't be the best method anyway.
I just need to find another few evenings to paint it. Something pleasant to look forward to at least :)

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

Postby carnehan » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:27 pm

Great looking station and as you say with scratchbuilding, bespoke.

Use something like Halfords grey primer on the plasticard first will at least allow the follow up painting adhere to it better and with fewer coats.

Paul

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

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:36 am

Looking good 8) - to my eye it just needs maybe another pair of support columns at the end of the canopy?
Re painting, I am a recent convert to spraying, so agree with Carnehan that a primer spray first (I use humbrol spray cans) is a good idea - it produces such a good finish without covering up all the texture detail - lots of brushed coats can result in a rather flat finish.

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

Postby alan_r » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:36 pm

Thanks both for the advice.
My grey building was indeed spray painted with grey primer and that went on very well. The station is quite fiddly to access all of the surfaces, but I'll give it a go with the spray first, then pick out details/surface colours in acrylic after.
I just need to wait for some dry, wind-free weather to spray (outside) as this isn't something I can do indoors!
Cheers, Alan

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

Postby alan_r » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:08 pm

I managed to get that wind-free day and spray painted the whole bridge in grey primer. It certainly has retained the texture details of the roof and brickwork
P3_49.JPG
Primer bridge 1

P3_50.JPG
Primer bridge 2

P3_51.JPG
Primer bridge 3

P3_52.JPG
Primer bridge 4

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

Postby alan_r » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:26 pm

Next to paint the brickwork. I decided to try acrylic paint applied by brush this time. Before committing to the whole bridge, I started on the far side that would be out of sight as a practice in case things didn't go to plan
First I painted with two coats of red, then washed in a dilute coat of cream to fill the gaps, being then wiped off when partially dry with a damp paper towel:
P3_53.JPG
Painted brick

P3_54.JPG
Close up of the brickwork

Not bad, but I was disappointed that some of the acrylic was coming off as well, making the remaining bricks pink. The cream of the mortar does show well and often bricks in the real world are more of a pink colour, but it wasn't what i was hoping for. It was also far more time consuming than I thought, taking much longer than the construction in the first place!
I then weathered with some very dilute black to take the starkness away
P3_55.JPG
Slight weathering with dilute black

Better, but I still wanted more of a red for the bricks, so I dabbed some red on the surface with a damp paper towel:
P3_56.JPG
Extra red on the bricks

Well i suppose it is realistic so I'll do the rest of the surfaces the same, but not quite how I expected. Still not very red in the same way as the supporting walls of the upper siding. Perhaps the mortar colour is too light and thus masking the red of the relatively small bricks? :?
Does anyone have experience of oil paints? Would a base coat of red oil paint not come away when the mortar coat was wiped off, or does this lead to other problems? Would oil paint lose the detail?
Anyway, all part of the learning experience. Comments welcome. Thanks :)

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

Postby carnehan » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:57 pm

Primer never fails Alan. I've never used oils so I'd be interested in the results.

I did a short video on YouTube some time ago on how I go about painting brick to achieve a realistic look. Here's a link, if interested.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ChcXZwE2hrQ

Paul

Ex-Pat
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby Ex-Pat » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:40 pm

alan_r wrote:I then weathered with some very dilute black to take the starkness away

Anyway, all part of the learning experience. Comments welcome. Thanks :)


It's your own choice as to colour of course, but I prefer the diluted black stage without the additional red touch-up (in fact I'm struggling to bring to mind such an intense shade of red brickwork). Not criticism but just comment!

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

Postby railwayjim » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:12 pm

Not sure how oil paints would work, but I have in the past used matt enamel
for the brick colour and then used matt acrylic for the wash when I wanted
a light pointing colour. The two different types of paint don't interact with
each other then. More recently I have used matt enamel paint and then
weathered using weathering powders, although I am trying to achieve an
industrial dirty look on my brickwork.

Great looking station by the way.

Jim.

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

Postby heda » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:43 am

It looks OK to me, but if you wanted a deeper red you could maybe try a light dry brush of brown. As you say it's going to be out of sight you can experiment with different colours. There are so many colours of brickwork depending on the type of brick, how old they are, the location and weathering. In the end it is what looks right to you.
Dave

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

Postby alan_r » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:45 pm

After a bit of practising I took the plunge and painted the front of the station using the previous techniques and also added some detailing (advert and information board) stuck on the side to give some 3D relief. I also added a piece of transparent plastic into the window of the side building, drawing a black frame with felt pen, plus a door behind the wall/frame. Overall I'm pleased with the result and the darker roof works better
P3_57.JPG
Station front painted and detailed

Placing it on the station platform and it works well. I think the colours are more muted with the additional detailing to take any starkness away. Maybe I was just too critical before. I wasn't sure about what colour to do the canopy, but I think the cream looks right. Perhaps a little over-weathered but then again roofs get very dirty!
P3_58.JPG
Station placed on the layout

A more distant view shows how it hides the opening in the backscene and the bare unballasted track. Cream was definitely the right colour for the canopy!
P3_59.JPG
Station bridge on the platform


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