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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:43 pm
by alan_r
The next small building is simply the end of a toothpaste box turned inside-out, a cap around the top painted grey and a window print stuck over the sides. Very quick and to be honest - good enough for what I want in this area, so I think this is the way to go for the line of office blocks here
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Small simple building

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.

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:18 am
by PinkNosedPenguin
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)

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 1:15 pm
by joshv8
A 3 dimensional backscene, very clever. I find myself more and more amazed every chance I get to check in on this thread!

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 7:47 pm
by alan_r
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'
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Box scaling

The 'first draft' of the big office block with the window paper stuck on
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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
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first draft wobbly sides

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 7:58 pm
by alan_r
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
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Skin around toothpaste boxes

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

A view from the rear shows it covering the end of the backscene
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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
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Patched wrinkle

Nicely recovered if I do say so myself! :D

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 8:11 pm
by alan_r
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?
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Completed office buildings1

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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.

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:16 pm
by alan_r
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.
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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.
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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

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:54 pm
by manna
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

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:07 pm
by joshv8
This is very, very clever. Well done mate

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:18 pm
by glencairn
Another layout with an individual style. Love it.

Glencairn

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:48 pm
by footplate1947
Post deleted as posted in wrong place

Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:58 pm
by Lee
Well done with the buildings they look very effective 8) :wink: