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

Postby Dave » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:45 pm

alan_r wrote:I think I prefer the former of these last two and it will give a bigger building to hide the implied origin of the scenic siding at the back of the layout

I am not quite sure which configuration i would use, so I am no help at all :lol:

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

Postby alan_r » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:44 am

Before progressing with the shed building, I decided to have a practice and make a small shed to fit the gap between the station and the embankment. Taking one half of the door end of the shed, I then cut some corrugated sheet and made some sides. I'd forgotten how quickly polystyrene cement cures, so was able to make the building quite fast, yet still had a bit of time for adjustment before full setting.
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Scratch built building

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Internal view

The material is quite thin so is difficult to make stiff, however I spotted the sprues for another loco shed kit and realised I could use them as a compact yet strong frame:
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Kit sprues as a frame

This allowed fitting of the rear wall and proved plenty strong enough
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Wall fitted

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internal bracing frame

It is a motley assortment of plastic parts but painting should hide these differences

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

Postby alan_r » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:54 am

I then spray painted the building with a few light coats of grey primer (apologies for the poor photo!)
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Spray painted

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Spray painted

Oops - I forgot about the roof overhang, so painting from above left a gap under the roof!
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Missing paint under roof overhang

I wasn't going to respray just for the gap, so used some diluted black acrylic to weather the sides and fill the gap, wiping off as appropriate to give a realistic effect
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Weathering the building

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Weathered building

Perhaps a little over-weathered, but then again buildings don't get cleaned so maybe it will work.

Overall I'm happy with the techniques, both construction and painting (with some learning experiences!) so I'll keep this for the location I intended and move on to do something similar with the loco-shed walls

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

Postby End2end » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:59 am

Looks great. :)
I've worked in buildings like that and apart from a door the only thing maybe missing is a large vertical roller shutter.
Great stuff.
Thanks
End2end
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mumbles
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Re: Reusable, modular layout base in N-gauge

Postby mumbles » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:26 am

Just read through the thread. Some great modelling and I like how the layout has changed. The wide countryside shots with the chalk buffs and the river look excellent

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

Postby alan_r » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:22 am

Thanks for the suggestion End2end - a roller shutter seemed like a simple addition, so I painted a small piece of corrugated sheet (horizontal corrugations) in silver and stuck it in place.
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Roller shutter added

Since trains will be travelling through the door it made sense to add a yellow line to the bottom slat. Masking tape seemed unnecessary for such a small line, but the photo is harsh! I'm going to claim it is service related wear and tear, in-keeping with the heavy weathering of the building sides!

Thanks for the compliments Mumbles. (A Mumbles railway modeller by any chance? :) ) I've surprised myself at what I have created with just my second ever model. I've learned plenty with this one too, so have some big hopes for any subsequent efforts :D

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

Postby mumbles » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:30 am

Ha ha no, I've never even been, I should do really for the photo ops of standing in front of signs :mrgreen:

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

Postby alan_r » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:44 pm

I finished the small building by adding the small fire door to the side of the roller door
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Door fitted


Full of confidence i then set about the main shed based on the loco shed parts. I added the half door to the end and cut a large gable to fit around it. To hide the origins of the building sides, I decided to make the pitch of the roof steeper than the loco shed. Cut-down sprues from another kit again made good bracing to join the various sections together.
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Building end

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Both building ends with sprue joins

The kit sides do at least give a good edge to glue the ends to
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Ends glued on

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Taking shape

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

Postby alan_r » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:58 pm

With the glue setting very quickly I could then move straight on to fitting the roof. The sprues definitely give good mounting points and allow the structure to hold together well.
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First half of roof

Then the small flat-roof front section. To save on corrugated sheeting and to give a larger, stiffer frame I decided to try expanded polystyrene blocks for the rear and to tie the various sections together. Obviously these were glued with PVA as polystyrene cement would melt the foam.
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Polystyrene frame

Cardboard flat roof panels were then cut, though not attached yet - these will be fitted after painting
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Flat roofs

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End detail

This last view shows a narrow strip of the corrugated sheet on the top of the wall as a cap. Not only does it stiffen the structure, but it also matches the top of the main donor wall. It is very subtle, but it makes a surprising difference to the look, neatening the top very well.
If you are wondering what the white plastic in the door with the two notches at the bottom is for - this is to locate the building onto the track to ensure the track lines up within the door absolutely centrally. It will be covered by the black and yellow chevron doors, again to be fitted after painting to prevent overspray.

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

Postby alan_r » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:16 pm

A view of the underside, showing the expanded polystyrene rear frame.
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Underside view

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Underside view

In hindsight, I won't be doing this again! The PVA glue takes 24hrs to set, keeps moving and runs out of the gaps making a right old mess. For how much material I saved and the effort required I think any next buildings will be all plastic sheet. They are quick to build, strong and light.

I then spray painted the building with several light coats of aerosol paint. I didn't want grey again so opted for a sky blue to give some variation.
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Spray painting

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Spray painted

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Sprayed end

This was a different brand of paint (very small cans) which had also been in storage for years. I had hoped the small cans would be more precise and better suited to small scale models like this, but despite much shaking I was disappointed with the finish. I'm not sure if the paint has separated inside the can or if the corrugations are just hard for the paint to flow, but even after three light coats the paint is running, pooling and in other areas it isn't covering the plastic at all :( I really made an effort to not overpaint, but clearly I haven't done something right.
I'll leave to dry overnight and study it up close tomorrow evening after work. This will also allow the fumes to fully disperse before bringing into the house! :o
Fingers crossed this hasn't been ruined in the final painting stage :cry:

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

Postby carnehan » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:19 pm

Despite your difficulties in the build, Alan, it is a mighty impressive looking structure you have produced. Well done.

Paul

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

Postby alan_r » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:48 pm

Oh - the aerosol paint seems to have reacted with the expanded polystyrene and started to partially dissolve it in places! Another reason not to use it for buildings :o
The high gloss finish of the blue looked terrible so I set about weathering it down. Being high gloss though meant a dilute wash of weak black paint just rolled off, so I tried undiluted black acrylic paint and wiped it with a damp paper towel. Seems to work and has certainly taken the edge off the shiny finish
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Weathered building

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Weathered side view

You can see the reacted polystyrene in this shot
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Melted polystyrene

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

Postby alan_r » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:51 pm

A bit more weathering adjustment then fitting the cardboard roof sections and the peco shed doors
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Finished building

I also added a roller shutter to the vehicle door
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Roller shutter at end

Looking a lot better now. I'm feeling happier about the building and I think I may have saved it afterall! :)
P2_101.JPG
Finished side view

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

Postby carnehan » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:13 pm

Never mind thinking you've saved it Alan, I think the result is fantastic. With the flat roof in place you wouldn't even know the paint had eaten at some of the build. Great work.

Paul

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

Postby alan_r » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:40 pm

Thanks for the compliments Paul/carnehan - I'm not up to your building standard, but I can aspire :) . I may struggle to reach your level of detail as these are N compared to your OO, but I can at least go for a larger overall look.

I've now moved on to the background filler section. As before, starting with polystyrene blocks glued, carved and fillered. Then sticking down a single length of flex-track for the scenic siding
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Polystyrene block

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Fillered

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Flextrack


Then some filler to give a rough dirt road. I've often been impressed by models of overgrown track at siding ends at the buffers. Done well, these look great, so I thought I'd have a go. Admittedly they tend to be in OO, so it may be harder in N
P3_04.JPG
dirt road and overgrown buffer

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dirt road


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