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Detailing the interior of N scale buildings

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  • Member since
    March 2021
  • From: Southern Québec
  • 61 posts
Detailing the interior of N scale buildings
Posted by ModelTrain on Sunday, March 28, 2021 5:31 AM

Hi everyone.

I am modeling in N scale. I would like to know if it's a good thing to spend my time and money on modeling the interior of N scale buildings when the windows are about 3 millimeters wide.

Let me know what you think and if you have modeled such buildings, it would be very appreciated to see some photos.

Thanks for your help!

Stef

Modeling Canadian National in N scale.

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • 5,961 posts
Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, March 28, 2021 1:54 PM

I model HO and only do interiors for closely viewable structures.  I have a rural layout and a few homes are within 12” of adult eyesight.

House on the left.


There is a girl in her bedroom with bed and drawers behind the top window.

House on the right.








Mostly I just detail the exterior of my buildings with figures.

My roundhouse sits about four feet from the viewer so I did some interior detail.





My diesel maintenance shop is a bit closer to the edge of my layout.


Remember my goodies are twice as big as N.



Mel



 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,883 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, March 28, 2021 2:07 PM

Hi Stef,

I model in HO so detailing an interior is a lot easier than I think it would be in N scale, and I question whether or not fine details would even be seen unless the building was very close to the viewer.

However, I absolutely hate the look of empty hollow buildings! At the very least I would suggest printing some properly scaled pictures of building interiors and gluing them inside the windows, leaving a bit of space between the windows and the image. Sometimes just some paper cut into the shape of curtains or blinds that are partially open can add to the appearance too.

Floors can be added using styrene or card stock, and a scaled print out of a carpet or patterned linoleum will add a lot of realism.

Remember that all you need is a 'suggestion' of something inside the room.

Another thing that I think is important is interior lighting. I noticed in another thread that you were painting the interiors of your buildings black before applying the colour. That's great. As you may be aware, LEDs are dirt cheap, and if you want a bit of a challenge, you can set up Arduino circuits to randomly control the lights. I noticed on another thread that a poster had used cheap Christmas lights. They work, but with the way individual LED prices have dropped over the past few years, they may be more work than is worth it. I have purchased packs of 100 warm white 3mm LEDs for less than $5.00, resistors included.

Cheers!

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • From: Southern Québec
  • 61 posts
Posted by ModelTrain on Monday, March 29, 2021 7:09 AM

Thanks guys for the pictures. I really appreciate.

hon30critter

Hi Stef,

I model in HO so detailing an interior is a lot easier than I think it would be in N scale, and I question whether or not fine details would even be seen unless the building was very close to the viewer.

However, I absolutely hate the look of empty hollow buildings! At the very least I would suggest printing some properly scaled pictures of building interiors and gluing them inside the windows, leaving a bit of space between the windows and the image. Sometimes just some paper cut into the shape of curtains or blinds that are partially open can add to the appearance too.

Floors can be added using styrene or card stock, and a scaled print out of a carpet or patterned linoleum will add a lot of realism.

Remember that all you need is a 'suggestion' of something inside the room.

Another thing that I think is important is interior lighting. I noticed in another thread that you were painting the interiors of your buildings black before applying the colour. That's great. As you may be aware, LEDs are dirt cheap, and if you want a bit of a challenge, you can set up Arduino circuits to randomly control the lights. I noticed on another thread that a poster had used cheap Christmas lights. They work, but with the way individual LED prices have dropped over the past few years, they may be more work than is worth it. I have purchased packs of 100 warm white 3mm LEDs for less than $5.00, resistors included.

Cheers!

Dave

Hi Dave. I would like to print scale pictures of building interiors but it's going to be very hard because I don't have a computer anymore. I do everything on my iPad.

I am also, like you said, painting all the interior walls of my building in black in case I want to add lights inside of them. It's taking me a lot more time to paint but I think it will be useful when I will be ready to add those lights.

Stef

Modeling Canadian National in N scale.

  • Member since
    January 2011
  • 12 posts
Posted by Rook2324 on Monday, April 5, 2021 11:40 PM

Check out our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/258574781469. There is a post by an N-Scaler about how he uses old computer boards to detail the insides of N-Scale buildings. Some of our members are using this technique for HO-Scale building also. Jim Ford Elkhart Model Railroad Club

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 12,883 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 1:09 AM

https://www.facebook.com/groups/258574781469

Clickable link.

I searched the site for the information that the poster said was there, but I couldn't find it, and I couldn't see a search function on the site. Perhaps the poster who referenced this site could take the time to provide a more specific search target.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 10,842 posts
Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 10:09 AM

The vital thing is to have floors and some sort of room dividers because in N as in HO you can still see enough to make it visible if you omit them.

For buildings in N and HO and maybe even the larger scales my feeling is that it is enough to convey a vague sense that something is in there.  That is the attitude I have taken towards detailing the interiors of cabooses in HO which of course have rather small windows.  Simple shapes of things (often plastic stuff from packaging or medicine cabinet stuff that would otherwise go into the recyle bin) are cemented inside but there is no real effort to "model" a desk or chair or bunk or coal stove.  I think the same would go for structures in N.

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,782 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 12:23 PM

I did put an interior in an HO scale caboose.  This was a Walthers bay window caboose.  It probably took several hours to get the shell off.  They didn't design these for interior access.

I printed a checkerboard tile floor and some walls.  I installed an interior light along with a diode bridge and a capacitor to reduce flicker.  I also put a pair of Tomar lamps on the outside.

The Tomar lamps show up nicely, but other than illumination from inside I really can't see a thing through those tiny windows, and this is HO scale.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,782 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 12:32 PM

Has anyone tried going to an office place like Staples or Office Max and paying to have a single sheet of interiors printed?  It might take a few tries to scale it right, but this would seem like a viable short-term option when a printer is not available.

I thought of putting some decal images on a thumb drive so I could have them printed on a laser printer instead of my cheap inkjet.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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