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Building Foundations

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  • Member since
    July 2023
  • 13 posts
Building Foundations
Posted by Wayne_PRR on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 6:33 PM


I am trying to find the article in Model Railroader that discusses building foundations for the building on your layout.  Does anyone have any information about this or knows which magazine described this?  It was within the last 5 years.

Thanks!  Wayne

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 8:16 PM

I don’t remember an article, but I have created foundations for a few of my structures.  Most of my buildings are kind of urban, so I imbed them in the sidewalks that surround them, which makes foundations unnecessary.  Doing this also cuts down on light leakage from beneath, a nice advantage. 

I've created foundations for a few by using a stone wall hydrocal casting and cutting a thin strip from it, then using that beneath the structure.  It looks outsized, but for one or two buildings on the layout it's fine.

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

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  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
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Posted by BATMAN on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 9:43 PM

I don't recall the article, but there are many ways to make them from scratch or buy commercially available products such as styrene or castings. Extruded foam is my go-to now as it is easy to carve bricks, stones or just make it look like concrete.

Here I used a styrene I-Beam to make blocks in extruded foam.

The pier on the right is the finished product. 

It is easy to use extruded foam for foundations.

Or are you looking for what to use as a base for a structure?


"All of the world's problems are the result of the difference between how we think and how the world works."

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Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, June 13, 2024 3:08 PM

While I didn't find the article, I saw earlier discussion here:

 I put them directly on the layout.

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  • From: 10,430’ (3,179 m)
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Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, June 13, 2024 4:03 PM

Hello All,

I recall several articles on how to build foundations.

Each article highlighted a particular material used for each application; basswood, plaster of Paris, Hydrocal®, and various types of styrofoam.

For the foundations of many of the structures on my pike, I used dimensional lumber- -harvested from an old chest of drawers- -to make a frame and attach strips of Chooch resin stone sheets of various sizes.

For the curved ramp to the kit-bashed Walthers Northern Light and Power structure, I used extruded foam; cut in curved pieces, and attached Chooch large cut stone to form the wall.

For the cap of the wall I used the same cut stone material, cut in a fan pattern, and then used fine ballast to fill in between the fingers of cut stone.

I also built a curved viaduct to transition from the base to 3% Woodland Senics foam risers.

The walls of the viaduct are foam core board with Chooch Large cut stone.

For this structure, I used Chooch small cut stone for the cap of the wall.

I used scissors to cut out triangular sections to create the curve- -opposite of how I modeled the cap stones of the ramp.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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