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Building mockups

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  • Member since
    September 2008
  • From: Vestal, NY
  • 130 posts
Building mockups
Posted by cwhowell2 on Saturday, June 4, 2016 1:03 PM

I have finished the track-work on my new layout and would like to create some temporary buildings before getting too serious about scenery.  Can anybody suggest a low cost material to create mock ups?  Corregated cardboard, while very cheap, does not seem to handle well.  Thanks.

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Posted by Steven S on Saturday, June 4, 2016 1:24 PM

Dollar Tree stores have a foamcore product called Readiboard that's easy to work with.  The outer layers are paper instead of cardboard, so it's very easy to cut.  You get a 20" x 30" sheet for $1.

If you want to remove the outer layers of paper, spray some LAs Totally Awesome spray cleaner  (also at Dollar Tree) on the paper, let it soak in a minute, and then peel off the paper, leaving behind the foam sheet.  Do both sides or it may warp.

Steve S

 

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Posted by NittanyLion on Saturday, June 4, 2016 1:29 PM

Posterboard and tape always worked for me 

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Posted by gregc on Saturday, June 4, 2016 2:22 PM

i made some out of foam blocks cut with a hot wire using foam profiles as templates.  I later cut cardboard sides from things like cereal boxes.   I also printed plans for the Frelanced Factory, cut out the windows and double-sided sticky taped them to the building.

in flatland to foamland i was surpised to read that many layouts use mock-ups long term.

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by HO-Velo on Saturday, June 4, 2016 10:03 PM

Mockups are a great way to see your visions in real time 3D.  A couple good steel rules, razor knife, hot glue gun and thin cardboard works good and goes fast.  Cereal, cracker and snack boxes are easier to work with than the corrugated.

Have fun and regards,  Peter

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Posted by farrellaa on Sunday, June 5, 2016 9:53 PM

I used the Dollar Tree foam boards (20x30) for all of my building mockups. I used hot glue/packing tape to hold them together and then did some quick window/door 'artwork' using a Sharpie. Finally gave them a rough coat of Walmart acrylic paints. These were on my layout for at least 3-4 years before I got around to building the actual models. I still have 2 or 3 of them on the layout.

  -Bob

Life is what happens while you are making other plans!

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, June 6, 2016 9:26 AM

gregc
....I was surprised to read that many layouts use mock-ups long term.

That's one reason why I don't use them, as it would be too easy to just leave the mock-ups in place.  I also think that it uses valuable modelling time, which could be better spent making the actual structure.
In most instances, I have the structure already pictured in my mind, so simply build it to fit available space, then, if it's an industry, let its size and shape dictate the layout of any track needed to service it.

Here's one which is "in-progress":

 

Wayne

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Posted by JWhite on Monday, June 6, 2016 3:52 PM

I use mockups, but they are very crude, posterboard or other cardboard cut to the right dimensions and stuck together with tape.  Very handy for finalizing a plan and making sure things fit.

I'm like Wayne in that I feel the time spent building a detailed mockup would be better spent building the model itself.

Jeff White

Alma, IL

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Posted by gregc on Monday, June 6, 2016 5:24 PM

doctorwayne
That's one reason why I don't use them, as it would be too easy to just leave the mock-ups in place.  I also think that it uses valuable modelling time, which could be better spent making the actual structure.

Since it was my first experience building any type of structures, I had to make several corrections for loading dock height and over-hanging roofs interfering with cars.   So I was glad to build the mockups to get some experience and hopefully avoid the same mistakes when building something more permanent.

They also gave me a chance to work with several plans as well as my own and get experience building several different types of buildings, including some that are appealing but not likely to fit on my layout.

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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  • From: Vestal, NY
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Posted by cwhowell2 on Monday, June 6, 2016 8:54 PM

Thanks everybody for the great suggestions.  The biggest advantage for me is the cost.  Gluing together a few mock-ups should only take a few evenings and will help me design the surrounding scenery.  With the cost of building kits and scratch-building materials, it's also a way to speed up layout construction.

 

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Posted by hornblower on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 4:57 PM

I use building mock-ups mostly as design tools but also use them as stand-in structures until I can build the permanent models.  I start by using Google Maps Street View to find structures I'd like to include on my layout.  I then draw such structures (or design my own) using an older version of a professional architectural design/drafting program.  Since I often have to "compress" my designs to fit my layout, creating a mock-up from my designs is helpful when trying to maintain the right building proportions.  It is not uncommon to have to adjust the vertical dimensions when changing the horizontal dimensions of a structure.  Sometimes a structure that looks great on Street View just doesn't cut it when you compress it to fit a space on your layout.  As a means to verify these proportions, I draw out the building elevations on my CAD program (including glue tabs) and print them out on heavy cardstock.  I also print out the floor plan to use as a floor and assembly guide.  Depending on the roof style, I will either print out another floor plan with glue tabs added to create a flat roof, or use the CAD program to work out the dimensions of a gabled roof(s) and then print out these roof pieces.  I gently scribe the fold lines with a "not-so-sharp" hobby knife to make it easier to accurately fold the cardstock.  I then glue the walls and floor plan together using glue sticks.  If the structure has a flat roof, I bend the added glue tabs up and glue the roof inside the mock-up walls creating a recessed roof inside perimeter parapet walls. If the structure has a gable roof, I bend the glue tabs I added to the tops of the walls outward and glue the roof pieces to these tabs.

I let the elevation drawings represent 3D details like windows. doors and other trim, but I usually mock up larger 3D details such as loading docks and roof overhangs to make sure I get a good feel for the final structure size.  If, for any reason, I don't like the way the mock-up looks, I can revise my design and try again over and over for little time and expense until I get it just right.  When I'm sure the mock-up is right, I will leave it in place on the layout until I can build a permanent version.  So far, for every structure I have first built a mock-up(s), the final model structure has turned out to be a perfect fit on the layout.  I still have two mock-ups in place in one of my urban scenes and recently added four more in another industrial scene. The two older mock-ups are of large structures that will require me to cobble together different commercial window castings and so are on hold right now until I figure out just what I'll need.  The new mock-ups were again created to visualize the scene prior to building permanent structures.  Placing these mock-ups along an industrial spur showed that two of three structures are too long and must be shortened. However, placing the mock-ups on the layout also showed me where and how I will need to shorten each structure without changing the overall "look" of these buildings.  I'm sure if you try layout planning using building mock-ups, you'll be far more satisfied with the visual results of the final modeling.  Good luck!

Hornblower

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 12:48 AM

My building mockups are things like saltine, cereal and cracker boxes, with black magic marker 'windows,' pencil line 'doors' - and full-wall adverts for the product they originally contained.

My thinking is rather like Doctor Wayne's.  I want the mockup to be the right (approximate) size, but so ugly that I'll want to get rid of it as soon as serious scenerywork starts.

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - frugally)

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  • From: West Australia
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Posted by John Busby on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 8:23 AM

 Hi all

Corn flakes box or similar for mock ups its free and easy to work with.

Mock ups have there uses and can be very usefull. 

But if your going to start cutting up something like one of the many brands of foam core board, you might just as well keep going until its turned into a propper scratch built model with a foam core board sub structure.

regards John

 

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