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Installing Structures on the layout.

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  • Member since
    January 2006
  • From: Manitou, Okla
  • 1,630 posts
Installing Structures on the layout.
Posted by mikesmowers on Saturday, December 15, 2007 8:44 AM

   I have in the past scratch built from wood and used a wood ''floor' mounted to the table and set the structure on this wood floor. I am now starting to build some plastic kits and they look so much better in detail than the wood ones, and in the future I will be replacing the wood structures with plastic kits, but do not know how to install it on the layout.

  I was wondering about using Durhams Water Putty to make a floor, and while the putty is still soft, put the structure on the putty and lightly press down to make a ''footprint''. Will this work, what are your suggestions?  The structures will need to be removable to gain access to the insides for maintaince, changing light bulbs and so forth.

   I would deeply appriciate your ideas on this, I am learning a lot about building kits but there is still a lot more to learn.     Thanks,     Mike

    PS    I am modeling in the mid '70's and in HO if that matters. 

Modeling Trains Is Not A Matter Of Life Or Death, It Is Much More Important Than That!!
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  • From: Lake Havasu City, Arizona, now in Guthrie, Oklahoma
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Posted by luvadj on Saturday, December 15, 2007 8:51 AM

Removable roofs are the way to go in my opinion and I wish I had planned for that in the begining. My sructures are glued down as the layout moves around quite a bit.

 

Bob Berger, C.O.O. N-ovation & Northwestern R.R.        My patio layout....SEE IT HERE

There's no place like ~/ ;)

  • Member since
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Posted by mikesmowers on Saturday, December 15, 2007 9:02 AM

  The only structure I have at the moment is the Merchant's Row III. I had to make the roof perminate because of a chimminy mounted to one of the walls and there is also a small overhang all the way around the top of the walls, so the roof could not be made to  be remove.  If I can make the roofs of the ones I build in the future removable, I will, this would simplify things.  

                   Thanks,       Mike
 

Modeling Trains Is Not A Matter Of Life Or Death, It Is Much More Important Than That!!
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  • From: Gardnerville, Nv
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Posted by lilivalley on Saturday, December 15, 2007 10:10 AM
I put 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch by 1/8 inch thick plastic pads in each corner of the building, drill and tap the hole in the center of the pads for 6-32 screws and put screws in from underneath.
  • Member since
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Posted by mikesmowers on Saturday, December 15, 2007 10:26 AM
  My layout will not be moving so the structures can simply ''sit'' on the layout, but I do not want any light to shine from under the buildings.       Mike
Modeling Trains Is Not A Matter Of Life Or Death, It Is Much More Important Than That!!
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Posted by steamage on Saturday, December 15, 2007 11:20 AM
My structures just sit on the layout so they can be removed for layout cleaning or rearranging. Everything comes off the layout down to the smallest detail.
Gravity works just fine.

  • Member since
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  • From: New Milford, Ct
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Posted by GMTRacing on Saturday, December 15, 2007 11:23 AM
I think the idea of slightly sinking the walls into the putty should work. Most roofs can be modified to be removable once you get comfy enough with the techniques but the idea of lifting the whole structure off appeals to me. Good luck and let us know how it works. I normally berm a bit of sculptamold or ground foam around the base of houses and normally commercial buildings have a sidewalk or pavement surrounding them that should allow you to put a small foundation strip around them and then cut the sidewalk or pavement right up to the edge to hide the joint.  J.R.
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Posted by reklein on Saturday, December 15, 2007 11:29 AM
I like the use of sculptamold better than Durhams 'cause the sculptamold is so much easier to carve after it hardens. Durhams is like it says, rockhard.
In Lewiston Idaho,where they filmed Breakheart pass.
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Posted by chicochip on Saturday, December 15, 2007 12:00 PM

Mike,

The first thing you want to do is install a floor in the building. For a plastic structure, the floor can be fashioned from sheet styrene. There are also ways to make card stock or wood serve as floor material. The floor should be recessed upward from the base of the walls; about a scale 6".

The next step is to "pour" a foundation. I've found cork roadbed to be a very effective material for simulating a concrete perimeter foundation. Just trim the beveled edges off so the edges are perpendicular to the roadbed surface. Install the trimmed cork to the layout in the pattern of the footprint of the inside walls of your building. This footprint should match the shape and dimensions of the floor you've just installed in the building. HO cork is a scale 18" thick (+/). N cork scales about 10" for HO.

The cork foundation can easily be colored to simulate concrete. I've successfully used white latex paint tinted with a black powder paint (the type you mix with water) widely available at any art supply store. If you ask for powdered tempra, you'll get what you need. But before you paint the cork, test fit the building to the foundation. The walls should slip down over the cork with the floor resting on the cork surface. If you've recessed the floor upward by a scale 6", the visible perimeter foundation will measure 12" for a flat surface if you use HO cork, or 4" if you use N cork. Remove the building and paint the foundation.

Note: Cork is such a flexible material that it can be layered and shaped to create a foundation on a sloping surface also. It's not difficult to glue two, three, or four layers of cork together to make a taller "sandwich" that can be shaped to form a wedge. Once the glue has thoroughly set, the sandwich can be sanded to whatever contour you may need.

 

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, December 15, 2007 12:14 PM

For my "downtown" structures, I cut a piece of styrene for sidewalks, and set the buildings down inside this form.  I've traced the footprint of the building, so it sits right inside.  This brings the sidewalk up to the edge of the building, but it hides the joint at the building base.  It also prevents light from leaking out:

The interior details can be fastened to the layout base, with the rest of the building removeable.  That's what I did in the rear structure in this picture.  You can also see the light bulb behind the tables.  (Click on the pictures for a better view.)  The foreground building is Model Powers "Annie's Antiques," which comes with all the details shown.  Here, the building actually has a base.  The base and the rest of the structure were left separate for lightbulb maintenance.  In this shot, I've just removed the building.  Since the light bulb for this one is ceiling mounted in the building, I wired it with alligator clips (not shown) so I could take it off the layout.

This is a close-up of the rear building in place.  You can see the bulb inside.  Normally, this view isn't seen, because the angle is blocked by another building.  It's DPM's "Other Corner Cafe" under a different name.

 

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

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Posted by rayw46 on Saturday, December 15, 2007 12:55 PM
 mikesmowers wrote:

     I was wondering about using Durhams Water Putty to make a floor, and while the putty is still soft, put the structure on the putty and lightly press down to make a ''footprint''. Will this work, what are your suggestions?  The structures will need to be removable to gain access to the insides for maintaince, changing light bulbs and so forth.

Why don't you experiment yourself on a small 1' x 1' pad made of the same foundation you use on your layout (foam, plywood, whatever)?  You'll have almost nothing to lose except a little puddy and you will have gained firsthand experience. 

Ray

Shoot for the stars; so you miss, you are only lost in space.

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