Home Page
PRR Chartiers Branch
The Layout
My Library
Site Map

Peter's Model Railroading | Articles | Structures | Background Building #3
Exterior Details


I am going to cover the wood frame with styrene sheet. To do that, I'll be using contact cement, which is just nasty stuff. After the styrene sheet is on there, I am going to paint it with the metallic paint I found at Lowes.

So, I moved my operation to the garage. I suspect the building was made out of corrugated sheet metal, but I don't have large styrene sheets like that. Second, I figured the building will be 3 to 4 feet from the front of the layout, so the corrugations will not be visible. I found a sheet of Plastruct N-scale simulated wood board in my supply stash, so I glued it to the short wall (dark-gray). After the glue cured overnight, I used a razor blade to trim the sheet to match the profile of the wood structure.

I had bought some 24"x18" sheets of styrene at several thicknesses at a local hobby show, so they came in handy, as this building is 23 inches long at its maximum. Similar to the side wall, I glued a sheet of 0.020" thick styrene sheet to the long wall. After that cured, I trimmed it to fit the short wall's sheet, and the top and other edges. For the roof panel, I used 0.040" thick styrene (that's all I had left), but I wanted the roof to extend over the walls by a scale one foot. To attach this panel, I placed a lot of shish-kabob wooden skewers on the roof's contact cement, and using a scale one-foot wide piece of stripwood, lined the short side of the styrene sheet up with the short wall. Then, one by one I could remove the skewers and permanently attach the roof styrene sheet. A bit stressful, but it came out OK. It was then a matter of trimming all of the other sides and the roof peak to shape.

After I had built the wooden framework of the building, I placed it on the layout. It turns out that the second roof panel is not visible from the normal viewing angle. So, I didn't want to waste precious styrene on it. However, I did want to model the roof top, so I cut a two-foot strip of styrene, and clamped it to the first roof panel's styrene. Then used regular styrene cement to attach it.

I then delicately glued a second strip on the back roof panel. It took a bit of blue masking tape to get it into position and stay there while the styrene cement cured. On the wood side, I simply applied a bead of Aleene's Tacky glue, which should be enough to keep that strip in position.

With some delicate cutting and filing, I got rid of the excess material, and we have the final model built.

I then applied three coats of the paint to the model. The paint is meant to appear a bit blotchy, which I thought was a bit of a neat weathering effect. I am happy with the result, especially at a distance. The paint left a shiny surface, so I sprayed the whole model with a coat of Testors Dullcote. The model is now finished. I placed an Artistta S-scale figure next to it, so that it conveys the enormous size of the building.

This photo shows the structure shortly before the layout was taken down (and the structure thrown away as it has no purpose in the next layout). It serves its purpose as a background-filler structure, as it was surrounded by trees. This photo was taken from the left side of the layout.