Attaching Structure to Diorama Base

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kchildress

New Member
Looking for ideas on placing a structure onto the diorama base. The base is carved from XPS foam insulating board shown in the first image - you'll see a gentle curve in the base from front-to-back which copies to topography of my landscape. The second image shows a concept floor of the structure. The final floor will be cut from 1/8" plywood. The third image shows the placement of the brick piers that will support the structure. The floor you see represents the main structure only - I think the porches will be added once I get the structure fixed solidly onto the foam base.

I can't decide which way to go ... to place all of the brick piers into the foam, get them all straight and level, then place the structure onto the piers. Or, attach all of the piers to the bottom of the structure and then place the entire assembly onto the foam. Or, maybe a little bit of both?

The brick piers will vary in height to follow the topography. The bricks are actual ceramic bricks.

Also, any ideas on adhesives would be much appreciated! I have several adhesives that will work for attaching the bricks to the bottom of the floor, but I'm undecided what to use for fixing the piers in the foam board. I'm thinking something that is slow setting and thick for filling in gaps around the piers.

Looking forward to any ideas you have!

Kevin

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kchildress

New Member
T.C., BRILLIANT!!!! And man, does that solve some problems that I was not looking forward to solving. I had planned to excavate the foam ~1-in. deep to get the brick piers deep-ish into the foam, and then filling the void/s around the piers with some sort of adhesive/glue filler. Controlling the depth and such of those footers was not sounding fun. With your solution I only have to control the depth of the magnet and can make much more precise holes to place them in. Also sounds like the magnets could really reduce the number of "solid" contacts points I need to hold everything in place.

Very much appreciated!!!

Kevin
 

TLOC

Well-Known Member
I have used magnets to hold power lines and transmission poles. I can shuffle the base around and the poles don’t move. But, if a stray elbow or hand hit they they just topple over. I can easily see now using magnets to hold the structure down and easily removable. I need to try this in the Grain Terminal build. I do use magnets and sometimes the Velcro dots to hold flats to the backdrop.

I have glued a few structures onto a base. I used small amounts of gorilla glue, Don’t. It expands too much. I have used the DAP adhesive I used to hold the tie strips down to the cork. First I spread too thin but the structure stuck. Tried with a bead and worked great as I took a wet finger and smoothed it against the structure, just like caulking a window or bathtube edge. I liked it until I tried to move the structure, not easy but slipped a knife under to cut away.

I like to attach the foundation to the building 1st for no reason then I never tried anything different.

TomO
 

T.C.

Active Member
Glad it helped
I used four super strong 1/4" round magnets, two CA'ed to the wood on the building and two counter sunk and hot glued to the base. No worries about getting wood buildings wet with scenery glues and such either.
I like the telephone pole idea, better than snapping them off all the time.
"Fun with magnets"
T.C.
 

kchildress

New Member
Back again to share an idea that came to me for attaching my structure to the base.

You'll see in my original images that my floor is a T-shaped piece of wood. That represents the house footprint only and does not include the porches. I've had to remake that floor a couple times due to warping / twisting. Basically, I can't make it stay flat! I began thinking of gluing a couple strips of oak to the bottom of the floor to keep it flat when it occurred to me those strips of wood could actually be a solid/rigid mount - all the way through the foam - attaching the floor directly to the inside bottom of my base (which is 3/4" cabinet grade sanded plywood).

The image below shows the rigid mount from top view and side view. The brown shape will be a strip of oak 2.5" wide, 9.5" long, and 2.25" tall. The mount will be set in from the edges far enough that it will be invisible from the outside. The height of the rigid mount will set the back of the house at 8" (in 1:1 scale) above grade. It seems this way I can make the structure perfectly level with only one dimension to control, with no concern about controlling the level depth of multiple brick piers. I can just cut the pier holes as deep as I want for the piers to set down into the foam.

Best yet, I get to test it all before fully committing. I had already decided to replace the XPS pink foam with high-density SPS white foam. So I can use this pink foam and a spare floor to shake out any problems.

If anyone reads this, can you tell me the correct forum thread for sharing photos of my progress?

Thanks,

Kevin

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DaveInTheHat

Active Member
I use clear silicon to attach my structures to foam. Any that squeezes out can be easily removed after it dries. If I ever decide to remove the building I can use lighter fluid (naphtha) to soften the silicon and pull the building off without damage. The one drawback to using silicone is that it takes about 24 hours to dry. I usually put a plastic bag full of marbles gently on the roof to weight the building down for a day while the silicone dries.
 

TLOC

Well-Known Member
I use clear silicon to attach my structures to foam. Any that squeezes out can be easily removed after it dries. If I ever decide to remove the building I can use lighter fluid (naphtha) to soften the silicon and pull the building off without damage. The one drawback to using silicone is that it takes about 24 hours to dry. I usually put a plastic bag full of marbles gently on the roof to weight the building down for a day while the silicone dries.
Never thought of a bag of marbles. Thanks for a good idea

TomO
 

kchildress

New Member
I wanted to share how my idea of a rigid mount for my structure has evolved. I cut a hole in the foam to get a precise measurement from the foam surface to the bottom of my diorama base.

I decided on a T-shaped rigid mount, at 2-1/4" tall, which I cut from the heart of a 2x4. I haven't attached the block to the floor yet, but the third photo shows about what it'll look like.

My original floor design was made from craft plywood. I actually had to remake the floor a couple of times due to the plywood warping - I just couldn't control the flatness of that material. I finally abandoned the plywood and framed my own floor using 3/16 x 3/16 stock and then skinned the frame with 1/32 sheathing. I'm very happy with the outcome! The floor is flat as a fritter and that makes me happy! Besides, the "beams" in my floor work out to 9" x 9" in 1:48 scale and that's closer to real life for the period of home for which I'm recreating. :)

When its time, the T shape will be cut out of the foam and the block will attach directly to the bottom of the diorama base.


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