Building bases and the layout or What I know now, but didn't then

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dthurman

Guest
I have quite a few buildings completed, and I already have my scenery base down. My problem is a simple one and was hoping maybe someone made the same blunder I have and has a solution, even if you didn't "Do The Dave™"

I have gaps between the building foundations and the scenery in some areas. Some are from the building not being truly flat or square on level ground, or my ground is not perfectly level.

What should I do to resolve this dilema? I was thinking for some, to use clumpy foam or something similar to act as a block or be weeds and bushes like you see against many buildings now a days, or add ballast or dirt but do it on a piece of glass to make sure it's level, but that may not work for the areas with unlevel scenery. I was hoping not to attach the buildings permenently to the scenery if possible.

Any ideas? I of course realized and by reading how to books of my terrible mistake, since then I have tried to think more ahead, but still I seem to be a scenery klutz.

The image below sort of shows my challange:


The building in the upper left is a good example of some.

Thanks!
 
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dthurman

Guest
I should add my layout is N scale and I am using 1 1/2 blue foam.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Dave,

You have at least three choices.

Leave it as it is.
Adjust the building
Adjust the layout.

On the second you could kitbash a foundation and push it into the foam.

On the third, you can either dig out the foam, or you can build up the landscape.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Dave, I'm not sure how to correct the gaps in your instance (I've used weeds/foam before), but you're FAR from being a "scenery klutz". Shoot, your scenery is tops in my book. I always look at your pics and think to myself, "there's no way I could do that in N scale".
 
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dthurman

Guest
Chip I thought about that too, cutting into the foam. When you say adjust the building, do you mean sand it more level? I think when I did the ones that are giving me my grief are some of the first ones I did, and being square wasn't something I worked on well.

Eric thanks, it's funny, when I look at HO stuff, I almost have this feeling it is way to big. I know better but after sitting down and doing buildings, weathering cars and such, the HO just seems like O would be to you ;)

Thanks again for the kudo, when I did this in my younger years, 18-20 I was terrible, no where near the level that guys like Cheese3 and some of the other "kids" which is not a slam, these guys are going to be master modelers when they get up into our years ;)

I think the foam/weeds idea will work on some of them, digging out some areas has some potential, I am just nervous "digging" up chunks of foam, but it could be worse I guess, plaster on chicken wire :O The areas I am most worried about are the ones in gravel, not sure what to do.

Do most of you permentantly (sp) mount your structures?
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
There's an article in MR about adding a "hanging industry" that details how to "sink" bases of buldings. They say to layer sculptimold then press the building into it, leaving it there until it starts to harden, thentake it out. When you re-attach it after the scupltimold hardens fully, there's a building imprint, doesn't need to be to deep, but when you put the scenery in it'll look more natural.

EDIT the article was based on N scale too...
 
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dthurman

Guest
jbaakko said:
There's an article in MR about adding a "hanging industry" that details how to "sink" bases of buldings. They say to layer sculptimold then press the building into it, leaving it there until it starts to harden, thentake it out. When you re-attach it after the scupltimold hardens fully, there's a building imprint, doesn't need to be to deep, but when you put the scenery in it'll look more natural.

EDIT the article was based on N scale too...
Josh

I remember that article. I will pull that out and read it again.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Dave in reply to your reply. Take a look at buildings. They are uneven with the way they are in relation to the landscape. The walls of your building are unrealistic as they should be sittting on a foundation. What I suggested is adding a foundation (read a strip of grey styrene) If thin and strong, that can be pushed into the foam (with a little help of the xcato.) So even if the landscape is uneven--like real life, the building can be level with the foundation exposed here and there.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
SpaceMouse said:
Dave in reply to your reply. Take a look at buildings. They are uneven with the way they are in relation to the landscape. The walls of your building are unrealistic as they should be sittting on a foundation. What I suggested is adding a foundation (read a strip of grey styrene) If thin and strong, that can be pushed into the foam (with a little help of the xcato.) So even if the landscape is uneven--like real life, the building can be level with the foundation exposed here and there.
Not all buildings have that, the preformed steel buildings of that style that I've seen mostly have the steel down to the earth, but setting the foundation will work this way also.
 
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dthurman

Guest
Good points guys. I have a ton of styrene. Time to start evaluating what needs what method applied. That's what I was hoping for was some ideas and critiques of what would help.

Thanks!
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
In 15 years as a general contractor, I can honestly say I've never seen a commercial building without a foundation. It is just plain structurally unsound. Now I've seen many buildings where steel will lap over the foundation almost down to the earth and certainly people pile dirt up against buildings so it looks like steel goes to the ground.

But a steel building without a foundation--never.
 
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dthurman

Guest
Don't forget, in N scale 6 inches is like a grain of ballast tall ;)
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
SpaceMouse said:
In 15 years as a general contractor, I can honestly say I've never seen a commercial building without a foundation. It is just plain structurally unsound. Now I've seen many buildings where steel will lap over the foundation almost down to the earth and certainly people pile dirt up against buildings so it looks like steel goes to the ground.

But a steel building without a foundation--never.
Thats what I ment by that, but I live in a northern climate, so its easier to insulate when the steel runs to the ground, yes there's a foundation, but its hidden by dirt/grass, and the steel sheething.
 
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Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
Another way to hide the base is to use patching plaster as a slab. Pry the building up. pour a little plaster under the whole base & sit the building on it. The plaster will ooz up a little around the building edge & then either trim it off w/a small spatula or a small plastic knife. Add paint to the plaster & then whatever ground cover that is needed.
I have used patching plaster or sheetrock mud for years. It's cheap & easy to use & dries fast. You can even add color to the stuff while it's being mixed. Back when I started out there was no such thing as Sculptamold. I buy a 25# bag of plaster for $9.95 that last me about a year or 2.

Just my 1&1/2 cents worth.

Larry
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
David, would modeling clay work for the base? I thought of it because I've got a friend that uses it to mount his signals. It could be rolled into needed lengths and literally molded to fit the building/base. I'm wonderering if it might pass for a concrete foundation and be more forgiving to work with than some other methods.
 
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dthurman

Guest
grande man said:
David, would modeling clay work for the base? I thought of it because I've got a friend that uses it to mount his signals. It could be rolled into needed lengths and literally molded to fit the building/base. I'm wonderering if it might pass for a concrete foundation and be more forgiving to work with than some other methods.
Hmm, the least messing solution, also much more flexable to the terrain. Does this stuff dry hard? I imagine it probably does, but I think that would be oaky after I have had time to work it and such. I think I am liking that suggestion the best so far, as I deplore plaster. I used the WS foam putty for most of the odd fills and little hills. I guess I am one of those "New Agers" in the model railroad scenery area. That's about as far left as I take my new age thinking though ;)
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
dthurman said:
Hmm, the least messing solution, also much more flexable to the terrain. Does this stuff dry hard? I imagine it probably does, but I think that would be oaky after I have had time to work it and such. I think I am liking that suggestion the best so far, as I deplore plaster. I used the WS foam putty for most of the odd fills and little hills. I guess I am one of those "New Agers" in the model railroad scenery area. That's about as far left as I take my new age thinking though ;)
I don't think it sets, it just stays pliable. That's why he uses it for the signal bases, to give if they're bumped. You could use a straight edge (6" rule?) to give the clay a "poured concrete" look.
 
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dthurman

Guest
grande man said:
I don't think it sets, it just stays pliable. That's why he uses it for the signal bases, to give if they're bumped. You could use a straight edge (6" rule?) to give the clay a "poured concrete" look.
I am sold on your idea. Next time I am out I will pickup some at the hobby store, like HobbyLobby or Michaels, I bet I can even get it in brown :)
 




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