"Recycled" farm (renaissance of cardboard?)

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grove den

naturally natural trees
recycling materials ....a farm


Inspirated by the many "Paper"buildings made by today overhere I decided to do the same. Not realy paper but cardboard(?)= about 1mm thick paper. This kind of very strong paper, is used to pack all kinds of dry soupe or other grocery stuff...( cornflakes, rice, etc...)
The building I'm trying to make is a freelanced version of the types of farms that are common in my region( far south/east of Holland)
It is a farm with a café/bar . Which was very usual in the beginning of the last century overhere...
I use the inside of the packages. It has mostly an ivory white/color, so just great to draw the outlines of the building and the windows/doors..
I use a very sharp, specialy the point, knife and a steel ruler.
because the knife is so sharp I don't have to press hard/severe(?) on the knife. It cuts smoothly through the thick paper and they ( cutted windows and doors) can be removed very easy.
made some pictures :
the plan/drawing:

cutting the paper:

lifting out the cutted window:

half way...:

forgot to show you how I think it could be IF it is finished, a sort of "art impression" ....( sketch made start jan 2008...)



Fleeing from Al
Nice work, Jos. You must have gone through a lot of exacto blades to get it all cut out up. I', looking forwward to seeing it as you build it - should be quite unique.

grove den

naturally natural trees
Now I will go further with the walls of the farm.
You must have gone through a lot of exacto blades

Hey Jim tell you what: only one and still sharp!!...:) ( it's only paper...)

I also want to show you how I make the frames of the windows.
I use a piece (A4) thick paper to cut out the frames. Mostly of a light color because I have to draw the outlines of the frames on it.
If you chose the right color for this piece of paper( A4) you don't have to paint it afterwards...
Take the cardboard wall with the cutted windows and doors and lay it on the sheet of thick paper.

Now draw with a pencil( point 0,5 mm) the outlines of the futere frames on the paper, that is under cardboard wall. Draw the lines with a 90 degrees angel. Don't push to hard... just gently so that you just see the lines.
It is very IMPORTANT that the cardboard wall and the sheet op thick paper cannot move ,I mean these two have to be fixated. Mostly with the other hand......?
If you finished the drawing of all the (oult)lines you take only the sheet of paper and start to cut out all the windows.
Cut at the INSIDE of the lines so when it is reday you still have too see the lines
Don't throw away the pieces of paper of the cutted windows...maybe the'll be usefull to make the shutters in front of some windows.....

I painted( primer) the cardboard wall to show the effect of the walls and the frames ..The walls will have a final "coating" with a kind of earthcolor ( spray)


put the paper under the wall...

et voila!!
Windows are the next post...!!



OK Jos, I need to know that windows and doors technique :) my warehouse has been on a halt just for that detail, I only need to do the windows and it will be finished.

grove den

naturally natural trees
Walls and Windows

OK Maxitrains...there you are!...:

So here is some more..actualy a "phottorial" about making the windows.
Mostly I made/make the windows out of acryllglass( plexiglass?) and the large( outside) windowframes out of an other sheet of thin cardboard that I glue behind the cardboardwalls...
sometimes I use a flexible kind of transperant plastic stuff like the box on the picture:

For the small ones:

First I meashure out were to make the lines to immitate the small windowframes. Than I carve with a sharp needle over those lines.
It is a kind of engraving.

Carve each line equal times(?) I mean if you carve 2 x , just do the same to the other lines. Otherwise there could be differences between the thickness of lines...
Because you carved the lines there will be som burrs on bothe sides of the lines..
Use an small piece of wood to remove these burrs( stick from an icecream?)Fingernails will work too!
Than I color the carved lines with paint. I am still using the paint I made for 2 years and it works fine to me. It is made out of some latexwallpaint and some (good)acryllpaint.

I "paint" it with the fingertips...I push the paint into the carved lines and let it dry for 15-30 seconds and than remove the paint with a smooth cloth. Dont push to hard on the cloth.
If you do it right, the paint will be left only in the lines!!
So now it is only a matter of glueing the piece of acryllglass carefully behind the window...Just use a LITTLE bit of glue!

now how I did it it with the windows from the farm...

First you have to draw the outlines of the windows again.
Add the lines of the frames of the window with a marker or something like that, pencil 0,5mm is ok too.
If done it could look like this:

the sheet of clear flexible plastic is taped on this piece off paper. You need also a sharp needle and a clean cloth. Also white acryl paint mixed with some latex wallpaint.

First engrave the lines you've drawn on the paper , copy them on the sheet of plastic...

if all the lines are engraved than with a piece of wood( top of a big wooden spoon from out the kitchen... ) remove the burrs to get some straight lines that.....

can be easily filled with the paint by hand...uhhh finger.

looks like this...

and clean it right away , first with the cloth( don't push to hard!) and than again with the top of the( in my case...) the wooden spoon.

May be here and there there will be some paint left on places that shouldn't ...just remove it gently with the top your nail(s?)
Now it is ready and you can place it behind the cardboardwall/facade


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Coal Shoveler
I remember the days that sheet protectors were a really thin clear acetate. They creased easily since they weren't all that flexible; that crease became a white line in the sheet. I remember when you waved it in the air, they crackled a bit.

I've looked for those in the office supply stores, but they've gone to the more flexible, thicker stuff now. But, I'd still like to find that type of sheet acetate to use for window glass....



Very nice work Jos, and a great tip for making small window panes. I'll have to try that one some day.

grove den

naturally natural trees
Making the doors and the gate of the farm.
Again the same material as I used to make the windows with the carved lines on it.
But this time it was a box with a diagonal pattern on it as if it were almost N scale boards/shelfs...
First I painted it dark green( Humbrol) and let it dry for one night......than
engraved the outlines and cutted it out to glue it behind the cardboard .

and the results for the small doors as well for the big gate...


finishing the big Gate in the frontwall..
First I made some relief( kind of decoration) on the walls using some fine "evergreen" strips. Glued with "Superglue"(ac?)( glues within secondes!)

Also made the bough/bow more like the shape of a circle and not as it was: egg...

When the "relief" has dried I painted it again with the same color as the other walls.
The wooden Gate is made the same way as I made the windowframes( small ones) I engraved the boards on a sheet of transparant plastic(foile) and painted it afterwards with the darkgreen color. Drybrushed it with light ocre color( Humbrol matt)and made(cut) a door in the gate...

I also made the "innerwalls"of the farm to give more strenght to the paperbuilding. Actualy I had to cut the walls 3 times..( did not take so long after all....

some of them are already glued to one piece/wall....
Making the roof(s) is coming near by....
here a preview...

The roofs are still mockups...of cardboard...

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Fleeing from Al
Jos, great techniques you're using. I'm almost tempted to say you are really doing this in O scale and just fooling us about being in N scale. :)


The Flange Squeal
where has this thread been all my life. i really want to scratchbuild a lot of my buildings. i have the tools the skill and paitence, but this is just what i needed to see to get started....
putting structures together appears to be pretty simple. a little basic geometry and design. but the details are what i wasnt sure of...window panes, dentals, door jambs etc.

awesome work. thanks for the inspiration.

grove den

naturally natural trees
Now I glued the 3 pieces of paper and cardboard together with whiteglue( don't use to much!)
on the picture you see thevisable wall with the green boards, a sheet of thick paper that represents the windows and the third one , also cardboard, is to give the wall more strength.

I cut it out the same way as I did with sheet of thick paper for the windows..but this time I cut OUTSIDE the lines I draw with the pencil! So the parts that were cut out are a fraction bigger /larger than the "openings" of the windows...
The roof was not as difficullt as I thought ,at the start..Glad I did pay( some) attention during the math's 30 years ago =)

As everything is assembled+2 more thick cardboard walls at the inside of the building for more strength and the sun shines outside you will have this as a result of all your efforts:
I glued the walls with pa gel( superglue gel) This glue gives you some more time to do correction if ness.



As you can see I add already some details like the flowers before the windows because I could not find/buy the roofs I wanted...had to order them and : ....to wait...:(
This week the roofs arrived and glued on the walls of the farm


today I did some first weathering and add the drainepipes and gutters to it...


detailof the gate:

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