Author Topic: Scenery Thread #8: Blending Structures into Scenery, Bridge Supports, Foundation  (Read 4438 times)

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DKS

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Thought I'd take a crack at getting this ball rolling, particularly as I'm a big believer in building foundations and proper bridge supports, although with the layout gone I don't have a lot of photographic examples.

Decades ago I'd read in an editorial on modeling that suggested one of the easiest ways to improve overall realism is to give structures foundations. Ever since then, I've tried to do that for every structure on a layout, from big factories to lowly little relay boxes.

This heavily bashed enginehouse (it started as an Arnold Rapido roundhouse) sits on a foundation made from scraps left over from a stone viaduct kit. The strips of stone were glued to a large styrene base, and the enginehouse walls fit down over the stone strips. The enginehouse is removable, held in pace simply by the flooring that fits within the walls.



Most foundations I make represent plain concrete, and I make them out of thick styrene that is distressed, painted and weathered. I made a new structure base for this gas station kit from sheet stryene shaped to include an integrated island for the pumps, all surrounded by ashpalt (Sculptamold/Hydrocal).



Likewise I made a new styrene foundation for this tower kit that incorporated the steps.



If it doesn't get a foundation, it gets a footing--again, just plain styrene.





I'll even make footings for things that don't exist any more...



As for bridge supports, I made these Z scale stone piers from N scale cast resin stone sheet, capped with styrene. Construction details are here: http://jamesriverbranch.net/project_1a.htm

« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 09:14:42 PM by David K. Smith »
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Chris333

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One thing I have done in the past. When you are smoothing out an area with scultpamold. You can put cling wrap around a structure. Now work it down into the wet mud and let it dry. Lift off the building, toss the wrap, and you now have a perfectly contoured area for it to sit.

Dave V

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Bridges on my N scale PRR:



I added scratchbuilt "bridge shoes" made of styrene to this grider bridge, but they're too small:



Foundations:

Silver San Juan Scenic Line

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wm3798

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Being a builder/designer of construction projects, foundations are very familiar to me.  I also like to model terrain that undulates a bit, since even the flattest of flat lands varies some. 


This model is based on a building I worked in, which had a rail siding.  In order to get the warehouse floor to align with the floor of a visiting boxcar, I had to recess the track below grade, necessitating a portion of the foundation to be exposed.  I used Evergreen tile to add a bit of texture to the foundation wall, although a smooth wall would have better represented the poured concrete foundation of the prototype.


In this view you can see the styrene foundation of the train order office at Shaw.  It includes a flange that extends out about a centimeter from the foundation itself, which is buried in scenery material in the final installation shown below.


Another example is the engine house for Vindex on the Chaffee Branch.

I built this so the building could be lifted off of the foundation for track cleaning.  Here it is in place prior to the scenery rough in...


And here it is with the foundation installed.

in this case, the foundation also serves as part of the door installation, which allows the doors to operate.


The truck dump tipple at Shaw is another type of foundation, with timbers going down to cribbing at several different levels.

I see there's a little filler needed there on the first bent... :-[


Although this isn't currently installed, it's one of my favorite examples.  I grew up in Baltimore which has some fun city streets the go up and down, creating very interesting ground floors of the old office buildings.  I followed that idea in building the first two floors of this hotel.  Note that the right side of the building has the sidewalk climbing up hill.  In a city scape, I like to attach the sidewalks directly to the buildings, which provides for this type of detail  When in place, the sidewalk extends over the street, which would be mounted to the layout.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Chris333

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A few more I can add from my chincy little 2'x4' layout:







DKS

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A few more I can add from my chincy little 2'x4' layout:

"Little" it may be, but "chincy"? Hardly!
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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davefoxx

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Here's my attempt at modeling bridges.  First up is a Kato truss bridge with Micro Engineering code 55 bridge flextrack on Chooch abutments.  On this bridge, I cut the bridge shoes from the original Kato abutments, so that this bridge is properly sitting on the abutments.  I also tried to place the abutments and blend the scenery around them to look as if they are built into the side of the hill and solid enough to support the weight of the bridge and a train.


For my other bridge, I flipped an Atlas through plate girder bridge upside-down and built a styrene "trough" on top for the ballasted deck.  Again, I used Chooch abutments.  Interestingly, I had to cut a course of stone out of the abutments to fit the bridge.  Unfortunately, my razor saw would not cut deep enough to allow me to remove enough of the abutment to place pedestals underneath the bridge.  The extra course of stone that I cut out was used on the abutments under the Kato bridge to shim that bridge up to the proper height.  Lucked out on that one!


Dave

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chuck geiger

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Superior work by all, I will be using this for my new layout to make sure foundations are blended into the scenery.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2008, 01:59:03 PM by chuck geiger »
Chuck Geiger
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wm3798

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"Belded?"

L
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Ed Kapuscinski

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In this one I just cut through the foamcore top of the module in the shape of the building:


It's a friction fit, and looks convincing.

This one was done similarly, but cutting down into the scenery in the footprint of the building, then backfilling around the foundation with dirt:



Those are the only two building's I've done that I'm at all satisfied with.

And Lee, that Charles St. Hotel (yeah, looks like Charles St. to me!) is great.

chuck geiger

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Another idea for Eastern modelers, make up some spinach blended turfs with glue and water and fill in around the bases.

Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
provencountrypd@gmail.com

railbuilderdave

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There is some really nice work there guys!  I'm currently working on a foundation for my first building and will post some photos as soon as the current step is dry.
Dave
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womblenz

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Hi Guys

Been lurking around admiring the work and info.

While not up to std I've been working on ideas for the foundations of an engine house i built.

I want to put an inside wooden floor, pit, workshop etc etc.
First up the engine house



Now some test pics



I got the sizing wrong so redid them




I think that they make a difference to the over all look/feel
Still have more testing colours etc

Cheers Warren

DKS

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Warren, I like the foundation for that enginehouse. Here's some visual food for thought for interior detail ideas.









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wm3798

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David,
You really need to focus on your work and try not to leave so much to the imagination...

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net