Author Topic: Some impressive buildings  (Read 2341 times)

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daniel_leavitt2000

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Some impressive buildings
« on: March 23, 2010, 06:09:15 PM »
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I saw this on an English language Japanese n scale blog:
http://jmtn.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/greenmaxs-own-business-buildings-kit-samples/
You've crossed the walls, excelled
Further along through their hell
All for my heart, I watch you kill
You always have, you always will
Now spread your wings and sail out to me

FrankCampagna

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2010, 06:30:14 PM »
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Very interesting. Thank you. Perhaps a good case for why we don't get large buildings. Too much money for most.

Frank
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ljudice

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2010, 06:44:53 PM »
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It would be neat if there was a modular product to do the very common North American (and probably European as well) concrete and glass type buildings, as well as glass skinned steel frame buildings.

The tiled skin on those Green Max buildings looks a little strange...

wm3798

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2010, 08:43:00 PM »
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Those are pretty cool.  I couldn't help but notice that a lot of the joinery was pretty sloppy, though.  At first I thought they were scratch bashes using Evergreen tile sheet.

I definitely think there would be a market for a couple of variations of late 20th century modular sets.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2010, 11:17:09 PM »
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Honestly, I'm starting to think injection molded plastic kits or parts of kits are actually NOT the way to go for structures, for two reasons.

1. It's not the ideal medium for some of the moldings (windows, etc...)
2. It's not cost effective to produce large enough structures and keep them in the price point that modelers deem appropriate. Think about the blast furnace kits, etc... Would YOU pay as much as two locomotives for a single structure (maybe not those, but something like the paper mill buildings). They're NOT the easy sell that rolling stock is.

I think that the combination approach of printing walls on paper, with detail appliques (ala Lance Mindheim's Miami layout) might be the way forward.

Thoughts?


Dave V

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2010, 11:40:41 PM »
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Ed,

At least in N scale and below, you might be on to something...  I've never tried it myself.  But looking at my brick buildings, for example, the mortar lines are exaggerated yet I don't really have enough variation in brick colors.  An applique would address that like what Tom Mann has been doing.  Window mullions are also clearly oversized.  Hmmm....

I smell a home business starting up!  Or is that just bacon? ;D
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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2010, 11:58:52 PM »
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I don't know. I think texture is as important or maybe even more important than scale mortar lines. Our engines and freight cars have exaggerated details and the molded buildings just fit. I think Walthers reached too high with their modulars, they priced them to equal the cost of a regular structure when built to the size of a regular structure.

I think that they would have been much better off pricing them lower for a bulk discount. I didn't buy any when they were $10 a pop. Now that they are $2.50, I purchased about 50 sets. Even at $2.50, I am willing to best Walthers made money on them due to shared die work and tooling.

What should walthers have done differently? Well I think they missed the boat on window selection. They only provide small windows and not the larger ones used in power plants and production plants that need the extra light. I think they could really have come out with a concrete reinforced brick kit as well as full concrete walls.

Dare I say they should also have come up with a glass/metal high-rise wall kits too. Rix covers the pre-fab metal structures pretty well. Walthers could have cornered everything else. Walthers never seems to follow through with any project. Its seems they get bored and move on to the next shiny project. They need to go after each project like their company depends on that line's success.
You've crossed the walls, excelled
Further along through their hell
All for my heart, I watch you kill
You always have, you always will
Now spread your wings and sail out to me

wm3798

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 01:08:27 AM »
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Here's my next little project....


Personally, I prefer styrene, partly for the textures, but mostly for the durability.  Given that my layout lives in the attic, which at times gets right toasty, paper structures with stuff laminated to them just wouldn't hold up.  Again, I think there's a big difference between stuff that's meant for photography or simple displays vs. projects that have to live on a functioning, regularly operated model railroad. 

Bernie Kempinski's basement is full of beautiful corpses of finely detailed structures that may have traveled to a few shows, but for the most part, he builds them, shoots them, then moves on to the next project.  Mindheim does the same thing.

I like to build for functionality, using materials that are going to be durable under regular use.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Philip H

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 07:41:37 AM »
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Lee,
I think the difference in Lance's work is he is using styrene cores for his buildings - and the adhesives he uses are pretty stout stuff.  They had better be - I'm using the same technique to do roads and parking lots with Scale Scenes http://www.scalescenes.com/ pdf's.  And the advantage is that once you buy the pdf, you can reprint it as many times as you want - maing the texture consistent across the layout.

And as to injection modling and detail levels - I hope some of the manufacturers are starting to invest in better tooling - made possible by all manner of laser cutters etc. 
Philip H.
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DKS

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2010, 08:06:41 AM »
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The surface textures of buildings are in the same category as the textures of dirt and ballast. It's dependent on scale and striking a balance for visual clues. Printed textures have a photo-realistic effect, but I find the viewing angles to be more limited; at certain angles, the surface goes dead flat, which seems to give away the trick. Without some surface textures, the eye loses visual clues to communicate what the surface is supposed to be, according to the scale being modeled. One model manufacturer, MBZ, prints images on cardstock that is cut with a laser to give it texture. The results are quite stunning, but the models cost a fortune, sometimes more than brass.

One thing printed media has going for it is natural coloration. It's a real bear to paint a brick or stone surface with a decent mortar effect, plus give the bricks and stones individuality. One though that has crossed my mind is courtesy of T scale, where the people are painted with an inkjet printer. It got me thinking that a printer could be modified to hold a building wall, maybe a sheet of styrene that's been CNC milled, and after a bit of tinkering, get it to print a photo-realistic image onto the textured surface. Printers are cheap enough that it shouldn't be a major sacrifice to find out.

I tend to feel that styrene has the potential of being an ideal material, but it's all down to the tooling. I think the tooling can be fine enough to strike that balance of fine, subtle surface textures without overdoing it. But it would likely cost a fair bit more for really good tooling. On the other hand, I've seen some cast resin structures that are without doubt the best kits out there. I think it's because the masters can be a combination of materials that can render just the right detail level. Trouble is, windows and complex joints pose a real problem with resin. Etched brass can be an excellent starting point; however, it becomes a small nightmare to build up the depth of various levels found on most buildings, and it becomes a costly and challenging medium to use.

So, what's the answer? I don't think there's one single material that does it all, and still offers the modeler a convenient way of finishing it realistically. I think the very best-looking models can only be scratchbuilt or kitbashed. To address Lee's issue of the "workhorse" layout, styrene kits are still probably the answer. I don't think Lee is looking for the ultimate in realism, so they are probably suitable.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Philip H

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2010, 09:15:33 AM »
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And yet Lee achieves a realistic feel and look  to his pike.  Even is bare bones scenery at the new Elkins yard is realistic - though I suspect it will get better over time as he fills in details, etc.

David I think you hit the nail perfectly - its all about balance.  And each one of us has a different balance point on all these issues.
Philip H.
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"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

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John Burkush

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2010, 11:16:46 AM »
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Looking at those Jap Buildings; all I can think about is Godzilla walking through them :o
DANGER ! DANGER! WILL ROBINSON; MY SENSORS INDICATE THE PRESENCE OF CHROME PLATED WARBONNET SANTA FE
F UNITS ! DANGER ! EXTREME DANGER !

2-8-8-0

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2010, 11:44:21 AM »
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The problem with big structures is they require space, which is something a lot of modelers dont want to devote to anything but track or train-centric structures, like roundhouses or coaling towers, etc.

A big structure requires space (and cost) that many people simply dont have to spare. I need to get a blast furnace and a couple of rolling mills soon while I still can, but my idea of a layout is different than most; with the exception of a lake dock area, and the steel mill, I want my layout to look like real; a landscape that happens to have a train rolling through it, not a landscape and structures squeezed in the space left by a maze of track. Look at a real railroad in appalachia, then look at some appalachia-themed layouts...youll see what I mean. If thats what people want, thats their thing, and its good. I dont mind that sort of layout. It just isnt what I want. Impressive scenery, such as a railroad running through the wilds of West Virginia, or an imposing structure (like an ore dock or a large steel mill) is more important to me than a maze of tracks.

The reason I switched to N was specifically so I COULD have those big structures, and not have my layout resemble a caricature. If i cant get 'em, N loses a big chunk of its allure for me.
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AlkemScaleModels

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Re: Some impressive buildings
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2010, 11:46:59 AM »
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Bernie Kempinski's basement is full of beautiful corpses of finely detailed structures that may have traveled to a few shows, but for the most part, he builds them, shoots them, then moves on to the next project. 


Lee

It sounds so depressing when you say it that way. They not dead, that are just waiting for the next layout. Frequently they migrate to friends layouts. Sometimes they even come back later.

One thing about scratch built styrene structures. You really need to brace them thoroughly, or they will warp.  I like to use both wood and styrene for bracing.

Lately I have been using acrylic since I have a laser cutter. It is much more dimensionally stable than styrene over the long haul.