Board index Talking T Gauge Forum T Gauge Modelling Tips, Tricks & Tutorials

The three Ts. Lift the lid on the secrets of how you do things so others can have a go.....

Scratch built buildings

Postby msimister » Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:51 am

G'day folks,

I not only get pleasure out of watching trains go around and of operating a layout, I also increasingly get pleasure out of building a layout. While 3D printing is good for T scale, I've tried experimenting with scratchbuilding a couple of freelance buildings, largely in cardboard . Photos attached:

* A stone station building, fairly typical of a GWR branch line station. I made the card building and faced it with fine glass paper painted grey which I scored to try to get the effect of individual stones - which didn't do the craft knife any good! The roof is just painted card, scored to get a tile effect, but the tiles are much too big. The posters are made from small pieces of pages of magazines, carefully chosen to get a poster effect. Looking closely, they are not exactly 'square' nor all the same size but that doesn't seem too noticeable. The windows are also not 'square' and I tried several ways of getting the window pane effect. Most of them I just ended up using a paintbrush, and it shows, but one on the platform side I made from grey-painted paper on which I painted a white line between two pieces of masking tape. The platform awning also isn't 'square'. All this emphasises the importance of getting things exactly right in this scale.

* A thatched cottage. The card building is faced with ordinary white 80 gsm paper on which I drew the half timbering with a fine black texter pen. This time I tried to get the window frame effect by gluing on thin pieces of white paper, on some more successfully than others. The thatch is human hair obtained from my wife's hairdresser (having her get it for me avoided the need to explain the blonde hairs in the house!), carefully glued onto card. Initially I tried to glue the hair over the ridge but that didn't work well so I tried again by making each side of the roof separately, gluing on the hair and then gluing both sides of the roof onto the building. The top bit that goes over the ridge (don't know what it's called) is just painted paper; obviously I didn't get a perfect match with the hair colour. Even human hair is over-scale for T gauge, of course, but it's the overall effect that counts.

While up close and personal the flaws in the buildings are obvious, from the usual three feet away they don't look too bad. And even though from that distance some of the detail doesn't smack you in the eye, sub-consciously I think it affects how the buildings are viewed.


Thatched cottage side 2-041216.jpg
Thatched cottage side 2-041216.jpg (40.67 KiB) Viewed 168 times
Thatched cottage side 1-041216.jpg
Thatched cottage side 1-041216.jpg (40.26 KiB) Viewed 168 times
T gauge station building-platform side-041216.jpg
T gauge station building-platform side-041216.jpg (32.34 KiB) Viewed 168 times
T gauge station building 041216.jpg
T gauge station building 041216.jpg (33.81 KiB) Viewed 168 times
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:18 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Scratch built buildings

Postby Reith01 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:28 pm

Some nice work there. There's a great satisfaction producing something in this scale especially as it can take as much as weeks to come up with something.

I bought some shapeways buildings but the printing wasn't up to as much as I hoped and Doug produces superior quality work (as long as you don't want to light them as his buildings are solid). When/if I get going again I'll draw window frames on dark grey paper with a white pen, cut them dead-on size to glue in. All but one of the shapeways ones were out of scale (too small) and too roughly textured to get a good finish so I turned to scratch building.

I agree that detail probably isn't quite as important as atmosphere.

Posts: 132
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:34 pm
Location: Sussex.

Re: Scratch built buildings

Postby dkightley » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:38 pm

as long as you don't want to light them as his buildings are solid

I may be open to doing some development to resolve this little problem if anyone is interested.....

I can print in clear (well almost clear) and its easy to add some internal voids that are LED shaped...or similar!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum
User avatar
Posts: 1008
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:43 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Return to T Gauge Modelling Tips, Tricks & Tutorials

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest