Model railroad securing structures

Model railroad securing structures – here’s how Bob does it:

“Hello Al,

I have attached some shots of My Last Layout. About 1/3 of the layout is in final form and the rest I have just sitting on the base. I still move things around a bit.

On this layout I painted the top half of the walls flat black and then bought a cheap piece of cotton drop cloth, cut it in half, stapled it to the wall and painted it blue. It kind of draws your attention directly to the layout.

I laid this one out in vignettes that allow me to get a little creative, avoid everything being in the same period and style and provide me with places to put more stuff.

I am pleased with the mine operation. I wasn’t sure how it would look with the structure above and the actual mine below but I like the way it turned out.

I built the ore boat and ore tipple out of my usual bunch of sticks and wood scrap but no matter how I tried I could not build an acceptable tug boat from scratch.

I finally bought a boat kit and made a tug boat out of it. The tires on the hull are rubber washers, most of the superstructure are bits and pieces from my junk box. The main cabin is a cut-down toilet paper cardboard roll, the door is a piece of tongue depressor (my favorite) with a grommet for the porthole.

I wanted to try lighting my structures so I bought a string of LED Christmas lights and use them to light the building interiors.

They look good in the dark but it was kind of a pain to wire all the buildings.

After seeing what the talented Dave has done with his lighting I have decided to add some street lights to my town. Got the lights but haven’t put them in yet.

Speaking of buildings, can you see anything familiar about a couple of the houses in my town (hint-they are made from paper)?

I removed the gable on one of them and covered the roof to look like cedar shake and on the larger house I added wood trim to the doors & windows and added wood trim to the outside corners as well.

I have also added signs to my businesses named for my family members. Unfortunately, with 6 brothers and sisters and 10 grandchildren I have more names than buildings and some of these folks get a little testy if they don’t see their name on something.

I still have not added the water to my waterfront, just painted the base blue for now. Same with ballasting the track. I always do that last after I finally decide where all my structures will be placed.

You must be careful to not glue down your structures so that they block your track when it comes time to ballast. I learned this the hard way.

Just an idle thought, the more I see the track without ballast the more normal it looks …..hummm!

Most of the structures are now scratch built and I buy a few damaged ones on the internet and fix them up and/or use the parts to build other things.

The more I build the better I seem to get at it. For example, I got a building front, cut it in half and used the bottom to build a store and the top to build a fire station. Hands still shake a little at the most inopportune times. Seems mostly when I’m trying to glue something.

Bob”

north view model railroad

south view model railroad

model railroad sawmill







model railroad securing structures waterfront


You must be careful to not glue down your structures so that they block your track when it comes time to ballast. I learned this the hard way waterfront



A big thanks to Bob for sharing. Some good advice on model railroad securing structures – ballast sticks to anything…

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if today is the day you start on your own layout.

Best

Al

PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS Got a question you need answered? Have a look at the forum.

8 Responses to Model railroad securing structures

  1. Tim shirk says:

    Nice looking buildings.

  2. Robert Brady says:

    As for the water color it’s too blue, tone it down a little with more of a grayish blue unless that scene is in the Caribbean..
    Also what era are you depicting? I see a mix of old and modern pieces.
    The Critic

  3. John Labie says:

    Bob: You did something to your photos, they show small and I can’t enlarge them at all. I’ve been finding RR modeling scenes on Astair and enlarging them for a cut and paste to keep in a 3 ring binder for ideas. I am struggling mightily to iron out making things work at N scale. Yard work and swim meets keep getting in the way.

  4. Erick says:

    Pretty neat.!!!! I hope mine turns out that way.

  5. Dany Henderson says:

    I agree with John Labie, I wasn’t able to enlarge the pictures either. But still, it is a great layout, and I like your “MacGyverism” on building things as I do the same thing. I’m working on my latest layout, it’s “N-Scale”. – Thanks for sharing.

  6. Tony Kitty Hawk, NC says:

    Bob-
    Great work! I like the different scenes, especially the underground part of the mine!
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Dave Karper says:

    Might I suggest partnerships and conglomerates to increase the number of names used on your railroad? Example: Dave & Earl’s Hardware Emporium.

  8. Cord Reynolds says:

    I think it might be time for ‘The Critic’ to shut his mouth and read the text. Hello: ‘I laid this one out in vignettes that allow me to get a little creative, avoid everything being in the same period and style and provide me with places to put more stuff.’

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