I expect you’ve noticed a recurring theme in my mails. I’m not a virtuoso scratch-builder and I admire those who are. Despite my Scrooge-like tendencies I would pay plenty for their work and enjoy the knowledge that I have a little of their genius on my layout. So everything I make from scratch has be simple to construct, look correct to scale and blend well with proprietary brands. In a nutshell – if I can do it, so can everyone! And, most importantly, I use the products of a wasteful society – unnecessary plastic packaging, broken plastic items and goods which by their nature are destined for disposal.
This is a rarer find. You’ll discover this thin corrugated plastic in the interior packaging of fancy tins and boxes of biscuits (that’s ‘cookies’, all you railroaders!) – also some large packs of sweets (or ‘candy!’) – but only in some of them. Keep an eagle eye open at Christmas when such things are about. All the pieces illustrated were found in these. They’re in perfect OO scale – know this because I matched them up with a corrugated iron roof on a plastic kit. The O-gaugers are blessed on this one because wide ridged corrugated plastic crops up far more often than in OO scale. You’ll find plenty of card and paper equivalents (often separating layers of biscuits and sweets in boxes) which will match well with card built and print-out kits – like the excellent ones offered on this site.
The construction of these stores and out-houses is simple – as is the case in real life. So the pictures suffice to show it. This is an ideal first scratch build for those who have never attempted one because it can’t really go wrong. Here are a few tips if you would like them : –
– When held upright, the length of a standard match (with the business end cut off) is exactly the height of a single storey building in OO scale. Cut the tops at a slight angle to accommodate the sloping roof.
– After painting, wipe across a thin solution of matt black applied with a little chunk of sponge. This will accentuate the ‘ridged’ effect, add realism and make it look dirty. Wipe off quickly with a dry bit of sponge if you over-do it.
– Other uses? Great for farm buildings, out-houses and barns. Also line-side huts – to cover electric points mechanisms maybe? Outside toilets! Factory buildings. Coal yards and factory yards. Garden and allotment huts. Nissen huts. Domestic garages.
– The wood in the log-store is short lengths of wicker – split – like the real thing – and glued together in piles.
– The contents of the junk-store? All sorts of rubbish – broken ball points, odd bits of plastic, coils of fuse wire – any old thing, separately painted and glued in place. The wooden planks are little strips of my old enemy – the moulded plastic sheeting used to package chilled food and suchlike (pictured). The bases for the models are also made with this. A gift to modelling.
– The little office? Same construction. But windows and doors cut out to scale – doors and sign made of the old enemy again – glazed with its infamous cousin, the clear plastic packaging which once contained food. The doors and windows glued internally.
– Used superglue. Plastic cement is fussy about the plastic it bonds. Actually – I don’t care for it much at all.
– Not that it matters but the dimensions of the illustrated models are – if your interested: –
LOG STORE – Height 3.5 cm (at rear)
Length 4 cm
Depth 2.5 cm
OFFICE – Height 3.5 cm (at rear)
Length 5 cm
Depth 3 cm
– So all the buildings in the final picture were produced for not a penny (or cent!). Of course, you don’t have to wait until you come across some corrugated plastic. You can use the old enemy.
– And if, when you’ve finished, it all looks a bit rickety. GREAT!
Regards to all.
A big thank you to Roger. I loved it!
Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Don’t forget the ‘ebay cheat’ sheet. All the comments on it make it worthwhile.
And if you want to get your hands dirty and get going with the Beginner’s Guide, it’s here.