N scale bricks?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by NYCNewbie, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. NYCNewbie

    NYCNewbie New Member


    What do you use for bricks in N-scale? At first, I tried to make a master pattern by scribing bricks in Hydrocal and making a mould - it worked, sort of, but it was a nightmare to get the bricks reasonably to scale and regular. Then I tried to print brick patterns on a colour laser, with good results, but of course the texture has no depth. I've only looked at one kind of brick patterned plastic sheet (not sure what the manufacturer was unfortunately) but it looked terrible, nothing at all like bricks.

    So what do you guys recommend? I'm into scratchbuilding and kitbashing but would prefer to not be dependent on prefab kits if I can avoid it.

  2. Evan

    Evan Member

    Plastic brick sheet


    I can help here. I found at a train show about 2 months ago a pack of plastic brick walls. The sheets are about 12cm x 20cm x 4mm thick. They are perfect for making moulds from, and then your can make as many as you like. The reason I bought them was to use them for making moulds. There are various manufacturers of these, one of which is Kibri. They do normal bricks and also clinker bricks.

    Walthers also do the Cornerstone Modulars series. They have walls with windows in that are brick textures. (Haven't seen these in person, so don't know what they're like).

  3. gringo

    gringo New Member

    I too was looking for some scale bricks, but then I started examining the structures I already have- say, the Model Power Baldwin Loco works. Those bricks are grossly overscale, yet they look fine on the finished model. I found some Walthers HO brick sheets which looked just fine after painting and weathering.
  4. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Have you looked at the DPM Modular sections, these can be cut to suit.
  5. NYCNewbie

    NYCNewbie New Member

    bricks update

    Thanks everyone for the tips - I finally succumbed and bought some N-scale brick patterned plastic sheets from Plastruct. They didn't look very convincing unpainted, but with paint and weathering they look great. Unfortunately, they were also kind of pricey - at $8 for two rather small sheets I figured I needed a better way to make lots of brick walls. After some experimenting I came up with a method that worked beautifully, is almost free, and lets me make as many brick patterns as I like.

    I simply take a sheet of regular aluminum foil, place it over the brick sheet shiny side down, hold it in place firmly while rubbing it hard with a paper towel to emboss the pattern onto the foil. If done right, the result actually looks better than the original - the loss of detail in the process makes the bricks look less like embossed lines and the mortar lines thinner and more realistic. The foil is then glued onto cardboard using white glue (Elmer's) and painted with acrylics in several thin layers. I'm still experimenting with the best technique to use, but careful painting and application of chalks seems to work at removing the shine of the surface.

    I'd still use the original sheets for something where detail is critical (no risk of putting Plastruct out of business), but for bulk brick walls and trying out weathering this seems to be the way to go. Of course, the same technique would work for duplicating other low-relief patterns as well.

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