Plans for custom built structures

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by tomfassett, Oct 23, 2002.

  1. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Does anyone else ever make detail plans of their custom structures or detail elements? It would be nice to have a repository of such material. I'll see if I can find some of the ones I did 10-15 years ago and post them if there is any interest. Anyone interested (posting and downloading)?

    Tom F
  2. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    hey tom I sure would been looking all over the internet all I found was paper models was trying to use them:D :cool: :eek: rich
  3. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Basically, what I am talking about are "blueprints" for scratchbuilding your own structures. I assume some people here have some sort of "plans" for custom structures as they trade them back and forth. A while back, I took a lot of photographs of old buildings and then did a four sided plan that could be scaled in AutoCad. I am hoping I can get them out of AutoCad and into Illustrator. If so, they can be scaled to the appropriate size (N, HO, etc) and printed "life sized" to allow a modeler to use the plan to create pieces (styrene, wood, plaster, etc.) which could be glued together. Some of the drawings were of large structures, some were of smaller, easier to build structures. The Illustrator scaled files would allow you to print out a scale plan and see what parts you could make/use to recreate the structure. I don't have any buildings in Illustrator, but here is an example of the detail which can be attained. The linked graphic is a very low resolution jpg of an E7A - E7B drawing I did a while back:
    The detail suffers here because the original is essentially 12,000 pixels wide and a bit big to post on a web site...:D For detail when printing though, the thing can be printed in "pieces" which allow you to see all the way down to the individual bolt. Now, I'm not saying a building would need to be this detailed, but it is nice to be able to "blow up" fine detailed areas for better modeling reference. I'll work on getting the drawings out of AutoCad...

    Tom F
  4. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Tom, that would be awesome.

    re: my meds, Catt and Nurse Ratchet just want to supress my creative mind. They just don't understand. Redrum, redrum...
  5. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    OK who has jon's meds and I agree with jon

    time for my meds:D :D :D :D :D rich
  6. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member

    I think you have a great idea Tom. I will look to see what I have.
  7. WVRR

    WVRR Member

    That would be an awesome idea. Even if you only printed them out, glued them on cardstock and used them for mock-ups until the intended structure is finished, it's a great idea. I'm looking to hear more on this thread, I model N scale, and minus a couple of paper models, there is really nothing for N scale plans on the internet.
  8. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    I am looking forward to what Tom has to offer. This is a tremendous boost for those of us who are less architecturally minded. Maybe we could coax Shamus into putting some of his structures in the "vault".
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    If someone is scratch building and they don't use a written plan, he/she could almost do something as simple as lay each wall on a xerox or scanner with a ruler next to it to make "drawings". For complex structures this would need to be done during assembly, but simple four sided structures could be copied after the fact...
  10. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Tom, You drew that? That was excellent.
    Unless you were building that in one of the larger scales(O, S, G) I really wouldn't of worried about the detail.
    As far as me scratchbuilding, like the picture below, except for the house and silo, the rest was scratchbuilt.....and it was all in my mind, but like mentioned before, I could probably draw plans for them....if I knew how to draw.

    Attached Files:

  11. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Tom, I'm like 88...can't draw worth a hoot!:eek: :D Sometimes I may "doodle" on a piece of paper when scratchbuilding something but that's about it. Keep most of it in "the old bean" myself. Like what you've come up with and will look forward to seeing some plans.:) :)
  12. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Jon's got the right idea. A lot of the drawings I do are done in a similar fashion using a camera. I document a lot of "critters" this way. I carry one of those folding carpenter's rules with me where I have made an extra big black line every 6 inches. Whenever I come across something I want to do a drawing of, I take multiple shots using the rule as a measuring reference. As he says, you could even use a scanner. A digital camera would be great as well.

    Tom F
  13. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Tom, it's a great idea!

    Charlie posted a photo of an old timber built warehouse (an isometric shot) but I assessed the planking widths and drew a scale drawing using a chopped down version of Autocad. My idea was to make a jpg file of the drawing and fill the walls etc with photos of old planking and windows/doors etc.
    Unfortunately, Paint Shop Pro imported the Autocad file by using "Antialias" which meant the selection of the walls for filling left a grey line between the fill planking and the original drawing lines.
    I won't give up on it but just don't have time to tackle it yet. If I'm successful I'll post the drawing which will be an N gauge cutout that anyone can use on their layout.

    I have a passion for old timberbuilt buildings with interesting roof lines. Shamus's buildings gets me drooling every time I see them. I sure hope someone has such drawings to post in here.

  14. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    Hey Tom, I would like to see some plans also, I love scratchbuilding structures. I also have some drawings to share if wanted, but mine are not on AutoCad. They are all hand drawn with all the dimensions which can be scaled down to any scale using a calculator!!:eek:
  15. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Hey Andy, not that I have unlimited time (he, he), but I do have a lot of "spare moments" where I work on little projects a bit at a time. Can you scan the drawings? If so, send them to me and I'll see if I can get them into Illustrator. It is a lot easier to start with a "template" like a drawing or a photo. This might be a great way to get a scalable and standardized archive of plans...
    Anyone else who would like to experiment with this, feel free to send something along. I'll see what I can do with it.
    My email address is

    Tom F
  16. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    In a similar vein... Last night I started experimenting with creating "repeatable blocks" of printable structural elements (like blocks of bricks). Here is one that looked fairly decent on my printer. I would appreciate some feedback from others to see how it works on their printers and what could be done to improve the process. The blocks can be glued together or cut down to create the appearance of a seamless wall.

    Tom F

    Here is one of the experimental blocks:

    Attached Files:

  17. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Perhaps someone would like to try this on their printer.


    Attached Files:

  18. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member

    Both worked very well on my printer!!

    Thanks Guys
  19. Tom, if you're still looking for actual plans for scratchbuilding, try this link:

    Don't let the name of the site fool you. Many of the structures shown - and their construction plans in the book - could fit in any locale and era (up into the 1930's). With some alterations to the drawings, several of the structures could probably be used in a "Transition Era" setting.
  20. PRR_son

    PRR_son New Member

    Great Site for building plans

    Hey guys,

    Here is a link to the Library of Congress web site for historical buildings.

    Most have at least B&W photos but some have elevation and archtechtual plans.

    I already used the plans for the Coke Ovens at Fayettesville, PA

    for my HO scale layout.

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