Q about paper / card stock buildings

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by MasonJar, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    This isn't exactly scratch building, but I have a "cut and build" book from Dover that contains buildings from 1850s to 1930s, which is perfect for my layout.

    My question to all the card stock builders is - what goes inside the building? I was thinking about assembling the building over a chunk of blue foam so that the buildings have more rigidity, and are less likely to deform (or get crushed!).

    Any thoughts?


  2. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    On my most recent structure I added card stock floors to add stability. If you cut out the windows and use the clear acetate you will need to find some way to hide the blue foam. If windows are not an issue then the foam block will provide you with the form to hold the shape.

    Some of the better hands here probably have better techniques for you. One might be to use wood frames to glue your card stock to. I do know that use of acrylic paint causes a little warp in my business card stock but I can generally glue it back into shape.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Thanks David -

    The buildings are printed complete with windows. I had not intended to cut them out and insert glazing, but it's a thought...!

    We used to waterproof maps for canoe trips with Thompson's Water Seal. Maybe it would work to protect your card stock against the acrylic paint-induced warping?

  4. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Hi Andrew,

    My past experience with card cut-out structures in scales HO and larger is that they will warp without moistureproofing. Adding strip bracing also warps the card where the glue has been applied on the inside. In N gauge I've had no such trouble.

    In any scale the printed sides would look realistic viewed from two ft or more, so ....... I would be inclined to cut out the windows, apply timber or styrene over the whole of the interior, then cut the window appertures out of the backing. Next, paint the whole interior engine black, put the windows back into place and fit interior lighting.

    Perhaps this will give you food for thought, even in scales larger than N.

  5. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Andrew, I'm thinking that the blue foam because of its thickness might be just a bit "chunky" to work with...you might could back up the cutouts with some real thin balsa or basswood sheet....1/16" might be a good thickness.
  6. n-scaler-dude

    n-scaler-dude Member

    How about gluing the cardstock building sides to pieces of foamcore, cut from sheets? Seems to me I read in a magazine somewhere that this method works OK, even for scratchbuilding.
  7. jferris

    jferris New Member

    Here is one resource. Great web site, too:


  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Well, Mr. Jar, I've been working with cardboard buildings since high school, and I've never had a problem with warping. Lately i've tried varnishing the back, but I can't give any opinion yet.
    I brace mine with cardboard floors, right angled triangles in the corners, and stripwood in corners and at joints. I use cardboard kits (Superquick, Metcalfe, Prototype Models, all British) and the first two have a thicker cardboard than I remember from the books. Prototype uses a thin cardboard but many layers. I think I have a very comsistent hunidity in the basement which helps a lot.
  9. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    Great tutorial link jferris..thanks.
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Thanks everyone

    Thanks everybody...

    It seems that most are recommending some sort of interior bracing or structure. Some my next question is -

    If I were to go with the foam core (for example), what is the best way to glue the printed cardstock "skin" to the foam core to avoid or minimize wrinkles and warping?

    I think the book itself recommends using double sided tape on all the joints. Is this practical on such a (relatively) large surface?

    Thanks again.

  11. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    It doesn't take much to hold card stock together. I just use a toothpick tip to put spots of white glue on my business cards and it seems to work with little if any warp. The foamcore should give it an even better back bracing that would hold it flat.
  12. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Rubber Cement would work well to hold the pieces to the foamcore. To obtain a permanant bond with it you have to coat both of the pieces to be joined together with it. If you only want a semi permanant bond only coat the piece to be joined to the foamcore.

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