San bernardino line questions

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by MetroDodger, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. MetroDodger

    MetroDodger New Member

    Hey guys im new and since i live near san bernardino i wanna get started on doing this line. If i take a picture of the station building can someone make it for me as a model? also how do i go about drawing the plans? im really new at this guys and i could use the help. I have a room already and i know how my table is going to go.


    thats kind of how the table is going to go. what do i need to get started first. i already got a train and mightbuy another tmrw. i already have some tracks, but might go a different route with those.
  2. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I could, but it might take some time, and it'll be quite big. You might have luck building it yourself with Balsa though, I'd suggest trying it first. Its more rewarding building it yourself.
  3. Another member here posted a link to the club he's a member at in Florida a few days ago, and their club has a great looking HO model of the San Bernardino station Scale Rails of SW Florida Trainroom
  4. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

    The first thing to do is to make your own plans. You should plan on taking photos of all four sides and close-ups of any details. This is a big station, so you might have to move well across the street to include everything in a single frame. Take a tape measure and measure all the horizontal dimensions of the building. Measure all of the width and height dimensions of doors, windows and arches or other features that you can reach. Record all your dimensions on a sketch pad. Certainly you won't be able to measure roof heights and such. Once you get home use known height dimensions (doors, arches, etc) and use a draftsman's divider to establish vertical dimensions. (Doorway is 7' and the roof height is five doorways up = 35'.)

    Once you begin the model, look for plastic doors or windows available through the Walther's catalog. I was surprised at how many I was able to find, and that saves modeling time.

    I used this approach when I made a model of the UP Riverside Depot.

    Another approach to use when confronted with a building that is just too large to include in a layout, is to fore-shorten the model to fit the space. I did that when I made a model of the Los Angeles Union Station. Doors and window are close to scale, but in the overall, it is a caricature of the original, still it is convincing.

    I build my models out of hardwoods and balsa wood. I use stiff bracing on all my joints since the sheet balsa is very weak. I applied a thinned coat of wood putty with a small knife over the wood sides to represent stucco. (It also provides a hard outer protective surface to the soft balsa wood.)

    I can't imagine what it would cost to have someone build the station for you even if they charged minimum wage, so you should give it a try.
  5. MetroDodger

    MetroDodger New Member

    wow colton modeler were you part of that?

    ed acosta it sounds real complicated, i have a feeling i will have alot of trashed balsa wood. since i ride the metro every thursday and fryday i might be able to take measurements. if i foreshorten it do i still have to take measurements of the building?
  6. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    You can build a fairly good representation w/o the measurements, just estimation's.

    Again, I think you'll be better off making it yourself, its going to cost you a pretty penny on top of the materials costs, then shipping...
  7. MetroDodger

    MetroDodger New Member

    What Abpout Like The Track Layout Do You Know How I Can Get Plans Of The Layout Or Do I Just Do It My Self?
  8. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

    Of course you won't have take all of the measurements if you are going to foreshorten it. Understand that we are still going to keep it somewhat in HO scale so that your trains and passengers don't dwarf it, so the height dimensions for the first floor, at least, should be HO. You can reduce the next floor and bring the roof line down a bit. Next, decide what part of the building you might want to drop out or shorten. Maybe a ten window wing could be reduced to five windows. In the case of my Union Station, I simply omitted some wings, but left the core waiting area intact. This is the part that most people recognize in photographs and is the only part that holds together architecturally.

    I also forgot to mention to draw your plans in HO scale; making the model-to-plan ratio at one-to-one. You will need a scale rule to accomplish that, but it makes transferring the building sides and roof pieces from the plans to sheet balsa or wood so much easier.

    Its a big job anyhow you look at it. I built the Riverside UP station to scale (much smaller than the San Bernardino station) and it took three months of evenings after work to get it done. About the same length of time for a foreshortened L.A. Union Station.
  9. MetroDodger

    MetroDodger New Member

    This Sounds Like Fun But My Only Problem Is That Im Not Good At Measurements. When You Say Build To Ho Scale What Do You Mean By That?

    Sorry But I Am Farely New I Understand I May Be Very Frustrating. Do You Live Near By The Inland Empire?
  10. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member


    I understand fully. We all have to start somewhere and there is always someone around here to help in any way they can. Try a small project and when you get the hang of it, try something bigger.

    You might have to buy an H.O. scale rule which displays feet and inches in H.O scale (3.5 millimeters equals 1 foot). If you were to measure the length of a standard HO box car, you'll be able to see that the car is 40 feet long using HO scale rule. I hope you can find one, because it is an important tool to have.

    Similarly, if you were drawing the side of a building in HO scale, and you measured the wall and it happened to be 50 feet long and 12 feet high, you would use the HO scale rule to find 50 feet for your horizontal line, and then find 12 feet on the scale to get your vertical line.

    It really isn't as difficult as it sounds to learn to make drawings. Aaron Brothers, Office Max, Staples, etc sell drafting pencils and templates to make circles or ellipses, and straight edges. Soon you will be a competent draftsman, just one of the many facets of this exciting hobby.

    I'm no longer in the Inland Empire. I moved north to British Columbia when I retired.
  11. MetroDodger

    MetroDodger New Member

    Wow sir you are a great help. i hope i can find that tool at my hobby shop.

    One more thing sir do i have to use foam to lay on my table? what kind of tracks do you reccomend? when i start my layout what are the first things i need besides the train and the tracks? i already got a small grey box with a knob that makes the train go. my wife bought me a plastic county jail and it lights up, what do i connect it to, to make it light up, and what i want to put up street lights and signals what are the stuff i need for all that to work.

    also do i have to make my traks change manually? cuz i have some tracks that are on some grey plastic and it has a switch that i move manually so the train goes in another direction.
  12. scubadude

    scubadude Member

    Hey Metro, I think one of the best things for you to do is to start acquiring the many 'How To' books offered by Kalmbach Publishing (Model Railroader magazine). They cover everything you've always wanted to know about model railroading, but were afraid to ask....I think you can order them online from Model Railroader Magazine - Model Railroading, Trains, Track Plans. Also, if you have cable, DIY Network has a program called "Workin' On The Railroad" that helped me a lot. It usually comes on at strange hours (430am on Su
  13. Nope, I can't say that I was. But when I saw the pics, they definitely stuck in my mind:thumb:
  14. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Metro: Look at this proposed project as a learning experience. If you are going to get into model railroading, you will have to get good at measuring and a whole bunch of other skills. To be honest and direct, you have chosen a project that is at a very advanced level. It might be less intimidating to start with something smaller in the way of a station.
    To answer your original question, there are modelmakers who could and would build a station for you. Professional modelmaking is about 95 percent labor (think dollars) and 5 percent materials. I would make a guess that having the particular station that you are talking about built by someone else is going to cost a minimum of 500 dollars, plus.
  15. MetroDodger

    MetroDodger New Member

    Really Dang Thats Alot. Hmmm
  16. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Metro: Hope you haven't been scared out before you get started. There is a lot to learn. Your question about using foam insulation comes up very frequently here. You don't have to use it. It's primary purpose is as a landscaping medium. Mountains, valleys etc, with a secondary use as sound reduction. If you have been operating your train on plywood or a table top, you probably noticed some rumble when the train goes around.
    There are a great number of posts, just go to the top of the page under "Search" and type in foam, blue foam, pink foam or something similar. You will find lots of discussion.
    The switches that you are talking about probably have solinoids to allow electrical operation. If they are a Bachmann product, they will have a couple of flat connectors that take a special female plug. Your power supply will have a connection that is marked accessory or Acc. You can also use this connection for the lights. Have fun. :thumb:
  17. I know it's been a while since this post was made, and I'm not sure if MetroDodger has visited the Gauge recently, but this month's issue if Model Railroader has a nice article by Gary Hoover on scratch-building a model of the San Bernardino station - an excellant model, and very good technique.
  18. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I bought that Model Railroader, the station looks awesome. It'll help in building one yourself.

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