Station Complex

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by trainwhiz20, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Hey all,

    Okay. Another question. This one may be a bit more difficult.

    On my 4'x7' layout, I was going to build a medium-sized city station. Obviously, it would be at the edge of the layout, with a paved road coming from yonder leading to it. This is to infer that bigger and better things lay beyond the station, which is at the "edge of town."

    I was going to use Walther's new City Station. It seems like a nice kit. That would sit on the inside of the oval. (See picture...)

    The next area, between Tracks 1 and 2, is just a tad over 3". I was going to use the Walther's matching platforms, however, they are only 2". Then there is this whole gap, which certainly doesn't look right. And between tracks 2 and 3 (the long track in the back of the layout), it's way less than two inches of clearance. (Yes, due to poor planning on my part. Shame on me. :cry: )

    So instead, could I have the station, and the rest of the area be a track-level paved platform? Maybe brick or concrete or something?

    How could this be achieved? Stryene? One big rectangular road? (Which I haven't even figured out how to build yet!)

    Obviously, the back three are meant to be passenger tracks, with the one near the station having the option to be a through track.

    Okay guys, get to work. I seriously need your help on this one.

    Here's the shot of the area I'm working with.



  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    This might be a time to scratchbuild to suit your particular needs. I think a paved platform would be just fine. Make it out of styrene, or 1/8 inch masonite, or thin balsa or cardboard, or maybe create pavement with joint compound, spread, smoothed, and painted with something like Woodland Scenes colors.
    Best wishes!
  3. hocaboose

    hocaboose New Member

    Here's an idea.

    Build an elevated platform above all of the tracks (I'm thinking masonite on dowel piers). Put the station on top with suitable ramps up and down, and detail the underside (track side) to resemble a subway style station.

  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I go along with Ralph's comments. I use 1/8 inch thick corrugated cardboard. It looks good painted grey. The best part is it is readily available and free.
  5. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Thanks guys.

    I just went to the store and picked up 10 bottles of acrylic paints, mainly for my structures on the way. I did get a 'Dove Gray' though, which should work on the cardboard for weathered asphalt.

    So, I take it cardboard would be the easiest? One thing though, all the cardboard I have from boxes I'm pretty sure is way too thick to be used. Where is a commonplace to find 1/8 inch cardboard? Then just glue it down, paint it, and poof, I have blacktop?

    I just bought that Amaco product, Sculptamold, which WGH recommends for roads and covering plaster shells. Can I use that maybe as the pavement, as a finishing layer over the cardboard? Just wondering, I don't have to use it at all.

    Remember, the tracks are on WS foam roadbed, and the area inbetween is just the table-level homasote. I'll probably have to elevate the station too.

    Thanks for the ideas. Keep them coming. You're all I've got! :thumb:
  6. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I get corrugated cardboard from a local supermarket. They put all there empty cartons in bins at the front of the store for customers to use because they do not provide any bagging unless you pay for them. The store here is Basics. They discount a lot of prices.
  7. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    So, just take the cardboard, and cover the area (tracks included) where the platform is supposed to be?

    -Any ideas for cutting the cardboard super-straight?

    -Then I can just paint over the cardboard with acrylic paint?

    -Should I add another layer (i.e. like a cake) in-between the tracks, and run yellow tape around it to be the ACTUAL platform where people stand? And have crossings over the track-level cardboard to get from platform to platform?

    Or am I making this way too difficult and confusing everyone? :rolleyes:

    Thanks guys. :D
  8. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    Although I don't know what the actual name is, a painter friend of mine buys a matt board at our local art supply store that might work for you. It appears to be made of compressed paper and is about 1/8" thick. It resembles hardboard, but can be cut with a razor knife. It is sturdier than box cardboard.
  9. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    TW I use one of those knives with break away blades and a stainless steel ruler with a cork back I got from a stationary store. It doesn't slip. Don't try to cut through on the first stroke. It is better to make a few light cuts
  10. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Okay. I'm creating a road crossing (first time!) and am going to see what works best for pavement, which I might apply to the station area. I'm not starting anything in that area yet until the station arrives. (Sometime this week, then I have to put it together.)

    I have some new pictures (hoorah!), but these are for the road crossing. This crossing will help me learn techniques for aspahlt, which will be applied to the platform, as stated above.

    Here is the Amaco Sculptamold built up around the crossing to provide a subroadbed to the road. I thought I might be able to use it as the road surface, but it is way too bumpy and resembles more paper mache than plaster. But it still looks good. I have nothing inventive to protect the flangeways, so I didn't bother going in-between the rails.


    Here is the cardboard layed on top of the sculptamold. It is about 4" wide for a two-lane country road in HO scale. I'll mix some more sculptamold tomorrow to work the embankment a little better, and put something in-between the tracks for the middle piece to elevate it.

    The cardboard is from those soda can boxes. It seems like a good material, and is easily available to me. (free for me too!) Hard part is, I don't think acrylic paints work. I painted a test piece a flat black, as shown in this photo below. Maybe I can put acrylic paints ON TOP of that? Then add lines to the road and weather it with chalk dust? What do you think?


    The test piece painted a flat black with *real* paint.

    Alright, please inform me of how I'm doing, and let me know if this isn't such a good idea. Remember, I'm new and just experimenting!

    I need all the help I can get! :D

    Just to show, here's an area of the layout with some ground foam on it. There is a gap in the hill (which was created with WS sheet plaster) because I was going to insert a rock, but I haven't got around to it.


    Okay, your turn!

  11. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    You are making good progress TW That level crossing is turning out nicely.
  12. J&A_RR

    J&A_RR Member

    I like what your doing TW, gonna give me good ideas watching the way you are doing your layout. Have you thought about spray can of paint for the cardboard, I have used testers spray on cardboard and it worked great.
  13. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Thanks guys.

    I still have to solve the painting-the-cardboard dillema. Yes, I had thought about using a spray can, the Tamiya Color aerosol cans at my LHS, but I won't be able to get there in the near future. So, I was trying to find an alternative.

    Keep the ideas coming! :D

    EDIT: If you guys have any other suggestions for crossing materials, I'll certainly look into it. I just can't see how I can get the cardboard to turn out realisticly by weathering it. Not to mention I don't have any spray paint and won't be able to get any for quite some time. I mean, I don't want to sound depressing, I'm surely hoping the cardboard will work, but I'm out of ideas... Hmm...


  14. LIRR

    LIRR Member

    Trainwhiz, thats some superb track painting there. Looks like those sidings dont see much traffic.
  15. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member


    I use a product called Durhams Water Putty for roads and actually a lot of my scenery stuff, especially transitions from ground cover to roads, gaps between buildings, etc.. It's available at hardware stores (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) and pretty cheap. Mix it up to a slightly thicker than soup consistency, pour, and spread/smooth with a putty knife. Unlike plaster of paris, water putty is easily carve-able after it dries and can be reformed if moistened -- so you can easily add expansion joints, potholes, etc., and start over if you don't like 'em. I find that this is great for painting with water or alcohol thinned acrylic paint (thinned to a soup like consistency again), because the paint mixes with the top layer of water putty to create a muddy kind of overwash.

    PS What kind of acrylics are you using? I'd strongly recommend getting the really cheap craft acrylics (Apple Barrell, Ceramacoat, other brand names, available at places like Michaels or WalMart) and thin them with rubbing alcohol. The hobby store stuff like Tamiya is just too expensive for landscaping. Just curious.
  16. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Wow. Thanks...

    LIRR- Right now, not even the main line has seen much traffic. Oil droppings and railroad 'crappola' will be added at a later stage, including the sidings. :thumb:

    Jac's- Great tips. For scenery and such, I use those cheap acrylic paints from JoAnne's and WalMart. I use the FolkArt brand, and they're only $1.00 a bottle or so. Great deal, and you get a lot for you money. I have a whole color selection of them. I only used the Tamiya paints for the trackwork because it can be used safely on plastic and gives good results, and the aerosol can made the task so much easier. Otherwise, I don't bother with expensive paints like that. (One exception: Testor's Dullcote for structures, etc.)

    I'll grab some water putty next time I'm out.

    How much would you recommend to thin the paints? Regular rubbing alcohol? How do you yourself mix 'em?

    Might you have any pictures of you roads? Just so I can get an idea.

    Thanks so much. :D
  17. LIRR

    LIRR Member

    How does it conduct? It looks like the tops of your rails have paint on them, or that could just be the mysterous camera gods shadow.
  18. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    LIRR- Sorry it has been awhile. But no, there isn't any paint on the tracks. Those, I keep clean and un-weathered. ;)

    Okay, the reason I revive this thread is..duh... UPDATE!

    I got 6 sheets of .040" styrene for the platform, and an extra pack of .015" for the road. (They were out of .040"...) They will be painted Floquil Dark Gray, with pastels/acrylic paints mixed in. They will cover the entire area of tracks as the platform. (Track-level, of course...) Then I have a paint pen for white lines in the parking lot and road. (No yellow lines in 50s, right?)

    Road crossings = toothpicks. How original. Hey, it saves me a buck, and I don't feel like specially ordering a Blair Line one.
    Speaking of toothpicks, I'm also going to use them as roadsigns. They will be painted, like the crossing, a more-realistic wood color, and attached to a .015" styrene supported sign. The decals will come from a graphics program.

    For paints - I'm also going to use the Floquil Dark Gray on the roof of the City Station, and Oxide Red on the brick. I was originally going to use acrylic paints, but while I was at the LHS, I picked these up. I still don't have anything for the Paraphets and White Molding.

    I will let you know the moment I finish the station, even though the platforms would be easier to tackle. I was so bummed the LHS didn't have any baggage lollies/cart-thingiemerbobs...) No reasonably priced cars or fuel trucks either.

    Any ideas, let me know. :D I can't wait.... now I can make progress on the left side of the layout.

    P.S. I also got some light gray and black gravel which will be mixed in with my current roadbed to provide some variety, and as the gravel road leading to the church and loading dock on right side of the layout.


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