Walthers modulars ,good for low relief structures ?

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Biased turkey, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I would like to build some N scale low relief structures ( mostly industrial brick buildings , brick houses and brick freight depot ).
    What would be the best way to kitbash them ?
    1) Buy some complete structures ( DPM, Walthers etc.. ) , cut the walls and build the low relief structures
    2) Use the Walthers cornerstone modulars ?

    3) other? use paper models ?

    Tia for any suggestion.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Depending on what you want to do...

    - One large building, like a warehouse, or large factory - use DPM or Walthers modules and get only the loading doors, windows and blank walls you need.

    - A street scene - a variety of buildings can work here too, but again if you are doing "all backs" or "all fronts", the modulars may have the pieces you are looking for. Some kits have backs that are suitable for "repurposing" into store fronts, but not many.

    - I would not suggest paper models, at least not the commercial "cut and paste" types. They are decent for mockups or stand-ins, but wear/fade after a while, and are easily damaged.

    If you use the modulars, you will wnat to get some thick styrene for building walls/support where they won't/can't be seen.

  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    If you can stand a slightly British flavour, look for someone that carries the Metcalfe line of cardboard structures. They have a line of low-relief structures -- both industrial and row houses (fronts or backs!) and a series of shop fronts. (Probably someone in the BRMNA.)
  4. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Thank you Andrew and David for taking some of your time to reply.
    First, I found that very interesting link:
    The Miniature Builder : The online magazine for modellers and collectors of miniature buildings

    I visited the Metcalfe website. I have to admit, their structures look "cute" and typically British but I don't have any N scale British rolling stock and I wouldn't like my paper structure to fade after some short period of time.
    Right now i'm finishing ( 95% ) to build the N scale freight depot paper model from scalescenes.com. I'll post pictures and comments this weekend
    My micro layout ( 23" by 11" ) will include some small industrial buildings, a couple of residential and commercial ones.
    So it looks like the best way will be to use the modules for the industrial low relief structures and to cut parts of some complete residential and business ones.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    When I said to avoid the paper models - I mean the ones that are simply heavy paper or light card. I can't remember the name off the top of my head, but there is one manufacturer/printer with a whole series of books that you cut apart. They are not the same calibre as the scalescenes stuff. At least, you'd have to add a whole substructure and so on to "beef them up" so they look as good as the scalescenes. The artwork and printing still would not be as fine though...

  6. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    You mean something like this Andrew?


    I think materials like this are OK for background scenes. After intaling this building I've put other structures in front of it.

  7. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Last sunday I visited Exporail in the Montreal area. There was a model railroad show and imho the best layout was a British switching layout with ... some low relief buildings.
    I took a picture. Those low relief paper model structures for sure looks nice.
    But now I'm almost sure I'll go the Walthers modular way for the low relief structures on my micro-layout.
    Thanks again for the opinions and suggestions.


    Did you say "Thomas the tank" ?
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I am not sure - your pictures look good. But we have one module at the club that has taken on a decidedly "run down" look - especially the paper low-relief flats that were cut from a North Dover (? I think that's the name?) book. I have a similar book, and I think the models are fine, and could look good with some extra work like weathering, bracing, and (very) careful construction. See ocalicreek's excellent thread on building a scalescenes structure, and you will see that (high quality) paper models are just as much work, if not a lot more. than DPM or Walthers modulars. Nor are they really any cheaper.

    I suppose my real opposition to the North Dover type is the fact they do not stand up to the rigours of modular railroading. They cannot take even an occasional hit, and the varied environments they are subjected to in storage and transportation means they will not look good for long.

    As always, my $0.02 only... ;) :D

  9. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I agree 100% with you Andrew when you says that "(high quality) paper models are just as much work, if not a lot more. than DPM or Walthers modulars"
    Just finished yesterday the N scale depot from scalescenes. It was a ( long ) good experience ( and cheap, it costs me 0.00 Canadian $ ) . I like the result, but I wouldn't build any more paper-model.
    Here is a pic

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