Where to start?

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by TerryR, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. TerryR

    TerryR Member

    I would like to model the attached scene in N scale. I know how to do everything except the building.

    I'm at a loss on how to start.

    Any thoughts?


    Attached Files:

    • bb.jpg
      File size:
      53.5 KB
  2. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    Shamus. Where are you???

    That is a beautiful scene.
  3. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    for the building, I would start by assigning a measurement for some object that could then be used as a basis for measurements for the rest of the structure. For instance. I would assign a value of 3'x5' for the window in the small structure on the left front. Using that you can come up with a pretty close estimate for the overall length and height of the structure. You can then estimate the width and draw up some working plans from which to construct your model.

    Shamus will probably have some good tips on estimating the width of that building.
  4. TerryR

    TerryR Member

    I can come up with reasonably accurate scale drawings - I have several high-res photos from 3 sides and drafting experience. It's what to do after that that's got me confused :confused:

    For anybody that's interested, it's a farmhouse B&B in the Dordogne valley in central France. For my layout, I'm moving it to the Loire (Oh, the power!) It's even next to a railway. The field in the foreground is usually full of cows but, IIRC, they were off being milked when I took this picture.
  5. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Most shutters are between 12 and 18-inches wide. Doors, in this country are 3’x 6’8” on most residential buildings. Old structures like this may have wider doors, usually up to 3’-6”, but the height doesn’t increase much unless the story height is increased. These look like they have a short floor to floor height. Older buildings often have narrower windows, 24-30 inches wide. Remember, the stones will be of a size that a local mason could pick it up and lay it without a “crane”. Looks like a greenhouse on the back and the glass in it is probably about 4’-0” wide. Much more span and it gets pretty thick if you use it on the roof. Diamond shingles are usually in the range of 16-18-inches square.

    Draw it up, build a rough model out of cardboard and see if the proportions look right. Adjust using a copy machine to enlarge or shrink the “plans” it till it looks right.

    Neat little building. Just put my easy chair in the left corner of the greenhouse.

  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    You don't start with the easy ones, do you Terry.
    Divide the building into boxes-the right hand building is one; the other is two -- one for the extension at the back; the greenhouse is another. Build then out of cardboard or plastic sheet. Then add the surface texture -- some sort of plastic stonework or paper. Same idea for the roof. What is the roof, shingle or tile?
    Can't help with the chimney; I have a pair to go on one of mine.
  7. TerryR

    TerryR Member

    Thanks all.

    My problem with projects like this is always getting started - once I start, I generally finish. Bearing that in mind, I'm going to concentrate on one wall of one building and go from there.

    David, this is the easy one! Wait until I get to the two chateaux :D The roof is tile on the two main buildings and tin on the outbuildings.

    Ted, I'm afraid that spot is already spoken for, that's where Monsieur has his breakfast and Madame sits to do her paperwork. Do you have a second choice? :)
  8. TerryR

    TerryR Member

    Well, I guess I started :)

    Comments welcome...

    Attached Files:

    • bb01.jpg
      File size:
      35.7 KB
  9. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Looks bang on so far, Terry. Good work.
  10. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    That's looking great, Terry! When you're done, you oughta send a picture to the folks who own the farm. I bet they'd get a kick out of it!
  11. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Terry, You don't need my help on this project, you are doing real good. Excellent looking start.

  12. TerryR

    TerryR Member


    Actually, I do need some help. I did the sun room today. This is the 4th attempt :eek: . It looks pretty good with the lights on the inside but I don't like the way it looks in the daytime.

    Any ideas on how to get the black lines without covering the whole thing in paper? I tried cutting them out but the lines are just too thin. I also tries various pens on the inside but nothing would stick to the transparent plastic.

    Or am I being too picky?

    Apart from that and a couple of dabs of paint and the two downspouts, I'm calling this one finished and moving on to the next building.

    Attached Files:

  13. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Boy Terry:
    When you “start” you really go for it! Great looking interpretation. On the greenhouse, what about using small balsa strips, painted black/charcoal before hand, and gluing them onto the plexi “greenhouse”? The glass material looks translucent in the photo. I’d opt for a “Clear” material, maybe something with a gray or smoked tint so the view to the interior of the greenhouse was darkened but not totally obscured. Some notebook covers work well for this type of thing.

    Keep it up, oh,… I’d like a big pillow in front of the center dormer upstairs.
  14. TerryR

    TerryR Member


    I did use transparent material - actually it's a piece of the hard plastic that things come in that is welded to a piece of cardboard. It works really well - reasonably easy to cut and bend (if you score it first). The only problem is that you can't seem to mark it at all. I printed the lines on paper and glued it to the inside which makes great lines but rather spoils the transparency :(

    To be in scale the lines need to be about as wide as an exacto blade is thick and there is no way I could cut out just the lines without them breaking. Believe me, I tried - several times :mad: I even tried glueing the whole sheet down and then cutting away the white parts but the black lines were so thin they just peeled up. Plus the glue made a mess of the transparent parts anyway. Tomorrow I'm going to see if I can cut electrical tape that thin.

    I've reserved the dormer for you but you may want to wait and pick out one of the rooms in the next building - that's the B&B part. This part is the proprieters' own residence.
  15. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Another suggestion

    Back in the days before GIS and computers, maps used to be made by hand, and people often used "draftsman's tape" (unsure of the real name - I only used it a few times) to make lines. It comes in a variety of colours and widths (some quite narrow). Maybe you can find some at a drafting supply store or art shop? It would save you trying to cut tape yourself.

    Alternatively, what about masking the clear panels and painting the lines on?

  16. TerryR

    TerryR Member

    Andrew said: "Alternatively, what about masking the clear panels and painting the lines on?"

    I said: "Why didn't I think of that? :confused:

    Thanks Andrew.

    I covered the whole back with one piece of masking tape, drew the lines on it, and cut them out. It's a lot easier to leave the big parts in place and remove the small parts than it is the other way around!

    Attached Files:

    • bb03.jpg
      File size:
      36.8 KB
  17. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    nice looking sun room. Just needs the plants to make it look complete.
  18. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    If you need to stick things to clear plastic, try the crystal-clear (or is it Kristal Kleer?) stuff that's supposed to make window panes. If you use it as a glue it dries clear and transparent and any ooze-out can be taken off neatly.
    But your masking and paint seems to have worked.
  19. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    nearly forgot: to make generic plants for a greenhouse, use some of the lumpier bits of ground foam that fall off old trees. make up a planter of something and just stick them down. you don't have to identify them; say "I'm not a horticulturalist". Some of them will look kike cabbage that's past its prime.:D
  20. TerryR

    TerryR Member

    And construction continues :)

    BTW, I'm amassing quite a few JPGs of various textures (tiles, stone walls, etc.) as I go along. If anybody wants copies, please feel free to ask.

    [Edit] Forgot to resize the image :eek:

Share This Page