Dolmen-Sylvanau ... Buildings

View towards old town. P8 in foreground, G10 on main line.

January 4, 2008

Buildings have been described as models that don't move. Part of the any landscape, buildings are pretty much a necessity on any layout. Dolmen-Sylvanau now has more that 40 structures, from houses to railroad buildings to warehouses.

Village of Sylvanau.

Buildings can be added to your layout in a variety of ways. Although you can buy ready-built structures, most modellers build them by themselves, either from a kit or from scratch. Even when building a kit, many modellers will deviate from the instructions to build something original. For example, I built one warehouse according to instructions. However, I later decided it was too big. I pulled apart the walls, and rebuilt it one third shorter and one third narrower. I also added a second storey and gave it a new roof.

Dolmen station.

Here are some techniques I use when assembling a building from a plastic kit: First, I cement together the walls, using plastic cement liberally on the joints. The cement may ooze out from the joints, but that's fine since I will then trim the joint after the cement sets. I normally paint all visible surfaces using a flat paint to get rid of the plastic sheen.

I glue other pieces to the building using matte medium instead of plastic cement. Matte medium doesn't set as quickly, but it dries to a matte finish, and provides a sufficiently strong bond.

Finally, I usually splash a wash of light gray or light brown over the structure to weather it. This step can be repeated until the desired levelling of weathering is reached.

Monastery building on the ridge between the main line and branch line.

For the above building, I added a lower floor and placed the building on a slope. The statue to the right of the building was made from a couple of Kinder toys, demonstrating that anything can be used as raw materials for a train layout.

Kit-bashed warehouse.