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Friday, December 24, 2010

Your First Railroad Part 6.

With the track laid and hopfully operating, it is time to start building the structures.  Structures give a railroad a reason for being, for instance, my CNW layout has a gravel plant that serves a gravel pit. The gravel plant needs to be served by the railroad because it produces more gravel than trucks can carry.  In return, the plant produces ballast for the railway.  Both need each other to exist, and it makes for good operation for a model railroad.  Besides the gravel plant, a grain elevator gets a lot of attention on the layout.  It was put on a spur that was shorter than three car lengths.  This allows the switcher to continually switch around cars to increase operation.

After figuring out what structures to have on the railroad, it is time to get them.  There are three ways to getting structures on the layout. 

Built and ready structures;
These structures are already complete for the modeler.  This is good for a person that is not good at assembling models or doesn't have time to make structures.  The main draw back of built and ready structures is the cost is much more than what structures could be with the other two methods.

Kit structures;
Kits are very popular among modelers. They are cheaper than built-and-ready structures and only require a little glue and some paint.  When assembling a kit, it is best to make sure that all of the parts are there and fit properly. then, assemble the kit according to the instructions.  Kits are fun to assemble and give a modeler a sense of wholeness when the structures are complete.

Scratch building;
instead of telling scratch building is best shown.

Assembled from 1/8 inch plywood and styrene, the elevator stands 58 scale feet high

Although wood isn't yellow, this color makes a good primer.  Paint with the grain.
Real roofs have trim around the sides to keep moisture from going up into the structure.  Adding these add a new level of realism.

Weathered steel roofs can be modeled by painting brown, orange, red, and a little yellow on top of the steel gray. 

The finished wood structure should look worn with browns and grays.  Add styrene to the outside so that the structure looks wood cribbed.  Adding the grain loading chute completes the elevator. 

If there are any questions, please let me know in the comments. It is best to check out a book on the subject for a step by step how to, because I do it differently.

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