N Scale Scratch Structures Gain New Realism
I have always admired the work of the fine scale miniatures type of scratch builder and envied the visual ease of working in HO, S and O scales, the non-opti-visor set.
Just having the ability to work with individual boards to stain cut and drill to suit one's imagination, to accent nail holes in walls, further embelishing the realistic look. What a treat.
Up until now I had to treat N Scale walls as a whole and weathering could only be accomplished in blotches, not individual planks.
Builders in Scale recently introduced a line of LASERWOOD planking/siding/deck-floor boards in 16 different formats.
This opened up whole new avenues for my structure modeling by being able to develop buildings with random width planking, others with planks arrayed vertically and to color individual planks differently.
Now I can construct a wall's framing including sole plates, top plates, heqders, king studs, sills and rough openings and skin it with individual planking. The building's age can be depicted by breaking a plank or two without having to peel it up with a sharp blade.
The planking is delivered on 3.75" by 7" sheets, easily enough planks for two moderately-sized buildings.
In other scales there currently exists a miner flap over whether to include nail holes in walls or not. I never gave it a thought in N Scale figuring nailheads would not be visible. Wrong.
Not only are theee nail holes visible in the above wall section, but notice the stud visible via the misssing plank piece, and the variety offered by random-width planks.
With this new product, I have the ability to apply planks individually by slicing the small tabs holding them together or in sections of 10-20 planks that butt up against a door or window.
At this point I install the windows and doors as planned allowing for a tight fit. I prefer to use the laser cut double-hung windows and acompanying doors furnished in RC board with self adhesive.
I begin by coloring most of the planks with a basic paint wash of grey, dull white or some other colorr desired. After it dries to the touch, I apply my India Ink/Alcohol mix to given areas of the sheet, knowing some of these boards will be mixed up like in a real life wooden wall. This is followed by both dark and light applications of Bragdon weathering powders.
In the application process, I hold the wall framing unit steady with masking tape. The planks have been split as needed for either individuals or group installs.
I apply glue to the faces of the affected framing units and place the plank or planks in direct contact allowing a minute or two for the yellow wood glue to initially bond.