N-Scale Scratchbuilding Presents
Challenges To 70-Year-Old Fingers

It is one thing to work with a plastic structure kit (very convincing these days) and working with laser cut kits (even in N-Scale), provokes meticulous modeling. But to me, the real challenge comes in scratch building N-Scale structures.

The thing that makes me even consider such exacting work is coming across a building picture (often of an assembled kit) that is striking in its design and actually about the right size for a spot on my pike. Couple that with the fact it is right up front and demands excellence and you get the idea.

Imperial brewing is a case in point. It fits both the trackside space available, but has a tavern on one end that fits into the retail district.

Imperial Brewery from scratch

I actually stated this building with a bare minimum of planning, thinking it looked simple enough. I started off building each of the four walls in Model Builder software and planned to cut and assemble like I would a card stock model. But in this case I would be working with basswood.

First mistake--I painted the clapboard-scribed wood the color avocado green; before it dried, the warp started and ruined the entire 3 1/2-inch sheet. Maybe plastic would work better. I posted my problem at the Scratch-Building Yahoo Groups Forum and got an immediate response.

The obvious answer was vertical bracing perpendicular to the clapboard scribing. Couple this with spraying an undercoat before the finish color.

Tavern in stucco adds interesting view angle

The other end of the building offers another interesting perspective with the addition of a second floor office and its outside stairway tucked inside what could have been a simple rectangular footprint.

It needs to be cut square and detailed correctly because it will be closest to the viewing angle.Then there is the matter of building that set of stairs in N-Scale...

Street-side service area

The street side service area will come together pretty easily after the two building ends have been taken care of to frame the truck loading area.

I think, since it is my project, I'll raise the loading doors and provide a loading dock for easy truck loading.

This is a project that will keep me busy for a while as I am going to start over and hopefully do a better job of planning.

For instance, I have ordered a set of Tichy N Scale Windows and doors for use with this building. What is the best way to locate window openings to accommodate these details? How do you cut uniform window pockets in the walls?

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