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Special Supplement to Railroad Model Craftsman

Extra Board

Building in S Scale - An Introduction

by George Riley/photos as noted

1:64“Building in S Scale” is aimed at spotlighting some of the features of modeling in 1:64. This is the second supplement that has been developed jointly between the National Association of S Gaugers (NASG) and Railroad Model Craftsman. Moreover, we are presenting a series of short and easy modeling projects that anyone with basic skills and simple tools can successfully accomplish in S or any other model railroading scale.

Several of these projects use commercially available models as their starting point and take advantage of aftermarket products such as those used for the locomotive and passenger car features, or as in the case of the transfer caboose project, make use of sheet styrene and detail castings in its creation. The “Tobacco Barn” project that makes use of easy to find art and craft materials. “A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch” incorporates some of the newest scenery products and techniques to detail your scenery efforts.

What all of these projects have in common beyond being constructed in S scale is the imagination and craftsmanship exhibited in their construction. Moreover, it is our sincere hope that we have been able to share the fun and accomplishment that make our model railroad hobby so satisfying.

Tobacco Barn in S Scale

The Tobacco Barn:
Scratchbuilding with Everyday Items

by George Riley/photos as noted

1:64Once common in the Piedmont Region of Virginia and North Carolina, these rapidly disappearing structures graced the fields of many tobacco farms. Usually built from raw Chestnut logs or rough hewn timber with either an interior stone hearth or iron stove these "barns" were used to flue cure harvested tobacco to ready the leaves for market. This simple structure makes for a fun and easy scratchbuilding project that uses easy to find, readily available materials in its construction. Most are available anywhere that school supplies or craft items are sold as well as at model railroad retailers.

Tobacco Barn in S Scale

Begin by cutting out the foam core board for the interior core. The two side walls measure 2 5/8” by 3 ¾” and the end walls measure 3” wide by 3 ¾” tall with a peaked gable measuring 4 ¾” high. Cut four corner braces from the square stock and glue the core together with the side walls to the inside of the end walls.

Tobacco Barn in S Scale

While the core is drying, stain all of the wood pieces with a weathered gray stain. Centered on the front gable side is a 6’ 6” tall by 3’ wide door and a 3’ square vent opening in the gable. Lay out the door with six pieces of 2 x 6 cut to length as well as the gable vent using an additional six 2 x 6 pieces cut to length.

Tobacco Barn in S Scale

With the door and the vent glued in place begin adding the siding using the stained craft sticks or coffee stirrers. These should be laid in proud of the corners which will have a 3/32” square stock installed as the corner boards. When all the siding is in place and the glue has set, place 2x6 trim around the door and gable vent openings. Also add cross pieces and bracing to the door and gable opening.

Tobacco Barn in S Scale

With the walls complete cut two pieces of card stock for the sub-roof. These should over lap the walls by about 3/16”. Paint the underside of the sub-roof flat brown before gluing it in place. Trim between the sub-roof and walls with 2x6 strips.

Tobacco Barn in S Scale

To finish the roof either masking tape can be applied and painted to simulate rolled roofing or a file of Weathered Corrugated siding from Clever Models can be downloaded and printed out for those wanting a weathered metal roof. To complete the model add a smoke jack to the rear wall using either a cast detail part or make one from brass tubing and then weather to taste with washes or chalks. The finished model is a classic piece of rapidly vanishing Americana that will be at home on nearly any model railroad.


Realistic Scenery in S Scale

A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch:
Realistic Scenery for your Model Railroad

by George Riley/photos as noted

1:64Landscape scenery is the glue that ties all of the various aspects of a model railroad together. There have been numerous volumes printed outlining and detailing all of the various techniques and strategies that can be used to construct scenery on a layout or diorama. While most of these are beyond the scope of this short piece a good overall working knowledge of the more common methods will stand the modeler in good stead. The focus of this piece is to outline the use of a number of new scenery products to detail a layout’s scenery in S scale, or, for that matter, any other scale. Since S scale is nestled between both HO and O scale in size, scenery materials and products labeled for either scale can be readily used.

Realistic Scenery in S Scale

Grass Roots Detailing – Scenery details literally begin at ground level. Begin by choosing an earth base which is a mixture of different sized material. The farm diorama received a base layer of Monster Model Works’ Diorama Dirt. This was then shaded with washes of various shades of dark brown color to add depth and shadow to the ruts and furrows. When dry the entire surface was dry brushed with a light tan to highlight the dirt details.

Realistic Scenery in S Scale

To add texture to the overall base of Woodland Scenics static grass was applied over a coat of thinned scenery cement. A uniform application was avoided allowing for bare spots as well as thicker areas of cover. To get the right color of static grass, mix your own from several shades. Once dry add various types of additional vegetation, in this case JTT field grass and SilFlor grass tufts.

Realistic Scenery in S Scale

Choose a Season – No longer are modelers limited to the green of summer for their layout. This is demonstrated by the pumpkin patch out back of the tobacco barn. JTT pumpkins are mixed in with JTT dry vines and some Silflor Autumn Golden Rod tufts to capture the late autumn and early winter when the pumpkins are ready to harvest.

Realistic Scenery in S Scale

Harvested Fields – While not frequently modeled, harvested fields are a common sight. A few natural broom straws weathered with a dilute black wash and cut to length then inserted into holes drilled into a sceniced field can easily create the look of a harvested corn or tobacco field. Add a couple of patches of static grass and a weed here and there to complete the scene.

Realistic Scenery in S Scale

Add Some Bio-Diversity – All too often our model landscapes are a monotonous expanse of ground foam, ground cover, and flocked trees. By planting groupings of different plants as shown here realism and interest can easily be enhanced. JTT Field Grass, Dry Foliage trees and Cat Tails mixed with Silflor Autumn Golden Rods, Woodland Scenics Static Grass and Life-Like earth add a new dimension to the backside of an otherwise plain building.

Realistic Scenery in S Scale

Building Scenery

Building Scenery with Paul Scoles

Order your copy from the Carstens Book Store today!


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