Buildings on the layout?

BNSF FAN Apr 18, 2010

  1. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Heres a question for you all. Do you permantly attach your buildings to your layout? Why or why not? Getting ready to start a city street and was wondering what others do is why I'm asking. Thanks.
     
  2. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    I am definitely gluing down my buildings because it is completely portable and I don’t want them falling off when I turn it on its side to go through the door. I also bought magnets for my street vehicles to keep them attached, but also be able to move them around if I want to.

    I have a Machine shop on my first layout that I wanted to be able to get into for adding things like people, welders and other equipment so I used cylindrical magnets glued into each corner to hold it in place. I went a little over board on the magnets because they were too strong.
     
  3. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    For me, never permanently affixed.

    1. I don't know if I will ever move from my house and need to dismantle what I can for the move.
    2. I may wish to change, weather differently, rearrange, whatever- the street scene or building area and if I am going to lift out a structure, I want it nice and easy with a minimum of damage to the building and the surrounding area.

    What to do? One drop of Elmer's Glue-All at each corner of the structure. Let it dry. Unless you are moving your layout around, it won't move after it dries. Some people use embalmer's wax for figures and some structures, but it creeps me out.
     
  4. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    Attach,yes.....permanently, no. If you don't anchor them somehow, any little bump can move them around.......but how permanently you anchor them is up to you. I've seen people use locator pins on the buildings that sit in holes in the layout.....that concept expanded to bolts on the buildings, and then nuts added under the layout to hold the buildings very solid, but still not "permanent".......some people use a small spot of silicone at each corner of the building,which is easy to release with a thin knife blade if needed..........if you use white (elmers) glue, you can wet the glue to get it to release later if needed........I've used museum putty (I have HandiTak from Walmert), which sticks things without really gluing them.......I've heard of one person using velcro somehow......Magnets would work like Sleeper used. The point is your layout (or the buildings) WILL get bumped, and when that happens EVERYTHING that isn't anchored will move. How firmly you need to anchor depends on your situation. If you move your layout around you need a lot more hold than if you're just guarding against bumps. I have several NTRAK modules and I use heavy-duty glue to anchor tha buildings on those.
     
  5. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    I'll use a small amount of Aileen's white glue in each corner of a building. the building can easily be moved if a position change is required or if a structure is being replaced.
     
  6. eric220

    eric220 TrainBoard Member

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    Interestingly, I do not secure my buildings for exactly the same reason. My layout needs to be portable, but some of the buildings are pretty tall, and I don't want to risk damaging them as the layout goes through a door. Once I get the layout to its permanent home, I may secure them to the layout... We'll see.
     
  7. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

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    I don’t have anything that tall and the buildings that I do have are protected by the back drop.
    I was thinking of adding some tall towers, but they would have to be removable.

    There was some talk about sometimes making changes which I did do. I had to move my town buildings to make way for a new street and a Denny’s. Luckily I only used acrylic caulking on the corners and it was pretty easy to move with a sharp putty knife.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    I agree with a bunch of the people above. I will just use my own terminology. I "SEMI-" permanently attach buildings to the layout, when I am reasonably satisfied with their placement. Elmer's white glue on two of three corners to fasten plastic structures, they will usually come up with little or no damage.
    [​IMG]
    Old layout dismantled without much trauma to buildings.

    Some parts of layout will need to be glued more securely than others.
    [​IMG]

    When I get ready to glue down the Paradise Palms Pleasure Pier, with all its pilings, it will need to be really securely affixed, before the water is poured. It will never be easily removable== but it is unlikely ever to go anywhere else.
    [​IMG]

    Oh look, the buildings on the fold-down swing-down section are in a different position than in the previous picture. Actually, that's all just in a "moickup" stage where I place things on it for a temporary trial or picture. I haven't installed any of these sections onto the layout yet.

    Some buildings like the big export terminal grain elevator will need to fixed with pins, tabs, slots, so can fit firmed in place but be easily removable to get to trackage it will hide. (Right now, I have all the silos and the cardboard mockup headhouse loose to get to the back ofn the layout and LAY the track! And the exact alignment of the track in front of the elevator may change its configuration a bit, so it's lucy goosey for the moment)
    [​IMG]

    So the precise answer to your question is, IT ALL DEPENDS...
     
  9. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    Richard,

    I have the same issue as you and I need to secure my building really well to my layout. What did you finally come up with to secure your buildings to your layout?

    John Bartolotto
     
  10. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    I glue them down, but it's not really a problem to slice them off or pry them up later. Most are built on a matte board or foam core base just for that purpose.
     
  11. pachyderm217

    pachyderm217 TrainBoard Member

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    My approach varies with the structure. This scene shows structures glued down and scenicked to the substrate.

    [​IMG]

    To keep protect the most delicate parts of this model, I glued it to the layout.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This engine house is removable but its foundation is embedded in the layout.

    [​IMG]

    Things I consider for building mounting:

    1. Can I easily conceal the structure-to-layout joint?

    2. Does the terrain on the structure site demand additional foundation work?

    3. Does the structure have fragile components such as tipple columns that are more stable when anchored?

    As my layout is permanent, I don't have the portability issues of other readers here. I certainly respect those tradeoffs and challenges, though.
     
  12. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    John,
    I went with contact or rubber cement (depending on what name you prefer). It holds the buildings in place well and they are also easily removable. I'll try and post a pic or two of my town area later.
     
  13. brakie

    brakie TrainBoard Member

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    Well,let's see then..On my planned Slate Creek Industrial the flat background buildings will be glued to the backdrop and the other buildings will be removable.

    Here's a example of my flat background buildings..I have 3 different types and all 3 has several car spots.


    [​IMG]
     
  14. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    I don't attach buildings but they are all indexed into the layout in some fashion or another. Most have a foundation that is unique to the terrain or for cities, sidewalks that help locate them. Residential buildings are indexed by landscaping. If the building is on a flat surface, with nothing around to index, I will glue two corner blocks to the ground that fit inside oposite corners on building to locate it.

    I'm a big proponent of making things serviceable. A glued down building is hard to work on if it get's broken. I also like to light everything so each building has a wiring harness and plug leading to it.

    There are close to 100 buildings on this HO layout and nothing is mounted solid.
    [​IMG]

    The city is designed so that the buildings are on a sub-board of masonite for each block so that they can be removed from the layout and worked on a block at a time. The sidewalks and expansion seams in the pavement hide the joints between the sections.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. FloridaBoy

    FloridaBoy TrainBoard Member

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    I use a gator board foundation for every structure and then glue another atop the foundation to snug fit the structure. I also use wall joint compound to "mold" the bottom of the structure to the foundation so it looks like it was built there instead of placed on the layout like a fork on a table. When the joint compound is sufficiently set up, I carefully remove the structure for a short time and it usually results in a very convincing fit.

    Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman
     
  16. ChicagoNW

    ChicagoNW E-Mail Bounces

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    On a couple of my buildings I have used a ear plug jack to power and locate it. Most of the other buildings are just placed on the layout as I am still fiddling with them. As layout is going to be torn down soon I will have to work out a standardized lighting/location system.
     
  17. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    Richard - Thanks!

    Todd - Best advice I've heard so far. What type/brand of glue(s) have you used to secure your buildings to your layout?

    John
     
  18. pachyderm217

    pachyderm217 TrainBoard Member

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    I secure the soil, sand, and crushed limestone on each building site with diluted matte medium. Hidden finish nails hold the structure in place while the wet scenic surface dries. The dried scenic surface grips the structure pretty well. When I need to remove a structure like this, wetting the scenic surface softens the matte medium and the structure comes up easily.
     
  19. b-16707

    b-16707 TrainBoard Member

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    dude, i think ive just found my small layout inspiration. (sorry for the thread hijack!)
     
  20. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have built quite a few structures as small modules on a base with sidewalks, parking lots and street sections. Most of them are designed to be mounted with small screws into the sub base. Since I use mostly brass screws they are easy to blacken using a chemical blackening. They can then be left as is, think sewer manholes, or painted to match whatever the base is. I don't use portable sections so the screws are adequate yet I can certainly remove things later with minimum of fuss.
     

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