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of the styrene walls with a sanding block and jig, then cut the Chooch stone sheet so it matches on the adjacent walls. Keep things square. It is all too easy to turn the walls into trapezoids when the sanding the bevels. The ex- posed edges of the styrene walls can also be lightly carved to match the stones next to it. After weathering the exposed edges of the stone wall I was surprised at how well they “disappeared.” Some buildings had wider stone


blocks along the corners, especially on the street side. Called quoins, match- ing


brand white glue). Quoins


“stones” can be cut from thin styrene and glued onto the walls (try Weldbond®


are often set a little proud of the wall so this works well. You may have to add a little filler along their edges to hide the gaps between them and the walls. Portions of the Chooch material with such trim molded in place may also be used. The cornices or stone trim along the top of a wall can be made with Dr. Ben’s Baby Building Blocks or by scoring and carving strip styrene. Make the window lintels and sills from standard styrene strips,


pre-


painting them before installation. Finishing


Stone buildings (opposite) can be a lot of fun to scratchbuild. One easy way is to cut out styrene walls and face them with Chooch flexible stone material, which has a self-stick backing. Place the Chooch material on the styrene wall (above) and trim away the excess.


en trim is not found on the outsides of stone walls. The windows were in- stalled upside down so that the upper sash overhung the lower one.


Corners and trim Using a square to ensure alignment,


the walls were glued together at the corners. Evergreen strips were used to brace the corners and reinforce all edges, and sheet styrene was used for the roofs. The roofs were covered with strips of paper cut to scale three-foot widths and painted to simulate rolled asphalt roofing. Since white glue does not adhere well to styrene I sprayed


RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN


the roofs with flat primer paint. This gave the glue something to sink its teeth into and hold the paper securely. Joining the stone walls at the cor-


ners posed a visual problem. Since my models cannot be viewed from the back, I made the side walls overlap the back wall, so there was no problem there. The fronts of both buildings overlap the sides, and I partially hid those seams with signs.


Other solutions would be to use downspouts from rain gutters or have vines climbing the walls, but those tricks can only be used so often. An al- ternative is to carefully bevel the edges


The stone material had just the right color and weathering to suit me, so I neither painted nor weathered it. I did weather the edges of the material at the fresh cuts at the corners and around the window and door openings. My standard “weathering mix” worked perfectly here, making the unwanted edges seem to disappear. This mix is simply rubbing alcohol with a little flat gray acrylic paint plus a little more flat black, but not very much of either. I add the paint to the alcohol by swish- ing in one brushful at a time, and I keep it in a small sealed glass jar. If you make a weathering solution like this, start testing it on scraps of scale lumber while you think it is still too light and keep adding color till you get it just right according to your eye. Too light is better than too dark. The Chooch flexible retaining wall material would seem to have many ap- plications. Retaining walls were the manufacturer’s apparent intention, but stone buildings are equally possible to do, as I have found. The material would also be perfect for stone arch bridges, and it could also be used for round stone silos or towers if they can be placed so that the seam is hidden. Each of the two stone structures pic- tured here was built in only two evenings. This is a fast and easy method that yields great-looking re- sults. As far as this hobby goes, we are living in a golden age.


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