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Thread: Scratch building help needed...

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    Default Scratch building help needed...

    Not new to scratch building but am new to N Scale scratch building, especially when it comes to scale sizes for materials.

    Here is my plan - I intend to build a series of "Overhead Walkways" and am looking at Pastruct ABS products to do that. The support for the walkways will be "I Beams" and that is where I run into problems.

    What size "I Beams" should I use to maintain some resemblance of scale? My initial thought is to use 1/16th sized beams. Will that size be suitable?

    Secondly, what do you guys use to replicate steel grate walkways like this:



    And ... what would you use for the railings as depicted in the same picture?

    Any help/advice will be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"

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    For the gratings ... you might be able to use decorative ribbon of the same type I have used for fences. It's available in craft stores. Might be better ideas though.

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    Nskale, I know the stuff you are talking about and that might just work, thanks. I was considering using fine aluminium screen but not sure how I would attach it or if it would look too big, out of scale.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"

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    I know you are looking for scratchbuilding help, but there is a commercial off-the-shelf solution in the case of the walkways.

    Gold Medal Models produces numerous etched metal parts for building and scenery details. Of likely interest for your project:

    160-34 Industrial Railings
    160-35 Industrial Stairways
    160-38 Industrial Safety Cage Ladders
    160-59 Industrial Walkways

    If you really wanted to scratchbuild the walkways, I would look into fine metal mesh... many options out there. You'd have to determine which mesh has the best sizing and pattern for your application.

    For the supports, Plastruct 1/16" (0.625") I-Beam should be fine. I have also seen 1/16" I-beams in brass on the market, too, if you like the strength metal parts impart. I personally prefer using Evergreen plastic structural shapes, and their approximate equivalent is a 0.060" I-beam. Those scale in 1:160 as 10" and 9.6" beams, respectively. Those are still somewhat hefty beams, but they seem about right for the supports in your sample photo. For smaller beams, you can fabricate them from plastic strips, though that can be exacting work and the resulting structural integrity is often not good for longer runs.
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    Rwerner,

    Yes I was asking about scratch building; HOWEVER, what you have suggested is a much better way to go about the customization and far easier for me.

    I will definitely be getting the items you suggested. Thank you - much appreciated.

    This really is an aspect of N Scale that I am unfamiliar with, not the least what companies produce what in terms of details and the sort of things that you have mentioned.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"

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    For the railing, Plastruct (and I believe Evergreen as well, though I've only used the Plastruct) make hand rails or railings. Here for example: https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/plas...s-hand-rail-2/

    I've used them, they work, but they seem a little thick to me though. I think the best results I've seen involve folks soldering brass wire, but I've yet to try that myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat457 View Post
    what do you guys use to replicate steel grate walkways like this:
    Another source for grating could be Photo Etched freight car walkways: https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/gold...detailing-set/
    Or, re-purposed more bang for buck, PE chain link fence: https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/gold...40-scale-feet/

    I scour Ebay and Model Train Stuff for bargains because this stuff is not cheap but I believe it will serve the purpose. I find that bundles of the Gold Medal models listings can go cheaper than individuals. Also, look under Gold Metal as it is often misspelled.

    I have been meaning to find a thread to share this as a resource. Another source I have found is PE model ship detail parts. !/144 - 1/200 scale photo etch parts for detailing ship models are not too far off in actual dimensions to pass for 1/160. It takes a bit more searching for what might work but the model ship crowd has some very nicely etched, fine parts that give you more bang for your buck than Gold Medal. You can get a 6X9 inch sheet of just ladders, railing and sometimes walkways that very finely detailed and will pass for N for around the same price. Ex: https://www.ebay.com/itm/White-Ensig...MAAOSw~4taagVQ
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    Just submitted the following order to Gold Medal Models:

    1 X 160-34 (Industrial Railings)
    1 X 160-35 (Industrial Stairways)
    1 X 160-38 (Industrial Safety Cage - ladders)
    1 X 160-59 (Industrial Walkways)

    Just received the order confirmation and was informed the order would be shipped "today". If their products are half as good as their service, they will be added to my (short) list of preferred retailers. So, a big thanks to Rwerner for pointing in their direction.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"

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