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Thread: Advice on creating a foundation for buildings

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    Default Advice on creating a foundation for buildings

    I know there is stuff out there, but cannot seem to find the right combination of words to dig it up. Looking for some ideas / tips on putting down a foundation for buildings so they don't look like they are hovering on top of the scenery material. Any tips or links would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

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    "Hovering" structures has been an infliction haunting model railroaders since the inception of model railroading documented by countless photographs through the years.
    This nefarious dilemma has many root causes at it core but often times comes down to our inability to commit a scale structure to its final resting place. After committing months of planning, track laying and building our miniature domains, we sometimes lack the concupiscence to anchor a simple structure in a terminal location and choose instead to assess and analyze the building placement and pondering the finality of our actions....

    When a flat, level spot and glue would suffice, followed by scenic material to hide any gaps...

    Have also heard folks make use of Lego's, magnets, dowel/pins, foundation "plates", etc... My opinion, all comes down to level and flat and scenic materials...
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

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    I asked the same question a while ago, got some good responses:
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...p-on-buildings
    Creating new towns out of thin air.
    My build thread, the Aylesbury Branch

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    There's an article in this month's MR magazine about a particular author's "ground goop" method, and he offers a section where he refers specifically to using it to create a foundation effect and still have the buildings be removable afterwards. I'm away and don't have all the details now, but it's in this months mag and specifically addresses your question.

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by pwh70 View Post
    There's an article in this month's MR magazine about a particular author's "ground goop" method, and he offers a section where he refers specifically to using it to create a foundation effect and still have the buildings be removable afterwards. I'm away and don't have all the details now, but it's in this months mag and specifically addresses your question.

    Paul
    Thanks. The article is what got me thinking about it. Read it on the plane, but I didn't recall him going into much step by step detail.

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    FWIW (and not having read the article):

    You effectively have two options: Either (A) dig a hole the size of the building's 'footprint; (the dimensions of its base) and put it into it, securing it with glue and 'covering over the edges' with ground cover or something similar, or (B) glue it straight onto the flat surface and put 'ground-cover-type' materials around it to 'camouflage' it.

    The limitation of (A) is that you will have to raise the bottoms of doors etc to allow for the depth of the hole into which the building is being 'inserted', while it is possible that you will cause considerable damage and probable distortion to the base of the building should you ever wish to remove it at. As most buildings tend to be 'moved' as our layouts evolve, this is something that should be considered when considering this option, together with the need to find some method of filling or covering-over the hole that has been left when the building is removed. If you like 'craters' and building-site-like chaos, then this is definitely the path you should follow.

    Noticeably, although widely used during the 1950's-early 1960's era of our hobby, and advocated by the likes of MR magazine, this method of building securing has almost completely disappeared and is now rarely heard-of. AFAIK, MR mag no longer mentions it.

    Option (B) i(Glue on surface) is the more usual choice as it is effectively quick and simple, and without the hassle of digging holes or prying a building out of a hole. As already noted, various methods can be to eliminate the 'gap' between the bottom of the building and the 'ground', to the extent that it is rarely noticed. 'Surface' positioning also makes building removal far easier as a knife-blade can frequently be slid under the building and used to prize it up. While acknowledging that structural damage is possible even when using this method, I would suggest that it is likely to be less than would occur if the 'hole' method was employed.

    The surface placing method is the one that is most widely used, and is effectively the 'standard' for the MR hobby in all scales.

    Hoping that this helps.
    Komata "TVR - serving the Northern Taranaki . . . "

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    The "ground goop" you mention is very similar to TrueScene's Fusion Fiber. I have used it and like it,,of course I would imagine that making your own would be cheaper I find that one bag will go along way. What's neat is that to remove something all you have to do is wet it a little and unused portion already mixed stay wet in a Ziploc bag for a very long time so there is no waste.

    Here is their website with a video showing how to use it in making a scene with a building,, hope this helps.
    http://www.truescene.com/
    http://www.truescene.com/uses

    Here is the same guy using the stuff on a layout in various ways. It is "O"Scale,, but you'll get the idea.

    http://www.jcstudiosinc.com/TrueSceneModelingFibre

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    I have fabricated foundations out of flat styrene stock, such that they match the building footprint. But I don't glue it onto the building. Instead, I set the foundation into the scenery, bringing my finish plaster (ground goop) right up to the foundation walls. In essence, backfilling against the foundation walls, just like one would a real foundation. Then, the building will sit flush against this base, and you can use any of several options for keeping it aligned (Legos, magnets, tabs that fit into slots or just inside the foundation walls, etc.). By leaving the building loose, it makes it much easier to do messy scenery work in the vicinity. A lot of structure kits come with some form of base already; if you can just figure out how to build it without gluing on that base, then you can use it in such a manner.



    An example in progress, in my build thread

    Article on my web site for more info

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    One method I like is to install a false basement on the bottom of the structure.

    It can be cement blocks and mortar, rock and mortar, brick and mortar, or poured concrete.

    Small basement windows and window wells are a nice detail to add.

    It will raise the structure a little bit, but it gives you a base that can meet well with the terrain.
    (The voices I hear in my head may not be real, but sometimes they come up with a good idea.)

    Have fun.

    Moose

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