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 3-D Background Tenements

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
jbvb Posted - 02/27/2015 : 3:45:08 PM
I already have several urban apartment buildings built from various kits elsewhere on the layout. I didn't want more of the same, so a couple of years ago Model Tech Studios' "3D Background Tenements" caught my eye.

Laser-cut parts include clapboard walls, scribed board porch decks, 2-piece windows and stair railings. Castings include plastic stair tread, porch railings, porch posts and metal chimneys. The bundles of stripwood are labeled Trim, Corner, Cornice Cap and Int. Bracing.

The two sheets of instructions include a summary of several available construction options, some useful illustrations and finishing tips. Alas, they're not really complete enough for a beginner. We'll see how my guesses work out....
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
miekec Posted - 09/02/2016 : 9:47:35 PM
Summer is keeping us busy outside, so not much got done on the railroad. Some progress - a start on the scenery around the tenements. I marked off garden spaces (which is what thiose little metal t-bars are for, marking the property lines) and did paths and some grass (with help from jbvb).
Now, I'm painting fences. Ideally, I want wooden fences made of wood, because, you know, it'll look more like wood. For now, the easy of having it at hand has me painting plastic fences.

Orionvp17 Posted - 01/25/2016 : 9:17:47 PM
How about telephone poles (or similar) with the laundry lines hanging out over the yard?

Fences to keep the kids in the yard and off the tracks, lots of weeds and shrubbery on the track side of the fences-- you can go to town on this little area! Gardens, dog houses, kids, gossip, it's all good!

in Michigan
miekec Posted - 01/25/2016 : 9:11:07 PM
The other roof needed some more stuff, so I put the side of a stairwell exit on. Clapboard, like the rest of the building. I thought it would be smart to put it all the way in the back, so it would rest against the backdrop. After I had knocked it off (and re-attached) several times, I put some bracing behind it, to make it sturdier. Of course, after all that it turns out that I had made it way too small and have to redo it. Live and learn.

All the doors got knobs

And curtains were hung

And an attempt at a flower in a window.

The area under the porches got test-fitted for lattice finishing:

Which after cutting, painting and glueing looked better:

Some pictures of where they are on the layout, and what area I get to stick scenery onto. I was disappointed that the majority of the lattice work I spent so much time on is hardly visible when the house is in position. The gray/blue house will have more visible lattice in the front, and probably the brown/orange one too.
Also, the black on the background will be painted blue again, now that we've re-positioned the tenements in a more permanent location.

The space on the left, where the red cab truck is, is the back of a yet-to-be-decided loading dock (generic cardboard mockup there now). With road access disappearing into the background. 3 back yards by the houses, then another alley between the white house and the business on its right (forget its name, it is an already-built structure).
All of this is sitting on a piece of foam that can come out to work on. Part of me wants to attach the tenements to the foam, to protect stairs and a laundry-line between two of the buildings. Then again, being able to remove them has its own benefits. Stay tuned!

miekec Posted - 01/25/2016 : 2:23:48 PM
Part 1 of pictures from the past few days:

Rummaging through the pile of parts to find the right ones:

Preparing curtains: Paint part of a paper tissue with various colors. Some thinned down for a more see-through effect, some regular strength paint. In order for the curtains to hang straight, I used only the straight edge side.

Reinforced the inside, to more solidly glue the piece of masonite for the foundation. The building itself only had the thin walls, and I wanted a bit more surface. I used remnants of the sheets the building parts were lasercut from. Plenty of nice straight pieces of wood.

In order to attach the chimney, rather than try to cut a hole in the middle of the roof, I just cut 2 slits in the back side of it. Easy access. Left the cut piece attached, for a smooth transition and more attached surface.

miekec Posted - 01/25/2016 : 07:42:58 AM
Pete, Jeff, thanks. They are fun to build. James has the magazine too (and probably several years around it). Maybe I should read it :)
Living in the area that is being modeled does give new a relatively good idea of what things are supposed to look like, albeit decades before I moved here.
miekec Posted - 01/25/2016 : 07:42:02 AM
Pete, Jeff, thanks. They are fun to build. James has the magazine too (and probably several years around it). Maybe I should read it :)
Living in the area that is being modeled does give new a relatively good idea of what things are supposed to look like, albeit decades before I moved here.
Jeff G Posted - 01/25/2016 : 06:38:45 AM
Really nice work on this structure, and it's always nice to have a little help from your friends.. The kit is based on a Model Railroader construction article by Earl Smallshaw from the March or April 1989 issue. It's very comprehensive, vis a vis all the detailing (laundry lines and even HO scale laundry) that brings the structure to life. Shoot me a PM and I'll be happy to scan and e-mail it to you if you'd like a copy.
Orionvp17 Posted - 01/24/2016 : 9:58:48 PM
All progress, however slight, is good. That said, sore shoulders are Not Good. This is supposed to be fun! Be well!

Looking forward to seeing how this develops. "Laundry lines and backyards" will be a treat. Don't overlook the <ahem> stuff <cough> on the porches!

in Michigan
miekec Posted - 01/24/2016 : 8:22:55 PM
More progress in the last months. All three have been built, at least the basics. Windows, porches, railings, stairs. They have a spot on the layout too. I am somewhat between builds at the moment; the big hydrocal station I've been working on is waiting for us to build the platform sheds. So, I picked up this corner of the layout to move it forward. Yesterday and today was a lot of hyperfocused work - my right shoulder is sore. Pictures later this week. Foundations, windows glazed, bunch of curtains, roof work, some weathering, and almost ready for installing the lattice under the porches. Starting to think about laundry lines and back yards.
jbvb Posted - 04/01/2015 : 11:43:27 PM
My friend M. took an interest in the tenements and has completed the porches while I worked on a couple of other buildings:

Here she's brush painting the peak-roofed 3 decker's porch railings with blue craft paint. The porch railings' baluster spacing isn't an exact match for the area to be filled. If this was going closer to the audience, it would have been worth filling the spaces with mounting blocks made from appropriate styrene strip.

I used Cadmium Yellow artist's acrylic on this one's windows and doors, but it didn't cover well on the styrene porch railings and polyethylene stairs. The picture shows both oversprayed with Floquil SP Daylight Orange. This looks like it will work well, as the windows & doors will be in shadow and would be less exposed to sun and weather in the prototype.

We cemented the stairs & railings in place with Walthers' Goo, after drilling holes in the porch decks to accept the porch posts' pins.
jbvb Posted - 03/18/2015 : 5:38:49 PM
Most of the paint is applied and I've got some of the windows installed:

The gray and honey brown are stains, the white is artist's acrylics. I had to supply about 6" of HO scale 2x4 beyond the kit's contents. Next come the porches.
Mike Hamer Posted - 03/06/2015 : 4:43:29 PM
I'll be following along with the progress as well, James. You always see the backside of tenements when you arrive in a major urban area via rail. Looking great so far!
LynnB Posted - 03/06/2015 : 4:40:26 PM
Very nice. For the past few years I had beed looking for a wood tenement to add to the layout.
quartergauger48 Posted - 03/06/2015 : 4:08:29 PM
Okay James, a few shots of the copied structure in O Scale, scratch built (coffee stirrers):
Three floors, W/interiors: Tichey doors/windows: LED's by Evans Designs.

Orionvp17 Posted - 03/06/2015 : 10:14:26 AM

Nice lookin' three-deckah ya got goin' theyah!

Every self-respecting city in New England has "three-deckers;" glad to see you adding them to the mix!

in Michigan

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