I like to work in 3D when I plan. For instance, when I planned my layout, I had a basic notion of where the turnouts and track would go, and I moved templates around the benchwork until I came up with something that seemed reasonable. Then the buildings in my paper plant were mocked up with cardboard boxes. After that, I build styrene cores to hold the veneer of the finished models. In a few cases, it took a few attempts to get the proportions correct.
Once I felt that the proportions were correct, I set about finishing the structures, which I’ve started to do at one end of the layout. It would probably take another year of my spare time to finish up all of the structures on my layout, but given that all the track is functional, I’m feeling like it’s time to have some people over for operating sessions. I decided to try painting the structure cores in the approximate colour that the finished model will have. A trip to the local Canadian Tire store and I was set up with an assortment of spray cans.
I used a light grey primer on some metal structures, and a darker grey on others. I think those look good. The concrete buildings at the plant were painted in a tan colour, but the Krylon “camo light brown” that I bought looks more like a light olive colour. I think I’ll find a better colour and paint those again.
Regardless of my struggles with colour matching, the end result is that the painted building cores look more like coloured mock-ups now. While they completely lack any kind of detail whatsoever, they do serve to give an impression of what will eventually be built. I’m inclined to finish the scenery between the edge of the tracks and the structures in order to provide basic ground cover. Over the past month or so, I’ve posted some photos of the more completed areas of the layout. Here are some shots of the other end, now populated with painted building cores.