John Nehrich

Structures and Design on the NEB&W

John Nehrich
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Duration:   9  mins

The New England, Berkshire and Western model railroad is unique in its large size of 124 by 33 feet. It is also uniquely a whole network together, not just specific buildings from Saratoga, but also the town of Saratoga in relationship to other towns. This allows the club to do a system wide approach to everything, tying it all together.

Club Coordinator John Nehrich has made a specific study of architecture, so he loves structure building. He also loves scenery, but it can’t be modeled as thoroughly. Individual trees can’t be modeled to look like the trees in the area. When building after a real structure, it is like dissecting in reverse. It’s great to see the structure come together after adding a small detail. Common trends in buildings within an area appear, so the modelers can use the same details in different structures.

John goes on to demonstrate how he adds details to structures. To make brick arches over windows, he uses a coin and cuts a curve above a window. Then he peels the paper off from the cut curve so the subwall is showing. It is then covered with a row of bricks. He cuts a small section on a grooved sheet against the grooves so they are cut on edge. He then notches between each brick or groove with an small blade, like a modeler would with flex track.

Notching halfway up the brick makes it able to bend, creating the arches. John uses walters glue on the brick with a microtip to position it in place with tweezers. Super glue is used to permanently secure it. He makes a puddle of glue on a non porous surface like the metal lid or an ink jar, peels back a twist tie to get a wire applicator, dips it in and sets it over the arch. The glue will soak into notches and secure it down.

This technique keeps the glue from running all over the model. For more tips for planning and building your layout or making model railroad structures, visit the Model Railroad Academy website.

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