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· Premium Member
575 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am soon beginning construction on a Train station. I want it to be a grand one and not a replica. An original. It will be either 6 or 9 feet long with a boarding platform. In the process of designing one I noticed that it will require a great deal of windows. This brought me to a few big questions.

How hard would it be to make a mold for window casings and doors?
What material should I use? plaster or a plastic?

Has anyone attempted this method or is it a waist of time and is there a better method?

· Senior JOAT
781 Posts
How many windows are you talking about? What style? What type of siding are you going to use?

It's not a station, but my textile mill has quite a few windows. I was originally going to cast them. The plan was to use a latex rubber mold, with resin casting.

I created a master from styrene strips.

But, when I went to the mold material, I found it had hardened. The shelf life is not nearly as long as I'd like, once you open it. ;)

Still, it's not a bad idea. But it will be time consuming pouring one window at a time if you have very many of them.

Now wanting to wait for a mold and resin order, I looked around to see what else I could use. I ended up using quarter inch hardware cloth that I had hanging around for some odd reason. I cut them to shape and then spray painted them black.

There's a number of windows in the mill and I think the hardware cloth windows turned out great.

When I built the bank, I only needed a few windows and they were a bit fancier, so I made them from brass rod and strips.

I am sure that there are some other alternatives out there. Do you have a plan or a picture of what you hope to build?

· Premium Member
651 Posts
I have tried numerous ways of making windows. Most are extremely time consuming and tedious. Recently I have bit the bullet and bought them. A recent post had several sources for windows.

I also agree with Bruce, that windows can be made with hardware cloth. The photo below shows 1/2 hardware cloth in a concrete wall of my round hous. Please pardon the gloss. The gloss was immediately after I applied the Kylon UV resistance sealer.


· Premium Member
755 Posts
I have built two larger train stations ... and the construction of each has been written up on our club website at www.ovgrs.org

The first station, built for my own Rorthland railroad is shown here completed but before it was installed on the railroad.

The window construction is described in the writeup but is essentially plexi for the glass and then the frames were made by applying glazier's tape cut to size. It was a tedious job but I could not think of another way to simulate the steel framed windows typical in the old stone buildings here.

The second station was buit by myself and Lawrence Watkins - it was installed in Craig Leigh on the IPP&W, Fred Mill's railroad which hosts the OVGRS.

It is shown here after installation

Windows for this structure were poured from RP25 using moulds obtained from Linda Spencer (the Jigstone lady and American Invasion participant).

Right beside the Craig Leigh station is the Dominion Post Office another structure built by Lawrence Watkins and myself. It is a large building flat and is shown here after installation

Again windows were poured from RP25.

In other structures that OVGRS members have built, we have used purchased windows and doors as well as simulating windows by using eggcrate shaped light diffusers and so on.

In general, cast windows that are bought save work BUT the choice is limited both in style and size and they are very expensive. My preference would by to cast the windows even if it means making your own mould from latex. For those older large public buildings (like train stations), the window styles were often ornate and capturing that look is usually integral to achieving the model. In those cases, scratchbuilding, using techniques as described by Bruce Chandler, is likely the best approach.

Taking a shortcut by buyibg windows that do not give the effect you seek is not really much of a shortcut. After all, the construction of a large station will likely involve 100 plus hours of your time. Saving 2 or 3 hours is not really very meaningful.

As an aside, there are two other aspects that I have come to appreciate after scratchbuilding a few large buildings.

The first is the design activity. Large building require aome condensing to make them fit - retaining the key architectural pieces in a harmonious and believable package takes a fair amount of effort. Mockups really help unless you are a fairly skilled draftsman and can work from elevations.

The second is construction technique - roofs are never easy to build. They must be watertight and stand UV plus be strong enough to take a bit of jolt from the weather. And, more critically, they must look the part. Large buildings have large and often architecturally interesting rooflines with many valleys gables and dormers. These are a challenge!

Good luck with your station - post pics of your work along the way!

Regards ... Doug

· Senior JOAT
781 Posts
No kit for me. ;)" border=0> It's just brick sheets from Precision Products applied over acrylic.

First, I cut a rectangular hole in the brick sheet, just the size of the hardware cloth window. I then cut some solid arch shapes from thin styrene and glued these in place over the top of each window.

The Precision brick sheets come with a single strip of bricks. I cut these to length, and then I do a partial cut between each set of bricks to allow it to curve. These are glued in place. I have to hold them until it's dry, but since it's liquid cement, it's not too long.

I agree with Doug. Windows often make the building and it's fairly easy to scratch build them if necessary. I'm not sure what a LOT of windows is, but there's 11 windows here that are all made just from styrene strips.

You can build a jig to turn them out pretty quickly.

You really have to see Doug's structures in person. That station is HUGE and very impressive.

· Premium Member
3,134 Posts
NavyTech I'm just earning this stuff too. Here's a newbie's perspective

Styrene is plastic. It's usually white. It comes in a thousand forms--in sheets, sheets molded to look like rocks or bricks or shingles or scribed like boards in various sizes. The sheets come in different sizes and thicknesses

It also comes in tubes and in I beam shapes, "L" shapes. "Tee beam" shapes, rods and rectangle bar shapes, all in different sizes.

If you got to a good hobby store they usually have a revolving rack of styrene stock from either Evergreen or Plastruct. You can look throgh that and see what you want

I've been building a boxcab using sheet styrene and styrene "2x4" stock, and I'm also making a deck girder bridge. Styrene is pretty cool--it's easy to cut and shape

You can glue it with PVC pipe glue from Home Depot
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