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Old 20-03-2018, 09:47 AM   #1
Squad
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Default Plastic or cardboard

How many people use plastic buildings or cardboard buildings, and what is the best to use?
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Old 20-03-2018, 09:51 AM   #2
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I use both.
It depends on the level of relief detail needed. Plastic will in the main have more detailing in the relief of brick or stonework. Card, unless embossed, will be flat.
Card may suffer from moisture problems if the layout is anywhere that is damp or due to condensation where large swings in temperatures occur. But it can be sealed to help prevent this.
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Old 20-03-2018, 09:52 AM   #3
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Hi Squad - the choice is yours. Many use both, there is a great variety in both camps. Card kits are now very well constructed when finished and very solid - certainly not flimsy - they lack the texture that can be found on plastic/resin buildings, but that can be easily overcome. BB
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Old 20-03-2018, 09:53 AM   #4
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I use card buildings. Used to use Superquick but now only Metcalfe. I much prefer building them than the plastic versions. I find them easier to convert as well.
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Old 20-03-2018, 10:06 AM   #5
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It all depends on your preferences. It used to be cardboard was cheaper, (Though these days even card kits have gone to higer prices!) and also card kits come ready coloured. The early Metcalfe kits one had to cut every window out with a craft knife, but these days their kits have changed their designs and normally have push out window blanks (In other words, they have been pre cut) to make things easier. There are other firms that also do card kits. One of the oldest which over half the range came out in the days of Hornby Dublo etc, so many Dublo layouts used them were Super quick. These kits are also well worth considering. If you can still get them, considers using Brian Sheriff backscenes as these really give a lovely look when behind card buildings.

Plastic kits are naturally made of a material which is normally stronger, so if one uses the right glues and paints, can also be used outdoors. Plastic kits are normally relatively easy to make and while one may on occasions, need to gently file down a few edges to get them to fit, most people should master this material with ease.
The only downside to plastic kits is they need painting, while card kits come ready coloured.

For a good decade or so now, there are also ready made cast resin buildings to be had, and they are excellent. I've recently just sold my last two in 00 gauge form unless I discover another in the depths of my collection.

What I do find is that it is hard to get layouts to look good if you mix card kits with plastic or resin kits. This is due to the different "Look" of the materials when built. So, to get a good look, if you decide on card buildings, stick with them. Of corse, you can mix if you like as it is your layout after all, but it is just an observation that I noticed myself with my buildings and those I've seen on other layouts. Also there maybe the odd make which has a more glossy look so may stand out. Super quick and Metcalfe card kits do look OK when used together.
Whichever you choose, enjoy!
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Old 20-03-2018, 01:49 PM   #6
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How thick is the best cardboard to use for buildings?
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Old 20-03-2018, 01:53 PM   #7
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Cereal boxes are ideal. You just glue together as many layers as required to get the thickness you want. It really is up to you. Everybody has different tastes.
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Old 20-03-2018, 02:50 PM   #8
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I use 2mm thick mounting card for most walls and grey card for most other uses.
Look on the excellent Scalesceens website for some card construction tips... https://scalescenes.com/construction-tips-page/

BTW.. Is your Post #6 and my reply post #7 correct? You seem to have difted off topic in #6 then returned!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squad View Post
Was it easy to choose your layouts and then go from there?
If not about layouts generally then I will delete both.
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Old 20-03-2018, 02:56 PM   #9
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I've just finished reading an excellent book by Andy McMillan "Making Model Railway Buildings" - extremely helpful and (for a change with railway books) beautifully written.
Andy uses card. Having read his book, I think I will make some (at least) from card in the future.
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Old 20-03-2018, 04:38 PM   #10
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I think what FB is on about is that the title of this post is Plastic or Cardboard and refers to buildings so shouldn’t really go off topic and talk about track laying. Better to start a new post for that.
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