Converting an HO scale kit to N?

bremner Oct 12, 2019

  1. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    I have an old, Sudyam HO Scale printed card stock kit, and I am working on converting it to an N Scale building. It is a model of Pacific Electric Substation 13, which stood in Bellflower, CA into the 1990's. I have a few ideas on shrinking it...

    1.scan it into my computer, scale it down to 55%, print out the images, and cut out the pattern on N Scale brick sheet. The downside of this is the curved brick around the windows and doors.

    2. Scan it in and try to figure out how to make it a useable for my sister in law's new toy. A Glowforge laser cutter...if done right, it should hopefully render the grout lines....just no idea how to do that.

    Either way, this will be a unique building...

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    If you go with option 1, most printers let you scale the copy - no need for the computer step. And turns out most printers never print at exactly 100% (or whatever % you've set) so check it:
    1) Take your model railroad ruler and mark 10 foot intervals on your HO original using the HO side of the ruler.
    2) After copying measure the 10 foot intervals with the N side of your ruler and adjust accordingly.
     
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  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's a super cool, purpose-built structure bremner -- heavy, fire resistant brick construction with pillars, large doors for equipment transfer, windows throughout to light the interior and roof ventilation to dissipate heat. I also see what appears to be three insulators on the rear side. I wonder if the original roof was terra cotta tile?

    Thumbs up on the project. You always find the neatest stuff to work on. (y)
     
  4. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Nope, tar paper...
    [​IMG]
    Thanks, but all of the stuff that I tend to find was within 30 miles of where I grew up (this one was across the tracks from Earl's Hobbies in Bellflower, about 5 miles from where I lived)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
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  5. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    I was thinking about this option, I just don't know how much the missing curved brick is going to bother me...
     
  6. Charlie Vlk

    Charlie Vlk TrainBoard Member

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    Be careful about directly reducing an HO kit to N.
    I learned this WAY back in 1968 when I measured a Suydam Swift Packing Plant to build in N.
    While cutting out the walls it became very apparent the thing would be ridiculously small. Many HO buildings look okay even with a boxcar at the loading dock but look stupid when viewed in N.
    It is the fixed relationship of the human viewpoint that causes this effect. Since we can see more N Scale than HO or O Scale the buildings need to be closer to true prototype size.
    Use it as an inspiration and see if you can find more pix of the prototype!
    Charlie Vlk
     
  7. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    You would be amazed by how few pictures of the substation there are...now the passenger station across the tracks is a different matter.

    In N, it would be 2.3"x4.5"...

    You might be right...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    What do you mean about the brick arches over the windows? If they are on the HO Suydam one, what prevents them from being on the N version? Do you mean how the windows are recessed slightly from the outer brick face? If depth is a problem, you could always make the model in multiple layers and then laminate them together.
     
  9. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    The brick arches were the same depth as the walls....
     
  10. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    I too am not sure what the arches issue is. You print each wall twice. On one copy you cut out the rectangular windows. On the other you cut out the arched openings instead. Then you glue the arched opening cutout wall on top of the rectangle cutout wall, giving you two layers to match the prototype brickwork.

    Those buttresses are another story...
     
  11. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Brick styrene sheet.....not printed.....the prototype was painted white
     
  12. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    I get what you are saying now. What you might want to do is cut out above the brick arch and then glue in a single strip of curved brick. Bending that might be hard. You could try to scribe some lines on a separate curved piece of styrene too.
     
  13. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    Got it. Could also try filling in the mortar joints on the curved brick strips with putty and then scribing angled joints into the resulting flat.
     
  14. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    2 sheets of brick sheet have been ordered....
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  15. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Ok...I have the brick sheets, and I scanned the Sudyam kit, well, the paper parts. The first thing that I noticed was that the scanner scanned them in larger than the real parts, so I had to scale the images 93% to get them the correct HO size, only to scale them to 55% for N...this is full size N....
    [​IMG]
    I will be asking my daughter to make them into a templete via photoshop, then my sister in law will use her printer to cut cardstock templates for me to cut my styrene. My daughter is also going to make the windows. I am going to have to scratch build the cooling tower and the doors...
     
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  16. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Change of plans, I printed it out on heavy cardstock. I then cut out the walls and used them as a template on my brick sheet.
    [​IMG]
    I need to get some .060″ x .125″ styrene for the buttresses, and I will need to scratch build the roof, cooling tower, doors and windows.
     

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