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Home > Train Layouts > Scenery > Build a Store for Your Layout

Build a Store for Your Layout

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store front and tools

This web page describes the construction of a Walther's Cornerstone structure. The methods used in this article can be applied to other similar models in the Cornerstone line as well as other model manufacturers.

Imagine the location of your layout and how you want the structure to look once you put in the final location. Think of the colors of the brick and any unique features you would want to include like signs and window markings. This will give you an idea of the final goal to work towards as you assemble the kit.

Tools & Tips
Small File
Sand Paper
Small Nipper
Hobby Knife
#11 Knife Blades
Magic Markers
Dark Brown
Dark Umber
Light Umber
#2 Paint Brush
Flat Artist Brush
CA Adhesive
Plastic Adhesive
Step 1 - Inspection of Parts and Assembly

The first part in assembly is inspecting the parts to ensure all the components needed are included in the kit. You also want to ensure that all the parts are intact and not damaged. Use the sheet provided to check for the parts. You can also see how the parts fit together. When building a kit we may want to alter the order of assembly so it will be easier to put the kit together. Bill's Glass Shop is a basic kit with four walls and roof which can go together easily with a little care.


Kit Components

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(Click for larger image)

Step 2 - Remove Clean up Parts from Sprue

When you look at the parts carefully you may notice extra plastic interfereing with the brick detail on the model. You can use a hobby knife with a #11 blade to remove the extra plastic. The extra plastic is a remnant of the mold used to produce the part, most plastic parts require some touching up when closely inspected. I also use a small file to remove extra material on the windows. Be very careful when sanding the thin window pieces, they can break easily.


Parts clean up

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Step 3 - Preparing Building Corners

Prepare the corners and edges of the walls by sanding the edges for a clean fit. Not all edges of the walls need sanding, you only sand edges that do NOT have the brick patern printed on the side.

I used the "True Sander" tool produced by Northwest Short Line. This is a miniature sanding block and wood tool to sand square edges on your models. You can acomplish the same effect using a sanding block but you must be sure to carefully sand the edges square. I used 120 grit and 400 grit sandpaper to smooth out the corner mating edges of our model.

You want to start with the 120 grit paper to take off a lot of material. Once you get close to a good edge switch to the 400 grit to sand out the large scratches of the 120 grit.



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Step 4 - Installing Door Hinges

Before we paint the walls it is easier if we add a bit of detail now. We will fashion door hinges for some of our store doors, generally hinges on the outside of a door are a security risk but our model railroad town is low in crime.

Cut three pieces of wire about 4" scale inches long (1/16th of a real inch).

Hinge Wire:

Detail Associates .012 Brass Wire (DA2504)

Using super glue (CA) glue the hinges in place on the doors that you think need the detail. I used three hinges on each door. I placed a pool of CA on a scrap piece of plastic and using tweezers I dipped one end of the wire in the adhesive. When I placed the detail on the model the cappliary action of the glue held the entire detail in place.

If you happen to skip this step and want to put the hinges in after painting you will have to scrape away some of the paint so the CA will stick to the plastic. Gluing a detail to a painted surface results in a weak bond and the detail could easily fall off.



(Click for larger image)

Step 5 - Preparing to Paint

After the sanding was completed I washed the parts in water and dish detergent. I used a clean tooth brush to lightly scrub the parts before rinsing. I let the parts air dry after washing, you can speed up the drying process by using a hair dryer to quickly dry the parts. If you use the hair dryer be careful to not melt or distort the walls with too much heat.

We want to wash the walls in grease breaking detergent to remove mold release and hand oils from handling the model. This will help the paint stick to the model better. This step will also get rid of any dust left from the sanding step.


  Step 6 - Painting the Walls

You can achieve a good look if you paint the brick walls with a brush. To make the job easier I will briefly describe how to paint the walls using an airbrush.

Brick Color:

Polly Scale US Brown Special (F505372)
Polly S Thinner (546008)

I am am spraying Polly Scale paint that was thinned to aproximately 60% Paint to 40% Thinner. I used the Polly Scale supplied thinner that is designed to be used with Poly-Scale paint. Yes, you can use other types of thinner however I know the Polly Scale brand works well with the paint because the thinner is specfically made for Polly Scale paint.

The air brush used is a Badger Model 200 single action air brush.


  Step 7 - Detailing Bricks

There are many ways to detail bricks. Markers will be used to introduce a variance in color to the brick faces. After the paint has dried overnight I used markers with a fine tip to detail a varying pattern of bricks on the side of the building. The markers are made by Prismacolor and can be found at a art and craft supply store.

The following colors were selected;

  • Dark Umber
  • Light Umber
  • Dark Brown

Randomly color various bricks along each wall. You do not want to cover all of the bricks with the markers, just enough to make the wall more interesting. I did not want the brick to have a heavy dark color so I mostly used the Light Umber and Dark Brown whild saving the Dark Umber only for select bricks across the building.


Detail Markers

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Brick Detail

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Step 7b - Detailing Brick Mortar

We are looking to simulate the light colored mortar between the bricks and This effects will be acheived using paint and color markers to create a brick and mortar effect.

Wash colors used:

Polly Scale Concrete (F414317)
Polly Scale US Brown Special (F505372)
Polly S Thinner (546008)

Make a wash to simulate the mortar between the bricks. The formula I used was 8 drops Concrete, 2 drops Brown, 30 drops thinner.

This should be applied to all of the brick surfaces on the building. It is ok if you are sloppy, the detail painting we are going to do later will cover up any sloppy work. After you apply the wash, it will seem like you ruined the brick work, don't worry you didn't.


  Step 7c - Dry Brushing Brick Faces

To make the mortar color more subduded we need to accent the bricks with a little rejuvination of color. To make the bricks stand out more I dry-brushed the brick faces with the original brick color.

Dry-Brush color used:

Polly Scale US Brown Special (F505372)

Paint brush used:

1/4" flat artist brush

Dry brushing the color is a technique where you dip the tip of a flat paint brush into the paint and then wipe off the majority of the paint on a scrap paper or towel. You want the brush to have enough paint to leave a residue on the model to accent the edges of the brick. You do not want to have paint flow between the bricks because it will cover the grey mortar color in the previous step.


Finished Bricks

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Step 8 - Detail the Window Frames and Sills

For this step we need a steady hand and a paint brush with a good tip. You may think that a very small paint brush is needed however I have found that a larger brush with a good point works better. Smaller paint brushes can be more accurate however they do not hold a lot of paint so you will have to constantly dip the brush back into the paint jar as you work on the details.

Window sill color

Polly Scale Roof Brown (414275)

Window ledge and stone work

Tamyia Sky Grey

Tamyia was used only because I had it handy on the paint rack, you can use any light grey color for the ledging and stone work.

I used a #2 paint brush for the detail painting. This brush has a very nice tip and it holds the paint well. You may need to wash the brush during the painting process, if the brush gets clogged up with dry paint, take a break and wash it out. You do not want your work to have lumps of paint in it. When you finish washing the brush use your fingers to form a point on the end, this will keep the bristles in good shape for the next project.



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Detail Painting

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Building Details and Improvements

There are numerous details we can add to this kit. Depending upon how much time I have will determine exactly how many details I will include below.

  • Drain pipes
  • Drain holes on roof
  • Roof pitch
  • Electrical meters
  • Electrical poles
  • Phone reciptacle
  • Front banner / Shade
  • Address sign
  • Mailboxes / doorbells
  • Door knobs and hinges

(Click for larger image)

(Click for larger image)

 - Mark N. Goedert