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1:48 Scale Auto Repair Garage

Started by finescalerr, November 20, 2022, 04:58:12 PM

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I just finished this little 1:48 structure and don't even know why I built it. I have no car models and everything else I've built represents something from before 1900. I guess I was bored.

As usual it is entirely Strathmore Series 300 cardstock (0.016-inch thick) and Lanaquarelle cold press art paper (0.012-inch thick) with 1/4-inch square wood interior bracing. I laser cut the doors and windows from Strathmore and the 3-tab asphalt shingles from Lanaquarelle.



Anyway, I saw a photo of a building with a similar roofline and door configuration and drew a plan in 2-D CAD. Then, because an idle mind is the devil's playground, I started fooling around with siding art. I settled on unpainted shiplap boards, then experimented with trim colors and came up with what you see in the attached photos.

I created the siding in Affinity Photo by overlaying a PDF of the plan with various layers of the siding art. Then I removed openings for the doors and windows and erased all siding art extending beyond the plan.

I copied and pasted the green boards from a photo I had found onto the siding one board at a time, each in separate layers. I copied and pasted those resulting trim "designs" onto a new blank document. They are on the left side of the third photo. The original trim board art is on the right-hand side of that document. I printed both to create the two photos below the plan.


As you might guess, the next step is to use a knife to cut out the walls and trim.

The trim thickness is accurate but the walls are too thin. I found a piece of heavy matte board and glued the wall art to it with 3M Super 77 aerosol adhesive. That produced a wall 2 scale inches thick so interior spacers would be necessary to create a nominally 6 inch thick wall.

No, I don't actually expect any forum member to build a model this way but maybe a lurker would find it interesting to see how to build a model from photos.


I drew parts for doors and windows in CAD, including spacers, to create a "kit" and cut out the parts with my laser. Who can figure out what photo is a drawing and what photo shows the laser cut parts?

I tossed the hand cut trim pieces into the box so you could see all the components I would glue to the walls. If your eyes were sharp enough to recognize the drawing, you probably can deduce what parts I cut out by hand. By the way, the extra frames and rectangles are spacers to set back doors and windows to the proper depth. But you guys already knew that, right?


Here are some progress shots of the model coming to life.

Ray Dunakin

Visit my website to see pics of the rugged and rocky In-ko-pah Railroad!

Ray Dunakin's World


After fumbling around applying the trim, doors, windows, and interior bracing I noticed the garage had no roof. I corrected that minor oversight by scribing board lines onto a piece of thin cardboard and then laminating a piece of 0.020-inch thick styrene to--and this is very important--the UNscribed side. The reason for the lamination is to minimize any tendency of the cardboard to warp. Time will reveal whether that was a stroke of genius or I simply suffered a stroke.

I glued 1/4-inch square strips of wood between the walls and attached the roof to both those strips and the walls. Then I scurried off to the laser and cut a few dozen strips representing 3-tab asphalt shingles because a.) I have a laser, b.) I've never applied that kind of roof to any other of my structures, and c.) because they seem to be a common material for early 20th century small industrial buildings. I spent a boring hour or two gluing the strips to the roof.


I added roof trim, rafters, and a doorknob. I intended to install a porch and porch roof to the front but a mockup seemed to detract from the overall appearance so that finished the model.

It lacks the variety of signs and other detail of many models because, after looking at dozens of photos of early 1920 era garages, I noticed most were very plain and simple. Gas stations, on the other hand, tended to accumulate flotsam, jetsam, riff-raff, and clutter.

Finally, because you have been so patient, I will share a little trick for creating peeling paint in Photoshop or Affinity Photo. Start with a board wall photo similar to what is on my model. Select the paint bucket tool, set its sensitivity to between 5 and 15%, and choose a color. As you may have noticed, I chose white. Click the bucket on a board and see what happens. If everything turns white you either have to dial down the sensitivity or activate the "CONTIGUOUS" button. The two examples below suggest the effects you can achieve.

If you like the results, you could print peeling paint "wallpaper" and cement it to wood or styrene sub-walls. If you don't like the results, well, whaddaya expect for free?



Hi Russ, very interesting to read and see the pictures, even if I will never build like that myself in 1:22.5.
Regards Helmut
the journey is the goal


More excellent work from your bench, Russ. Your precision is expected, as always, and you deliver yet again.


Russ your results are outstanding. I've been wanting to try this technique, but have no experience with any photo editing software. I'm sure I missed it but what kind of printer are you using?


Bill Gill

Russ, Good looking garage. No need to clutter the walls with multiple signs.
Nifty technique using the fill bucket to create peeling paint. I'll remember that.
How do you color thin cut edges?

There's a guy in England constructing N scale buildings out of cereal box paperboard, adhesive backed labels and clear plastic from packages. Some are fairly elaborate and may give you a few ideas:



Thanks, Helmut, Craig, Bill, Paul, and Stuart. I realize I'm something of a maverick by building models in such a bizarre way but it's so much easier for me than to use wood or styrene and to use Affinity Photo or, previously, Photoshop and an inkjet printer instead of paints, stains, and an airbrush. It also offers a real advantage: I can match any specific kind of wood I can find in a photo--and print it to scale--instead of being stuck with the generic appearance of stained basswood.

Paul, my printer is an Epson P400 photo printer but their better office printers cost less and should produce the same results. Years ago I met the guy who started Paper Creek Models, George Taylor, as he was about to launch his business and was finalizing his first kits. His results seriously impressed me and, when he told me he was using Photoshop and an Epson home/office printer, something similar to today's XP-5200, to achieve those results I whizzed home and started devising ways to create my own artwork.

When I was publishing, I spent so much time with Photoshop and the computer that I had no time to learn all the new painting and weathering techniques guys like Chuck Doan were perfecting. I was able to get decent results with Photoshop in a fraction of the time so I used the tools I already was familiar with. It became a hobby within a hobby and I love seeing a 2-D photo evolve into a 3-D model.

Bill, I use whatever works to color the cut edges. So far the cool gray artist markers I've been using for most edges haven't faded (as you warned me they might) but I've also used colored pencils, pastel chalks, and paint when I have to match a less "generic" edge.



Your auto repair garage reminds me of an abandoned Sinclair station in Elberta, Utah.


Sinclair station.jpg