Peter Verheyen's and Family's Layouts in H0, N, and Z


Papphausen: Current projects and activities...

Papphausen2: YouTube videos from the layout and beyond

Current Layout

Past Layouts

Hope's Z

N-Scale Module Project

Scratchbuilding / Eigenbau

Switching Puzzle / Rangierspiel

A Day in Nördlingen / Ein Tag in Nördlingen, by David Broda

Prototypes / Vorbilder

Boothbay Railway Village Steamcourse



Engines / Loks



PV Home

Scratchbuilding | Eigenbau

50's – 70's Plattenbau* Style Apartment Block

Work on the layout still continues with the current project being the main street opposite the hauptbahnhof and extending to the backdrop, a space of about 30cm. To add some variety and make the town look less like a quaint provincial German city I decided to look at more modern structures, finding fairly slim pickings. Consequently the decision to scratchbuild very easily, even though this is something I have only limited experience with.

The structure is modeled on the prefab plattenbau ubiquitous throughout Europe with business spaces on the ground floor and residential and office spaces on the upper floors. *Also referred to bitingly as "Trümmerbarock" (Rubble baroque).

Before beginning I took one of my Stipp background models which most closely came to 1:87 in terms of scale and measure the distances between floors. The next step was to decide how large I wanted the building to be and its shape. The site is a slightly wedge-spaced lot. Plattenbau is easy because everything is so geometric and modular, so the next step was to transfer the measurements to a piece of 4-ply rag mat board (the rag is nice because it's softer and easier to cut. It's also what I happened to have lots of.), and cut out the windows... The windows on these buildings, and most post-war German structures, is that they are completely unadorned so this was easy. Rather than piecing together the walls the large sheet was scored and folded. After cutting out the windows I painted the backside black and the front light gray, stippling the paint to make it look more like stucco/concrete. The next time I will likely paint before cutting to reduce mess. The balconies were made out of the same material and preassembled before adhering to the wall.

Click on images to enlarge

The central section received a laminate of bricks that were downloaded from the Web and rescaled to 50% as the pattern was too large. I also flanked the brick with angular concrete slabs. This is the stairwell and the windows are milky plastic from packaging. The other windows were made from very heavy Mylar/acetate sheeting with trim and vertical dividers. To make the dividers I backed thin gray paper with a repositional 3M mounting adhesive and after burnishing very firmly cut very thin strips, peeled off the backing, put in place trimmed, and repeated the process as necessary. Then the balconies were applied.

Click on images to enlarge

Curtains were made from images of curtains and other window dressings lifted from the Web thanks to Google Images. Some curtains were left closed (The neighbors could see something) and some left open to varying degrees. Room furnishings were likewise taken from the Web. Images were edited in PhotoShop for size and other aspects, with curtains stitched together to increase length. Each of these layers was set back from the window and the other layer with strips of cardboard to increase the depth. The business on the ground floor at left is a travel agency with a collage of images adding color and depth. While I figure out what to put in the space at right I put in "for rent" signs. For now I added some figures on the balconies and some nice z-scale trees which work well as H0 shrubberies.

Click on images to enlarge

Total time for this project was about 8 hours which included a lot of fiddling around as I figured out what I was doing. The next ones should take half as long.

The street taking shape. At the left is a the narrow side of a department store (there will be a hint of a large pedestrian mall just opposite the station) and in the middle another smaller apartment house.


Peter's & Hope' s Märklin Trains © 1998 -
Peter D. Verheyen
Last Modified: Saturday, 14-Sep-2013 14:09:11 EDT
URL: /eisenbahn/plattenbau2.shtml