Tips & Hints

Tips & Hints that you can use to assemble a structure or detailing kit from The N Scale Architect

Each piece in our kits has been identified with a letter and number combination (part number). The letter references a structure or structure section while the number identifies a surface (wall, roof, floor or ceiling) within that structure or section. Detail pieces to be applied to these surfaces are identified with this part number plus a letter suffix and/or prefix if there are multiple pieces to be applied to this same surface. For example, pieces A2A & BA2C are applied to wall A2 while A3B & SA3D are applied to wall A3. Note that a “S” prefix indicates a plastic “Slate” piece while a “B” prefix indicates a plastic “Brick” piece. Also note that identical pieces, such as windows & doors, will have the same part and detail numbers (e.g., WA windows with detail pieces WA1, WA2 & WA3). These part numbers are used to indicate the location of each piece on the Diagrams and the Laser Plate Maps included in the instructions.

Painting the kit pieces before assembly simplifies the application of multiple colors on a given wall section and produces a neater overall appearance. These pieces are painted at logical points in the instructions to allow for drying time and to save time by painting pieces of the same color at the same time.

Strips of masking tape can be used to hold pieces in place while the paint is being applied. Sometimes this tape will permanently adhere to the paper backing of the self-stick pieces. If this occurs, leave these pieces attached to the tape until it is time to use them in the assembly process.

Solvent-based paint from an airbrush or an aerosol spray can consistently produces the best results. If you use water or latex-based paints, it is best to prime the laser-cut wood pieces with a matte solvent-based paint (gray or white) before applying the final color. Be sure to apply this paint in a well ventilated area.

Always test fit pieces before gluing. Paint may slightly swell openings, slots and tabs which will need to be trimmed or sanded before gluing. Inexpensive emery boards can be trimmed lengthwise to sand inside small window and door openings.

When gluing corner pieces together, apply a thin bead of glue from the inside to improve appearance. Be sure to wipe off any excess glue immediately. Small strips of masking tape can be used to hold pieces in place while the glue dries.

To create a fine textured “stone” or “concrete” surface, hold your air brush or aerosol spray can about 18 inches away from the piece while painting. As a result, the paint particles are nearly dry when they reach the surface and a textured effect is produced after two to three applications. There is also a “textured” aerosol paint product made by Rust Oleum that creates this same effect usually in one or two application.

Though you should find that our castings are nearly free of defects. Any excess material (flash) can be removed using sandpaper or a metal file. These castings should be cleaned with warm soapy water and air-dried before painting. Be sure to wash your hands after handling these castings.

Once the assembly process is completed, the exposed edges of the laser-cut pieces can be touched-up with a matching color or weathering using a small brush.



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