Friday, December 6, 2013

Submarine Dock phase one

I'm making an effort to add some fun and interesting detail elements into my layout space. I love how my old Harbor scene turned out on my mini-layout, so that's becoming a major feature of my new layout with additional buildings, boats and rail service added.

I saw an opportunity to add something else as well - a submarine dock! :)  I love submarines and thought that I'd make use of some sub gashpon toys I had picked up.


I was lucky enough to snag several submarines ( some of which are already making a show on the layout ) and the submarine launch which is the back of a ship. So, I thought that I could build a building around the center piece of the launch and add it to the harbor area. This was also another great chance to try my hand at some styrene building construction.

I started out by thinking through what the building needed and how the design was going to work with the existing launch parts. Later I'd revise some of the plans for rounds two and three, but it was a great start. I wanted to keep it simple. I'm not a super-modeler and I wanted to continue my minor success record! :) 

As you can see, what I have going is really just a simple box with doors and details here and there. The details are what I'm hoping will take this from being fine to kinda cool. I want to snag some EZ Line and do some wire work and ad some other details to make this building pop. I've started by adding some walkways and the like for realism.

The great thing about working at the table inside after the kids are in bed - access to weights and items to lean up against when the glue is drying! :)  ( Whiskey is present again on the left. The key: SMALL amounts! )

I've taken to keeping anything and everything that gets broken, gutted, chipped, or otherwise altered to use for the hobby.  This has come in handy time and time again. KEEP ALL SMALL BITS somewhere. Stick them away - you can always use them.

I plan on adding this cannibalized, gray part to the rooftop as a sort of gangway. 

 I took the current build down to my layout and checked spacing and the like after the base was glued in place. Overall, the fit was right and worked as planned. However, the "real world" weight of the launch got me to thinking about trying to make this look like it might actually be able to work.

The weight of the crane and sub needs a little more behind it than a small building, so I'm going to add some additional structure areas to the front of this piece. Large pylons might sink into the ground. Maybe some additional building structures out in front to make it look like there is some groundwork in place to support the weight of everything. Something. I think this will help me to buy into this little fantasy I'm building. :)

Background buildings help sell the scene. I need to re-work some of the way the buildings are set, but that's later.

I'll be adding railings and safety barriers here and there as detail elements.
All in all, I'm really excited about this progress. Again, I'm not a master craftsman! heheheh My efforts are paying off and I'm really happy with how things are looking. Once I go in and paint things up, I'll add the other detail elements and signage and I think the building will really pop. cut windows without crushing the whole thing. :)  My original idea was to fake the window with a real world photo of a warehouse looking spot Photoshopped up for depth and the like, but I have not tried it as of yet. The size of N allows for some slush, but I'm not sure I can sell a 2D window as a real 3D opening. We'll see.

I'm also going to slip in some other 2D elements at the large, rear opening door to make it look like things are actually inside without actually placing items inside. It worked well for my fish building.

More photos to follow. I hope to get more work in on this this weekend.


  1. This is quite an interesting - and unique - project. I'm looking forward to the next instalments.

    1. Thank you, JD.
      It's a fun practice run for sure. I'm working up to doing some additional N scale high rise buildings with some interesting details and designs. Starting small. :)
      Thanks for looking.

  2. I love this submarine very much too! Looking forward to your work!

    1. Thanks, Rios!
      I still have a spare if you want me to send it over to ya! :)