N Gauge Gas Station - Garage Building Access

When simple ideas become less and less simple!

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forecourt!

We left my gas station diorama modification/add-on project as I began to construct the fuel pump island and it's canopy. You know, the little roof thing that keeps you dry when you are filling up your car's tank! 😆

Anyway, I made good headway with this to the point where I was nearly ready to add my little scratch built fuel pumps and was measuring up where best to site this on the enlarged diorama base.

N Gauge Gas Station - Pumps & Vending Machines

But, I decided that a plain roof to the canopy looked a bit boring, it just needed a little something to perk it up a bit. So it was out again with my scribing tool and I added some groves in the top to make it look like it had some sort of roofing material...

N Gauge Gas Station - Fuel Pump Canopy Roof
Above: Quite please with myself, I'm getting better at neat scribing!

That done, and having worked out a 'floor plan' of where things would go the next thing to do was to add some texture to my plasticard base board to give the impression of asphalt road on the forecourt. I nearly took the easy route and kept the temporary wet & dry sand paper as a texture as it looks OK-ish, but it was a bit to subtle and even for the look I had in mind... So, out with the Grout!

N Gauge Gas Station - Base Board Texture

This was a bit tricky as I was unsure about how aggressive to go with the texture before it looked *out of scale*. At N Gauge I'm not sure if you would be able to see badly laid or crumbling asphalt - a good reason the wet & dry might have been a good substitute. So adding this grout and stippling may be a bit of an exaggerated texture so that you have the impression of a badly laid road?

I don't know what roads are like in Japan, but this is what a British road looks like - I may even ad patches and pot holes! 😂

Over-exaggeration or not for the scale, I think a texture like this adds a bit of fake reality (is that a word?) to the scene. And with that I started to place some of the elements I had to get an impression of how things are coming together...

N Gauge Gas Station - Base Board Texturex

I wanted the garage to sit of a paved section, which I made by scribing a checked pattern on to a rectangle of 2mm plasticard. Even with the grout thinly spread over the board I could still make out my pencilled floor plan design. I was relieved that adding the grout did not warp the board, it's still lovely and flat! Whoo-hoo!

Now to place my garage building, and...

A Funny Thing Happened...

While this whole project has been a bit of a planning fiasco it kinda all came right in the end really.

Who would have thought that by adding this diorama base that I would rectify one of my main oversights, that of how I would access the finished model to add lighting.

N Gauge Gas Station - 3S Printed Interiors
Above: My original garage building floor 'plan'. These small separate sections
would be glued in once paintied... BUT then, how would I add lighting?

In my original stand alone gas station building model I had made some very dodgy means of accessing the building in order to wire up some LED lighting. I had left a (very) small hole in the store side entrance where I hoped I could wangle the wiring through to the main building... Even when I did this I sorta knew that I was fooling myself that this was in any way an ideal solution.

N Guage Garage Model - Modifications
Above: My original - ill-conceived - idea for being able to add a LED wiring was
to (somehow) thread any wires through the bottom via a tiny hole in the store!

Once again, that I had not planned the design to include this from the outset was just storing up a lot of problems for later.


In subsequently deciding to add a diorama base to the model it co-incident gave me the opportunity to do something about this. I realised that, instead of gluing in the small floor sections of the store and the garage halves - as I had initially intended - that I could construct a kind of 'trap door' bottom to the whole diorama base as a means to accessing the garage building for subsequent wiring!

I just cut the appropriate shapes out of the pavement section and through the base board giving me a means to install (and remove again) the mini floor squares. Simples! 😏

So, all's well that ends well... It was all planned really (I joke)!

N Gauge Gas Station - Garage Building Access
Above: A view of the garage building additions showing how the original
small floor squares could now be slipped in (and out) from underneath.

Well, that's that for the moment. What I have in mind next is to add the windows to the convenience store and then I can glue the building to the pavement rectangle. After that I want to start fencing off the back yard and adding a forecourt wall to separate the station from the ain road.

I also had the idea that I'd like a little storage shed in the back yard and I'm designing one but I'll cover than in it's own seperate post. That's where we will continue the saga of my gas station build!

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