Brick scribing template

To go in and around the rails of my street track I thought I’d create a quick template. The idea here being to tape the template down to my work surface then tape a sheet of styrene smaller than the template to the template itself. Then I’d be able to use a the lines from the template to help me to line up the steel straight edge I scribe against. Looking at shots of brick/cobble-paved trackage in Halifax and Nova Scotia it sure looks, to me, like they fit about 5 full bricks between the rails. It seems that in N scale we always make things a little larger so I tried scaling that dimension up about 20% and find that they do in fact, to my eyes at least, look better.

Click on the image below to download a PDF copy of the template if you’d like to try it out.

the square in the bottom left corner should be 1" square when the sheet is printed

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2 comments

  1. Do you really etch bricks that small??

    What about doing Belgian Block style? I recently used a god wall patch, MH Ready Patch. A iittle moist going on but it held up and din’t shrink. Dried hard and was easy to sand. I wonder if something like this would be a decent mediium for forming block and sidewalks?

    What do you etch with, e.g. scribe, needle, pin or homemade sculpting tool?

    I just threw out this weeks garbage and I pondered over an Apple iPhone box. Excellent hardboard covered in white stock paper. For small walls etc it would be perfect, nice and strong. Perfect for sidewalks? Only about an 1/8″ thick.

    What do you do around bends in the rails? I was thinking if you covered the rails somehow and then went over it with a metal tool, cut to the rail standard, you could form (scribe) the spacing needed for the wheels to travel. (when the spackle was medium soft and formable)

    I wanted to put in a short trolley line on my layout thru the main street…so I’m following this closely.

    1. Thanks for the comment. When I first drew them they were really small and I worry that they still are. I plan on scribing these onto 0.020″ thick styrene sheet and I will use a homemade scribing tool for the job. I find N scale is constantly a battle between what is right and what looks right and the size of these bricks is a reminder of that.

      I’m familiar with the block style you mentioned and it would be a great deal easier and I’ll confess I find that tempting since scribing a parallel grid would be a lot faster.

      Driving this whole project is my desire to make up a set of sections that I’ll use as masters. From these I’ll make resin castings so I feel like I’m willing to trade extra labour here, at the front-end, of the project for a simpler version at the back. So when I make up my first curved and then again later when I make up turnouts I expect some extra work but again that will be amortised over efficiencies I hope to realise in making the cast pieces.

      Thanks again. Great to hear from you.

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