At times, no commercial kits or pre-built structures can be found that meet the specific requirements of a layout or diorama.  PMD regularly scratch-builds or kit-bashes these structures.  Depending upon the level of accuracy and detail desired, these models can take a very long time to build.  And working from old photos is pain-staking modeling.   We try to use commercial door and window castings wherever possible, but sometimes it is necessary to design these elements in CAD and cut them out in layers on our laser.  We have made custom double hung window and door sets that required 6 layers to be laminated together!  Our laser is capable of cutting extremely fine sash and muntins.

This Mountain Lodge was scratch-built.  A single wall section was modeled from scribed bamboo sticks and then a mold was made of the wall.  Window and door openings were cut with PMD’s laser engraver.

A little closer look

The Ashland Union Station was designed in CAD and the wall sections were all engraved and cut on our laser into 1/8” acrylic sheet.  Although not visible in this photo, mortar lines are present and laser engraved.  The large arched front windows were deeply engraved into acrylic, then white paint filled.

The Stone Engine House on the Mineral Point Layout was built in CAD block by block from actual limestone building block photos.  Our laser engraves the 3D texture into Acrylic sheet stock, then the structure is base coat painted and individual blocks are colored by hand.

Every structure on the Mineral Point Museum Layout had to be built from scratch.  This one was stick built from individually cut and stained strips.

A peculiar little scratch-built skewed double track truss bridge.  Notice the bolt and nut detail and that the horizontal beams are laminated from multiple individual boards. The vertical tension bars have individual metal plates top and bottom.

Grauman’s Chinese Theater

This remarkable HO Scale model was designed and built by Delia Bowstead.  Some of the detail parts were done on our laser and PMD printed the courtyard tile sheet as well as the Hollywood Walk of Fame sidewalk.  Construction was of Styrene and foam core pieces with Urethane castings and laser cut cardstock pieces.  The model included unique lighting effects designed and installed by PMD.  The model became an important part of the LA city scene on the Grand Gorge and Western layout.

Details of the Court Yard and Entrance.  It was a busy night and the lady by the doors grew tired of waiting, passed out and fell over.

Unique Lighting Effects included changing color washes and working rooftop searchlights.

Installed in the LA city portion of the layout.  Note the detailed streets and hand painted back-drop looking out to the coast.