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Model buildings with the EM2

As I said on my topic ‘1 year with my EM2’ I have spent a lot of time firstly getting to grips with the best materials to use with the EM2 and then in using these to my advantage in creating models. The first model I spent time working on was a platelayers hut, these were dotted all over the railway network here in the UK and using an existing drawing I was able to make up a little kit of card parts which produced a nice little model - the camera can be cruel, this is only 45mm long! 

The next model I wanted to build was of terraced houses. I spent a lot of time designing a row of houses using mounting board as a medium and established a form that worked for me. No pictures of these, they are still waiting to be completed. The next building that was needed for our model railway layout was a huge building of a cotton mill which were found all over this part of the UK, in fact in the town of Oldham there were over 300 of these producing yarns and cloth for the world around the early 1900s.

The cotton mill was really made up as I went along based on techniques learned modelling the platelayers hut and the terraced houses. 4 layers of card formed the walls, a bottom and top layer of mounting card and 2 inner layers of 0.5mm card. These were needed to get the representation of the relief shown on the brickwork of the prototype. Here is a photo of the completed model (and yes it took several months to get to this).

Here is a photo of the real thing which it is based on so you can get some idea of the size of such a building (and this is just the end). The engine house which houses the steam engine which drives all the machines in the building has yet to be built, that’s the next job!

Finally a picture of the mill in place (temporarily) on the layout at the Manchester Model Railway Society, UK.

This shows what you can do with a laser cutter using suitable materials. 

Hope this inspires others to have a go.


1 Like

very impressive,thanks for sharing,and the cutting data,always useful

That’s absolutely amazing work Ralph.

Hi Ralph,

that mill is absolutely stunning. Can You tell us more on how you achieved the brickwork? What base material did you use and what where your laser settings? In the last Picture ist loosk like the brick colour was painted afterwards, right?

I would really like to learn more.



Argh, nevermind. I just found the other thread next door. Stupid me.

Hi Jan,

Don’t worry, I had intended to just produce 1 post but I thought it worth writing about how 1 years use with the EM2 has worked out for me. 

As far as the mill is concerned here is a photo of it before it was painted. Off-white mounting card 1.5mm thick and yellow thin card 0.2mm thick. Primed with grey acrylic paint and then painted with Humbrol enamel Signal Red, 3 coats. After that it was weathered with MIG brown wash which tones everything down very nicely.

Thanks for your kind comments.