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Working With Building Plans to Create Your New Model



Once you have mastered this simple task you can go on to create any building you need for your model railroad or table top battlefield.

What is a Building Plan?

The Buildng plans are based on the same concept as an architectural blueprint of a new building design. It is a line drawing that represent the facets of your new building. The line drawing shows a complete breakdown of the walls, roof and overall dimensions of the building in exact measurements.
The line drawing in Model Builder serves two purposes, the first one is as a printed outline for you to trace onto your sub-structure. You will need this whether you are working in cardboard, chipboard or Styrofoam.
The other purpose for the line drawing is as a reference guide for the placement of the siding, materials, doors, windows and other items you will use in your final print. You can free hand them or use a building plan.

Using a Line Drawing

Once you open Model Builder and are ready to start you will find that there are six pre-made building plans located in the "Other" menu. Open the "Other" menu and scroll down to "Building Plans" and open it. You will now see a selection of building plan thumbnails. There are several so make sure you scroll through the entire collection.
By selecting one of these you will see the line drawing appear on the working palette sized to meet the scale you have selected to work in. You can use the rulers on the left side and top to see the actual dimensions in feet or the scale dimension in inches. The same options are offered in metric for those who would rather work in metric.
You will need to print out a copy of the line drawing before going any further as this will be what you use to trace around to create your backing or sub-structure. Once you have traced out your pattern you can discard this so use regular printer paper instead of photographic paper, it's much cheaper. At this time you should mark your new sub-structure to show which wall is front, left, right and rear. If your building consists of more than one section you should mark each section this way to avoid confusion when assembling.
Having printed a copy for your template you can then begin to use the line drawing on the palette to fill in the details. Start by choosing how your building's main siding is to be constructed then continue on to add in all the rest of the details such as doors, windows and other treatments. Model builder has over 500 different choices to help make each of your buildings unique. The line drawing will help you to accurately place each item in the correct location.

Importing Your Own Line Drawings

While there are several pre-loaded designs in Model Builder these are just a starting point to building entire towns. This leads to the question, can I use my own drawings with Model Builder and how to I load them into the program?
The answer is, yes you can import your own drawings and use them. Model Builder is designed to allow you to do just that. We realize that many of you will want to design your own towns and designed the software specifically to allow for that.
Model Builder will accept your line drawings in one of two different formats, either as .wmf file or as a .dxf file. The .wmf file is used with drawing programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, whereas the .dxf file is used by Turbo CAD and Auto Cad software.
Importing your file is done by opening the file menu and scrolling down to the "Import" option. This will give you the option to choose your file and import it into Model Builder. You can then continue on to use Model Builder to create your new model building as you would with the pre-loaded structures.


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