A builder's yard is a great way to fill a spare corner of a layout. Regardless of the era or location you're modelling, builder's merchants have been around for a long time, and are always full of the bits and pieces used in construction. From pallets of bricks and breeze blocks, to drain pipes, bags of cement, steel joists, bulk bags of aggregates, timber, slabs, and chimney pots. And don't forget the tools & equipment… every builder needs a wheelbarrow!
Planning Your Builders Yard
Whether you're working in OO gauge or a different scale, you don't need a huge amount of space to create the illusion of a busy builder's yard. If you've got a large-ish space that backs onto a road you can of course create the main entrance to a builder's merchants, and create something larger and grander. Maybe even using a full or low relief industrial unit as the main shop/warehouse for the company. But if even if you only have a tiny space a few inches square, you can create the effect of a busy yard, stacked high with everything the construction industry needs. All you need is a selection of typical building supplies such as bricks, blocks, fence posts, chimney pots etc and you've got everything you need to make the scene.
Creating A Boundary Using Security Fencing
The first stage would be to define the boundary of the builder's yard. This would normally be done using a security fencing of some kind, but which one will depend on the era you're working in.
- For a layout set in the 1990s through to the present day, our number one choice would be Palisade fencing:
- LX055 Laser Cut 2m Palisade Security Fencing & Gates - This is nice and easy to work with and can be painted up using silver/grey spray paint for quick results.
- LX429-OO Tri-Spike 2m Palisade Security Fencing & Gates - For the more demanding modeller, we have the Tri-Spike fencing which is more detailed and gives the ultimate level of detail to your perimeter fence.
- For a layout set in the 1960s through to the 1990s our choice would be the LX007 Chainlink Fencing. Either the crank-top or straight post version would work perfectly. The straight post version is the easier of the two to work with.
- Anything earlier than that would be surrounded by a simpler wooden fence such as the LX223-OO Close-Board Wooden Fencing which would look perfect partnered with some factory/yard gates like these.
LX055-OO Palisade Fencing is ideal for perimeter fencing around any yard
The Yard Surface
The choice of paving for your yard will again depend on the era you're modelling. Anything from the 1970's onwards will most likely have poured concrete for the yard surface as it's easier for forklift trucks & lorries to move about on. There are a number of options for modelling this, from a simple painted surface using a concrete coloured emulsion tester pot from your local DIY store (add extra-fine sand or grit to the paint to give it a slight texture) to a printed paper texture. Our TX134 Concrete Hardstanding Texture works well for this as it's made up of large slabs of poured concrete with expansion gap markings.
Detailing Your Yard
Now you've created the yard surface and defined the perimeter, it's time to start stocking the yard with lots of supplies! Here's a handy list of items that can help bring your construction sites & builder's yards to life. Some are suited to the more modern yard while others will work for any era from the early 20th century onwards. Just pick the ones you think would be found in a yard that matches the era of your layout.
- AX053 Concrete Drains
- AX054 Yellow Gas Pipe
- AX064 Portaloo
- AX063 Pallets
- AX065 Stacked Pallets
- AX068 Sewer Drain Pipe load
- AX069 Sewer Drain Pipe load
- AX074 Skips
- AX077 Palletised Drain Pipes
- AX092 Coiled Water Pipe
- AX134 Red 19kg Propane Gas Bottles
- AX139 Wheelbarrows
- AX144 Stacked Plywood
- AX155 Bishop Style Chimney Pots
- AX179 Breeze Blocks
- LX049 Timber/Building Yard accessories
- LX098 Scaffolding Planks
- LX109 Step Ladders
- LX110 Skips
- LX111 Timber Load
- LX222-OO Rebar Mesh
- LX257 Patress Plates
- LX261 Gas Bottle cages
- LX350 Manholes & Drains
- LX361 Garden & DIY tools
- LX369 Folding Roadworks barriers
Larger Items, Machinery & Plant
For construction sites and larger yards, why not add a little plant & machinery?