In this image, taken from the internet you can see the canal-side view of The Lion Salt Works, Cheshire. My small shelf layout uses these buildings as inspiration for the low relief structures that run along the back of the 1;27.7 or 11mm = 1 foot layout.
The brick based salt pan has already been built and now I am starting on the larger (end on) building shown to the right.
I have started by building a blank or core in cardboard. This was done by laminating layers of corrugated cardboard together with my hot glue gun and sealing the edges with brown wrapping paper applied over PVA glue. This technique produces strong but light structures onto which I can glue detail.
I have used this technique to build many pieces of wargame terrain and even a full gaming tile so I know it works.
The cardboard blank is 260mm wide x 240mm tall and 40mm deep.