Monday, September 8, 2014

Mocking up Waterbury

I've decided to focus my modeling efforts on the Waterbury "front door" scene until it looks "done." Key to this project is scratchbuilding a number of structures that are based on specific prototypes. I've already completed the Seabury Feed Mill and the old two-story freight house. Before I got too far ahead of myself it seemed to make sense to nail down the dimensions and locations of the other structures. The first building I turned my attention to was Demeritt Cannery, which is located alongside a dedicated spur within thetrack that circles the end of the peninsula. I started by scaling the basic dimensions from a Sanborn Map
to create an outline of the building. It quickly became obvious a "full size" building wasn't going to fit, and even if it did it would overwhelm the scene.
 From the prototype photos of the building (above) I know basically what the structure looked like. It has four "sections"
1. The one story section with the covered truck dump
2. A three-story section
3. A two story section
4. A gambrel roof can warehouse

I figured as long as I capture these sections the resulting model will look "right" even if it compressed from the extremely long prototype.

I adjusted the mockup - it's much easier to use tape, scissors, and scraps of paper now than to make changes to an under-construction styrene model later! One change I made was to move the truck dump to the left to clear the track. It's a minor change that also allows the other end of the structure to be placed further than the curved mainline track. You'll also note I didn't mockup all the other lumbersheds and other buildings - there's plenty of room to add them on to the layout, and they'll be scaled to the "main" building so mocking them up isn't as critical.
Once I had the final footprint for Demeritt I turned my attention to the Derby & Ball complex.
 This structure will be located across the tracks from Demeritt between the edge of the layout and mainline. Since it's a foreground structure I went a step further and drew plans (I use the term loosely!) for the walls on a piece of paper to check access points and viewing angles.

I started with the building scale width, but quickly found the resulting model would have completely filled the space between the siding and fascia - no "breathing" room. I checked various widths by simply folding the paper mockup until I had a width that would allow me to include the correct number and placement of windows (I may use windows smaller than the prototype to keep the proportions correct).

I'll use the resulting mockup to create the outline of the walls and windows directly on the .060" styrene subwalls. But that's another story.
Is the time I spent (roughly 2-3 hours while watching/listening to football games on TV) worth the effort? I think so - I can proceed forward with this section of the layout confident that the buildings will fit and will look right.

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