Monday, February 21, 2022

"Blocking" in Atlas Plywood

Atlas Plywood in Richford is in the background. P. R. Hastings
 I've spent some time this morning gathering the information I have on the Atlas Plywood plant that once served as a backdrop to the CV's Richford yard. It didn't take long to gather the information since I don't really have all that much on it. 

I do have the Sanborn Map that shows the footprint of the building, and a few photos. I've blogged about the plant previously - mostly in the post you can find HERE. That post covers the prototype - my goal this morning was to think through how to convert the information I have into a (compressed) model of the facility. 

The brochure and Sanborn Map both date to the 1920s and early 30s. The only images I've found of the building after the war (it burned down in October 1954) were a partial view captured by Phil Hastings, and a quick snippet of the building on a DVD that was remastered from 8mm movie film shot from a moving caboose! 

Atlas Plywood - screen capture from a Central Vermont Railway in Steam DVD. 

It seemed pretty obvious that I wasn't going to find any more detailed images than I already had. Besides, a quick scaling of the map image of the facility (called Richford Mfg. on the 1920 Sanborn) revealed it was about 550 feet from stem to stern.

I'd left a large area for the model of the plywood plant - but building it full scale would completely dominant the view of the layout from anywhere in the room. 

A compressed version of the plant seemed a better approach. 

In the end I settled on a footprint about 36" long by 8" long at the widest point for the buildings themselves. That doesn't include some areas available for lumber stacks and the like. 

I drew up a footprint that seemed to capture the key elements of the building. Some of the items I wanted to include were:

1.  The two story section between the tracks in the map image

2. The walkway between it and the larger building. 

3. The portion of the three story section with the three smokestacks. 

4. The large two story area at the top of the image in the Sanborn Map. 

Rather than try to draw a scale plan of the building I blocked these key elements. 

The first draft of how this could look is shown below. I started by drawing the overhead "footprint" view. Then I carried the lines where the building went from two to three stories and the like and blocked into the basic shapes. It looks like this will fit well and produce a convincing impression of the complex. 

Before committing this to styrene I need to mockup the building in three dimensions. 

"Blocked in" sketch of how the key elements could be combined into a convincing compressed model of the prototype. 


1 comment:

Stephen Gardiner said...

I look forward to seeing how it comes to life. I know that feeling of trying to figure out the right selective compression for large industrial buildings. Should be an interesting build even without more detailed photographs to work from.