|FILLING IN THE CORNER
My model railroad is comprised of modular sections that are 12" wide, with the exception of the "big" Black Hawk segment which is 18" wide.
There is an interior corner where I decided to combine 3, 12" x 12" sections to create an "L" shaped section 24" long on each side.
This is the corner section, with Peco HOn30 track laid, rigid extruded polystyrene foam ("Styrofoam") glued down, and a start on carving mountain scenery
I took my inspiration for these scene from the Pine (formerly Pine Grove) area in Platte Canyon in Colorado.
This area was along the Denver, South Park & Pacific's mainline up through Platte Canyon.
About a 1/2 mile west of Pine is this rock formation locally known as Sphinx Rock.
I became acquainted with this area because a friend has a summer cabin nearby,
and gave me the grand tour of the canyon.
Near Sphinx Rock is a locality called "Bucksnort", the centerpiece of the area being the Bucksnort Saloon, parts of which date back to the 1800s
The rocky mountain terrain is very confined in a narrow creek bed here, and rocky outcrops protrude up dramatically above the creaked.
This is a summer cabin vacation area, and there are small cabins built on top of rocks as shown here,
sandwiched between spires, or shoehorned in against the creek
Scenes like this became my inspiration for this corner scene, so I decided to model "Bucksnort".
So, Bucksnort would be the name of a small, freelanced town scene loosely inspired by the real location.
Here is an overhead view of the Bucksnort section, a whopping 24" x 24".
The scene is simple - the Gilpin, James Peak and Middle Park HOn30 mainline makes a 90 degree turn in the corner,
and there is a short spur for a team track behind the small depot.
I finished carving the extruded polystyrene into rock shapes, and coated them with Gesso -
a paint-like material with calcium carbonate in it that artists might use to prepare canvases for painting,
On my model railroad, the Gesso covers the raw foam,
and the dried white surface is really absorbent and accepting of washes to color the stones.
The treatment of the foam is similar in many respects to coloring plaster rock castings, but a whole lot lighter!
Additional washes were added to the carved foam racks and things were looking better.
The "road" was Cellu-Clay with mixed-in paint.
This material seems to be a mixture of paper mâché and plaster, and is easy to work with.
I carved in wagon wheel ruts before the material dried.
Parts of the hardboard module surface were cut and foam glued beneath the base level for the creekbed.
The creek bed is a painted bed of runny plaster poured into the bottom, then painted with artists oil colors to get the colors I wanted.
Acrylic gloss gel was then painted on - the thick material is easy to whip up into ripples and waves around the "rocks".
The really quick and fun part is adding vegetation -
I used premade Heki pine trees that had added foam glued on and were airbrushed to mix of the colors, and a bunch of purchased florist plants -
some preserved and real plants, some plastic imitations, that were also all airbrushed different colors and ground foam glued on.
Here is a closer view of some of the terrain with a mixture of low plant growth , flowers, and trees, both alive and dead.
|BUILDING BUCKSNORT, continued
With much of the scenery completed, it was time to start mockups for where buildings might fit.
I decided to re-use buildings from previous layouts, instead of scratchbuilding anything.
This assured the town of Bucksnort would go together quickly.
Decades ago, I had one of these Vollmer shanty kits - I lost it somewhere over the years,
but was able to purchase an inbuilt kit locally, and decided this belonged on the Bucksnort section.
The depot was a kit, too. This is a Kennebunk Models (long out of production) kit of the Sandy River & Rangely Lakes Madrid depot.
I like it's simple design, and thought it belonged in Bucksnort.
I put LED lighting in most of the buildings -
the depot has a dim kerosene lamp in the office portion, and there is a pole-mounted kerosene lantern on the outside platform.
The platform was kitbashed from an old Revell freight house kit, which I had picked up an estate sale.
The Bucksnort is more or less done, and in service on the layout.
I need to paint the board around the light switch -
I use these oversize pushbuttons to turn on the LED lights, because my grandkids like them that way.
The remaining town buildings can be scene, and include a Wild West Scale Models Tommy Knockers cabin,
a Wild West Earl Lee store kit modified into the "National Saloon",
and a grocery store modified from a Rusty Rail kit.
I still need to add a harp switch stand to the turnout, but Bucksnort is otherwise completed.
|Really looking good Keith.
Colors and texture are right on.
|BACK TO BLACK HAWK
Previously, I posted about filling in a corner scene, with the little town of Bucksnort and surroundings.
Now that the mainline on my layout was more or less complete,
it was time to resume work on Black Hawk and get to the "downtown" area.
The above photo was taken by Bob Axsum several years ago -
the scene has changed immensely with the casinos that were built.
But, "back in the day", Black Hawk had a lot of character,
and hints of the old style western mining scene could be seen and photographed.
More or less the same area as shown in the previous photo,
this enlargement of a Denver Public Library, Western History Collection image,
shows the retail street in Black Hawk near the depot.
There is a lot here that appeals to me:
- A variety of building types - wood, brick, stone, etc.
- The buildings are crowded together, and differing styles
- Relatively compact
For further ideas, I turned to published references.
These three are particularly good for the Black Hawk commercial buildings -
the Up Clear Creek Series by Harry Brunk, published in the Gazette,
and Mike Blazek's Black Hawk work book.
There were several iconic buildings in Black Hawk that I would like to model.
One of the larger, more prominent structures was The Gilpin Hotel.
Another one that pops out of the background photos was the Black Hawk Cracker Bakery -
this had a fancy painted sign on an otherwise rather plain wooden building -
this is a structure I definitely wanted to include on my layout.
Of course, the "Bull Durham Building" or Fick's Carriage Shop is a landmark -
the building is a rather unprepossessing brick and stone business that stands out due to the distinctive sign -
here's another building I should include on the layout.
Studying those Denver Public Library, Western History Collection images again,
this scene shows up and would make a great model.
There's a lot going here - wooden sidewalk, advertising posters slapped onto walls,
a large clock over the jeweler's store door, and covered stairway going to the second floor -
do I have space to model this, too?
Further study of the Western History Collection photos shows details like this -
the brick building is angled to follow the two different streets, and is not built on a level lot -
the doors and floors are at different heights to follow the terrain.
The building has some neat little brick cornice trim,
that just happens to look a lot like a San Juan/Grandt plastic detail part.
This simple false front wooden store looks interesting because of the signs and posters on the sidewall facing the C&S/Gilpin tracks.
If I modeled this, I could break a lot of window panes, too, if I felt like it.
And the downtown street intersection, another Western History Collection photo enlargement shows these two buildings -
what I like are the two types of buildings side-by-side, wood and brick, and not built on level lots, so they follow the terrain.
That little box structure in front is a public scale, and the pole is a flagpole.
So, with all of these ideas swimming around in my brain,
it was time to look at reality and determine what I had room to model on my HOn30 shelf layout.
To be continued...
|PLANNING FOR BLACK HAWK TOWN
I had a lot of ideas about what I wanted to build,
and now it was time to see what I would be able to fit in.
Looking up the main street, towards Central City, we see the C&S branch to Central City crossing overhead.
A variety of building styles can be seen, and the whole scene seemingly narrows as the road heads upgrade.
To me, the overall impression is of narrow and busy streets.
My actual town scene space is about 14" wide by 18" deep - not big at all, but appropriate for my little shelf layout.
I made the sketch above to start working out what I had room to build -
the street at the front of the layout splits at a tee, and the streets are to disappear into the backdrop.
There is an elevation change here - the hint of Clear Creek at the left side is below track level,
and on the other side of the railroad grade crossing, the terrain slopes upward about 1".
I tried to see what I could squeeze in -
I wanted to model the Gilpin Hotel, "Bull Durham" building, Black Hawk Cracker Bakery, and several other stores.
However, reality soon set in and I quickly realized that I would need to make a lot of compromises for what would and wouldn't work.
The Gilpin Hotel, if modeled, would be about 7"-8" wide.
Likewise, the "Bull Durham" building was about 5" x 6".
Even though these are not very big structures in the real world, they were big for my model world.
I took several previously built structures and started arranging them to see what to build.
Some kit structures were kitbashed to be closer to the stores I envisioned,
and I quickly built a greatly compressed version of the "Bull Durham" building.
It seemed best to forget the idea of modeling any particular street area as a prototype scene.
Instead, I would use a combination of kit- and scratch-built buildings to try to capture the feel of Black Hawk,
without actually building any one structure as a scale model of a prototype.
This approach worked for me with my Golden Fleece and Fullerton stamp mills,
and I thought I would try it again.
Many of the early Black Hawk buildings tended to be small and compact.
This old store in Black Hawk, taken in the 1950s, shows this.
The floor-to-floor heights are not even 8' on the first or second floors.
Even so, there are two doors and 4 windows in the small false front wall,
and this busy appearance appeals to me.
So, after some twiddling around with different buildings, the scene started to come together,
Looking up the future Main Street, the crowded-in nature can be seen.
Once sidewalks, wall signs, people, wagons and horses, etc. are added,
the scene should come together the way I hope it will.
To be continued...
|Joined: ||Thu Jul 10th, 2008|
|Location: ||Star, Idaho USA|
I have been following along with all your threads.
I understand your depth is usually 12 inches.
On the Bucksnort module, about what radius is your curve?
451 N Evelyn Way
Star, ID 83669
The search for someone else to blame is always successful.