Layout Research, Hollywood Style

Things you find on the internet searching for historic photographs. (

First up, I haven’t been posting on here about what I’m working on. I think I need to get back to writing about trains, but there is a lot going on in the world, and while I’m personally well, my particular hobby and escape from the world doesn’t seem important in the context of everything that is going on and the suffering. That said, working on trains, and to some extent writing about them here is a positive for my mental health, which I also can’t ignore. I don’t talk politics here on a blog about model trains, It’s not the place, but I do think the honest statement that I’ve been spending my time thinking about other things that will impact my life and work is a fair extent to go as to why I haven’t posted lately, and why I’m going to make an effort to get back to posting moving forward.

Well this is one I didn’t see coming. In searching for images of Pardee Avenue and the Gillett Company Mill that I don’t have pictures of, I found some…on a site that shows people where scenes from movies were shot. It turns out, significant chunks of the exteriors in David Cronenberg’s the Fly were shot in Liberty Village, including the former loading docks between the missing building and the building now known as the Castle as can be seen in the pictures above. Who knew that a movie from when I was 7 years old that I haven’t seen in years would be a source of reference material for me, and super helpful material at that. I now need to find a copy of The Fly so I can watch it and freeze frame to see what else I can gleam other than what is seen in the few freeze frames I’ve now found on different movie location websites. This is a surprising lift up for me in working on the one building I have precious little information on.

Sure the tracks are gone, but the loading dock is still there, the original windows are still there, and on the left, the Mill and Elevator are still there, yes they aren’t centre of the frame, but there is a lot of useful information to me about ground level details that I didn’t have, just by seeing there are windows and doors means I can include them, even if i don’t know exactly what they looked like.

I would never have thought that a night with Jeff Goldblum would be needed to build a layout based on Liberty Village in the 1950’s. Live and learn! A small win in another long week!

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