Finishing the Mock-up Buildings

Some time ago after the benchwork was up and the trackwork done, I made mock-ups of most of the buildings on the layout. This really helped to get a sense of what the layout was going to look like, to check clearances for rolling stock, and to help finalize the drawings for actually building the buildings.

Layout Panorama View on January 28, 2020. This was the last one I had posted here.

First up, is adjusting the mock-ups I have done. As I am starting to get motivated to draw and work on buildings, the next step for most will be to draw the buildings and work out how I am going to compress them to fit the layout, and when doing so if I can use commercially available windows, or if I need to draw my own and 3D print/resin cast them. Obviously both have their advantages and disadvantages. The draw and print route is the only way to go for some buildings to get window shapes and patterns right, but for others, off the shelf windows with the compression already being done are a good way to get the look and feel of buildings

80 Atlantic taking shape. The model on my layout is about 36% of the real size, its 200′ on the long side in real life, and scale 72′. Its about getting the “feel” right for me.

Today I decided I finally wanted, no needed to get a sense of how big the buildings on the Pardee Avenue peninsula are going to be. There are two main buildings here, the E.W. Gillett Company factory and mill/elevator/powerhouse complex. Most of these survive, sadly, for me at least, the Mill and Elevator couldn’t be repurposed, and I am still searching for good images of what they looked like to model, though they have turned up in the strangest places.

The building known as “The Castle” in Liberty Village today, formerly the E.W. Gillett Company, makers of Magic Baking Powder.

The Castle is being modelled at full scale on the north-south axis along Pardee Ave, and compressed along Liberty Street. I wanted to include the distinctive tower at Liberty Street and Fraser Avenue as it is a place setter for the building, and will be a fun challenge to model.

The second building on the peninsula, is one I’ve been lamenting for some time, as I have virtually no pictures of it, but strangely enough, the survey for the property is old enough that it shows where the footprints of the mill and elevator were before they were demolished, so with that, and knowing roughly how tall they were, I can at least have mock-ups for a rough sense of scale. The mill/elevator/powerhouse combo is the only building on my layout being built at full scale along every wall, and hopefully it and the castle behind it will be a centrepiece when they are done, as they are literally the centre of the room!

The mill/elevator/powerhouse combo added. Creates a tight space between the buildings for operating. My intention is to make the Castle removable so operators can get at cars to uncouple them.

It really changes the room having these two big buildings in the middle of it. There is now distinct operating areas along Mowat Avenue in the west (left) and along Liberty Street in the east (right) as seen in the Panorama. I could actually see two crews (one Canadian National and one Canadian Pacific) working at the same time now as they are distinct areas, and only rarely would they have crossed each others paths in the centre of Liberty Village.

The final mock-up on the peninsula is a small portion of a building which was part of a cooperage at the end of the spur serving the Gillett factory. I still haven’t decided if I am actually going to include this or not, but seeing the mock-up I can now think on it and make an informed decision, as it does nicely close in the corner of the peninsula.

Layout Panorama on July 8, 2020, a big difference from the end of January all around with actual building models, all the mock-ups and scenery starting.

I actually realized after writing all this, that there are two more buildings I haven’t mocked-up. Both of these are edge buildings along the layout front, and sadly most of the detail won’t be seen except in pictures when a camera is held into the layout. That said, they are both important to me to make the space. I actually started on one which fills the south side of Liberty Street between Jefferson Avenue and Atlantic Avenue. I’ll need to write about it, as the compression is causing me consternation in deciding how to compress while capturing what I think is important and attractive about modelling the buildings on that block.

4 thoughts on “Finishing the Mock-up Buildings

  1. Great progress! I need to do some of that mocking up in the near future, too.

    That removing a building to uncouple cars sounds like it might be a bother to do routinely. Could one get by with a really long uncoupling stick? Skewer on the end of a dowel with a mini flashlight strapped on, perhaps?

    • Thanks Mark, I suspect removable buildings on the edges will be necessary for a lot of reasons, with the height of my layout, coupled with buildings, access gets tough fast. In the case of Gillett, it is 9.5″ high from the benchwork, and 2″ give or take wide, not possible to reach over, and an equally tall building blocks most access from the other side if you’re tall enough to reach all the way across the peninsula!

      The spur in the narrow gap can fit 5 40′ box cars, unless they are being pulled out as a block, only one coupler is going to be accessible without moving the building.


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