It's time to go...Downtown!

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by MilesWestern, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    This week I've been stumped. I can't decide what to do with my downtown area, I need some suggestions for buildings and perhaps some photos of interesting downtown details in the real world. That would be much appreciated.

    My downtown is mostly, if not all, brick structures :mad: and I want that changed! It's California, late 1950's and I know that I would like some mission-revival style buildings, but don't know who makes them, or if anybody does!

    There will me some photos in the next post. Please help!
  2. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Ok, here's the grand tour.

    One of the airforce officers in the next town got this Satellite photograph of the downtown area for me, which waspart of a USGS map.

    #1 Walther's Cornerstone Adam's Ribs
    #2 (I would like a mission-style building here)
    #3 DPM Bank
    #4 Walther's Cornerstone Gemini building
    #5 (would like small house here, perfreable victorian)
    #6 IHC Ace motorcycle repair

    Attached Files:

  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the name may have changed because the company has been sold two or three times, but Suydam made California mission style buildings. Also California mission style are stucco that is smooth to look like adobe. Typically utilises archways for entrances, and Spanish tyle roofs. If you find a prototype building you like, scratch build it from styrene. Spanish tile roofing sheets used to be available from Walthers. IHC makes Victorian houses, but I think they are all San Francisco row houses which aren't found anywhere else to my knowledge. You might be able to get a couple of the IHC Victorians and kitbash something.
  4. ross31r

    ross31r Member

    Atlas makes some victorian style houses as well, mission revival style buidlings are fairly easy to stracthbuild as they have very clean lines compared to other building styles.
  5. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Can anybody post some mossion-revival style buildings of interest here, or possibly just links, please?
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I'm not sure what sort of building you are looking for, I just "googled" "California Mission style" and got 21,000 entries.
  7. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Load of victorian buildings on ebay this morning - probably too late by the time you get this
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  8. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Heljan makes a "Spanish-style station" that is one of the only HO scale mission-style buildings I have seen. The Suydam/Alpine Division ones are mostly cardboard rather than plastic.

    From the Walthers catalog:

    It looks like they are planning on a couple of this sort of building, though...

    ...maybe they're realizing that some trains ran out west of the Mississippi?
  9. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    heh, yeah. So far I just got back to working on my to come soon!
  10. isboris4449

    isboris4449 Member

    Search the MODEL RAILROADER and RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN magazine article indexes for Robert Smaus. He has done numerous articles based on Southern California SP layouts. His article "Big City Signs" in the February 1988 RMC was full of ideas about detailing the downtown area of a small Southern Californis city. A used magazine dealer like can peobably provide any issues you seek.

  11. I've been working on Southern California style structures, and haver several in progress, which I'll shoot some pics of this weekend. Sometimes I scratchbuild stucco structures, but I've also sanded all the surface texture of structures, then added stucco texture. There's a great textured spray paint I've found, but can't remember the name right now. I'll try to look at the can tonight. If found this tecnique to be quite effective and quick, and is a very good way to upgrade cheap kits with overlarge brick / siding / etc.

  12. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Nice! I would like to see you post some of those pics of your structures in this thread very much, and as soon as you can!
  13. Southern California Downtown Structures

    OK, I'ev unearthed a few of my in-progress kits from my stack of in-progress kits....and I'lll offer advance warning, most of these are very in progress. Also, I'm not sure how to attach an image next to it's description, so the pics are at the bottom of the posting.

    One suggestion that I have is to modify kits from European countries. Pola and Kibri make high quality kits, and I've found they're easy to Americanize; I qm in the process of building a downtown shop reminescent of one in the middle of Oldtown Pasadena from a Pola "Bad Durkheim" station kit. (n-scale version). Pola kits like this are nice because the ornate trim is all seperate: I just built the kit without it. I haven't installed windows yet, but they will be done from behind in the upper, stucco portion of the building. I replaced the standings-seam metal roof with vacuum-formed clay tile from plastruct, and not added the gabled tile roofs over the outer portions of the building, opting for flat roofs with air conditioning equipment behind a cornice. This is a fairly large building, but some of the smaller Pola kits I've seen can be modified in much the same fashion.

    There is a spray paint I really like for HO scale stucco. It's by Krylon, their 'Textured Elegance' Designer Finish. I purchased the can I use at Micheals Crafts. It is a tan color, but I usually paint over it after it is cured. The house I've attached with this paint started as a Model Power green house with over-sized clapboards. It's actually a little too contemporary for the 50's, but the technique will work.

    As far as houses, I think 'Barb's Bungalow' from Atlas is a good Southern California staple, and I've also attached an image of DPM's Emry Lane These two Victorian Queen Anne houses are nice, but so small that I didn't think they looked right until I placed them one behind the other on a 'lot', like a pair of small rental properties. A lot of little homes like this sprung up in the postwar building boom, but I rarely see it modelled.

    I hope this helps.

    Chris Roy

    Attached Files:

  14. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Yes! :thumb: Those are great models! Good job. I really like how you used the stucco to "Californianize" the station. The Green house in the las photo ois made by who? I think you have some really interesting points on California Houses. I live in Niles, which is perpetually stuck in 1939....and there's plenty of those houses (barb's bungalows)around. Where's you layout?
  15. Thanks. My favorite tecnique for old style, smooth, hand-aplied stucco is to mix acrylic gesso and Liquitex acrylic modelling paste. I brush it on, and tool it with a palette knife. It doesn't really show up at all in the photograph, with the unweathered white paint, but as I said, it's still in progress.
    The green house is another Atlas kit, I like this series of kits, they have a lot of detail.
    I don't have a layout at this point, I'm just working on a backlog of structures and rolling stock for 'some day'.

  16. isboris4449

    isboris4449 Member

    Another simple stucco technique is to put some of acylic paint on a piece of plastic or whatever to use as a pallet, mix some water putty into it and dab it on the structure. Cover it completely and the go back over it again until you get the texture you seek. Use a short, fairly stiff brush and don't put too much water putty in the paint to try to get it all done in one pass. I saw this on an Allan Keller video about the Grosser's beautiful Soo Line layout, and the effect was great.

  17. I like the sound of the water putty idea. I'll have to give that a try.

  18. oleirish

    oleirish Member

    this is an old picture of my old town but It will give you and idea how to put a town togethor some what

  19. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Ok, here we go! After working for oodles of hours on it in the past months, I'm progressing rapidly. Take a look at these!
  20. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    oops :oops: ....double post see below

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