Point Loma Lighthouse (A beginner's Design/build)

Discussion in 'Architecture Models' started by bholderman, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. bholderman

    bholderman Member

    Greetings all,

    First, this is my first attempt to create any type of build thread, thus I may end up breaking a few rules inadvertantly, but please correct me when I do.

    To begin, as both a card modeler and amatuer historian towards the city I live, I wanted to build something locally. Also, working for a blueprint company, I wanted to find out if there was something new and different that I could somehow offer a client. How about a nifty 3-d model for presentation purposes?

    Yet, in order to accomplish this, I had to figure out how to convert a printed over-sized blueprint to a reasonably printed model. This takes me back to the historical side of things, experiment with something local. Thanks to simplicity of early 19th century California architecture, I found that there were many objects to choos from.

    What I chose was the Pt. Loma lighthouse, which seems to have a fairly simply layout outside of the mantle (I hope). HABS-HAER had a collection of drawings for the lighthouse, thus my subject:


    Here is a photo of the real lighthouse:


  2. bholderman

    bholderman Member


    So, the first thing to manage was taking a raster .tif image and getting it into and editable format in AutoCad (an environment I'm comfortable with). Using a vectorizing program, all the sheets were traced and converted to a .dxf format with decent results except on fonts (see photo below).

    These files were simply resaved as AutoCad .dwg files and are ready for editing and scaling. This will probably take a few days, so until then...

  3. bholderman

    bholderman Member


    Finally got some of the basic forms down enough for a basic mock-up. You'll note that I haven't attenpteed the tower as of yet, hopefully this week.

    Also, the model currently stands a bit tall, as the model represents the lighthouse from the cellar floor to the roofline. The cellar is about half buried or submerged and I haven't accounted for that as of yet.

    One item that some of you might be able to help with any suggestions are the windows. They are recessed from the exterior wall about 6 to 10 inches (I don't have the blueprints with me right now).

    Im currently building at a 1:50 scale but am considering that it shoud be a bit smaller (1:60?). Oh well, a bit of fun anyway.

  4. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Great Idea! I noticed in the picture that the lightning rod?? was different than in your CAD drawing. Are you planning to recreate the picture or just the CAD drawing? Just curious. :D
    And also do you know what time frame the picture was taken?
  5. murban

    murban Member


    nice work so far, keep at it.

    May I ask which vectorizing program you are using?

  6. bholderman

    bholderman Member


    Im using a program called Scan2Cad, which works fairly well. Obviously, the higher the dpi the better to vectorizing. Also, originally when I started working here, we were using .tif G3 which didnt vectoriz very well. I made the shift to G4 on previous experiences, and the vectorization got much better.

    In regards to the lighting rod, there is a more elaborate drawing that I have, I just hadn't posted it anywhere.

  7. bholderman

    bholderman Member

    Just a quick note, just to let you know I didnt abandon this project right off the bat. A second build resulted in the discovery of the incorrect size for an inner former I was using.

    Typical, it was the last piece to what I currently have designed. Thus Im back to my drawing board (so to speak). ONe problem is 3 kids who never let me sit down for very long, so we will see how long this correction takes.

  8. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Parenthood..........There is no great thing in this world...............
    that can aggrivate you to no end!

    Except trying to design/build the perfect card model!

    Good luck with your patients on both projects. We will wait for the final design/build......with the understanding of what is involved in both!
  9. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Glad to see another designer take the plunge. It takes more commitment than most realize. Nice thing about designing is that you can work on them while doing other things...., sort of a mind build.

    Your subject reminds me of the best smoked crab sandwich in the Universe at the Point Loma Seafood Company. Have to swing by and enjoy a great dining experience. The preferred beverage is Anchor Steam beer...,

    Best regards, Gil
  10. jmueller

    jmueller Member

    right place, right time, thats exactly what I need now. Thanks for the tip.
  11. bholderman

    bholderman Member


    After a computer crash, I've finally managed to resurrect this project from the dead. In addition, my novicicity, noviceness, novictism, ugh, gave me problems in understanding how architectural models fit.

    But Fiddler's Green had its own version which I purchased. There are a few minor issues with some of the elements, so this might be a good opportunity to merge the kit with a few of my ideas especially with the lantern.

    I'll probably start this weekend along a test build of Currell's R101. When Dreadnought's finished, I can finally start the Ting Yuen as well.

    As long as my kids let me sit down long enought make an actual cut....

  12. bholderman

    bholderman Member


    So, finally, I managed to start getting somewhere on this thing. But is a test build so far, and that shows.

    First, I had a problem with the spray adhesive I was using. Although a new can, it seem to die on me as if empty, thus the paper didn't get covered completley.

    Second, I either used too heavey a stock to glue the paper to, about 2 mm. Or, I didn't score deep enough. Either of these these 2 problems led to the paper peeling off of the stock.

    So here are a few pics...

    OK, so Ill need a bit to figure out the pic thing, sheesh, what next.

  13. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Hey Brad.........

    Check you picture sizes.........there is a limit.

    Spay glue is a BIG problem.............it's a love.......hate thing!

    Love it when it works.............mostly hate it cause it doesn't!

  14. bholderman

    bholderman Member

    So here are the laminated sheets from last night.

    Please tolerate the photos, I'll have to reread all the how to stuff tonight and tomorrow to get better images to you.

  15. bholderman

    bholderman Member

    Here's a quick view of the inital construction, not great, but progress. The lighthouse has a roof as of tonight, but Ill take a few to get better pics.

  16. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Hi, Brad! :D

    Very nice project, and it's coming out very well.

    Hey, wait a minute, what's that in the background...is that...yes, it's a ship! Is the the Dreadnought by DN? Looks good...maybe you can post some photos in the Ship Model forum area? How's it coming along?


  17. bholderman

    bholderman Member


    Yeah thats the Dreadnought I slowly working on. Unfortunately as good a design that Roman did on it is slowly accumilating a lot of beginner mistakes. But once finished, I'll post it in the gallery to get some feedback and tips, which I could appreciate.

    More later tonight, I hope.

  18. bholderman

    bholderman Member

    So luckily, today died off at work which gave me an opportunity to play around with both Leif's resizing suggetions (which worked on the first file, but not the secnd), and redesigning the front door and steps.

    The Fillers Green model has flat graphics for the doors and windows on the lighthouse. I wasnt mine to have the thrid dimension on depth. ALso the door was the wrong color.

    The first image is Fiddler's Green:
  19. bholderman

    bholderman Member

    Here's mine so far (this image reduced too much for some odd reason):
  20. Gefahren

    Gefahren Member

    For the images you can try www.imageshack.us

    It auto generates the thumbnails and the links, all you have to do is cut and paste. Not to mention it's free. Also I just started using it, and it is really really simple.
    Also since my photoshop doesn't have the save for web option, I use ACDsee and it apparently only saves the minimum. So I use photoshop to resize my image and color adjust it and save it at the maximum quality, then I load and resave it in ACDsee and use 65% quality and the file size drops dramaticaly. Then of course I now use imageshack so I can have larger images too.

    and as far as html code stuff goes, I apparently did it right with the links, so I'm going to pat myself on the back. :D

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