Friday, February 12, 2010

Module Number One

Modeling may be picking up here at the R Street Project. I've had a mental block when it comes to actual modeling. Tons of research... no modeling. It's sad really.
My current thinking is that by working on modules I’ll get the incentive and momentum I need to get going on the modeling side. Well, my two modules for the Sacramento Modular Railroaders (SMR) are now in my possession.
In the SMR, the 'bones' of the module are built together as a club during our work sessions. This is done to ensure a close fit between modules owned by different members. If the bench work and wiring are all made in a consistent fashion, it goes a long way to proper track alignment. The layout sets up quicker, the trains derail less often- and these are all very good things.  With a bite sized project in front of me I'm very inspired to get going.

Here’s a sketchup pic of what I'm thinking of for the first module.  It's all very 'work in progress' at this point. The track setup is very simple - on purpose. Mostly because it's my first module. Besides, I really want to get to the buildings. The locomotive is too new for my time-frame, but it does give a sense of scale.   And the club does run lots of modern trains after all.

The inspiration is the area around 10th and R Streets. The big brick building against the backdrop is the WP Fuller & Company warehouse. They sold paint, doors and sashes. Currently the building is home to one of my favorite places for breakfast, The Fox & Goose Pub.  

To the right of Fuller is Gillmore's market. In reality this building is on the other side of the alley track from Fuller but it didn't fit there so well on the module. Gillmore's was a butcher shop. Actually there were two businesses on the ground floor, a butcher shop and a beauty salon. This is one of those things I love about prototype modeling - there is no way in heck I would have come up with that juxtaposition on my own. Gillmore's is a nice representative of many midtown Sacramento buildings, retail on the ground floor, residential on the second floor.  Marquis Gillmore, by the way was in his 80s in 1950 and still a few years from retirement. This building is still standing- currently home to a noodle and fortune cookie factory.
In the foreground on the module will be the Carlaw Brothers Stone Cutters. If memory serves, these were two Scotsmen whose business was in this location for quite some time. There is some speculation that the pre-Carlaw, the site was used as stone staging for construction of the capitol building - the stones having been brought to this location from Folsom.  Nowadays it’s a parking lot.

Because I'm having to work around modular standards, I'm moving buildings around and spinning them from their original locations to make everything fit.  Fuller indeed was served by the WP from their alley line but also faced R Street. Fuller's warehouse is too big to fit between the club's mainline and the branch line so I've moved this building back against the backdrop and spun it. The middle row of buildings is all speculation at the moment, but I want to convey the feeling of R street on the foreground and the alley line in the background. I can’t really keep this area an open field and get that feeling. I think I'll use several buildings from other parts of R Street to fill this area. There were a number of small automotive service businesses and small scale electronic supply warehouses that should work in this location and not look too out of place.

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