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Storefronts
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Author:  winced36 [ Mon Oct 16, 2023 7:24 am ]
Post subject:  Storefronts

Awhile back, I started working on another of Carsten's "cut-out" projects from Toy Trains magazine, Jack Kett's Clothing Store. I got as far as cutting out and mounting the components (with a few modifications) before I got sidetracked on other projects:

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It has a western-motif to it which doesn't directly appeal to me, but I found his design for the recessed entry-way intriguing, very similar to the old storefronts in the town I grew up in. Recently I was looking at a number of two-dimensional prints of storefronts on the Tribute to Tinplate site that had me thinking about going back to this, but in a three-dimensional way similar to Carstens' model. His approach is simple, while simultaneously a bit tricky. I don't think I have the skill to model it in scale, but a glitter-version for the holiday display seemed do-able. Four or five of them built side-by-side might make for an interesting "downtown". Anyway, I took a few minutes and began drawing a storefront bit:

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Dimensions are just four inches wide and four-and-one-half inches high. There's a couple other bits to develop, then I can begin assembly. I'll post a few pics of the progress to demonstrate what I'm getting on about.

When I started the original attempt at JK's, a friend of mine asked for a print. He's a rather extraordinary scale modeler, and not knowing what he was up to, I scanned the pages and sent them over. He took those and built a scale version for me. I include a montage of pics here just to show you what is possible:

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He repurposed it as a tobacconist, and it's a brilliant little model that steps up the paper-model schtick considerably. It is very cool.

Author:  winced36 [ Mon Oct 16, 2023 7:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Storefronts

FYI, here's a link to the "Store Front" piece on Tribute to Tinplate:

http://bigindoortrains.com/primer/buildings/lackie/storefronts/tin_storefronts.htm

These are brilliant, very reminiscent of Marx lithography seen in the 1950's and 1960's, as well as some of the cookie tins that can be found around the holidays today. I've made a few of these for friends of mine, and they look great, especially when grouped together.

Author:  winced36 [ Sat Oct 28, 2023 5:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Storefronts

Late-19th/early-20th century storefront design typically featured an unenclosed vestibule at the entryway, a place where a person could get a side-view of the window displays and/or enter the store, all while protected from the weather. Carstens designed his storefronts with a three-dimensional representation of this design feature and I used his ideas to replicate an entryway here:

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His technique is rather ingenious, since it's all cut from the same bit of cardboard; the wider the entryway, the deeper the vestibule (it's a simple cut/score and fold design). One could easily modify it with a trim to make it shallower, but to make it deeper, you'd have to make a couple of new interior walls. This one looks a bit too narrow and shallow to me, so I'll adjust on the next one (plan is to make three or four of them and paste them together to form a "block".

Here I tried to use the score-and-fold method, but the matt board's rigidity and the proximity to the windows made that difficult, so I just cut the entryway sides and then glued them in with a bit of Titebond. The doorway is a layered bit of matt board (wall with door behind it), and there's an entryway ceiling made from scraps of the same. I papered the outer corners with bits of copier paper.

Author:  winced36 [ Wed Nov 08, 2023 9:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Storefronts

Slow progress due to a few train-repair distractions. The storefront project has morphed into an entire block...winging this as I go (which never works out well):

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Gotta cut one more small front, then some sides, then I can get a sense of how big the base will need to be.

Author:  winced36 [ Sun Nov 12, 2023 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Storefronts

Been working on the center-section; kinda critical because this bit is the underpinning of the entire structure. Again, my style here is the prewar glitter-house with some embellishments from the scale model world. I like to try to keep the proportions to something scale-like, but the textures and finish are more "impressionistic", if you get my drift. Somewhere between the pure glitter-house and a scale model, with definite leanings toward the prewar under-the-tree cardboard house look.

Basic assembly of this section is complete; I might add a bit more interior bracing to try to straighten up the sides a little and get the corners square. Those are critical attributes when it comes time to fit the roof:

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I wasn't happy with my too-simplistic approach to the corner doorway. I had planned just a doorway flush with the 45-degree edges, but that looked terrible in my mock-ups, so I built a small recessed entryway and glued that in with a bit of Titebond. I think it works much better, and give you a spot to put up your umbrella when exiting on a rainy day :lol:

I also realized I made a design blunder when cutting the side openings that will be part of the wall between this and one of the adjacent buildings - the opening is too tall as compared to the height of the planned extension. No worries - I've got an idea on how to mitigate that screw-up.

Hoping to get a lot done today...more pics with progress.

Author:  winced36 [ Sun Nov 19, 2023 4:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Storefronts

The storefront project grinds on; the basic structure bit of all three sections is complete, a base coat of spray-paint applied:

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I've made this too big (it's nearly 1/48-scale). I'm struggling to find a nice piece of cardboard to make a base for it.

I think I may go off-script here and mount the window-glazing before applying the glitter. The risk is that one goes crazy and slathers Mod-Podge onto the windows in the glitter application frenzy. Looking at next steps:

(1) Add the trim to all of the buildings;
(2) Build the base;
(3) Mount the windows;
(4) Glue the buildings to the base;
(5) Add the roofs;
(6) Glitter everything (except the exposed window material).

Gotta think about this.

Author:  winced36 [ Sat Dec 09, 2023 9:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Storefronts

Not too much progress here as we've gotten sidetracked by holiday stuff. I made a base from a USPS corrugated packing box, then painted it white. I then finished trimming out the three sections and am working on the window glazing now. Using MS Excel, I got them all printed on translucent vellum paper, just need to cut them out and glue them in. Once that's done, we'll glue them to the base and put the roofs on. Last step will be glittering the whole thing.

Pictures to follow.

Author:  winced36 [ Tue Dec 19, 2023 1:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Storefronts

Slow progress...printed the vellum-paper windows and started gluing them in:

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Pretty confident that the normal sequence would be to apply the glitter before gluing in the windows, but since this thing needs to be assembled on its base first, I'm going out of order. Hopefully I don't smear glue on the glazing when I go to apply the glitter.

Author:  winced36 [ Sat Jan 13, 2024 1:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Storefronts

Okay, the storefront project grinds toward completion (totally missed the pre-Christmas target completion date). All of the window-glazing is in, the roofs are on, the additional signage added, the mini loading dock added, a bit of underlying "mounded snow" added, and it's all glued to the base:

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Last step is to slather it with glitter, which I'm hoping to do this weekend.

Author:  winced36 [ Sun Jan 14, 2024 8:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Storefronts

Well, we finished this thing off this weekend, banished to the basement to avoid glitter-bombing the main floor of the house. I used nearly half the canister of glitter I had over several hours, covering it side-by-side, then the base. It could stand some touch-up, but for now, I'm calling this done:

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This is close to O-scale (1/48), maybe slightly smaller (but not much). I think it completes my experiment of producing stuff that will work 1:1 with the O-gauge trains (although I have a few more ideas). Yeah, it can be done, but it's a lot of work and storage will be an issue.

One design issue...it's tough to fish a light into the corner building from the openings in the back. If I had to do it again, I'd expand the design slightly so that I could add a light-hole directly in the back of the center building (Kaufmann's). Fishing a light into it from one of the other sides is a pain.

Comments? Questions? Let's hear 'em...

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