The Roster

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cityscape - scene 1 the low rent apartment district

A couple of years ago I picked up two of the Plasticville apartment buildings. You likely know them - two story buildings that look like they have 2-4 apartments. It's an old staple of the Plasticville line and represents apartment buildings from the 1950's to the early '60's that captures some of the modernist and art deco elements that give Plasticville kits their character.  I want to drop them into the layout, but where?

After fitting in the track plan and the train station, I feel pretty confined with locating the apartments. There is an unused section that fits between the river, the railroad tracks and the convenience store. It's a little cramped, but 'compression' is how we usually rationalize this for model railroading.

Who would want to live in an apartment right next to the railroad? You can find plenty of towns where the rails run next to residential properties. In addition,  I can say is that I've lived in two apartments in my life that were in close proximity to the rails - one was right next to a major yard. After a while, you do get used to it. To some degree I want to model these buildings as a reminder to my earlier adventures and experiences. 

I assembled the buildings and placed them on the layout, adjusting them to get an idea of exactly where I best want to site them before I starting painting and flocking the landscape. We've got the river flowing close by on the north boundary. I'm thinking of squeezing in an access road to the rail yard next to the river bank. More a dirt/gravel track than a formal road.

Looking to the left
 On the south we bump up against the back of the convenience store. This area needs more landscaping.
Looking to the right
 Here's the view from the convenience store looking north toward the apartments.

Looking north

 And here's the view from across the river looking south. The river bank when finished should be covered in brush and trees providing some additional screening.

Looking south

 From a modeling aspect, separating the railroad right of way from the apartments seemed like a good safety aspect, so I dropped some brick wall sections from Armorcast around the east and south sides of the property to secure the boundaries. It also makes a nice divide with the backside of the convenience store 6' tall

Boundary between the store and the apartment. It's going to be a tight fit for the garbage truck.

The parking lot feels cramped, but again for modeling purposes, I'll be compressing the scene a bit to better fit the buildings into the available space.

The parking lot will be a crowded space when the cars and dumpster are added.

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