Ralph's Layout Self-improvement Blog
Ralph ...

I really like the scene, with the ball field and the umpire and the guys watching from up on the billboard and it's all really neat stuff ... very well done ...

... but there is one thing that jumped at me, the guy who gets 'lost in the minutia," as my daughter says, and I had to mention it.

§175. Position and manner of display
(i) When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left.

Lehigh Susquehanna & Western 

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." ~~Abraham Lincoln
Cheers Yep, you're right! The Flag is a little sticker that is not printed on the other side to allow for proper display. Its all been removed from the layout anyway and a new building is in the works.


It's such a really neat, complete scene, Ralph! I really debated saying anything, but eventually the OCD took over. Then it was, should I say it "out loud" on the forum, or should I PM him? Impatience won out there.

I have been roaming the Web when I decide to just sit for a bit, and hunting for Old Glory that I can capture, reduce and print out for when I need one. Mostly, I 've been looking at 48-Star flags, but I'll keep an eye open for newer ones and get the URL's for you for your new scene ... or you'll find them before I do ... whatever. It is just a thought.

Lehigh Susquehanna & Western 

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." ~~Abraham Lincoln
I've been thinking. The LBP that hung the flag from the railing was following the custom from his point of view... making it backwards to us....
Three Foot Rule In Effect At All Times

Lehigh Susquehanna & Western 

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." ~~Abraham Lincoln
Just a reminder of what things looked like....

Ralph Wrote:[Image: IMG_1890.jpg]Ralph

And a look at how things look now!
I created this thread to motivate myself to make improvements and changes. I've been very gradually working on this area of my layout, trying to figure out what I wanted there and how to make it. Here is an overall view.

[Image: IMG_1971.jpg]

GERN Industries on the left is unchanged as is the ball field. The new Battaglia Bros. Warehouse and Blue Ribbon Flour have been added.

Looking left to right first is the large Battaglia Bros. Warehouse. I made this backdrop flat following methods outlined by Mike Palmiter (in Railroad Model Craftsman several years ago) whose work can be seen in this link: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.thetrainexchange.net/mikepix.htm">http://www.thetrainexchange.net/mikepix.htm</a><!-- m --> . Mike uses mat board and masking tape on plexliglass sheets to create large structures. When looking at Goggle Images of warehouses I found a photo of a large building owned by Butler Brothers. I liked the alliteration with the B's and thumbed through my phone book until I found a name I liked that also suggested "east coast".

[Image: IMG_1976.jpg]

A little more to the right you can see the large Grain Belt Beer sign. I'm mixing my regions since this is a Minneapolis landmark. Our local paper printed this image a few years ago and I cut it out to make a good sign for the layout that I knew local visitors would recognize. I have my freeloading ball fans sitting on the sign now instead of on the roof behind the ball field.

[Image: IMG_1975.jpg]

Dinner time!!!! I'll post more later. Smile


I like the heavy industrial look

Reminds me of Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles) along side the B&O... err... CSX.

Looks great Ralph! Love it! Thumbsup
Thanks! Moving a little more to the right we see Blue Ribbon Flour, also made with masking tape on plexiglass. I made the windows by printing off some online graph paper and copying it to transparencies at Kinkos.

[Image: IMG_1977.jpg]

I decided on making some sort of mill so I could add silos to break up the flat building surfaces.

[Image: IMG_1972.jpg]

I decided to keep the bridge by the stadium and made this the road to the mill. I need to create grade crossings. I found a photo in an old Model Railroader magazine that seemed to help extend the mill beyond the layout as the road passes between the silos.

[Image: IMG_1973.jpg]

My inspiration for Blue Ribbon Flour was this building I found on Google Images...a former flour mill turned condo! <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.denverinfill.com/images/redev/prospect/01_flour_mill2.jpg">http://www.denverinfill.com/images/rede ... _mill2.jpg</a><!-- m -->

I'm much more happy with the way this area looks now. I still have some details I'd like to add such as a Blue Ribbon Flour sign on the top of the elevator by the silos, some piping or other detail to mask the top edge of the magazine photo behind the silos, and some ball players for the field, but otherwise things are shaping up pretty well.


Ralph Wrote:A little farther down the line...

[Image: IMG_1868.jpg]
I like the little collection of buildings that make the business district of West Mill and I like the grade crossing. I've added some signs to the buildings but I may have over done it with the enormous ice cream cone on the small grocery store and the billboard supports could be more realistic for all of the signs.

[Image: IMG_1867.jpg]
I'm fairly happy with this section. I like the forest of trees and the farm scenery. That cheap plastic barn has got to go though. I would like to scratchbuild a good looking barn...perhaps one that has started to deteriorate. I need to install a tunnel portal on the far left. The swimming pool will remain forever as it was a gift from my Godson and I like it!. Smile The house was a kitbash of mine. Not bad. Could use some details.....

Ralph, a number of things stand out in these scenes that I think you could fix pretty easily. These are all intended to be constructive and amiable observations, not at all meant to insult your pretty awesome modeling!

First of all, the poolhouse needs a coat of primer and some pastel-colored 1950's paint. (Cheery Yellow or Charcoal Gray, or Turquoise anyone? with white trim to match) The House should similarly be primered and painted to remove the plastic and glue sheen. The pool is good as-is.

Second of all, I'd redesign the town where your grocery store is to have the buildings climb uphill with a wider road, I doubt any main street would be that narrow! A long term project would be minimizing the use of retaining walls and sheer cliffs if you can manage it, but that may prove overly difficult without a serious re-work.

I'd obscure the crude back-ends of the Baseball grandstands with low trees and perhaps a fence.

With the massive hudson cement plant nearby, wouldn't a more interesting small industry (like say a machine shop, implement dealer, carpentry shop, appliance manufacturer, tannery, or similar) add some more interest and not compete with the HC-plant?

As a final note, I'd seriously, and instantly remove all hot-wheels and those Vapid and ugly Bachmann 70's cars from your layout, they distract the eye with their gaudy colors and complete lack of detail. In some cases no vehicles are better than some. Then slowly begin to purchase newer, more detailed autos. I did the same thing myself couple of years ago and never regretted it. (Plus those Botchmann cars make excellent junkyard cars with their glass busted out!)

I hope this helps, let me know what you think. Your layout has SO much potential, and is already "slap-fantastic" as Deano says. Cheers

Also, to add interest, why not have the bridge be an over-pass into the flour mill?
Hi Miles,

I appreciate the feedback. One of the things you mentioned in particular really caught my attention. I never gave any thought to the appearance of the back of the bleachers at the ball field. They are crude! Confusedhock: I think that some bushes or trees to hide them would be a very good idea. Yikes!

I appreciate your other suggestions as well. I relocated the little Ready Mix company away from Hudson Cement and will locate Canton Box Co. in its place.

The town of West Mill is pretty limited as far as development up the hill is concerned. I just might create the illusion the street is wider by removing the cars. Smile

Thanks for taking a close look. I created this thread in part so I could see the things I was missing. Extra eyes really help me out. Thumbsup

Your changes look great Ralph. I had to re-read the part about Blue Ribbon being made from masking tape over plexi-glass, with the widows being made from tranperancies. I couldn't believe it. Nicely done sir!
Looks sharp!

A detiorating barn would be neat, but tricky. the boads tend to warp in particular ways, but if you can pull it off, you win the game!
Modeling New Jersey Under the Wire 1978-1979.  
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