Author Topic: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant  (Read 4328 times)

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Dave Schneider

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Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« on: August 29, 2009, 03:20:21 AM »
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Scratchbuilding the Schlitz Bottling Plant: AKA, Modeling for Mere Mortals

After looking at all the inspiring work posted recently by Tom Mann, I figured that this forum could use a little reality check from someone who is a mere mortal. Otherwise, we might all throw in the towel and take up scrap booking or drinking beer and watching football. Not that there is anything wrong with that...

As my signature claims, I am allegedly working on building the Milwaukee Road Beer Line circa 1972 in N scale. This line served three major breweries on the east side of Milwaukee: Schlitz, Pabst, and Blatz (although some argue that Blatz really wasn't beer). This six mile line was at one time one of the largest generators of traffic on the MR, shipping hundreds of cars daily. Of these three breweries, Schlitz had the largest operation and shipped beer from a large bottling house located across the tracks from the grain plant and brew house. Full size, this building scales out to something like 200 by 600 feet or so, and was served  by seven tracks. My version is a bit more modest at 46 by 14 inches and 4 tracks each holding four 50 foot cars.

Here is an aerial overview from the south. The bottling plant is the large structure in the center, behind the Pabst elevators (in the foreground) and between the tracks and the Milwaukee River. The southern portion of the building was for truck shipping, and the north end was where the railcars were loaded.



Here is a view from the east showing the red brick bottling plant.




As you can see, this building presents some challenges. The long continuous windows a really define the look (almost Prairie Style)...but obviously there aren't any viable commercial windows available Furthermore, the long run of brick presents a challenge if using styrene brick sheet, as there would be quite a few seems to deal width. These issues led me to go old school and use brick paper (really card stock) laminated over a shell.

As this is a rather large building, I decided to utilize 3/16 Gatorboard for the main structure, and then overlay it with styrene, thin cardboard (0.025 inch), and brick texture from the Clever Models texture DVD. The windows were made using transparency film overlain over a mottled black background (Clever Models dark asphalt).

Here is my first wall, the east side of the building showing the windows and background. This is the side with the truck dock, which is inset from the main wall. The black background is attached with thin carpet tape, and the transparency film windows are attached with something called "Really Sticky Tape" (both of which I hope with be permanent).


The brick sides were produced from a Clever Models pdf file, from which I made a 11x17 pdf and printed it on large card stock sheets (to eliminate seams). This card stock was laminated on 0.025 thick cardboard to provide depth. The great thing about using the card stock is that when I need more, I just head to the printer (and it comes out painted). Here are a couple of shots showing this mocked up.





The loading doors are from Clever Models, and I drew up the black dock seals. Note the truck dock is printed on regular paper which gives it a different color (this will be fixed). The windows will be trimmed with concrete painted styrene, the doors with be recessed, and the dock seals will be laminated on cardboard to provide more depth. The entire truck dock will also be recessed more to provide more depth and a more accurate roof overhang. This is very much a work in progress but I am happy with how it is coming together. I will provide updates as they happen, but I am a slow worker. I welcome comments or suggestions.

BTW, I enjoyed a nice cold bottle of Schlitz with my halibut fish and chips tonight for dinner. This new old Schlitz was procured on a recent trip back to Wisconsin and uses the 1960s recipe. Now all they have to do is resurrect the Milwaukee Road and rebuild the Beer Line!

Best wishes, Dave
 




« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 01:33:55 PM by Dave Schneider »
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

John

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2009, 08:13:01 AM »
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I like this technique ..  what are they selling these PDFs for?

My layout is primarily a big long shelf .. so flat models will be a big part of it.

tom mann

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2009, 09:25:15 AM »
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This looks great.  Did you know that they have industrial windows that would look right?

John,  I have the Texture DVD with 70 textures for $30.

wm3798

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2009, 10:00:32 AM »
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I would add some dimension to it by using some Evergreen strip stock to add window ledges and what not.  You could also build out the loading door diaphragms with styrene to make it look less flat.

I would also try to figure out a way to give the impression of interior lighting.  I can see in this image the structural columns behind the windows.  That would be an important feature to include even though the exterior is a continuous bank of windows.



Maybe the answer would be to set the asphalt texture back 1/4", then use some LEDs to wash the interior of the windows.  Some Evergreen strip could simulate the structural columns.

I've put some thought into this, because the WM had planned to replace Hillen Station with a new office building with a very similar design. 

Right now to my eye it looks good, but too flat.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

pfs

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2009, 10:16:50 AM »
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Looks like a good start.

I agree that adding some depth would improve the realism.

There was a two part article on creating 'photo buildings' in the old Hundman Publishing N Scale, if I recall correctly the second part discussed techniques for creating 3D effects etc.  Off the top of my head I do not recall the issue information.

Dave Schneider

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2009, 11:46:01 AM »
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This looks great.  Did you know that they have industrial windows that would look right?

John,  I have the Texture DVD with 70 textures for $30.

Tom,

To which ones are you referring? I have spent a fair bit of time trying out the various windows on the DVD but couldn't find any that really worked well. I tried making composite files of the windows are rescaling them but couldn't come up with anything had the proper look. I have been lobbying the Clever guys to include more windows and doors on their DVDs and they seem energized to produce new products. Thanks for the encouragement.

Best wishes, Dave

If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

tom mann

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2009, 12:48:20 PM »
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Maybe this:



or this:


NorfolkSouthern9708

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2009, 01:14:25 PM »
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Can anybody else see the pictures, cause I can't.

Dave Schneider

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2009, 01:32:40 PM »
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Nope, I can't see them either...maybe it is because they are windows. ;)

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.


Dave Schneider

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2009, 02:30:09 PM »
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Tom and Chris,

Thanks for the suggestions. Those are the ones that I tried (Glass Factory Wall and Industrial Windows). I tired to modify these in Adobe Illustrator to produce a longer, more continuous look but wasn't happy with the results. Part of this has to do with the issue that Mike Skibbe brought up in a cardstock thread on the Atlas board, which is once you go down the road of photo-realism using these textures, how to you blend them with models built from traditional methods? The current supply of available windows is too limited for me at this point (or I just haven't found them yet) to consider using window textures for all the buildings I want to create.

On the issue of adding depth, I agree with all those who have suggested ways of doing this. All the windows and doors will be recessed and most of the truck doors will be open. I plan on using a shadow box method for the interior by the truck doors and have created tiny pallets of Schlitz beer cases to put inside.

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

SAH

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2009, 09:55:58 PM »
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This is a cool project Dave.  I'm looking forward to seeing how you resolve some of these issues.  Looks great so far.

Steve

tom mann

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2010, 10:32:34 AM »
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Any updates Dave?

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2010, 11:57:58 AM »
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I just started looking at the clever models stuff.

I think I just found my solution for building Baltimore...

tom mann

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Re: Building the Schlitz Bottling Plant
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2010, 12:50:24 PM »
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Ed:

While the clever models are indeed clever, prepare to spend a lot of time fixing seams, adjusting the image so it looks right on the printer, and photoshopping in little details.  A better approach is the Lance Mindheim method of using your own photos (if you can).