Author Topic: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?  (Read 2480 times)

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Kisatchie

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Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« on: July 21, 2016, 12:53:56 PM »
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I'm trying to plan out a city block of Design Preservation Models buildings, but I'm wondering if I should butt the buildings against each other, or leave an alley between each building. If I butt the buildings against each other, do I substitute a sheet of styrene for each end wall and not use the DPM sidewalls? If I do that, where a two story building abuts a 3 story building, blank styrene will show. I'm really leaning toward leaving alleys between buildings so building side detail can be seen.

FWIW, the SMALL town I live in has a block-long business district, and the buildings butt up against each other except for an alley mid-block.


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Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
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"It works! It works!"

Philip H

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2016, 01:23:34 PM »
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@Kisatchie,

Most small towns are mixed - they will generally have several blocks that butt, a block or two with butts and alleys, and then newer stuff - usually separated by parking lots.  So you can go any way you want.  for the 2 vs 3 story thing - DPM buildings can be cut with a knife and straight edge if you do it slowly and carefully, so you could take the 3 story side, measure up the two story portion and cut below that.
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GimpLizard

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2016, 01:34:24 PM »
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Actually, from looking around the small city's in these parts (SE Wisconsin; Lake Geneva, Burlington, Elkhorn, etc.) it seems most downtown buildings butt up against each other. Though there are a few occasional narrow (walkway) gaps. And a couple of alleys, also. So I would suggest you do both. While leaning more towards butting them against each other.

As for blank styrene for end walls, that would definitely be doable on the shorter buildings. Then you could "save" the unused walls for kit-bashing projects. For the taller (3-story) buildings you'd need to use the kit walls. Or at least that portion that would show. You might also need to "brick up" a couple of windows in the taller buildings. If they fall mid-roof of the building next to it.

One of the "old timers", Earl Smallshaw, used to preach about not modeling what won't be seen. His buildings not only had blank side walls, but rear walls also. If it couldn't be seen from the normal viewing angle(s), he didn't waste time or money on it.

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2016, 01:34:45 PM »
+2
I mix'em up...

Buildings right next to each other separated by alley ways from other buildings:







I did not have to do anything special when butting buildings directly against each other... I just did it and they came out fine.  I even have a Walther's building butted-up against a DPM building.

jmlaboda

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2016, 01:35:47 PM »
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Quote
FWIW, the SMALL town I live in has a block-long business district, and the buildings butt up against each other except for an alley mid-block.

You pretty much already have your answer, though it really depends on how long your blocks are.  As for the walls having two placed between two storefronts is typical since they were not always built at the same time.  But you can find a lot of examples where there was only one wall between structures too, when they were built around the same time.  The wall parts are an important part of the overall structure and quite often there were doorways built into the upper stories to pass from one store's upper level to another.  In looking at a local town on Google Satellite I could see where only one wall was used between most of the stores but where one store was longer than the other and not necessarily as high it was necessary to have two different heights to the walls, basically using the back end of the longer store, spliced onto the exterior wall of the sorter one if it was taller.

Also, sometimes storefronts had access to the upper floors on the side of the building, typically with a metal stairway and landing at the side door.  In a case such as this a walkway would be needed about twice the width of the stairway, laid out in concrete, so folks needed to enter or exit the upper floors can do so without any trouble.

I suspect that if you use single walls between two or more stores you will have to cut off a small portion of the storefronts to provide for the storefronts to fit properly between what will become the new wall.  Shouldn't be that difficult to do with the DPM buildings but a bear if you were having to do so with some of the Magnuson resin buildings.  Keep your cuts straight and relatively clean so splicing the walls won't be a problem... overall it should help to create the proper look without "gaps" from the storefront end.

Hope this helps...


Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2016, 01:55:45 PM »
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Go look!
https://goo.gl/maps/k83q5kJjrVR2

Don't forget streetview.

It's answered many of my own questions about York while researching for my layout.

wm3798

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2016, 02:38:51 PM »
+1
It's always important to remember that buildings are subject to the available real estate.  Sure it's nice to have those straight lines and right angles, but how dull!


Sometimes the lay of the land or a bend in the track creates an odd-shaped lot, or my favorite method, deliberately skewing the street grid 30 degrees or so from the track plan, so you end up with triangular bits of real estate.  In a busy town, those lots are still valuable, so don't be afraid to cut up the back and side walls of those DPM kits and squeeze every bit of rent you can!



Also, don't forget to include some elevation along your streets.  Even the flattest parts of the prairie, southern Louisiana and the Delmarva peninsula have some rise and fall to them.  Build up foundations under the buildings, and have the sidewalk rise to meet the front doors.

Lee
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wm3798

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2016, 04:40:11 PM »
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...and don't forget to detail those alleys!
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OldEastRR

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2016, 09:07:55 PM »
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It's always important to remember that buildings are subject to the available real estate.  Sure it's nice to have those straight lines and right angles, but how dull!

Lee
Damn straight! Looks like for some lot sizes there's only room enough to put up two walls... :D :trollface:

JMaurer1

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2016, 11:58:36 AM »
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As already pointed out: If a building was already built, when they built the next building, they would just use the common wall that already existed so save that wall for scratchbuilding.

Most towns (cities, whatever) started with a main intersection. On this intersection was usually the most important buildings for a town: a bank (or two). As you get further away from this intersection, the buildings usually became smaller and spaced further apart (alleys and walkways). Also, don't forget a theater and a park (to show that the town was upscale and sophisticated). When I think of 'old' downtowns, there isn't much to choose from in California, but Petaluma has really been trying to restore its downtown to its former glory.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.2340792,-122.6402829,3a,75y,202.98h,99.15t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sK7-QjQmnSR2Sz3oKr9P6jg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Note: Bank (now an antique store), no gaps between buildings, and very colorful paint. Theater is just to the left down the street and park to the right by another bank.
Sacramento Valley NTrak

Kisatchie

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2016, 12:16:04 PM »
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After listening to all the comments here, I think I'll butt the 3 story buildings against each other, and leave an alley where they would meet the 2 story buildings that are butted to each other. So, one alley in the city block.

Hmm... does Woodland
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and Victims set...?





« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 12:42:35 PM by Kisatchie »
Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

160pennsy

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2016, 01:00:57 PM »
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Hmm... does Woodland
Scenics make a Muggers
and Victims set...?



Model Power does - #1382 Crime Scenes

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Kisatchie

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2016, 01:11:49 PM »
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Model Power does - #1382 Crime Scenes



Wow, I gotta find a set!


Hmm... the search begins...

Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

Kisatchie

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2016, 01:21:43 PM »
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Rats! The only set I could find is on eBay, and they want $8+, and over $9 shipping. Ouch!


Hmm... that's robbery...

Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

peteski

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Re: Small Town Business District - How to Arrange Buildings?
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2016, 01:39:31 PM »
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Preiser makes a "ladies of the night" set too, but as with all Preiser figures, it is pricey.
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