Author Topic: Update on Modeling National Carbon  (Read 899 times)

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jdcolombo

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Update on Modeling National Carbon
« on: November 30, 2018, 04:08:00 PM »
+16
Hi everyone.

It's been a while since I updated my thread on my project to recreate part of the National Carbon plant in Fostoria, OH on my NKP layout.  For those interested in the background, visit this thread:

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=40722

Since it's been so long, I thought I'd post one last update in a new thread. 

The last building in this complex - originally called the "Coke Storage Building" - has been finished.  As with the other buildings, this one was designed by Old East RR, who fashioned a "kit" that I then put together and painted.  Here's a photo of the building on the layout:

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Since this is the last main building, for fun I tried taking a photo of the complex that would mimic the original photo that we started with just to see how close we came in recreating the plant.  While the two photos aren't exactly at the same angle, and there are some obvious differences in window sizes and placement here and there, I'm pretty pleased with the final outcome.

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And here is a sort of "overview" photo of the entire complex:

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Of course, I still have a bunch of details to add to the scene, including that road that stands out in the original photo.  But after about 2 1/2 years of Old East designing buildings, sending kits to me for construction, altering some things (I ended up pushing the backdrop back an inch to accommodate the final building in the size we wanted), I think I now have a pretty good rendition of National Carbon as it existed in 1957 - and a great-looking industry on my N-scale NKP layout.  My thanks to Old East for all his work on this, and the various techniques he developed along the way (like mounting the windows on brass wire so we could put them in various open positions) to make this a reality.

John C.

nthusiast

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2018, 04:51:41 PM »
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Beautiful work. Looking forward to seeing the added detail.   

Steveruger45

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2018, 05:16:39 PM »
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Really nice work John.
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

Kentuckian

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2018, 05:33:44 PM »
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A structure complex like this really shows the advantages of N scale, especially when it is this well done.
Modeling the C&O in Eastern Kentucky.
C&O HS

OldEastRR

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2018, 08:19:56 PM »
+1
The model was selectively compressed by 2/5.

muktown128

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2018, 09:48:07 PM »
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Very impressive.  Definitely captures the overall look of the prototype.

carlso

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2018, 10:14:33 PM »
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Very nice John. Thanks for sharing.

Carl
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

Santa Fe Guy

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2018, 11:04:32 PM »
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Great looking complex. Very nice scratch building and kit bashing going on here.
Rod.
Santafesd40.blogspot.com

jdcolombo

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2018, 09:46:06 AM »
+1
Great looking complex. Very nice scratch building and kit bashing going on here.
Rod.

Yes, Old East basically made all this stuff from scratch; there are a few parts from commercial kits (some of the "alligator teeth" building sides came from a kit, but they had to be modified).  All I know is I never could have done this myself.  I don't have either the imagination or artistic talent.  Old East started with the photo, the Sanborn fire map showing the relative building footprints, and some very old postcards done by an artist (not a photograph) showing the south end of the plant in the early 1900's, and recreated everything from that.  We did get some help from a manager at the plant, who sent us some current photos of the furnace complex which is still there today (that's the building at the far back of the scene that angles into the backdrop), and some copies of aerial shots of the plant in the 1960's and 1970's.

Most of what is in this scene was torn down long ago, but National Carbon is still operating in Fostoria.  The north plant area was newer and that is still fully operational.  They are one of the only makers of custom carbon motor brushes in the entire world.

John C.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 09:47:54 AM by jdcolombo »

narrowminded

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2018, 10:55:00 PM »
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That is pretty outstanding John and Old East RR! 8)
Mark G.

Roger Holmes

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2018, 07:36:19 PM »
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It looks even better in person!
Best regards,

Roger

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nuno81291

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2018, 08:21:37 PM »
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Looks excellent. Very unique, signature looking complex. Won’t see it all over like many common kits. The novelty alone is big points. Well done!!
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

Mark5

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2018, 11:56:11 PM »
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Nice work OldeastRR  8)

mmagliaro

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2018, 09:52:15 AM »
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That's really great work, you guys! OldEastRR: One of the most impressive things is that it does not look compressed, even though you say it is only 40% of full size. You maintained the proportions wonderfully.

OldEastRR

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Re: Update on Modeling National Carbon
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2018, 03:50:50 AM »
+1
More like 60% of full size. If done w/o selective compression the buildings would have been huge, each one way bigger than standard factory kits. As it is, the buildings are more Z scale than N -- except for the N sized doors. Wonder what a Z boxcar would look like among them.
One thing I learned from this if you want to copy a prototype accurately the only real way to go is scratchbuild. (as max does) Modifying or remaking pre-made plastic kits is way more labor-intensive and the features may come close but don't duplicate the prototype.
We made a miscalculation in how much of the plant to actually duplicate. I think it's because we're used to having lots of room to do stuff in N scale. However we failed to really examine how big each of these buildings were -- you'd think we'd have noticed how teeny the 40' boxcars looked next to them. However the selective compression saved us.
The fascination for me was the jumble of building construction types from building to building. Different windows, roof heights, different roof styles (I love those sawtooth types),  small structures on the roof, building additions or extensions -- sometimes all on the same building -- probably are the major reason a model looks so "real".
What do you guys think about having an article how to build one of these buildings? It would be the most complex one. Or would that be strictly a craftsman-interest piece? (if I tried to write up the entire project it'd take a book)
And I have to recommend Monster Modelworks laser cut brick sheets for fidelity to detail. Glad the company will still be around with a new owner.
One thing does puzzle me - I modeled it from the original but have absolutely no idea what the upside-down V pipe on the sawtooth roof was supposed to be in real life. Anybody take a guess?