Tuesday, July 23, 2013

J Street Buildings

These new structures are all patterned after Oakdale businesses of the 1880s-90s.
J street was the southernmost street in Oakdale and there really weren't many business down there. The railroad, however, had a gap which just had to be filled. I delved into my supply of kits and came up with a couple of good ones. They are all patterned after businesses that were in Oakdale during the 1880s and 1890s. The first structure, the Tuolumne Cheap Cash store was covered before in my post of August 12, 2012. The next in line is Barkis's Dry Goods and Grocery store. The lettering was copied from a photo of the prototype structure and the building did indeed have the fancy Old English style font. That business and the adjacent Hubbell's Sample Room were from Main Street Heritage kits. The final structure is a Woodland Scenics building which translated into a Chinese laundry.

The second floor of the Barkis building is occupied by the Barkis family plus a single lady, Lotta Kerr who is a dressmaker. Yes, Miss Kerr was a dressmaker in Oakdale.

The two signs on the porch posts advertise Boca Beer, a very popular California brew in the 1890s which was sold by Mr. Hubbell. The Chinese characters do proclaim the building a laundry. They came from a sheet of Chinese signs which  wording I had verified by a Chinese gentleman with whom I worked.
   In the nineteenth century, another euphenism for a bar was a sample room. The name, I suppose, added some gentility to the occupation. There is a photo in my collection of Mr. Hubbell standing outside of his establishment adjacent to two Boca Beer signs similar to those on the model. The laundry is freelanced.

A Dempster windmill pumps water to the small tank which supplies the needs of the residents on this block.
Since windmills show up everywhere in photos and on insurance maps, I had to add a few. This one was built from a Vista kit to which I added the Dempster lettering based on the prototype Dempster mills. My research has led me to looking into windmill manufacturers. They all had their own colorful designs with their names painted on the vane. The railroad will include a number of different manufacturers as I continue to build them.
   More oak trees need to be made and planted. That will be the next project. After all, there was a reason the town was named Oakdale.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Operator Aids - Station Plats

Positioned next to the fast clock and shelf, the plat can help visiting operators find the industries they want.
The Stockton & Copperopolis has been operating now for over four years with minimal on-layout help for operators. I had made up some tent cards and placed them at industrial sidings but the crews still had to search to find the right siding (Unfortunately, those cards will remain until the industry they represent is built). A couple of years ago, I printed out portions of my layout plan and placed them at switching locations to give operators a better view of things but blue masking tape holding up copy paper didn't really look that great. I wanted something that looked professional but could be easily changed if I added a siding or industry.While operating on Dave Acheson's layout last weekend, I noticed the signs he had and asked him about them. They looked good and met my requirements so I decided to incorporate them on the S&C.
Acrylic picture frames are the foundation of the S&C's station plats. The rear stand must be removed so that the frame can lay flat on the fascia.
   The basis of the station plats (so the prototype called these small maps) is a series of acrylic picture frames made by Green Tree Gallery. I bought mine at the local Hobby Lobby (www.hobbylobby.com). They come in several sizes and orientations. I used the 5 x 3-1/2, the 6 x 4 and the 7 x 5 frames. This one-piece frame has a built-in stand which is not need so I sawed it off using my table saw. This gave me a flat frame which was then attached to the layout fascia with double-sided tape. Using Adobe Illustrator, I drew up some better-looking plats sized to fit the frames and am quite pleased with the results. In my eyes anyway, they add to the railroad and, hopefully, the ease of its operation.
The finished plat gives the relative location of the industries at each switching location.