Ghost Buildings Come to Pembroke

Last night I put the last of the roofs on what model railroaders call building mockups. I think architects would call these white foam core boxes “massing models.”  As with an architect, they enable me to study the shapes from various angles.  I may colour them with soft pastels at some point, but right now I’m enjoying their modern simplicity.

Pembroke building mockup a

As with everything else on Pembroke, these massing models took a little longer than expected.  The few buildings where I have decent information, were quite quick.  However, critical ones like the Gordon Block (the large cube toward the  backdrop) and the carriage factory (the long peaked building opposite the depot) took some serious reflection.  

At times I felt like a builder, and at others I felt like a painter.  Despite all the time looking at photographs, I’m fairly sure the Gordon Block is too big and the carriage factory is too small.  

Compared to fine modelling, massing models are cheap and fast, but I find myself wishing I had something more like clay to work with.  This would have enabled me to experiment with the shapes even more until they matched the  photos. 

I’m going to let the mockups sit for a while before I tentatively finalize their sizes and shapes.  So these are done at least until my sister comes.  Even with white buildings and blue ground, the town is starting to take shape and tell its own story; interestingly, it is a story that I am enjoying as much as anyone. 


5 thoughts on “Ghost Buildings Come to Pembroke

  1. Very nice. This method allows some photo addition to walls and roofs as well to give some color and textural feedback as well. Warning!: As mock-ups get nicer they tend to stick around a long time!

    On a side note: what is in the tender?

    1. Thanks! The way I work, these models won’t need any help sticking around for a long time :).
      The tender – yes – I need to put it back together as I no longer need access to the sound decoder.

  2. It’s neat to see the overall scene coming together. Having these mockups in place would not only make it easier to see get a sense of the general dimensions of each structure but also how they will all relate to each other within the overall scene.

    Nice too, to have them as reference points for those visiting the layout to help them relate to the scene.


      1. Inspired by your massing models I put together a little N scale grain elevator.

        As useful as these are as tools to help visualize and refine the use of an existing space, while building mine I was reminded of how well they deliver that “need to make a model of something, anything” fix.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s