Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cleanup at Plant 51

One of the great things about the model railroad hobby is that I sometimes just get distracted from the high-priority projects on my list, and can instead just dash off on some other lark for a little while.

This weekend, for example. My to-do list (both at home and on the layout) is pretty long, but I was poking around at photos I'd catalogued on Lookback Maps, and took another look at this photo of Plant 51 from the 1920's. I'd gotten a little annoyed when I first found this photo because it showed lots of details I wasn't modeling.

Here's a look at some of the detail in that photo.

Re-examining that photo got me excited about making the building more correct - modeling the ivy, roof over the docks, and larger building just behind with the large California Packing Corporation (aka Calpac, aka Del Monte) lettering. The to-do list went out the window, except for mowing the lawns. I adding all those details in: washing the building with white paint for mortar, started building the dock roof and a flat for the background building, and added ivy on the building. There were also two painted signs visible along the loading dock - a Del Monte logo, and a list of their products. After a bit of work with the printer and some do-it-yourself decal paper, I had those signs reproduced on the model. I also ballasted the track leading into Plant 51 (or, more precisely, buried it in dirt sifted from the backyard).

Here's the before-and-after photos showing the progress this weekend. I still need to finish the dock roofs, add the background building, and add some weeds around at appropriate places.

And regardless of whether I made progress on the to-do list, I'm feeling a bit better about this corner of the layout. More news on the Plant 51 changes as they develop...

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