You find a lot of towns with French names in
Wisconsin (Prairie du Chien, LaCrosse, and Fon du Lac come immediately to
mind). And since this town was right near the far point of the layout...
need I say more?
This will be the second largest town on the
layout. Jubala Milling is the big mamu in town.
This is the third area on the layout that I've
done scenery for; I began working on it in late February, 2001.
Click here to see the
final track configuration and LaPointe's industries (at the bottom of the page).
||LaPointe is directly on the
other other side of the backdrop from the Andersen plant in Froton).
I used some of the buildings I'd had on my previous layout to get an
idea of size and placement. (You'll see these same buildings in the Westcott photo, too!) None of them are in the
finished town... except Jubala Milling, the large white building.
||I decided to try something
different with this area of the layout: using 2" rigid foam
insulation for the base and mountain contours. It's a scenery
technique I'd never tried, but read a lot about. So here's the
town before I started carving the foam. That's a "stand-in"
tunnel portal marking the other end of the Froton/LaPointe
peninsula tunnel. The real one gets inserted after the messy
plastering is finished. (February 2001)
||Same shot, after the foam was
carved and the initial Hydrocal-soaked paper towels have been
added. It's impossible to tell, but a track spur has also been
added to the area directly in the center of the picture. There'll
be one little industry down there, with the rest being to the left of
the downtown area. (February 2001)
||These are the final buildings
that'll be used in the town. The industry on the right is a
significantly kitbashed DPM Gold "Drywell's Inks." The
buildings on the left are Walthers' "Merchants Row I,"
containing shops named for my grandmother ("Louise's Korner Kafe"),
my business partner ("Harv's Sporting Goods") and my
sister-in-law's husband ("Tim's Hardware"). I cut a 4-story
DPM "M.T. Arms Hotel" back down to 3-stories and mounted
all the buildings on a Masonite base. I then added sidewalks of
.040 styrene, and, in this picture, was testing out a photograph on the
backdrop. (April, 2001)
||Here's the initial coat of
Sculptamold, a plaster/paper material that resembles cottage cheese when
wet. It's a great material to use for forming hills. The
brown stuff is a coating of Sculptamold added several days earlier, and
painted. (April, 2001)
||Here's a view of both Neener
Street in town, and the alley behind it that serves Drywell Inks.
The black-ballasted track next to the retaining wall is the spur that
serves Drywell, and the brown-ballasted track is the mainline. The
sky ends so abruptly because that's the point where the backdrop turns
180-degrees. (April, 2001)
||Here's a peek down Neener
Street. While doing some town planning I decided to have the
street take a jog, to try to hide the fact that it dead-ends at the
backdrop. I couldn't make it work. In fact, it was so
jarring to the eye, it drew attention to itself. I struggled with
the problem over a period of several nights, and suddenly a solution
presented itself -- a mirror. I'd seen mirrors used before (and
had used one of my own in Froton), but had
never seen it done quite this way: the two-tone car and street in the
distance are actually a reflection of a scene hidden in the hotel...
which is a building with no front. (Yes, I plan on turning this
into a modeling article.) (April, 2001)
||Here's a closer view of the
end of that scene. The green and red building on the right is only
half of a building -- the mirror splits it right down the center of the
double doors. The "shadow" on the street is really the bottom
edge of the mirror. The "LaPointe Midnight Madness"
banner hanging across the street is hiding the top edge of the
mirror. The buildings "down the street" are a
photo. If you look closely at the lower right of the picture, you
can see the trunk of the real car being reflected. (April,
||Here's the inside of the
false-back hotel, with the photographed scene pasted inside. (April,
||And here's the scene with the
false-back hotel removed. The flower planter and flag in the
roundabout, two-tone car, and the trunk of the partial beige car parked
next to the partial building are all reflected in the mirror, which is
pretty well unhidden in this shot. (April, 2001)
||Next, I started the scenery on
the area just to the left of LaPointe. Here's a visitor's view
from Highway 27 of the approach to LaPointe. (The sign in the
foreground says "Lovely LaPointe, The end of the earth."
You've seen the map -- it is!) Because the road ends at the
fascia board, I built a little stone retaining wall for it. After
autos cross the 3 tracks here, they take a right onto the hill that
leads to Neener Street. The road is made from black foam core, painted
gray and weathered with pastel chalks. (June, 2001)
||In August I began working on
the Ravine area (to the far left in this shot),
but came back at one point to fill in the scenery between that and the
town of LaPointe. Here's the hydrocal-over-extruded-foam base
(white) that butts up against the backdrop. The black area is where the
Bicktul building will go. The white building on the right is Jubala
Milling, directly next to downtown LaPointe. (September 2001)
||The first industry to be added
at this side of LaPointe is the Bicktul Company, the black-ish building
on the left. Across the tracks is Hunt Paints. I had room for a
siding here, but not much else. So I modeled Hunt Paints to appear
as if the building had been sliced off at the edge of the layout.
||Here's what Hunt Paints looks
like from the aisle (the building's not permanently mounted in this
shot). The main office is at the left, the loading dock is on the
right. Upstairs are the administration offices. Details
upstairs include a hardwood floor, wainscoting, a couple of ladies and
their desks, and Mr. Hunt's office. I got carried away with
details here, and added everything from a fire extinguisher on the wall
to pulls on the window shades and a typewriter on the desk. (December
||And here's a close-up of that
scratchbuilt fire extinguisher up on the second floor, right next to the
office doorway. It's less than 1/4" tall. (December
||By a happy coincidence the
planets aligned and I made something I always wanted: a working wig-wag
signal. I'd just happened to buy a pair of non-working wig-wags
from American Limited (excellent models) when I stumbled upon an article
by Woody Langley in the April '92 Model Railroader on
scratchbuilding and powering a wig-wag. Needless to say I didn't
do the former, but used his article as the basis for doing the
latter. And here it is, wigging and wagging outside of
LaPointe. It's activated by yet another Rob
Paisley circuit. (June 2002)
trackplan and industries
||Drywell Inks is on the far south side of
LaPointe and manufactures printing ink. It's a kitbash of the DPM
Gold Series "Drywell Inks" kit, and one of the few industries
for which I used the manufacturer's suggested name. To this day,
that disappoints me.
||Jubala Milling is named after one of my
old college roommates and great friend, Jack Jubala. Among
much else, Jack taught me to bake French bread from scratch...which is
why his name on the mill is so apropos. Jubala Milling is an
unmodified Walthers kit, built in the days before this layout was
begun. Jubala Milling ships (what else?) King John's Flour.
||The Bicktul Company is one of those
buildings that gradually turned black from soot in the early part of the
20th century, and now the soot is flaking off. The building's
footprint is almost a triangle, and is a freelance design of mine, using
DPM's modular walls. Bicktul manufactures parts that other on- and
off-line industries use to make their stuff. This industry
is named after a real-life holding company which owned our property in
1914, and was founded by George. Bickelhaupt and Charles Tuller. This building hides the dead-ended Soo
Line interchange track, which vanishes behind it allegedly continuing
into the valley.Hunt Paints, as described above, sits
right on the edge of the layout on a piece of real estate that I never
envisioned could hold an industry. As it turns out, it's a focal
point for visitors because of the inside details.
Hunt Paints is
named for Dave Hunt, a friend I've only met over the internet. Dave's an artist and, yes, Hunt paints.
This industry was adapted from DPM's "Cutting's Scissors Co."
kit. The slogan on the roof sign: "If you want good paint, GO
HUNT!" Because the building is on the edge of the layout, I
"sliced" it open and included a myriad of interior
details. I love doing stuff like that.