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November 1999 - Page 30


R emovi n g the tower of the Beekman house g ives us a front bay. I w ould have leveled this with the top of the wall if I were doing this mod ification intentional ly, but I just happened to n otice h ow effective it was i n making another visual change from the orig i n a l kit. This change gives us a less-impressive dwel l i ng which is desirable for some locations.
T he reason I refer to this as three houses is that duri ng construction I removed the roof to add some i nterior details and noticed that by addi n g a flat roof it is poss i ble to simulate a simpler looking structure: I have seen a number of these in city and suburban settings and after noticing this effect on the k i t , I wonder how many of the real ones were bu i l t l i ke t h i s and how many might have had fires that burned off their attics (and Mansard roofs ) . A second variati o n came about when I removed t h e upper story of the tower, leaving a two-story bay. If I were going to use this in the final model I would have adjusted the height of the bay so it matched the front wal l .

Replaci ng the whole roof with a flat roof ( I p ut a strip of . 1 88 wide styrene a round the top as trim), it i s possible to get yet another interesting visual modificati o n . I h ave seen a n umber of build ings resembling this one, a n d I w onder if they were intended to have sloping roofs, Ma nsard roofs added later, or if i n fact they might have originally been bu ilt with these and lost them to fires.
o rs of exterior paints. These can be modeled with any good brand of model train paint and will help you make real istic houses. The Polar Lights Psycho House is a well designed kit in which all the parts fit wel l , although y o u may want t o make some small changes such as the order of assembly or e l i m ination of the fl ange below the base ment. The walls are molded with the win dow trim integral. While this house can be built with no change of color at the window frames, it is easy to add a second color for there are sharply l aised moldings. Probably the only examples of one-color houses of t h i s type are white on w h ite, but at l east there is a prototype for t h o s e o f us who don 't l i ke detail painting. While I did change most of the porch railings, the kit parts are very acceptable in my opinion. When not using the molded h i lltop base, which some modelers might want to incor porate into their layouts, the staircases can be moved around a bit with their exact ori entations changed. The upper roof galleries ( rai l in g s ) are a b i t h e avy, but I modified some of these by cutting them down so they would be less massive. They could also be rep l aced w it h roof tri m from o n e of the model detail companies. While I used some styrene molded rail ings, etched-brass ones, which are very striking, are also available. I f you intend to l ight you model , there is already a hole in the floor to permit adding a l ight bulb. I made my roofs removable by simply not gluing them in place. I strongly suggest painting the interior walls black or m a k i n g b l ac k paper m a s k s to keep l ight fro m s h o w i n g t h r o u g h the tran s l u c e n t styrene wal l s . T h i s w i l l happen w i th a l l styrene k i t s . Addition of either s o m e light
N O VE M B E R 1999

B ee k m a n h o u s e i s p a i n ted i n L i n e n White with Prussian Blue trim. While this i s the most elaborate house o f the four I built I kept the trim the simplest with no corner or eve trim contrast, painting these the same color as the walls. Notice that when looking at the models, that the paint jobs help create variations. The l ight colored Beekman and Greene houses can b e c o n s i dered " p o s i t i ve" c o lorat i o n w h i l e the dark Truesdale and medium tone Van Coralaer houses read visually as "nega tive" for they have l ight trim, the opposite of the light painted houses. For some ideas on painting model houses, look at real ones or take a trip to a paint store and check the col-

A Second Empire cot tage i n beautif u l condition, p ro ba bly a p p e a r i n g m u c h as originally b u i lt. S m a l l houses l i ke this one seldom had t h e very o r n a te d eta i l i n g of l a rg e r structures a s the trim co u l d e a s i l y o v e r power the design of t h e h o u s e - as I f ou n d out in my kit cottage.

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... M O D E L RAI LROAD I N G

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