Saturday, December 9, 2017

Rutland's Howe Scale Co. Building

Even before I decided to model Vermont, one signature scene that just had to be included was this view taken from the State Street overpass in Rutland, Vermont. Rutland Railroad's interchange with Delaware & Hudson encompassed the 18-acre Howe Scale property and that large, trackside building (red arrow in top photo) always caught my eye. This well-known company produced large and small scales for years: track scales, coal tipple scales, kitchen scales, even physician's office scales. The Howe Scale complex was the backdrop to generations of neat photographed scenes that I'd admired over the years, perhaps to reproduce in HO scale...someday. Or as I call it, right now.
My Howe Scale building was going to be just like the prototype. Except for two wasn't exactly the same, and it was going to be almost completely different*. I wanted to recycle two buildings that had each been used previously. The nearest was an enginehouse that I'd made into Winnipeg's Vulcan Iron Works (foreground); the other half was a Canadian National Express building (background) from Winnipeg's East Yard. Both had seen service on the Vancouver incarnation of my layout (as Dominion Bridge and Overseas Commodities, respectively).
*The prototype is of wooden construction, with shingled roof. My pre-existing buildings were brick, and would have metal roofing. I worked from photos of Howe Scale to add additional height to the two multi-storey parts of the model. The Howe Scale complex was so large that it had a vehicle entrance under the distant four-storey part of the building. Also, the building at left of the top view was the Howe Scale office building - across the tracks. I left it out of my scene because I didn't want to draw attention to my green, lichen-lined backdrop.
This was brick sheet on additional storey styrene. I had absolutely no intention to cut holes in the walls and fit expensive plastic windows in them. Instead, I would keep the walls as they were. I painted them to match the pre-existing structures.
The never-in-view angled end of the Express building was an asset (below). The track curving at the layout from the curve at the end of the Rutland trackage needed to pass around the building. The additional height would give the illusion of the building end being rectangular, when it was actually angled. Repainting was not necessary on this out-of-sight end.
The former Express building had it styrene roof removed. I added two spare enginehouse roofs to match the rofline on other half of the building. Those blue Pikestuff buildings on the horizon are Mintzer Brothers, located on nearby Strongs Street. Side views - before adding additional storeys:
 Additional storeys added and painted:
Windows added - taken from the catalogue of Caldbeck-Cosgrove Corporation - a building supplies manufacturer that was situated in St Johnsbury, Vermont! I 'copied/pasted' the window images, into  photo-editing software, darkened them, then printed, cut out and pasted. Voila!
An oblique view. Initially painting the brick buildings fairly bright blue, I toned down the colour by brushing on a wash of black paint thinned with water. The D&H interchange trackage is in foreground. It adds another loop of trackage on my layout, as well as providing up to three tracks for interchange, one being a spur and the nearest one a switching lead to three industries. Pre-window view:
This huge structure may not actually generate any traffic by shipping out anything in my modelled era. I mainly want it to be a backdrop to the operations around it. If I really want to, I can spot a boxcar or two on one of the three tracks that run behind it. In later years, the prototype track nearest the building housed stored snow-fighting equipment and other OCS cars. Closed in 1982, the Howe Scale complex was purchased and re-purposed to house 75 offices and small manufacturers. It's now marketed as the Howe Center with the mailing address of 1 Scale Avenue. A 'vintage' view with windows and near-end loading dock doors added:
The three ex-Rutland, now Vermont Railway System tracks disappear into the distance. I need to add the treed mountain backdrop. The Howe Scale Co offices are in the treed bank at left, then three through/interchange tracks, then the stored snow-fighting equipment is visible. Check out that track scale on the left-hand track. Wonder where it was built? Haven't added the rooftop gabled/dormered windows yet. D&H switches the interchange in this prototype view:
Colour view (below). I will be re-doing the backdrop above the mirror. Fun fact - the tracks holding the grey covered hoppers are dummy tracks. The through tracks curve to right behind Howe Scale, under that building overhang as shown above!
Some historical photos show lettering on the plant. I printed out some fonts, found one I liked and traced it on with carbon paper. Then I went over it with a fine black marker and weathered it in. Smokestack is now painted and will also receive vertical 'H O W E' lettering. Round smokestack will have to do till I come across (or build!) a square smokestack to match the prototype.

D&H caboose hop arrives, passing Howe via their interchange and going over to the Rutland interchange:
A bit of scenicking, trying to make the building blend in to the scene:

Another building now in place: the Rutland Tallow Co. I moved the painted-on-brick sign over to the track side:
Most of those classic Howe Scale photos were taken from the State Street overpass which I've added just to the left of the above view. Not wanting an 'overpass to oblivion', I've modelled the ends of the overpass into the surrounding scenery. Handy site for photographing the modelled prototype scene at Rutland, just the photographers who snapped photos that have inspired me for years!

Running extra...

Portage modeller and graphics guru took a cover mockup of my fall and winter project and added the tag line from each blog post. (Click the link to exercise your democratic rights to vote in the poll.) Hey, if you're standing right beside a grain elevator, you look up! And I look up (and forward) to Randy and his creations that come my way!
Since I have a lot of the writing and organizing of observations done for the book, over the Christmas holidays it's time to work on photo selection and editing. That sounds like a daunting, but very enjoyable part of the project! At that point, I'll be looking down. To the table, as I move the photos around and try to include a good mix of photos for the ten or so people that will 'get' this book.

I'll still have time to take in some TV Christmas specials. Pentatonix' special was OK this year, CMA Country Christmas was better with Jennifer Nettles than Reba, and Rockefeller Center tree-lighting had a platoon, if not the whole company of Rockettes. Looking forward to Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! This year, hosted by Gloria N. Excel and her sister Dayo. You know her, Gloria N. Excel's sis Dayo?!


Steve Boyko said...

Carbon paper! You're going old school on this one.

You did a very credible stand-in for the Howe building... well done! I like how you repurposed your existing buildings into a signature building for your new layout.

P.S. Everything is better with Jennifer Nettles.

Eric said...

It's pretty much all old school here, Steve.
Thanks for your comment,