Friday, November 24, 2023

Friday Fun: Modeling Camp Bethel (terrain prototyping) pt.1

As of my last layout update, I'd pushed basic scenery north into Deep River, CT. Since the next area to be modeled is East Haddam/Goodspeeds (actually located in Haddam, on the west side of the Connecticut River, but let's leave it at that...), I figured it high time to check in with the prototype.

This is the station area looking north. The car is heading east on Bridge Street (aka Route 82) and will be crossing the river on a 1913 swing bridge in just a few hundred yards from here. Off in the distance, left/west of the track, you can see the hill on which Camp Bethel sits.

Similar view, as it looks today, shot closer - from north of the grade crossing. Same building on the right, but modified.

Walking further north, you can't really make it out through all the trees, but Camp Bethel is up on top of that little hill on the left.

Ever since hearing of our own little version of the Martha's Vineyard Campmeeting Association, I've wanted to model at least a hint of Camp Bethel - which lies conveniently between the East Haddam scene and the Shailerville Bridge scene, providing a perfect scenic break.

In fact, I'd planned so far ahead to include it, that I'd long ago cut the fascia to form the hill profile. Unfortunately, as I started looking more closely at the prototype topography, I realized the hill profile I'd made was WAY too high. I also needed some flat area for the cottages. The masking tape above indicates the proposed cut line, and also protects the painted fascia from my saber saw.

Here's how things looked after I cut the hill down - and added foam on edge along the inside of the fascia for mounting the cardboard strips.

As you can see, I'd originally planned on adding a rock casting to the side of the hill to make up for the hillside being SO steep here.

But the more I looked "north" down the track, the more the hill still looked too tall and steep - especially when compared to the topography shown in the prototype photos.

So, out came the saber saw again and down came more of the hill. I also decided not to use a rock casting since that would be really out of place in this spot - at least, again, according to the prototype.

Looking at these photos again, I think I may redo the cardboard strips so that the stacked foam doesn't look quite so much like a huge outcropping.

Incidentally, the little cabin/cottage you're seeing in the photos was borrowed from Somerset and is being used as a mockup for sizing purposes. Unfortunately, I can't really use it here since it belongs in Somerset - and I need more than one cottage to give them impression of a "camp" anyway.

But, thanks to my friend Bruce Edgerton, I already have on-hand some cottage kits that he gave me a few years back, which I think will fit the bill nicely. But to be sure they'd work, I figured I'd need to take a field trip to do more prototype research . . . That'll be the subject of the next post. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. I like your approach here. It's something to realize that our memory doesn't always translate what we've seen correctly. The old B&W photo, if it were all you had to work with(no access to the prototype) could possibly lead one to believe the hill higher than what it actually is!