Monday, December 11, 2023

Modeling Monday - Camp Bethel Prototype Pics & Starting to Model (pt.2)

Since the "something completely different" (aka my Atlas RS-3 project) is sidelined for the time being, it's time to turn my attention back to the cottages at Camp Bethel along the line in Haddam, CT.

I'd heard that Camp Bethel was an old camp meeting grounds, but the only one of those I'd ever seen is in Oak Bluffs, on Martha's Vineyard island. The cottages there are all very meticulously restored and very Victorian and Queen Anne. So I was eager to see what Camp Bethel would look like, especially if I was going to model it.

Unlike its island counterpart, there's a much wider variety of restored and "original" houses in Camp Bethel and many have been pretty heavily modified. But it was nice to get a feel of the place - and to realize that the model kit houses I had on-hand would help create a fine representation . . .

While all of the houses technically face toward the center of the campground, you can see in some of the photos how they back up to the top of the bluff overlooking the Connecticut River.

I think this will allow me to set up an ideal scene on the top of the hill between East Haddam and Shailerville bridge - I'll have the "fancy" front of the cottages face away from the river (and toward the aisle) and put porches on the back so that folks can sit and enjoy a nice view of the river.

To see how that would look, I made some temporary mockups by photocopying the walls from the kit . . .

I pretty quickly discovered that the stock kits would be a bit larger than I wanted - all the better reason to photocopy/mock them up first.

So I cut them down to a size that was closer to the stand-in I'd robbed from Somerset. These smaller editions will work out much better.

It's a lot easier (and better) to cut up paper before committing to cutting up a perfectly good kit. And since I knew from my cut-up mockup that the smaller size would work, it was much easier to "ruin" the kit by cutting it down to the size I wanted.

The challenge with shortening the walls is figuring out how to disguise or otherwise hide the seam/joint. So I decided to cut along the edge of the corner trim as you see in the photo above.

Once all glued back together, the seam/joint virtually disappears! And don't forget to shorten the roof sections to match. I just cut off about 3/4" off of one end - which I plan to point toward the back - and made sure to orient the space for the chimney closer toward the back as well (on the stock it, it's centered).

With the walls and roof sections shortened, the next step is to wash the parts in preparation for painting - which we'll cover next time!


  1. Comin along nicely Chris, can't wait to see them finished, in place and sceniced.

    1. Thanks Ralph! Really appreciate your stopping by and leaving a comment here!