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#1 hooknladderno1

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:54 PM

Hi Gang,
One of the fire companies that I used to belong to is celebrating their 100th anniversary next year. I have been asked to build a replica of their original firehouse. Only two photographs exist. No measurements are known either. I have never built a diorama or structure befrore. I am a little nervous, as I want the details to be accurate. But, I know that reasearch, experimentation, and just plain "diggin in" are the first steps in getting it done. The work illustrated here is fantastic! I hope this project turns out half as nice as the projects displayed here. Below are the two photos of the old firehouse that exist. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Edited by hooknladderno1, 04 May 2012 - 12:56 PM.


#2 gasser59

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:20 PM

This looks like a fun project. By figuring the entry door on the left is probably 6'6" x 3' should help you figure out the size of everything else. I wonder what was kept in the basement. Do you have a particular scale in mind?

Edited by gasser59, 04 May 2012 - 09:21 PM.


#3 Mercman

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:45 AM

First off you will have to choose a scale. Looks like after that it should be easy. Do you know what year the buildings are from?

#4 GTMust

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:34 AM

Hey Brad... I hate to disagree with you... but I think that door opening is more than 6'6" high..... because the garage door beside it is the same height and you'd never get a fire truck inside if it was only 6'6".

I'm guessing it would be at least 9' with the door at 7' and a 2' fixed transom panel above. The floor to ceiling height would probably be around 10'+. Second floor at around 8' floor to ceiling. All guesswork of course.

I'm also guessing the building would be about 20' x 32' at least...... maybe a little bigger.

If you build at 1/24 scale, the building would be on a 10" x 16" base and stand approximately 12 1/2" to the ridge, with a 4:12 slope on the roof..... (plus the height of the exposed basement).

If you draw it out to scale on a piece of paper, you'll see how it fits together. As this is your first dio, may I also suggest you make a cardboard mock up first, then you can compare your sizes to the photos. If it doesn't look right, you can adjust the sizes to suit.

Hope this helps.

Tony

Edited by GTMust, 05 May 2012 - 10:36 AM.


#5 gasser59

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:06 AM

I'll bet you're right Tony. A 9' door makes much more sense. This should be a fun project. Are you planning on scale block with texture like on the real firehouse?

#6 Alfnut

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:49 AM

the door depends on how old the building is, the company i run with now had a 6' door when it was built in 1933. nowadays a 6' door would never make sense but the largest engine our company had before they built the addition was just under 6'. Ill put it to you this way, im 6'6" tall and i had to duck under the old door to get in the building. it doesnt seem normal but it is possible that the door is 6'. looking at the building in the picture it appears the garage door has a 4x4 top panel with a 2 foot lower. just my opinion. best bet would be to ask around and see if any of the older guys remember how large the doors were. id post a photo of our old bay doors which is now our lounge area but we dont have any photos of how the old setup was but our new man door fits the same height as the old garage door and i still have to duck to walk inside without cracking my nose off the top sill

#7 Alfnut

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:50 AM

to put a little more perspective on it the last "old beast" we had in the building before the addition with 14' doors was a 53 mack and i am taller than that truck was, so a 6' door way back then would seem to be practical for the times (at least it was up here)

#8 GTMust

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:06 AM

Josh....
You're definitely correct that old buildings did have low height doors, but I believe that even a Model T pumper or ladder truck with a driver would need a garage door with more height than 6', especially if the driver didn't wanted to get beheaded. I once drove a 1928 Sanford fire truck that we had in our museum and it was like sitting way up in the air!

My guesses were based on the fact that the garage door opening appears to be square. If the small door beside it is about 3' wide then it would appear that the garage door is about 3 times a wide as the small door... thus a 9' wide garage door. If it's square then it would also be 9' high.

It also looks like the width of the building is about 2 1/4 times the width of the garage door..... thus 9' plus 9' plus 3' = somwhere between 20' and 24' wide, which would make sense for a building of this type, I think. If you measure the width of the garage door on the photo as 9', then use that as a scale across the width of the building you should be pretty close.

As far as the length of the building is concerned, it difficult to say. However, as it's possible that this building was build in the early days of horse drawn fire equipment, there would have been a stable for the horse in the rear of the building approximately 10' long...... then a space for the wagon (another 20' or so) making the building at least 30' - 32' long. This would have also suited an early motorized fire engine plus some equipment storage space. As a small town fire dept. it's unlikely they would have had any large fire trucks like the Sanford or an Aerons Fox. (Did I spell that right?)

All guesses of course, but if you relate the size of the community to the type of equipment they would likely have had and the time the building was built.... as Josh said, maybe some old timers in the community may settle some of these questions for you,

Tony



#9 gasser59

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 05:06 AM

All of these proportions would be worked out if we knew the size of the block used to build it. Today's cement block are 8"x8"x16" but I think the earlier block were larger. Since my dad was a mason, among other things, I'll ask him and get back to you guys.

Edited by gasser59, 07 May 2012 - 05:07 AM.


#10 dptydawg

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:17 PM

Standard door size was 2'10'X6'10" this would fit in a 3'X7' rough opening. I suspect that the main door is 7' high X 8' wide. That would make the building about 16' wide X about 20' deep. The inside would probably have 9' ceilings. 16 feet would be about the maximum unsupported span for the second floor. Remember this is a pre truss building.
Thanks
carl

Edited by dptydawg, 07 May 2012 - 02:18 PM.


#11 GTMust

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:20 AM

This is getting interesting....

I still stick to my previous guesses. Look at the man door........ the height is about 3 times the width. That would make it 9' high +/- (7' door including frame +2' transom above).


A large hewn timber beam across at the second floor level would cut down the joist span to maximum 16'... easily achievable with full 2" x 10" joists.

The rest of the dimensions would work out as I suggested.

Tony.

Edited by GTMust, 08 May 2012 - 03:25 AM.


#12 hooknladderno1

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:22 PM

Hey Guys,
Thanks to all for your feedback! The building was built some time in the 1910's. The firehouse was in a rural, agricultural area of NJ, known for apples and peaches. I was thinking of 1/25, as I build mostly in 1/25. I was wondering about replicating the foundation block. I have seen tutorials referencing removing the top layer of paper from a foam core board, or scribing styrofoam. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I will try and find out what type of apparatus they originally ran. Thanks.

#13 KHamilton

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:29 AM

...I just ran across this thread....
That's a wonderful little building. Lots of character and not too complicated for your first structure project.
You'll need to do some Creative Guesstimating for the measurements, using all the information that's already been provided above.
Once you decide on some basic dimensions, do some rough scale drawings that will give you an idea of the model's proportions as they relate to the photos. Once the "Good Enough" factor has been achieved, do a good set of full-sizes drawings of each wall to use as templates. It probably wouldn't hurt to do a smaller size cardstock mock-up to see what it'll look like in 3-D.
I'll be watching this build. It looks like great fun!

(Edit: Tony said just about the same thing. Guess I should've read ALL the other posts first..........)

Edited by KHamilton, 10 May 2012 - 06:33 AM.


#14 JMD904

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:03 AM

Good luck and can't wait to see ya start on it!

#15 hooknladderno1

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:58 AM

Hi Gang,
One of the fire companies that I used to belong to is celebrating their 100th anniversary next year. I have been asked to build a replica of their original firehouse. Only two photographs exist. No measurements are known either. I have never built a diorama or structure befrore. I am a little nervous, as I want the details to be accurate. But, I know that reasearch, experimentation, and just plain "diggin in" are the first steps in getting it done. The work illustrated here is fantastic! I hope this project turns out half as nice as the projects displayed here. Below are the two photos of the old firehouse that exist. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

 

Hi Gang,

I still have not been able to come up with a way to replicate the foundation block .  Any suggestions?  I am not married to any particular scale, so am open to different ideas.  Thanks in advamce.



#16 Hollywood Jim

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:09 PM

Here is what I would try.

 

I got this technique from Mike Napoleon.  Who is one of the best diorama builders.

 

You take a piece of drywall and you gently soak the paper off of both sides.  You can tear off the first layer then gently soak the remaining paper with a sponge until it peals off.

 

What you end up with is a piece of gypsum.  Then you scribe the grout lines and make the bricks the size you need.

 

Here is what I ended up with when I was testing the technique.

 

IMG_4630-vi.jpg

 

 

IMG_4636-vi.jpg

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#17 GTMust

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:20 AM

What a great idea! I have to try that one on my next dio....... I guess you could use drywall compound or even spackle to glue the walls together?

Thanks Jim.

Tony

Edited by GTMust, 27 January 2013 - 05:22 AM.


#18 Ken McGuire

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:47 AM

For some ideas about creating patterns, I've found this fellow in England who has some tutorials on-line. I haven't tried any yet but - as he's a teacher - his explanations are easy-to-follow.

 

http://davidneat.wordpress.com/



#19 charlie8575

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:30 AM

Wouldn't soaking drywall in water weaken and ruin the gypsum?

 

Interesting idea. We'll have a small amount of rennovation coming up. Perhaps I can try it with a little piece of scrap.

 

Charlie Larkin



#20 Hollywood Jim

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:42 PM

Wouldn't soaking drywall in water weaken and ruin the gypsum?

 

Interesting idea. We'll have a small amount of rennovation coming up. Perhaps I can try it with a little piece of scrap.

 

Charlie Larkin

 

 

You have to be careful and lightly dampen the paper and slowly remove it.

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