Modelling my City Scene – what to do?

My first US layout had a city scene with elevated track based on the High Line in New York. I rescued that elevated section and used it as a feature in my current layout.

City Section

City Section

The whole side starts with a mill complex – the NEBISCO (New England Biscuit Company):

NEBISCO complex

NEBISCO complex

and runs down a hill to the city section:

Slope to city section

Slope to city section

In between the front city section and the rear is the main line in a cut as it rises from the storage level.  This will be faced in Wills stone sheet eventually. In front is the bikini car wash, a garage and a diner:

Main Line Cut

Main Line Cut

It rises at the end though a complex based on the New York High Line:

Old Bell Laboratories, NY, USA

Old Bell Laboratories, NY, USA

Google Street View Today

Google Street View Today

There’s a bit of work needed 🙂

My area for the High Line building

My area for the High Line building – needs a lot of work!

And finally runs into a raised corner:

Raised corner of city

Raised corner of city

Now here’s the question:

What do I do behind the Main Line Cut?  It’s only a few inches deep.

I was planning to do a series of roads at right angles ending at the cut with side on buildings like this:

City Section

City Section

Side on buildings

Side on buildings

Now I am wondering how realistic I can make that.

The High Line complex is huge so I can make it take up more space along a bit and be a more imposing structure.  If I do that, should I just put a series of backs of factory buildings along with the odd bridge across.

I could add fire escapes and a narrow path before the actual cut.  The odd taller tower could jut up as a photo.

Really Rough Sketch!

Really Rough Sketch!

I’d move the existing buildings into the corner to add a more city section:

Raised city section proposal

Raised city section proposal

At the moment it’s a blank canvas but I’d love some feedback on ideas to ensure that I get this right.

What do you think?

9 Comments:

  1. To me, it seems there’s always a section of scenery space that is too narrow ,some where along the way, to make realistic. For me, I try to draw the eye away from any short comings. Usually, super detailing, weathering and lighting will do nicely to have a viewer notice everything except, the “not quite right perspective”

    • Tony

      You are so right about those awkward spaces and this is one. It doesn’t help that it’s the lower level so a standing viewer looks down on it which also draws attention to the perspective.

      I need to look on it as an opportunity to do something amazing: all the detailing etc that you mention.

      Thanks for the input.

      Kathy

  2. Hi Kathy
    Its looks like the same old real estate problem is giving you grief too. I went through this phase around 25 to 30 years ago on my East Texas Terminal layout and I solved it by cutting a heap of my apartment structures in half at a mid way point and used them as low relief buildings, where the backs faced onto my tracks. At a wider part of the layout I placed the fronts of the buildings with a street between them and the tracks. Don’t credit me with the idea as I got the idea from the late Mike Scott from the Tyneside area here in the UK. He said the idea came from one of the editors of Model railroader.

    I also model UK outline and I used a Walthers Synagogue kit as a country house but left off the rear two thirds of the building. The rear part of the kit I used as part of a factory complex on a different industrial themed layout. It was too deep to go on any of my layouts but as two low relief structures the kit served in a very important way.

    Tom Jenkins
    from the UK’s
    lovely Lake District

    • Thanks Tom

      I think you are right, low relief is the way to go. I do like the idea of detailed backs of buildings, a bit like you see on the way into major cities, such as Euston.

      I’ll have to dig through all my building kits again to see what is available.

      I hope your weather in the Lakes is as beautiful as it is here today.

      Kathy

  3. Kathy , are you deliberately naming the Nabisco company , the Nebisco company , got me confused and thinking I had it wrong on my entire website?

    Jan Van Gerwen

  4. Thanks , you had me googling and sweating 😉

  5. For the most part if you look west at the High Line from half a block away it’s about all you see unless there’s a building blocking the view. The only cross streets go under it and would require very little modelling space. Where did you get the “New England Biscuit” company from? It’s NABISCO, the “National Biscuit Company.” That former phone company building that the trains used to pass thru is where Nabisco invented the famous “Oreo” cookie!

    Love your posts – keep it up!

    • Hi Rodney, I’ve pulled out all my kits trying to find some that are tall enough factory style to suit that kind of background. I’ve a few and a lot of Walters modulated so I’ll see what it looks like when I’ve had a chance to mock them all up.

      I just fancied something different to NABISCO, it’s a fun play on it, that’s all.

      Kathy

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