Dave's Park!

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Dave's Park!

Dave's Park!

M. McIntyre Memorial Library & Middletown Park

The corner lot at East Bay Road and Park Street was a puzzle for a long time. I had many different thoughts as to what to put there over the months. The odd shape of the lot was somewhat limiting. I also wanted to keep as much space for the park as was possible.

At first it was going to be a couple of small very small "repair shop" type structures. Then I thought perhaps a barber shop. It was not until I started doodling out some sketches of what the building might look like that I realized the lot was more suited to a 70's style contemporary structure.

It was then that I remembered a structure I had designed as a teen and realized it would be perfect for this lot. What kind of business would work in that building was the only question remaining. Since this type of architecture was most often used for public buildings I decided it would be the town library. Its location next to the park also worked out perfectly.

Looking at the whole parcel of land that would house the library and the park I decided to cut the park down to about half the height of the street compared to the river. The building would be a split-level. Perfect! Now I was excited.

As I started to build my paper test model I thought the building might incorporate a mine headframe as in the design I drew many years ago. It would be the "Miners' Memorial Library". The only problem was that the more I thought about it, the more it seemed there was no point in having a structure like that and two blocks away having a mining museum. So, the headframe idea was scrapped and building the actual model began. At the same time I decided to name the library in honor of the librarian I knew as a youngster, Marcella McIntyre.

The foam was cut down to the new level of the park. The rear entrance of the building would be at park level so the rear half of the building lot was cut down to the same level. I then mocked up a paper version of the model and tested the fit. I decided to make it a structure that would incorporate contemporary as well as traditional design elements.

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Having determined that the design would work I started building the actual model. As with other structures, the footprint of the building and the remaining piece of sidewalk at the front entrance was cut from picture matte to raise everything to the proper height relative to the sidewalks. The "floor" was cut from picture matte as well and glued to the footprint. The "floor" is not an actual interior floor and the interior was not finished because of the split level design but it gave a form for attaching the three front walls.

Balsa stock was then added to make the drop for the three rear walls. This assembly was test fitted. The level of the park would be brought up to the bottom of the balsa. This represents a scale 4 foot difference in elevation from the front of the building.

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The base was set aside and the first coat of plaster was applied to the park. That dried overnight. The base was sealed so that moisture from the plastering process would not affect it. It was set back into place and the first coat of finish plaster was applied. After that was dry a finish coat brought the level up to the proper height relative to the building.

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When the finish coat of plaster had dried touchups to the plaster were made using an artists' paint trowel. Painting tools work very well for fine plaster detailing. Now work on the building could begin. The walls were cut from a v-groove styrene that represents 1 x 8 pine siding. Windows and doors were from Grandt Line. The difference in elevation from front to rear now became very apparent. The rear/side walls were cut to fit the slope of the lot.

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Okay. So this is where you get the benefit of learning from my mistakes. For some reason I thought it would be easier to paint the windows after removing them from the sprue. Wrong! I should have known better having built models for many years but sometimes the brain is just not engaged before the hands start working. I ended up holding them in place with masking tape as shown below but it really was not a good way to paint windows. Small parts should always be painted on the sprue. It is very easy to touck up the few small spots where they have been cut off later.

The roof was cut from 1/32" treated card stock. The roofing was printed from a free graphic. I painted the underside edge of the roof with trim color so I would not have to wrestle with that after the roof was on.

I applied double faced tape to the back side of two pieces of roofing and then separated them. I marked the bottom corners of each so it would be easier to get them applied in the right direction later. It is a very small pattern and a mistake would be very easy in the heat of the moment.

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Next I peeled the tape on each half of the roofing and applied them to the sub-roof material. I turned the roof over and trimmed the roofing. With the roof ready to go on, I printed off my window shades. I printed shade material and drapery material not knowing for sure which I wanted. I decided shades (blinds) looked better. I cut those and installed them. I did not use clear window sheet for this model. I had some on hand. I just liked the look of the windows without it.

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With the roof on I made some last minute touch-ups to the plaster for the park and set the building in place. The chimney and the sign were added just in time for the Acadian Lines bus for Halifax to arrive. Nice bus! Fence, stairs, gravel path and grass were added to the park. I am very happy with the way this building turned out. The park still needs a few shrubs, flower beds and benches. Otherwise, it's a done deal!

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