City-scape

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I live in Utah and I was so excited when we started to get trains here. We now have LR transit and commuter rail. I would like to start a layout of my city. I have done a lot of thinking and looking into how to build custom models of the buildings in the city. The problem I am running into is that in HO, blocks are ~9 feet long! and in N scale, they are ~5 feet. It is not practical to build exactly to scale. How do you choose what to shrink down and by how much? Any suggestions on building city layouts?
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
Peter, which city, exactly? Modeling a specific city is challenging. The first thing is to decide what elements define the city to eyes of a viewer. If you're doing Salt Lake, for example, you have to model Temple Square for anyone to believe it's Salt Lake. Most cities in Utah have exceptionally wide downtown streets as well so you have to plan for those. Are there any other distinctive buildings? If so, go through the Walthers catalog and see if any are close. Kibri, Faller, and Heljan make non-descript glass and steel skyscrapers that will fit with most cities. For older structures, City Classics makes a nice assortment of four and five story buildings that will go with just about any downtown. Summit is now making modern backdrop kits like strip malls and national chains to bring things up to today's era. Even for a city you live in, the most important thing is to either take as many pictures as possible or use what's on the web. You'll soon see that the city has a certain look, as does the horizon, or backdrop, for our purposes. Pick out the buildings that define the city and the backdrop that will look like your standing in downtown looking out at the horizon. With some selective kitbashing and maybe a few scratchbuilt structures to duplicate centerpiece buildings, you can compress a pretty good size downtown in just a few HO scale blocks, which don't have to be more than three feet long.
 
Thanks Jim. I reposted this post in the Layout forum. THere, I posted a description of what I want. So, three feet is good, eh? It is Salt Lake City that I am modeling. There are a few tall buildings I want to include, plus both Gateway and the new City Creek Center shopping malls. It is quite a project that I hope will keep me busy for years and years.
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
Peter, yes, three feet will work fine, as can see from the downtown picture that was posted in the other thread. As a general rule, it's not a good idea to start two identical topics in different sections of the forum. Much of the information I gave you was duplicated by others and I would have posted differently if I had seen the other answers before I wrote mine.
 
Thanks. I originally posted it here, but thought it would better fit in the layout section. I guess I could have deleted it here. Thanks for the pointers. I got one really good thing from this thread: that three feet is ok. I just needed a confirmation that it would be fine to have smaller blocks. Thanks :)
 




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