Franksville, Wisconsin is located off of Highway K approximately west and slightly north of Racine, Wisconsin between Chicago and Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Road ran through the center of town and Franksville had its own depot. The depot was torn down in the 1960’s as it had little at that point. Here is a Don Ross photo taken in the 1950’s of the depot:
And here is the location relative to the town in an aerial photo also taken in the 1950’s:
So I decided a field trip was in order to try and take a look at what remnants might remain of the old building. The Klema mill and store is still there today, but the lumber yard on the other side of the tracks is gone. Likewise, the depot was torn down in the 1950’s, but the footprint of the building still remains in the weeds.
With enough information to think I can tackle this no problem (yeah, right) I started to sketch the building out in a vector drawing program (Illustrator in this case). I tried to align all the pieces I need to cut out of styrene in such a way as to minimize waste. I drew the window and door elements based on Grandt Line doors and windows.
Once drawn out, I then printed it on cardstock and mocked it up with the other buildings (more on those coming soon) to see how everything looked proportionally on the module:
Overall I was happy with the size and proportions and constructed the building to this point:
Using Grandt Line doors and windows, I used the laser printout of the drawing I made and taped it over a sheet of styrene (clap board in this case) to trace over with a razor blade and straight edge. The paper test shingles were replaced with American Model Builders peel and stick diamond shingles and painted a maroon color. I’ll cover in detail building one of these structures more thoroughly in a separate article.
Next I needed a depot platform and foundation bottom, so I used some N Scale Architect modern brick styrene sheet and some styrene boxcar side material to use as flooring inside. The brick was painted and then washed with a light grey water/alcohol mix for mortar. Various chalks were used to further highlight the mortar and add some weathering. I then ran some rough sandpaper in the direction of the grain that I wanted on the wood flooring. Then the flooring color was created by painting the styrene with Kilz primer first and then applying washes of roof brown and black paint paint in thin layers till it builds up and looks right. Then a final wash of a drop or two of india ink mixed with half a cup of rubbing alcohol brings out the lines of the planks.
Then the depot was test fitted in place:
I also added a piece of styrene to the platform end cap next to the tracks that I also painted and weathered to make it look like wood:
Next were the eve brackets which were just pieces of square styrene used as dimensional lumber. I also made a mail box out of styrene bits, added station signs and made a Western Union sign to hang outside. Lastly I attempted to make a screen door as well out of clear acetate that was scribed and given a light coating of dull coat to make it look like screen material.
Next up are more structures on this same module as well as the decision to add an additional scenery module to extend our siding and make it more useful. Stay tuned…
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