The store fronts are coming along. I think what I’m going to do is treat the whole lower floor interior and building front as a “drawer”. This way I can complete the interior details and solidly mount the front. A simple track or guide will hold the completed “drawer” and keep everything in alignment. The idea is that I can just slide the “cassette-like drawers” into the main structure. We’ll see how it goes…
The front of the Union Hall is based on two Grandt Line windows and a door minus its frame. I used my trusty .040 styrene sheet to fill out the front. Notice that the window castings are installed backwards. When I add the brick layer, I overlap the exposed flange of the window casting and butt the brick right up to the window frame. I my eye, this makes a decent masonry type window that is flush to the outside surface of the wall.
Styrene strips are shaped to simulate stonework that matches the rest of the structure and help hide joints.
The Pharmacy building front uses the same “cassette drawer” idea. For this front, I scratch built a more modern business door from styrene strip. I set the doorway to one side to avoid a repeating pattern along the entire row of buildings. Avoiding patterns (or equal balance, symmetry, and/or parallel lines) can improve the realism in a scene. This is a technique I first read about when I was a kid, in Shepard Paine’s armor and diorama modeling books. Shep Paine was the guy behind all of the completed models on the box covers for model kits from Monogram Models (planes, boats, and tanks) back in the 70s and 80s. He was a master of visual art, and authored 3 Kalmbach books about his techniques. After I wore out the copies at the library, I bought my own!
I also decided to make this front more of a set in with the door and window recessed into the structure. This required extra brickwork to finish the inset. Under the window, I repeated the 4 brick diamond detail to visually tie the store front to the top of the structure. It is a small detail, but I think it adds some more believable texture to my little story!