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 Post subject: Control Tower Beta Build
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:05 pm 
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Location: Lubbock, Texas USA
Not finished, but here's the beta build thus far:

At 1/60 scale, it's over 15 inches tall...
Image

Some details of the north side (note the doorknobs):
Image

Image

South side door:
Image


Last edited by MOCR on Fri May 22, 2009 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:14 pm 
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Here's the cab. The railings for the catwalk aren't finished, and I'm working on some antennae for the top. The roof of the cab is one-piece, and it gave me several fits trying to glue it together. It is literally a 3-D "crown" that sits atop the cab:
Image

A good overview of the base. My first attempt at mimicking grass and concrete:
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Another view of some of the detail. There are 2 HVAC units that will occupy the lower left corner of this pic (still working on those):
Image

So two things I'm seeking opinion on are the cab windows- they are begging for some sort of treatment, but I'm no graphic artist- I'd like to see some tower controllers in silhouette sitting up there. The other thing is the siding- my camera isn't that great and doesn't show the corrugated siding that well, but I'm curious if my rendition "works". Thoughts?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:15 pm 
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Wow! Very cool!
Can't wait to see it finished and downloadable. will look great with a couple of alert birds. Very nice job so far.
Jeff


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:44 pm 
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That's a great start! I love the little wiring and HVAC details you added. The corrugation looks okay from the pics. It's something that's really hard to do, especially with the amount of space between the ridges.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:58 am 
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I agree. And if you display it with the available light coming from the right direction it will be even more effective.
Good job so far!
Lep

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:05 am 
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That looks great MOCR :D.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:01 am 
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siding looks great. can always have differant tints on the cab windows, such as dark green maybe?
great job!
Jeff


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:47 pm 
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Thanks all! I'll need some beta testers for the cab section- that roof is a doozie!

For those interested PM me and I'll email you the cab files.

I'll keep the siding as is for now- I've learned to use layers within Adobe Photoshop Elements and can provide B&W or full color versions at will.

As for the cab windows- I'm open to ideas and in dire need of help on that too! I can color them ANY color, but would like to see some detail there. It turns out that there is a very specific brand of shades that are approved for control tower use by both the FAA and USAF- and I have color photos of some of them, so shades can be added, but I haven't the talent to make it look correct.

Ideally, I'd like to see some controllers in profile, something like this but better (the actual photo on bottom shows some detail too):
Image


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:08 pm 
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Very nice tower!

I'd argue against putting silhouttes on the windows: they will look like silhouttes pasted on the windows, not like anything in the interior. Think about what all those toy cars, trucks and buses looked like with the occupants painted on the windows - pretty silly.

What I'd recommend instead is making the windows out of a dark translucent acetate, dark enough that anything in the interior would be in silhoutte already. Then just mount silhouttes in the cab interior. From some angles the silhouttes won't resemble controllers, but everything would be indistinct due to the darkness of the windows so it wouldn't detract from the effect. And from the right angles it'd look very realistic because the silhouttes are in fact inside the cab, not painted on the windows.

Less is more anyway, and the windows look great as you've got them.

My ten cents.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:14 pm 
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Thats pretty darn kool!

As to the corrugated sides: I dunno if elements can do this, but Photoshop will let you add beveling and embossing to just about anything, with just a touch of a button. I wonder if that would work on your corrugated sides...

If you haven't tried that I"d be happy to give it a shot (got Photoshop CS at home and at work).

The glass looks pretty good. So, does the real thing really have that sort of dull blue-green look, or is it more reflective? It occurs to me that you could always go with a refection of the surrounding countryside, like the windows in the FG Port Calibro Lighthouse. I really liked that effect (which is why its one of only two lighthouses I ever built).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:05 pm 
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Thanks for the replies thus far- it really helps.

Not sure if Elements does that or not Tim, but I can let you have a crack at it.

The photo I posted above is of the real thing- at least as viewed from a distance. When it was in use, the entire tower was a light creme color, but its since been repainted- the cab is dark green. In fact, I used the eye-dropper tool to obtain a color sample from that photo to color the windows on the beta build. Yes, it does have that bluish-green hue, and as you can see from the photo, the pull-down shades have a very distinct purple to them.

Because of the angle of the cab windows, you don't see the reflections in the windows at the distance I shot that picture. However, when you are close up and under it, that's all you see are reflections of the ground around you- and not really anything distinct- just reflections.

I too was thinking of that lighthouse and the nifty effect they did of "looking through the windows", but there is NO terrain here. The South Plains are flatter than a pancake and we joke that even water has to ask which way is downhill.

I'm just trying to strike some sort of a balance with what folks might expect if they were assembling this model, but after putting together a few FG models, I overcame the discomfort of not seeing a pilot in the canopy. Maybe I should just do the same for this one too and let it be as is.

And airportkid- I wasn't planning to paste silouhettes on after the fact, but actually make them like that FG lighthouse- how the windows are colored when printed. What you see on top of the above photo is a very quick rendering to convey the idea I had- but each window would have a different "view". And perhaps not as obvious or in sharp focus as I have there, but something at least to convey "depth".

I think it would be tres kool to cut-out the windows and build the cab complete with scopes, radios, flight strips and light guns and have acetate windows as you suggest, but that will come later I think! And FYI- I do have several complete design drawings of various cab layouts so if you want to "complete the cockpit" so to speak, I have the resources available. I've amassed quite a collection of reference material in doing research on this building. Shoot- I'm thinking of a way to model the red obstruction lights on top and thinking there's plenty of room for some batteries, a switch and using red LEDs for that!

The airport beacon at Reese (wouldn't THAT be a trick to model) was located on top of the base water tower- that may be a future project too.

Really, I'm just curious what others think and can easily leave it as is or add detail if there is a desire for that. Unlike some of the FG airplane fuselage cross sections, this thing is bloody simple as far as its shape is concerned (maybe except for the roof). That's why I'm tending more towards adding the small details.

Aside from the railings, I'm lacking 2 A/C compressor units, a hand-cranked crane, a microwave-link antenna complete with radome, and the exhaust muffler for the backup generator (which is housed just inside the double doors on the first floor). And then there's all of those antennae on top! And the original I'm basing this model on had "Reese AFB" in large letters affixed on two of its sides, complete with the Air Training Command shield prominently displayed. I'll be doing that version as a "repaint".

The devil may be in the details, but I am having a blast getting this thing put together!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:40 pm 
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Oh, add more detail,lol.
So far it is really cool and am looking forward to it.
Would be neat to find some flight line rigs such as a chevy stepside crew van or a dodge 880 crewcab. I have been searchin for one that are close.

Jeff


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:03 am 
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Heheh...you dont have to tell Me about Flat. You live on one side of the central plains and I live on the other, but its still flat here too. you have to drive a looong way just to find a few hills (which we call mountains because the nearest Real mountains are about 1,000 miles away).

The whole project is looking reall good. The details are great- but have you thought about perhaps making a more generic tower as well? One that you could add to any diorama and be for a sort of tower for "Anytown, USA"?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:44 am 
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Yes, I have thought of a more generic version or versions- perhaps do a line of several based on actual real-world towers. The original airport terminal here in Lubbock is now a museum- the Silent Wings Museum, dedicated to preserving the glider training conducted here during WWII. The original control tower is still there and would be nice to model:

Image

Maybe have FG do a control tower series similar to the lighthouse line?

After this one, my plan is to do some WWII era UK control towers and maybe an alert shack or two. One of those could be used as a backdrop for any of the FG allied airplanes.

I'm also wanting to do some old west ranch houses. The National Ranching Heritage Center is also here and they have many original ranch structures that were donated and moved on site. One building I really want to model is the old Barton House:
Image

The old AT&SF station from Ropes and the 6666 Barn are future projects too:

Image
Image

So many models, so LITTLE time!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 8:13 am 
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any more progress??? loving the work so far.
Jeff


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