This building was once home to a manufacturer of threshing machines called Gaar and Scott. Later it was taken over by International Harvester. Now it’s just a storage building for another company in town. The buildings in this complex date back to the mid 1800s, so they’re quite old. The street in the foreground used to be a through street, but the crossing was closed many years ago.¬†What do you see here? There is a ton of things to look at and model in a shot like this. Let’s begin.

First, my eye was captured by the variety of textures in the buildings, pavement and the enclosed overhead conveyer. The combination of materials in the street would be fun to model to a high degree. Same with all the lacy metal framing seen in the dock and overhead conveyor. Notice how the loading docks are angled to make it easier for truck drivers to maneuver the trailers in place within these narrow confines.

The pavement isn’t flat. Proper pitch has been built in for storm drainage and water runoff. We just blow this one completely in modeling such a scene. Another element we seldom include are the meter boxes, conduit and weather head for electrical service. We’re getting better with these though. Notice the variety of window coverings, and how some lower windows and other openings have been filled in over the years.

Sharp eyes will detect the remains of painted signage between the first and second row of windows above the loading docks. You used to be able to make out what it said, but the weather has taken care of that (it was a list of the farm machinery the company made). Do you see the metal squares on the pilaster to the right? These are the ends of truss rods that help stabilize the structure. Weathering experts would have a field day replicating all the staining, colorations and textures seen throughout this photo. Scenes like this make me want to head for the bench and start whacking up materials. I just wish I had space for it on the layout.