Bruce Campbell's Tenement

A Tenement on the Shoreline by Bruce Campbell

In 2016 I acquired a Model Tech Studios 3D Background City Tenements kit at the Fine Scale Model Railroad Expo in Danvers, MA. I had one of the 3 tenements in the kit left and it was be a good fit to an urban Providence street near the engine terminal on my NYNH&H Shoreline. The kit consisted of laser-cut siding, decks, stair rails and window frames and sashes. There were plastic parts for porch posts, rails and stairs. The footprint was too deep for the space available, so I cut new narrower sides without windows. I stained the front, new sides and porch-roof supports with Hunterline alcohol-based light grey stain. The backs of the parts were painted to prevent warping. See Fig 1.

Figure 1.

Figure 2.

To represent peeling and faded white paint, I dry brushed an off-white craft paint on the front and sides. Laser-cut windows and stair railings were spray primed on both sides with a petroleum-based primer. I painted the doorframes (made from scale lumber) and the window frames and sashes with khaki craft paint and followed with brown and grey Pan-Pastel chalks. Painted cardstock shades were added. I cemented black styrene sheet behind the windows. Apartment numbers and a street number were added. All of the paint, weathering and assembly of the front was done before assembly. See Fig 2.

Once the building was erected a back of .060 styrene stiffened it and supported the main roof. Basswood bracing (3/16”) was put in all inside corners. The decks, porch-roof posts, stairs, stair railings, porch railings and porch support posts were added, starting from the bottom. Stairs, railings and posts were cut to fit and painted and weathered the same way as the window frames and sashes. (Fig 3.)

Figure 3.

I covered the porch roof with black tissue cut to represent tar paper and painted weathered black. The main roof was made from shingle roofing from Plastruct. The tenement was mounted on a .080 styrene base. I added a few details and put a For Rent sign on apartment B on the 2nd floor. (Figs. 4 and 5.) It has a splendid view of the NYNH&H in Providence and is just down the street from a good pizza place. Perhaps when the pandemic is over you may wish to check it out.

Figure 4.

Figure 5.