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Hello,
I need to construct a 1/2" (or G scale is close enough) model of a short section of the Chicago "el" tracks for a stage set I'm designing. I'm looking for a quick way to construct this, as well as parts that I can use to make modifications for additional scenic elements. Is there some kind of G-scale kit for urban elevated tracks? Am I best off just buying some scale plastruct girders? If I had more time for this project, I'd love to hand-build everything, but that's not a possibility for this project. . .
Any hints/tips/links/plans you can offer would be much appreciated!!
-David
 

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RE: Chicago "el"

Being a stage set, I'll assume it doesn't have to be highly detailed--in that it's probably going to be viewed from 20+ feet away. If that's the case, keep it simple. Plastruct will work fine, as will wood. Heck, a 2x4 painted a dull silver (or whatever color the Chicago Els towers are painted) would probably be sufficient.

Later,

K
 

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Interesting project. What time period do you need to model?

I can picture the structures, but can't find any pictures of them. Maybe a trip downtown with a camera would be appropriate.

I think EBT is right, you probably won't need much detail since the viewers are some distance away. I think I'd build a plywood front and paint black & gray to look like the trusses. Do you need a train running? It might be hard to find an exact match to whatever era you need, but then, painted boxes on Heartland motor blocks would probably work from the audience's perspective.

Here is a page showing lots of the train cars in different eras. www.chicago-l.org/trains/roster/index.html Even has dimensions and such.

You're sure you need it in 1/2 inch scale? That would be about right for G track and such. In 1/2 inch scale, the train cars will stand about 6 inches high and be 2 to 3 ft long.

There's a guy at the Chicago Botanic Garden who is really into trolly's and such, I wonder if he would have information you could use. Try calling the garden at 847.835.5440 and ask for Dave Rodelius. He would likely know who I'm thinking of. Tell him "A brat sent me," and he'll know who I am. Or maybe you'd be better off if he didn't know that/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif
 

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RE: Chicago "el"

Torby's link can take you to some "Historical" photos which show the tracks and girders (see  www.chicago-l.org/stations/harvard.html.  Also www.chicago-l.org/stations/images/SouthElevated/garfield05.jpg shows the construction underneath.) Plastruct will work for the longitudinals (Northeastern Scale Lumber also sells girders, in wood, though you'd never know when they are painted.) Uprights were occasionally a more complicated lattice. I've seen photos of a clever model which used clear plastic uprights with the lattice painted on it.
 

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RE: Chicago "el"

Those are the photos I wasn't finding!
 

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RE: Chicago "el"

Looks way too clean...
Rent (or buy) "The Blues Brothers" dvd.
That'll give you a good feel for the area & structures...
 
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