Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Art Deco Chapters: Signboard

Probably the most distinctive feature of this building is its sign and the corresponding signboard.

I took a photo of a Chapters sign from the parking lot of a local outlet. Surprisingly, this produces a fairly distortion free image even though I was standing many metres away and below the sign – no doubt this is recorded on some security camera somewhere. I printed a draft sign with my inkjet printer; scaled to a size that I thought would look right on the front of the building.

I used the paper sign as a guide for building a styrene signboard. This is a freelance component, and doesn’t replicate any particular big-box store signboard, but is very similar to those seen everyday at every big-box mall. It’s built primarily from 0.020 inch sheet styrene with some square stock used for reinforcement. 0.012 inch sheet is used for some of the finer trim pieces. The thickness of the signboard was sized so the completed structure would fit snug on the wall above the front doors with just minimal overhang.


The molded brickwork on the upper edge of the fa├žade where the sign will attach needs to be ground off in order for the signboard to seat properly against the wall. This is easily done with a sharp x-acto knife and a sanding stick. As well, the roof that overhangs the sidewalk has a molding for attaching the bus depot sign from the kit that needs to be ground off. The upper surface of the overhang roof was papered with a fine sandpaper to give it a ‘roof-like’ texture.

As for colours, the main brickwork is brush painted with Model Master Acryl Armor Sand, and the brickwork on the curved pieces is painted with Model Master Acryl Dark Tan for contrast. The windows and doors are painted Model Master Acryl Guard’s Red. To tone down the brick colours a bit, and to help accentuate the coursing, a very loose wash of PolyScale Dust and Model Master Acryl Flat Black was flowed onto the brick – all the time making sure the basic wall colour was not obscured, just dulled. The effect is subtle, but noticeable.

P.S. I solved my printer problem over the weekend – unfortunately it was by purchasing a new printer. My 10-year old Epson refused to print yellow, and the red and blue weren’t very clear either. No amount of fiddling, or cleaning, or even replacing the printer cartridges, would do the trick. I printed up a sign with the new Lexmark and then went on to more-or-less complete this project. Hopefully, I can take some pictures of the finished model once the sun shines and post the conclusion.

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