[Soon after construction in late summer 1957]
Last year I read Michael Paul Smith's books Elgin Park: An Ideal American Town and Elgin Park: Visual Memories of Midcentury America at 1/24 Scale (he also has a great Flicker site). One of his projects was a 1/24 scale model of his childhood home. I started to toy with the idea of building a model of the house I grew up in and set about drawing up some 1/24 scale plans. It turned out to be tougher than I thought as I only had a collection of photos and my memories.
I started with the garage plan since the doors are standardized and I clearly recall how small it was because we had to make sure not to bang the car doors against the walls - especially with a big Chevy my father once owned. I had built a 1/24 plastic model of a 1970 Chevy Impala many years ago and it helped me figure out the plan. From there I worked on the garage elevation. I then used the garage as a reference to figure out the sizes of the rest of the house's components. After several weeks of a few minutes here and a few minutes there, I finally had a plan and elevations in 1/24 scale.
[Believe it or not, there is a floor plan and set of elevations on that taped together piece of tracing paper. There were a lot of iterations and I traced new ones from old ones. I need to ink the pencil lines.]
For an average-sized house, it was going to be a big 1/24 scale model. Too big really. I'd have no place to display or store it. And it would likely take at least a year of spare time to build. I didn't do anything, but now I think I might give it a try in HO.
[The external walls are up and the roof's on. On to the interior.]
I find modelling brick and stone intimidating, and try to avoid it. On the movie store model I stuck on a photo of the facade's stone work, but that didn't look too convincing.
[E. L. Moore carved stonework in balsa as with this chimney, but I think his technique looks better on rustic buildings. Photo by E. L. Moore.]
On this model the cut stone work on the front wall will be a major feature, so I'm going to have a go at carving the stones in card or styrene or foam. I'm doing a lot of reading on this, and need to practice a few to see what I can do that'll seem credible and not drive me insane.
[With the walls nearing completion, and the roof still not started, you can get a sense of how these bungalows were built in late '50s Toronto.]
The model won't have a finished interior, but I plan to include the internal partitions and have a removable roof. I suspect the hip roof will give me gas pains too, but I figure once I've learned how to build one, it'll be easier when I tackle other suburban homes because a streetcar layout needs houses. There weren't and aren't any streetcars running in this end of Toronto, but the TTC did and does run buses there - that was one of the selling points in those days because at the time this part of Scarborough was Toronto's hinterland.