10.21.2009

Creating a skyscraper from scratch (Part 2)

In my last post, I talked about getting the basic materials to create my "Godzilla Corporation" global headquarters skyscraper. In this post, I'm going to add the sidewalls, work on the back wall, create floors and do something to decorate the interior....

The Sidewalls:

The photo at right shows the 15.5 inch long strip of "sintra" material that I will use for the side walls. This skyscraper will only have windows in the front and back, so 'blank' concrete walls work just fine for the sides. Sintra is a material I have used a lot of in my layout, and its a good material for buildings as well, although its too thick to work for walls on smaller buildings, as part of a large skyscraper structure (representing thick reinforced concrete walls), it works fine.

I made the sintra side walls about 1.5 in longer than the smoked acrylic to allow for the ground floor entrance, shops etc... I will use some traditional 'clear' acrylic for the ground floor, which I will cover in a later post.
After attaching the two sides, I then started work on the back of the skyscraper. Since this building will sit in a block with other, shorter, buildings, I painted the first 8 inches or so and left the top half clear. I then applied the 'scoring' to the exterior with the same measurements used for the front (16mm between 4mm floors).As you can see from the above photo...the building can stand (I'm like a proud father all over again! Let's just hope this 'baby' doesn't learn how to walk! Arg....bad joke. Sorry!)! However, one thing you'll notice is that its easy to see right through the smoked acrylic 'windows' through to the wood of the plywood behind it. Even with the 'back' wall attached, the building will look more like a semi-transparent block than a skyscraper if I don't do something to change this.

The Office Floors:


The solution to ensure it doesn't end up looking like a big chunk of empty plastic was to use traditional foam core. I cut 18 pieces of foam core to fit inside the skyscraper (also cutting out a rectangular area on the backside which will be an access area for where my wiring for the interior lighting will run).I then spray painted just the tops of the foam core with an appropriately neutral looking color, and added in scraps of foam core, office furniture, and other little details to give some dimension to the floors. I only added real detail to about 3 floors, as I expect that these 3 floors will be well-lit with LED's with the others being relatively 'dark'.
Its important that only the top of the foam core recieves the spray painting, as the black edges will go against the inside walls opposite of where the 4mm scoring is on the outside, and since the sides of the floor foam core pieces will show through, its important that they not attract attention. Hopefully, this way, it looks like there's a real floor there (the thickness of this acrylic, which you can see in an above photo quite clearly, does concern me a bit. It'll be interesting to see what the final product turns out to look like!)!

Interior Walls:

The other detail to address is the interior sides of the building. Having 'black' for interior walls (the unpainted color of the sintra I used) just wouldn't look right (unless this was an office building for vampires, but...no, no, let's not go there...). So I decided to create some 'fake' details on my computer. I used a basic drawing program to create 16mmx 32mm rectangles and filled them in with muted office colors, small images of office-like posters, and other stuff. I then separated this rectangle with another 4mm black rectangle (this is where the foam core will cover it up). After doing a lot of copy and paste to reproduce 19 floors of office walls on both sides of the building, I printed out on my color inkjet, cut to the right shape, sprayed the backs with adhesive spray, and applied to the inside walls! Viola! Instant detail!
That's it for this update! If you have a questions or comments (thanks Don!) please leave a comment! Next time...its lighting and ground floor detail! Whoohoo!

CLICK HERE for Part 3!
CLICK HERE for Part 1!

4 comments:

  1. I'm really impressed by the interior details; for something so simple (and, honestly, rough), it looks really great from a distance (or, rather, it appears as though it would look really great from a distance? Anyway, you know what I mean).

    Looking forward to seeing how you're gonna light this puppy.

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  2. The interior details look great! Well done.

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  3. Nice, I'm really looking forward to the next updates.

    Anyhow, it seems that some of the numbers on the walls were printed backwards. Also, you could have printed some filers and shelves on the walls.

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  4. Thanks for the comments! I'm curious as to how some of this is going to turn out myself! :-) One advantage I have is that the 'glass' is thick and dark...so even ambient light from the outside will (I think) only pick up shadows (at best!).
    La saucisse...I'm amazed you found my shortcut! :-). Yes, after doing 15 or so of these 'floors' I just copied and 'flipped' some images...these floors will be dark, so it won't be possible to see any detail.

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