Naughtright: The Town That Wouldn't Stay Put
The layout as a whole—but the town in particular—have undergone almost constant change since the layout was begun (5 July 2007), and the "fine-tuning" (9 March 2008) was, in the grand scheme of things, almost inconsequential. As I was making the support for the Naughtright Passenger Station foundation on the access panel, I noticed that the panel had warped rather badly, and that's when changes started coming in waves.
To make a very long and equally convoluted story short, my attempts to correct the warping were met with failure, and ultimately I had to make a completely new access panel. When the dust settled, subtle changes had taken place which created problems for a couple of buildings, and this initiated a complete redesign of the town.
In the end, the warped access panel was a blessing in disguise, because the new arrangement was much better (7 July 2008). In particular, Dot's Trackside Diner got to be front and center, where people could get a good look inside, Spano's Service Station was oriented for better viewing, and O'Malley's Triangle Bar was pulled in with the rest of the downtown buildings, rather than dangling on the perimeter, which was good since it was planned to be a highly-detailed model.
The town as a whole became longer, stretched out closer to the river and angled in the opposite direction as before, all of which served to provide room for more buildings, such as a place for Jim's Trains/Don & Stan's Barber Shop, and further tinkering was done to improve the cosmetics of the lower line where it ducked under the town by adding a road bridge (4 August 2008).
But not everything was positive; with more careful measuring, I determined that some of the buildings, such as the pharmacy and firehouse, needed to be relocated (24 August 2008). The shuffling continued as I pondered the idea of expanding the size of the firehouse (11 September 2008). Although I could have let the pharmacy go, I decided that the back of the city block around the bank seemed kind of "wimpy" and lacked the congestion that city blocks in the middle of town often have.
So, I moved the pharmacy over next to the bank to keep it company. As it was, the most interesting parts of the kit were its side and back, so I wasn't too disappointed by turning its face away from viewers. Making this move, however, chipped away even more of the visible portion of Crooked Creek—pretty soon it was going to be entirely underground! Which would not be outside the realm of possibility in real life...
Changes continued unabated. By the end of 2008 I had dropped the Front Street Bridge in order to create space for speeder and tool sheds (7 December 2008). Later, I restored the Front Street bridge, but twisted it around to pass over the lower line where the tunnel used to be, in an effort to create an illusion that the lower line "disappear into the trees" (26 December 2008). I also rearranged the lumber yard buildings.
On 16 February 2009, owing to a series of events that started with a small modification to the crossing shanty, the diner was moved in place of the gas station, the gas station was moved in place of the firehouse, and the fire house was moved to the other side of the movie theater, replacing half of Franklin's—a building I swore up and down I'd never change again, after having changed it three times already!
Subsequently, by 1 March 2009 yet more changes took place: Emma's and the firehouse were swapped, improving visibility of the theater, and a fuel oil depot was tentatively planned for the space previously occupied by the diner.
As a footnote, Crooked Creek was removed from the plan. It became too much of a burden to keep it—particularly given the impossibly tight clearances necessary for the hidden track. Where it met James River is now just a storm drain.
About two months later, the Front Street bridge was gone—again. While reverting back to a tunnel there did away with the trackside sheds—again—it opened up the possibility for another house, right over the tunnel. Meanwhile, with the laundromat gone (or possibly moved to the new empty spot over the tunnel, instead of a house), Crooked Creek was making a possible comeback (22 April 2009).
By 29 April 2009 Emma's got moved into the first floor of the Hotel, allowing Franklin's to acquire a more normal rectangular shape, and leaving space for a mini-park. The gas station got turned 90 degrees, and Market Street was relocated, all to give the lower line more room around the tunnel portal at the end of Second Street.
On 5 May, just prior to making all of the city streets—and thereby setting the plan in stone, more or less—there was one last round of changes: the tunnel portal was pushed underneath Front Street in a kind of combined bridge/portal structure; the diner got moved down next to the lumber yard purely on a whim; the lumber shed replaced the gravel piles; the bar got shifted to the right slightly so the streets could be wider; and a slice of cemetery took the place of the diner. Also, the crossing shanty got a new home down on River Road, and the lineside sheds were once again resurrected.
Things remain settled for quite some time, but then in September I had another bout of revision-itis. Part of it had to do with the way the city streets were finally rendered: they wound up slightly displaced toward the back of the layout, leaving more space between Railroad Avenue and the railroad. This gave Dot's Diner a little more room back next to the station (7 September 2009).
But what of Weller Fuel Oil? At first I placed it down where the diner was, next to Stephen A. Greene Building Supply. But the structure looked too urban for that spot, so I rotated Dick's Auto Salvage 90 degrees to face Market Street instead of Second Street, and squeezed the fuel oil dealer in next door.
Subsequent changes were fairly subtle. The bar was shifted back away from the intersection to improve its visibility, and a modern office or apartment building is planned for the space next door. The cemetery was then moved to the corner of Front and Second Streets, replacing one of the houses (20 September 2009).
The most recent changes were the result of my decision to add a mirror to extended the river beyond the back edge of the layout. The changes necessary to carry this out include altering the far end of Front Street, revising some of the finished scenery on the other side of the river, and building a road bridge to disguise the top edge of the mirror.
Meanwhile, other small changes include adding a billboard across from the bar to further improve its visibility, and adding a small outbuilding for the lumber yard. I'm also thinking about changing the building next to the bar to a parking garage—ultimately it could wind up as anything.
When I reached the decision to sell the layout, many changes were made in order to streamline the completion of the layout. The houses on Second Street all went away; Dick's Auto Salvage was restored to its original orientation, and the cemetery grew. Crooked Creek got paved over to become a small parking lot, and the car park next to the bar became an empty building lot. On the other side of James River, the campground was eliminated, as well as the windmill and a couple of outbuildings for Landsend Farm.
On 17 July 2010 the town saw yet another major upheaval. All but one building was relocated as a result, and two new buildings were added to the plan: a new location for the pharmacy (now occupied by the Naughtright Library), and Emma's Cafe (which actually constitutes resurrecting a previous project).
A few minor changes took place around 12 October 2010: The parking garage idea for the space behind the bar was resurrected, and the mini-park got moved to replace the cemetery. Also, a small business was planned behind the Cafe, although what it will be is still unknown at this writing.
Subsequently, the abandoned factory that replaced the mini-park (formerly the cemetery) acquired a disused siding, which officially marked the end of plan revisions.
Below is an interactive map showing the final design, which is how it was built. Hover over a structure to see its name, and click on it to access the page on its construction.
Initial design, 5 July 2007
9 March 2008
7 July 2008
4 August 2008
24 August 2008
11 September 2008
7 December 2008
26 December 2008
16 February 2009
1 March 2009
22 April 2009
29 April 2009
5 May 2009
7 September 2009
20 September 2009
15 October 2009
10 December 2009
12 October 2010
Final design as of 23 October 2010
Copyright © 2007-2013 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.