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Author Topic: Keveny Academy  (Read 12920 times)
Bill Gill
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« on: January 08, 2015, 08:45:02 AM »

This HO scale school began as a temporary stand-in model by another member of The Rensselaer Model RR Society. After he got tied up with other projects he asked me to finish it. It was the first project I did for the club and it remains the largest and most detailed structure I have ever built. The project fumbled along at first. There were only a few photos to work from. Like the prototype, space for the model was very restricted. The front of the school had to be condensed quite a bit to fit. That gave me fits wrestling with how to do that and still maintain the look of the building. Fortunately the front side can only be viewed from a nearly right angle which helps hide the foreshortening.

A little background to set the scene: This is the second school built on this site near Albany, NY. It was completed in 1929 and named for the third pastor, Father Thomas Keveny, who started the first school in 1860. It was built directly across the street from the parish church. Both were right next to the Delaware & Hudson tracks because that was the least expensive real estate in Cohoes, which was full of mills and power canals near the water. At one point Cohoes was a high tech center. Located at the southern end of the Eire Canal system, it also attracted engineers from as far as Japan to study how water from The Mohawk River at Cohoes Falls, the second largest falls east of the Mississippi, was used seven times through a series of mills before returning to the river. Harmony Mills, near the falls, was the largest cotton mill in the world when it was built.
Cohoes became a city of many nationalities, each proudly building their own church and school. By the time the second Keveny Academy was built the mills had begun their inexorable move south. Cohoes rapidly declined like many Northeastern cities.


* Preserving Keveny Memorial Academy 2 (Will Gill).jpg (94.1 KB, 800x572 - viewed 1218 times.)
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 09:14:34 AM by Bill Gill » Logged
Bill Gill
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2015, 08:52:34 AM »

The prototype photos were taken around 2001. At that point the school was run down and had sat unused for years. It became a vacant lot in 2002. The school’s location adjacent to the tracks made it an essential structure for the New England Berkshire & Western RR layout.


* Keveny Memorial Academy angled front RMRRS.jpg (115.5 KB, 506x649 - viewed 1205 times.)
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Bill Gill
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2015, 08:54:11 AM »

Front view of the empty school


* Preserving Keveny Memorial Academy 4 (RMRRS).jpg (97.67 KB, 720x510 - viewed 1192 times.)
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Bill Gill
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2015, 08:56:04 AM »

Compressed model front


* Keveny Memorial Academy model front.JPG (115.02 KB, 754x688 - viewed 1229 times.)
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Bill Gill
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2015, 08:58:06 AM »

In the middle of researching the building I discovered that my father attended the school for several years. That made me determined to make a model that would be accepted as a permanent structure instead of a stand-in. I imagined him sneaking peeks outside at the passing trains. He added a number of insights and details about the school.

Here is another example where Little People add to an otherwise nondescript scene. I tracked down a former principal of the school and she told me what the school uniforms and the nuns’ habits looked like in the early 1950s of the layout, so the students and nun are dressed correctly for the time period. The building was also well maintained at that time, so the model is not heavily weathered.

The model appeared in Railroad Model Craftsman in 2007.


* Preserving Keveny Memorial Academy 7p (Will Gill).JPG (108.62 KB, 750x749 - viewed 1203 times.)
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 09:07:22 AM by Bill Gill » Logged
Bill Gill
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2015, 08:59:24 AM »

Closer look at scene


* Preserving Keveny Memorial Academy people (Will Gill).JPG (94.16 KB, 799x614 - viewed 1250 times.)
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BKLN
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2015, 11:15:00 AM »

Bill,
this is very nice work. It is very obvious that your attention to detail pays off. The Rensselaer layout seems to be one of the most ambitious projects ever in model railroading. I still haven't made it to see it in person, but I am very impressed by the seriousness of their approach.

What kind of brick sheets did you use? N-scale Architect?

Christian
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Bill Gill
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2015, 02:29:47 PM »

Christian, Thank you. (Sent you a PM)
 
The Rensselaer layout is very ambitious. There are a small number of active student members, many without any previous modeling experience, who work when they have time to complete, update and maintain the layout. The layout seeks to accurately portray the major role railroads played in the industrial development of the country. The club's New England Berkshire & Western RR, set perpetually in September 1950, is fictional, but closely follows the Delaware & Hudson and the Rutland RR in routes and operations. The layout runs from Albany, NY to Montreal, Canada.

My son was a student member when I joined as a show of support. He is still a member and on the staff at RPI. Like this forum, the club's purpose is to encourage members (student & community at large) to model, and to study the history of railroading. My own HO layout is tiny. Left to my own devices I never would have the opportunity to try the various projects that I do at the club.

The huge research files on the club website are only open to subscribers, but there are a number of photo galleries and thumbnail images of the layout open to everyone. To get a sense of the size and scope, here is the website:http://railroad.union.rpi.edu/index.php?title=Rensselaer_Railroad_Heritage_Website

For just a quick look at some of the scenes, click on MORE LAYOUT PHOTOS just below the center photo under Rennselaer Railroad Heritage Website.

 For a more in depth look, click on "The RPI Model Railroad Club Layout" a short way down the left most column under the "Berkshire Lines" herald, then click on  the "NEB&W Layout" drop down under that. You will get the NEB&W Table of Contents which lists all the locations on the layout from north to south. There is information on both the models and prototype scenes they are based on. At that point you are on your own to browse whatever strikes your interest (Red Rocks, State Line Tunnel and Troy are impressive). There is a lot to see, even in thumbnail size images.

Yipes, and after that hearty endorsement, your original question asked about the brick sheet. This model was begun as a kitbash of a Walthers modern three stall engine house. I used Walthers styrene brick sheetshttps://www.walthers.com/exec/search?category=&scale=H&manu=walthers&item=&keywords=brick+sheet&words=restrict&instock=Q&split=30&Submit=Search
that matched the side bricks exactly.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 02:58:08 PM by Bill Gill » Logged
BKLN
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2015, 03:25:32 PM »

Very impressive! I exclusively work with the Walthers brick sheets for scratchbuilding, so I know how tricky it is to work with, compared to others. But the crisp brick and the almost perfect scale size makes it my first choice!
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Ray Dunakin
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2015, 06:11:29 PM »

Great model, Bill! I like the students' artwork(?) posted in the windows.

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Bill Gill
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2015, 07:25:29 PM »

Thanks, Ray. In the 1950s Keveny Academy was an elementary school, so student papers in the windows seemed natural, and they hide the empty interior.
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Chuck Doan
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2015, 08:54:33 PM »

Beautiful work Bill!
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Bill Gill
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2015, 07:37:59 AM »

Thanks, Chuck!
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Joel Freedman
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2015, 04:23:40 PM »

Wow bill, nice work. Stunning.
I finished the interiors (or as much as I wanted to do for now) for the music shop building. I also added a sign. Now time to tackle the grocery store seriously.


* DSC_0069 small.jpg (87.28 KB, 419x800 - viewed 902 times.)

* DSC_0075 small.jpg (77.61 KB, 477x800 - viewed 853 times.)
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Bill Gill
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2015, 12:56:26 PM »

Joel, Really good exteriors to go with the interiors. The alarm tape in the window is a great touch and I hope Ray Dunakin sees the radio and Victrola in the window.
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