The Case for Mockups


I have a love/hate relationship when it comes to making mockups on a model railroad. On one hand, it annoys me to spend time on something that I know will end up in the trash instead of on The Hills Line. On the other, I really hate redoing things I’ve already done, so taking the time to make sure it’s correct is a benefit.


On the IAIS Grimes Line I made footprint mockups from foam core board. It gave me the advantage of seeing how a structure would fit into a given scene and double check that the spatial relationships worked without having to go through the trouble of building something more substantial.


I’ll do the same for Stutsmans Ag Products in Hills, but went ahead and quickly constructed the two warehouses for City Carton Recycling in Iowa City. I had some Pikestuff structures from Rix Products that were a gift from a fellow modeler, and should make excellent approximations of the prototype buildings.


Already I can tell that I’m going to need to make the receiving warehouse longer, both to better reflect the prototype structure but also to give it a sense of mass that comes with rail-served industries. That’s one place where bigger is better.


Mockups are also useful for operating purposes. The placement of the tool warehouse at City Carton is dependent on easy access to the spur’s turnout. Since the warehouse is between the spur and the IAIS girder bridge, I need to make sure that there’s plenty of clearance for hands to reach into the scene without causing potential damage.

Proof that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

2 thoughts on “The Case for Mockups

  1. Sooo, did you leave enough space to reach the turnout??? lol. Seriously though, it looks like there’s a water feature in the flat spot, and I would guess there are trees growing along the edges.


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