Parking Spaces, Part Three

Finishing up the Johnson County DHS Parking Garage in Iowa City. Since only the top deck is visible, it’s the only one I took the time to add striping for the parking spots. The bottom deck is better left to the imagination.

I marked off the individual spots to make sure they would all fit as planned. I’ve standardized on one-inch wide by two-inch long spots, since it’s a good balance between what looks correct to the eye and actual prototype dimensions. A drafting pencil and an old straightedge makes easy and discreet marks.

Blue painters tape in sufficient quantities was used to mask the individual lines. For the no parking diagonals I sliced the tape into smaller strips to work between the lines, then burnished all the seams so that the stripes would have sharp, defined edges.

Cheap acrylic craft paint applied with an equally-cheap foam brush finishes the striping process. I used a dabbing motion when applying the paint so that the stripes go on in a mottled fashion. That helps give them a weathered appearance more appropriate for a surface constantly exposed to the elements.

Once dry I applied detail parts, mostly from Rix Products and Walthers. Light fixtures were from JTT Scenery Products while the conduit was fashioned from piano wire. While the prototype was used to reference detail placements, it wasn’t an exact match due to the overall compression of the garage to fit the layout. Rather I went for a decent representation of the real thing.

The overall structure, sans acrylic pieces, was then weathered with my usual choice of an India Ink and Isopropyl Alcohol wash applied with an airbrush. For my modeled era, the structure was relatively new, and continues to be maintained, so I didn’t overdue the weathering. The glass atrium was then permanently attached to the parking deck.

The finished garage was then placed on the layout and scenicked. Just some static grass and ballast was needed, since the structure takes up all of the block between South Clinton and South Dubuque Street.

And with that, the Iowa City portion of The Hills Line is complete.

4 thoughts on “Parking Spaces, Part Three

  1. James

    Never been to Iowa City but now I have.

    Excellent rendition of an everyday structure than no one pays any attention to….it’s just there. It’s the realistic representation of these ordinary things that makes your layout “go “.

    Well done!!


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