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THE NEIGHBORHOOD ARCHIVE - All Things Mister Rogers

Justin Olson - Neighborhood Model Replicas

 


Description

According to Justin:

I first built the tall red building which requires two HO scale 'Ramsey Journals' kits from AHM/Tyco. These were stacked atop one another with custom side walls and a roof, which were made of paperboard. Getting the roof and cupola shaped just right were the hardest parts. My only reference sources for the model's specifications were screen captures from differing episodes. The original model changed a few times over the years - my replica corresponds to how the original looked during the 1980's. While not present on my model, small flowers sometimes adorned the original as seen in many closeups. I don't think the building ever had a name but I sometimes refer to it as the 'Family Communications' building.

Betty's Little Theater was a straightforward adaption, also utilizing a 'Ramsey Journals' as its basis. There are not many closeups of this model throughout the series so during the last Twitch marathon I had to tactfully wait for an episode showing the model to appear, then take screen captures to use as modelling reference. The small advertising signs that adorn the building were made from spare decals included in the model kit - window and door were scratch built. Painting the black stripe that runs along the building was done using a round toothpick as a brush. At some point the original model had a large water barrel on its roof top. Having no such thing on hand, I substituted it for another custom piece of mine - a Decot fire siren.

I also scratch built some Trolleys. The Neighbourhood trolley, Grandparents Express, and two freelance designs.

This is the old style "Family Communications" building used in the earlier season of MRN. It and the other old layout buildings were made from cardboard or paper - I do not believe these were preserved once the improvised 1974 layout was established. Though it was not made to an exact scale it looks like the old layout was close to HO 1/87 scale.

My replica was also made from paper and cardboard, using just one screenshot as a guide. Most of the building is painted except for the window which received no more detailing than two black frame lines, courtesy of a fine-point marker. This particular variation of the "family communications" building only appeared in episodes 1197 and 1198 so I have attached the screenshot for reference. It had been adapted from the original 'NET' building and changed at least eight times before the entire layout was replaced.

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