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1965 Astrodome Model

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  • 1965 Astrodome Model

    Hi all-
    I wanted to start sharing photos of a new model of the Astrodome I recently started working on. It will depict the way the Dome looked when it opened in 1965. The large outfield scoreboard, grass field and seat colors will be reflected. The model will also featured Judge Roy Hofheinz' apartment/suite in the right field area. The scoreboard you see in these photos along the outfield is only temporary as I build the interior seating and to show scale. I'm working on a way to possibly light the scoreboard. This Astrodome model will compliment another model previously built that looks the way it did at the end of its baseball run in 1999 (after '89 seating expansion, rainbow seats, exterior ramp towers, Astroturf, etc.). Both models are the same size with a dome span of 30 inches. I'll periodically post updates and I appreciate any comments!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Well, looks good so far. Keep it up, I love watching these kinds of things progress.
    WAMCO!

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    • #3
      Just for my own personal curiosity, you're using 1/4" foamcore with supports every 5º or so? Very clever. I suppose the only possible downside to this type of construction would be in a more open-air park where you could see into the concourse area, but it is quite ingenious for an enclosed model like the Astrodome.

      Then, I assume you use something akin to light cardstock for the outer walls and for the seating? You must be quite happy that you don't need to do the rainbow-type upper deck painting like in your last one.

      Truly professional looking model, and it makes me want to try my hand at something. Never thought of something so easy yet sturdy as foamcore, with which I became a little too familiar during my set design days.
      http://www.virtualfenway.com

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sean O View Post
        Just for my own personal curiosity, you're using 1/4" foamcore with supports every 5º or so? Very clever. I suppose the only possible downside to this type of construction would be in a more open-air park where you could see into the concourse area, but it is quite ingenious for an enclosed model like the Astrodome.

        Then, I assume you use something akin to light cardstock for the outer walls and for the seating? You must be quite happy that you don't need to do the rainbow-type upper deck painting like in your last one.

        Truly professional looking model, and it makes me want to try my hand at something. Never thought of something so easy yet sturdy as foamcore, with which I became a little too familiar during my set design days.

        Thanks Sean O! I appreciate the comments. There are 72 columns that encompass the main structure with the main ribs set every 30 degrees. Foamcore provides a lightweight, yet sturdy model. I do have to make some adjustments in the cut of some foamcore to actually show the concourse in the outfield areas. These areas will show concessions, main gate acesss and even restroom entrances. There is some exposed steel in the RF and LF areas next to the large scoreboard for which I will use bass wood to show columns.

        I will continue to move from the LF and around the curve to RF to complete the main seating tiers. At that point I will take down the mock scoreboard and begin placing supports for the outfield Pavilion seating and concourse.

        Replicating curved seating can be tricky, but after measuring it out I cut a heavier card stock from a stencil I create and match it up to the corresponding columns. I use an x-acto knife to score the card stock allowing it to bend easier and fit the framework underneath. After painting the seat colors I use the knife again to lightly score a replication of horizontal seat rows followed by a vertical score to give the image of individual seats. And yes, since this model is displaying the Astrodome era before Astros rainbow jerseys and seating renovations, I do not have to paint the rainbow colors into the upper deck! Doing it the first time took a little extra patience.

        Overall this seating design is similar to that of Shea Stadium, although not quite indentical, if anyone out there was interested in building a model of Shea.

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        • #5
          Upper Deck and Loge Level

          Here's an update showing more seating in the Upper Deck and Loge Level on the third base/LF line.

          Last photo below...Since this model is the same size as the 1999 version of the Astrodome I previously built, I placed the field level seats and field into the new model to give another perspective of how it will come together. The finished product will feature a grass playing field with dirt basepaths.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Hey there...it has been a while since I posted some updated photos of my model so I wanted to do so now.

            Here are three shots showing and update to interior seating, exterior walls, entrances and a night shot of of what the entrance will look like once I intall lights in between the lower walls.

            Any comments are appreciated. Thanks.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              wow that looks really good! i would love to see you make a fenway park model
              1903,1912,1915,1916,1918,2004,2007,2013

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              • #8
                Wow! That looks amazing! I don't have the patience to put together something like that.

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                • #9
                  I must say this is incredible.

                  Can you talk about how you're actually constructing this? How did you get all the measurements and elevations to such excellent scale?

                  Are you a architecture student? I went to an engineering school and the architectual guys loved doing stuff like this.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Yoda View Post
                    I must say this is incredible.

                    Can you talk about how you're actually constructing this? How did you get all the measurements and elevations to such excellent scale?

                    Are you a architecture student? I went to an engineering school and the architectual guys loved doing stuff like this.
                    Thanks for your comments.

                    I was once an architecture student, but later switched to communications. I was tired of having my art compromised, which happens a lot with architects. I have kept it as a hobby and it helps me with some of my work.

                    Anyway, I am also a historian and I have amassed a large amount of information on the Astros and their ballparks. I had the good fortune of visiting the engineering department at the Astrodome many years ago to look at the blueprints. I made numerous notes in addition to walking the stadium. There is a website online that currently shows how various stadiums were designed. One of those stadiums is the Astrodome. It features elevations of the seating structure. That site is http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsapp/BT/...N/houston.html. For basic information, it is a good source.

                    I took the actual dimensions of the dome and the stadium structure and converted them to a smaller scale. This scale is based on a large plexi-glass dome that I found at a local restaurant (it was actually a spare part for a kids playground). The shape of this clear plexi dome (32" in diameter) was perfect for a model so I converted the 642' span of the real Astrodome's roof to fit this scale. From there I took the basic information on column layout and composed a large circle. The real Astrodome has 72 main structural columns that everything in the stadium design is based on. So I marked every column and built up from there.

                    To keep the model lightweight and sturdy I used 1/4 foam core to cut the elevations and glue them to the appropriate column/grid spot. I numbered the columns exactly as they are in the Astrodome with #1 beginning on the south end and sweeping up to the west side and then back up to the north and sweeping back down to the east and to the south where column #72 sits next to #1. The Astrodome sits 25 feet below street level so I will be "building up" the grade level. Once the model is done it will appear to sit underground like the real one does.

                    This is the second Astrodome I have built at this size. Much like Yankee Stadium of today differs from when it opened, the Astrodome underwent a massive renovation in the late 1980's that changed some of the interior and the seating colors changed. This current model will feature the Astrodome as it opened in 1965 with original seating colors, a grass field, a private apartment in right field for team owner Judge Roy Hofheinz and the massive 474' scoreboard across the outfield. I am working to install lighting that will light up the gates and concourses as well as the scorebaord.

                    This model is actually pretty complex and it does take some time but I do not know of any others in existance like it. I hope the final result will look great.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great model! I do like how you put up the gulf logo from the get go, big business at its finest lol!
                      The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.

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                      • #12
                        He probably need a break from notching out foambaord and do something else for 5 min!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chevy114 View Post
                          Great model! I do like how you put up the gulf logo from the get go, big business at its finest lol!
                          That's funny. I was checking the size of the sign to see if it would fit correctly. That wall with the two ads and the scoreboard is just there to show where the actual scoreboard will be built. I made a quick mock-up. The funny thing is that the Dome only had two ads (Gulf Oil) for the first five years of existance. Then those two ads became ones for Texaco. It wasn't until the early 80's that there were more than two ads panels on the stadium scoreboard. Ads on the outfield wall didn't appear until the mid-90's.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Astros View Post
                            That's funny. I was checking the size of the sign to see if it would fit correctly. That wall with the two ads and the scoreboard is just there to show where the actual scoreboard will be built. I made a quick mock-up. The funny thing is that the Dome only had two ads (Gulf Oil) for the first five years of existance. Then those two ads became ones for Texaco. It wasn't until the early 80's that there were more than two ads panels on the stadium scoreboard. Ads on the outfield wall didn't appear until the mid-90's.
                            That interesting, I guess most stadiums at the time only had one or two big ads on their scoreboard.
                            The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It has been a busy summer for me. I haven't had time to work on the model in about six weeks, but I probably will begin working on it again soon.

                              This is a photo from early July showing the completed orange Mezzanine. The purple loge and gold upper deck are pretty much done as well. This view is looking back at home plate from centerfield. You can still see the marking of the baselines.

                              The supports for the outfield pavilion seats are in. The open area between columns 43 and 66 (written next where the upper levels end) will eventually be filled with the large scoreboard and private apartment area. I will post more when I have more progress. Thanks to all who have commented on this model.
                              Attached Files

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