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  • Cheney Stadium Scale Model

    Attn: Mods - There is another thread with this same title (or close to it). That thread was started years ago and was very brief. I don't want to step on that thread starters toes...tried to reach out via PM, but no response. So, I am starting this thread.

    I am going to be documenting my construction of a scratch built, scale model of Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. Why Cheney? There are actually a few reasons. In no particular order:
    • I live in the Pacific Northwest and have attended games at both the old and new Cheney Stadiums. I prefer the old version by A LOT.
      I once umpired the Washington State High School baseball championships at the stadium.
      I love building scale model replica stadiums. This will be my 5th one.
      Cheney Stadium had a unique design that I find very interesting. It had a self-supporting, concrete roof that was held up by concrete/steel supports. These supports were exposed. It also had an open concourse.
      I hope to collaborate on a display at the 2013 Western Washington State Fair that will feature old PCL ballparks of the Pacific Northwest - Cheney, Sicks' and Vaughn Street Park - along with a large amount of rare Seattle Rainers memorabilia. I am in charge of the ballparks


    The first step in building the ballpark is to lay out a good diagram. I used a current seating chart because I could not find an old one. Fortunately, Cheney has the same seating bowl. It was left in place. Research shows that the original dimensions were 330 down the lines and 410 to center. One problem I had in doing the diagram is that when using the sizing function in Excel, it has a tendency to change only the vertical or horizontal aspect resulting in inaccurate scaling. Most of the problem I had was with the LF/RF lines. CF was fine. I went ahead and had the diagram blown up, but then had to make some additional lines with the proper scaling.

    With a good plan in hand, I could start putting the lines down on my board. I elected to use a scale of 1" = 32' for this model. The model will be centered on the horizontal and vertical on my plywood board (24" x 24"). I cut along the lines and then put the diagram on the primed board and traced the outer footprint. Next, I cut the playing field out and traced it onto the board. Once the field was laid out, I used the tempate to trace it onto the back of my Ready Grass, vinyl backed grass. I carefully cut the field out and glued it to the board. There is a lot of additional explanation behind how I laid out the infield, etc. Once the field was glued down, I painted it with a coat of acrylic varnish. This has the effect of sealing the field and keeping all the little grass fibers from shedding. It also protects the field from my hand that my occasionally need to rest on the grass for support/steadiness when gluing for painting.

    The attached photos show these two steps. The next step will be to layout the structural support system. It is all exposed, so it will have to be meticulous. The templates have already been made. Now it is a matter of marking and cutting more than 25 identical 3-piece sections of support. This will take a while.

    More later....

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  • #2
    As a kid that grew up in Cheney Stadium, I look forward to your progress! Spent many afternoons in the old ballpark (and Tightwad Hill) watching the Tacoma Twins, Tacoma Yankees and Tacoma Tugs. Perhaps you can capture some of the old ads that once adorned the OF walls: The Night Moves Tavern, Cloverleaf Pizza, Adam's Peanut butter, The Ragamuffin, KTAC, etc.

    Also, most people don't realize the orginal light structures and the seats used in Cheney were trucked up from Seals stadium when it was demolished.
    Last edited by PowerAlley21; 01-14-2013, 12:25 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kingfin66 View Post
      Attn: Mods - There is another thread with this same title (or close to it). That thread was started years ago and was very brief. I don't want to step on that thread starters toes...tried to reach out via PM, but no response. So, I am starting this thread.
      No worries about the other thread. Not only was it antiquated, but two out of three of the contributors to that thread are no longer active at the site. As well, the brevity you noticed, not to mention the lack of a scale model, were precisely the reasons it was never added to Quick Search thread.

      At the same time, though, I've separated this thread into two. This for your scale model, and the other for the photos of the park itself. There's already passing mention of the park in the Pacific Coast League thread, but this was the first thread to include pics of the park. I've changed the existing link in the Quick Search, as well as added a new entry there for this thread.

      Btw, I'm looking forward to someone actually completing a model of this park. And if your work on Seals Stadium is any indication, this should be quite a treat.
      Put it in the books.

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      • #4
        Adding some more pictures that, unfortunately, only show the progress I have made. There were other pictures that showed some step by step of the stadium exoskeleton structure, but I inadvertently deleted them. Those pictures illustrated the process involved to get to what is shown in these pictures.

        I had to cut 27 sections by 3 pieces per section. Those pieces were welded together using a product called Weldene. Given the density of the plastic and the fact that multiple pieces were being joined, I opted to weld the pieces together with solvent to ensure that they will be strong. Once the first piece was made I traced the outline of it 26 times on cardboard as a sort of template for gluing. It is imperative that these sections be as close to identical as possible. A small piece of plastic strip was cut and glued to the bottom of each section to simulate the top of the footing that supports the vertical beam.

        Next, the sections were given multiple coats of a grey paint. Concrete is a hard color to judge for painting. Older concrete fades and becomes almost light beige while new concrete tends toward grey as it begins a long curing process. Since this is a brand new Cheney Stadium, I opted for the fresh concrete and asphalt look.

        After painting, it was time to line everything up and glue away. I used super glue to hold the sections to the wood base. It will ensure a strong bond and is great for gluing different materials together....really wish I had all the pics...grrr. The trick is to make everything line up when glued even if it doesn't quite align visually. This is a trade off that I made grudgingly, but it is necessary for fit. The trick is to make small marks for where the sections are to be glued. Then glue the two furthest sections from each other. For example, glue the section on the 3B line first and the the section closest to home plate. The exterier wall is then glued in place. Finally, the inside sections are glued with any adjustments being made to each section prior to gluing. The goal is to have the exterior wall slide into the notches on the support section. The wall must be straight without unintended bends.

        Overall, I give my grade on this step a B-. I left myself in good enough enough shape to have the roof and seating fit well enough, but the ribs did not meet in the corners as they should, and it is likely that I will have to adjust a couple of the ribs on the roof since the angle is a little bit too pronounced.

        There are many options for what to do next. I probably won't put the seating or the roof on just yet. There is some detail work to do in the open concourse. I am thinking that it will be easier to put all of that in before I cover stuff up. I can also put in the outfield wall, do some detail on the playing field, build the right field line bleachers. Also, this model will have some landscaping (grass, shrubs, etc) done, so I can work on that too. This staium will be unusual in that the grandstand seating and roof may be done much later in the process, whereas for most models it would be done first. Still, this was the biggest part of the build and is a huge milestone to have completed. It was very high on the difficulty scale and I learned a lot.

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        • #5
          There has been quite a bit more work completed on the Cheney Stadium model. These pictures don't have the best lighting/back drop, thus, the colors don't "pop" the way I would like them to. Things that have been completed since the previous pictures include:

          The base around the ballpark has been painted blue. The blue is much nicer than in the pictures. I like to accentuate the model with a vivid color painted on the base. In most cases, I incorporate the team colors. For Cheney, however, I opted not to do this as the stadium originally opened as a SF Giants farm club and I recently completed a model of Seals Stadium. It is too soon to do orange again, so I chose a color I thought would go well with the grey of the stadium strucure.

          The outfield wall was added. It still needs ads. I have no idea what the original color of the wall was, so I sent with green. Most of the wall will be covered in ads regardless, so I am not too concerned.

          Landscaping (grass/weeds) were added to the area down the LF and RF lines. The stadium did not have bleachers down the LF line when it first opened. Notice that I left an open area for a light tower in the middle of the grass.

          A chain link fence was installed around the stadium. For this, I used a cross stitch backing board and painted it with metallic silver acrylic paint. It came out reasonable good.

          The biggest project was the construction of the buildings that reside under the stands. I believe these were the clubhouses and storage rooms. There is also concession stand in the middle section of the stadium. I opted to build these structures prior to adding the seating areas so that I could better see what I was doing. I also added a wall behind these rooms for structure and support. The buildings were painted in a lighter grey the support beams.

          The next steps will be to add the seating and the roof. The seating won't be too hard to add, but roof will be a pain. I will like have to do quite a bit of adjusting of my roof supports to get it to look right. This means I will have to trim, re-cut, re-glue and do whatever is needed to get the roof looking good. Once the seats and room are done, it is light construction time. Things are progressing well, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

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          • #6
            I forgot to note that I added the foul lines and home plate. The material I used for the foul line is a 1/4 round strip in a very thin thickness. It worked well and is much easier than trying to mask off and paint lines on the Ready Grass.

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            • #7
              Time for a few more photos to show my progress. The biggest change is that I added the grandstand seating. This take a lot of work. First you need to make the cuts precise so that the pieces have a good fit. Once that is done, it is time to paint. There are three different colors in the seats. I was lucky enough to find a 1963 Tacoma Giants team photo in color. The photo was taken in front of the stands with the seat colors clearly visible. Mask paint, paint maskt, repeat. Once the painting was done, I painted on the aisleways. For the first time ever, I drew a pencil line and painted free hand over it. I did okay. The third picture is a few small pieces that I am yet to paint and glue. See if you can identify the flagpole, the foul poles, the dugout roofs and floors, the scoreboard backing and the trim for the tunnels.

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              Once the inside detail is complete, the remaining items will be the lights, the roof, and the 1B line bleachers. There is also ads to be made for the OF wall, scoreboard graphics and even a few decals. In short, there is still plenty left to do. I hope to have it completed by the end of February or mid-March.

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              • #8
                Hopefully there are a few people still following my Cheney Stadium model build. I hit two big milestones this weekend. I got the roof installed and I installed ads and a scoreboard. The ads are not the original Cheney Stadium ads. One thing I have not learned yet is photo/graphic wizardry. Perhaps I will someday, but for now I am trying to master the X-acto knife, straight edge, brush and glue. The ads are colorful and are vintage type ads. Overall, I think they look pretty good. The roof was very difficult to install. If I had it to do over again, I would hold off on installing the top sections of the frame until the roof was on. I had to remove several of the ribs and re-cut them to size. Next up is the right field bleachers (mostly done already) and the famous lights. Once those lights are in, it will be a hop, skip and a jump until I am done.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for keeping us updated. The detail is amazing. Best of luck.

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                  • #10
                    Back with more pictures. Lights and 1B line bleachers have been built and installed. I have also given the ashpalt concourse a fresh coat of paint. The blue base also got a fresh coat of paint nad varnish. The last steps are to build the press box some ticket/entry booths and whatever other small details I can add to enhance the model. Oh, of course I need to put the edging on too. That serves to trim out the model and also serves as a lip to hold the top cover in place.

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                    • #11
                      A couple more pictures:

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