In most false front buildings I have seen in DSP&P/C&S photos the ridge line of the roof is tthe same height as the top of the false front .Why is it that in most kit buildings or magazine projects with false fronts the false front literally towers over the top of the roof?Also why are many of the model buildings so short?
Given that the angle of the viewer is from below, there's certainly no reason to make them taller. (Well, maybe taller by the height of the trim on the top of the false front, just to ease flashing around where the ridge-line meets the false front.)
I think part of the problem is that a lot of the kit designers aren't actually familiar with how a building is constructed.
(Or with the history of construction. As much as I respect Jim Haggard, his Jefferson Depot has a concrete perimeter foundation. Only problem is they didn't use those in the late 19th C, because there was no way to mix enough concrete on-site to do that size of a "pour".)
I think there is some truth to what Jeff says: manufacturer's are going for a 'look' rather than making structural sense.
I have shared on this page my frustration with manufacturers that provide a kit with a neat looking false front, rather than an good side, which is where the railroad ran. Dale Krutzer (apologies for my spelling) makes good use of some Wild West and Raggs kits for a background town, but this tends to be the exception rather than the rule.
I have not made a study of it myself--and in fact it would take some study of historic photos to confirm the rules. I think it would be easier to have the top of the false front align just above the roof ridge beam; extending the false front far above the ridge makes an even larger unbraced sail, and we all know these buildings tended to be built in wide open spaces where the wind has a chance to accumulate some speed.