Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Some More Details- Part 2

Over the last month or so, I've been working on a number of small structures and details for various areas on the railroad. Several of the small structures are part of my efforts to make some progress on the engine terminal at North Pierce. I learned long ago that it is best to work from the backdrop toward the edge of the fascia when doing scenery work. And as usual, one thing leads to another. In order to put down the last layer of scenery materials in and around the supply tracks, which are closest to the backdrop, several small structures needed to be built and placed in position so that the scenery could be built up around them. The first structure was the pump house for the diesel fuel storage tank. It was scratch-built using Evergreen sheet styrene and Grandt Line doors and windows.

Also shown in the photo above are diesel fuel unloading cranes. These were scratch-built using Williams Brothers pipe fittings and Evergreen channel. The concrete foundations are small, square pieces of plaster. These were common on the C&O and the L&N. The photo below shows similar cranes on the L&N at Hazard, KY in a photo taken by Stuart Thayer. If I had studied the photo a little more closely, I would have added the shut-off valve near the base. Sigh.

Next up is the inspection pit. The base for this is an ash pit that was part of a craftsman kit that my Stepfather built many years ago. I still have the ash conveyor and if I ever get around to back-dating to steam, I'll use it here. My original plan was to simply cover the pit with styrene and weather it to look like steel plate. Then I got the idea of an inspection pit. In checking some photos taken by Everett Young of the C&O engine service area at Martin, KY, there appears to be a yellow railing around a small section of one of the tracks. It certainly appears to be an inspection pit of some type. The railing are from Tichy as are the stairs to the pit.

While studying the photos of the Martin, KY yard, I noticed a small, red box on the side of the station. Speculating again, it appeared to be a fire extinguisher box of some type. The Atlas GP38 and GP40 come with a small equipment box of some type. I've never found an explanation for exactly what it's supposed to be, but it sure looked like it could make a neat fire extinguisher box. The only challenge would be finding decals small enough to label it. Then along comes Robby Vaughn who seems to be able to create just about anything, from cast resin 60 ton L&N hopper cars to decals so small you can't read them. He put together a great set of "FIRE" label decals and you can see some of them in the photos below.

And while he was at it, Robby also made a great set of mailbox decals. The mailboxes are by Korber and were painted and lettered based upon a photo taken in the 1960's. Robby got the pick-up time on the small white schedule wrong, but I don't think anybody will notice...

And last up is a quick update on scenery. The bridges at the engine terminal are finally under way and the photo below shows the progress so far. This is one of the last major scenery projects on the railroad and will take some time to complete. The first objective is to get the bridges in place so that operations can resume. More to follow on this project.


  1. You been very busy Tom! thanks for all the pics!

  2. Colin and Shannon- thanks for the kind words.


  3. Tom, I love that the bridges are being utilized in the yard, similar to a C&O Yard deep in Appalachia.

  4. Tom,

    I've been following your layout construction for a number of years now (but this is my first post). I really like what you've done. I especially like the photo at the top of your blog.

    Jack Shall

    1. Jack,

      Thanks for the kind words. I checked out your blog and your website. It looks like you're doing some really cool stuff on the Louisiana Central. The benchwork photos remind me of a time when my railroad looked much the same. Keep up the good work!

      Tom Patterson

  5. Tom,

    Beautiful work on your layout! I have enjoyed the videos of both your CW&E and John Miller's K&LE. I am up to Cincinnati 12 times a year for work. Any chance of linking up with you fellas in your operating group?

    Jeff Patterson

  6. Tom,

    I've only started reading your blog recently (yesterday), based on a post of yours on MRH. You are doing amazing modelling work!!
    I'm specifically commenting on this post, as I saw the stunning bridge abutments your using here - I love the concrete mould-lines that's so clearly visible. How do you make those abutments? Will you be willing to share your methods and info?

    Best Regards

    1. Stefan,

      Thanks for the kind words. The abutments were made from castings of an old Scale Model Masterpieces tunnel portal and wing walls. My Stepfather purchased the resin castings and made molds of them many years ago. You can find an image of the tunnel portal if you search Google for Chooch tunnel portals and then search the images. I'm not sure if you'd be able to find them anywhere, but you could use the same process with another double track portal and wing walls.

      The base of the abutment is the top portion of the tunnel portal while the upper portion of the abutment is cut from the lower portion of the wing wall. The sections were cast in Hydrocal, painted with Woodland Scenics concrete color and then weathered using artist's acrylics. I used the same castings to make the single track abutments that you'll see in other places on the railroad. I cut various pieces, glued them together and then cast a mold of the assembled abutment. I then used this mold to cast the single track abutments.

      And thanks for the inquiry about the abutments. I had forgotten that these came from my Stepfather, and it was a nice reminder of the hobby we both shared together.

      Tom Patterson