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From the Kalmbach book; Bridges & Buildings
Article by; Frank Titman
This coal barge was to go with the car dumper that the author built in a preceding article. My model has a cardboard hull, deck, holds, and pilothouse. Strip wood was glued to the floor and used for the other trim. I built it for a harbor scene module that used to attend the Phoenix G.T.S. shows in the eighties. Three sizes of our coal are in the holds. From the left; Fine, Medium, and Large. Campbell’s Corrugated Roofing is on the pilothouse. I weathered it with my #1400 Pigment. Floquil’s S.P. Letter Gray is always painted on first full strength and allowed to tack dry. The pigment is then brushed on with a soft bristle brush. Some Black and orange pigments are added to obtain natural color hues of rusted metal. Testors Dull coat was then brushed on to bleed the colors and also recover any shiny spot as a last resort to cover them up.

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A 20 minute scene

The town is to appear as though it’s built on a mountain side. That means the stone retaining walls for the next level should look like their built on the existing rock formations. I find it easier to install the cast plaster stone walls in place first and then add the rock formations later.

I like to work fast so the pieces of old spray foam were cemented in place with plaster instead of glue. Plaster sets fast and I can add Zip Texture right away and be done with the scene.

Earlier, the street and sidewalk was made to follow the lay of the slopped land. Some of the buildings needed a cardboard foundation to raise them to the right elevation so the doorways met the sidewalk at the best elevation. A little work remains to get the buildings plumb with one an other.

Chunks of spray foam were torn out from an other scene I was changing. I saved this foam to see if I could re-use it for this area. I used a hacksaw blade to cut the foam flat on the bottom and on the back where it fits against the plaster retaining walls. Plaster was applied at the points of contact and pushed into place. More plaster was poured of the raw foam and tooled until it looked a little like natural stone. I then (without waiting), sprinkled #1200 Cajon Powder, #9 grass, #2 Dead & Alive ground cover and ended with a little clump foliage. Wetting agent was applied and diluted glue was dripped on for bonding and the job was done.

If you look again at the top picture, you’ll notice very little stone retaining wall shows.

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Comic Strip

Using photos for a cartoon strip require close ups that keep everything in focus. Flaws in the model work now show up dramatically such as the unpainted wagon spokes, shiny cloths and the right shoulder of the man not glued in place properly.

To make the characters larger in the picture box, you need to crop them out before you reduce the picture size. Now the flaws in the man really stand out.

You now need to decide if the overall scene will be of interest to the readers even though the characters are small and without action. Traditionally, cartoons are about the characters and the artist draws them bigger in the frame to show features and action.

Notice the expression and body language of Walt in my drawing. I need to find a way of drawing my characters and overlaying them on my photos for many of the frames. Just drawing the characters would save a lot of time when using existing scenery for a cartoon.

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Wood Boxcar Freight House

I got an Ayres Scale Models “Wood Boxcar Freight House” on eBay. This kit dates back to the early ’60s and is all wood like much the models from that era. My Winslow engine service area was a perfect location for this kit as it goes well with a Campbell loading dock that was already there. The scene has become quite full and taken years to get it that way.

Wood Boxcar Freight House

What’s an Ayres kit? Thomas J. Ayres was a 50’s kit builder in California, and many of the structures were adapted into the Campbell Scale Models line of products when Leo Campbell bought it from Ayres. Ayres continued to work for Leo for several years, at least in the capacity as a photographer. He is credited for all those sharp pictures used in the Campbell ads and color catalogs. Looking at this scene, I realized that four other Ayres kits are in it. The Sand House, Coaling Station, Water Tank, and Pump House. Kevin Barnett worked for Campbell and designed the Water Treatment Plant at lower right in this photo.

A wood boxcar freight house is a building owned and operated by a railroad for receiving, loading, unloading, and temporary storage of less-than-car load (LCL) freight. Having a protected area for temporary freight storage improves efficiency by allowing railroads to accommodate customers’ delivery and pickup schedules without leaving boxcars idle at loading points and destinations. A typical freight house has at least one trackside door with one or more doors for trucks or wagons to load and unload on the opposite side of the building. The track adjacent to the freight house is called a house track. Boxcars are positioned on the house track with their door adjacent to the freight house door, so a portable short steel bridge can be positioned allowing wheeled vehicles to move between the freight house and boxcar while loading and unloading. Some freight houses use several parallel house tracks by carefully positioning boxcars on the more distant house tracks adjacent to boxcars on the closest house tracks so boxcars on the inner tracks serve as a bridge to boxcars on the outer tracks, but providing a platform between the house tracks allows more flexible positioning of boxcars on the more distant house tracks. From WIKI

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Don’t let anyone tell you building scenery is easy. This section of rock work took all day and just to get it done, I started slopping on the plaster.

I used some pre-made castings from my “Basalt Bluffs” scenery kit. Most of them were sawed in half to make low ridges of rock. This effect gives you steps in the mountainside as seen at the base. The tall castings from the rock kit are in the center of this picture. Our #1270 Gray Granite Rock Powder was brushed on the castings and then Zip Texture was applied with our other scenery materials. This camera angle doesn’t show many definitions in the rock forms but gives you an idea of how it fits into the rest of the scene.

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Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon Scene

The motivation for building a sandstone red rock canyon formation was inspired by the scene John Olson. He made it in 1984 and republished in the February 2008 Model Railroader magazine.

The layout is around the construction of the wall with this large peninsula section that was unfinished for many years. Three days of carving up Styrofoam with the Hot Wire Foam Factory tool. I colored with my #1040 Rock Powder Pigment is the result of this scene. We took photos of the construction sequence of the red rock canyon. They that reveal the techniques for building the scene. It can be seen on anther post. Notice that the scenery drops below the edge of the layout to eliminate the standard fascia board.

Dropped Wandering Edge Scenery for the Red Rock Canyon

I have used this technique for the last 25 years. Finally got around to applying it to this portion of the layout. It doesn’t matter if you have “L” Girder construction as you see here or a flat top table. Instead of using a plywood or Masonite fascia, let the scenery be the fascia. This type of scenery is advantageous for those low angle camera shots. Were any profile board ruins the illusion of an otherwise realistic picture. All it takes extra is installing a plywood shelf to the bottom of the girders or bench work. Here is an opportunity to avoid straight lines around the layout edge if you cut the shelf edge so it weaves in and out randomly.

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Finished Red Rock Canyon Scene

Sedona was named after Sedona Arabella Miller Schnebly (1877–1950). The wife of Theodore Carlton Schnebly, the city’s first postmaster, who was celebrated for her hospitality and industriousness. Her mother, Amanda Miller, claimed to have made the name up because “it sounded pretty”. Wiki

Sedona red is the rock most often quarried as a “dimension stone”. Sedona red is hard enough to resist abrasion, strong enough to bear significant weight, inert enough to resist weathering, and it accepts a brilliant polish. These characteristics make it a very desirable and useful dimension stone.

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Campbell’s kit #353 LCL Freight House

You need one of these on the layout as they were common for Less than Car Load pickups and deliveries. Lots of little building add potential activity to your railroad. I believe the kit comes with those unpainted crates and barrels that I have not detailed yet. One could scratch build this for a couple of bucks, however, I acquired this from Campbell’s when I did some work for the company some years back.

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Scratch building a George Sellios design service station

I don’t believe this was ever a Fine Scale Miniature kit that George built for his layout. You can see what I’m talking about by referring to page 33 in George’s book about his Franklin & South Manchester Railroad. The station also reappears on page 63 in the November Model Railroader. He has red trim, and I went with Sinclair green. I have about $40.00 in the scene that is mostly the cost of the detail parts. We had ten service stations in Calumet, and I worked at once as a teenager and hung out at several others in town. So I Gasoline Alley scene next door as that garage is at right. Caserio’s owned the Sinclair bulk plant and service station next to the railroad tracks on West Pine Street in Calumet. My friend’s parents owned a Sinclair Station a few blocks away on East Pine Street. Mine is just called the “Calumet” station. Every layout needs a close-up action spot in every town, so this is the model chosen for the purpose here. There is an outside service area where all that equipment is displayed.
The scene is early 1950’s so the cars will be that and older. A corrugated metal fence frames in the property. Street and sidewalk curbs have been touched up with #1290 Concrete Paving material. A row of #1155 Basalt Rip/Rap rock placed between the street and railroad right of way. The now painted cast metal details are; windshield wiper display cabinet, tire changer, battery charger, four shelve cabinet, 10-ton press, workbench (wood), air-powered grease pump on the barrel, wheel balancer, and bearing packer. Other service station equipment is in the scene also. It never winters on this part of the layout so that vehicles can be worked on outside year around.

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Two of my middle school boys are interested in trains. George likes to run them and John likes building scenes.

The whole world is now in full gear getting ready for Christmas so John asked, “Dad, can I build some Christmas scenes on the layout?” “Yea, I suppose so, I said, just don’t bust anything.” “I’ll build it, John said, and then Dad, you take pictures of it then, ok?” Here is a kids interpretation of “getting ready for Christmas.”

The little trees we have are too big, so I taught John how to cut them in half and then give them a hair cut to re-shape them. All this was done so he could make the Christmas tree lot. We see trees tied to vehicles going down the highway, thus the tree on a van at left.

John placed some punkins and squash on the freight platform. Some food has to be shipped so folks have plenty to eat for the holidays he told me. That old truck brought a tree to the platform for George to pick up with his train.

John made gang planking across the tracks so passengers and freight could be moved from the station. Some men are moving stuff around getting ready for train time.