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April 2002 - Page 20

A precision Portescap gear motor powers the turntable, and it is incredibly realistic and accurate in its movements. The e lectrical power delivery spar above the turntables center shaft actually turns (by staying stationary) as the turntable rotates beneath it. A h eavy-duty gantry is at one end of t he engine maintenance facility. With its help, a locomotive is having its boiler tubes replaced there now. At the other end of the r epair shop is a wash rack with its own b oiler for hot water. Next to the coaling tower is a converted boxcar that serves as a yard workers dormitory, and next to it the

sharp eye will find a whiskey still and a case of freshly bottled spirits. At the north end of the yard is a passenger station, several stores and a factory that makes Shoo-Fly, a liniment that keeps flies off cows and horses! Passenger service is borne by Atlantic c lass locomotives, while the bulk of the freight service relies on ten-wheelers. All of those locomotives are IHCs, repainted and weathered, as well as retrofitted with a dditional detail such as Precision Scale bells and piping. There is a single Heisler (Roco) whose exclusive domain is the spur t hat runs to Green Arrow Mine. Also on t he roster is Engine Number Eight, a 2-

The massive gantry with its flying block and hook assist the repair shop crew as they change the boiler tubes in one of Dog Tooth Mountain Railroads ten-wheel workhorses.

A ten-wheeler sits aboard the electric-powered gantry turntable as shes lined up with the rails that will take her to her first assignment of the day.

4-4-2 articulated (maker unknown) that mainly hauls logs. Presently, it has a string o f truss-type log dollies backed into the sawmill at the far south end of the layout. Most of the layouts structures are kits or bashed kits, but the sawmill is totally scratchbuilt, complete with a steam engine and all the various saws and other equipment inside. As was customary in the olden days, the catwalk on the roof of the mill is lined w ith barrels filled with rainwater. Hoses hang from the bottoms of these barrels so that if there is a fire inside the mill, the most convenient hose is seized, a valve handle turned, and the fire is quickly out. Creating this kind of superdetail is what I enjoyed the most, and it was applied equally throughout both the yard and newer mountain and mine section of the layout. That detail even extends to the colors and the texture of the mud that lies beneath the water spanned by the two Campbell bridges. A special tip of the hat goes to Woodland Scenics. Their scenery materials (Earth Color paints, plaster, molds, ground cover, grass, bushes, ballast, bridge abutments, etc.) was used to make at least ninety percent of my scenery. Some trees I made myself, but most were store-bought, the majority made by Heki. All of the track on the layout is Walthers code 83. I decided on it solely on the advice of the good folks at Allied Model Trains in Culver City, California. Appropriate for my particular layout, and a good choice besides. All of the trackage sits on Atlas cork roadbed. To lower the apparent height of the roadbed (especially in the yard section) I filled the areas between the strips of cork with dirt. Yes, real dirt. Sterilized. Then I covered that with many varieties of Woodland Scenics ground cover, grass and w eeds. The ballast is Woodland Scenics medium buff. To make the ballast more realistic, I mixed one part Floquil Rust, one part Floquil Rail Brown, and six parts thinner, then sloshed it on the rails and let the extra flow across and into the ballast, of course long hardened with the traditional mixture of white glue and water. The dark, rust-colored paint stuck nicely to the sides of the rails, and with their tops cleaned to a shiny silver, they really look neat. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and rode behind many a Chicago & North Western steam engine into the city in the 40s and 50s. That experience left indelible images in my mind of what a real railroad looks like in terms of rust, smoke, soot, ash, grime and sundry junk. I tried to make the yard section of my layout reflect that realism, including the mud and weeds and split coal that lies in the turntables basin. M y technique for making the origi nal bright red toy-looking bricks of the e ngine house and engine repair shop a realistic dark red with occasional flecks of white clinker between them will surprise you. First, I painted each brick surface completely with white, water-based paint. After


APRIL 2002

Added April 1, 2011 - Share