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December 2002 - Page 38


Repairs to the rolling stock are handled in the GV&WRRs engine and car repair shop facilities. Again we are treated to Jims talents at building and detailing structures. The highly detailed and fully equipped facilities are visited quite often by the many ore cars appearing around the layout. Mining takes its toll on the equipment, and this facility offers more than just a hurry up patch job.

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cut from the original table top, then dropped below grade to be anchored back into the layout to form the river bottom. The edges were plastered back in to complete the display. All natural plant materials have been dried and treated with glycerin to keep them from turning brittle. Various dyes are added when needed. His marsh grasses are actually ground up broom materials. The blender has really been through a workout with all the pine bark, acorns, nut hulls, pencil sharpener shavings and other debris that have each had their turn at the puree setting. Grass materials are treated to two or more different dyes before being spread out to dry on newspaper. Trees have been modeled using balsa armatures, toothpick branches and moss foliage. Lichens and some commercial foam do appear on the layout in limited quantities. The coal seen around the layout is the genuine article, personally ground to the size needed. Rocks are rocks, and the dirt is dirt. Upon entering the railroad room, one of the first things you notice is the number of wonderfully detailed structures that dot the landscape. By taking your time to inspect

each one, youll be amazed at the fully stocked and decorated interiors. Each has its own mini-scene within the whole scheme to entertain the viewer. One of the most fascinating items I found was one of his three turntables that has a scratchbuilt mechanism. Operating the turntable is accomplished by rotating a dial on the front of the table facade. While this is not unusual, the smooth action is unbelievable. There is an actual heft and feel to the weighty movement. This can be directly attributed to Jims past employment at a naval ordinance installation. Being a machinist on the militarys weapons systems has had its influence on the inner workings of the turntables manual driveline. This mechanical ability is also evident in the brass locomotive stock on the layout. Almost all have been altered and detailed in some form or fashion. Jims collection of Great Northern and Santa Fe brass locomotives is quite impressive, as is his collection of Heisler, Shay and Climax logging locomotives. Jims house was constructed in 1972, but he didnt add the layout room until three

The small trestle over the Chad River is dwarfed by over 500 lbs. of hand carved, fiber impregnated plaster. The mountain occupies a major portion of this part of the train room and serves as an efficient scene divider. Busy sections of layout are interspersed with short stretches of diorama-quality scenes to allow the visitor a restful break from peering into all the highly detailed mini-scenes dotting the layout.

38 MODEL RAILROADING

DECEMBER 2002

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