Sunday, October 9, 2011

Anniversary Crew Tributes

Crew Shots

November celebrates the 8th anniversary of the Western & Atlantic RR, North Branch. In 2003 Dick Taylor of RailDreams and one of his modeling associates installed the 25 modules that began the life of this model railroad. If you are new to this site, north branch simply differentiates my W&A version from the magnificent layout by Lebron Matthews. Living in Georgia, Lebron's W&A is referred to as the south branch.

I have been able to call on many modeling friends who have made significant contributions to the evolution of my layout. As a bit of a tribute I made an entry yesterday of the members from the Garden State Central model railroad club. Here are some of my other compadres along with a few appreciative comments.

Rhett's talent is super detailing 19th century locos. He converted a Mantua General into a USMRR loco when I planned to include Union operations. View his work by clicking on the Label - Locomotives. Brian is looking at pictures of Atlanta for ideas on painting the backdrop panels. D.C. is taking his 243rd photo, that day.
Brian Kammerrer, Rhett Tyler, the Supt' and D.C. Cebula
Another vintage photo, D.C. and Lebron enjoy a moment of "Train Running for the Confederacy". D.C. and I cut out a section of benchwork for closer access to the Kingston yard. Here he is running his first train using an NCE throttle. The train belongs to Lebron. We were experimenting with operations but mostly discovered a couple of shorts and low voltage areas. Although a little disappointing, we knew where to make the adjustments.
D.C. and Lebron Matthews
Jerry was the proprietor of Keyport Car and Foundry and was a source for link and pin couplers. He was also a wealth of information on early railroading and offered excellent ideas, along with some provocative perspectives, on modeling. Unfortunately Jerry passed away a couple of years ago. We honor his contribution with an Obelisk in the Kingston cemetery.
Jerry Daub with Lebron
An example of the crew refusing to work! They think working for 10 hours with no break is a little much. Light weights! Actually they're on a break, observing as someone engineers a train on a recently completed stretch of main line.
Lebron, Brian and Christopher Eldridge
My lovely wife Ku'uipo, Hawaiian, supplying the troops with beverage and vitals.
She has also made a few dozen super trees which now populate Kennesaw Mountain.
Vintage indeed, a 2007 scene of D.C. framing backdrops. This is behind Big Shanty.

Finally we have Christopher posing with his new slippers cutting a fine figure indeed.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kingston Addition - Barnsley Gardens
The search for appropriate structures can reveal surprising and exciting elements to include into a layout theme. Building a southern railroad, one image is the classic plantation or mansion. I chose Kingston for the site given the area I wanted to cover. My visits to Kingston included trips to a few of these places. My choice was Barnsley Gardens, the contemporary name. At the time it was known as "Woodlands". Barnsley was the name of the plantation owner, Godfrey Barnsley. An Englishman, whose father was a cotton trader, Godfrey built his "Italianate" mansion in the 1840's in the town of Adairsville, just north of Kingston...close enough for selective compression. I was attracted to its uniqueness in form and story. The brick structure was one attraction. Another was that Barnsley landscaped his estate with exotic flora, importing a wide variety of trees and shrubs. This alone I thought would make a striking scene. And although Barnsley traded in cotton, he did not own slaves, slavery being contrary to his beliefs. Matter of fact he paid all his workers. 

Today all that remains are the ruins. However the site is currently used for a variety of public events and, as you can see, is manicured to a similar state as the 1850's. Barnsley was also renown for his unique green roses.  

 Layout Positioning

In these two views the white box represents the approximate estate location. Christopher, my resident finishing carpenter and master modeler, built a knoll to replicate the actual area, according to our research. Kingston is still being developed but is seen by the structures in the right photo distance.

Chris started with mock ups from a print I acquired. Using foam core, and pleased by the workability of this material, he decided to keep this for the final construction. He has been [painfully in my view] meticulous. But as you see, his exactness pays off. The print I mention is shown in the far right photo. 

The nearly complete structure with the creator. Christopher has chosen doors and windows by Grandt Line. The brick walls are textured paper with adhesive backing from Micro Mark. I am almost certain that the roof was metallic. Given Barnsley's attention to detail and financial resource, Chris decided to use styrene and build the roof to resemble copper. He also built Lee & Gordon's Mills which you can or will be able to view elsewhere on this blog.  

Garden State Central Members Visit for a  Work Session

Jimmy, George and Jules are pards from the Garden State Central Model RR Club. We have a web site as well which I encourage you to visit. I became a member around 2003. Everything I ever heard or read about the value of such membership is accurate.  Model RR clubs offer the opportunity to accelerate the learning curve and of course you meet some fantastic people, interesting ones as well.  

This is one of the evenings GSC members come by to work their magic. I try to get these fellas here as often as possible when I am home. Since the GSC has no home members visit one anothers' layouts to either work , run or do both. Here they have converged on Chattanooga to install leads to yard tracks and wire up switch machines. Needless to say having these mates is very much appreciated to expedite layout completion. Speaking of "interesting ones", in the photo above look closely at George. You can see by that mischievous gleam in his eyes he is definitely someone to watch out for. He too has a layout we visit for work and running sessions. Jules, in the red shirt, has been building a very cool garden layout. His website on the links is posted here.

To the left is Bob Judge, one of the founding members and patriarch of the GSC club. Bob is a master at various scenicing techniques and scene building. Here is using insulation foam for contours at the approach to Chattanooga. The backdrop is Lookout Mountain by Brian Kammerrer.

On the right is Butch. Also a member of GSC he excels at kit bashing and detailing rolling stock and structures. Here he is staining ties at the south end of Dalton in preparation for ground cover, real Georgia dirt acquired near Dalton. As we look to bring Dalton to life I'll be posting our progress.