Archive for the ‘Scenery & Structures’ Category

New Business in Stevenville

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013


One of my purchases at the Springfield show was a little Bar Mills kit that I got at a great price. In my recent model building spree I decided to assemble this kit. I’ve built a couple Bar Mills kits and found that they are very nice kits to build. This one was no exception.

It’s a very small business by itself  so I decided to pair it up with a background structure to look a little more than it is.

Trying to find vacant space in Stevenville is difficult. I managed to find some space beside the track lead to U&M Mattresses and Picard Packers. It means that local crews need to keep track of which cars are spotted there to make sure it gets put back correctly.

I think it’ll be a great addition to Stevenville.

Tommy Drive Thru

Monday, February 18th, 2013


It’s an inside joke but I’ve been planning to build this for a very long time. The problem I had was to construct it so that it would blend with a 1950s theme. A modern day Tim Hortons would look very much out of place.

A new coffee place opened up in Summerside that provided me with inspiration and I had to start working on Tommy Drive Thru. The next step was to find a suitable location. I moved it around Chappellton a bit until the vacant lot across from Der-win Coal and Oil.

Black River Road

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Not even Sheriff Tom drives down Black River Road.  Everyone in Chappellton, including the Sheriff, knows what the Rowan gang have down that road.  It’s one of those things that everyone keeps their noses out of.   They don’t bother the Rowan Gang and the Rowan Gang won’t bother them.  Besides, a lot of folks are actually very good customers of the Rowans.

There are a few signs on the road warning anyone thinking of traveling down Black River Road.  Anyone from the area would know better, but a few new comers to the area have gone down the road while out touring.  Some of them have taken heed to the “No Trespassing” signs, some have not.   As the stories go, the bolder, more curious people seemingly “leave town” very quickly – without a good-bye to anyone.

If the first two signs aren’t enough to turn someone around the “third sign”, just around the bend, certainly will.  Old Charlie is a member of the Rowan Gang.  He can usually be found “hunting” just before the railway crossing.  When anyone asks why he’s always hanging around there he just says the rabbits always cross the road at that spot and he’s always ready for them.  If you ask me it’s not rabbits he’s after.  He’s one of Rowan’s guards.

I wanted to find out if the rumours were true, so I took my new camera for a walk along the highway hoping to be able to see what was going on.

It was risky, but I was able to get some photos from the highway using my best telephoto lens.  This shot was the most risky, since I was standing just above Old Charlie.  I had to be very quiet and be sure I didn’t disturb any gravel along the edge of the road.  I didn’t want him catching me taking pictures!  He’s just tell Sheriff Tom he thought I was a rabbit.  Anyway, I couldn’t get a very clear shot of what was going on so I walked along the road and away from Old Charlie.

I found another spot where I could get a bit of a better view through the trees.  There he is, Guzzlin’ Greg.  Apparently he’s one of the Rowan Gang’s “quality control technicians”.   From what I’ve been told he’s always out here, pretty much in that same spot, every day!

I thought I could see a few more people around so I walked a little farther up the highway hoping I could get a better view of what was going on.

I was a long ways from Old Charlie so I was getting a little braver.  I could see Big Barry (red shirt and coveralls). BB, as they call him, is the leader of the Rowan Gang.   A couple other guys were unloading something from an old green truck but I couldn’t tell who they were or what it was.  The trees were just too thick!  There were a couple other fellows working on something too, but I couldn’t get a good view of it.  I decided to go a little farther along the highway.

Bingo!  This was the perfect vantage point!  I guess Big Barry was also doing a little “quality control” too.  I could see the bags in the back of the truck.  They look like big sacks of sugar.

The two guys working on the gizmo in front of them are a couple locals.  One claims to be an “engineer” of some sort and the other is the local Mensa wannabe.  Derwood something or other and Chris Smeer or something.  Anyway, I’m sure between the two of them they are almost smart enough to fix any contraption – even this whatever it is.

I think the guy behind Big Barry is his second in command – Krazy Kenny.  He’s a little guy but you have to be careful around him.

I recognized the red and white car too.  It’s THE fastest car in town.  I’ve seen it zooming through town many times after pulling out of Black River Road.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my story.  I was lucky I wasn’t caught.  Here are a few more pictures I took after I was a little farther away from the danger zone.

I made it home in time for supper and to catch my favorite TV show. Perhaps you’ve heard of “Dukes of Hazard”? Anyone know where I can get an HO scale General Lee? How about a Daisy Duke?



Quick Update

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

I’ve been finding some time to work on the layout, but not enough time to update this blog, obviously.  I thought I owed it to you to post something, finally.

Station-1The crews finally came back to Derwin’s Drop to take the station off the blocking and put it on a real foundation.  What a bunch of yahoo’s they were!  The crane operator was not watching his boom while he was moving it and gave the roof trim at the peak a bit of a knock!  I guess I should be thankful that he didn’t put a big hole in the roof.

There is still some landscaping to do around the station as well as some new signage, but that will get done soon, I hope.  I also need to get a passenger platform built.

I’ve also been working on the station in Chappellton.  The lower level is getting close to completion and the building above ground is looking a lot better.  Brian posted a photo of the lower level on his blog.

That’s it for now!  I’ll have more updates soon, I hope.


The Land Between

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

2009-06-08-forest-1I need to come up with a name for the area of the layout between Chappellton and Kenville.  Hmm….

Anyway, this was one of the sections to get treated to some scenery in the weeks prior to the MFMR Convention.  As you can see, it is just a hill and some trees to separate the two areas.  There is a road and a few distant houses tucked into the trees.

Being so close to Kenville this area has been heavily logged by Jay Forest Products.  They didn’t bother with the trees on the hill, but they may be back some day when they get desperate enough.

Wait a minute!  I think I see a couple Jay Forest Product workers starting into some of the trees on the hill!  Oh no!  Not another clear cut!


Completed Scenery in Kenville

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

2009-06-08-garage-1There is a need for many details, but the major scenery in Kenville is complete.  This is the first town on the Bayside and Tidewater that has no visible styrofoam insulation!  Yippee!

Aside from the structures you’ve seen in past posts, there are a few new additions.  The first is Ken’s Korner Auto Service.   Ken is outside working on a lady’s vehicle while she waits patiently.  One of the neighbourhood kids is keeping Ken busy with questions.  He just might  have a future employee there!  The house beside the garage is Ken’s.  He finds it very convenient to live so close to work.

2009-06-08-garage-2The old fire station is on the other side of Ken’s Korner.  It’s been abandoned for a few years since the town council partnered with a community to the south to provide regional fire services.  It was either buy a new truck and build a bigger fire station or save some 2009-06-08-firestation-1money and partner with the other town.  The deal made sense until the local coffee shop burned to the ground.  Since they can’t get a decent cup of coffee anymore the Kenville town council is reconsidering the decision.  (side note:  Ken is considering buying a coffee pot)

Details and scenery have been added around Jay Forest Products.  It’s finally looking like they do something there!  I’m 2009-06-08-jayforest-1not sure how since there appears to be a lack of sawmill equipment (anyone know where I can get HO scale edger, planer, and trimming gear?).  It’s just a big empty space at the moment.

2009-06-08-jayforest-2They must cut something judging from the pile of sawdust out back.  It’s a never-ending task to keep the pile low.   Local inventor Malcolm D. Faber is getting a truckload to take home for an experiment.  He thinks he can combine the sawdust with glue to create panels similar to plywood.  He figures they’ll be cheaper and than boards or plywood and may be very valuable when wood becomes scarce.  I think he’s dreaming pie in the sky.  We will never run short of lumber!  But if he wants to waste his time with wood waste, then let him go to it!  If it gets rid of some sawdust at Jay Forest Products we’re all for it!  There’s a reason we call him Crazy Malcolm!


BS&T’s version of “Mega Moves”

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

I know I promised you something in a few days and it has been quite a few days, but better late than never.

Have you ever seen the show “Mega Moves” or “Monster Moves” where they move large structures, some huge structures too?  Well, we had our own version of the show on the Island recently.  We wanted to move a replica of the Kensington Train Station (ver. 1) from Canadisle rail to the Bayside and Tidewater.  The crew was very professional and had one of those computerized hydraulic jacking systems (well, a bunch of guys with car jacks and one guy with a bull horn yelling “pump”, or “STOP!”).  Surprisingly, they managed to lift the station from its foundation enough to install huge I-beams underneath (Are you kidding!  Huge I-beams are expensive!  They stole some wooden beams from an old barn down the road!) and attached hydraulically operated wheel systems (Yeah, right.  An old flatbed was more like it. You should have heard the creaking and groaning.  Oh wait, that was me as I walked around and watched.).  This thing was a self-propelled monster!  My GOD it was scary!

2009-06-08-station-1Anyway, the station made the trip to Derwin’s Drop without a hitch.  Well, there was one hitch.  The crew on this end wasn’t ready.  So the Station is just sitting on blocking waiting for a foundation.  Who knows when the crew will be back.  We paid them 50% on delivery and they’re probably still at the Kensington Club drinking it away!

The signs will get changed, eventually.

More on this as the situation develops.


The Mine

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

2009-04-02-mine-2I have been finding some time to work on the layout the past few weeks.  The time to get it ready for the open house during Convention is fast approaching and I’m not sure if I’ll reach my goal of complete basic scenery before then or not.  I’m going to try.

Here’s a photo of the coal mine that I’ve pretty much got done.  There are a few details that could be added, but perhaps not before the Convention.

There should be something hanging from the I-beam being hoisted to the main door of the building on the right and some more vehicles parked around the scene.  Some more hustle and bustle would bring it alive, I’m sure.

2009-04-02-mine-1The photo at the right is a closer view of the scene.  There is coal in the conveyer and the boys have to keep an eye on things to make sure the line doesn’t get plugged up.



The Mine in Derwin’s Drop – pt. 1

Monday, November 17th, 2008

mine-2-20081109I admit, this picture is more than a week old, but I haven’t had a lot of time to work on the layout, or take pictures.  I’m posting this just to demonstrate that I do work on the layout from time to time, mainly to give my brain a break. I don’t want any comments on that!

Anyway, I’ve been working all over the layout from Derwin’s Drop to Chappellton lately.  I’ll concentrate on the mine area in Derwin’s Drop in this post.  As you can see in the photo I have created a bit of a hill with one of the mine structures (I’ll call it the “Head Building”) built into it.  I had a few stone retaining wall castings on hand that I decided to use around the building.

There will be an access road in front of the head building to the tipple. I’ll need to build a platform and add some steps to get to the door in the side of that building. I hope to be able to put a couple company houses in the area to the right of the head building.  I also hope that I can add a realistic conveyor from the head building to the tipple (it’ll be curved so can that be realistic?).  It will require lots of wood supports and should make an interesting addition to the mine complex.

There’s still some plaster work left to do around the smaller structure before I can get on with painting and scenery.  I’ll have an update on this area in a week or so.


Playing With The Camera

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

My flash arrived the other day.  Surprise, it has a remote mode, and so does the camera!  The flash can be anywhere within a certain distance of the camera and it will trigger with the camera’s built-in flash.  So I had some time this afternoon to play with it in the train room.

For this first experiment I rested it, flash pointing down on a ledge behind the valance.  The results were interesting so I took a few shots around the layout just to see what the effect would be.  I was able to create some fairly realistic mid-day brightness and shadows.  standardelectric-2-20081109

The first test was in Derwin’s Drop at Standard Electric. The remote flash is almost directly overhead.  The angle brings out some details you can’t see in the other pictures of this building, like the two signs bulging out (ugh!).  I’ll have to get those attached more securely.

I’d say it’s about noon as Fred and Bill are winding up their conversation.  Small town gossip has a way of getting around, especially when Albert, the mail man, overhears something good.  I’ll bet he can’t wait to get to Bessie’s place to fill her in on what he’s heard!

freightshed-1-20081109The next stop on my photo experiment was the freight shed.  Again the flash is almost directly overhead.  Notice how close the shadows are to vertical.  It’s a very bright day!

Chet is just returning from lunch as Tom and George are enjoying the rest of their break.  They’ve emptied 5 box cars so far and they have a mess of creates to put away.  The afternoon’s going to be tough, but thankfully there are no more arrivals expected.  You never know though, the West Bound is due through at any time and you never know what Derwin’s going to drop off for them (neither does Derwin, usually)!

cabin-1-20081109The last photo in Derwin’s Drop is at the cabin.  I like how the flash highlights the leaves on the trees.  I had the flash pointed straight down on the scene judging from the shadows.

It’s hard to tell from this photo, but Bentnose Willy always wears a hoody with the hood up to cover his face.  He has to protect innocent bystanders from seeing his face.  It is not a pretty sight.  It’s not his fault, of course.  He’s lived so close to Chemical Hazards for so long God only knows what he’s ingested to cause his deformities.

backlot-1-20081109The back lots of Stevenville was the subject of the next couple pictures.  This photo reminded me that I have to finish weathering some of my buildings.  Either that or I have to put up a cleaning crew scrubbing the bricks.  The trees in this picture cast some interesting shadows.

Edwin arrives home for lunch.  He lives in the upstairs apartment of this old building.  The basement used to be the warehouse for a long abandoned business.  Now its loading door is bricked up and it’s just used to store junk.

fromtheplatform-20081109This photo was taken looking across the Stevenville Station platform.  Because the flash was overhead it lit up the scene across the tracks but left the platform in shadows.

Big John yells over to Jake to come help unload his new bathtub.  Even though it’s hot Jake doesn’t mind helping.  John’s tub has been broken for almost a month and Jake can’t stand working beside him any longer!

parkinglot-20081109The last test was taken at the parking lot beside the department store.  The whole area is quite evenly lit but I see I have to clean up some loose grass.

Even though it’s a hot day the boys can’t resist a smoke and a bit of conversation.  I’m sure there’s more than one lie being told!

Well, that’s it for my photo experiments.  I hope you enjoyed the post!