Return to James River Branch Homepage

Stephen A. Greene & Sons Building Supply, Part 5 of 6: A Junk Pile Under the Coal Trestle

Originally I'd used the space under the coal trestle as an extra storage area for the lumber yard, and filled it in with stacks of cinderblocks. However, the effect of the cinderblocks—adapted from stacks of N scale bricks made by California Freight and Detail—was unsatisfactory. So, following the precedent set by the two lumber yards in the town where I grew up, I turned the area under and around the coal trestle into a dump of sorts for the lumber yard, carefully designed so to give the area the appearance that it had suffered decades of neglect.

I've been wanting to add a pile of used pallets to the lumber yard property, but with its revised configuration, there wasn't room; the space under the coal trestle was ideal. I found some pallets made by RSLaser, but they seemed to be a bit large, and indeed when I compared them to some Micro Engineering N scale pallets, I found that the N scale ones were actually slightly smaller! Now, I know that pallets come in different sizes, but I thought this seemed to be a bit of a stretch. Granted, pallets are easy enough to make from scratch, but I also wanted a good healthy heap of them, and wasn't looking for that sort of model-making entertainment.

My solution was to cut down the Micro Engineering N scale pallets so they were a little smaller, and spray them with light grey primer followed by irregular shots of Floquil Instant Weathering to give them individuality. After covering most of the exposed earth with weeds, I placed the pallets in carefully-planned disarray under the coal trestle, and gave them a final India ink wash. Then I finished things off with bits and pieces of "lumber" scrounged from laser-cut kit frets, plus some other assorted discarded items including old rusted pipe and general miscellaneous unidentifiable junk. Being the detail freak that I am, I also added a collapsing pile of cinderblocks—good ones, courtesy of the Lew Skroo's kit from BAZ.

The final part shows how I added a very-close-to-scale light over a door of the building located in a shadowy corner.

Click to enlarge

These stacks of cinderblocks under the coal trestle do not work.

Click to enlarge

The cinderblocks are torn out, and the bare earth is covered with weeds.

Click to enlarge

Piles of pallets are positioned under and around the coal trestle.

Click to enlarge

Scraps of lumber, rusty pipes and other junk are added to complete the scene.

Click to enlarge

Additional details include a collapsing pile of individual cinderblocks.

Previous pageNext pageReturn to ConstructionHome

Copyright © 2007-2013 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.