2. Modeling In the Round

Fortunately, about the time I started this project, Minitrix had just added curved switches to their track line—exactly what I needed to make the plan work.




1. passenger station
2. freight station
3. farmhouse
4. barn
5. car hoist
6. charcoal manufacturer
7. wood loading platform
8. sand bunker, ash pit
9. water tower
10. yard office
11. enginehouse
12. combination station
13. tower
14. snow shed
15. wooden trestle

The layout was built atop a squat, round table I'd made from 3/4-inch plywood. The very first image of it I'd taken reveals my seemingly schizophrenic style of construction: I was ballasting and starting scenery before all of the track was laid!

All of the structures, save for the little tower at the far left, were scratchbuilt, as was about half of the rolling stock. I'd even bashed a Shay, combining Minitrix diesel mechanism parts cut down with a hacksaw with a chopped up Arnold Rapido steam switcher shell. The result (which I dubbed "Frankenshay") isn't pretty by today's standards, but it was better than the alternative—which, in the 1970s, was nothing.

I took some slides of the layout, and this offered a lesson in using the proper color temperature film: I used daylight under tungsten, and the results were awful (I tried my best to perform digital color correction). But they still offer a glimpse of a past long gone. Many of the engine terminal structures I scratchbuilt were inspired by an article in the January 1967 issue of Model Railroader, "Turn Backward, O Time" by E.L. Moore.

Just as had Bill Barron's original layout, mine would have a lid—except that it would be clear Plexiglas so that the layout could be seen and operated without removing it. Although the layout was finished, I never got as far as making the clear top.


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