Thanks for the nice comment on the revamped residential scene.
The two buildings, plus the two outbuildings, have all been saved,
and will presumably be used on a future layout scene.
But, I have no actual plans for that right now.
Actually, I have more buildings than I will realistically have space for,
whether on my current layout, or others I may build in the future.
You see, I enjoy building buildings, and as a result,
I keep accumulating kits and building supplies.
So what happens is that buildings tend to get stored for a while,
then re-used on a model scene, and then get stored again,
when I rebuild that part of the layout, move again,
or just change my idea about what I want to model.
RECYCLING BUILDINGS ON MODEL LAYOUTS
However, there are certain buildings that I happen to like a lot,
and they tend to pop up again and again on layouts and modules.
One of these buildings is this freelanced depot.
This small structure was scratchbuilt from styrene in 1980,
and have used it on 5 renditions of my model railroad ever since.
It was basically a composite of depots I have liked,
and sized to fit my HOn30 layouts.
In the photo above, it was situated in my Nugget town scene.
This is the same scene, showing the backside of the depot.
The Nugget scene was dismantled a couple of years ago
(the module was nicked and dinged from getting moved about)
and the depot is currently stored.
But likely to be back on the layout in the next couple of years.
Another "classic" older kit is the original Revell Farmhouse kit.
I think the tooling for this came out in the 1960s, maybe earlier.
The classic design, nice architectural lines,
and easy-to-build styrene construction, lends itself to kitbashing.
This kit was reduced in depth,
and set up to be a small boarding house.
It is seen here on my Gilpin Tram layout about 2005.
I moved since then, tore down that layout, and the kit is stored.
In this photo, we're back to the Nugget module,
in beautiful downtown Nugget.
The place name is real (it's a site in Gilpin County),
but it never became a large settlement,
and it looked nothing like my model !
Anyway, a kit I have re-used time and time again,
is the former Revell one-car garage.
This little kit was packaged with the Revell farmhouse,
and I always liked the proportions.
It is hard to tell in this photo,
but it is the "C. Conrad Co." liquor store front.
I have used this building on probably all of my layouts,
and tend to kitbash it this way and that way,
into whatever storefront I need at the time.
A very useful model kit !
As more or less a tradition, every one of my model railroads,
has had the restaurant building on it, since I built it in 1980.
(the Chinese Laundry next to it, is a Rusty Rails kit)
This building was sold by Woodland Scenics (and still may be),
as a two-store kit, and a simple build of metal and wood parts.
I have always used it as a restaurant,
and have modified the details on it over the years.
On the current layout, this kit now features,
subdued interior lighting using 3.7v LEDs.
There is no interior, and you can't really see anything,
due to the "dirty" windows.
Another view of the side and rear of the restaurant building.
The Melo-Crowns painted sign was a dry transfer applied in 1980,
and been used on this kit ever since.
So, I guess you can say old buildings never really die,
they just get rejuvenated and reused !
I have also given away many buildings to friends over the years,
for use on their layouts.
This allows me to diminish my stock of built buildings,
and provides an excuse to build more !
I would guess most of you reading this thread,
probably have done the same thing with various buildings and kits.
What structures do you like and re-use on your model railroads ?
I recently went to one of the local tractor and threshing shows,
near Minneapolis, where I live.
These shows are popular in the Midwest and give collectors and enthusiasts,
the opportunity to display their collected and often restored equipment.
I appreciate and like looking at machinery,
and the older tractors and related equipment are no exception.
One can also get some good modeling inspiration and ideas,
by attending these shows, and I will give you some examples of this.
This show seemed to have about 8 steam traction engines,
restored and operating around the grounds.
This collectors association,
seems to have purchased a farm just for their annual shows,
and must comprise probably at least 10 acres, and maybe more.
I like being around these wood and coal-fired machines,
they smell and sound similar to railroad locomotives,
and are fascinating to watch.
Each day, the show has a parade of restored tractors,
which seem to be mostly equipment built between the 1910s to the 1970s.
Several of the steam traction engines were in the parade,
and it was fun to see and hear them on display.
Someday I hope to build a model of one of these,
a Minneapolis Tractor Company kerosene tractor,
which was the "modern" successor to steam traction engines.
These locos are a whirl of gears, exposed tappets and flywheels,
and there were two of them restored to operating condition.
This would be a challenging scratchbuilding project,
but hopefully someday.....
I think this John Deere is late 1920s or early 1930s vintage.
It is a great study in weathering and aging in a model.
I took several photos as a guide to weathering models on my layout.
Very little of the original green paint remains visible,
but the rusted metal surfaces are complex,
they show a variety of colors and textures, and would be nice to model.
I can read about and borrow ideas from the Military Modeling folks,
who build models like this all of the time.
Here is another John Deere,
somewhat newer than the previous one,
but also a fascinating study of weathering and dirt.
This tractor must have quite a story to tell,
about what has happened in its lifetime,
it is probably close to 85-90 years old !
I'll post a few more photos later today,
but I'm headed out to get some dinner first.
Had the opportunity to steer a steam tractor in Australia a few years back,
definitely not for the faint of heart !
Chain steering leaves a lot to be desired.
Kaslo & Slocan Railway
International Navigation & Trading Co
Kootenay Railway & Navigation Co.
Driving a chain-steered multi-ton tractor must be very tiring !
I was fascinated to watch the kerosene tractor in the parade,
the driver was constantly swinging the steering wheel back and forth,
and this was on a straight path.
The play in the chain steering was clearly evident.
I included this picture, to show better,
the very basic chain steering on one of these tractors.
Suitable for low speeds only.
MODELING INSPIRATION - Pt. II
At the same tractor show, they had set up a sawmill,
and demonstrated sawing with steam power.
A steam tractor was hooked up to the circular saw drive,
by a long (about 30') belt.
The belt is hooked up when slack,
and the tractor backs up slightly to put some tension on the belt.
The belt takes an amazing amount of letter,
it must be 8" wide at least.
The belt is powered by a drive wheel on the steam engine,
mounted on top of the boiler, connection to the driving wheels is cut.
It was nice to hear the steam engine chuffing away powering the saw.
The sawyer and tractor engineer worked closely,
via whistle signals for start up and halts.
Although this was a tractor powering the sawmill,
I could easily imagine a stationary steam engine in its place,
and a narrow gauge rail spur serving the mill.
The circular blade easily cut through the cedar logs,
with the powerful steam tractor hooked up.
I watched the sawing of logs for quite a while,
it was great to see, hear and smell the sawing action.
The mechanisms and machinery were easy to observe,
since none of it was covered with shields or other safety devices.
The workers definitely had to pay careful attention to avoid accidents.
A small mill like this would be a great model to to add to my railroad.
Before I left, I stopped to admire this concrete mixer.
It is powered by a single cylinder "hit and miss" engine,
the cylinder drives a large flywheel, and fires off only intermittently.
I have a plastic Preiser model of a concrete mixer,
but it is built to be powered by a more modern gas engine,
I think I will backdate it to create something resembling this machine.
So, there is modeling inspiration all around,
it doesn't always have to be a railroad or railroad museum !
It's been a while since I have posted anything.
The past month has been very busy, as I have been traveling and having fun.
Here's an update on what I have been doing,
and the inspiration I got for Gilpin Tram modeling projects this fall and winter.
NATIONAL NARROW GAUGE CONVENTION
I attended the 41st National Narrow Gauge Convention, this year in Hickory, North Carolina.
I had a great time, saw a lot of friends, listened to great clinics, and viewed great modeling.
These conventions are great to get a lot ideas and renewed enthusiasm for my model railroad.
This convention was probably the smallest one of the 15 or so I have attended.
The reported attendance was about 800.
It seems non-Colorado conventions are usually about half or less,
what the Denver conventions are, for many reasons.
The model contest room was excellent, and there were many good models.
I talked to a lot of people who told me this was their first convention that they attended.
These people seemed mostly in the southeast US, or mid-Atlantic region.
It was popular with them for being relatively close and a chance to attend one.
The conventions were excellent, and ran through a variety of topics.
I enjoyed several conventions on regional topics, including ET&WNC (of course),
but also 3 nearby by Appalachian logging lines I had not been aware of before.
At Saturday’s closing, they asked who had been to all 41 conventions,
3 people stood up.
Here's some photos of some neat things I saw and liked:
In the contest room, there was this 1:48 scale track speeder.
The modeler printed this in 3D resin, and showed how he did it - wow !
This was a 1:48 scale diorama of a turpentine view,
a new industry to me, and very well done.
Gary Knapp brought 2 sections of his layout, depicting WWI trench railways.
These 2' lines have very interesting locomotives and rolling stock,
and I have several models and kits that could be used,
for post-war, industrial-type models.
These models were very well done.
There is a final meeting in the ballroom, with a wrap-up of the convention,
presentations for future conventions, and bids for future conventions.
The upcoming conventions will be:
2022 - Tacoma
2023 - Denver
2024 - Pittsburgh
2025 - St. Louis
Shortly after returning from the Narrow Gauge Convention, we headed out to Colorado.
We did and saw a lot of things, and got a lot of inspiration and ideas from this trip.
Places like this inspire me to try to model a small part of Colorado in my basement.
This view has all the things I love, dramatic scenery,
a railroad grade, rocky crags, pine forests, and beautiful skies.
This is on the old Colorado Midland grade, near Hagerman Tunnel.
Of course, one of my stops was in Gilpin County, in the Central City/Black Hawk area.
I visited several parts of the Gilpin Tram.
Among other things, I collected several nicely colored dirt samples for use on my layout.
Here, 3 of the colors are being dried and will be later sifted by size.
I wonder how many tons of dirt have been hauled away over the years by modelers ?
In 2019, I posted some photos,
showing the construction of a Black Hawk public trail system,
which includes the Gilpin Tram's former Chase Gulch mainline.
The trail system is completed, and includes a nice parking lot,
and trail system across the highway from the former enginehouse site,
and built over the former warming house location.
There is a handy pedestrian bridge over busy Highway 119.
This trail connects several mountain bike trails on Maryland Mountain,
but walkers can walk all the way up to Tucker Junction,
and also walk up the Tucker Mill Branch.
What is really nice is the brush and tree-covered right of way has been cleared.
You can see much more of the stone walls and construction compared to before.