Virginian Railway
Being rebuilt through the Appalachians in O Scale in Fort Worth, Texas

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August 4th, 2019

Again I start this blog note with an apology - 4 years since an update! Lots done in that time, but less than I would have hoped. Still working 1 or 2 days a week, and lots of volunteer stuff, all cutting into layout time. But recent news is that the NMRA national convention in 2023 will be in the Dallas - Fort Worth "metroplex," so there is now a deadline of sorts.

I like to have a variety of things to work on, which means that it takes longer to get any one of them done. But some projects just take precedence. Currently working on a series of plate guiders / through truss bridge that will go over the river (see the layout plan and the last photo in the August 2015 photos and you'll see the location). This is one project I'll stick to till done. A major complication: I've had to revise some of the benchwork just to be able to access and work on the supports for bridge piers.

The north side (of the layout room) has a lot of scenery completed. Photos show several views. The mine is a BTS kit revised with individual boards, each stained first with Hunterline "driftwood," and then individually colored with pan pastels. The boards over the BTS wall forms made the walls thicker, so all the window sills had to be scratchbuilt to compensate for the thicker walls.

I think with experience I'm getting better at representing fall mountain trees and scenery. ome of the photos (e.g.: of the miner's shacks) show scenery in process before trees are added. Sequence is: a) build land forms of screen wire (for large expanses with less support) or cardboard lattice, b) cover with multiple layers of plaster cloth, c) cover with green colored ground goop (I use Mortar Admix instead of white glue - easier to use and stronger), d) static grass (it's boring covering large areas), and then e) add the scenic details and trees. In the fall and spring, when the temps are not too bad here in North Texas, I drag an old folding table out into the driveway and set up a tree making factory. Large areas of scenery sure use up trees rapidly.

Recently added a Sunset Virginian EL-2B to the roster. No catenary yet and probably not in my lifetime, but sure is fun to see the units hauling trains. There have been other smaller additions to the roster and scenery but you'll just have to either visit or see the pictures added far too infrequently to the web site.

Posted by Michael Ross

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