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This module is 2' by 4' and built to the HOn30 module standards published in the HOn30 Home Depot.

The frame is 1" by 3" common pine covered with a 2' by 4' sheet of 3/8" Luan plywood. Over this I glued a sheet of 1" thick Styrofoam. I cut away the water areas, using the Luan surface as the water base.

Early in the construction I added the painted backdrop. This is a 14" high by 4' long sheet of Luan plywood. I primed and painted it, then glued and screwed it to the rear module frame.

On the module side of the backdrop I glued a low (Styrofoam) hill that runs the length of the module. Rock castings were added, painted, and then texture was glued around them.

Background trees were modeled by stretching green and brown poly fiber, soaking it with hair spray, and sprinkling on several colors and textures of scenic foam.

The fiber sheets were formed into tree shapes and glued to the background.

The track is HOe Peco flextrack glued and pinned over N-gauge cork roadbed. There's 1 Peco lefthand non-powered turnout routing trains to the siding in the foreground. I painted the ties and rail with Floquil's Rail Brown and dry brushed the tops of the ties with earth colored paint.

The roads were made from .040 styrene cut to the width of the Sylvan Models highway bridge. Thebridge represents the cast concrete bridges found throughout New England.

My favorite tar road color is 2 parts earth mixed with 1 part flat black. This was painted over the road surfaces and fine baseball diamond clay sifted into the wet paint. The clay gives the road surface a fine texture.

The most fun was the great water experiment. I wanted the surface to look like the ocean on a windy day. So I started by sealing the surface of the plywood with several coats of flat white paint. Next, I sanded it smooth and brushed on a heavy coat of flat black. After it dried I applied a thick layer of acrylic blue mixed with green. I mixed the colors on the water surface trying not to leave large areas of any one color. A little flat white was stippled along the edges to lighten the blue/green color. The waves were painted on using a fan brush.

Over the water base I trowled a layer of acrylic gloss modeling gel. I pushed the gel with the trowel to get "heaps" of gel - to make the waves. The colors were touched-up after the gel dried and a coat of Liquid Stained Glass was brushed over the surface to seal it.

The structures were all built years ago for other model railroad projects. The original Parker Grain Company model was started over 30 years ago using Strathmore board following Jack Work's techniques. It went underwater when my cellar flooded so I rebuilt it using styrene. It sat, halfbuilt, in a box until I discovered it last summer and finished it. Mitchell's Fine Fish was part of the Smoky Hollow Jon Olson Chemical Company kit.

On the far right side of the module is a Campbell Scale Models kit built back in the 1970's when Bob Hayden and I were cranking out product reviews for Railroad Model Craftsman. The station behind the Campbell kit is a Magnason Models resin kit that was built for a movie layout and never used.

The other, smaller, background buildings have a similar heritage.

All the people, vehicles, rolling stock, and details were scavenged from the "painted details" scrap box.

The deciduous trees are made from sumac tips overed with foam, from SuperTrees covered with poly fiber and foam, and from twigs covered with Silflor. The grass was modeled using Scenic Express Scenic Foam and the weeds are tufts of Silflor. The pine trees are from High Pines Ltd.

In February 2001 I sold this module to a marine artist for display in his gallery.

It's time to start another



Here's the 2' by 4' frame covered with 1" thick Styrofoam cut-out for the water areas. I added the background and painted it before I started on the foreground scenery. Instructions for background painting can be found in my book "How To Build Realistic Model Railroad Scenery", from Kalmbach Publishing Company.

An early photo showing the great water experiment. I painted in the color of the ocean bottom and all the waves then covered the water with thick layer of acrylic gloss gel.

An all-over view showing the layout of the track and siding. The large structure on the lower left is a model I started building 30 years ago. The prototype was the George H. Parker Grain company which stood near the Boston & Maine railroad in Danversport, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

In this photo and the one below is a close-up of the waterfront detail. The pilings were carved from 1/2" square strips of balsa wood and distressed with a wood rasp. They were painted dark brown. The bottoms of the pilings were dipped in gloss medium and the brown foam "barnacles" were sprinkled on. They were glued in place using a large drop of Liquid Stained Glass - a craft store item.

The gray structure with the large lobster on the the side is Mitchell's Fine Fish. It still needs signs added to finish it.

The George H. Parker Grain Company. The prototype was located in Danversport, Massachusetts. My styrene model still needs the signs added.

These 2 buildings have been around since the 1970's. On the left is a scratchbuilt store that was on the original C&DR Ry. On the right is a Campbell Scale Models kit that was built for a review in RMC.

CONTACT: Dave Frary P.O. Box 1234 Forestdale, MA 02644 USA
Site Published December 12, 1995 | Current Version 2.7.2010 | Website by James Deignan | ©2005 - 2010 J David Frary All rights reserved