August 20, 2012

Designing the Town of Brooke

As scenery progresses around the last section of track, I realized I needed to finalize the design at both ends of Brooke siding.

My original intent was to depict a saw mill or log splitting operation at the south end of Brooke. I was inspired by this image depicting a saw mill operation on the USMRR on the City Point line.

This photo shows what appears to be a steam powered saw mill on a siding. I couldn't tell if it was rail mounted, so my plan was to place it off the tracks, like the mill depicted in the lithograph of the Blandy's Portable Steam Saw Mill. The area on on this mill side would depict a bunch of cut timber waiting for pickup.

But I recently saw a photo of a USMRR log splitting operation at Alexandria on several auction sites. I can not find a high resolution version of this image, but the apparatus is clearly mounted on a rail buggy. That means it would need a spur to reside on. The only one I have open at this time is the spur at Brooke.

So if I want to include this buggy on the layout, i will need to reconsider how I will place  the buildings at Brooke.

I had looked at several of the taverns on the HABS/HAER web site and thought that the Crossroads Inn near Charlottesville had the right look.

 I liked the double deck porch. But this building was too large in full O Scale. I laser cut a couple mock-ups to get a feel for it. I tried an S scale version (too small but ok if placed in the background), then a full O scale version (neat, but  too big)  and a selectively compressed version that is the full length, but about 30 percent narrower. That seems to work the best. I tried several spots for the tavern, but selected the spot shown  in the image below. The upper porch will wrap around the uphill side of the tavern.

I used photoshop to draw the other planned buildings - a store in red and the blacksmith in brown in the foreground.  There will be a farm house and a few out buildings up on the road toward the background.  The USMRR will have their logging operation at the spur, along with a normal supply platform. There will also be the remains of the old RF&P station depicted in the scene.  I also want to include a church probably next to the farm house. These background buildings will be sub scale for forced perspective.

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