January 4, 2016

Eagle over Alexandria Waterfront Diorama

Mock up of the diorama on the base 
Great start to the new year - my first career eagle today! But enough golf talk, this is model railroad blog. This afternoon I took advantage of the nice weather to move the wood working tools outside to build the diorama base.

plywood base with 1x2 frame underneath
We stopped at Home Depot after celebrating the eagle at Sweetwater, ...wait I thought you weren't going to talk about golf.  Oh yeah, no more talk about that eagle.

The diorama will be on a pedestal made from birch plywood and molding trim. The trim is not glued on but secured from the inside to an internal frame I made from 1x2s. That way I can modify the frame and trim if the museum deems it necessary.

Never pass up a chance to use my bar clamps

The base is ready for stain and varnish

I also started work on the schooner for the diorama. This will be a pungy style schooner. The ship yard in Alexandria made pungies as well as other type of sailing ships and barges. The prototype for the model is the Wave, a 56 ft schooner. It was built in 1863 in Accomack Va, but is similar to Alexandria-built pungies.  The Wave survived for quiet some time and plans are available for it.

The Pungy Wave
It took some time for my O scale calibrated eyeballs to get accustomed to working in N scale again. I built the hull using the bread and butter technique. I used my laser to cut the slices of bread.I laminated them with yellow glue. Then I sanded the edges until I got the right shape.

Then I added a laser engraved deck and transom. I stained it a dark brown to show it is a well used work boat. Pungies are traditionally painted pink and green, but I may opt for a simple gray paint.

Pungy Lady Maryland. Note the paint scheme of
 green and pink. Photo via National Park Service
It is a cute boat, but I think I will rename it, "Eagle."



  1. Bernie, I picked up a BVM simplex "tin turtle" and looking at the possibility of doing an On30 module for under my Maine 2 foot layout. I am interested on contact info for the PLM cast-a-way WWI figures. YOu have also inspired me to build a small second layout featuring the Canton RR and Lever Brothers plant in "s" scale. I grew up very close to that area and spent many a day or night waiting for the trains to clear the grade crossings on Boston Street and Broening Hwy. It too to live under my "S" scale SR&RL layout. Keep up the good work.

    Gary White, Baltimore

    1. The PLM dealer is very hard to contact from the US. I ended up using a friend's relative that lives in the UK at USAF base to order the figures via UK mail and UK bank. He then shipped them to me using USPS. It was a pain,but I now have a small supply of his figures on hand.

      I like the idea of a module. I too think a module is a good way to go for a project like this. Please keep me posted on your progress. Perhaps we can make modules that are compatible.

      In the meantime, I repaired my HOe (HOn30) Brigadelok loco and it runs very well.