September 25, 2009

More Pine Trees, Lacy House and a Stub Turnout Video

Rob had one more night in town so he continued to make trees. Thanks to his 5 new pines, the layout now has double its inventory of trees. The latest is a particularly impressive double trunk, mature pine with a carved nebari. We'll have to make sure all the trees have similar root structure.

The figure standing next to the tree gives a sense of the size. It is a 40mm ACW figure that stands about 1.7 inches tall.

I continued to paint the backdrops. Tonight I added Lacy House (now known as Chatham House, a National Park Site). The house on the backdrop is a colorized cutout from a photo of the actual Lacy House overlooking Fredericksburg.

I painted a large splotchy grassy lawn surrounding the house since it was the estate of a wealthy Virginian that has been trampled by thousands of Union soldiers.

The Union doctors used the house as a hospital after the battle of Fredericksburg. Over 100 soldiers were buried on the grounds (most were later moved to the National Cemetery). Before the war the estate had many out buildings and lush forests. Union soldiers cut most of the trees for firewood. They even stripped some of the wood paneling for fuel. The few period photos of Lacy House do not show any out buildings near the main house, so I placed it alone on the hill.

The foreground scenery will eventually also get some grass ground cover, so hopefully the colors will match.

This is the colorized photo of Lacy House from the 1863 time period. I colorized it in Photoshop, but had to add some acrylic paint to increase saturation to match the rest of the backdrop. The colorized print was too unsaturated.

I am undecided on how to proceed with painting the rest of the Falmouth backdrop. Should I continue the distant scene or have a more detailed, closer representation like I had with the computer printed backdrop? I may try the former and see how it goes. The beauty of had painting is I can change if i decide it's not working.

Here is a video that shows the operation of the stub turnouts on my layout.


  1. Bernie,

    wow great trackwork, absolutely.

    I've never seen a double-slip sub turnout so far but it looks amazing.

    Nice video too.


  2. This post has a picture of a prototype double slip stub switch installation.

  3. That turnout is unreal. Even more unreal is that someone decided to DO that 150 years ago!

  4. Bernie, the backdrfops are living images, phenominal work!!-Mark Andersen