A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

October 21, 2012

Act II, The Benchwork Strikes Back

Another long day in the garage working on the benchwork.  It is almost ready to move to the basement for the finer detail work. I have to clear up the garage so the car can go back in there.

I tried to come up with a way to cantilever the valance so that the front view would not be obstructed. But I was not happy with any of the cantilever schemes I came up with. So I decided to add posts to the corners of each section. My wife and neighbor took at look at it and gave it a thumbs up. They did not find the posts too distracting. Once they are painted and the layout lighted from inside the valance, I think they will disappear.

I was pleasantly surprised to note how strong the valance with the posts turned out. They should hold up fine in shows. But I wouldn't pick up the layout just from the valance.

Under the layout, I added Tee nuts and bolts so that the sections can screw together without clamps. Two more necessary tasks remaining under the layout are to add some diagonal braces to the legs so they don't wobble and to add adjusting Tee nuts to the leg bottoms. These come in handy if the floor  at the exhibition location is uneven (it usually is).

Half inch lumber serves as valance posts at the corner of each section.

A closer view of the posts with a box car and paper structure mock-up for perspective. The valance panels are
not secured yet, they are just clamped on.

The narrow sections  (18 inches wide) still have plenty of room for scenery. A good backdrop will be important.
I added the sky board panels to the back. They are 16 inches tall. The opening from the valance to the water level is also 16 inches. The track will be 2.125 inches above water level.


  1. looks great! Maybe we should add red, white, and blue bunting to the front of the layout - ala Lincoln's box in Ford's Theatre?

  2. I'm not sure if you were serious, but some fan fold red, white and blue bunting would be an interesting change from the standard blue curtains that I have one hand and were planning to use. The bunting could be applied over the dark blue field.

  3. I WAS being serious - inspired by an interview with Spielberg showing some scenes from "Lincoln" - the new movie.

  4. OK. Let''s do it. Think Christine can put one together? They are available for sale too.

  5. Sure - I also think we need polo shirts with some sort of USMRR or Civil War Railroad "Road Show" logo for shows.

  6. Gerry said the same thing. I was thinking more like period dress. Vests and pullover shits with button fly pants and slouch or mechanics hats. Civilian operators of the USMRR. Don't forget your pocket watch.