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.

December 12, 2012

Rail Gun Update

I am almost finished with the Lee-Brooke Rail Gun. Here are some shots showing the model. I attempted to add any detail visible in the two existing photos. Everything on the model except the wheels has been built from scratch.

The iron armor is laser cut and engraved acrylic.
I still need to add the brake wheel and the cannon elevation wheel.  With the brake wheel installed, the brakes will work.

I plan to make a solid cherry pedestal and acrylic case for it to match the existing Dictator mortar model. These will be on display at the B&O Museum next year starting in January.


  1. Great piece of work, Bernard! I really like it. It will be a good showpiece in the B&O museum. How long will it be on display there?

  2. The plan is for this model, plus my model of the Dictator, to be on display for one year. Then they will come back to me. I am also on the hook to build two more models for B&ORR Museum that will be in their permanent collection. They are due in 3 weeks. Gulp.

  3. Hello, I was wondering if you have plans (drawings) for your model. If you do would you be interested in selling a set of plans.

    Thank you very much.

    1. I don't have a set of plans that are ready to go.

      Alexander published a decent set of drawings in his book on ACW RRs, except that it is too small.

    2. Hello, thank you for the quick reply. I have been asked to create a 3D model of the rail gun. So while searching the internet is how I came upon your information.

      I found your other posting were you stated that you had dimensions on the cannon, and you had some nice photos of the work you did. I would appreciate any help you can offer.

      Could you please spell out ACW because when I search for American Civil War Railroads I can not find the book.

      Thank you.

    3. I concluded that the plans in Alexander's book, while very good for overall proportion are off by about 50 percent. He assumed that the wheels are 33 inch wheels. But they are smaller, probably closer to 26-28 inches. I used 42 inch O scale wheels from NWSL (thanks are due to Derrel and Linda at NWSL for the rush job in shipping the wheels to me.) These scale out to 28 inches in 1:32nd scale.

    4. Here is a link to the book on Amazon. Just be careful with the plans for the gun as he used wheels that were too large. He also has the wrong gun in the drawing.


  4. Thank you for the information.

    Would you be interested in selling any of the information you have already obtained for this project. Such as the specs for the cannon, any extra photos you have of your assembly. I only ask because it would make my job a lot simpler.

    If you are not comfortable with this idea I understand and I thank you for the help.

    Have a wonderful holiday and New Year.