September 20, 2015

Aquia Line Changing Scales?

Ready to ship the HO models  to the museum

The diorama depicts an incident on the
Greenville and Columbia Railroad.
I worked on a HO locomotive and two
boxcars this week. The cars are for a diorama for a museum in South Carolina that Brian Bollinger of Bollinger Edgerly Scale Trains is building. The diorama depicts an incident that occurred right after the civil war.

The diorama required two box cars and a locomotive in HO scale. He subcontracted the task of making these to me.

The cars are laser cut kits. One from BTS and one from Alkem Scale Models.
Die cast boiler and stack after polishing and sanding

New cow catcher pilot and removed motor mounts.

The locomotive is a modified Mantua General, I did some work to improve its appearance and added detail to it.

Using a hacksaw and vise to cut up the tender
Since this will be a static model, I removed the motor and gear train. I also removed the weight that fills the cab. With the weight removed, the cab doesn't look too bad and I used it as is.

The boiler and firebox needed a lot of polishing and sanding to remove flash and surface roughness.

I added an extension to the boiler to fill  in a gap that was visible with the motor removed.
New tender deck still waiting for the water fill port.

I cut off the pilot and added a brass casting from Cal-Scale.

The tender took a lot of work to remove the unrealistic wood pile. I added a new deck and water fill port.

With the metal ready, I primed and painted the model.

I added some details to the exterior, such as a simulated valve rod, new laser cut locomotive name plate, a micromesh cinder screen in the stack, a photo etched builder's plate from Al Mueller at Delafield Works, a new pilot truck from Dave Hoffman, and a  wood pile made from small pieces of actual sticks.

Brian did not know the actual name of the locomotive involved in the incident, so we went with "Velocity," a Rogers built loco in service on the G&C RR.

Primed and ready for paint

Oh, to answer the question, no I'm not changing scales. The USMRR Aquia Line still lives in O Scale. But this was a fun foray into HO Scale.


  1. Just Wonderful Bernie. You did this all in a week? I'm working on a rebuild of a pair of Mantua Generals and have been at it on and off for 9 months now and still nowhere near completed. My hat is off to you my friend. Great Job!

    1. Yes, the locomotive took a few nights of work, but I already had all the parts on hand.

  2. Beaurtiful! I love the photo of the "Velocity" on the flatcar.

  3. Love the name Velocity and the clean look of your finished model.
    As usual..Perfection is thy name!

  4. A bit of topic I guess, but what are the rocks in the background made of?


      Tore, see this video link for a tutorial I did on rock carving.

  5. Very nice..I've the General and am back dating you know of anyone that sells civil war passenger car decals in O and HO scale? The fancy scrolls and such. I've been trying to find them for years in HO scale and now doing some modeling in On30 and want to dress up my passenger cars..Thanks. Bob D