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.

June 5, 2016

When it rains, it pours.

It was a busy week. First, MRVP released the video they filmed last fall. Here is the link to the video. The video is 18 minutes long. They did a nice job in filming and editing. They have an interesting format in that the layout owner is the only person shown in the video except for the time lapse B-roll during the ending credits. To see more than just the first minute or so, you have to be a subscriber to MRVP.

On Thursday CBO released a study I had been working on concerning the costs of scanning and imaging shipping containers for nuclear weapons. You can find that study at this link.

On Friday evening I finished the ship model, though more detailing is always possible.  Here is the bow showing the pedestals and arms for the hydraulic folding hatches.

The stern also has folding hatch apparatus as well as racks to hold containers between the hatch and the superstructure. The engine is typically under the deck in this area, that's why the hatch and hold doesn't continue all the way to the superstructure. Next time I try a ship like this I will show some of the hatches open.

Now I need to decide what cargo to display on the ship. I am thinking of windmill parts.

Prototype portal base
Next project is to detail the Gottwald Mobile Harbor crane. I decided to scratch build a new rubber tired portal base for the crane. Terminal designers opt for  portal style bases when the space on the pier or wharf is tight and they need to allow trucks or rail to pass under the crane. Such is the case for Chase Marine Terminal. I have two tracks pier-side that I want to allow access.

WIP on new HO scale base
I laser cut an acrylic base and the sheathed it with 20 thou styrene. Then I used stairs from a Walthers Blast Furnace kit to provide access. I also made hubs for the wheels. I tried making my own tires with laser cut parts but I decided to use tires from a couple container  trainers. that I had excess. A few more parts and it show be ready to go.


  1. Bernie, Great work in both eras and scales! I thoroughly enjoyed your ACW Aquia Line video--worth the price of admission to MRVP for me! Having just finished reading Grant's Personal Memoirs (a great read!) I better appreciate where your line is/was, even though I spent my Army active duty time just down the James at Ft. Eustis. Looking forward to further developments on your ACW layout.

    In a similar vein, I have been following closely your LA Harbor layout. Though I elected to concentrate on the Cascade climb here in Oregon (You saw it last summer.), I have always had an affinity to the rail-marine interface. Kalmbach will be happy, I'll gladly plunk down cash for your book when it comes out.

    Bill Decker
    McMinnville, OR

    1. Thanks. I hope you will find the book interesting. We have a lot of interesting stuff planned for it.
      Yes, I recall visiting your layout. Very impressive. I also recall liking how you landscaped the walkway leading to the layout entrance. I took a photo to show my wife.

  2. AnonymousJune 05, 2016

    Wait! Wheres the Seagull poop? Where's the rust blooming??? ;^)
    Seriously, looking outstanding, Bernie!

    1. It's there, you just need to look closer.

  3. Incredible Harbor layout! I just started my first LA Harbor/Alameda Corridor project. If mine has a fraction of the beauty of yours, I will be happy.