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.
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September 5, 2018

Concept Art for Fredericksburg Expansion

I was perusing the US National Archive files and I found this artist's concept of how the Fredericksburg expansion might look.  Two things pop out, the backdrop will be critical to a realistic scene and there are lots of neat structures that will have to be built.

With regard to the backdrop, the river scene behind the bridge will be difficult to execute. Also, many of the structures needed to depict a town scene will be rendered in 2D versus 3D. That will be a fun challenge as I would probably use the same technique I used on the Pioneer Mills diorama for the Lyceum as described here and here.


  1. My two English pennies. I think the river scene behind the bridge will be helped by the cable/barrage I can just see stretched between the banks. Presumably that was to stop debris floating down and damaging the bridge.

    What I might look at are the two roads you show. It can be hard to marry the modelled road surface with the backscene when the road meets it head on. If the roads met the backscene at an angle you could disguise the join with structures or vehicles stopped at the wayside.

    1. Thanks for the comments. The river is actually flowing into the backdrop. I am not sure what cable you refer to, was it in one of the photos?
      The streets are perpendicular to the tracks in town, so I would try to replicate that.

  2. Hi Bernie

    There's a line drawn approximately where the modelled river meets the backscene. I thought that might be a cable or something disguising the join, but it might be that it indicated the join itself.
    Understand that you want to replicate the actual layout of the town/RR.

  3. Hi Bernie,

    Good to see that you will expand the Aquia line! I will follow as you come along with the build. Succes!!

    Grtz, Ronald.