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.

April 29, 2020

Master Blaster?

Well, not quite, I only had 6 jumps as a US Army paratrooper. But a master of a different sort. Today I learned that the NMRA has accepted my Master Model Railroader (MMR)Statement of Qualifications. Mat Thompson, who mentored me through the process, sent me a note that they updated their website with my name on the list on MMRs. Given the quarantine, my certificate and other official paraphernalia will come at a later date.

My MMR number is 654, which is divisible by 2, 3 and 109.   Only 3 factors since 109 is prime.  It is the Pantone code for a dark navy blue, appropriate for a Union railroad. 654 is also the pill code for an antihistamine based sleep aid. Somehow that seems appropriate too.  So, all in all a good number.

Meanwhile, I continued work on the Belle Air farm house. My plan is to build a core with laser cut 1/16th inch MDF (see the photo) and then cover the exterior walls with basswood scribed clapboard siding.

The chimney was a little tricky as the stepped bricks required some trim and putty to get right. The building will need two chimneys, but only one is fully visible on the exterior.

I want the farm to act as a view block for the turn back curve at the far end of the layout. This test photo shows that it will work pretty well in this regard. Once I detail the rest of the scene with trees and hedges, it should work out nicely.


  1. Congratulations Bernie, Your MMR is well deserved as your modeling and layout are amazing!!! Now go back to building stuff. (The view block looks good.)

  2. Congrats, Bernie! I've followed your modeling for ever and love the direction you are taking with the Aquia line!

  3. Do you know Ronald Gough? If you can find him, stand next to him and have your picture made. Then you'll be 654 321.

    Congratulations - you deserve it!

  4. Congrats! Your layout's track inspired me to handlay some track for my own MMR certificate. I only have 3 so far (another two are 1/2 done) but I hope to finish in due course. It is a fun process, and I am sure you have earned it.

  5. Congratulations Bernie on a well earned achievement.

  6. Congratulations! This award is so well deserved!

  7. Congratulations, Bernie! Wonderful news!!

  8. Congratulations and welcome! It was well deserved.
    Greg Rich #645

  9. Wow! So sorry my Congrats are so late! Well deserved.