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 9, 2020

The Man that Shot Bernie's Valance

Who really shot Bernie's valance?
Paul visiting the new section with COVID mask
Today marks the first time since lockdown I had a visitor to the Aquia Line. Up to now, any social visits we hosted took place on our front porch with appropriate distances maintained.  But, today Paul Dolkos stopped by to borrow some scenery items and to check on the layout progress. Our COVID Response Coordinator,  Alicia, AKA CINCHOUSE, deemed it acceptable that Paul could enter the house if we were all masked and did not get too close.

Paul got a chance to look at the new stuff, run some trains, and comment on additional planned expansion.  But, the big question of the day was about an extension of a valance above Stare's Tunnel.   On the left  is the view I am trying to restrict.  When folks enter the door to the front room, if they look right, they see the bright lights over the new part of the layout. This is something that always bugged me, even before the expansion.

I took a few photos of the mocked up valance and showed my friends via text. They were of mixed opinions. Brian Brendel in particular voted down the idea.  Alicia initially liked it, then changed her mind and then swapped back to her original opinion. So Paul's opinion would be the deciding vote. He said, "do it."  So Bernie's valance will survive the bullet wound. I mounted it by tension only, so if I need to, I can easily remove it.
New valance section painted and installed. It restricts the view of the lights above Stares tunnel as you enter the room, but opens up as you walk in.  I'd like to say the curve was carefully calculated, but I just eyeballed it.

View of the valance from inside the layout room is unobtrusive. 

One thing I am noticing on the layout is that I need to do a thorough cleaning. My track and wheels are dirty. Not surprising as it has been at least 9 months since I ran the layout. Even the scenery seems to have a fine coat of dust. I think the dust source was either the new plaster scenery, or the disk sander in the work shop or both. I have a dust evacuator for the sander, but sometimes I am too lazy to hook it up and put on hearing protection. The dust evacuator isn't too loud, but the air whistling through the disk sander is very loud. I cleaned the wheels of Haupt and Fury, but a complete maintenance session is needed.  I probably should wait until all the building is done though.


  1. Some sky on the back of the removable valence might look good, Bernie...??????

  2. That has to be one of the best blog titles of all time! Both Paul and the layout revisions are looking great.

    Have you considered mounting light diffuser panels below the existing light fixtures in that section? That might soften their impact without having to install the semi-Bellina Drop valance you are considering.

  3. It looks good to me. As people often stop in the doorway and look in both directions when things are crowded during open houses I think the bigger valence is a very well designed and useful addition.