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.

May 12, 2022

On the Road Again

Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.” Ludwig Van Beethoven
Is there any doubt that model railroading can be considered art. This scene from 
Brian Kelly's HO Scale C&O layout might argue for it.

I returned from Florida last week and spent the rest of this week catching up and doing what we called in the Army "recovery."

The Florida trip was great. I took AMTRAK Autotrain there and back.   I had a roomette going down and coach seat coming back. The roomette was nice, but not as good as a night in a hotel. The coach seats are better than airplanes, but still not as comfy  as the roomette.

The train ride down was on time but coming back we were 5 hours late due to equipment trouble and then late crew change.  But, I was lucky both times as my car was one of the first to be unloaded.

Other highlights of the trip  include my first rounds of golf where there was money at stake. I actually ended up winning in both matches, thanks to a skin and closest to the pin in the first and  by sinking a long birdie putt in the other to win another skin in a scramble. If you are not a golfer, you have no idea what I just said, and that's OK. 

We visited two museums, the Brevard County Veteran's Museum and the Valiant Air Museum. 

Both were great.  The Brevard Museum had a nice variety of items on display from all services and across US History. These choppers were on display outside. 

Valiant Air has a great collection of restored aircraft. Only a few of them can still fly, but most are in pristine condition.  Here we see my Cayman GTS in front of a not so pristine Czech Mig.

We visited two model railroads. 
 On Sunday we visited Rich Bellanger’s new HO/HOn3 layout. Rich is a prolific and talented modeler in several genres- wooden ships (he built the model of the US Constitution at the Brevard Museum),  aircraft, armor, and trains. He has an interesting way of making concrete streets and sidewalks for his layout. He uses black gatorfoam and Rustoleum cement color texture spray paint. He then details cracks and expansion joints with a pencil. Simple and effective.

On Monday we visited Tom Johnson's bedroom-sized layout. It’s a beautiful gem with amazing attention to detail. Tom is the master of integrating roads into the backdrop. 
Tom said he gets his model  trees from a supplier in Poland. They flock them with miniature leaves that have the correct shapes. 

The IPMS meet went well. There were about 55 people that entered models, down from previous years.  There are some really nice models on display. All my models won awards including a second place for best large diorama for the Full Metal Jacket, and also for my Stay a While and Listen fantasy diorama.  My brother's large helicopter and tank diorama got the Cinema Militaire award.  

For some reason the creature from the Black Lagoon was a popular theme at the meet. They had a full size mannikin as well as several models of it. 

While we were at the show we were able to watch a Spacex launch from the town of Cape Canaveral. That was very cool.

As soon as I returned home, I attended an op session at Brian Kelly's C&O layout. It had been almost 20 years since I last saw it. He has created a gorgeous layout that is as well sceniced as any you might find. Plus, he uses several Alkem Scale Models kits on his layout.

I am departing tomorrow to attend two NMRA events on consecutive weekends. On 15 May I will be in Cincinnati presenting a talk to the Cinncy Division of the NMRA.

On the next weekend 20-21 May.  I will be at the Indy Junction NMRA and RPM meet.  In between I plan to see my kids and granddaughter.

1 comment:

  1. As I recall, most of "Creature From the Black Lagoon" was filmed in Florida, except for some interior shots in Hollywood, which might explain his popularity down there. Nice photos and congratulations on your prizes.