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.

September 16, 2022

Backdrops at Falmouth - Alicia approves!


It really is amazing what a backdrop does for the layout. I spent today painting and making cut outs for the backdrop at Falmouth.  

One of the key objectives of the backdrop was to show the Phillips House on the hill behind Falmouth. It was slightly north and east of the station. Gen Burnside used it as his headquarters when he was in command. Gen Hooker had his HQ near White Oak, so unidentified soldiers used Phillips House for their quarters. In February 1863, one of them started a fire in a hearth that accidentally spread to the rest of the house and it burned down. A photographer showed up and got a photo of it the next day.  I used that photo to make a cutout of the house and placed it on the backdrop.  I painted a road that leads to the house. I also used a cutout from Brian's artwork to show some of the servants quarters that were reported to be near Falmouth Station.

The burned station and the rest of the structures are recycled from the original Falmouth.

I also used some of Brain Kammerer's artwork to show the  army camp south of the Falmouth warehouse. 

I suspect there is about one more man day of work to finish the backdrops.

Alicia checked the layout tonight and said, "this is better than the port layout." I guess that is a good sign.

Brian's artwork was perfect for this spot south of the QM warehouse. I borrowed the lone pine from the rest of the layout. Making more trees is job one the do list.


  1. Fantastic, Bernie!! Looking forward to seeing it.

  2. I can trade some tree wire twisting in exchange for some structure sign computer work...