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 23, 2022

Commissary Warehouse at Falmouth

Artwork for the backdrop

 The commissary warehouse is a large shed that I salvaged from the old Falmouth. It was the first structure I built for the O scale Aquia Line. It will occupy the center of the Falmouth scene. 

The first step was to make an interesting backdrop for this part of Falmouth as it will be the focus of attention. I decided to use photos I took of structures at actual civil war museums combined with more of Brian's figures and my hand painting to blend it all together.  The above is the artwork I generated for this scene.

 The house is the Wyatt House at Gaines Mill/Cold Harbor National Battlefield. 

The hooches are from pictures I took at the White Oak Civil War museum near Falmouth.  I composited all the elements together, added shadows and a new sky. Then I printed the image in two parts and installed on the backdrop without the sky. I hand painted the trees and foreground to blend it all together.

Next I built the wooden platform for the structure. The platform is larger than the building to allow some space to store freight.

Here are some photos of the scene as the glue is drying.


  1. Bernie, as usual everything looks great, but I have to ask. At the Wyatt House and warehouse, how were the hardwood trees created? I can't tell if they were hand painted, models, or created digitally in some instances. If they were done digitally, are they printed on a sky background then blended in with the actual backdrop color? It looks seamless, and am sure from several feet away no traces are visible. Thank you. Jeff Mrock

  2. I trimmed the trees behind the Wyatt house and the tents/hooches from the printout. Once I applied the cut out to the backdrop, I then I hand painted the trees on the backdrop. It was too difficult to cut the branches from the paper and have then look good. I used the original artwork as a guide so the painting could match as close as possible.

    1. Thanks for sharing Bernie, you are certainly skilled at painting trees. Jeff