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 19, 2023

Busy Weekend

 This was a busy Father's Day weekend with trains, games, and model building.

John running a passenger train through Winchester 

Wooden fruit boxes under Winchester 
On Friday, Paul Dolkos rode with me to operate on John King's B&O railroad centered around  Winchester, VA. John's layout is wonderful to operate. It hits many of my hot buttons including Time Table and Train Order, Steam, and lots of switching. Paul and I operated the Winchester town switcher. That was a great job with many industries to switch. Winchester was a very busy railroad town with several cold storage facilities for the fruit industry. 

John's track is beautifully laid. He never got around to doing much scenery of structures but he does have lots of interesting mock-ups for the structures in Winchester.  In addition, he has dozens of wooden fruit boxes from orchards and storage houses in Winchester under the Winchester part of his layout. 

B&O Bulletin Book
John has a lot of interesting railroadania. One item that was really neat was a B&O Bulletin book that he uses to have his operators sign. 

On Saturday I participated in a game at Mike Kelly's. He set up a south Pacific scenario involving Japanese infantry guarding American prisoners, a US Navy shore patrol to the rescue, angry local villagers, and man eating animals.   

The game combined elements of role playing and war gaming. He used hidden movement and lots of surprises for both sided.  It turned out our 11-man Japanese squad had to deal with the 25-man shore patrol and 20 unruly prisoners lead by a lone nurse who managed to hide a scalpel on her person. Even the giant crocodile allied with the US Navy. In the end only one Japanese soldier survived to report the outcome to his commander. 

I continued to work on the High Road to Rome diorama too.  It is almost done. Here is a photo showing a vignette from the diorama. A jeep with a wounded soldier is trying to get past the dozer and tanks on the narrow mountain road. This incident is based on Eric Sevareid's report of the actual battle. 

June 8, 2023

20,000 Leaves Under the Sky

High Road to Rome Diorama (1/35th scale)

I will be taking a short break from modeling for some family events, but I thought  I would post a photo of the work in progress on the 1/35th scale diorama that my brother and I are building. The diorama is a showcase for some new scenery products that Alkem Scale Models will be introducing.  If you look closely you will see sumac, oak, beech and hickory trees.  We plan to offer a line up of new scenery items to allow builders to make super scale trees like these with individual leaves. In fact, that is what we will be calling them, Super Scale Trees or SST.  We should be announcing them in a few weeks.