A Tenement on the Shoreline
by Bruce Campbell

In 2016 I acquired a Model Tech Studios 3D Background City Tenements kit at the Fine Scale Model Railroad Expo in Danvers, MA. I had one of the 3 tenements in the kit left and it was be a good fit to an urban Providence street near the engine terminal on my NYNH&H Shoreline. The kit consisted of laser-cut siding, decks, stair rails and window frames and sashes. There were plastic parts for porch posts, rails and stairs. The footprint was too deep for the space available, so I cut new narrower sides without windows. I stained the front, new sides and porch-roof supports with Hunterline alcohol-based light grey stain. The backs of the parts were painted to prevent warping. See Fig 1.

Figure 1

Figure 1. 


Figure 2

Figure 2.

To represent peeling and faded white paint, I dry brushed an off-white craft paint on the front and sides. Laser-cut windows and stair railings were spray primed on both sides with a petroleum-based primer. I painted the doorframes (made from scale lumber) and the window frames and sashes with khaki craft paint and followed with brown and grey Pan-Pastel chalks. Painted cardstock shades were added. I cemented black styrene sheet behind the windows. Apartment numbers and a street number were added. All of the paint, weathering and assembly of the front was done before assembly. See Fig 2.
Once the building was erected a back of .060 styrene stiffened it and supported the main roof. Basswood bracing (3/16”) was put in all inside corners. The decks, porch-roof posts, stairs, stair railings, porch railings and porch support posts were added, starting from the bottom. Stairs, railings and posts were cut to fit and painted and weathered the same way as the window frames and sashes. (Fig 3.)


Figure 3

Figure 3.

I covered the porch roof with black tissue cut to represent tar paper and painted weathered black. The main roof was made from shingle roofing from Plastruct. The tenement was mounted on a .080 styrene base. I added a few details and put a For Rent sign on apartment B on the 2nd floor. (Figs. 4 and 5.) It has a splendid view of the NYNH&H in Providence and is just down the street from a good pizza place. Perhaps when the pandemic is over you may wish to check it out.


Figure 4

Figure 4.


Figure 5

Figure 5.

To all of you, we wish you a very Merry Christmas (as much as social distancing will permit) and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

A very great thank you to all of you for your unconditional support, your enthusiasm, and your investment in the museum. The museum project finally broke ground early this summer. It has been a long and tortuous path to get to that point but the way ahead now looks clear and straight. We lifted the building, rebuilt the foundations, replaced the rotten sills, repaired all the structural timbers and lowered the building back down. It now has the near rectangular shape it had when it was first built. We even identified and preserved the original irregularities. The building is now winterized and nothing much will happen until next spring.

We have not encountered any significant problems and are within our budget. Next spring we will restore the two modified rafters, build the handicap ramp, replace the roof, finish the exterior and rebuild the loading dock. We do not anticipate any further delays or problems.

In parallel, we have been defining the museum and designing the internal layout for the phase 2 construction. Several of you have been actively involved with these discussions and we are moving towards a final definition. Our original goal is unchanged - to create a model railroad layout showing how the arrival of the railroads transformed these isolated villages into interconnected bustling manufacturing centers. We are exploring ways to deepen and expand the historical and educational experience for one-time visitors with layers of Augmented Reality and additional links to original material. We also are convinced that the key to enthusiastic adoption by the community is interactivity and, to that end, we are developing ways for anyone to operate trains, from simple run around in a limited area to full operation of the whole layout. With this ability, visitors can increase their ability to operate increasingly more complex situations thereby earning credits, merit badges, or graduating to become a docent.

We believe that this combination of a sophisticated and layered historical presentation together with interactive operation by all visitors will ensure the museum’s acceptance by the public, will result in multiple visits and enable it to generate sufficient revenue for break-even operation.

While Wolfeboro as a tourist destination will have many one-time visitors to the museum (providing a steady revenue stream), our larger goal is to encourage multiple visits by providing a rewarding and challenging operating experience. We should be able to extend this operating experience beyond the physical museum to the virtual realm, allowing remote interaction with the trains, remote monitoring of movements on the layout and remote linking with the historical presentations.
I hope that you all can see that we are reaching for a unique museum experience, one that, to our knowledge, has not been presented in New England, and which will be an attraction in and of itself. There will be many challenges ahead but we are hard at work to define these and develop realistic solutions.

Two of our challenges are the rapid evolution of social media and changes in the software tools to exploit virtual reality. Will everyone be taking selfies 10 years from now? Will today's teenagers still text each other instead of talking? Our success will correlate with our ability to understand these trends and cater to the visitor of the future.

Exciting and challenging times! And you are all part of this great project.

I hope you are as excited as I am about what we are working on. And I hope you all will continue your support of this amazing project.
Meanwhile, please stay healthy by taking wise precautions and staying away from strangers.

I wish to thank each and every one of you for your support, for the work you have contributed, and for your confidence in us.

If you, or anyone you know, might be able to help us with formulating this novel museum experience, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas.

John Simms.
Back in 2013 purchased some resin freight car kits for the Union, NH Heritage Park Railroad Museum's 1909 era Boston & Maine HO scale model railroad exhibit.

Have been assembling three of the kits, each of which just left the paint and decal shop. Each car with one wheel per truck w/resister for operating  on Freiwald TrainController German software computer-controlled layout. Remains for cars to be weathered.

Much of the description below accompanied the car kits.

1. 1890 era Tiffany Refrigerator Car.  Tiffany Refrigerator Car Company patented and built c. 4,500 "Summer & Winter" refrigerator cars and leased to various railroads.  Tiffany "claim to fame" was design of car and the cooling features which placed three ice hatches mounted in the roof walk w/hatches opening to the car sides.

Car kits were produced by Bob McGlone and John Canfield of Virginia Foundry & Model Works, Va. Beach, VA.

Decals by Art Griffin.  Early photos rare.  No photos indicate dark sides. Some modelers claim sides were white, gray, or yellow.  Others claim sides were pale green based on 1880's paint color chip called Tiffany Car green.This car done in pale green: 50/50 Polly Scale Dark Green & Light Gray. Roof: Scalecoat II Roof Brown. Underframe: Badger ModelFlex black.

Trucks very unique. Penamint Model's 3-D printed plastic T-82 wood transom swing-motion archbar trucks w/outside brake beams and Intermountain wheel sets.

2. 1890's era Union Tank Line car.  John D. Rockefeller first oil refiner to recognize importance of securing own fleet of tank cars.  Union Tank Line was a subsidiary of Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company.  By 1895, Standard Oil refined 88% of U.S. oil, owned a 6,000 tank car fleet and became a great monopoly.

Car kit produced by Silver Crash Car Works based on 1895 Car Builder's Dictionary. This model lasted well into the teens of 1900.

Car 37' overall w/tank length 32'.  Capacity was 8,000 gallons w/tank divided into 5 courses connected by double rivet rows.  Recent research suggests car painted fire engine red and lettered in silver.  Decals produced by Silver Crash.  The car painted Tru-Color Paint Cornell Red.

3. 1902 40' Fruit Growers Express (FGE) Refrigerator Car.  First built by American Car & Foundry for FGE, a subsidiary of the Armour Car Lines. This
50,000 pound capacity wood underframe 40' refrigerator car was lengthier than the more standard 36' and occasional 38'-8" reefers of the era.  Car kit was jointly produced by Bob McGlone and John Canfield of Virginia Foundry & Model Works, Va. Beach, VA.

Original decals for this car provided by Art Griffin.  Failed to locate decals upon completion of assembly.  Since Art Griffin decals no longer available,
Jim Abbott of Highball Graphics viewing photos of FGE pilot model did a superb job of producing the decals found on this 1902 FGE model.

Some modelers view side surfaces painted as orangy-yellow color, others pale yellow. The yellow surfaces on this model achieved using 50/50 mix of
Badger ModelFlex Reefer Yellow and Gray.  Roof and ends Tru-Color Paint Iron Oxide. Underframe Badger ModelFlex Black. A review of early photos indicate no blackened hardware. Trucks: #211Tahoe Model Works archbar.

Ideal project for current virus lifestyle.


Dave Emery scaled up the Kennebec Central roundhouse to accommodate larger HOn30 locos (scratchbuilt in wood)

There’s a build thread on Railroad-Line.com:  http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=53029


A related project is a coaling facility for those little locos. 

This was done by scaling -down- a standard gauge kit by Durango Press.

The build thread for this project is here:  http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=53029

These were a lot of fun, and are my major accomplishments this summer.