Back when I modeled in HO scale I had a fairly large fictional layout that depicted the logging outfit of the Kittom Lumber Company in the 1930s. It was set in Eastern Tennessee and took up a big portion of the basement of the house we were living in at that time.
It was a lot of fun but the kids grew up and moved way and we moved into a smaller home. As the eyes got weaker I wanted to try my hand at larger scales. Without the basement for a larger empire and selecting On30 as my next modeling adventure I decided to build some mini layouts.
What follows is a pictorial history of the construction of "the original" Kittom Lumber Company. This will be the story of a backwoods outfit in Kentucky or Tennessee that was the starting point of the lumber empire that would come in the 1930s. The era I've chosen to model is 1900– 1910. Rough temporary trackage is a hallmark of these logging outfits. The early geared locomotives are just starting to come into favor and there is some primitive steam powered log moving equipment.
As this is a ” mini" layout there is a fairly simple track plan. The overall size is 48 inches by 30 inches.
I am also trying to break from traditional wooden bench work and the layout will be constructed of Styrofoam and aluminum structural pieces. I have already been to Lowes and loaded up on essentials.
Also I am breaking from the past and will model this layout in the dead of winter. I am fascinated by the modeling techniques that re-create patches of snow, ice, and bare trees. This little mini will allow me to throw out all the stops on scenery construction and creativity. I hope to learn many new techniques.
Thanks for looking and I hope to add to this story on a regular basis.
Well after the liquid nails set up the bricks were removed and here's what the base of the new On30 mini layout looks like.
Corners were mechanically fastened with Sheetrock screws. Liquid nails is good stuff but always feel better when structural pieces are "glued and screwed."
Next up the square tubing "backbone" of the layout was placed and secured. Used the E6000 glue for metals that I learned about in my Garden Rail Roading days to "G&S".
It all went together nicely and the tubing fit perfectly in the grooves on the top of the Lowes plastic cabinet.
I like the look of the burnished aluminum and think it will go well with cold colors of the layout in winter to come.
Now, the fun begins......building scenery. Put down some liquid nails adhesive and start building up layers of cake.
The Guys at Lowes were a big help ripping the 48"X30" slabs of styrofoam on their big wood cutting rig. We had an enjoyable time talking about their generational modeling activities using foam "dragons, snakes and warriors" carved from foam block and made on 3D printers. This just might be the future of modeling making.
Thanks for looking. Doc Tom
My next steps are to enlarge the HO layout plans from Carl Arendt's very nice micro layout website to On30.
In HO the layout is 18" X 48". I widened it to 30"X48". I picked a 30 " width to be able to get it out and through doors and hallways if I did take it to shows or train clubs to exhibit.I had to use some math to make the conversion in size and scale.
I downloaded the full sized templates and using spray adhesive mounted them to foam core board. These were then cut out as in the picture.
I need two wye, 3 left hand and 1 right hand turnouts.
Using the templates, some math and a grid pattern I was able to transfer the layout plans to one of the 30"X48" foam panels.
I noted one area of concern in the "valley section" of the layout.The tail from the engine house is pretty short and I will need to slide the real track around to add a few more precious inches. Fortunately, there is only one locomotive on this layout, the short wheel based On30 Bachmann Heisler.So I think I get it all to fit snugly.
A small steam powered horse makes its way to the Original Kittom Lumber Company.
A 14 ton Heisler Locomotive from the Stearns Manufacting company was born at their shops in Erie Pennsylvania in 1896. She headed to Dixie to work in the growing lumber industry at the turn of the 20th century. Much like its sister "A.W.Stevens Lumber #1-s/n1007 the Kittom Heisler first went to Mississippi to work the expansive pine forests of the sunny southland.
These were the first 14 ton models built. As evidenced on the locomotive above wheel counter weights were NOT part of the early locomotives manufactured. Retro-fit kits of cast weights that could be bolted between the spokes were later made available by Stearns.
After working several southern logging outfits Kittom Lumber's Heisler made it to the wilds of the Kentucky/Tennessee border in 1910.It was a "fourth hand" purchase with a new paint job that helped to disguise the 19th century technology that was its parentage.
Management was happy that it would fit in the planned engine house. They were itchin' to put it to use.
NevadaBlue wrote: Watching from here. That's a neat layout and I LOVE the loco.
Thanks Ken. These small layouts can come together fairly quickly. Track and turnouts on their way from the iron furnaces "up nawth."