The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Red Adams on Scenery, and also Scenic Progress

In spite of a busy schedule right now I am making some scenic progress on the layout. This area is the last area to get scenery roughed in, as it took a long time to make some decisions. With those now made, grass and roads will follow soon. It always surprises me how quickly this can actually go down when you make a few decisions and get going.

Besides the 1937 issues of Model Craftsman mentioned in the previous post, I also recently purchased some from 1943. Red Adams wrote a series of articles on OO in this time frame for Model Craftsman, and in the March 1943 issue we find a more general article, “What’s a Pike Without Scenery!”

I have quoted him in another post and I really do enjoy his unique writing style. This article follows up on his layout since the time frame of the earlier article I quoted, which was published in 1939. Jumping to his second paragraph in this 1943 article,
As you remember, I used to have a very simple OO gauge layout down in my basement, utilizing an 8 1/2‘ x 14’ space. It was merely a double-track oval with turntable, roundhouse, a couple small storage tracks for cars and a few switches. It endeavored to depict a small division point on the Mohave Desert and allowed change of engines, water-stop and other simple servicing of transcontinental trains. As far as the actual railroad went it was very elementary stuff, no fancy panel board or track diagram, but I could control all my train movements, I did get it practically finished within a year’s time, and the scenery was complete. This scenery was of course the simplest there is to construct, just the usual wood fibre plaster over screen wire, painted, and then small bits of Christmas tree glued around in different spots to simulate the cactus. This was quite effective, as lots of visitors would give it the once over and holler, “Gee, so that’s where Rommel hides his tank force, hey.”

Now I ain’t goin’ to describe any more about this layout, as it has gone into the ash-can. I had to move (yeh, I paid the rent O.K., but he sold the building) so was lucky to buy a small shack out here in the woods of Beverly Hills, and be my own boss, me and Uncle Sam, that is for another few years, anyhow. The old woman decided that I had to do extensive interior decorating for her before I started on the layout again, so I don it to keep peace in the fambly—for a short while anyhow. I finally got her work done and started on the new system, on which I hung the non-de-plumb of Beverly Western Railway. ‘Course the job ain’t done yet by a long ways, but I have the main line open to traffic, even though it ain’t ballasted yet, have eight switches working and can at least see ‘em roll now. However it still ain’t a railroad, cause it ain’t got scenery yet! Next time you come up, I may have it all set and will describe it in detail, but now I’d like to delve into the wonder of wonders—a TREE!
The remainder of the article is, as you might guess, on making trees but there are four photos of a finished portion of the layout with equipment including an observation car, one of his 4-6-2 locomotives, and the above photo which shows a caboose with his Beverly Western logo. H. L. “Red” (Herb/Herbert) Adams wrote over 30 articles under a couple different variations of his name between 1939 and 45, it is a name to keep your eye peeled for.

No comments: