Its been quite a while since I have posted anything here, but that does not mean the project has stalled! Here are some snaps of work completed in the last few months: some historical, some modeling.
1. Coal Shack
This humble structure is my first model structure in 1:24! It is made from a bit of scrap 4x6 with a little rectangle of roofing tin atop. The battens are split popsicle-type craft sticks, the door is a bit of cedar shingle, and the chimney was fashioned from the cap of an ink pen. Its certainly not going to win any model competitions, but it looks awesome from 10 feet!
2. Engine Shop and Service Pit
A little progress was made on the engine shop in that I painted a gray rectangle around the ends of Track 6 and 7 the length of the longest loco. Then I cut a cross-shaped service pit under the rails that more or less matched what is depicted on the 1927 track plans. To try and hide the plywood cross section I painted the insides red, marked a brick pattern with a pencil, then washed the whole thing in black. At some point I'd like to add the rest of the pit below, but this will be somewhat more complicated than it sounds since the plywood that makes the yard has to be able to slide off the supporting benchwork to allow access to the washer and dryer plumbing underneath. As such, the rest of the pit will have to be attached to the benchwork.
3. Actual TFRR Footage Discovered!
One thrilling development over the last few months was getting a DVD from a friend with an hour long promotional piece for "The Great Locomotive Chase" that aired on "Wide World of Disney" in the 1950's. I carefully snipped out the everything but trackside and other location photography that showed the real life Tallulah Falls Railroad and posted the results on YouTube. Only a few beats show actual TFRR trains rolling (as compared to the antiques locos and cars used in the Civil War-era movie), but this is the only footage I have ever seen. Here are the three videos:
Part 1: Intro to the Tallulah Falls Railroad
Part 2: Production and "Behind the Scenes" Footage
Part 3: Footage from the Feature Film
It is my dream that Mr. Disney's scouts shot footage of the entire railroad and that this footage will someday be exhumed from the Disney vaults and shared with the world in some fashion or another.
4. Map/Photo Composite: Tallulah Lodge Depot
If the YouTube videos were not enough copyright infringement for one person, I also used the 1927 track plans and Google's satellite view to figure out where exactly the tracks ran between mileposts 19 and 20, which included the Tallulah Lodge depot and a Georgia Power spur line that connected the TFRR with the top of the incline railway that is still in service. Eventually I'd like to complete similar works for the whole line, though if this first one was anything to go by, its going to take many hours to make it happen. Here is the composite, as well as an old photo of stately Tallulah Lodge.
5. Depot Workshop Constructed
Also extremely exciting has been construction of little 12x20 workshop in the backyard that is distinctly railroad flavored. Once completed, this beautiful building will become HQ for my modeling activities. Boundless props must be paid to the craftsmen leading this project, Mr. Bennett and his brother, who have given us a one-of-a-kind building that makes me smile every time I look out my kitchen window.
6. Posts Set for Expansion
Once the depot was up, work began on extending the model railroad. I have got nine posts set, enough for a gain of about 70 feet of track - enough to get us to the next pair of towns on the line, Demorest and Clarkesville.
Look out 2013, here we come!