Friday, May 1, 2015

Help name a pair of generic industries

Although I try to look to the prototype whenever possible I find there's times when one needs to take some shortcuts to get from "here" to "there." One example of this is my use of detailed, but otherwise "generic" plastic steam locomotives for the bulk of the motive power fleet. A few finer details than the stock model, a new crew in the cab, a tilted red box on the tender and some weathering go a long way to looking "right" in the layout setting.
Another place where I need to start taking some selective shortcuts is in the structure department. I'm going to be adding some non-prototype specific buildings to the layout in various places. "Fillers" some would call them. I call it "expedient" - if I don't start adding some generic structure kits to the railroad at my current pace it will take years to complete all the structures .... I'm thinking sometime around October, 2354....
Luckily I have a pretty fair collection of structure kits. I even have some "craftsman" kits but those take almost as long, if not longer, than scratchbuilding which kind of defeats the purpose of this expedience thing....
I have one spot that's fairly narrow - between the main line/passing siding and a stub ended spur - and the spur curves slightly.
Although I didn't plan on it, the Walthers Clayton County Lumber kit - as generic as you'll ever see - fits the curved portion of the spur perfectly - so it's going there.
On the rest of the spur we'll add a second set of car spots for a different industry, as yet undecided:
- one possibility is this American Model Builders kit - which I happen to have on hand. Another possibility is a small bulk oil dealer (I have a Grandt Line kit).
There's anywhere from 2-4" between the site for the Clayton County structure and the fascia that can get some vehicles, road, fence, can even be scenicked to look like it's part of a larger industry that's in the aisle. In other words, this is the shipping and/or receiving "warehouse."
Further down the spur, where I'm thinking the American Models building can be located, there's even more breathing room. 
Now the problem - the structures are generic. But what industries should they represent on the layout?
Another possibility is combining the two of these kits into one "complex." 
No decision made as of yet, but a few possibilities include:
1. A building material distributor of some type - receives lumber, concrete block, bricks, etc....or a "specialized" distributor - plumbing supplies for example.
2. A mill work business - makes and ships some sort of wood components - doors/windows or the like? That seems more like the American Model Builder's Kit.
3. There was a foundry in Waterbury that was in one of the old granite sheds - it made and shipped engine blocks - perhaps the American Model builders one could be dressed up as a small foundry?
4. A metal fabrication shop - receives angle iron and other steel components - fabricates frames, I-Beams etc...
Any thoughts?
BTW, both kits are really nice, decent sized (not overly large, not overly small) structures that don't really show up on a lot of layouts.



  1. I like the idea of a larger, single complex - in which case the AMB kit fits better than the Grandt Line oil dealer. A single complex can handle more cars, while still having multiple spots to add operating interest.
    To that end, your first suggestion - a building materials distributor - provides the greatest opportunity for car variety. I can see flat cars, boxcars and gondolas. Add an under-track pit and conveyor and you could handle aggregates, too - stockpiles of gravel for larger building projects.
    Those are a nice pair of kits that will look great together.
    - Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

    1. Thanks Trevor,
      I'm certainly leaning very strongly toward the idea of a single, multi-building complex and your suggestion of an under-track aggregate unloading area is a good one as well.
      For a building supply company I might opt to go with another Walthers kit - the Walton & Sons Lumber company - think of it as a "scale sized" version of those old Atlas lumber sheds.