Fourteen or fifteen years ago my modeling was limited to building freights car, buying locomotives, dreaming up layout plans, and founding/editing the B&O Modeler magazine. At that time I was part of a small listserve of B&O modelers interested in recreating the Old Main Line (OML) of the B&O. We shared ideas, dreams, and current events on the B&O modeling front.
One guy I met on the internet during this time was Don Barnes. Great guy with plans to model the OML and beyond. He was researching, collecting, and planning every aspect of his layout. I offered to build some kits for him in return for some similar kits I could build for myself. It was a win/win, I got new kits to build, a few to keep, and I got add to Don’s monumental layout. When I say great guy, let me expound a little, Don is hardworking, honest, and intelligent way beyond the norm.
His layout needed two fantastic structures that I always wanted to build, the Point of Rocks Station and the Camden Station and Warehouse. I was living in NC and he in SC and we managed to meet up on the Interstate or in Baltimore. Don gave me a chance to build the Model Tech Studios resin kit of The Point of Rocks Station (PofR). By all accounts it is a challenging kit.
This station sits at the point where the B&O lines west from Washington, DC and Baltimore meet. Tracks from DC are on the south side, the tracks from Baltimore, the Old Main Line run, along the north side. the model will be displayed so that primarily the north side is visible.
I dug in hard and got the walls assembled square on the hydrocal base, shaped andsquared the roof sections, and started adding windows. After painting the wooden windows, their age began to show and they disintegrated in my hands. When I realized I didn’t have enough to finish the kit I contacted the manufacturer. He was gracious enough to send me a new set of windows made from a composite, no longer just laser cut wood.
I will say that fitting the windows into the resin cast walls was the biggest challenge of this kit. Each one took a few hours and involved filing the opening, squaring it, painting it, and then securing the glazed window in place. Canopy glue has been a big and recent improvement to the process.
Then I decided I needed to move back north to Maryland to be closer to family and progress stopped. Don had a pair of my F-7’s equipped with sound running mainline freights on his layout and I appreciate that he gave me a pass for a few years. Not easy for him, he could buy some diesels if he needed them, but the station kit is pretty rare and pretty pricey. For me it was an unkept promise and that is something that weighs on me everyday. After moving and doing some home upgrades and building a modeling bench, finishing this kit in the best fashion possible became a haunting goal.
Anyone who has built the kit or seen it modeled knows that the resin parts for the wrap-around platform roof are not usable. There is a compound curve around the building created by the sloped platform roof as it transitions ninety degrees. Some help from B&O modeler Bruce Elliott gave me possible solutions and I came up with a good looking solution. Bruce shared his efforts in a past issue for the B&O Modeler. https://borhs.org/modelermag/index.html
After all this time I found a roof eave support missing from the kit. It has traveled through several states and moves, so not unexpected. I fashioned a new one from styrene and you can’t tell the difference. Fabricating small styrene part’s is a skill I learned from watching freight car detail artists like Bill Welch and Ted Culotta. They share their techniques freely and always encourage others to try them. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries, but it is possible with patience.
After so many years I felt I needed to add a little something extra. Woodland Scenics has some new lighting products that could set this building off on Don’s layout. Since this structure will only be viewed from the north side I focused my effort on lighting parts that would be most visible from that side. The Just Plug Power Hub has four inputs for four light circuits, with dimmers for each circuit. I also bought a Just Plug Power Supply (JP5770), a set of interior lights, Warm White LED Stick-On Lights (JP5740), and two sets of Gooseneck Wall Mount Lights (JP5654). The interior lights were added to the first floor and the exterior lights to the most visible north and east sides.
I added some interior detail so there was something to see with the interior lighting of the first floor. In the front telegraph office I added a scaled 1949 B&O calendar (Don’s layout is set in 1949) to the wall behind the clerk having a cup of coffee and in the Waiting Room, wainscoting, some passengers, and wall art. No one may ever see it but I know it’s there. And it was fun and new experience.
After massaging the roof sections into place, did I say the resin castings aren’t square and very thick, I was able handover the model to Don. After it is installed on his layout I hope to share more photos. Long story, difficult resin kit, and happy with the outcome.