Sunday, March 14, 2010

More Photos of Alma

This weekend's big project was getting the signals running in Alma; by the end of the weekend, the semaphores are moving, but I'm still having problems getting yellow indications to show. Although I blogged about my last problems with the signals last time, I didn't write down enough to help me track down what's going on here. No matter - I've got the signal board nested underneath the upper deck, and they're moving, and that's success enough today.

The Alma scene's looking great to my eye. I love the tall grass, and the cut into the hillside, and the Station. Compared with my original plan a month ago, I'm doing pretty good. I still need to finish detailing the station, and add the MOW boxcar I saw in one old photo. I've also got an idea for the next stretch of scenery between here and Wrights: an abandoned farm, with an orchard disappearing into the weeds and an abandoned building. The early 30's were a hard time for farmers in the Santa Clara Valley, with fruit prices dropping. Modeling some of that fallout might be good.

Here's a couple pictures of the actual Alma station, the first from the Preston Sawyer collection at UCSC (and published in the original South Pacific Coast book) dating from 1950, just before the valley was flooded for Lexington Reservoir. The second was taken by Norman Holmes around 1944, and is from Prune County Railroading. Comparing the real photos to the photos of my model, I still need to add some gingerbread trim at the roof peak, add drainpipes, and that very obvious hose bib centered on the end wall. I also still need to add fascia boards along the edge of the roof and smokejacks. I still have a few nice evening projects before I'll be finished.


  1. That 4-4-0 is amazingly detailed! Not even my models are that good! I would love to see your stuff in person!

  2. That's not detailed, that's just *enlarged*. The locomotive is a 1960's era brass locomotive (a PFM SP E-23), and so while the various brass detail parts are an improvement over plastic locomotives, it's coarse compared with current collectable brass. That locomotive probably cost about the same as the current plastic, too - something to watch for at model railroad swap meets. I can at least claim credit for the paint job.