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A quick shot of the "Breaking yard"

here’s a shot of my layout (sorry for thr poor pfotography. New camera coming soon) It’s a small breaking yard that feeds scrap to the iron plant. The brick yard office is our “mercantile kit but done in brick. I like it very much.


Fencing, touche'

I’m getting corny in my old age.

On the fore mentioned Iron Works, “Rustin Steel”, it’s taking shape nicely thank you. My initial idea was to make this entire module void of any green.  The ground would be covered with dark oily ash.  And that’s what it is.  But, once again I had a orphaned kit.  Our, kind of, whimsical whistelstop depot.  It’s a small footprint maybe 2” X 2.5”.  It’s one of my better models, but there was no place for it either in space or in logic.  Being an industrial back alley kind of layout, where could I put this kind of pretty structure that would look best in a small glade.  I know.  I’ll put it in the steel mill!

Out of my mind?  What else is new.  Fact is the only place it would fit, is in the nook of a curve right where the two modules join.  I put the model there and let it sit for a few days, while I went on to other projects.  Everytime I came over to the layout, it would grab my attention.  It was wrong but it was right.

I have to say my final decision was John’s fault.  I am always amazed, how he crams scenes into his Gypsy Trolly Line.  Story after story, you can read his layout like a book.  I wanted that for the City Harbor Line.

So I glued it down.  This is a lot of set up to get to my point.

Fences, (of which we make 3 real nice ones), are magic.  I knew I was going to use a lot of fence to isolate the mill.  I mean you can’t just walk on to a heavy industrial property.  Hard hats required and all. BUT, if I moved a few fences, I found I could isolate this little area of curve and create a green, (well kind of green), island.  The country whistle stop became a way for the mill workers to get to work.  It gave me all kinds of story points and an excuse to have at least one passenger car or tram to run.  I have a small piece of standard gauage track, embedded into the street, two modules away, that will now become an end of the line interurban stop.  From there, the workers, of my little industrial park, can get on the local narrow gauage and ride to the plant on the other end of the layout.  All because of Fences.

So think about how some simple fence can help you define scenes on you layout, then come on by and try out some of ours.



Change isn't easy but its a good thing

I just finished an impossibly small model of a coal skip.  You know one of those portable conveyors that can be moved around to load trucks and hoppers.  Well it’s tiny in HO.  I’m sure my brother would have no problem but I am at best a mediocre builder.  I always figure, if I can build it any one can.

Well that’s not the point here.  What is the point is that I needed a place on my layout to put it.

When the City Harbor Line was first built it was for a display at shows, (still is) but I built it fast and needed to fill up space.  A logical layout to buildings was secondary to showing off the kits.  Now that it’s up in my dinning room, where I continue to work on it, I find I’ve built myself into several corners.  As I add details and create scenes, I realize that I have spaces that are either too small or too big for the new stuff I want to do.  If you saw the layout at a show you might remember that I have a very nice kind of flat right along the front edge.  Just a long warehouse kind of thing.  Not one of our kits but kit bashed from leftovers and textures.  I really like this building, kind of attached to it, so ripping out 18” of model to make room for a 1/2” coal loader was a a tough decision.  I did it and Im happy I did.  The layout is designed to be viewed from all sides, but there is a front and that was it.  So now instead of seeing the back of a flat, I have a clear sight line into the layout.  It doesen’t look as good from the back now, but I’ll deal with that later.  I now have access to a new team track with a loader and an as yet unbuilt loading dock.

The point is, don’t get too attached to your work.  If something is bugging you as not right, follow your instinct and if necessary rip it out.

I didn’t waste my old work though.  The long warehouse got cut into 3 pieces and now fills gaps in the Iron works that is taking shape on the third module.




What's OLD is NEW again. (MAYBE)

Well friends, we’ve been struggling with an issue that just keeps coming back.  Apparently there are still many of you out there that want “pre-printed” kits.  It seems like just when I think they are gone for good, we get a bunch of requests.  Even at the high prices (relative to discs and downloads).  So my question to you all out ther is, should we bring them back?  If we do, it will probably be at slightly elevated prices and in limited availiability.  We might even do a pre-sale type of thing, where we announce which kit will be available and tell you to send your money.  In about a month, or so, you will get your kit(s).  I’m looking for your feedback.  ANY comments are are fair game.  Even if you thing it’s a dumb idea.  You can comment on this posting here, or if you would like a little privacy, send your ideas to  I’m not saying that you will get a personal reply, or possibly any reply at all.  I DO want to know what you think.

Dave Miecznikowski