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Monday, November 03, 2014

What In Tarnation!


Plans for an Oil Drilling Module for the Southern California Traction Club

Today's post is presented by the Vice President for Planning of the Dan D. Sparks Plywood Development and Transportation Co. Arnie Clever:

Shareholders, interested parties and what-not,


Mr. Dan D. Sparks and the Board of Directors and such have declassified some documents plans and what-not and have asked me to share them with you to you today this week. As you might know, the DDSPD(and)TCo also has a vested interest in the Southern California Traction Club too. So the company had me draw up some plans for an oil drilling operation outfit for that clubs layout. And boy! Did I come up with a whopper of a plan! I call it "Tarnation" yep. And its packed full of oil drilling goodness. Check it out for yourself and see!:
Arnie Clever

Tarnation Oil Drilling Module

2'x4' HO Scale Traction Module
  • 5 Oil Derricks with containment ponds.
  • An oil supply warehouse with steam boilers
  • A freight and passenger depot
  • Various oil tanks
  • Oil loading racks with tank cars
-all in a compact space. And its very prototypical as well. I actually lifted the layout of these structures from an genuine prototype photograph!:

Huntington Beach, CA. c.1920s

Everything this side of the tracks in the photo are on the module! Starting at the lower right, a road passes a supply warehouse, past some boilers, past a derrick with containment pond, ending at a mainline with overhead trolley wire and what appears to be a cannery (which I substituted with a depot). On the other side of the tracks sits an oil loading facility with tank cars. To the right of the center oil derrick are two tanks and another derrick. And through all that, power lines are strung. Its all there!


The 5 derricks will use the Campbell Scale Models Timber Oil Derrick to start with and then built up to look more like those in the photos.

DPMs Schultzs Garage will represent the supply warehouse.

I'm not sure exactly what these boilers were used for, but I could easily imagine they came in very handy when dealing with sticky, clumpy tar! This one is by American Model Builders.

For the Depot, a modified American Model Builders Northern Pacific Depot fits the space nicely.

This Chama Oil Dock would have been perfect, but it doesn't seem to be available anymore. So other arrangements will have to be made.


The Oil loading platform could be populated with some 1920s era tank cars available from an assortment of manufacturers.

Non-rolling tanks are available from a variety of manufactures as well.

Throw in some Jordan Highway Miniatures vehicles and lots of assorted details, and I think we'll have ourselves a darn nifty oil drilling diorama!

Arnie Clever
Vice President of Planning
Dan D. Sparks Plywood Development & Transportation Co.