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Monday, November 17, 2014

The Rise and Fall of Tarnation

Construction Begins in Earnest on the Oil Drilling Module, but then Stalls because the Fates had Different Plans!

The big layout of the Southern California Traction Club is a magnificent layout with its City quarter, Suburban quarter, Industrial quarter, and Country quarter. Naturally I want to build some modules for the layout too. So I designed a few, then decided to start in on this one first for the Industrial quarter.

The Tarnation Supply Co. warehouse was the first structure that I built for the module. Its location can be seen on the plan and historical photo.

Then construction began on the module:

The module was built to regular HO modular standards: 1x3s with 2'x4' Homasote.

Cork roadbed glued and pinned into place.

The turnout was located first since its placement is critical having to fit between tanks and avoiding having its frog in the road crossing.

SCTC club member George Jones rasping the cork so as to bring the siding track below grade.

It is prototypical practice to have the sidings below grade. One of the reasons is so that cars sitting on the siding won't accidentally roll onto the mainline.

After the flex track was installed, the next step was to locate the main road. Thin strips of wood (paint stirrers) were used as forms for the road. I then mixed approximately a 50/50 mix of sifted gravel and Durhams water putty and spread it into the form.

After the mixture had set up a bit but was still soft, I used a vehicle to imprint some ruts in the road.

A small glimpse of what could have been. 

Here is a test shot I took to see how things were looking. But that was as far as work ever progressed on the module. The module has become a victim of progress.

The City Quarter of the Southern California Traction Club by far attracts the most attention and comments. Visitors are always crowded around the City marveling at the cars navigating through the steep canyons of the tall buildings. It was decided to extract the City Quarter from the main layout and expand on it making it a layout all in itself. It has been exhibited at a few shows now with great success. I'll explain more in a future post, but its proven to have been a very good direction for the club to grow.

So I don't know what the future of the module is. Besides the club moving into a new direction, there are exciting new projects in the works that have now captured my imagination and enthusiasm.

Too bad. This module would have been spectacular. Yes sir. It would have been spectacular.


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