East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

January 2014

Shady Grove & Sherrill - II

Ted and I took a long look at Steve Sherrill’s layout at the West Virginia Mini Meet.

Ted had not seen the layout before. He brought a lot of details to my attention that I lost track of over my visits.

Steve’s layout impresses me for several reasons. Back when I was regularly driving around on the backroads of West Virginia to see the sights, I would stop in small towns like Philippi, Belington, or Lewisburg, looking for things that tied the town to the setting. If, on one of my trips, I had driven down an alley behind a block of old warehouses and stumbled upon a small narrow gauge railroad yard crammed in between old industrial buildings, I would have had a heart attack and happily died on the spot.

The SG&S is that Holy Grail found, or at least a model of it.

The layout does an excellent job of depicting a small rail operation that follows an improbable route along creeks and rushing rivers to connect small lumber and mining operations to the outside world.

The layout has an overall look that consistently reflects the setting and operational concept.

It is an excellent portrayal of obscure industrial history, which is what Ted and I want our layouts to be.

And it all looks achievable. Not a collection of master models all built to “stand alone” standards, it all works as whole, depending on the context to imply the missing details.

When the time comes for my annual visit to the SG&S, I have a new list of current issues I am dealing with on my layout. So, I am looking looking closely at a different list of specific situations to see how Steve handled it.

West Virginia Mini Meet

This past weekend Ted and I attended Steve Sherrill’s Mini-Meet in Ranson, West Virginia.

A Gordon North kitbash

Steve’s Meet brings together a very diverse group of modelers with one thing in common; an interest in On30.

The On30 theme extends the focus of the Meet into the kind of inventiveness and creativity pioneered by
Gordon North.

For someone like myself who has a lot to learn about building a layout, the Meet provides an excellent opportunity to get questions answered.

A wide range of models were on display. Modelers in attendance were ready to give pointers and discuss their experiences working with everything from resin casting to electronics to 3D printing.

I came away with a new appreciation for the possibilities of On30, and enthused to try something new.

A model railroad pulls together such a broad range of disciplines that there is always more to learn.