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 The MA&G's Peoples Avenue Yard Project

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
maandg Posted - 12/26/2010 : 11:11:37 PM
Greetings everyone! I wanted to begin a new thread which will follow the completion of my People’s Avenue Yard on the New Orleans level of my MA&G. The track work has been complete on the layout for a few years now, so what remains to be done are structures, scenery and details.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my layout, here are some of my upper level construction threads: New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal
The Mississippi River waterfront area
Support facilities for the NOUPT

In late April of 2010 I was still working on my Gibbons Feed Mill seen in the last link. I shifted my efforts to preparing for my clinic at the SER/NMRA convention in May. After the convention, my interest waned and I rarely even opened the door to the train building at all – until a few weeks ago. After an eight-month hiatus from model railroading, I’m finally back at the workbench. After much consideration, I have decided to leave the feed mill as-is for now and focus on the freight yard section instead. I hope you will come along for the ride!

Here are some overall views of the yard in its current state. All of the structures are simply taped together to give a visual sense of how the completed scene will look.

For this first installment, I would like to give a quick overview of the various builds that will be included in this project. Starting with the far west end of the yard are these structures. In the foreground will be a large icing platform serving four tracks. The background buildings are (L to R) a Bachmann Ambassador Hotel, a DPM modular build from my previous layout, and 2 Walthers River City Textiles kits.

The next two flats will be the MA&G Corporate Office building (Walthers American Hardware Supply), and a large, yet-to-be-named industry made from 4 Walthers Fireproof Storage kits.

Next will be a large cold storage warehouse made from 2 Walthers R.J. Frost Ice & Storage kits.

The next three flats will be built from (L to R) 2 Atlas Middlesex Manufacturing kits, 2 Walthers Hardwood Furniture kits (this one will come out over the track) and a Walthers Champion Packing Company.

As we get closer to the engine servicing facilities, there will be a large wooden structure kitbashed from a Blair Line Warehouse Backdrop Building and a Model Tech Studios Seeley Manufacturing. I’m really looking forward to this one!

Here is a first glimpse of the east end of the yard which includes the servicing area. The next backdrop building will be made from Walthers Commissary Buildings (several more stories will be added). The coaling tower is the only structure that is completely finished. It is also a Walthers kit which I detailed heavily. The sanding facility is a brass model by Overland. After removing the base, it suffered some damage which will eventually be repaired. For now, it is simply in place for effect. The cinder hoist is also a brass model from Overland.

Here is the turntable area. As with most all of the components of this project, the turntable, machine shop and roundhouse are all from Walthers. The water tank is by Tichy and needs only an MA&G logo to be complete.

In the background are the first of two sets of tenement buildings. These three are from Model Tech Studios. The paper backdrop buildings are from the incredible Radical Flats collection made by King Mill. I received the entire set for Christmas and will use them extensively throughout the yard area. They have yet to be cut and permanently mounted. Even so, the effect is already very nice.

I am modeling the roundhouse open to the edge of the benchwork to allow open viewing of the detailed and lighted interior. The plastic trusses of the Walthers kit will receive major modifications. The roundhouse will be the most detailed and time-consuming part of the entire project. The brown background building in the first photo will be made from parts of a Walthers Golden Valley Canning kit.

In the open area behind the roundhouse will be an assortment of junk and maybe a crane on a non-operating spur track. Along the backdrop are six Northeastern Scale Smallshaw Tenement Row buildings. These structures will begin this project.

I have already trimmed the base and interiors of three of the tenements to fit the curvature of the backdrop. More KingMill backdrop sheets have been taped up for consideration. The tenements will be mounted on the piece of pink foam seen here so that the entire scene can be built and detailed at the workbench. I have already carved the embankment. A lean-to fence will run along the top of the embankment.

Thus far I have detailed the walls of one of the tenements with nail holes and lifted clapboards. The windows and doors have been installed as well. Once all six structures reach this stage of completion, I will paint them all at the same time. A basic white-wash color will be applied in keeping with the fifties era.

I know this was a long introduction, but you can see how much there is to accomplish. This includes ballasting - which is something that I dread like a root canal! I would like to have the entire yard completed by the end of May. This is mainly due to the fact that Allen Keller is scheduled to come in October to film a MA&G Part 2 DVD in his Great Model Railroads series. I need to have the entire layout finished before then. Talk about an incentive!!

Next time I’ll have more progress to show with the tenement area. Please stay tuned!!

To quote George Costanza, "I'm Back, Baby!!!".

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
MarkF Posted - 10/26/2014 : 01:57:37 AM
Robert, thanks for bumping this thread up. It's been a while since I've read through these pages.

Cliff, I for one miss seeing you work on this layout. I think you need to start a new layout so we can all get our fix of your contributions!
Robert Posted - 10/26/2014 : 12:20:23 AM
Grubes Posted - 03/25/2012 : 09:54:42 AM

An incredible stretch of modeling. Can't imagine the amount of hours that went into this area. A wonderful scene.

hunter48820 Posted - 03/23/2012 : 2:40:35 PM
Wow Cliff, I just have to agree with the others. As usual, your work is fantastic!!

SNCF_Fan Posted - 03/22/2012 : 12:53:20 PM
As ever Cliff your work and results are peerless. The overall scene is layered in detail and the vertical elements of the docks and taller full depth building really add to the interest. The close-up shots of the reefers between the docks and the views through the ice delivery dock really accentuate the real life atmosphere of what were gritty and challenging work places in harder times than we now live and work. Absolutely excellent impressions.

Two minor detail recommendations you might want to consider. First, the Southern Ice Company gravel lot is very well manicured, too well manicured I think. Typically gravel lots like this and the adjacent roadway reflect their hard working and minimal maintenance conditions. Gravel dust and even smaller pieces of gravel itself often “track” onto the adjacent roadway asphalt both staining it so that it’s colour begins to approach that of the gravel, in this case a red-brown, and roughening up the surface texture as those small pieces impregnate the asphalt. Additionally, over the years the “tracks” to each loading bay would form depressions in the gravel from the repeated identical passage of the trucks and also would begin to “grey out” because of the constant deposition of rubber particles. And of course between those wheel tracks oil and grease stains accumulate. Humidity and heavy rains might reduce the intensity of these effects in La but you might want to consider adding these weathering details to some degree or another. Secondly, as currently positioned, the access gate to the MAAG freight house blocks the road before the Southern Ice Company trucks can enter their lot. Have you considered relocating, or at least angling this gate to facilitate those trucks getting unfettered access to their lot?

As ever, thanks for bringing us along on this journey of yours.

Best Cheers

Neil M Posted - 03/21/2012 : 08:48:39 AM
That is brilliant, Cliff. The structure is beautiful and well worth the time and expense. I particularly like the lower level dock next to the aisle and all the detail on the loading platforms.
dnhman Posted - 03/20/2012 : 2:12:16 PM
awesume as always,,, Great work, thanks for sharing
Tabooma County Rwy Posted - 03/20/2012 : 1:42:56 PM
Great scene, Cliff!

Al Carter
Red P Posted - 03/20/2012 : 10:24:14 AM
Looks great. I like your work, It gives me motivation for my own projects.
George D Posted - 03/20/2012 : 07:59:16 AM
Another very impressive structure, Cliff. I'd be afraid to have all that beautiful work right along the edge of the layout. Do you have anything to protect it from being bumped by visitors?

Tyson Rayles Posted - 03/20/2012 : 07:04:15 AM
Amazing stuff!
nhguy Posted - 03/20/2012 : 02:48:22 AM
Absolutely marvelous work Cliff. Quite the project. So......what's next?
MarkF Posted - 03/19/2012 : 11:14:09 PM
Yup, I'm speechless again! That is one impressive facility. I especially like the way you made the sign and the associated signs for the trucks. It really ties it all together and is a detail that is usually overlooked. Well done!

I always enjoy your updates Cliff. I can't wait to see you work on the diesel facilities.
Orionvp17 Posted - 03/19/2012 : 10:44:45 PM

Once again, "WOW" just doesn't seem to cover things very well. This is a spectacular addition to the MA&G. Thanks for sharing!

In Michigan
simon1966 Posted - 03/19/2012 : 10:40:07 PM
Cliff, it is a wonderous sight to behold. It looks like the doors should open on the reefers and that automation would bring the whole thing to life. I have to remind myself that it is HO.

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