Upscaling the whole thing

I did not rush into this. Looking at my scenic base, I could see a small alteration was needed and did that. For some time it sat there while a number of considerations were made. Dump the entire hobby and do something totally different or put together a similar layout in a larger scale. I just groaked it for a while as the snow fell and the ice accumulated outside.

Doubling it

The McGresty Mining Company began in the summer of 1886, after Sam McGresty found and bought an abandoned gold mine. It was in sad disrepair and over the next year, he and five others had it up and running. One thing done was to rebuild the railroad in 30 inch gauge. The mine was small as was it's stamp mill, but the gold was good and the six men did very well out of it. 20 years later, they retired and went their different ways.

I did think about building this in 55n3, but seeing as 30 inch gauge was begun (albeit on a smaller scale), I decided to keep it. There are plenty of detail parts available in 1/4 inch to the foot scale, so even though a bit pricey and hard to get, it will be worth it visually.

More an art project than train

Back in the early 1980's my family came down with a strange form of Hepatitis and I was written off work for 3 years. I needed something to do and took a look at model railroading. The scale was 1/55th 3 foot narrow gauge, now called 55n3. It was based mainly on Colorado narrow gauge, with some freelance stuff as well.
Some 55n3 stuff

At some time back then I went to the International Model Railway Exhibition. I saw this exquisite, scratch built, English O Scale locomotive that won 1st Prize and really deserved it. The loco was being run on this large, mainly bare plywood layout with a few very plastic trees and even worse grass—it was horrible. I was so disgusted that I immediately walked out of IMREX and on the way ran across the Thomas the Tank engine man, whose scenery was good. I decided there and then that I would make scenery from mostly natural materials, except for a few bits of Woodland Scenics (WS) and Carr's foliage.

The concept of work I do today is based on that, though the scale is different. I call it Caricature/Semi Kinetic art. Instead of painting, I want to create a 3D scene with lots of detail and as good a ground cover as I can. The concept will be the reverse of the late Bob Ross. Instead of bringing dark out of the bright, I want to lift the light stuff out of black.
Furlow's HOn3 Denver & Rio Chama Western—there's a lotta plaster on this. No idea who took the photo, probably Malcolm.

The king of caricature model railroading art, was a guy named Malcolm Furlow back in the 1980's. He went extreme vertical on Rocky Mountain narrow gauge and upset the purists something awful—the object of caricature. Notice the impossible bridges on this thing. He now paints native Americans.

So where's it gonna go?

At the time of writing this, I'm not really sure. Rail, spikes and wood for ties have been ordered, the track will be handlaid.
A NWSL Chopper, great for cutting all those ties and other stuff. I've wanted one of these for decades, finally in the UK and very expensive, but worth it in the long run. This will save me tons of time.

The 9 feet by 17 inches will eventually be enclosed, kind of a long diorama. I'll keep trees to a minimum and make them under 50 feet high.
Feb 19, 2021

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