Maine Central, Lamoille Valley

Maine Central, Lamoille Valley
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Work Continues on Groveton Paper Mill

Inspired by my efforts on the brick facade representing a portion of the overall paper mill in Groveton, I looked over other kits and materials on hand, and also spent some time studying the layout area and planning what might fit where.

I had picked up one of the great Robertson Paper buildings from Monster Model Works when it came out. I did not have a specific location in mind for this building, for which the prototype is located in Bellows Falls VT. Looking at the space and the building kit, I realized I could fit it in as a stand alone building between the tracks and the larger background buildings.

I broke out the kit and spent a few hours with it. Th kit is tremendous to work with and the detail within the brick is outstanding. If you have not tried any of their products, I would highly recommend checking them out. The instructions are terrific also.

The main 4 walls require a little sanding on the ends and then a special corner piece with brick detail is used to join them seamlessly. I used Canopy glue and clamps with good results. The laser cut window components are shown here prior to painting.

After painting the window components (by brush, which does take longer), I started assembling them. These go together great as well, with peel and stick backing to secure the laser cut glazing. Completed window parts are in the upper right. I left the tissue backing on the back sides until I am ready to install them, to help prevent fingerprints and scratches. I did this while watching some railfan videos on YouTube.
After adding internal bracing, I brush painted the walls with craft acrylic paint, as specified in the instructions. I used a color called Heritage Brick which has a nice look and will contrast to the DPM wall I previously built. This building will represent a much older part of the mill. After letting it dry, there was small areas not totally covered and these were touched up. I used a second brick-like color to make some contrast here and there. The walls are ready for mortar next. The kit instructions mention using weathering powder and alcohol. This will be a new technique. I will start with the wall not facing the layout to see how it looks!

Down on the layout, I decided to build 2 larger structures, next to each side of the brick section I just built. These will be built up with styrene, other brick wall components and some concrete block components. More on that later.

To provide a sub-structure base for these walls, I used foam core board. A friend, who is a model railroader and also a developer, has provided many large sheets of this to local model railroaders. These were left over from various projects, having architectural drawings on one side, but empty on the back. I built up the wall sections, added bracing and supports so they would stand on their own, and determined openings for the tracks.

The overall scene changes dramatically with the building sections in place blocking the hidden trackage. To the left is the larger building, 8 inches by 42 inches. This will be concrete block on the lower half, and vertical metal siding above. I will build out sheds to partially cover the tracks leading into the building. These will help hide the view behind. Each track holds three 50' boxcars. To the right will be another section, brick on the bottom and then metal siding above to look like a smaller building expanded in height. The area in front of that will be the location of the standalone kit mentioned above.

In the center will be an older brick section of the mill. The idea is that the mill started smaller in the center area and expanded in each direction over the years. This view from my eye level indicates that I will need a little bit of roof added to better conceal the tracks behind.

Taking a cue from the prototype, I will paint the metal siding a greenish color, which seemed to show up on many buildings of this type in that time period.

Although the Groveton mill closed in 2007 and has since been torn down and the site remediated, there are a number of older pictures to use for ideas and reference.

An overall view from the river side of the mill. The rail served the opposite side. The combination of brick and metal siding is on display here.
The small building to the left gave me the idea to include stand alone building(s). The metal siding shows a number of interesting details that can be added.
A picture from the 1990s of the truck loading area shows the metal siding color and the concrete brick painted white.
In the 1990s, after the Maine Central and Boston & Maine (Guilford by that time) pulled out of the area, the New Hampshire & Vermont provided rail service. Here a GP38 idles next to the mill building.

The Berlin Mills boxcar is in a similar color to the metal siding. Again, more interesting details that can be added to the exterior of these parts of my models.

The taller structure with stacks will not be seen on my model as I have the upper deck limiting the height I can model. Here is the successor to the Grand Trunk, the St. Lawrence & Atlantic, switching the mill. The mill was served by both the B&M and the GT. I replicate some interchange at Groveton between the BM and GT, but I only include the BM servicing the mill in my operations.

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