Maine Central, Lamoille Valley

Maine Central, Lamoille Valley
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Friday, July 15, 2016

Groveton Paper Mill Update

Over the past 2 months I have slowly chipped away at the core buildings in the Groveton Paper Mill scene on the layout. Starting with the excellent Monster Model Works Robertson Paper building kit led to ideas in composing the scene with background flats utilizing DPM wall pieces and Evergreen styrene sheet I already had on hand. Only a couple of times did I devote more than 30 minutes at a time to this (mainly being work sessions with the kit), proving that if you do a little each day or so, you can get things accomplished.
An overall look at the scene with the 3 flats and the standalone building in place. The deck above represents North Stratford, NH, and does not have all track laid yet. Behind the Groveton flats are the Maine Central and Canadian Pacific mainlines (see the MEC train appearing to the right behind the far building), as well as the staging track for White River Junction, which holds the Boston & Maine train that will come to Groveton to perform switching work.

The background flats consist of 3 sections, all of which can be removed for access to the tracks behind. Left to tight, the first flat (pictured below) utilizes Rix/Pikestuff concrete block interlocking sections topped with Evergreen metal siding. A foam core substructure was used (More details are in earlier posts). Pikestuff components for "modern" metal buildings were used to build out angled car sheds protecting the tracks leading into this building from harsh New England weather. These angled buildings provide  a nice bit of dimension to the otherwise flat appearance of the building. I was able to use spray can paints for the white and teal colors, saving me time on firing up the airbrush. You just need to apply light coats and let it dry a bit to build up the color. That way you will not end up with a heavy coat hiding the details. A small amount of pan pastel weathering was added to show that these relatively new buildings were part of a working mill environment.

The more recent concrete block and metal siding building includes car sheds for paper loading.

The middle building flat uses DPM brick modular wall sections to represent an older building in the complex, before the mill expanded. I detailed how I used plaster for the mortar and pan pastels for coloring in an earlier post. I kept the roll up door partially open so I can show some interior details and add little more life to the background flat.

The last flat to the right in the scene combines older brick walls of a lower building that has been expanded vertically with metal siding. Here I included some windows using parts from a left over Walthers kit. I used Dullcote to frost the back of the windows and made sure the foam core behind that area was painted black. The window adds some more interest to the relatively plain look of the metal siding.

The older brick section to the left, and the final section to the right with the sheet metal section above the brick walls and a window to provide natural lighting to the inside mill area. Staged in front is the nearly completed Robertson Paper kit.
The Robertson Paper kit building, with its distinctive arched roof, will occupy an area closer to the tracks. I imagine this older building would now be used as a supporting structure to the expanded mill at this point, perhaps a machine shop.

The kit was a real joy to assemble. The brickwork is outstanding. As detailed in an earlier post, the mortar was done with Liquitex medium following an article in Model Railraod Hobbyist magazine.The process was easy and the results outstanding. The only real challenge was fitting the windows into the opening, which were probably compromised from painting of the walls and windows. Nothing insurmountable, but just a bit more work than the rest of the kit.The roof was particularly well designed and easy to construct. The rafter tails were simple and fit perfectly.

The space available is relatively tight, but still adequate. I will probably locate the building a little closer to the track, and keep an open driving path between the buildings on the back side.
With so much open window space on this kit, I decided to try to represent painted out or blocked panes that you often see in industrial buildings like this. I simply applied paint to the individual panes right on the glazing. I tried various colors, but ended up liking the grays and blacks the best. I kept different colors to represent different times the windows were painted out.

A closer look at the mortar work. I still need to come up with some appropriate signage and other details, plus add weathering and tar repairs to the roof..

The window panes randomly painted out with grays and blacks. I need to add internal dividers into the building to prevent seeing through to other window openings in the panes that are not blocked out. The building is raised up here as I expect it to be closer to this height once I add in base scenery, including evidence of a foundation.

Moving on, I need to add exterior details and signage to these flats. The prototype Groveton pictures I posted provided numerous ideas. I also want to get a base layer of scenery around the buildings and up the back tracks to give the overall back area of this scene a more finished look. Up front scenery and ballasting can come later.

A final picture with a not too perfect panoramic capture helps convey the appearance one gets when standing in the aisle in front of this scene (click on the picture to get a larger view). To the left I will be adding tanks and piping for unloading and storing kaolin, and to the right will be the start of a large woodchip pile, backed by tress to help hide the tracks behind that area.

So still more to do, but this will definitely enhance the experience for the operators who will do switching work at the mill next op session!


Phil D said...

Looks really nice MIke!

Shannon Crabtree said...

Looks like a good start to a large industry on the layout. Looking forward to the final product!

Colin 't Hart said...

Really nice! How much is your deck separation here? What height are they off the floor?

Greg said...

Nice Papermill Mike, I am planning to use the foam board base concept for my 3M plant! Besides Kaolin, will there be facilities for unloading other chemicals?

George Dutka said...

hi Mike:
You did a great job with Robertson' how you frosted the windows and the brick work looks realistic also...the whole complex is interesting....George

Mike McNamara said...

Lower deck area with milll is 45.5 inches at railhead. Deck above is 11.5 inches higher and clearance between decks is 9 inches. (The upper fascia is 2.5 inches).

Mike McNamara said...

They did receive oil via interchange with MEC at Whitefield. I have the tank cars ready for service, but they need a quick paint and decal, then I'll include that in operations. Will probably spot car on same track as kaolin.

Mike McNamara said...

Thanks George. Appreciated seeing your pics of the model for reference.

Mike McNamara said...

Thanks everyone for the compliments. This has been an enjoyable project. It is holding up the next op session but I figure it is best to keep working while I still have ideas to use.