Quinton, Alabama

Discussion in 'General' started by kenmc, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Frisco.org Supporter

    Now that the progress on our new layout depicting the Southern Division near Birmingham Alabama circa 1950 is reaching the point where decent photographs can be taken, I thought I would post one or two from time to time, just to keep things interesting for the group.

    This thread will focus on the town of Quinton, which is a real place on the Southern Division. However, my layout version combines features from several typical towns along the route such as Dora and Jasper as well, so that my town of "Quinton" is more or less a caricature, if you will, of the quintessential northwest Alabama rural town. Near Quinton (for real) is the Frisco's deck truss bridge across the Little Warrior River, so this figures into my main scene as well. The total length of this sequence of scenes is about twelve feet.

    28 January 2013 -- Here is a photo also of the prototype Little Warrior Bridge, from a postcard on the prototype portion of the forum.

    Enjoy

    Ken McElreath
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2013
  2. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    Ken, that's some of the coolest modeling I've seen on here! My hats off to you and those who may have helped. Outstanding photos. I really like the weathering skills and the scenes show great depth.
     
  3. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    Ditto per Jim James!
    Love the Fort Dodge house car - and the time frame of the layout!
     
  4. SAFN SAAP

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    Very nice. What steam locomotive is that in the first picture? Very nice modeling. Looks real good.
     
  5. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    Looks great Ken! You've been busy and have done a super job.
     
  6. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    Ken, you've made a lot of progress since I last visited; it looks great. I'll have to give you a call next time I'm in the area.
     
  7. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    The steam locomotive is a Hallmark model of the 1309 class Consolidations, one of only a few converted to coal burning. Thanks to Don Wirth for his conversion skills on what he calls "little engines." Except for the passenger engines, all Birmingham Subdivision engines were coal burners. In my opinion, this is the finest model made of a Frisco engine.

    Keith, when you come again, I'd like to take you over to see Dick Schultz's CB&Q 1960s layout representing Quincy to Macomb, Illinois.

    Here is a little tour of the town of Quinton for your perusal and enjoyment.

    Ken McElreath
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    Ken, you've knocked my socks off! This needs to grace the pages of Model Railroaded or Railroad Model Craftsman. No joke, man. Submit it so you spread the Frisco name around. Beautiful modeling.
     
  9. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    Thank you, Jim.

    I meant to mention that the industrial trackage coming directly toward the foreground of this photo is the remnant of the abandoned Alabama Central Railroad (an actual coal-hauling short line that ran north out of Jasper, Alabama.) In my version of Quinton, the Frisco purchased the trackage in town and continues to operate it for local switching. In the prototype, you can still see the AC's ex-Birmingham Southern 2-8-0 on display at the Alabama Mining Museum at Dora.

    Ken McElreath
     

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  10. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    I don't want to sound like your personal cheerleader but that old branch trackage is very very convincing. Nice contrast with the mainline on the left. Wow. You're really raising the bar for the rest of us. Thank you.
     
  11. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    Ken -
    It's great, as always, to see your modeling efforts. Of all of the photos, the two that really stood out to me:

    (1) The Bama Box & Pallet Co. - a box or crate factory definitely helps to set the time/place in the pre-cardboard box days.

    (2) The road that leads "uphill" on the backdrop was very convincing. I had to look a couple of times before finally looking at the close up of the adjacent store to see if it was real or backdrop.

    Best Regards,
     
  12. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    Ken,

    Those are very enjoyable pictures. I like to share photos like these with people I work with that know nothing about model railroading.

    Charlie
     
  13. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    I must add this comment. I like the old frame house that has additions on the front and back and sitting on wood supports. I need to add some old wood houses to my Zalma Branch and that photo inspires me to get busy with some plans.
     
  14. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    A very personal aspect of our layout is that it embodies many stories from my own experience, combined in an eclectic fashion. That's why I am not too focused on modeling an exact prototype "portrait." For example, when I consider my version of the deck truss bridge over the Little Warrior River in northwestern Alabama near Quinton, it captures three such experiences.

    First, the bridge itself is a pretty close replica in detail of the truss bridge over Plattin Creek at Crystal City, Missouri, and the surrounding scene on the River Division. You can see the bridge with Train 808 "The Sunnyland" crossing over in Don Ball's book, "America's Railroads: The Second Generation." I have spent hours studying and photographing that bridge and its beautiful limestone bluff setting, finally seeing one train cross it for real about 1985. The model took a year to build.

    Second, it is "close enough" to be the actual Little Warrior bridge so that I use it there on the layout with little pangs of conscience. It certainly fits the sense of the rugged Alabama landscape that I enjoy modeling. You can see Frisco passenger trains crossing the prototype bridge in the video "Passenger Trains of the '60s" by Green Frog.

    And third, when I was very young, my dad, who was raised in Whitewater, Missouri and attended Delta High School, would regularly take me fishing in the horseshoe lake backwaters of the Whitewater River between Whitewater and Allentown, Missouri. I distinctly remember the overhanging Cypress trees with their knees sticking out of the water, and of course the Water Moccasin snakes we would see swimming along. But most of all I remember the tall trestle over the river of the MoPac's Belmont Branch through Whitewater to Allentown and Delta, because one day we were below the bridge in the boat when the Belmont Branch Local rumbled over (it was loud underneath the bridge!) with a GP7 and a short train. That visual memory is perfectly matched (almost, being Frisco and not MoPac) by the Frisco RS1 below.

    No one else in the world but me has these deja vu experiences when they visit our layout, and you guys are probably the only ones who would care to hear about them. Thanks for listening.

    Ken McElreath
     

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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  15. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    As Ken has pointed out, most of us in model railroading are not trying to create a perfect replica of the real world, but instead create something that is close enough to place in one's mind the recognition of the place and time. It is possible to recreate an exact replica of a small area or scene, however, scale does not nearly allow us to replicate lengths and distances because they are so great in the real world.

    An example; Jim Senese (kctrwy) once commented that it would be cool to model the mile-long grain elevator that exists in Hutchinson, Kansas, however, the model in HO would be over 60 feet in length - not practical for our typical space availability. Unless the other portions of the layout were sufficiently large, even if we had the space for such a model, it would dwarf the rest of our model railroad. A ten foot long model might be sufficient.

    By the way, more great work, Ken.
     
  16. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    Jim--Ken McElreath's layout has already been featured in a SUPER Railroad Model Craftsman article (Somebody will have to help me with the date)!!

    Tom G.
     
  17. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    That's great! I would like to check that out.
     
  18. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    Ken -
    Excellent summary of your modeling philosophy, and one that I'm finding I'm following rather subconsciously as I move forward on our layout. It's more about capturing the "feel" of a location. I still very much appreciate those who modeling very specfic prototypes (I'm thinking of Jack Burgess' detail work on his Yosemite Valley), but if I did that, I'd still be staring at layout plans.

    Hope to see more layout photos in the near future.

    Best Regards,
     
  19. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    Jim,

    The article on our previous "Birmingham Terminal Division" layout was in the November 2003 RMC. It was entitled, "Birmingham, 1950." John Stewart has the entire article posted, with copyright approval from RMC, on his outstanding website, "Birmingham Rails."

    John's website link is http://www.bhamrails.info/

    You should see all of the emails that I have received since that article was published and made available on line. One woman wrote me and said, "I used to sit on my grandfather's lap and throw the levers in the very tower that you have modeled. It looks exactly the same!" Of course, it's not EXACTLY the same, but her mind recreated the experience nevertheless. That sort of response from people I never knew otherwise has greatly enrichened my own enjoyment of the hobby.

    And Jim, your layout has done the same for me as I remember the swampy and rough rural countryside of the Missouri counties of Cape Girardeau and Scott. There's a lot of power in the three-dimensional modeling realm that no photograph or painting can capture

    Thank you.

    Ken McElreath
     
  20. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: Quinton Alabama

    For Ken Mc--Here's a link to a video you might be interested in. A LOT of passeger railroading in and around Birmingham. It's Green Frog's "Passenger Trains Of The 60's." The original three VHS tapes are now combined on one DVD at a GREAT price! There are a WHOLE LOT of passenger trains from the south including SR, ACL, SCL etc. Including a couple of dozen Frisco run-bys. KC-Florida Special, Sunnyland, Southland. FYI. http://www.greenfrog.com/passtrain60s_all3_dvd.shtml

    Tom G.
     

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