need some help detailing sawmill

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by BC-RAIL, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. BC-RAIL

    BC-RAIL New Member

    Hi all, this is my first post here but I have been reading ( lurking) a long time at this site. I am posting some pictures of my first (sort of) layout and was wondering if anyone could give some advice on how to make it better. It is all on a 4 x 8 in HO scale, and one end of the layout is suppose to be a sawmill, set somewhere in the late 50's early 60's in BC (hence my user name) I am fairly happy with how the buildings and stuff look, but I just don't feel that the sawmill area has that "alive" look, if you know what I mean. I guess it is lacking in some of the detail, but I am sort of at a loss as to what else to do. So any help would be much appreciated, thanks

    PS: I know most of my rolling stock is out of place in and around a sawmill, but it is all from way back when I got my 1st train set, and since I am on a budget, that will be the last thing to upgrade:)

  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Several suggestions...

    1 - Industries are often served by BOTH rail and road. You need to put a road in there, along with some trucks hauling cut lumber or something like that.

    2 - Show some action at the industry. For example, maybe put in a forklift with crate of cut lumber being loaded onto a car or something, or have product sitting in a yard ready to ship on pallets, etc.

    3 - You can even try putting in a pond with floating logs, or a truck with a spilled load, etc. I saw Bob Boudreau do this with his Fundy Northern HO modules in Model Railroader magazine.

    Hope this helps.
  3. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: welcome to the gauge :wave: sawmills take up a lot of area you might think about making it a cantmill(cant is a rough sawed in a standard sizes like 14 by14 or 11by 12) cants could arrive by rail on flat cars unloaded and resawed to finish size lumber reloaded in to box cars. will see if i can round up a pic of that type of opperation.
  4. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Add some people and an old truck then some stacks of lumber.

    Weeds and brush also...cover and blend it the base to the mill.

    It looks realy good as is.

    Maybe a storgae shed and some shacks.

    How about some junk in a piles and odd piese .
    You can scratch build a rusted out boiler from an aspirin bottle our some thing.

    I have like wish been making a mill.

    You looks better than mine I think.

    Did you scratch build or kit gash any of that?
  5. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    One thing, where are the logs and how do they get from the train to the mill?
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    You should consider a drying shed. I made one -- mostly racks for lumber and a roof.
    You need sawdust. The lumber yard when I grew up had a huge field of sawdust (large chips), probably bigger than your layout. I bought some from Hamilton Model Works -- will look for their address for you if you want.
  7. Relic

    Relic Member

    I have some pic's of an old turndown mill I used to work in thirty years ago, I'll get D to post 'em . It's not the actuall mill, it burned down years ago but I have enough of it scratched to meby be usefull ( although it's just a little backwoods NS mill not a biiiiig BC mill ha)
  8. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    How much of that is a kit and how much scrath or kit bashed?

    The more I look at it the more I see.

    You could sell those and do very weel.
  9. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Does anyone come back and read these threads once they have posted on them?

    Hummmmm...just wondering. stooges8
  10. Relic

    Relic Member

    I've been tinkering with this for a while, scratched from the first non-steam mill arround here, actually the mill is the same it just has a jimmy deisel instead of a boiler.
    The model is as you can see not finished it still needs more deal piles and a few log brows, although in thors days they tried to dump the logs right on the skidway.
    I could go on (and on) if you want more info it's better (and shorter )if you ask.

    Attached Files:

  11. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    What is the structure on the left?

    Is that a way to feed the logs in the mill?

    If so how did that work, with a crane or fork lift?
  12. Relic

    Relic Member

    No, that thing on the left just behind the truck is the wood chute, slabs were cut into about 16" lengths and sold for stove wood (that bashed Ford is a slab truck)The thing kinda above the wood chute is the sawdust chute, a long chain with wooden buckets dragged the sawdust outside.
    You can sorta make out at the top right(I'm a lousy photographer) the skidway where the logs were unloaded and rolled by hand to the carrage
    A very interesting place to work, nearly everything was run by leather belts, everything was open and the noise had to be experienced.
    The scary thing is after it burned down it was rebuilt nearly the same only with an edger witch made more work for the splitterman and nearly doubled production(to 11 thousand board feet per day)
  13. BC-RAIL

    BC-RAIL New Member

    Hi all, thanks much for all the suggestions. I'm kind of getting a better idea for things to do to "liven up" the scene. I guess I am going to have to scratch build the piles of cut lumber and find something to simulate uncut lumber. Would anyone know where I could get some vintage HO scale semi-trucks and log trailers? There seems to be alot of modern semi's availabe, but I want something to fit my era.
    anyway, I will repost some more shots when I get more details added.
  14. BC-RAIL

    BC-RAIL New Member

    Hi Gil Finn, all of what you see, with the exception of the main shed is from a Walthers cornerstone kit of "sawmill outbuildings" that are designed to go with the "mountain lumber co." that is also a cornerstone kit from walthers. I am on a budget and decided to try to scratch build the main building of the sawmill, and I modelled the dimensions on an old locomotive service building I had that was damaged beyond repair. The smokestack, windows, and yardlight you see on the main building are from the old service building. I just cut off what parts I thought I could use and stuck them on the scratchbuilt shed. (the wood in it is just strips of balsa craft wood from Michaels craft stores.)
    by the way, I am flattered that you like my layout, I don't really think it looks all that good compared with some of the stuff I have seen on the gauge and in magazines
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    What is your era? Athearn offers Freightliner cabovers and Ford C models that would fit right in with the 60's-70's. I think it is mini metals that offers a Diamond Reo and a B model Mack that would work for the late forties and early fifties. Mini Metals may also offer a 1947 International. Ulrich also has their round nose White cab over back in production which wouod work for the late 40's to early 50's, but they are very expensive. I think you would have to scratch build a log trailer, but it shouldn't be too difficult. They are basically a bolster on each end with a spline down the middle. Usually the spline is a large tube, and often the trailer axles and rear bulkhead are mounted on the back of the tractor with the center pole laying over the cab roof when the truck heads back up the mountain for another load.
  16. Relic

    Relic Member

    Good idea...scratchin' piles of lumber, the plastic ones look like it.
    What I did (I have plenty of time) I found some plywood that had gotten wet and the layers had separated so I took the individual layers and cut 'em into boards with a sharp knife. Looks pretty good I think
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Another way to make piles of lumber is to use small blocks of wood as a "core" and then cover the top, sides, and ends with scale boards to give the look of a stack. Also remember that lumber mills are always located near the source, usually near the bottom of the mountain where the lumber is cut. I'm going out on a limb here, but I don't think you would see a class 1 railroad hauling logs. The logs would be hauled in by truck or a logging railroad. The cut lumber would go out by a class 1. A logging railroad would probably never haul cut lumber and a class 1 would never haul logs. If you have room for a backdrop somewhere, you should show forrested hills or mountains where the logs are cut.
  18. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Atlas has a kit with lumber in it of several sizes. It has a lot of lumber.

    I got 3 boxes.

    Found mine on ebay.

    It was cheaper and nicer that using balsa wood sticks from the hobby shop.
  19. BC-RAIL

    BC-RAIL New Member

    thanks for the tip i'm gonna look for something like that on Ebay

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