Friday, April 3, 2015

"Friendly Fridays... The C&O New River Division."

As corny as it may be, I'd like to make 'Friendly Fridays' a weekly feature to not only acknowledge the extraordinary work of friends, but to celebrate one of the great aspects of our hobby... the kindness and hospitality of fellow modelers.

I was fortunate to meet Ted Pamperin a few years ago at my very first operating session at a well-known local layout. Paired with him, I found that his patience and easy-going demeanor made my evening far less anxiety-ridden than I had anticipated. By the end of the night, I had essentially invited myself to see Ted's layout and pick his brain as to how I should proceed with mine. But because of Ted's humble manner, I was not expecting too much from his C&O effort. Boy, there's wrong and then there's REALLY wrong. And I was REALLY wrong!

Visitors are greeted by a massive peninsula with a towering scenic treatment featuring the coke ovens outside of Sewell, WV. It reaches to the ceiling.
Ted depicted the iconic town of Thurmond, WV faithfully. It sits on the other side of the towering peninsula giving the feeling of the massive hills and hollows inherent in this area. His use of SuperTrees to convey late fall is unique. A simple light overspray of assorted muted fall colors does the trick.
While the central peninsula dominates the room, Ted cleverly has used the walls for multi-deck operation. Here is a narrow gauge logging short-line depicted on a 12" shelf. The use of the mirror not only adds depth to this scene, but capitalizes on the reflection of the massive peninsula as backdrop.
Another iconic scene that Ted compressed was the twin tunnels and A cabin at Alleghany. He uses castings, sprayed and washed for his rock work. Most of the steep hillsides covered with SuperTrees are nothing more than 3/4" pink foam panels, brush-painted dark brown painstakingly by a helper (ask me how I know) and simply laid in place on edge. The SuperTrees are liberally stuck into the foam, hiding most all of the dark brown background.
That's just a small sample of this WWII period layout. Op sessions are busy affairs with 18 crew members typically needed to handle the day's operations. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the C&O, definitely take advantage of it.

Ted's been published a few times in Model Railroader of which I am aware. The February 2012 issue featured his piece on waybills and the September 2014 issue featured his quick scenery techniques. But it's probably Great Model Railroads where you'll eventually be seeing the New River Division. I'm pretty sure that I won't be wrong on that one!

Tomorrow we get back to the Old Main Line. As always, your comments are most welcome. Bye, and "Happy Passover" to those observing.

Structures have been provided to Ted's layout by which fine modeler?
A)  Bernie Kempinski       B)  Tony Koester       C)  Henry Freeman      D)  All of the above  

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