In this short installment, I’ll cover the several buildings at the end of the branch in Morris Fork. As discussed long ago, I reversed the two towns on my layout, as Hitop was at the actual end of the branch. Morris Fork is literally at the end of track on the layout.
As such, there are only two structures at Morris Fork. One being the Morris Fork mine of Union Carbide, supplying coal to its Kanawha valley plants. The other is the Morris Fork Hardware and Farm Supply, obviously supplying the farming and hardware needs in the hilly country around Morris Fork.
The Morris Fork mine, as on the Model Railroader project layout, is represented by two truck dumps, with the mine being just off the layout on a hill. The truck dumps are another fine kit from Blair Line, and easy to put together. These were stained once again with Hunter Line stains. To put these in place, I had to sort of stair-step the hill to get the proper clearance for the hopper cars. The wood supports sit on a base of crumpled newspaper covered in plaster cloth, then covered with a coating of plaster with the rock carved into it, then of course I stained the rock faces. To finish the scene, I sprinkled coal and road dirt onto the truck platforms, and sprinkled coal around the base of the truck dumps. I also added a guard rail from Rix, and part of a pole line going up the side of the mountain from the valley town of Hitop. The truck dumps can accommodate two 55 ton hoppers, all that the branch can handle due to track conditions. The siding itself can accommodate three hoppers. Photos here:
The last building I’ll cover is the Morris Fork Hardware and Farm Supply. I used the same kit that MR used, that is, the corrugated warehouse by Grandt Line. The kit is a nice kit, and went together well, except for the roof was a bit warped, so it was quite difficult to get the front edge glued down against the roof supports on the front dock or porch. I painted the building with left over PC green, weathered the building, and weathered the corrugated metal roof with rust colored paint. I added a Preiser figure on the front dock or porch, some seed barrels and such, then added some signs from a MicroScale decal kit for grain elevators. I also added a classic metals pickup truck with customer outside in the parking lot, and a dumpster. A tree from Woodland Scenics on the corner of the building and layout finished the scene. Photos here:
That about sums up the building of the Hitop. The next and final installment will cover all the little details added during and after construction that help a layout stand out and come to life. Stay tuned!