Thursday, June 25, 2020

Farmington is Finally Complete

Finally, the town of Farmington is fairly complete. I say fairly because I still need to add figures and more vehicles but the basic structures and scenery are complete enough that I could clean things up run trains again. I started the scenicking about the middle of April and gradually added dirt, grass and the all the other things which make layouts look realistic. Most of the month of May was lost due to some knee problems but other structures and so on were built do it wasn't a loss.
     Here are some photos of the finished scene.

Entering Farmington from the west, the tracks cross the Stockton and Sonora Road. The bulk of the town as to the east of the tracks while warehouses are on the west. The track at the extreme left serves the depot and the team track.
Looking east on the Sonora Road, the news, tobacco and laundry building is at the left while the town store and hotel and straight over the tracks.
Laundry is done outdoors in California due to a lack of rain. This particular laundry is a franchise run by some of the Chinese citizens. Services include washing, ironing and mending.
The Oakdale Road leads south along more businesses running into the residential area at the far right.
Beyond the Corner Saloon is the small residential area followed by the Long and Owen Agricultural store and a wheat warehouse at the far right.
Long and Owen are at the far left while the Farmers' Co-op Warehouse is in the center. The San Joaquin fruit packing company is at the right with the Farmington Winery behind.

Monday, June 8, 2020

A Photographer for Stockton

The Batchelder building in downtown Stockton.
Benjamin Pierce Batchelder started his photography business in Stockton in 1853. Although he moved his business around the world, he finally settled in Stockton for good in 1872, His business address was less than a block from the main line of the Stockton & Copperopolis. Batchelder died in 1891 but his wife, Nancy, continued to operate the business until at least 1895.
The decals were copied from a Kansas City photographer of the 1890s. The building front was painted
to resemble different types of stone used in its construction.
 My model of the Batchelder enterprise is freelanced. The Batchelder script was taken from an ad in the  Lodi Sentinel. The rest of the lettering actually came from a building of the same period in Kansas City. I liked the KC lettering particularly because of the use of the word "Kodak" as a generic term for camera. This was common in this era due to Eastman Kodak bringing easy photography to the masses for a low price.
      The structure itself is a SLM kit. It is a nice kit with good detail and is easy to assemble. I recommend them if you can fine one. The company is out of business and the kits are hard to find.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Oil Tankers on the Road

Tanks full of oil destined for the gold mills in the mountains. The railroad's tank car unloading trestle can be seen in the background.
In the hills above Milton during the 1890s, there was an oil-powered gold processing mill. Obviously, the oil had to get to the mill, so oil-powered Holt steam tractors were used to haul tanks of oil from the rail-served oil storage tank. In my last post, I showed the Rio Grande Models kit of the steam tractor. RGM also made Holt 3-wheel trailers to be used for hauling whatever the owner needed. In this case, the Mountain Traction Company needed to move oil.
The prototype tanks being filled at Milton at the turn of the century.
The chassis for the tanks was the RGM kit. The tanks were made using PVC pipe with Precision Scale Models tank car domes. The ends were cut out of acrylic and glued to the ends of the pipe. Thanks to Rio Grande Models, I was able to easily model this aspect of what was happening on the railroad in my time period.