Thursday, 22 September 2016

Narrow Gauge Convention Report - Best Modular Layout in Show Don Janes

Soggy Bottom and Deep Cut Railway, Navigation & Cartage Co.

     One of the best attractions at the National Narrow gauge Convention in Augusta Maine was the three rooms full of Modular layouts.  George and I had visited two of the rooms and were extremely impressed with the high quality layouts on display but one evening while going over the convention brochure George discovered we had missed an entire room which was tucked away down several isolated corridors.  The next day we visited this secret room and discovered some of the best modular layouts at the convention.  My favorite in the room was this featured layout brought to the convention by a group from Ohio.  It turned out that the Soggy Bottom "O" scale layout won the best Modular Layout in Show Award decided by popular vote.  There were many layouts with more trains and railway equipment but I think it was the overall quality of the work and natural look of the scenes that made this such an attractive layout to view.  The workmanship was superb.  
This war scene shows a part of one side of the layout illustrates the effect given by the shadow box design
     The neat thing about this layout it was built using a shadow box design.  There were two side scenes and two end scenes, each in their own shadow box.  This effect separated the scenes from each other giving the impression of a longer run for the train without needing a lot of open space between scenes.  The other nice feature was the even lighting on the entire layout created by lights above the layout behind a valance created by the shadow box.  This made photographing the layout without a flash very easy as lighting was bright and evenly distributed over all of the scenes
     Sit back and enjoy the photos and see if you don't agree that this was a great looking modular layout.
Here is the other end of the wharf scene showing the busy dockside activity.  Notice how the train cleverly enters the scene under the walkway on the structure on the right.
This old mill scene fills the entire end module.  There is are are many great little detail scenes within the overall mill scene such as the photographer at the end of the platform. He must be waiting to shoot the next train through town.
The other end of the layout features this water tank scene based on the old Petticoat Junction TV series. Note the curious guy in the tree at left sneaking a peak of the three bathing beauties in the water tank. Look closely at the right of the photo and you can see where the train enters this scene. It is very well hidden.
The layout features several well detailed trackside scenes depicting the late 1800's.  Looks like the horse followed his master into the store.
Another shot of the above area from a different angle.
Looks like there are no environmental regulations in effect judging from the oily water pouring out of the discharge pipe at the "Old Canal Deswillery"
A narrow gauge train is passing the wharf while a fellow on the dock is waiting for a barge to come in.

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