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Modeling the Hill City grain elevator: Pt. II


Payne’s Grey (No. 840.3), or Bragdon Enterprises’ Grimy Gray. with Dullcote.


I stopped


It seemed fitting to photograph the model at the place where the source of its inspiration stood; so, one morning in mid-June, I took the elevator to the Ca- mas Prairie and posed it not far from its prototype. The snowpack was deep in Idaho last winter, and a cool, wet spring kept the snow in the mountains well into summer. Although southern Idaho is quite arid, the snowpack and irriga- tion create verdant expanses. While building the model, I thought


that, perhaps, when it was finished, I would seek out the people who had been so kind and helpful with informa- tion early in the project. Indeed, their friendship enhanced my whole experi- ence in pursuit of a hobby that is so much more than small trains travers- ing tiny tracks.


After taking pictures, I drove the short distance to Fairfield with the hope that some of them might be in town, and they could see the result of their kindness. Stopping by the small courthouse to in- quire about the Hill City elevator’s own- er who had given me permission to ex-


plore it, I decided to show the model to the three women who greeted me so that they would better understand why I was asking. One of the women directed me to a café a few doors down, expressing that some patrons there might be interested in seeing it; and, she began placing calls on her cell phone to some of the people I had asked about, most of whom still lived in the area.


Attributing it to her effort, provi-


dence, and an enthusiastic patron, three of the most helpful people I first contacted years ago stopped by the café that morning.


Constructing boxcar grain door panels B


oxcar grain door panels were simple affairs constructed of two layers of 1″ thick lumber. While badly weathered,


the grain door piece seen in Photo 1 is typi- cal. Measuring 20″ wide by seven feet in length, it is constructed using 1″×8″, 1″×12″ nd 1″×6″ lumber. The horizontal 1″×8″ and 1″×12″ are 6′-0″ long to ac- commodate the vertical 1″×6″ at each end. (A close-up of this is shown in Photo 2. ) The opposite side of the grain door is


shown in Photo 3. Here the 1″×12″ over- laps the edge joint of the two boards on the opposite side, abutting the edge of the 1″×8″ as on the opposite side, and both boards are seven feet long. Nails fasten the boards together. The door panels were nailed to the inside


walls of a boxcar with the 1″×6″ facing the inside of the car. The modeled grain doors (Photo 4) are


scratchbuilt of stripwood, built as per the prototype, and installed in a Sunshine Mod- els U.P. B-50-32/33. (Thank you, Martin Lofton, for making so many great resin kits available to us.)–BOB VAN ARNEM


Photo 4 Photo 1


Photo 2


Photo 3 62 SEPTEMBER 2012


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