Thursday, April 30, 2020


As I work on the initial structures for what will be my large Rosboro Lumber Co. mill complex in Springfield, I am becoming ever more aware of just how large this facility is in full size and even in model space.  As noted in my first installment on Rosboro Lumber ( the prototype facility occupies considerable space along the tracks at Springfield.  That also is true of my model, albeit selectively compressed.  

My first structures are what I identify as the primary lumber loading sheds, composed of a large bow-roof structure, a narrow shed over the loading track beside it, and another long clerestory roof shed that also spans the loading spur track.  My models are significantly shorter than the prototype and must fit within a curve formed by the turn-back loop at the end of the Springfield peninsula.  As such, considerable compromise was necessary in the design and construction of these pieces.

East end of Rosboro Lumber with large bow-roof shed and the narrow loading shed alongside it that spans the Rosboro spur.

I began with the bow-roof structure, shortening it considerably.  I used foam-core board for the primary structure to which I laminated aged wood siding from Clever Models Texture Collection Volume One (  To get close to twelve-inch wide planks, I used the S-scale eight-inch plank weathered wood siding texture.  This Clever Models texture collection repeats the textures in four scales (N, HO, S and O).  This was quite handy for this project.  I laminated this texture inside and out, with the inside going up around thirty scale feet and leaving the upper wall areas clear to mount wall bracing and roof formers.  

For the bow-roof forming, I needed a circle template of considerable size.  After experimenting with various shapes around the house, I settled on a pizza pan of roughly 18-inch diameter as a curve former.  I had tried a 24-inch diameter curve, but found it too flat, as seen in the photo below.

Forming the bow roof building end.  The upper curve matches the pizza pan underneath and is the curve selected.  The lower curve was a broader radius and was judged too flat.

Bow-roof building ready for the roof.  Multiple roof contour formers were cut from foam-core board using the same pizza pan as a template.

Staring at photos, I saw several openings in the side of the bow-roof building beginning with a long opening alongside the track.  I could see and roughly scale the door opening in the east end and could see openings through the structure on the far (north) wall.  I lined the foam-core for these openings with painted strips of .020 x 0.188-inch styrene.  

The side shed for the bow-roof building was built using styrene strip.  Roof trusses and posts were cut and formed from 0.125-inch square styrene strip.  I noted two different heights for the roof trusses along the length of this shed.  Closer photo examination revealed the east end of the shed had the trusses resting on top of side beams while the west end of the shed had those trusses built at the same level as their adjoining side beams.  Although I created a drawing for the end profile using photos, I found I needed to move the center post at the end portal to one side to make a wider portal which accounted for my curved spur.  I had to make a similar adjustment to the west end of the clerestory building.  I added vertical board sheeting in places indicated in my photos.  I glue-laminated back-to-back sheets of the same board photo texture used for the bow-roof building.  

The clerestory shed is at the west end of the loading shed complex.  Staring at the Google satellite view of the facility showed another structure connected to this building extending perpendicular to its main axis (away from the track).  I eventually realized this is much like the green chain seen at Western Lumber at Westfir and as modeled in the Walthers sawmill building kit I used there.  This was a late insight in the current building project, but I prepared well for it by creating an opening in the side wall for that added structure.  I will return to this part of the complex later. 

Clerestory building on the west end of the loading shed complex.  The shed over the tracks in the foreground appears to be a relatively recent addition, as photos from the 1970s do not show it.  Instead, a chip loading rack was located a bit further down the second Rosboro spur track spanned by this newer addition.

The clerestory building is very open, although the track side features more of the vertical plank side sheathing partially protecting that side.  An important element is "Rosboro Lumber Co." painted on these planks.  I was able to replicate this by first printing a photo texture sheet and then running this back through my printer to print a separate file that had the stencil-font Rosboro Lumber Co. lettering.

Rosboro Lumber Co. sign painted on the vertical plank partial sheathing alongside the tracks.

The clerestory roof building was built up similarly to the narrow side-shed--lots of roof trusses (twelve large trusses) and posts.  Once again, I sheathed this structure in appropriate spots using laminated photo-texture planking.  Although many of the Rosboro structures, including the clerestory roof loading shed, were painted tan, I chose to model this sheathing with the twelve-inch planking (this time in HO scale) from the Clever Models collection.

Clerestory roof structure assembly.  Angled truss sections were used to help the building fit around the loading spur curve.

Roofing for the sheds was painted white.  This shows both in current pictures and photos from the 1970s.  I cut the straight roof sections from 0.040-inch thick styrene sheet.  One two-feet long sheet was needed for one of the clerestory roof sections.  The bow roof received a mock-up roof from thick cardstock, pending availability of poster board of appropriate thickness.  This was one part of this complex I did not have the right material for and could not obtain in the Spring 2020 shut-down environment.

One other element needed to be addressed.  Although I carefully laid out the structure pieces to fit around my existing spur curve, actual construction showed I needed a bit more room.  After fussing with this for a day or two, I finally simply pulled up the track and re-laid it with more clearance to the adjacent wood chip loading spur.  Sometimes it simply is best to redo.

Curve fit check with the re-laid loading spur.  

Finally, it was time to complete the assembly of the separate pieces of the loading sheds and place them together on location!

East end of the Rosboro Lumber loading complex.

West end of the Rosboro Lumber loading complex.

Rosboro Lumber Co. sign.

It is great to have this major set of structures mostly complete and installed at the end of my Springfield peninsula!

Monday, April 20, 2020


As I fill in the industrial base of Springfield, I have come at last to Rosboro Lumber.  Rosboro has been in business in Springfield since 1940 and is still going strong.  Rosboro occupies a large stretch of land on the north side of the tracks at Springfield and figures in many photos of the area.  

I took a number of photos seven years ago of Rosboro from the south side where a public road parallels the tracks.  This perspective matches operator and viewer perspectives of this area on my railroad.  Fortunately, I could augment these trackside views with an aerial view published in the Springfield Chamber of Commerce book I have used for other industries and a satellite view via Google Earth.  These will help as I develop some of the structures deeper into the facility, including the main saw mill and boiler house.

Main bow-roof loading shed at the east end of the Rosboro facility.

Rosboro loading sheds from the west.  The three stacks of the boiler house poke up from the middle of the facility.

Additional warehouse and loading sheds with another mill structure within its midst. The tall dust/chip blower is on the roof of this additional mill.

On my model railroad, Rosboro occupies a site within the turn-back loop at the end of the Springfield peninsula.  This is a very prominent location, immediately seen upon entry to my layout space.  Unfortunately, this means I must deal with curved tracks where the prototype features long straight tracks.  Fitting within the track curves and typically limited space on a model railroad results in an industry model that is more "inspired by" rather than a direct "model of."

Site for my Rosboro Lumber model.  This prominent location is at the end of the Springfield peninsula on my railroad.

I began my modeling effort with a representation of the long lumber loading sheds which parallel the mainline and span over one of the Rosboro spur tracks.  I was immediately faced with selectively compressing these sheds to something much shorter.  I chose to model three major components:  the large bow-roofed main shed at the geographic east end of the facility, the low covered loading shed over the rail spur alongside that larger building, and the clerestory roof structure at the other (geographic west) end.

I will be using more photo texture from Clever Models computer files.  I purchased their Texture Collection Vol. 1 for this project, using various wood siding textures.
I initially contemplated doing a simple foam core mock up, but quickly decided I could fairly easily face such mock-up walls with printed photo texture.  That led to my going directly to the "final" construction.  

Test fit of loading shed elements.  The bow-roof building is nearly complete.  The side loading shed roof trusses are laid out beside it and the larger roof trusses for the clerestory roof building have been assembled into a roof framework. This location test shows that chip gondolas can roll past the extended corner at the bend in the clerestory roof shed.

I will describe construction of the loading sheds further in a subsequent post.  Further posts will cover other elements of the Rosboro Lumber complex as I model them.  Although this post seems "incomplete" to me--I usually post on completed projects or structures--I recognized a need to show what I have been doing during the current challenging at-home time.  Roof trusses take a lot longer to build than I remember...

Saturday, April 4, 2020


Continuing along the track and backdrop at Eugene, I turned to Eugene Planing.  This industry appears in several photos of Eugene near the depot.  It is distinctive with both a bow (curved) roof and shed roof.  One of the photos I used is on Joel Ashcroft's SP Cascades website:  The industry appears in a couple of other photos published in the Austin and Dill "SP in Oregon" books.  The side facing the tracks used clapboard siding, painted white.  

Given my model location alongside both the main post in my basement and against the backdrop, I chose to start with a good mock-up.  The mock-up may stay for a while, so I added details including marker pen outlines for the windows facing the tracks.  

Foam-core mock-up of the primary structure placed on paper for further planning of the bow roof for the left half of this structure and its walls.  The right portion of the structure uses a shed roof, as seen in the photo on Joel Ashcroft's site.  

As I built the main structure (the combined bow roof and shed roof), I felt I needed something more against the backdrop.  I consulted Google Earth and easily found today's version of the structure in a satellite view near the depot.  The buildings have been re-purposed, but the distinctive shape is very identifiable.  It appears Eugene Planing had buildings on both sides of Eugene's Third Street.  My space only represents the property on the track side of Third Street.  I employed "Modeler's License" to add more shed-roofed structure directly against the backdrop, conveying the feeling of a larger industry.

Eugene Planing building mock-ups.  The main loading sheds are near the tracks and have their roofs.  The add-on sheds against the backdrop are being tested for fit and artistic feel.

While the main structures were done in foam-core and other card stock for roofs, I chose to model the loading dock and timber gantry crane in styrene, nearly completing them.  The loading dock extends from the bow-roofed structure along the back-drop side of the rail spur and underneath the timber gantry.  I used my "conventional" freight dock construction with an Evergreen V-groove siding deck and styrene strip joists underneath.  There were something like 200 legs individually applied underneath.

Loading dock under construction.

I designed the timber gantry by roughly scaling from the photo.  I drew it up and then adjusted my dimensions.  My first cut was too large when I compared it to photos.  Careful photo study showed the purpose of wood piece that extended up from one corner post.  It was one half of the support for the three electric power wires for the gantry.  I easily modeled this with a bit of styrene strip, a few small holes and some phosphor-bronze wire.  The wire is even the right color!

Timber gantry.  This gantry likely was replaced by fork-lift vehicles sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s.  Right now, I chose to let the era anachronism slide.  I like the gantry.

Eugene Planing looking RR-East, toward the depot on my railroad.

Eugene Planing, ready for service.

Although I have most of the materials to convert the foam-core mock-ups into completed models, I will leave this complex as is for a bit.  I am off to other industry adventures!