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!

1 comment:

  1. Your post caught my eye because I have worked for Rosboro for the last 34 years. Part of my responsibilities include building and industry owned railroad track maintenance. I applaud your efforts so far. If you have any questions about the history of these buildings, I'd be interested in hearing from you.