Building the Hitop, Part 12….

Today I’ll cover more of the structures I used on the layout, finishing up with the front of the layout. Before I go on however, here is a photo of the custom built dumpster a former co-worker made for me, plus the scratch-built ice machines. Photos here:

Next up is Blair Line’s Sam’s Roadhouse kit, which became my Sam and Mickey’s grill. I really like the quality and variety of Blair Line’s kits, and their ease of assembly. Again, the wood was primered with neutral color stain, then painted with acrylic paint. The inside walls were again supported by scraps to prevent warping. I really like this kit as a small, Mom and Pop owned bar and grill. This kit was a joy to build.

MR had named this kit “moonshine bar”, and had placed this on the back side of the layout. I decided to place it front and center on the front left corner of the layout, as a local place for the industrial workers and rail workers to eat. I have a blog post on the website telling the story about the owners, Sam and Mickey. Be sure to check it out! Sam and Mickey’s get a lot of their supplies shipped in by rail to the PC freight house right across the tracks from them. Photos of the building here:

To finish up the building, some trash cans and a propane tank from JL Innovative were added, with of course some vehicles and diners.

Next up I’ll discuss the siding representing Allied Chemical, actually located further up the valley. MR had a Walther’s background building in this spot, which is right on the left front edge of the layout. However, the building to me looked out of place with it being so tall. I also wasn’t thrilled about mounting the back to blocks of wood, then cutting the fascia up and around the back of the building. I had to look for an alternative.

Well, chemicals are BIG in the Kanawha valley, so I had to have a representation of one. But how to go about it? I couldn’t fit an entire chemical plant in the limited space, so I compromised. My Allied Chemical consists of the following kits: Walther’s oil unloading rack, Walther’s pump house from their diesel and sand facility, two Plastruct vertical tanks, some extra piping, a mesh chain link fence by the same co-worker who built the dumpster, a pre-built “small industrial office” from Bachmann, and finally, some maintenance workers from Preiser. I really like the details and finished look of these figures.

So this kit is the only one I kitbashed. Assembly was pretty straight forward, however, the Plastruct tanks really did not fit together well, and required some sanding and putty. I built the Walther’s unloading rack first, which also was pretty fragile, and still is. Take care when building this kit. I then built the two tanks, placed them on the layout to see how they would fit and look, then glued them down after cutting scrap pieces of piping from the unloading kit, and running these from the end of the pipes on the unloading rack to the tanks, then an elbow from the end tank down into the ground.

The pump house kit from Walther’s also did not really fit together well, and required some sanding and putty. I really appreciated the job Bachmann did on their small industry office, as it looks appropriate, has the correct warning signs and details on it for use as an office as such, and of course did not have to be built from kit form. The chain link fence and Preiser figures rounded out the scene. I think it’s a good representation of a chemical plant loading/unloading track at least. It also helped after building that Athearn produced some Allied Chemical tank cars from the proper era. Photos here of this area:

Last but not least, I’ll finish up today with the last structure on the front of the layout, the Virginian “Cullen station” kit by AMB. This kit actually again did not fit very well, and had to be double braced inside. I’m also not a fan of peel and stick doors, windows and trim. It is I might add from the only photos I have of DB Tower in Alloy, WV, which was the westernmost extent of the old Virginian, a good representation of this block station, so I used it on the right front corner to simulate where the ex-Virginian leaves the main and goes across the Kanawha River. MR used the kit as intended: as a Virginian station on the back side of the layout. I have since moved this kit to sit astride the Hitop mine, as a railroad yard office for Hitop. Photos of the building in both locations here:

So that wraps it up for today. Stay tuned for the next installment where I’ll cover the buildings on the backside of the layout, in the Hitop area…






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