Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds

Your golden-era model railroads!

p51

One Too Many
Messages
1,087
Location
Well behind the front lines!
I didn't even use Photoshop on this shot. I only cropped the photo, all the FX are in real time in the shot!

51798902995_116be4cb9f_c.jpg
 

p51

One Too Many
Messages
1,087
Location
Well behind the front lines!
I finished my Quonset Hut project over the weekend, with full interior and lighting. It's replaced the Nissen hut which really wasn't accurate for stateside WW2.

51851345097_d338415d2a_z.jpg


The front has the usual names sign for the chain of command. “J Stuart” is my nephew’s first and middle name (he’s also a real life Army Captain, just like I was before I got out). “R Sayes” refers to one of my best friends, and a real mentor for model trains.

51852311911_ae88a4583d_z.jpg
 

p51

One Too Many
Messages
1,087
Location
Well behind the front lines!
I broke out the good camera and experimented with shots of both the outside and the interior of the hut. It worked to have the light on for just a couple of seconds on a 90-second exposure:

51861017308_b748f66320_z.jpg


And of course I had to make a 40’s-looking shot out of it:

51860936106_77a80a5037_z.jpg
 

p51

One Too Many
Messages
1,087
Location
Well behind the front lines!
Over the weekend, I painted this re-creation of my fictional Railway Operating Battalion insignia:
51923870660_d4ecbc2a41_c.jpg

Today I'll do whatever touchup is needed, then hit it with some dull coat. I'm not sure how I'll hang it. Maybe Velcro as it doesn't weight much as it's a piece of Masonite around ten inches tall.
 

p51

One Too Many
Messages
1,087
Location
Well behind the front lines!
I've been asked several times to explain my fictional railway unit insignia. So, I created the 'official' history of the unit's time along Stoney Creek:
49365799172_7d63c833b9.jpg


“The Stump Jumpers”
A history of the 796th Railway Operating Battalion, US Army
Compiled by the US Army Center of Military History, Fort McNair

The 796th Railway Operating Battalion (ROB) was established on paper by the US Army Transportation Command at Fort Eustis, Virginia on November 30, 1942. From the formation of the unit, the Clinchfield Railroad wanted to sponsor a ROB and they were asked to assist in the creation of this battalion. They provided a cadre of experienced railroaders, with the expectation of eventually running railroads in formerly occupied nations once they were liberated by Allied forces. Most railroaders in this unit throughout the war were formerly from the Clinchfield.
By January of 1943, the advance party of the ROB headquarters were in Johnson City, Tennessee to scout locations for their elements. Battalion HQ and most of the companies were set up near the narrow-gauge East Tennessee & Western North Carolina (ET&WNC) railroad shops and yard in Johnson City. As most of the effort for the 796th was devoted to running the Stoney Creek Branch, B Company was set up in various locations along that line and set up its company headquarters along a former logging spur near Winner, Tennessee.
Conditions long the line were spartan and supplies were long in coming. A dismantled Nissen hut which had been rejected during testing in Virginia was assembled along the spur and an ET&WNC shack was taken over as a little shop for anything needing hand tools. A former Stoney Creek Southern refrigerated car along the spur was taken over for storage. Perforated steel airfield “Marston matting” was placed in a square for a parking area for the unit’s heavier vehicles.
A trio of 2-6-2 tank engine ‘trench’ locomotives from the Great War were re-gauged at the ET&WNC shops and immediately put to work along the line, along with some narrow-gauge Army cars that arrived unannounced on the backs of some flat cars in the Johnson City yard. All this equipment was used in various locations along the line. One was set aside as a permanent switcher for the B Company, another dedicated to use around the battalion HQ.
Right away, track crews of the 796th went to work on the track which in most cases hadn’t been touched by crews in almost twenty years. In a few weeks, Army railroaders with 55-pound rail and newly cut ties, had the right of way was looking better than the locals said it had when it was new.
By the spring of 1943, soldier/railroaders of the 796th were out of shelter tents for good and housed in larger squad tents and Quonset huts that had arrived with additional heavy wheeled vehicles. Working closely with the ET&WNC, the 796th ran several freight and passenger and freight trains throughout the entire line. It was common to see soldier railroaders crewing trains anywhere between Johnson City to either Buladeen, Tennessee or Cranberry, North Carolina.
By summer of 1943, operations were well underway for tactical training and familiarity with European and Asian prototype equipment for eventual deployment overseas. A handful of European rolling stock captured in Africa was brought to Stoney Creek for the 796th to work with. A new Whitcomb 50-tonner diesel-electric locomotive was also brought in, though it proved to be unpopular with crews and somewhat unreliable.
In anticipation of the invasion of Europe during the spring of 1944, the 796th was ordered to prepare for movement to the New York port of Embarkation and eventual movement to the European Theater of Operations, where they later served with great distinction. The 796th ended the war at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany and the unit was disbanded in 1946.
The Battalion insignia is described as a ‘trench’ engine jumping over a stump, upon a shield of Transportation Corps yellow. The insignia was unofficially created by a member of HQ Company, who later said he had designed it after the initial review of the Stoney Creek right of way. During the review, one officer was heard to say, “Boys, looks like we’ll be jumping stumps for the rest of the war.”
 

p51

One Too Many
Messages
1,087
Location
Well behind the front lines!
I've decided to make patches of the 796th ROB insignia. I am very aware that Battalion-level units almost never had their own shoulder patches either during WW2 or at any point, but so many people have asked if I'll make them.
This is the digital scan of my insignia.
51968124567_6d99fe746c.jpg

The patches will be 3" high.
I'm not going to make a huge batch of them but I'll be selling a few at the national Narrow Gauge Convention in Tacoma when people come see my layout for layout tours. They'll probably be around $10 each. Once I have them in hand next month, I'll make them available here for anyone who might want a patch for what HAS to be the only Army railway unit insignia ever designed in the hobby.
 

p51

One Too Many
Messages
1,087
Location
Well behind the front lines!
I have placed the order for some of the 796th ROB patches and they should be here next week. I'm trying to figure out how much to sell them for, but let me know if you're interest in one:
51989628560_a174888ba8.jpg

They will be 3 inches high.
I'm quite sure these are the only military railway unit patches in the model railroad hobby.
 

p51

One Too Many
Messages
1,087
Location
Well behind the front lines!
The patches are finally here and ready to go!
52028165054_289cfec475.jpg

I only made one run (and not a great deal of them), so once they're gone, that's IT, for what must be the only model railroad fictional Army railroad unit patches ever made.
52027955788_e1c42bbb60.jpg

Each will come with a history of the (fictional) 796th Railway Operating Battalion.
They're 3 inches tall and have the non-merrowed edges that are correct for US patches in WW2.
$9.00 each, postpaid WITHIN THE US ONLY
The easiest way is to pay via pay pal, to p51@hotmail.com
That's the only online way I'll accept payment. If you want to pay via the US mail, email me about that.
 

p51

One Too Many
Messages
1,087
Location
Well behind the front lines!
The story has long been told and is known by all the locals:
One fall morning, the revenuers and some deputies for the local Sherriff came to bust up the still for the Richardsons and Ensors. They pulled up in their cars at the Grindstaff store at the base of Hurley Hollow at Sadie, Tennessee. Knee-deep in the Great Depression, most of the locals were toiling in the fields and apparently paid them little mind.
The old men who always seemed to hang around the store watched in silence until their rifles and shotguns came out of the trunks of their cars. The old men started snickering and immediately knew what was going to happen.
"I wouldn't go up there looking for those boys," the men with badges were warned, "They's all gone across the water." The old men, of course, were referring to the Great War in France. They had all served in the trenches and the locals knew that those lessons had not gone unheeded.
The rifles and shotguns were loaded in silence, and off the men with the oversized badges went, up into the hills.
Over an hour passed and the old men suddenly heard the staccato echoes of rifle fire. Lot of it. As quickly as it started, it ceased.
An hour after that, the men with the badges came back, all limping and all injured in some way. The old men noticed that none had serious wounds, which they all immediately agreed was intentional. Those boys up in the hollow had learned where to shoot someone without killing them as they'd had plenty of experience against Germans in the trenches of France just over a dozen years before.
That was just over a decade ago. the moonshine stills are mostly quiet now. You can't get the 'fixings' for them now with wartime rationing on. All the young men are off across the water again, this time for a war across both oceans. Once that gets straightened out, the old men sitting in front of Grindstaff store declare, they'll be right back at it.

50884532003_c53ab626d1.jpg


The law hasn't come up here looking for moonshine stills since that day they tangled with those Great War veterans. Sometimes the highway patrol comes up the valley, but nobody is worried to see men with badges. Everyone assumes they'll get right back at it once this current war is over.
 

EngProf

Practically Family
Messages
530
The story has long been told and is known by all the locals:
One fall morning, the revenuers and some deputies for the local Sherriff came to bust up the still for the Richardsons and Ensors. They pulled up in their cars at the Grindstaff store at the base of Hurley Hollow at Sadie, Tennessee. Knee-deep in the Great Depression, most of the locals were toiling in the fields and apparently paid them little mind.
The old men who always seemed to hang around the store watched in silence until their rifles and shotguns came out of the trunks of their cars. The old men started snickering and immediately knew what was going to happen.
"I wouldn't go up there looking for those boys," the men with badges were warned, "They's all gone across the water." The old men, of course, were referring to the Great War in France. They had all served in the trenches and the locals knew that those lessons had not gone unheeded.
The rifles and shotguns were loaded in silence, and off the men with the oversized badges went, up into the hills.
Over an hour passed and the old men suddenly heard the staccato echoes of rifle fire. Lot of it. As quickly as it started, it ceased.
An hour after that, the men with the badges came back, all limping and all injured in some way. The old men noticed that none had serious wounds, which they all immediately agreed was intentional. Those boys up in the hollow had learned where to shoot someone without killing them as they'd had plenty of experience against Germans in the trenches of France just over a dozen years before.
That was just over a decade ago. the moonshine stills are mostly quiet now. You can't get the 'fixings' for them now with wartime rationing on. All the young men are off across the water again, this time for a war across both oceans. Once that gets straightened out, the old men sitting in front of Grindstaff store declare, they'll be right back at it.

50884532003_c53ab626d1.jpg


The law hasn't come up here looking for moonshine stills since that day they tangled with those Great War veterans. Sometimes the highway patrol comes up the valley, but nobody is worried to see men with badges. Everyone assumes they'll get right back at it once this current war is over.
"Sometimes the highway patrol comes up the valley, but nobody is worried to see men with badges."
The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) in those days was heavily involved in the illicit liquor business. To the extent that they might be interested in the moonshiners at all, it was as possible competitors, not looking for them as lawbreakers.
 

p51

One Too Many
Messages
1,087
Location
Well behind the front lines!
"Sometimes the highway patrol comes up the valley, but nobody is worried to see men with badges."
The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) in those days was heavily involved in the illicit liquor business. To the extent that they might be interested in the moonshiners at all, it was as possible competitors, not looking for them as lawbreakers.
I am aware of that, but during WW2, moonshining along Stoney Creek came to an utter halt in the area. Nobody could get the stuff they need to make 'shine, and most of the able-bodied men were either 'across the water' or working in the twin rayon mills in Elizabethton.
The funny thing is that one of many reasons I don't like alcohol is when I was a kid, I used to hear about moonshine as Mom had some uncles who made it (which the story is loosely based upon). Dad had a big jar and I asked what the big deal was. He let me take a little sip, knowing I'd hate it.
I did. I have no idea what kerosene tastes like, but I'd imagine it tastes a lot like that moonshine did. To this day, I don't understand the appeal.
 

EngProf

Practically Family
Messages
530
As masters of a clandestine business, I'm surprised the moonshiners didn't find the needed ingredients on the black market.
As for the TN Highway Patrol (THP) and liquor, I was able to find the photo that I had in mind in a local history book.
I wish you could see it, but the caption will convey most of the idea:
"Confiscated whiskey was the favorite political booty of Crump's Gestapo." ("Boss Crump" was the #1 political boss of TN at that time and the THP was referred to as his "Gestapo".)
The picture shows a THP car and three THP patrolmen with three stacks of liquor in cases, with each stack taller than the troopers.
They (bootleggers and politicians) had a thriving parallel whiskey trade for many years, since Tennessee passed a State prohibition law in 1909. A few of the counties in TN are still "dry".

(I agree about the taste of alcohol.)
 

p51

One Too Many
Messages
1,087
Location
Well behind the front lines!
Recently, I scored a 1930 Model A made by Brooklyn. Normally they're expensive models (over $100 retail) but I snagged this one for around 40 bucks with postage. For what you pay in retail, they're not worth the extra money, IMHO. Other than no plastic parts other than the wheels, they're no better than less expensive diecasts. That said, it really looks great.
Yesterday, I weathered the thing.
I added a "B card" gas rationing sticker to the windshield, removed the side windows, and then added a Tennessee 1943 plate to the back end.

BEFORE:
52177799345_3a8ef397c1.jpg


AFTER:
52177559804_0124a1b52f.jpg


And afterward, placed on the layout:
52176282077_fe5365e43b.jpg
 
Top