The Second Customer

“No one remembers who came in second.”
-Walter Hagen-

History is filled with stories of almost and what if. Even the prototype Hills Line is a statement to what could have been. Despite the dubious honor of being the runner up in carloads in reality, City Carton Recycling now holds the distinction of being completed first on The Hills Line.


Even though its a near-daily switch for train ICSW, the weeds have begun to overgrow the spur track. Woodland Scenics Blended Turf was dusted over poly-fiber fill and attached across and atop the track. Additional tufts were made to blend the structure into the ground.


Alongside the lead to City Carton is the remains of the CRANDIC’s former Iowa City yard, or as much as I could include in the space. The weeds are considerably higher here, as the track segments were buried under a static grass blend.


In the first of what will be a regular feature of the layout, a fascia extension was added to cover up the exposed edge of the tool warehouse. My plan is to have numerous structures that extend off the front edge of the layout, indicating a larger world than the one I have space to model.


The prototype receiving warehouse does not have any HVAC or other air handling devices atop its roof. But since I’m not modeling the rest of the complex, a bare roof stuck out considerably more. AC units from Rix Products fill the need. Roof seems were drawn in with a pencil, including the prototypically-accurate missing gap in the middle of the structure.


The Capitol Street side of the building includes a simple attempt at landscaping in the form of three maintained trees. I’ve always felt that Scenic Express SuperTrees work better en masse. However, with a little patience in selection and trimming, they can work well as single saplings.


To round out the scene, I constructed a few detail parts such as power poles and road signs. The poles are kitchen bamboo skewers stained and topped with crossarms and insulators from Rix and Atlas. The street signs were made from MUTCD images printed and attached to piano wire or scale lumber where appropriate.

6 thoughts on “The Second Customer

  1. Hi James, looks nice. I’m guessing the roof is just some thin styrene with maybe a light dusting of Rustoleum light gray or something, then you added the pencil lines? I am actually going to make a few of my squarish structures using the method you and Lance describe with the PVC lumber, but was curious on how you did the roof. Thanks!


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