No. 154: Hermitage Road Update, Feb 2021

Traditionally December and January are big modeling months as most guys are trapped inside for Winter. Not so here, as my family kept me busy and out of the attic train room until about mid-February. I also had a double-laptop meltdown, which precluded any work on the blog along with a whole lot of other stuff.

In the last 20 days I’ve been able to get a huge amount of work done on a lot of projects, and also on the Hermitage Road layout. The layout is now at the point where all the track is laid, operational, and scenicked. Fascia is painted and re-installed. All that’s left now is construction of a few buildings and finishing the backdrops.


A long-term goal remains construction of a traversing table for staging instead of a traditional fiddle yard. I’ll insert a drawing as soon as I can make one. Right now the plans are all in my head.

In January and February, with what little time I had, I was able to paint, detail and weather the beautiful Seaboard VO-1000 that I leased from John Moenius. This is a Stewart-Bowser model that I upgraded with various wire parts, cab details, and a whole lot of weathering and overspray. John already had DCC and sound installed and it runs like a dream. It is my new favorite engine and I hope you like it too.

Here’s the prototype at Raleigh, North Carolina in 1949. Photo by Wiley Bryan.

SAL 1402

Here’s the model I’m using:

I’m also working on an old Proto 2000 PRR GP-7 to run during a PRR scenario. I really like the early PRR 8550 series GP-7s with the top-mounted air tanks, steam generator and antennas, so that’s what I’m building. Yes, that’s a passenger engine but I really like the look. I’m sure even the prototypes were used for local chores every once in a while.

Here’s the prototype I like:

Other engines in the queue are a Milwaukee RSC-2 and—thanks to my friend Jim Dick—an as-delivered C&NW GP-7 that I am crazy about.

Meanwhile the layout is progressing well. Here’s a view today of the industrial track ladder.

In the next few posts I’ll back up and discuss track-laying, “moving a track”—which I had to do to make more room for the coal yard—and distressing the track, which is one of my favorite sub-hobbies.

I tried a few different things when laying and ballasting track. One of the things I thought up was coloring the matte medium I use to secure ballast. Yep, I added black paint to the Elmers Glue/water/soap mixture and the results were very interesting.


Finally, I’ve been putting some finishing touches on my friend Eric Reinert’s New York Central box car. You might recall that I’ve been working on this car for quite some time. I wrecked the original kit that Eric sent, and got a new one—and here’s where we are today. I salvaged the underframe and one of the ends from Eric’s original build, so it’s a Frankenstein of sorts.

Here’s a photo I took on the layout the other night. I just applied the right filter from my iPhone and this was the result. Not bad.

Much more to follow and with God’s glorious blessings may we all come out of this covid mess quickly, and with our health, and with our freedoms intact!

Next: Turnouts on Hermitage Road.

John G

2 thoughts on “No. 154: Hermitage Road Update, Feb 2021

  1. John
    Love the progress. I tried to send two emails to the yahoo email address and both did not go through with error message.


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