1:87 models …but not from Maisto

On earlier pages of the blog you’ve seen posts by other people in the design department about their activities outside of work. Here’s my contribution:

Last week I attended the National Model Railroad Association’s convention and train show in Anaheim, California. My club, the ’20s & ’30s Modular Model Railroad, set up our 50′ x 50′ HO train layout that depicts U.S. railroading between WWI and WWII. Each member builds one or more 6′ x 30″ modules. The club supplies the corners and a rail yard.

My section, depicting a ficticious suburb in southern California in 1939, received the Best in Show award. This photo shows the entire six foot wide unit with close-up details below. I scratchbuilt about half of the buildings from sheet styrene following photos and measurements taken of actual structures. The others I built from kits. To get an idea of the small size of the models, the vehicles are about an inch and a half long. Some of the cars, like the dark Buick at the gas station, are five-piece resin kits: four wheels and one more piece for the rest of the car. Building it means a lot of masking and sanding in tight places. The chrome is Bare Metal foil (a very thin self-adhesive flexible foil that is burnished in place then trimmed to shape with a hobby knife.

As a group entry, the entire ’20s & ’30s club display received the first place award. I built the Packard dealership and the surrounding model cars on another module. The rest of the photos show some of the work by other club members on their sections.


6 thoughts on “1:87 models …but not from Maisto

  1. congrats to you and your group CH! that is some incredible detail – you can actually make out the car salesman licking his chops over the family looking through the dealership window…

  2. That’s just awesome Charles and team! Truly how die cast should be. Where are you Charles? I don’t see you anywhere…

  3. Congratulations. Your layout is one I had hoped to get photos of for my website. But I ran out of time and didn’t get all the photos I’d wanted.

    As long as I’m here. You’re a model railroader. What ever happened to your 1:120 trains? They turn up on eBay in the TT scale section frequently. If you’d motorized the locomotives I’d probably own a few. Also, I was curious if you were the ones who produced Lionel’s Big Rugged line. Possum Valley Models does (or did) offer motor kits for those.



  4. The group definitely deserves the award for the best setup and congraulations to you for your outstanding effort.

  5. I didn’t get to the Anaheim show, but I saw the layout at a trade show in LA a few years ago. Fantastic work and congratulations on your award.

    I was with the company that made the Cadillac Aerodynamic Coupe I see in some of the photos. I have since joined a new company. We make a 1936 Chrysler Airflow that traces some of its origins to recommendations from your club.

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