Thursday, October 3, 2019

MARPM Day 4 - Visiting Paul Dolkos & Todd Hermann

After leaving Bernie's layout, we ventured just a couple miles away to visit Paul Dolkos' latest effort. You may recall his beautiful B&M layout that was covered by the hobby press for many years. Well, Paul is now focusing on Baltimore and his latest effort is built to his usual high standard.

How is it that guys like Paul can do a much-better job in a much-shorter time period than I can even dream of?  Sigh. Well, if nothing else, do like me and enjoy the pics (and be sure to continue scrolling down for Todd Hermann's work...)

Paul has been experimenting with using photos laminated onto a core for the walls of his buildings. Considering his many talents, I shouldn't have been surprised that these structures look about as effective in person as in photos. Really well done.

This is what I imagined Stanley Chemical to look like, so I took a bunch of photos of this complex.

Being the Port of Baltimore, it's no surprise that Paul's layout includes a car float and harbor scene.

This scene reminds me a bit of the coal dump that I'll eventually have to build for the power house at Dickinson's Witch Hazel distillery in Essex.

More effectively-done photo-laminated structures. Could you tell if I hadn't told you?

Beautiful street scene - that you may remember being in some of the magazines.
Of course, I took a TON more photos of Paul's layout, but these give you a little taste of what it's like. If he's on the tour again next year, you'll want to be sure to visit!

One layout that, regrettably, was not on the tour was Todd Hermann's Catasauqua Branch of the Lehigh & New England RR. Fortunately, Todd responded well to our inviting ourselves over and I think was glad to be able to share his work. I know we were certainly glad to have the opportunity to see it!

These beautifully detailed and weathered RS-2s (a locomotive for which I have a particular fondness) head up the Catasauqua Branch. The mainline is in the foreground.

If you can see a hump in the bridge, don't worry - it's totally intentional and in keeping with the prototype.

Nice overview looking back toward Catasauqua across the Lehigh River and the old Lehigh Coal & Navigation canal. I believe that's a mockup of Pine St. overpass in the background.

Bridge over the Lehigh River and the famous curved crossing over the 4 track Lehigh Valley mainline.

Looking right down the LV main.

Another view of the bridge, which is located under the basement stairs but set off exquisitely by the picture frame. This is evolving into the signature scene of the layout....

Well, until you get to this scene!
He doesn't have the station built yet, but you can see that Todd's modeling has a HIGH degree of fidelity to the prototype.
Hopefully, the MARPM will put the Catasauqua Branch on the tour next year - and also hopefully Todd will do his presentation again. If so, you'll want to be sure to see the presentation before seeing the layout (his talk adds a lot of value, but if you can't see him in person, you can download his presentation from the MARPM Clinics page - be sure to compare the prototype photos to his layout. Truly impressive). Todd's done something really special here - capturing the prototype area creatively and with just a little bit of compression. Even though he has a ways to go with scenery and structures, the presentation oriented me perfectly - I knew exactly what I was seeing, and it was super easy to imagine what all would be coming later. Truly a great layout in the making.

So with our two "official" layout tours done, as well as one "unofficial" tour - and staring down a long drive home - we decided to see if, with a couple of very minor detours, we could add any more tours along the way. Fortunately, both Bill Aldrich and Joe Smith (both accomplished New Haven RR modelers) were willing to have us visit on short notice . . .

1 comment:

  1. Wow - with a review like that, you guys can come back anytime!! Seriously, thanks for the kind words, Chris. So glad you and Bill got a chance to check it out in person.