Every now and then you come across a model builder who’s work is inspiring and innovative. I nominate Paul Washburn as being just such a person. Paul is a skilled modeler who scratch builds nearly everything he needs. I would like to share with you his accomplishments.
When you look at the photo above it is could be an HO or O scale layout since the Southern Pacific locomotives have been imported in these scales. What if you could not buy locomotives in your scale. If you are Paul you just build it. Most of us, myself included, will sit around a complain about the fact that you can’t buy something. The way to get what you want is to build it. It may require investing time to learn a new modeling technique but it will yield what you want.
So if you want a SP T-28 like the one on the right, you could roll your own. It is not impossible to do. In fact you don’t have to build it in brass you could use plastic with some metal detail castings.
In Paul’s case he has invested the time to teach himself how to build steam locomotives with only a few basic machine tools. Metal fabrication is nearly a lost art in our hobby. Seeing work like this makes me want to go out a burn my fingers on brass fabrication.
Here is an under-construction shot of the T-28 boiler. Paul’s sheet metal work is better than the Korean factories. The domes and headlight are likely from spare parts from an imported model.
Here is an example of Paul Washburn’s versatility as a builder. He built three SP general service gondolas from styrene. What is amazing is the he is very fast in his work. Jimmy Booth had told me that Paul has done pattern work for P-B-L in a few days which would have taken another modeler weeks to complete.
Paul’s story is not complete without showing you his layout. He has managed to scratchbuild a whole roster of steam locomotives, structures and rolling stock but also a complete layout.
The layout is housed in a Tuff Shed style building roughly 14′ by 20′ It was installed on a concrete pad, insulated and a HVAC system. Paul’s home is in the desert so basement or garage layout room are not typically an option. Once inside the building you will not know that it might have been intended to be a garage or tool shed.
Paul has made good use of all the space afforded by the building while still have a railroad accessible for operation.
The scenery reflects desert southwest. All of the track and switches were handlayed.
I want to thank Paul Washburn for sharing his photos and work. He is a very talented builder who is also a very nice guy. I finally met him at the past O Scale West in May 2017.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Paul models in S scale. It is part of the reason so much is built from scratch. My point is that it is possible to build what you want. It won’t happen overnight but persistence will yield what you desire.
Thanks for stopping by,