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O, N, HO and Back to O

    I have relied on Woodland Scenics for years building several model railroads in multiple gauges, so I'm pleased to see you continue to expand your product line. My O-gauge "Port of New York & New Jersey Railroad" features many of your landscaping materials and your entire line of figures. The figures look great on my maritime-industrial layout set in the late 1940s, especially your fishermen and railroad personnel. I made extensive use of your rubber molds to create well-detailed rock cliffs. Your deer and bears populate the woodland at the cliff's crest--as you will see in a photo from my PONY & NJ RR 2014 calendar. I titled this photo "A Rock Climbing Surprise!" Just past the crest, nestled in the forest, your scout figures have set up camp. My pike and photography have been featured in Classic Toy Trains magazine a number of times, and Woodland Scenics products always show to good effect. Thanks!

    By way of background, I was introduced to the world of toy trains some 60 years ago when Santa delivered a Lionel O-27 set under the Christmas tree. I moved on to HO gauge in high school, transitioned to N gauge during my 30-year Navy career (so I could take my layout with me during change-of-station moves), and I returned to O gauge 10 years ago when I retired. Throughout this journey, I have consistently relied on Woodland Scenics products (as well as others, I must confess--we live in a Golden Age in our hobby), so I have been pleased to see your company continue to increase the scope and diversity of its product line. I am inclined to use kits, scratch-built, or modified ready-built structures, but your new product line of structures are simply superb, especially for the hobbyist who may not have a great deal of time available to build and detail their own.

    I have primarily relied on your offerings of rubber rock molds, scenic materials, trees, and O-gauge figures. They're integrated into other company's products, but I have reviewed several years' of photography to identify a number of images spotlighting Woodland Scenics in most instances.

    The following are captions that Gordon sent with his photos. We currently do not have a way to display captions with the photos, however his descriptions are very well detailed, and you just might have some fun playing a matching game with the photos.

    Enjoy Gordon's work. In addition to being an avid railroad modeler, he has worked as a writer, editor, photographer and strategic-communications specialist. The model railroad publication Classic Toy Trains has published several of Gordon's feature articles in recent years, including a cover photo and article about his layout in the December 2009 issue.

    Caption 1 - Coaling is a labor-intensive evolution on the PONY & NJ RR owing to its continued reliance on a slow but reliable conveyor. The cliff behind the water tank was crafted using Woodland Scenics Rock Molds to cast rocks made from Hydrocal plaster. The cliff's rockwork was colored using thin washes of acrylic paints, stains of alcohol mixed with black India ink, and "dry-brushed" white paint to accentuate highlights. The coaling tower and tree at right were scratch built.

    Caption 2 - The New York Ship Repair & Drydock Company, visible in the background, is one of the PONY & NJ's principal maritime industries. Lady Di, a scratch built steamship named for my wife, Diana, undergoes repairs in the yard's small dry dock. The commercial fishing boat Lucky Laura is named for my daughter. The wharf at left was scratch built from scale strip wood for its timbers and dead tree branches for the log piles.

    Caption 3 - The welding gang is hard at work at the New York Ship Repair & Drydock Company, a maritime industry on the O-gauge Port of New York & New Jersey Railroad. - Woodland Scenic figures with the exception of the Artista figure hanging on the Lionel switch engine. A LED light unit replicates welding very well.

    Caption 4 - A B&O passenger train winds its way past the Oyster Point lighthouse on the PONY & NJ RR. Scene includes Woodland Scenic Rock Molds, some ground cover, and some trees. I painted and weathered the operating Lionel lighthouse.

    Caption 5 - A good day for fishing on the PONY & NJ RR. Woodland Scenics fishermen and checker players!

    Caption 6 - A canoe trip on the river includes Woodland Scenics canoeists, Lionel deck-plate bridge and my trusty 1952 Lionel Scout loco repainted and weathered. The tender and box car sport the herald and livery for my PONY & NJ RR.

    Caption 7 - Another canoe outing as the B&O's "The Royal Blue" passenger train and a B&O freight train pass overhead. Woodland Scenics canoe with figures and an Atlas bridge.

    Caption 8 - Ride the Pennsylvania Railroad to New York! My railroad is set in time in 1948. The PRR billboard at right features my father-in-law's artwork, who was a commercial artist after WWII, and the PRR was one of his accounts. This was one of his advertising posters.

    Caption 9 - There's good home cooking at Diana's Corner Cafe near the PONY & NJ RR's right of way! I built and detailed this plastic kit. My wife's name is Diana. She observes, "Even in your miniature world I can't get out of the kitchen!" Not much by way of Woodland Scenics offerings.

    Caption 10 - This is a photo of one of the Woodland Scenics ready-built, weathered, and detailed structure, Bob's Country Store. I photographed this on my friend's O-gauge layout for an article I wrote and illustrated for Classic Toy Trains magazine. I am impressed with the detail and quality of your new structures!