Sheepscot Station reconstructed on the Wicasset, Waterville & Farmington.
Product Review: Mount Blue Model Company
Alna Center Station in O, S, and HO
by Chuck Hladik/photos by the author
The allure of Maine Two Foot Gauge Railroads comes in large part from the combination of their diminutive size and the fact that even though small, they were still "real" railroads. The Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington was one of nearly a dozen Two Foot gauge railroads that operated between the 1880s and late 1930s in the state of Maine. Opened in 1894, the WW&F ran over nearly fifty miles of main and branch line at its zenith in 1916. Following the First World War the railroad went into gradual decline until it was abandoned at the height of the Great Depression in 1933. The railroad's equipment was either scrapped or sold off as were its structures.
However, the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railroad would not be lost forever. In the 1990s a group organized and began rebuilding the WW&F over a portion of its original right of way. Two of the structures that have been reconstructed are the Sheepscot and Alna Center Stations in their original locations.
The prototype is an exercise in New England Frugality having been designed to serve a specific purpose it has clean lines and a minimum of ornamentation. Mount Blue's model faithfully replicates the buildings at either location and may be used for other locations as well since it would appear that this style of structure was in standard use for flag stop stations and with minor modification tool sheds as well.
I built two of the kits, one as a standard flag stop station and the other with double doors as a tool shed. Parts for both versions are included in the kit. Prior to beginning assembly nail holes were punched into the wall using an awl and all of the parts with the exception of the paper shingles were spray painted with gray primer. This step seals the wood minimizes warping. Once dry, the various parts were then painted in their appropriate colors. Using the gray as the base color the walls were masked off and the lower portions given a coat of Floquil Dark Green as were the trim pieces. This gray and dark green is not the same used by the WW&F, which used a light green and dark green scheme. This is a freelanced scheme used for an On30 project that I am currently working on.
With all of the parts pre-painted the stations were assembled per the illustrated instructions provided. All of the wooden parts were cleanly cut and fit without any modification or sanding. With the sub-roof attached the laser cut paper shingle were applied using a glue stick.
The foundation and front platform were distressed by painting these parts green and then lightly sanding through the green paint to the gray primer and wood beneath. The final step was to add the metal chimney that had been painted grimy black and weathered with chalks.
Photos taken of these structures in the 1920s and 30s show that a single shutter was added to the windows. This additional detail is not included with the kit and the buildings in Alna and Sheepscot do not currently have this feature. The shutters were made from some scribed sheet wood and a bit of styrene strip from my scrap box. Painted dark green, these were added to each of the windows on both structures.
Mount Blue Model Co.
P.O. Box 460
White Horse Beach, MA 02381
Alna Center Station
O Scale, MSRP $24.95
The finished model, while architecturally simple and easy to build, is an example of many of the smaller structures that populated both narrow and standard gauge railroads in the eighteen and nineteenth centuries. Many of these still stand today. Mount Blue's model is an absolute must for anyone modeling Maine's Two Foot Gauge railroads and should be considered for other railroads as well.
Editor's note: Mount Blue has recently purchased the "tooling" for the Alna kit from Banta Model Works as well as the remaining inventory. Mount Blue will continue to produce Alna once preexisting inventory has been sold.