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 2019 Tribute Challenge
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Author Previous Topic: Tenement Row by Smallshaw Topic Next Topic: O scale Life Preserver
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Premium Member

Posted - 01/11/2019 :  11:38:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is our prime modeling time in the northern hemisphere, and as usual, we will have a group challenge. This year we will make it a tribute to two of our recently lost friends: Frederic Testard and Chester Fesmire.

Chester was a woodworker by trade and lived in Maine. Frederic was a math professor and lived in France. Chester enjoyed the hobby by focusing on vehicle modeling, and Frederic loved scratch building and scenery work. Both produced unbelievably realistic models. Both were masters at weathering.

As is my usual approach on these challenges, I will try to keep the focus broad enough to attract a good number of participants. I we make the focus too restrictive, experience shows that participation is lower.

So, feel free to (1) scratch build a model as Frederic so often did. If you build a model from a kit (2), do what both Frederic and Chester did, and make it your own by modifying it, adding to it, weathering it, and placing it in a detailed scene. A third (3) option would be to build a vehicle model. Once again, feel free to make modifications, weather the model, and include it in a scene. Both Chester and Frederic often did. One thing that I didn't mention about Chester's modeling is that he made a few 'photo sets' in which to photograph his vehicle models. These 'sets' included wonderfully detailed interiors.

So please join the challenge. I have given you three options, but there are many more that can be inspired by the modeling of these to departed friends.

The challenge will begin now and will run thru Monday, April 15, 2019

In the next post I will include an array of photos from both Frederic and Chester to give you some more inspiration.

Country: USA | Posts: 32766


Premium Member

Posted - 01/11/2019 :  12:03:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As I was searching the forum for examples of both Frederic's and Chester's work, I found that both used remote sites to store their photos instead of uploading them to the Forum. That means that at some point in the future, all we will see here is the dreaded red X

While they are still visible, let's enjoy some once again.

As was so often the case, Frederic often began a new project by sharing a sketch of his vision with us.

That sketch ultimately evolved into a nicely modeled scene as this 'in progress' photo shows.

Here is another of Frederic's sketches.

Although the examples that I've shown so far were both smaller models, we all know that Frederic did tackle some large projects. As always, Frederic's scenery work was outstanding.

While vehicle modeling was the primary focus of Chester's modeling, Frederic used vehicles as the centerpiece of his work on a few notable occasions.

Now a few of Chester's fine efforts.

This model is sitting in one of Chester's photo sets - one of my favorites, his nicely detailed garage.

Another of his 'sets' was a barn.

One more vehicle scene.

And a favorite non-vehicle model, his small dinghy.

There are many, many more examples of both Frederic's and Chester's modeling on the forum, but I though that these examples were enough to give you some inspiration for joining in the Tribute Challenge!


Country: USA | Posts: 32766 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/11/2019 :  12:38:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you very much for introducing this new challenge to us Bruce. I have saved most of the pictures already from when they were originally posted by both of these gentlemen. They are excellent choices to upload to this thread. One in particular, is the blue Zis5 Roco Stake truck in Chester's garage. That was a gift to Chester from me, and the first one he built for his new garage setting. Great memories. I have yet to decide what to build, but will soon. Thanks for sharing.


Country: USA | Posts: 4625 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/11/2019 :  12:52:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bruce, first let me thank you for setting up this tribute challenge honouring Frederic Testard & Chester Fesmire.
Both of them awesome modellers, and also hugely inspiring members that will be missed greatly by everyone here.
Both of them passing far to young, and reminding us all that life is a most precious gift, and that we all should not take it for granted.

I was fortunate enough to pay a tribute to Frederic while he was still alive.
I wish I would have done the same for Chester, he deserved one as well.

So I will be happy to join in with this challenge to honour both of them!
I have a project in mind that will do just that, and I will post more details about it soon.

Greg Shinnie

Country: Canada | Posts: 8826 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/11/2019 :  12:55:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Frederic's work can be seen here:


They both will be missed.

Country: USA | Posts: 2280 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/11/2019 :  1:51:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Definitely a thoughtful challenge to remember these modelers by.


Take the red pill

Country: USA | Posts: 5703 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/11/2019 :  2:16:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is an excellent choice for the tribute model, and I will look forward to your progress.

Country: USA | Posts: 4625 Go to Top of Page

George D

Premium Member

Posted - 01/11/2019 :  3:03:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Five years ago I built my interpretation of Frederic's engine house. I drew up some plans (with Frederic's permission) and posted the build here: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=41761

I can send copies of the plans (PDF file) to any member that wants to build it.


Country: USA | Posts: 16278 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Premium Member

Posted - 01/11/2019 :  5:51:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some time ago Troels posted brilliant picture of a french cafe:

Download Attachment: Grand Rue.jpg
165.32 KB

I think it would be a great place for them to enjoy a beer or glass of wine & watch the trains across the street. Planning on calling it 'Cafe de Poincare' or some other French mathematician. I've done a bit with plaseter casts, & just happen to have a slab sitting there I can carve for the front facade. Trying some new things, but that's what these guys were all about :)

CEO, Lancre Valley Steam navigation Co.

Country: Canada | Posts: 185 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 01/11/2019 :  8:02:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit Railrunner130's Homepage  Reply with Quote
How appropriate!

I have the first sketch saved in my IDEAS folder from quite a while back. No promises, but perhaps it will come to fruition.

Country: USA | Posts: 525 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/12/2019 :  07:28:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What a fine idea! I unfortunately can't find the time to participate in the challenge, but will follow the various entries...

Apart from the Dave's Corner diorama, which Frederic built for my layout, I made a tiny tribute for him some years ago. I often mocked Frederic both for his very slow reply rate to emails, and the slow progress of his modeling (he spent a lot of time writing math books or building book shelves etc). At the time I still had good progress on my own layout (unlike the last few years), so I mockingly built a small horse drawn express delivery van with his name on it...

Troels Kirk
Näsum, Sweden

Country: Sweden | Posts: 4928 Go to Top of Page

Bill Gill

Posted - 01/12/2019 :  08:32:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Troels, a nice subtle touch. I'm sure Frederic enjoyed it.

Country: USA | Posts: 3107 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/12/2019 :  12:41:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone, well it looks like we are off to a good start with the projects chosen by forum members so far.
I'm going to start off with my tribute build for Chester first.
I recently purchased at a train show this second hand kit shown below, from a European kit manufacturer called Pola.

I will focus on #2 with this kit turning into "Fesmire Auto Repair" combined with some Jordan vehicles of course.

Here is what the kit looked like when I opened it.
I think the previous owner started this kit by weathering some of thew details provided, and also I think this kits walls.

The entire structure and scene will be built on this base, which works for me because I don't have a place to put this yet.
It will be used on my elusive future layout.

Here are the lovely brick walls that are part of this kit.

So I will get started on this project first, and then I will work on my idea for Frederic after I finish this one.

Greg Shinnie

Edited by - Ensign on 01/12/2019 1:00:21 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 8826 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 01/12/2019 :  3:31:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit ocalicreek's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Greg, those are beautiful brick walls - I can see auto repair stalls easily with those arches. My first thought was how much it reminded me of the Revell engine house arches, but smaller.

George, that's a beautiful engine house. Very tidy, in a good way.

Troels, I remember seeing that panel wagon way back when. Your work always inspires.

Still cogitating as to how I will join in...I do have a pile of Jordans to build...


My Train Blog: http://ocalicreek.blogspot.com/

Country: USA | Posts: 684 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn

Posted - 01/12/2019 :  6:58:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
First of all, thank you, Bruce, for setting this up.

I've been thinking hard what would be appropriate for this challenge, several times settling on something and then changing my mind. I wanted something requiring lots of scratchbuilding in wood, preferably board on board. I decided on a coal shed, which has some complexity, and fits into my layout while also evoking the mining district of Frederic's, although in my case eastern coal rather than western gold. If I have time I can add some wagons, thus addressing the vehicle theme. Here's a sketch of what I plan to build:

Now, to examine my stripwood inventory . . .


And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashin' — Bob Dylan

Country: USA | Posts: 6628 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/12/2019 :  7:45:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Nice project Mike. I like the design. I'll be keeping an eye on that.



Country: USA | Posts: 3651 Go to Top of Page
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