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Restoring Hemsly

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  • Restoring Hemsly

    A model railroader that I knew passed away suddenly a few months ago. He had a fairly large layout, double decked 45X 15' that was very well detailed. I always admired his work and when he passed I wished I could get a section of his layout to use as a diorama, or even incorporate it into my layout.
    My friend and I were wondering what happened to his layout since we weren't involved in the take down on it but a few weeks ago some of his equipment started to show up on Ebay. and this past week the section of the layout that I had always wanted went up for sale. Here's a few pictures of the section 'Hemsley' taken in 2016 while it was on his layout:
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ID:	970632 Hemsley was built by another model railroader that I knew and the owner of this layout incorporated it into this one. I believe the structures are a mix of scratchbuilt and Campbells.
    Anyway, Hemsley was for sale for the low price of 26$ and I only had to think about it for about 3 seconds before hitting the 'buy in now' button. Yesterday My friend and I drove about an hour away to pick it up. This is what I got:

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    The section is 41X15" unfortunately it was removed with either a Jig saw or Sawz-all and the sides and back cuts are a bit butchered as well as the track.

  • #2
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    The engine house and attached machine shop have full interiors.

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    The enginehouse has a removable roof and an inspection pit inside. The main door hinges also work.

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    I noticed from the 2016 photos that there was a lean-to beside the yellow building that is now missing. I may have to replace that.
    Both turnouts have switch machines attached and the track is all wired.
    That being said, I'm going to leave it as a diorama for photos and display.
    To restore it would take quite a bit of work. I'd need to replace the cut-off corners, relay the track and try to match up the scenery.. A number of the buildings need to be repaired as well.


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    • #3
      Very nice Glen. Nice that you can rework something a friend had. Thats special. A restore and clean and its going to look sharp .The gent did very nice work. Happy you found it. Steve

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      • #4
        Glen,

        What a bargain!! You did well.

        Mike
        _________________________________________________

        Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

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        • #5
          awesome!
          Philip

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          • #6
            WOW.....$26 . Even with a little TLC, what a GREAT deal.

            By the way, I miss your diesel rebuilds. Any chance of "more to come" on that topic?

            GULF COAST & WESTERN

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            • #7
              I call that a bargain.
              Nice to see part of an old layout reused and a nice remembrance of your friend.

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              • #8
                First, Sorry to hear of your friends passing. Unfortunately that's what happens to our model railroads when we pass on.
                It was great you were able to find the section for sale, at such a good price. It had to be taken apart and sold by someone unfamiliar with model railroading, and the price of things.
                I'm sure you can restore that section back to a masterpiece once again. Good find!


                Louis
                Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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                • #9
                  Thank you everyone. John, I have a diesel project on the bench right now, I'll post a photo or two of it soon. Lately I've had a number of projects from other modelers, mostly paint and decals as I'm one of the few that have a full airbrush setup and am willing to paint other's projects.
                  A bit more of an update on Hemsly:
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                  This is the bottom of the diorama before I removed the wiring and switch machines as they wouldn't be needed anymore. I also removed the remains of layout framework.
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                  It took a bit of effort but I managed to clear the bottom of the wiring, switch machines and the remains of the old benchwork. There was only one piece that had been screwed in from the top and that meant only two screw holes to fix later.
                  I then measured the width and length of the diorama so I could make a new base and filler piece so I will be able to 'square' things up again. The strange rectangle on the right is the inspection pit inside the enginehouse. I'll have to cut a relief in the new base for it.

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                  • #10
                    I remember that Campbell Engine House. I got that as a kid, used the wrong kind of glue to attach the plastic stone sheets to the cardboard subwalls, and made a total mess of it! It's great to see that kit well done. Like most Campbell kits, it's a great design.

                    Looking forward to seeing that integrated into your layout!!

                    dave
                    Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Dave. The enginehouse is a great centerpiece of this project. I won't be integrating the diorama into my layout however, I'll just be leaving it as a diorama for photos.

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                      I made the new repair/patch pieces by cutting a new 16X42" base to square things back up, and then cut the patch for the back to bring everything to the same level. I cut the relief hole in the bottom for the inspection pit. I did a minor mistake when I had assumed that the original plywood base was 1/2" but later realized it was 3/8". To bring it up level, I had to make a 1/8" filler and tack and glue it overnight.

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                      Then I was able to screw the original part and my new base together from the bottom, using 1" countersink screws.
                      I suppose my next project will be to fill the gaps between the old and new, but first I was looking at the old trackwork. It's all code 70, hand laid.
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                      Most will be easy to repair, just straighten some of the rails, add some extensions to the edge of the diorama, and call it done. But the rearmost track is a different story.
                      My plan is to remove the rear track and re-lay it, probably with dual gauge as I have a dual gauge turnout that will fit the bill.

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                      • #12
                        Glen.

                        Good rehabbing job. It's going to be first class when you finish.

                        That back track looks like General Sherman's army was passing through tearing it up.

                        Mike
                        _________________________________________________

                        Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

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                        • #13
                          The condition of the section must have been a bit disheartening when you saw it, but it looks like you took it in stride. You're doing a great job with the rehab! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks.
                            Mike, being a Canadian, I almost missed the General Sherman comment.

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                            I pulled the track up. There were quite a few spikes to remove. When I hand laid my track, I usually spiked every 4th tie. This was spiked every other tie so it was a bit of a chore. I'm going to recycle as much of the rail as I can when I relay this part. After this I soaked the ties with water, hoping that white glue had been used to glue the ties down. Unfortunately they were glued with carpenter's glue so heavier equipment was needed.
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                            I ended up using a wood chisel to remove the ties, followed by my Milwaukee mini sander. After that I filled the gap between the old and new pats with sandalwood colored caulking .

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                            • #15
                              Great save! And a nice remembrance of your friend. I'm sure you will do it justice Glen.
                              Jerry



                              "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

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