Brookside Farm Photo Gallery

Above: A Conrail freight passes a typical New England Dairy Farm. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

Brookside Farm

Welcome to New England!  My Brookside Farm Modules were created in 2005. The goal in building these 2 modules was to create scenic modules which would contrast, but still fit in nicely with, the larger modules sets in my club's HO modular layout. Most of the module sets in the club contain lots of trackwork, with trackside industries, passenger stations, and classification yards and locomotive facilities covering much of the layout. While this is very popular, and allows for lots of operation, I wanted to build a couple modules with as much pure scenery as possible, where the only trackwork would be the mainlines.

Being a native New Englander, there were some elements I wanted to include in the module to give the scene a New England flavor. Some of the items included stone walls, a covered bridge, a big red barn, a small stream, and hilly terrain.

I made a number of sketches and plans, and finally settled on what you see here. The set consists of two modules, a 4’ x 3’ module and a standard 50” x 50” corner. The modules in the set were laid out so they could be used individually, but the scene looks best when the modules are used together. When viewing the modules, the 4’ straight section is on the left and the corner is on the right. The farm starts on the left side of the module, with the edge of a cornfield, which is framed by stone walls. Leaving the cornfield, you cross the road to the main part of the farm. The farmhouse, barn and shop building are all laser cut wood kits by American Model Builders AMB LaserKits. The tall silo behind the barn is a GCLaser wood kit. To the right of the barn is a small pond, which is fed by a brook. The brook flows out of the pond and under the mainlines via a stone culvert. Along the front of the farm module, across the tracks from the farmhouse and barn, is a crop field ready for cultivation. Use your imagination here, it could be any of your favorite vegetables.

As we move to the right of the pond, the landscape opens up into a large cow pasture, which bridges the gap between the 4’ module and the corner module. Once onto the corner, the pasture slopes gently uphill towards a long stone wall. The stone wall surrounds another large white farmhouse. This farmhouse is pre-built model power house, which was weathered and installed on the module. To the right of the farmhouse, another roadway slopes uphill towards the front of the module. This road crosses the mainlines on a red covered bridge. The covered bridge is the Walthers Kit, which looks great once its weathered a bit. The module ends to the right of the roadway.

Building a module strictly for the purposes of scenery was a refreshing change from the usual focus on operation and switching. Module building offers a lot of flexibility to experiment with new products and new techniques. The Brookside Farm modules were the test bed for the silflor scenery products, as well as photo-etched brass corn stalks made by Alkem Scale models. The module also displays one of my favorite techniques, which involves subtle changes in topography in order to hide the fact we’re working with a perfectly level modular layout. The 4’ straight module only varies in height from 2” above track level to ½” below track level, but it does give the illusion of a realistic landscape.

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Module at a Glance

Scale: HO Scale
Size: 3'x4'+Corner
Number of Sections: 2
Builder: Dan Delany
Type: Straight+Corner
Mainline Tracks: 2
Years Constructed: 2005
Era: 1950s
Features: Barn, Farm House, Covered Bridge
Status: Active