Sam's layout was somewhat unusual in that it didn't really have an
operating train to run. It was more of a huge diorama. It was a harbor
scene located somewhere on the German coast. It was clearly a bustling
place. Formed in the shape of a U, the first impression one got was of
a large, bustling port city.
On the left leg of the U (looking from the open end) is the main industrial area.
Close up view of the V AG company. I recognize this as the Faller cement works kit.
Sam had a great sense of what would attract the viewer's interest.
At the bottom of the U, the structures became more like a city center.
Construction is always in progress in most larger German cities.
Now take a closer look at the structure to the right of the
construction crane. I missed this every time I visited Sam! It wasn't
until a recent (2007.6.24) visit with his son, Kent, that I noticed there is
a car dealership on the first floor. The closer I looked, the more I
realized what he had done. This is Faller's "Schillerstrasse" (B925),
but with a fair amount of kit bashing. I recognized the general layout
because I built it myself for my own layout. But, in Sam's version, he
replaced the pitched roofs of the center segments with flat ones. He
did not install the window bars or flower containers. He painted each
segment the same color so it looks like a single structure built
together rather than add-ons. He removed the door, and added a
stair-way inside, and shows a door into the dealership just before the
stairs. And for the final triumph, placement of cars and prospective
buyers seen through the windows.
Sam was a great kit basher. In one of our e-mail exchanges, after I had
done some bashing of my own with the Walthers Cornerstone New River Mining kit, turning
it into the Därligen Zementfabrik, he wrote "Scratchbuilding and kit-bashing
does have a certain magnetism, doesn't it! It can become infectuous. I
think the main reason that I have gotten sucha kik outta it is
'cause it let's me feel that I have my hands on the stick. So, if I
crash, it's no one's fault 'cept me! And even if I do, I get to
pick the grassy field (assuming, of course, that there is one!)."
Car dealership on first floor.
Right end of the base of the U as it joins the right leg. Sam was interested in installing a tram system with catenary.
On the right leg of the U is more of the harbor with city shops and apartments.
Some of the "old town" in the background.
Castle to go into the city background, elevated over the city. The positioning on the layout was unfinished.
Sam was always tinkering with the layout, adding something here,
removing something there. His aim was to have a realistic scene with
great interest for the viewer. Every time I visited, I found something
I hadn't seen before. It was always a joy to look at.