Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Miniature World

Another model train hobbyist I met at the Dubuque Model Railroad Show was Les Kline.  He has been interested in model trains all his life.  In fact, a love of trains runs in his family.  Mr. Kline's grandfather and great grandfather had 100 years between them working on the Milwaukee Road.   

His model layout is N scale and filled with interesting details.  A casual passerby may look at a model layout and say, "Oh, cool!"  But for the creator, everything has a significance.  

The Sherwin Williams store in the first photo is in the layout because Mr. Kline's wife manages one (also note the sunbathers on the roof).  Capital Theater is named for the now closed Capitol Theatre in Davenport, IA, which opened in 1920.  

Breyer's Ice Cream is in town because, as Mr. Kline put it, "Who doesn't like Breyer's?"  Elsewhere in town there's a quilting shop for his wife and a basket-making shop for a friend.
At the house above, a dog is stealing some meat from off the barbeque while a funeral is conducted across the street.  
This diner looks like an awesome place to stop for lunch.  Not even McDonald's can beat 15 cent burgers!
Above, people relax on benches by a fountain.  The "water" in the fountain is plastic that spins to look like realistic water flowing.
Leaving town, you may pass a series of Burma-Shave signs (upper right).  Burma Shave advertising signs first appeared alongside roads in Minnesota in 1925 with humorous messages.  In 1963 the company was sold and the signs were removed.  Recently the Our Iowa magazine has brought back Burma-Shave signs to the countryside, so it's entirely possible you could pass some driving through Iowa.
Are you ready for the wild and woolly countryside?
In the train tunnel there is a proportionately huge rabbit.  If I were an engineer, I might just be a little scared to enter a tunnel and see a rabbit as tall as my engine!  A camera mounted on one of the trains gives a view of what everything looks like from the perspective of the engine on a screen above the layout.
On the other side of the tunnel is an apiary.  The pond in the background is from Superior Scenics.  If I remember correctly, the workers in the foreground are scientists excavating for dinosaur bones.    
Wildlife roam the beautiful mountaintop and (below) eye a stranded hiker.
I have a feeling she wishes she were back in more tame countryside!
Mr. Kline created the waterfall down the mountain that culminates in the river/pond above out of paint and layers of resin.  Doesn't this look like a pleasant spot for a picnic or hike?
Many thanks to Mr. Kline for the fascinating tour of his model railroad layout and for slowing the trains down so I could take pictures!  Although the town and countryside is already filled with amazing detail, it's not done growing.  Mr. Kline plans to add more interesting places and stories to the more sparsely inhabited regions.

86 comments:

  1. WOW~ Mr. Kline has done a fantastic job with his whole set up. I love that the buildings have meanings and the detail there is amazing. He should be very proud of all the work he has done there. I am laughing about the big rabbit though! xo Diana

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    1. The rabbit was definitely an interesting addition.

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  2. I LOVE train and village displays like that!

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  3. Beautiful series of trains and cottages.
    This really is a lot of work, but very fun to do.
    Beautiful hobby.

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    1. Yes, it looks like it took a lot of patience!

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  4. it's really awesome! love all the special details - special to him and to those who view his displays. :) the giant rabbit made me laugh - the old thriller 'night of the lepus' came to mind.

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    1. Oh no...just looked that up on IMDB--looks scary! :D

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  5. Okay, this is just fabulous! I am truly amazed at the detail and care put into this miniature world. Mr. Kline did indeed do a beautiful job.

    Happy Wednesday, Bethany!

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    1. Agreed! Have a great day as well, Stephanie!

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  6. That was fascinating. I was very impressed with Mr. Kline's skills... :)

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  7. It is masterpiece and so interesting..

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  8. Wow - that is really an amazing set! He's included so many interesting details. Thanks for sharing this with us. I really enjoyed it!

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  9. Seeing the world in miniatures can be so much fun! I got to visit a little museum of miniatures in Victoria, BC, and enjoyed it; and I admire seeing what you have shown us of Mr. Kline's work as well, Bethany.

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    1. I took a look at the museum's website: looks like a neat place to visit!

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  10. Wow, just amazing! They are such fun scenes, too. How nice that you got a personal tour with a chance to take images.

    I have several small figures like these that I use for miniature photography scenes, and I have to say that some of them are quite entertaining. There are a few sizes to choose from, but I use the o scale for my photos.

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    1. How fun, Martha! My cousin has a couple miniature piglets she takes with her to interesting places; they certainly add interest to her photography!

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  11. I like all the detail in his miniature world. Are those bears looking down at the hiker?

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  12. Fascinating! I just love all the details. Believe it or not, I actually remember when McDonald's sold hamburgers for 15 cents!

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    1. My dad and grandparents have told me about the low prices when they were younger...it's pretty amazing to realize how much money used to be worth.

      Reminds me of a Ronald Reagan quote: "Do you remember when nothing could replace the dollar? Today it practically has."

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  13. these miniature worlds are just amazing.

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  14. Amazing! Very interesting that someone takes the time to put all of this together, too much detail! Very glad that you share it, I heard about it but I've never seen one.

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  15. It's fascinating to see what modellers include in their miniature worlds.

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    1. Yes, I think each modeller's layout is a way an expression of personality and the world around him/her.

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  16. Hi Bethany, Wow, I love this post! Although I’m not a modeler I do love trains and love looking at the model displays. Mr. Kline has done a wonderful job with his layout. It is interesting to hear that Mr. Kline’s grandfather and great grandfather had 100 years between them on the Milwaukee Road … The MR is one of my favorite roads for collecting old memorabilia, like brochures, timetables, postcards, etc. You sure did a great job of describing the layout and taking the photos. Thanks very much for sharing! John

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  17. WoW!!!! so cool!!! love the train and the drive and dine!!!

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    1. That diner does look like it would be a fun place to visit!

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  18. Amazing! Just amazing! Mr.Kline has a wonderful talent with his minitures, such fun.
    I enjoyed this post, Bethany.
    Merry Christmas!
    Debbie

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  19. It has been a while since I've seen models like this.

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    1. They're not everywhere...but it is neat when we get the chance to see them.

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  20. Beautiful, everything is neatly detailed and very realistic I love how the cars and trains have their own lights, the 15 cent burger restaurant is really cute. It must have taken him a long time to arrange each of the tiny items. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  21. Mr Kline's miniature rail road town is pretty neat. I like the attention to detail and I suppose there's always something new to notice that hasn't been noticed before.

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  22. He really is creating story...poor hiker!

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    1. I wouldn't want to be in her place...unless, of course, I had my camera. Those bears looking down would make for great shots, and I don't think they could climb down that cliff. I would want to have a radio on me though that could reach the nearest amatuer radio relay station, so I could call for help. No matter how good the photography is, I wouldn't want to stay there long!

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  23. I enjoyed seeing all these miniatures :) It's really great that they allowed you to take all these pics.

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  24. The hours of work that go into these scenes is remarkable really - but people may say the say thing about photographers!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  25. WHOA, DUDE! what a labor of love this is! i love your photos of this. i seriously do not get to see enough of stuff like this. i've always been a bit of an artsy person, my mind always wanting to figure out how things like this are done...marveling at the wonderful talents and abilities that the Lord has given people!

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    1. Yes, it is pretty neat to learn how people create layouts like this.

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  26. I used to just follow the trains, however the details are just as interesting. Glad you pointed them out. People sunbathing, dogs stealing food. No wonder it is fun to go to these shows. One never knows what they will see.

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    1. Right on! I was surprised at all the details I would have missed if they hadn't been pointed out to me.

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  27. That is incredible! I love to drink in the details on dollhouses and miniature village set ups--whether for models trains or any other kind of miniature. This one is particularly creative!

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  28. This is great. And, with your photo, I love the perspective you managed to get with your camera.

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  29. There is a man in a nearby town who has an entire room filled with his train collection- I remember taking my first graders there for a tour. It was wonderful and the kids loved it!

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    1. I imagine! I remember the first times my grandpa let me see his train room; it was fascinating!

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  30. So magical! Make me want to be a mini, myself, for a day!

    Poppy

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    1. There would be a lot of interesting places to visit. But I think I'd prefer being able to fly for a day ;)

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  31. Olá querida, passei por aqui para agradecer sua doce presença
    no meu cantinho.Obrigada !!!
    As miniaturas parecem tão real, amei todos os detalhes!!!!
    Abraços, Marie.

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  32. What a cool display.. My family was really into the model train gardens.. Thanks for sharing, great photo. Have a happy week!

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  33. How quaint. I wonder if we look like that from a giant's view point. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Considering the greatness of the universe and God, we are pretty small!

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  34. Hi Bethany, Just wanted to stop by and say thanks for your comments on my blog. I also like the way you do Replies here on your blog. Wishing you a fine week ahead! John

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  35. These were awesome. I just love the little miniature world and the model trains.

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    1. This was a particularly fascinating one!

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  36. You captured the miniature sets beautifully! I have good friends that are model train lovers, so I'm familiar with them. There are some talented folks out there!

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  37. What a fabulous hobby! And what a collection! Thank you for taking us through Mr Kline's town and pointing out the various details.

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  38. Thanks for pointing out the fascinating details in Mr. Kline's miniature world. Such brilliant creativity! And yes, I think that hiker may want to reconsider her resting spot :)

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  39. The pictures turned out great! It was a pleasure talking with you.

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  40. Wonderful stuff! I love the details they put into the models.

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  41. He does a fantastic job! Beautiful dioramas!

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