Joppa Iron Works A Fracture in History

September 6, 2018

Back to HO Scale

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 8:18 pm

Joppa Iron Works is in full swing and restoration. Circumstances moved the steel mill back to it’s original location. All track is live and scenery is being restored. Pictures coming.

January 4, 2015

On30 on the HO road…

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 3:21 pm

Need to take pics. On30 isn’t done. Next best thing is to photo on the existing railroad.

2015-01-03 19.58.33(1) 2015-01-03 19.59.33 2015-01-03 20.00.17


December 29, 2014

Working on a Railroad Yet to Appear…

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 7:04 pm

A few things are happening before rails are down. Love rust!

s Critter 2 s IMG_0304 s IMG_0310

Joppa Iron Works Has Moved

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 8:29 am

The corporate offices have the same address, but all steel making is being moved to Forest Hill, Maryland for better access to the Pennsylvania Railroad.

As the new operations will be underway soon , pictures will appear here when available.

August 25, 2013

On30 is now underway!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 9:36 am

Finally benchwork has started. The layout is 72″x42″ and I am concerned that I may have made it too big!

On30 on HO Scale track. There is no reason for me to use On30 stack because I didn’t like how it looked with the trains. Code 100 HO is just fine for me.


December 5, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 11:32 am

I am not forsaking HO scale, but adding a new and exciting chapter to my rail experience.

About a year ago, I started getting the bug to add another small layout, and wanted narrow gauge, but after looking at the very nice models from Blackstone, the sheer small size began to scare me. The Blackstone models are nice and well detailed and I understand that they run flawlessly, but the years are moving on and the use of glasses for close up work is pushing me to model in a larger scale.

The number of new models that seem to be appearing is good news as is the interest in On30. The major player is Bachmann, so I have begun to gather some motive power and freight cars – giving me the motivation to get started on a layout sooner rather than later.

There is a very short shot that I put on YouTube to show my brother on the West Coast my Climax loco. The shot takes place on my HO scale layout, but the foreshortening of the camera on my iPad makes it look just fine! Keep checking back here for more as the layout begins to take shape.

The new layout will be a prequel to the present Joppa Iron Works set somewhere in the 1920’s or earlier. I’d been thinking of the late 1800’s but I want to add vehicles from the teens and twenties.

We’ll see how it works out…

November 22, 2012

Rejuvination in another size!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 2:40 pm

Not forsaking HO altogether here, but I am adding another railroad in On30. You will see it come together here.

Thinking of tying everything together. Joppa Iron Works is named after an actual colonial iron works that disbanded in the mid 1800’s. It’s my “what if” in the same general locale basing the story on having the iron works graduate to a steel mill with no finishing capabilities.

On30 may be a good chance for me to back date my story a little without destroying the HO efforts. Iron foundries need a lot of wood, limestone and iron ore. This may give me a chance to have a background railroad.

Since photography is also a hobby, the On30 models are far more photogenic than HO just due to size alone and the focal plane of the camera. They do tend to make you be more detail oriented, but that is part of the fun!

Glass Plate Photo Look…

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 10:24 am

This is the look that I will be striving for in On30 when it happens. This is an update of an older post…

I’ve always liked old glass plate photos. Here are a few samples that I have done from PhotoShop. I’ll post my process of doing this on another page:


The crew at Joppa Iron Works had to create their own slag cars back in the day. This one was photographed outside of the rolling mill.

In town, Habersack’s Cafe has served thirsty customers since the early 1900’s and has a family heritage. The owner had a business relationship with GBS Brewery (which was close by) while many others were outlets for Monumental Beer.


Another old gondola on the grounds of the mill.


These pictures in PhotoShop require a base paper image. You can search for these on a site like Flickr if you type in “Textures” and search for the ones that are represented by old paper. It is interesting to me online that some people have such a hobby of looking for textures.

March 11, 2012

Jordan Bus finished for now

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 12:03 pm

This is the Jordan kit I started a week ago. Except for the bumpers and maybe a placard on the side for an advertisement, I’m done. The kit went well. The mint green color is an old Baltimore Transit Company color used on its buses until around 1973. I used to ride the 44x to school.





March 5, 2012

Thank you to all of the little people…

Filed under: Uncategorized — mike @ 8:10 pm

I recently picked up a Jordan Bus model at MB Klein‘s in Cockeysville – I have been going there for 28 years and has been a decent hobby shop. This was my first Jordan model and plan to airbrush it after it is finished – shouldn’t be too hard since I’m careful with masking.

Anyway, a while back I purchased 1/100 scale figures on eBay that I have used for places where my citizens are more than 2 feet from the front of the layout. They are convincing and at the price I paid I can have a whole city of them for a few bucks unlike the more popular figures from Preiser and others.

Since I had a number of seated figures, this was the right time to use them in my Jordan Bus model. As you see from the pictures below, they fit just fine – and better than a normal HO scale figure would fit. On the first few pics I show assembly of the model, then adding people. The latter pictures show a comparison of the relative sizes of HO scale people versus the 1/100th scale figures – and I have to say that I am all about the smaller people!

My eyes are getting old for this and my hands are a little big for the pieces, but the interior is underway:



Here they are all seated. I added two more standees after this pic was snapped….



Here is the bus with the standees and the body setting on it:


Here is a shot of several people on the right that are sold as HO and their scale heights and the 1/100th scale people on the left that are a little better fitting into the bus: (that fellow with the lantern must be at least 300lbs!)

Here is a shot of them standing near the bus. I vote for 1/100th scale people!

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