When modeling California, model builder Ron Kuykendall knows that a lot of palm trees are needed. Scratch building them is quite the construction project so he makes multiple at a time. He starts with a dowel and a roll of roughed up shingles shaped in a conical fashion. The dead fronds are cut sections of hemp rope and the fronds are hobby feathers sold at hobby and craft shops. His ground cover is Arizona dirt with crushed foam products.
Sections of his layout have been removed and redone for his enjoyment. He saved all the figures, small details and scenery and categorized and boxed them. The track and benchwork was thrown away. Everything in the new section is consistent and good quality because it is new. Ron chose to model so many layouts because he wanted to have some further adventures. A 20 by 30 foot structure was built specifically for his new railroads and happened to be built by the son of the builder of his house. Having five different layouts is unusual but it gave him a chance to express and explore creativity in different areas.
One area he was interested in was New Mexican architecture which is modeled in one of his small layouts. The public cannot see all five layouts when they visit because he cannot be in all rooms at the same time. Generally he displays the Western Eclectic because the layout is open and easy to handle. Ron also creates dioramas, which are small displays without operation, giving modelers a chance to hone their skills. Ron’s dioramas showcase his scratch building, pulling inspiration from the photos he has collected and categorized.