Bob Brown’s Tuolumne Forks model railroad is full of details and clutter. Brown believes these details are important for a railroad’s overall atmosphere. Most real railroads are cluttered with equipment, so it also makes the layout more realistic. Brown loves when observers notice all the little details that bring the model to life.
Brown tries to model scenes from everyday life and to keep certain details a little bit hidden. This way the observer has to inspect every aspect of the layout. It takes a lot of clutter to cover such a large layout as Tuolumne Forks and it also takes money. Because of this, Brown likes to make his own clutter. He uses scrap material for his clutter that he has saved from working on layouts. He saves everything. His scrap boxes are full of items in every scale. In this video, Brown goes on to show some of the scraps that he has kept. Brown also casts his own parts by making molds of pieces he has saved.
Two part molds are made with multiple small objects to be cast at once. American Smelting and Refining Company 158 metal is used to cast. The casting machine Brown uses is homemade from an old mix master turned on its side with the juicer on the centrifuge used to spin the mold. A spin table with the mold mounted in place is attached to the juicer. A shield is used around the machine while pouring. The machine will spin the spin table and the metal will be poured into the top of the mold.