Roger Russell has one layout based on logging and one based on mining. Each is in a different scale. His 3 Narrow Gauge layouts are in three different scales for the challenge. Most people only have time for one layout while he finds the time to super detail three different layouts with the help of his good employees. This gives him time to get away. He’s at the point where he works pretty quickly.
Before starting on his layouts, he had gotten out of the hobby, as he went to school, got married, and had a kid. Roger got back into it by going to the high country to see steam. His family took a trip there and when he went through Durango he was bit by the “narrow gauge” bug. There is no cure and he has been working on the layouts for over 8 years.
Modeling started with SN-3, then the ON-3, and then the 3/8ths inch. His advice for other modelers who are getting started is to listen and learn from other people. When he was learning he kept his ears and eyes open and kept memories with a camera. He builds and doesn’t plan, instead seeing it all in his head. Roger sees scenes finished before he even starts. That’s how he is able to build so fast.
The interest in logging came from building a layout with a friend whose layout was a logging one. He would look at old gazettes and find great articles on the subject. Logging enable him to tackle something turn of the century and steam. He learned about the logging business through reading and studying photos in depth. When he studies them in detail, he doesn’t have to read as much, but rather can skim and also learn a lot about the history of the country.
Roger started a mining layout because he loves Colorado and the mountains and spent his childhood there. There happens to be a lot of mining in the state. For more model railroad tips and tools visit the Model Railroad Academy website.