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Model Railroad University


  Fran and Miles Hale  
Model Railroad Builders
5608 North Mercier Drive  
Kansas City, MO 64118 

phone/fax 816-746-1567  
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Click on gallery images for larger versions.


The mine head at Bryant Mine is scratch built and is tied to the hillside mine entrance.

The Unitah Water Car was the subject of a construction article in the Sept/Oct 1987 issue of the “Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette” the car and the tanks are scratch built.
The Cork Gulch Turntable was an engineering marvel in the late 1800’s. The hillside turntable is modeled here with floor to ceiling scenery.
The May 2001 issue of the “Railroad Model Craftsman” shows the stencil painting techniques we use for realistic background painting. Its inventor John Lowrance, MMR and Miles present this technique at national and regional conventions.
Graham Mine is perched on a hillside and has an animated mine shaft hoist cable. The cable slows and stops and then picks up speed only to slow and reverse the direction again. See the animated clip for a close-up of this action.   Click here for Action Clip
The photo to the left was the cover of the “RMC” for April 1994. It shows the method we use for building tall pine trees in scale. These trees can be five feet or down to one foot in height. This is one of the few methods we know to make truly scale trees for forest scenes.
This engine in 1/8 scale Live Steam was the cover shot for July 1991 on “Live Steam” magazine. The article featured our way of laying realistic looking track in 1/8 scale for outside riding railroads.
This is the engine facility for the yards of Fran and Miles’ South Park Valley railroad in On3.

This complex of buildings graced the Dec. 1983 cover of “Model Railroader” magazine. All the buildings are scratch built. Some are built on blocks of wood while others are built with framed walls, just like the prototype. The buildings were done from drawings and photos by J. Harold Geissel. Note the gingerbread trim on two of the buildings.

The roundhouse won the RMC magazine Craftsman Trophy at the 1984 Kansas City NMRA National Convention.
The back details of the roundhouse can be seen in this shot.
We use even grained basswood splines for our subroadbed. These splines assume a spiral easement curve automatically. We also draw the plan full size on the floor and then plumb bob the track center to the benchwork. This ensures accurate layout for the mainline and sidings.
This small gas station in O scale always gets attention with its rotating pegasus emblem.  
Click here for Action Clip

Realistic animation is our specialty. We strive for smooth and even movement at a speed that looks to be scale. Here is an oil pump performing its continuous job.
Click here for Action Clip

This shot was the lead to an article in RMC magazine showing our method of making a solid sided car look like individual boards. Air brushing for effect and for weather is a hallmark of our model building. We have been matching custom colors for architects and engineers for 25 years.

This model of the LaGrange Interurban depot was done for the Oldham County Historical Society. This project included the entire set including the surrounding buildings and the ground around the depot used to turn the cars. This display is interactive and can be seen in LaGrange, Kentucky. Just touch the button and the interurban (streetcar) will run or the display and then reappear, turn around, and stop at the depot. We do museum quality work for everyone of our clients!

This grain elevator was used for the article " Scratchbuilding the Silos" in the February 1984 issue of "O" Scale
Railroading. The silos on the Great Southern of Lorrell Joiner were already built so this model was used for the step by step photos to illustrate the article.

All text and photos are copyrighted material of Fran and Miles Hale. No text or iimages may be copied, altered, or used without written permission.
© 2004 Fran and Miles Hale

© 2004-2006 Fran and Miles Hale