Monday, October 14, 2013

Thunder Mesa #1 Visits the Estrella & Sonora Grande

Earlier this year, Thunder Mesa Mining Co. #1, the Marc F. Davis, took a trip down to the wild Sonoran Desert town of San Lorenzo for a run on Verne Niner's fantastic Estrella & Sonora Grande Railroad during the first meeting of the Arizona On30 Desperados.

The One Spot takes a spin on the San Lorenzo turntable.

The Estrella & Sonora Grande does a wonderful job capturing the look and feel of a down-on-the-heels desert mining line.

Downtown San Lorenzo. Always a good idea to keep an eye out for banditos!

The local crews aren't quite sure what to make of an odd critter like the Marc F. Davis. Meanwhile, a potentially catastrophic pairing of cars waits on the San Lorenzo siding. Verne's great sense of humor and attention to detail really come through on scenes like this. I designed the graphics for the Lytum & Hyde car and Verne painted, decaled and detailed the 18' Bachmann boxcar.

Many thanks to Verne Niner for hosting the first meeting of the Arizona On30 Desperados. Our motto is "We don't need no steenkin' badges!" Members share a light-hearted and fun approach to the hobby and a passion for funky old Southwestern narrow gauge lines.

In addition to running some trains on Verne's layout, we also had a great cactus building clinic led by Travis Handschug. Thanks to Travis, I'm now replacing all of the big cacti along the Thunder Mesa line with better looking models inspired by his techniques.

There was also discussion of combining all of our modeling efforts on a portable/modular layout in the future, but those plans are still up in the air at this time. The next Desperados meeting will be here in Thunder Mesa country. Stay tuned for more updates on this informal little club.

Be sure to check out Vern's wonderful layout, as well as all of the great modeling tips and how-to's on his website.

Adios 'till next time!


  1. The One Spot looks right at home on Verne's layout.
    Cheers, Heath.

  2. Dave, it was great seeing your funky #1 on E&SG rails. It was fun meeting you and Travis, and sharing ideas (and barbecue)!

    - Verne

    1. Let's do it again soon. My treat this time.

  3. Your posts are the highlight of my week
    - John

  4. Missing your updates. Hope all is well.

    1. Thanks. Just taking a short break. Too many real world projects getting in the way of my train time!


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