Franksville, Wisconsin is located off of Highway K approximately west and slightly north of Racine, Wisconsin between Chicago and Milwaukee – on the Milwaukee Road line. I’m building a series of Modutrak modules depicting this town and area.  In the drawing above, Franksville sits to the right on the diagram above with Caledonia, Wisconsin to the left (or North). This is typical Wisconsin midwest scenery with farmlands and trees in between. There was also a switching tower in the middle of two passing sidings between Franksville and Caledonia. Below is our next installment. You can find an index of all the articles from this series HERE. Thanks for reading and feel free to ask questions in our discussion forum topic dedicated to this project. 


Next up on our list is to build a condensed version of the Klema coal bins just to the north of the feed mill. The coal bins are no longer there today, but you can see them in this circa 1950’s aerial photo:

I decided to scratch build these from styrene. Essentially using strips roughly similar to dimensional lumber, I cut each board individually then sanded each one in the direction of wood grain with 80 grit sandpaper and started constructing each bin. Here is a test fit during the construction:


The next step was to prime the pieces with white Kilz primer that is diluted 50/50 with water. Once that dries, the next step is to paint with various washes of black and brown paint (again diluted with water). Once you get the look you’re going for, I finally add a wash of India ink and isopropyl alcohol (about 2-3 drops of ink to a half a cup of rubbing alcohol). After that all dries here is where things are at:

and another view:


Next I weathered up the area around and underneath the coal piles a bit with black chalk powder. Any black weathering powder will work:

Next are the coal piles themselves. I carved these out of pieces of spare pink insulating foam I had laying around. I tried to give it some variation with the size of the piles, plus making it look like they have been dug into a bit:

Next the foam gets a coat or two of black paint:

Finally I add some ground coal dust that I picked up from Arizona Rock and Mineral. I sift it into a couple different sizes to reflect different grades or sizes of coal in the different bins. I also weathered more around the coal bins as all those pieces around the area get crushed into the surface:

And here it is from more of a ground level shot:

In our next installment we’ll start flushing out more details on the Klema buildings and start building out the other feed mill and oil structures. Thanks for reading.


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