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An HO scale model railway in St. Jacobs, Ontario


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Frey's Garage

"Frey's Garage" - diorama by Lance Russwurm

FREY'S GARAGE - an HO scale diorama by Lance Russwurm....soon to be a part of St Jacobs Junction.

FREY'S GARAGE is an early Ford dealer in Southern Ontario. He is located out behind Wilker's General Store and Fred's Fix-it shop in a small town by the railway tracks. His shed originally housed Chas Yost, carriage builder....a victim of the very automobiles that Frey now services and sells. It is an era in which there is only one Ford model, the "T", almost always in black. Several of these are in evidence around the place, in various stages of repair.

Amongst the articles of junk on the old, disused railway loading dock at the side is the remains of one of the buggies once built here. A customer pulling up to the grocery store still drives a buggy too. In rural areas like this, cars are by no means standard yet!

Lloyd Frey is working on his back under one of the cars, while Uncle Joe loafs nearby, giving advice, whether it's appreciated or not. Rip, the big old watchdog lifts his leg over a customer car, demonstrating his opinion of these newfangled devices.

I like my ideas for names to have a local feel. There really was a Chas Yost Carriage works and a Wilkers Grocery, both in Tavistock, Ontario. And, in Floradale, Ontario (near Elmira) there still exists today a Frey's Garage.

This diorama was built in early 2003 as an entrant in an online competition for a fine scale modelling group. There were virtually no rules beyond the fact that the diorama couldn't exceed 3000 scale square feet. The main building (the store) was a kit specially made for this contest by BTS. http://www.btsrr.com/btscontest.htm The other building was scratchbuilt. Both buildings have full interior detail and lighting. A bunch of Jordan models make the vehicles, and a zillion or so metal and plaster castings round out the picture.

I won first prize, which was a gift certificate for BTS products. They are beautiful kits....if I ever get time, I'll finish them!

This diorama has been purchased and will be integrated into the St Jacobs Junction Railway. While fictitious, it is typical of a business in the time and place we are trying to re-create.

Here are some more views. Click a pic to see it enlarged

LEFT SIDE -  Here you see the old loading docks with some old vehicles. This will be the side facing the tracks. BACK - note my poster for "Dapper Dan's Hair pomade" a fictitious product used in the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou" A CUSTOMER ARRIVES AT THE GENERAL STORE. There really was a Wilker's General Store in Tavistock, Ontario. A friend's family ran it for many years. LEG UP - The yard dog shows his opinion of Ford products...not necessarily those of the author!
NIGHT VIEW - both buildings have full interiors and lighting. EVENING - this is a nice moody shot. I obliquely lit my painted sky backdrop with a shop light and shot it with my digital camera. I couldn't believe how real it looked! ANOTHER SIDE VIEW CAR REPAIRS - WITH AN AUDIENCE!

Isn't there always someone watching the job...who doesn't do any work, but always feels free to comment?