Lone Pine Lumber Co. Slatyfork Sawmill

This is a great kit from BTS. I really enjoyed it – even though it took more than ten years start to finish! Really, it’s not that hard but time consuming. I would finish a lot of it, move on to other projects, come back to it, move on, etc. What got me to finish it was a Regional NMRA Convention near my home that I wanted to enter it into the contest.

Sawmill AP Judging Notes

This PDF is what I made to go with the paperwork. It was my second entry into a NMRA contest, the first being a decade earlier. I knew I had to explain things and I thought having pictures would really show how much work went into it. What I came to find out is that “less is more” or in other words, have enough information but don’t go overboard, as you will see on the pages for my other structures.

Another item of note, if you have read my article in the May 2017 NMRA Magazine I mentioned a few road blocks towards this certificate, people being one of them. I wanted my article to be positive but I really had a horrible experience with the judging at that convention. Later on there were a few other issues too with other structures but my main point is even if things are hard and you feel discouraged you can persevere and WIN!

Sawmill interior detail: saw filer’s room

The other thing I kept in mind was the big picture: I was on a Quest for my Master Model Railroader. Sure I would have liked an additional award at a local meet but I only needed a Merit Award and that’s what I got! This was my biggest structure as part of the AP Structures Certificate with a fully detailed interior and interior and exterior lighting. Getting a Merit Award for it made me feel like I was actually on the path to getting the certificate! 

When this was judged at that contest I couldn’t believe one of the judges scores (each category had different judges) – it turns out he commented “Oh, it’s a kit” which biased him but it shouldn’t! The comments he left didn’t make any sense either and referred to other categories he wasn’t supposed to be judging on. In the end it got a Merit Award so nothing really else mattered, except it was in a contest so it could have won another award! I did receive a 1st place in it’s category and then a month later they had the gall to mail me a 2nd place certificate saying they had done something wrong in figuring things out. I had already been upset at the outcome what was the point in that? Taking this experience, when I now run local contests, I try to remember these things and make it a good memory for others so they don’t have the same horrible experience I had.


You can also see some more pictures on my old website that isn’t updated anymore.