Bensen is a HO gauge American layout based in 1995-97. It was originally built as a commission for Ian Delgado. It is based on the edge of a desert and is in Arizona. As well a general freight yard there is also a cement factory, this receives coal and gypsum and despatches cement. Most locomotives are BNSF, but some pre merger branding is still evident. A small locomotive fuelling and exam point is provided. After exhibiting Bensen for four years, Ian sold the layout to Mike Stannard, my sons’ father in law. Mike then exhibited the layout for a further three years. When Mike retired he sold Bensen to a museum on the Isle of Man. I can only assume it is still available to view.
I must admit that when I started this project I had no idea that I was going to need to model a desert! Again research and experimenting would play a big part. One fact was that rusting was less likely due to lack of rain, so weathering of track and surrounding areas would be nearly non existent. After visiting builders merchants and other establishments we settled on ‘Childrens Play Sand’ . A slightly different method of fixing was required, I ‘painted’ on neat PVA then sprinkled with the sand, to build up certain areas I repeated the process. I used ‘sandpaper’ to shape a few areas – dirty job!! Another product we used was ‘Chinchilla Dust’, available from your local pet shop. Woodland Scenic Talus was used for rocks.
We used ‘knuckle’ couplings throughout, but we did have problems with coupling different manufacturers together, in reflection, I think it would have been better to stick to one make, probably ‘Kadee’. We also had problems with magnet placement, firstly we disguised them so well under the track, that we had to put ‘markers’ where they were. These were track workers, signs and lineside boxes. We also had one magnet on a ‘very’ slight curve, this was problematical, and not recommended.
‘SIZE’ – 14′ X 2′ ‘AREA MODELLED’- YARD & CEMENT FACTORY .’REGION’ -BNSF
‘STOCK’ – BNSF LOCO’S AND STOCK ‘FIDDLE YARD’- TRAVERSER
‘TRACK’ – PECO CODE 75 – ELECTROFROG POINTS
‘CONTROL’ -DC- GAUGEMASTER TYPE D