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The trestles, bridges and buildings that come out of the shops of Eaglewings Iron Craft have become more common on people's layouts in the last few years; they've become a de facto standard of workmanship in the industry. So I shouldn't have been surprised that here in their home state of Arizona, almost every layout on the tours had at least some piece of Eaglewings construction going on! And one of the 'must-see' layouts was the 'home turf' of Eaglewings -- Dan and Patience Hoag's Wild Eagle Railroad.
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It's a comfortable layout to see, as well. You can just sit there in the glider on the Hoag's wide, shaded veranda and look across to the wide expanse of --
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Wait a minute -- Oh !%#^‹⁄!! the tour bus just got here.
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Okay, we can work around this! There are two large areas of interest at this layout; each under large, permanently mounted tents. But while the crowds are milling around the tents, here are two other areas to look at.
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The first is something I've seen at no other layout. Along the back of the house, cabinetry is built out from the walls; and that cabinetry encloses a series of exquisitely detailed G-Scale dioramas.
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At least some of the dioramas have G-gauge track running through them; one line ascends a cog track to the level of a metal ceiling-mounted layout which runs in and out of the house!
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Meanwhile, along the wall of the driveway, Eaglewings industrial buildings and 'false fronts' compose the second 'other' area. Getting maximum use out of the narrow space available, the buildings add depth and operations capability behind a roundhouse and turntable.
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Okay, the crowds have thinned out, so we can finally get a look at the area I'll call "Tent 1." The building you see on the right is a shop tucked between tents 1 & 2. Notice the track and structures low in the foreground -- you'll see more of that in a bit.
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The people standing on the porch of that shop are trying to photograph several vignettes that are tucked into the 'highlands' of the mountain. Here's one.

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A waterfall starts high in the left corner of the mountain and spills below an absolutely spectacular bridge.
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A few evenings before, this layout was open for a night-time open house. Carla (SWMTP) was able to get a few nice shots with a tripod. Compare this picture with the one above!
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Let's get closer in and examine some of those foreground vignettes. Here, a Bachmann 40-tonner zips by a local industry that's been very successful lately. [:-]
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I believe that Lloyd's Millworks is another one of Eaglewing's new industrial buildings.
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You don't see too many junkyards on layouts. This may be the most realistic I've seen!
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Notice that open-sided shed in the background? It's an engine shed for a local logging line. If we go in closer, we can actually see an engineering 'work pit' below the Climax's rear truck.
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As we follow the rail to the right, we approach the "Bedford Falls" resort, and an honest-to-god beach along the river!
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Like most of the buildings on the layout, the resort is very carefully dressed with figures.
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And what's a beach without a trolley line to take you there?
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There are all kinds of characters enjoying the entertainment on the beach. Here's just a representative snapshot.
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Okay, now we'll turn our attention to the right and "Tent 2", between the workshed and the house.
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There are several towns and industrial areas under this tent, and each is packed with well-dressed vignettes. We'll look at just a few.
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Let's start by zooming down to the lower left, where those yellow window frames are visible. They belong to two greenhouses at a nursery. Business looks good today.
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Let's do a 'reverse angle' across the top of the nursery, looking into town.
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Another angle on the neighborhood. This scene is not only very detailed; it is very [/i]appropriately[/i] detailed. F'rinstance the brick building at the lower left is clearly still under construction, so there's a port-a-potty in the yard. You can tell that the other buildings have been there a while -- there's ivy growing up the walls of two of them. And there's a rocking horse on the porch of the house in the back.
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Here's a similar shot of the scene from the night-time open house. Street lights and house lights are all working.
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Along the right side of the layout, up close to the house, are the Maaco Supply Company and Johnny Rock's Boulder & Granite Company. Note the waterfall in the background.
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Here's the same neighborhood at night.
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Meanwhile, up in the 'central mountain area' is this town called (I'm guessing) 'Spotsylvania.' It appears to be made entirely of Eaglewings steel buildings.
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Well, maybe not all of them. This 'adobe' style train station looks like it was cut from some sort of stone or composition material.
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Backing off for a wider shot.. Spotsylvania is in the left background, and the waterfall feeds this pond with that wonderful calming 'babbling' noise nothing else approaches.
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We'll end with this shot, just because I think it's great!
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One note: Besides all the areas you've seen here, Patience Hoag also led very entertaining tours of the house, showing the overhead layout that ran through it, complete with Christmas decorations and Disney trains and memorabilia. Unfortunately, we didn't get pictures. I'd like to thank the Hoags for their wonderful hospitality as well as their incredibly crafted layout!
 

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Gary thanks again, always look forward to your tour pictures. Do you know if they keep the tents up all the time or just during tours?
 

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Gary/Carla,
Great work!!

Henson,
The awnings are permanent fixtures, with UV resistant shade cloth...
 

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Hey thanks Duncan. Wonder how that would work in our rain soaked part of the country? UV shade would be nice.
 

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Hey Thanks Gary and Carla

Thank you for helping us share our layout with all the members of MLS; you did a great job with the pictures and descriptions. We really appreciate it. It is really rewarding to see people enjoying the layout with us. We had a lot of good feedback during and after the Open House from families that were excited to start or add to their layout.

Every year we hold an Open House at Christmas and this year it will be December 6th & 7th and 13th & 14th From 6 to 9 pm. Next year our Spring Open House will be April 18th and 19th 2009. Everyone is welcome, see you there!

Dan Hoag
 
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