Agri-West Supply, a place one can catch up on Wildcats football and more, part II

OK, it’s time to make Agri-West look like it has survived a couple of decades of Marty, sun, snow and wind in the American West.


Don’t drop by unless you have enough time to chat.  Marty will serve you a cup of bad coffee in a styrofoam cup and get you caught up on his grandson who plays right tackle for the Wildcats, the Carrizo Springs High School football team.  If he really likes you, he will give you a Purina calendar.  Marty is proud of his restoration job on the John Deere tractor to the left above.  It is spotless.


Just enough interior to be plausible.  I don’t intend to illuminate.


The trick is to age without making it look abandoned.  This is still a thriving concern.  It is an important part of the community.  This is 1981 when people were better about reading the newspaper, reflecting and chewing the fat with neighbors at places like Agri-West Supply to figure out how to vote or think about things. Few folks sat around letting other people tell them how to feel about societal issues.  Sitting on tractors or repairing fences in the middle of nowhere gives you a lot of time to think and be an individual.


That sign is a little rusty.  It gives the building character.


The back is pretty non-descript.


The rail side of the building is not seen, but survives scrutiny should the Rails West layout get a curious visitor.

I’ve learned a lot from many of my mentors, particularly Lance Mindheim and B. Smith (Click here to see a bit of B. Smith’s layout), about taking a slower, more thoughtful approach to modeling and operating.  It isn’t just about getting it over with or just completed.  It can be about creating a special place for you.  Thinking about all aspects of your layout features such as the history of each of the structures and what a particular business specializes in can really enrich your layout and make it an even greater expression of your art, your passion and your interests.

Every building and every feature on the landscape, for that matter, has a story.  Knowing it (or creating it) will make your modeling and operation experiences richer.

Agri-West Supply, a place one can catch up on Wildcats football and more


There’s a place in Carrizo Springs where one can buy some salt licks, feed supplements and tractor parts and implements.  They specialize in International Harvester and have a fair parts supply on hand.  It is also a good place to gossip with Marty and Jane, the proprietors, and catch up on the Wildcats (high school football), wheat and cattle prices and even a little local politics.  Marty restores tractors as a hobby and has just restored a beautiful John Deere tractor he is trying to sell.

To continue to evoke a sense of place (see my recent post on this), I knew the layout needed an agricultural supply dealer.  The kind of place that looks a little beat up, but is a solid part of the local economy and community.  They only occasionally use rail service via the team track to get in salt blocks, mineral supplements and occasional tractor implements.  They have been thinking about bringing in molasses by rail.  Local producers have to drive up to Trinidad or over to Asherton.  (For more on molasses and railroads, see my three-part series.)

As my previous structures, Walthers just happened to offer a perfect kit to meet my needs with very little modification.  I opted for Walthers State Line Farm Supply.


It is a very easy kit to build and it only took a couple of hours.


It assembles very nicely.  I created my own signs.



The building has really nice lines and feels like buildings I have seen across the West. Now, the building has a lot of windows so I put a little effort into creating a very simple interior.




Those are old International Harvester pickup truck advertisements on the walls. I have always liked the look of the old IH pickups.


I sought to do just enough that so that the building would pass for being occupied.

It looks a bit toy-like so you know what we need to do next…


Next post will share the final product.