The Difference Engine, the dark, alternate world science-fiction novel set in 1855 in which Charles Babbage (1791-1871) has managed to make his mechanical computer actually work (London's National Science Museum did finally manage to build an operating one at the cost of millions, and, yes, it works!). Ada Lovelace, daughter of the poet Byron, is widely acknowledged as the world's first computer programmer, so she's co-owner of the company, which my son, who in reality owns a computer consulting company, is of course the proprietor. Ladetto Falls is named after my wonderful pulmonologist, Dr. John Ladetto, a passionate fresh- and saltwater fisherman, who can be seen in the lower right-hand corner happily holding up his latest catch.. These mill buildings house Babbage & Lovelace, a division of Steampunk Industries, Inc. Noah Macktez Landow, prop. “Steampunk Industries” comes from the aesthetic that has grown out of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's
This scene began more than 25 years ago when I built a Magnusson resin kit of a brewery. This mill complex was inspired by South River Models brilliant limited-editions kits of New England water-powered mills. By the time I discovered them, those I anted were gone, and I decided to use their excellent on-site photographs to see if I could build something like them. To the brewery I added a mill or warehouse from one of Ed Fulacz's hydrocal cast kits — I believe he stopped selling them a few years ago — and an RDA hydrocal kit I purchased on EBay in 2006 or 2007. I built a clerestory roof with windows out of styrene sheet and windows from Grandt Line or Tichy and then cut out a hole in the wall of the middle building and ran a bridge between it and the brewery, to which I also added a projecting third from on the left, something I had seen in some New England mills. I then build a set of beams from basswood to support that part of the middle building which projects over the pond. The dam release gate, which is not yet complete, was build from a piece of oak, various pieces of styrene, wire, and a Scale Structures wheel.
The mill pond, waterfall, and river have a combination of masonite (for the base of the mill pond), oak covered with plastic sheeting of paving (for the dam), styrofoam, hydrocal, and real rocks plus Woodland Scenics resin castings for the mill pond and other walls. The side of the mill pond and mill race are hydrocal castings made in Joel Bragdon molds and one bit of his resin walls. Preiser figures and Woodland Scenics water products plus a wide variety of tress, foam, twigs, and rocks complete the scene. Superb resin castings by Rusty Rail appear all around the mill yard. [GPL].
- Front view
- View looking toward the unfinished end of the layout
- View looking toward the right end
- The company sign on the warehouse
- View showing all three buildings
- Waterfall and stream
- The sharply-angled mill race