Up-Close
"...you're about to see some serious sh-t!!!"
      - Dr. Emmitt Brown
     Twin Pines Mall - Hill Valley, Ca
      October 26, 1985
 
Key to the Modeling Techniques Mentioned Throughout this Section:
Factory-Kit = A commercially produced model kit.
Kit-bashed = Parts from more than one factory kit melded together into something otherwise not intended.
Scratch-built = A unique end-result constructed entirely from scrap or generic media of any sort.
The Hill Valley Courthouse
(1885 - 1955 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
 
The historic center of the fictional town of Hill Valley, the courthouse was constructed during the founding of the town in 1885.
The lawn would be paved over as a parking lot by 1985.
 
The actual facade was built on the Universal Studios back lot in the late 1940's and it has appeared in numerous Universal films including serving as the court house in To Kill A Mockingbird. (1962)
 
The facade has survived several major set fires over the years.
 
 
In the Model
   
Modeling Technique:
 
(Main structure)
Combination Kit-bash / Scratch built
 
(Clock & Clock tower)
100% Scratch-built
 
 
Illumination:
Structure
120 V A/C incandescent
14V  D/C Incandescent
 
Clock
2.5V D/C LED
 
 
Constructed:
2005 - 2015
 
 
 
The Time Machine
(1885/1955/1985/2015 Configurations)
 
 
In the BTTF Films
 
 
The central character of the three BTTF films - Doc Brown's only invention "that works" is a DeLorean DMC-12 sports car turned nuclear-electrically powered time machine!
(1.21 Gigawatts)
 
This very recognizable cinematic prop remains one of the most beloved and iconic film vehicles ever seen on film!
 
The BTTF hover conversion was installed in 2015, the rail wheels were added in 1885.
 
Would the builder like to own one a real one?
ABSOLUTELY!!!!
 
 
 In the Model
 
 
The hover DeLorean and the rail-riding DeLorean were both derived from factory produced Johnny Lightning brand 1/87 scale slot cars.
The hover chassis and the rail chassis were both entirely scratch built as was specially enhanced time machine detailing on each of the two body shells.
 
Hover-car Electrical Supply:
Table Surface output: 14V D/C
 
Two Individual Power Ports:
One on the courthouse lawn
One near the River Rd Tunnel
 
Onboard Chassis Regulator:
2.5V D/C - LED X 4
 
Both cars constructed:
2007
 -Special Note-
The DeLorean hover conversion effect is most probably the one single element of the entire model that the builder is most especially proud of!
Lou's Cafe
(1955 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
 
A quiet and unassuming downtown coffee and breakfast spot early in the day...
 
 ...a malt and soda-shop hangout later in the day for the Hill Valley high school set including the likes of Biff Tannen, Lorraine Baines, George McFly and all their "slacker" friends!
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Scratch-built (Diner)
Kit-bashed (2nd floor)
 
Illumination:
12.5V A/C  incandescent
 
Constructed
2005-2013
 
 
 
TEXACO Filling Station
(1955 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
"You can trust your car to the man who wears the star!"
The Texaco station is Hill Valley's dependable downtown gas station and repair garage!
 
The actual facade on the Universal Studio's back lot had served as the exterior set for the town jail in To Kill a Mockingbird.
 
Note the "A Finch - Attorney" office. An intentional nod to Gregory Peck's classic 1962 film character!
 
 
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Kit-Bashed / Scratch-built
 
Illumination:
12.5V D/C Incandescent
 
Constructed:
2013 - 2014
The Hill Valley Preservation Society
(1985 -2015 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
 
"SAVE THE CLOCK TOWER!"
 
...that was the mission of the Preservation Society in 1985!
Mayor Goldie Wilson had wished to replace that old clock, which had been frozen at 10:04 ever since "being struck by lightning during that big thunderstorm" way back on
November 12, 1955!
 
No Preservation Society building was actually ever visualized in any of the three BTTF films....
 
 
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Factory Kit / Scratch-built
Kit-Bashed
 
Illumination:
12.V A/C Incandescent
6V D/C Incandescent
 
Constructed:
2014
 The Town Theater
    (1955 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
The smaller of the two Hill Valley movie houses, the Town Theater was showing The Atomic Kid during mid-November, 1955.
 
This theater had regressed to the role of a XXX porn palace by 1985 when Marty slams the time machine through its front doors as he returns back to the future.
 
Yet another much-used Universal Studios back-lot fixture redressed as numerous different exteriors over many decades.
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Scratch-Built
 
Illumination:
12.5V D/C Incandescent
1.5V D/C LED
 
Constructed:
2014
 

  You'll notice that Doc Brown has thoroughly fractured the space-time continuum here;
The Town Theater is presently showing the following three films;
 
Rebel Without A Cause (1955)
Back To The Future (1985)
Star Wars: Episode VII (2015)

The Hill Valley Telegraph Building
(1955 - 2015 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
The Telegraph - Hill Valley's local newspaper tended to be utilized as Marty and Doc's space-time GPS as they traveled through time, particularly during their adventures in the 2nd and 3rd films. The front page of the Telegraph was an important tool in the telling of the BTTF trilogy.
 
No actual Telegraph building was ever seen in any of the three films.
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Factory-kit/kit-bash/scratch-built
 
Illumination:
120V A/C Incandescent
14V A/C Incandescent
 
Constructed:
2010
Statler Motors
(2015 Configuration Front / 1885 Rear)
In the BTTF Films
 
One of Hill Valley's oldest businesses,
Statler's opened in 1885 selling wagons. By 1955, they were Hill Valley's Studebaker dealer and in 1985 we caught up with them retailing Toyotas!
In the films, Statler's occupied a storefront building on the square just around the corner from the Town Theater.
In the model, Statler's has moved to a much larger off-square property and now they retail
post-WWII classics!
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
factory/kit-bash/scratch-build
 
Illumination:
14V A/C Incandescent
2.5V D/C LED
6V D/D Incandescent
 
Constructed:
2006 - 2013
Brown Industries
(19?? - 1985 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
In 1985, Doc Brown tells Marty McFly; "...it took thirty years and most of my family fortune to develop the Flux Capacitor...."
Doc just never revealed exactly how  the Brown family made their fortune!
Whatever they made, they made it in this factory as far as Hill Valley: the Model Railroad imagines it!
 
The factory was never shown or even implied in any of the BTTF films
In the Model
 
Modeling technique:
Factory kit
 
Illumination:
120V A/C Incandescent
12V D/C Incandescent
6V D/C Incandescent
 
Constructed
2005
The Essex Theater
(1955 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
The larger of the two Hill Valley theaters, the Essex featured The Cattle Queen of Montana in 1955, and still is showing that Reagan/Stanwyck classic in the model. Expand the screen and notice the coming attractions!
(Looks like Doc has caused yet another rift in time!)
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Factory Kit/Kit-bash/Scratch-built
 
Illumination:
120V A/C
14V D/C
6V A/C
 
Constructed:
2006
Ol' Man Peabody's Pine Tree Farm
(1955 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
 
It was said early in the trilogy that Ol' man Peabody had "a crazy idea of breeding pine trees!"
 
And so he did...
 
...right up until he sold out to developers at some point prior to 1985 and his beloved farm became the Twin Pines Mall.
 
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Scratch-built
 
Illumination:
12.5V D/C Incandescent
 
Constructed:
2006
Bits and Pieces
 
Scratch-built Signs and Artillery
 
Constructed:
2007 - 2015
There Wasn't Room to Build a Large Enough Table to Actually Model the Subdivisions of Lion Estates or Hilldale. Perhaps Next Time!
(Please Take Note of the Two Highway Exit Numbers)
The WELCOME Sign With all the Civic Organization Badges, the Court House Directory Monument and the Artillery Pieces Were the Very First "Set Pieces" to be Constructed Following Construction of the Buildings Themselves in 2005 & 2006.
The Artillery Pieces Were Re-worked Slightly in Early 2015.
"I HATE Manure!!!"

Biff slams his '46 Ford  into A. Jones' manure truck as Marty scoots safely away on his trusty skateboard!
(Constructed in 2006)

"Merchant's Row"
(1955/1985 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
 
Minor character set-pieces for sure, but an important back-drop as these buildings formed the familiar "main- drag"that Marty travels at 88MPH to go back to the future.
 Some of these businesses are deliberately not in their actual BTTF locations.
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Factory kit/Kit-bash/Scratch-built
 
Illumination
120V A/C Incandescent
14V D/C Incandescent
6V D/C Incandescent
2.5V D/C LED
 
Constructed:
2005 - 2015
 
 
 
Twin Pines Ballpark
(Exact Era of Configuration is Unknown)
In the BTTF Films
 
Doc Brown explains to Marty in 1985 that one of the advantages of traveling thirty years into the future would be "learning who wins the next twenty-five World Series!"
So, Doc clearly loves baseball!
Hill Valley:The Model Railroad  imagines that at some point in time, the Brown family donated sufficient real estate to the city of Hill Valley to build a baseball field.
The ball park is located between Brown Industries and Ol'-man Peabody's pine tree  farm.
The ball park was never actually seen or implied in any of the three BTTF films.
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Scratch-built
 
Illumination:
12V A/C Incandescent
(Baseball field light standards entirely scratch-built)
 
Constructed:
2007-2010
Holt's Diner
(1955 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
 
Located directly beside the Town theater and partially hidden behind the Court House, Holt's Diner is only barely visible in BTTF I & II. It plays no particular role in any part of the trilogy, but it is there all the same.
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Scratch-built
 
Illumination
14V A/C Incandescent
 
Constructed
2014
Various BTTF Vehicles

A late 1970's AMC-Jeep CJ-5 (Golden Eagle Edition) was chosen because the builder actually worked for AMC-Jeep during that era. (The actual on-screen Jeep CJ was a slightly different variant) 1/87 Marty had to be kit-bashed in order to achieve the correct pose. 
Constructed - 2006

Doc's convertible trailering the time machine beneath the tarp

"...check out that four-by-four.
THAT'S HOT!!!"

Red Thomas campaigning in his Chevy Nomad. ca. 1955

Biff Tannen's '46 Ford. Not sure who the slacker was that boosted the rear hub cap!

Airforce One on final approach into Hill Valley International! But which president is dropping in? Eisenhower ('55),
Reagan('85) or Obama ('15)???

The infamous Rolls Royce. It shows up way out in 1985 Hilldale near the conclusion of
BTTF III

EVERY town should have its very own resident 24-hour scientist!!!

The Old Del Gotto Mine Shaft
(1885 - 1955 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
 
The mineshaft turned out to be the perfect place for Doc Brown to hide the DeLorean in 1885! All safe and sound just waiting for Marty and (the 1955) Doc to find it seventy years later!
 
Exact site of the location for the exterior shoot of the mine is uncertain. 
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Scratch-built
 
Illumination:
14V D/C
Incandescent
 
Constructed:
2005
George & Marty McFly
and
Doctor Emmett Brown
One of the great un-answered questions of the universe:
Was Doc Brown about to hand one of Hill Valley's Finest some sort of an actual municipal permit.... Or was it a $20?
The Hill Valley Train Station
Including Biff's Auto Detailing Shack
(1885 - 1985 Configuration)
In the BTTF Films
 
The train station was one of the original structures in Hill Valley. In BTTF III, the year was 1885 and the station was already in place and operational as the courthouse was being constructed.
 
Hill Valley: The Model Railroad imagines Biff operating his auto detailing business out of this small shack on the other side of the tracks!
(Biff's shack was never seen or implied on screen)
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
factory-built
(From the Robert E. Baus Collection)
 
Illumination:
6V A/C Incandescent
 
Constructed:
Prior to 2005
Hill County  Little Country Church
& Cemetery
 (Configuration 1885 - 2015)
In the BTTF Films
 
No little country church was shown or implied in any of the three films, but a cemetery did figure into the trilogy story arc.
The "Boot Hill" cemetery was shown as being located directly adjacent to the old Del Gotto mine in BTTF III.
 
Hill Valley: The Model Railroad imagines its cemetery as being located directly above the mine shaft... which is sort of creepy!
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Factory-kit / Scratch-built
 
Illumination:
12V A/C Incandescent
 
Constructed:
2005 - 2009
Actual names and initials on markers honor the memory of departed friends and family members of the builder
Shonash/Clayton/Eastwood
Ravine and River
(Configuration: 1885 - 2015)
 
In the BTTF Films
 
We know there was a river in the vicinity of Hill Valley due to the the presence of The River Road Tunnel in BTTF II.
There was obviously also the ravine that so prominently figured into the dramatic climax of the entire trilogy in
BTTF III.
 
Hill Valley: The Model Railroad simply imagines a river as running through the ravine.
 
 
 
 
In the Model
 
 
Modeling Technique:
Scratch-built
 
Illumination:
(highway lighting)
6V D/C Incandescent
 
Constructed
2005 - 2010
 
Hill Valley: The Model Railroad imagines that Doc Brown has been messing with time-space in the vicinity of the river/ravine. Note here that the ravine carries all three of the monikers mentioned in BTTF III; Clayton, Shonash and Eastwood 
These very same HAZMAT guys have been hanging around the Hill Valley river ever since 2005...
...I don't think I'd recommend drinking that water!!!
 
The River Road Tunnel
(Configuration: 1955)
In the BTTF Films
 
The River Rd Tunnel was featured near the conclusion of BTTF II. It was in this 1955 location that Biff and Marty jousted for control of the infamous Gray's Sports Almanac... Marty on his trusty Hover Board (from 2015), and Biff in his '46 Ford.
Doc saves the day behind the wheel of the hovering DeLorean, and Biff slams into the manure truck  ...again!
In the Model
 
Modeling Technique:
Scratch-built
 
Illumination:
12V D/C Incandescent
 
Constructed:
2009
Here and There
 
Assorted Locations Not Related Directly To BTTF
Hill Valley's Bravest!
(Those three HAZMAT guys down at the river not withstanding of course...)
Hill Valley
Municipal Water Tower
In the BTTF Films
 
If a water tower actually did appear in any of the three BTTF films, I don't believe I have ever noticed it...
 
Hill Valley: The Model Railroad simply imagines the tower existed on the south ridge of the ravine, just above the Peabody place.
In the Model
 
Construction Technique:
Factory-Kit / Scratch-Built
 
Illumination:
12V A/C Incandescent
6V D/C LED
 
 
 
This shot is quite possibly one of the very coolest shots on the entire website!
(Thanks to my son, Brian, for his fancy camerawork both here and throughout!)
 
Several Scenic Views From In And Around Hill County
Bonus Stuff
The Music Man?
 
 
There have been Internet sources over the years telling a similar story as to how Warner Brother's Studios had made at least some use of Universal Studio's Courthouse Square  (Hill Valley) during a brief portion of the Seventy-six Trombones parade sequence in their 1962 film adaptation of Meredith Wilson's
"The Music Man".
 
Warner Brother's purportedly did not have sufficient space within the confines of its own Midwest Street back-lot set for the Music Man's grand parade scene according to some of the above mentioned cyber-stories...
 
Well... Take it on good authority (Dr. Dennis Bingham; Film Studies Chair at I.U.P.U.I.) that all those reports were/are patently false! The Warners had more than ample space to film all the River City exteriors - including the entire parade sequence - and Warner's Midwest Street is precisely what we see during each and every beat and step of Seventy-six Trombones. That; according to the authoritative 
Professor Bingham!
 
So, with that little bit of trivia having been settled....
 
Hill Valley: The Model Railroad has absolutely no TROUBLE imagining what such a parade might have looked like had it actually been filmed in front of our favorite courthouse! Heck, we'll even draft a few of the BTTF characters to parade right alongside Professor Harold Hill and the fair Marian the Librarian!
 
ENJOY!
The Control Panel
Making the most of a limited amount of space, the entire control panel - including the primary power center - was designed and built to fully retract into the table.
Everything operates under full power either fully extracted or retracted.
Several of the nine primary transformers and countless switches, rheostats and variable resistors that supply, direct and regulate power to
Hill Valley: The Model Railroad.