Make us your home page

Suncoast Center for Fine Scale Modeling reopens after summer hiatus

ODESSA — The Suncoast Center for Fine Scale Modeling has reopened after a summerlong hiatus with some new additions that will delight fans of trains and miniatures.

Visitors can marvel at a large-scale U.S. tank and crew on a rotating table, added in January. The Silverton Central railroad model, which features more than 100 feet of track, will show off some new, updated lighting. There are also some new dioramas, including Civil War models, a new F-15 Eagle cockpit and an outdoor full-sized model of a Shay logging engine, built by a Disney supplier in California and embellished by the center to include smoke, working lights and an audio track.

The center still features its signature displays, including two railroad models donated from Australia, military models from the Civil War to present day and the Sundance Central Modular Railroad, which spans almost 500 feet of track and has traveled the country. The Sundance Central will be the subject of a DVD documentary produced by the center, due out in time for Christmas.

Visitors will appreciate the handiwork of the six Suncoast Center modelers, who have spent nine years working on the featured models.

"The time it takes to make our displays is probably way too much to estimate," said Sundance member Dale MacKeown, who has been working with toy railroads for 65 years. "As an example, one 14-inch tree (takes) about eight hours of labor to build. We have over 100 of them. ... There are tens of thousands of hours of hand labor on display in our museum."

Samantha Fuchs can be reached at (727) 869-6235 or

. If you go

Suncoast Center

for Fine Scale Modeling

The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month through June in the West Pasco Industrial Park, 2645 Success Drive, Odessa.

Cost: $10 for adults; free for kids under 12.

More info: Call (352) 799-2874 or visit

Suncoast Center for Fine Scale Modeling reopens after summer hiatus 10/21/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 10:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Halloween Horror Nights: 'The Shining,' 'Saw' and more things to give you nightmares at Universal Orlando


    The 27th year of Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights will scare the pants off you -- in the best possible way.

    The scare zone inspired by horror flick Trick r' Treat is one of the most beautiful at this year's Halloween Horror Nights 27.
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 22


    Arcade Fire: The wildly acclaimed indie rock outfit tour in support of their fifth album, Infinite Content. Presumably, the band will also play songs from their first few albums. Wolf Parade opens. 7 p.m., University of South Florida Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $35-$75. (813) 974-3004.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 08:  Musician Win Butler of Arcade Fire performs onstage during The 24th Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Shrine Auditorium on December 8, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for
  3. What the 10 terms Merriam-Webster just added to the dictionary say about our foodie culture


    Joining "troll" (as in, a rude person on the Internet, not a bridge-dwelling creature), "alt-right" and "dog whistle," 10 food-related words were added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary this week. That's out of 250 new terms, a pretty good ratio that signals the ongoing shift toward a more food-obsessed culture, one …

    IPA is one of the words recently added to the dictionary.
  4. St. Petersburg's newest hotel opens with craft beers, cocktails and Cozy Corners

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Last spring, Ryan Tarrant applied for a job with the new Hyatt Place nearing completion in downtown St. Petersburg. Among the questions an interviewer asked:

    What does this hotel need to succeed?

    Hybar, a bar area with outdoor seating  that will feature craft drinks and Sunday brunch starting Oct. 1, is ready to open at the new Hyatt Place hotel at  25 2nd St. N in downtown St. Petersburg. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  5. A coast away from her roots, American Stage's Stephanie Gularte is soaking up Florida



    The last clear day before the storm, Stephanie Gularte looked at Milo, her 8-year-old Boston terrier.

    "You ready for action, bud?"

    Stephanie Gularte, who arrived in the Tampa Bay area 2 ? years ago to become producing artistic director of American Stage, strolls along Coffee Pot Bayou in St. Petersburg with Milo, her 
8-year-old Boston terrier.