The creation of true art in any form shares one constant -- the need for a visionary artist. Taking on one of the most ambitious model building projects in history, Randy Decker is that talented craftsman whose skills and background are unmatched.
Introducing the man behind the magic.
Since the tragic demise of the original Gorre & Daphetid, many a model railroader has dreamed about recreation the masterpiece for themselves. The truth is that none of these ambitious builders have had the unique background or skills that artist Randy Decker brings to the new GD Line project.
A native of New York and a master carpenter by trade, Randy Decker has also spent decades creating bespoke, museum quality dioramas that capture myriad of historic scenes, eras and subject matters. Decker is also gifted with a keen sense of artistic flair and passion for detail.
Most importantly, the now retired craftsman has the time and talent to recreate his hero's masterpiece in far, far less time than John Allen took to build his original Gorre & Daphetid.
On January 1, 2019 an ambitious project to recreate the most famous of all model railroads began. This project will try to recapture the scenic panorama of the miniature world known as the Gorre & Daphetid and the magic it still holds for so many model railroaders across the world.
This should be so much fun to watch unfold. Current photographs of the progress will be added regularly to this website for everyone who may be interested.
John Whitby Allen was a true leader in this hobby and his legacy and the fans of his work still grow today. John touched the lives of so many people with his tireless guidance throughout his life. Today there are an untold number of modelers who credit John, without hesitation, as a big driving force in their pursuit of excellence within this rewarding hobby. My lifelong career as a craftsman and a scale modeler, along with my current dedication in recreating this incredible layout, proves that I am no exception to John's spell. He raised the skill level of the entire industry through his countless magazine articles on techniques and the many photographs of the masterful, miniature world he created and shared with us all.
The tragic loss of John, and then the terrible fire that followed shortly after, took away so much from the modeling world. It left many of us in shock. For those of us, younger fans of Johns at that time, it was as if Disney World had been destroyed and never open again. John was very close to completing his masterpiece when his health failed him and he passed. While dealing with his loss, John's family and his many friends were interested in seeing his legacy live on. A heartfelt effort to save the layout, by all those who knew him as a friend and fellow modeler, was begun. There was even talk of trying to buy the home in Monterey and preserve the model and keep John’s legacy intact through continued operations of the layout by this dedicated group. Then came the tragic fire that ultimately took the Gorre & Daphetid from the world and left Johns many friends along with the entire community of model railroaders in sad disbelief and shock once again.
Like the mythical Phoenix, this HO scale model railroad "The Great Divide” will rise from the ashes, and although it has been nearly 50 years since these events took place, this effort will perhaps add one more small chapter to the large and the fascinating story of John Allen and give the next generation of his many fans, and any of us who never got to see John’s masterpiece, a close example of the magic of the Gorre & Daphetid Railroad.So please stop in here and look around and wish me luck. One day soon we may all raise a glass and toast the return of the GD lines.
I am just getting started but I am dedicated in seeing that this masterpiece is brought back to life here in Northville NY. I am working in the shadow of a creative genius and a magical, whimsical wizard....the Wizard of Monterey.
Randy Lee Decker
John Allen hard at work on the Gorre & Daphetid. His famous engine house is in the foreground.
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