Starting in January, the Proto:87 Posse has upped its activity level here in Vancouver. Julian Watson had been hosting us about once a month through the fall of 2012. We increased this to bi-weekly in the new year because, well, we weren't making sufficent progress. Then in March, we started cutting out the pieces for my layout, Pembroke II. The sketch below shows the plan.
I could hold them off no longer. It was time for the posse to descend on my own basement, which has been in renovation for over a year. When I invited them, I had grand hopes of being in a place where they could actually help me with benchwork construction, but as the date loomed, it became clearer and clearer that this would not be the case.
Last night was a hideous night for driving to Langley. The roads were deep and shining with rain, and in traffic my windshield wipers could barely keep up. As with most North Vancouverites, I rarely go across the Second Narrows, much less the Port Mann Bridge, and so, of course we missed our turn and overshot. Fortunately, Julian had his phone with him and was able to redirect me back to the true path.
It's been a few months since I posted on the progress of the Proto:87 Posse. Since that time, we have visited Jim Peters and Julian Watson and mostly talked about their plans. This month we were out to Andrew Hutchinson's place, where we spent a little time reviewing his ideas for a small display layout. Then it was out to the shop to work on Julian's modules.
It's been two months since we were at Chris's house. In October we traveled out to Langley to visit Jim and see his space. It was largely a talking session, and I think he's been convinced to bend Prince Rupert around the room to allow a little running room. He's in the middle of renovating the main floor of his house right now, and just sawed off the ends of his fingers, and so, it will be interesting to see his progress the next time we're out there.
This week, the Proto:87 Posse (we had to come up with a catchy name) showed up at Chris' house. Chris has benchwork in place for half his layout and wanted some help on figuring out what to do with it. He's new to Proto:87, but I have a feeling, judging by some of the track he's handlaid before, that he's going to be a big producer once he gets going.
He's been collecting passenger equipment and has a ton of really nice cars. Sadly, like all of us, he is a wee bit tight for space, and so, we're not going to see the Super Continental winding its way through the Rockies on his layout. We did come up with what we believe is a workable concept for terminal switching his passenger trains, though. There is also space for a tiny bit of freight switching, but the focus is going to be passenger.
On Saturday, September 3, we had the first ever meeting of Proto:87 modelers in Vancouver. Julian Watson, who moved from Australia a week ago Thursday, suggested we get together, and Jim and I put out a notice to our respective networks. In the end, there were five of us to share burgers and beers on my deck.
We had a good time jawing about wheels and track and ultimately decided we would form a round robin group to help with each other's layouts. We'll be meeting the first Wednesday of the month, starting at Chris' in October. Watch this space!
As I get closer to the big renovation, I'm cleaning out more and more of the basement. Here is the modeling desk just prior to decommissioning. The new desk will be built into the legs of the layout, and so this one is going to get turfed (unless someone wants it - let me know quickly if you might be interested!). Some things have worked well with this desk, and some things could bear improvement.
The Sacramento NMRA convention is all over, and I'm returning back to Vancouver to get properly started on the layout room renovation. I presented a well-received Proto:87 clinic on the Monday. I started with an overview of the history of Proto:87 back to the early days of the Model Railway Study Group in the late '60s, and brought everyone up to date with the currently available products. I guess there were about 25 people in attendance.