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.
My passenger car is finished and packed ready to go down to Sacramento to show in the NMRA national show next week. To support my display in Sacramento (and likely in Burnaby this fall, and who knows where else), I threw together a quick 20-page Blurb book on the project. It is laid out like an NMRA merit judging form, and I've pasted the bulk of the content below:
I've been researching for my upcoming clinic on the State of Proto:87, which I'll be giving in Sacramento next week, and found a couple of Aussie sites that indicated that this site hasn't been changing much. What the? If there's one thing I try to do, it's post here occasionally. It usually doesn't appear on the home page because I never particularly considered the home page mine. So, yes the homepage didn't change for years, but the blog has been updated at least every few months.
I've just published the story of Canada Atlantic Number 10, my first scratchbuilt locomotive on Blurb. This is a compilation of progress emails I sent to a couple of email lists over the course of four years as I was completing the model. I got my own copy, and I must say, I quite like having this memento of the construction process. While the web page is always good for shock factor when someone starts to ask me about my hobby, there is something about seeing your words and photos in print that makes you feel accomplished.
I'm not overly excited about them, except to say that they're finally done, per the plan.
The windows in the clerestory are framed deeply for some reason, and the openings were screened over. The only screen material I ever saw that was convincing was some that my friend Brian Pate salvaged from an old anti-glare screen for a computer. And, I don't know how I would have cut so many little rectangles of that stuff. Perhaps I could have etched them, but I doubt I could have got them fine enough to be convincing.
Well, the lettering turned out quite nicely, but who let me near this model with that awful Sharpie gold paint pen? The practice runs looked good, but when I went to line the model itself, there was no way I could get anything nearly fine enough. The air turned blue as I tried to salvage it, but the more I did
For some reason, it's always exciting to see the lettering for a model. Now I know I'm in the home stretch, and I can't wait to see it on.
I am often asked if I have a layout, and I'm always cagey about it. Technically, you could say I have a layout. This is the layout I described back in Model Railroad Planning 1999 (at least I think it was 99). Most of the photos in that article were of a little diorama I created, though, and there are few photos published of the actual layout. Here is the long, sad story of my first model of Pembroke, which never got off the ground.