Sunday, July 10, 2016

Fun at Potlatch

I spent Saturday in Potlatch with Frank running some trains on a small Free-mo setup. We had a good time and may have gained a few new members, possibly. My modules worked well and I am excited to get them finished up for the show in Spokane in October. We also plan on adding this event to our annual calendar, which is a great small venue for us to display and run.

Here is a photo of me working hard (photo by Frank, W.)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Nothing like a deadline to get you moving!!

I have been slowly working on reworking my 45 degree module and what has turned into a Signal-mo. I was going to have them complete for the Spokane train show in October, but we are now going to be setting up on July 9th in Potlatch Idaho. So I am now rushing to get the modules operational and the basic scenery also completed. These will not be completely done, but they will be usable and presentable for what we are doing.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Revere Street Bar and Grill

When looking over the aerial photo from 1967 I noticed a building on the corner of Revere and Division that looked like it would fit on the module. Next was to check the area out on Google Earth and I was pleasantly surprised by the building I found. It was a single story building with a false front making it look like a two story old west structure I decided I really needed to model it. After doing a little more internet sleuthing I found that the shop was setup for both retail and restaurant space. With that information in mind I have decided to make it a Bar and Grill. I plan on building a detailed interior of at least the Bar and Restaurant area, since the rest will be hidden I will probably not do anything for the kitchen or bathrooms.

Here is a Google screenshot of the building.

I will post progress and additional pictures in my Projects in Progress section.

Monday, May 23, 2016

So simple it may just work

Here is my very basic plan of Revere Street in Bend Oregon. It will feature a number of buildings I have built along with a set of working crossing flashers to protect the two mains. Simple plan, simple post. Keep tuned for progress.

Friday, May 20, 2016

A new module to get things moving

I have had two modules sitting in my garage since I left Kansas almost 5 years ago and although I have had great plans for them, I just have not really ever gotten them anywhere more then a few good drawings. I had also built a number of building models with plans to add the to a module at some date but never really had a plan for them either. With that in mind I dismantled the two modules and built a single double track module. This module will be loosely based on Revere St. in Bend Oregon.  For now I plan to get the track up an running in the coming week as I am going to share it with a local train club here in Lewiston Idaho.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

WPM RPM 2016

I attended my First ever Western Prototype Modelers RPM meet on April 30th 2016 in Bellflower California. This was only the second such type of event I have attended, the other being the MCPM meet that I use to coordinate back in Kansas. I made a few observations about the event, and not that anyone asked, but here is my opinion. 

I for one liked the location, I know it was not a cool train station like it had been in the past, but it was well light, well equipped and there was plenty of room for vendors and displays.

Display and Vendors:
The tables had the leg extensions on them which brought them closer to the viewer, which was a nice touch. Also they were all covered in table clothes. There were cards for each person to fill out regarding who's model was where. I personally would have also placed a few more "Please Do Not Touch" signs on the tables as a gentle reminder.

Swap Meet:
I think having the Swap Meet was a Great idea, it probably could have been fit inside the building as there were a number of vacant tables. This may have been from the fact there was a major event going on in Fullerton that day and also with it being a new location it is hard to determine what attendance and space requirements will be.

Although a schedule had been posted it seemed to be a very fluid thing. The doors to the Swap Meet were not supposed to open to the public until 0830 and the event starting at 0900. When I walked in the door at 0830 there were people already in setting up their display and shopping. Also the events for the day was a moving target. The Clinics had to change times due to some issues, the raffle time changed along with the actual "end" of the event.

I attended both clinics, which were swapped around due to technical difficulties. Both were interesting but I think were thrown for a loop since they had to swap times on the fly. I would have liked to have seen more then two clinics for a the day, but that was all there was.

There was a huge amount of Raffle Prizes which I was very impressed with. I would have bought more tickets but by the time I got out of the second Clinic they were no longer selling tickets. I thought this a bit odd, but it seemed like they were trying to wrap thing up early. Instead of reading off the last four numbers they would draw the tickets and write them down on a whiteboard. Then there was a sense of controlled chaos as everyone compared their numbers to the board and went up to claim their prize. I actually won something as did most people who bought tickets. Due to some poor penmanship and individual ended up not getting their prize as someone else had a similar ticket. They did "make it up" to him by giving him the remaining unclaimed prizes.

Here are a few things I did with the MCPM that seemed to work well and really helped the event move along.

Name Tags:
I understand the 75% of the attendees are from the area and knew each other, but there were a number of people from out of town that I felt had varying levels of interaction with other modelers. We are a small community and I think if each person was provided a name tag they are going to have a better chance of putting a face to a name or online handle. I also say saw great models, but unless the person was hovering near their stuff it was hard to tell who's items were who's.

If you are going to make changes, or have something you would like to let the group know about, make an announcement. Even if only 50% of the people are listening, find the loud guy in the group, clear your throat and let everyone know that in 20 minutes the next clinic will start or "Last call for raffle tickets." If you could use the existing PA system or even bring one it would be even better.

I personally think the raffle looses some of its draw with just drawing the numbers and putting them on the board. I feel calling them out for the group and letting the individuals "Come on Down!" really adds to an event. Also if you have two people pulling numbers it can move along pretty quickly and if someone has not claimed the prize by the time the next item has been collected you can redraw for the first item. Also if done at the end it is a good way to wrap things up, thank your sponsors and those that participated giving the event a more "Formal" closing.

I know this event has been going along for a very long time, but the announcements regarding the time, date, and the NEW location were very much missing on the forums I check. I understand there are a lot of forums, but it should be posted on more then just one or two.

Monday, April 25, 2016

New power for the Madras Layout

I designed the Madras layout to be switched with an SW type locomotive, but did not have one that was ready to go with sound until now. I of course have a few small locomotives, but the are in varying stages of incompleteness and I was not looking to purchase another project. Recently BLI announced a SW1500 and they looked great, but were not really in the cards, so I had not grabbed one. I recently picked up a few projects and found myself with a little extra money, so I went ahead and purchased a Great Northern SW1500 painted in Big Sky Blue. I have tested it out on the layout and the unit runs well. I do need to fix a few spot on the layout as I am not getting great electrical contact in a few spots. This of course was was not a problem for the six axle power I was using before, but made switching hard as the unit was just to big. I am not going to do much to the unit other then maybe change out the hoses and use some Pan Pastels to add a little weathering. This will be for the layout and also a unit I would take to train shows. I do want to do a little programming with the sound and the speed curves, but all very minor items.