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Thursday, April 28, 2011

On18 Mining Mini-layout: Mining Office

Here is my little O scale mining office so far. I'm using styrene representing corrugated metal. I'm trying out the salt method of weathering but not with an airbrush so I'm not sure how it will come out. I'm wanted plenty of window openings so that views can see the full interior I'm planning.

On18 Mining Mini-layout: Mining Office Interior

Some various parts of the office model's interior. The desk was built upon two resin crate castings. The desktop is thick styrene, the pencil holder cut from a styrene tube and the paper sorter is angle cut from a styrene beam.

The file cabinet is scratch built from a piece of wood and styrene. Dime store novel created in Photoshop. O scale figure, safe, chair commercially available.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Explosives Shack

On30 Dynamite Shack for the Hardscrabble mining area of my layout.

Crawford Notch, NH - Switchman's shack

Located at Crawford Notch, NH just before the switchyard.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Brass Caboose Hobby Shop and Hartmann Model Railroad Museum

Update: We checked in on the HMRM on Sun. April 17th, 2011. The museum was closed but the hobby store was open with two pleasant ladies busy putting together a puzzle. Any kids who came to the store were warned to stay with their parents and signs around the store state "you break it, you buy it". Intimidating to say the least but then again the store is filled with very high end, expensive trains mostly from Germany (lots of Marklin and LGB).

You have to wonder how about the future of this hobby when everything is off limits to kids. I think a store like this one should have created an area where kids could touch stuff, maybe a big Thomas the Train layout. You'd think with all of the families who come to the North Conway area that they would sell a lot of that kind of stuff.

The store is huge yet it is mostly filled with train sets and not so much with buildings, kits or scratch building supplies. No surprise the majority of the items are HO. G scale is very well represented. One whole room has an amazing collection of G or Large Scale trains. There is also quite a bit for the N Scale modeler also.

Alas, O Scale is barely represented. There are the Lionel sets for the toy collectors but next to nothing for the O Scale modeler. I saw two On30 locomotives and that was it for On30. No O scale details parts.

I did manage to find some scratch building supplies and a Logging and Mining Annual in the book area.

Also they did have a big die cast car model selection and some hobby stuff like rockets. With all the space available I'd think they'd have a couple of trains set up for display like a G Scale train going around the room or something. I just get the impression that the owners are more into collecting stuff than modeling.


Heading back to the Hartmann Model Railroad Museum after a few years. Last time time our son who was around six at the time seemed to make the owners nervous. Maybe we'll just hit the hobby store this time. They have a lot of European trains like the Fleismann one I had growing up. We'll see if they have good O scale parts.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

26th Annual Upper Valley Train Show

Update - Well this show was rather disappointing. It cost $11 to get in for the family and the only operating layouts was a local modular club layout that we've seen at least three times this year at other events, a coffee table layout under construction and a small n scale layout. The location was dark and dingy. There were about eight vendors (the website claimed 80!). Mostly HO stuff, books, DVDs, a laser cut model kit company and no sign of the local hobby store. How could the only hobby store in town, located about two minutes from the site, not participate?

There were door prices and food available but there wasn't much of a reason to stay very long. Here is what their web site said we'd see at the show:

"We will have:

Cash door prizes! (yes)
Model railroad layouts and displays in N, HO, O and large scales! (I didn't see low or large scale)
Various layouts in virtually every scale. (again no O or large scale)
'How To' workshops teaching scenery building skills (didn't see any)
Video hall with railroad themed videos playing all day (missed this?)
Over 80 dealer tables with a variety of items for sale including:
-railroad models
-original artwork
-electronics (including the latest in train control and neat gadgets)
-detail parts
-consignment items for sale
-railroad-themed toys
-scales from the Z to G.

Unless we missed a whole other room of stuff we didn't more than eight vendors.

I did ended up buying an O Scale Flag Stop station, some apple trees and an HO 70 Ton GE switcher that I'm going to kitbash into On30. Decent prices. But overall a disappointing show especially when you consider it as an introduction to people wanting to get into the hobby. Except for one vendor the people at the show were rather zombie like and non-engaging. I felt bad for a family I knew coming into the show. I was just thinking how they'd pay their $12 and then wonder why they did.

We'll be checking this out this weekend.

Tichy Train Group Review

I'm giving two thumbs up to the Tichy Train Group for great service and O scale parts. I recently ordered some scale windows and doors from Tichy. Online ordering was very easy, shipping was free for orders over $25 and my package arrived within two days of ordering! Excellent. I wish the Grandt Line web site worked as well.

One of the items I ordered was this neat assortment of windows, doors and detail parts. Its very handy to have around when scratch building.

I also ordered some rivets and I appreciate that Tichy casts their rivets in rust colored plastic.

Tichy Train Group