Saturday, May 28, 2016

Clear the Garage

One of my summer “train projects” will be to clear the garage so that I can get a car into it. One impediment is 55+ years of stored train magazines (mostly Model Railroader) dating back to 1958. What a trip down memory lane this is, since naturally I will want to scan them for keepers (both magazines and articles).

I get to revisit old “friends”: John Armstrong, Linn Wescott, Paul Larson, Whit Towers, Ed Ravenscroft, Allen McClanahan, John  Allen, Gordie Odegard, …  the great modelers who have gone before and paved the way.

Mantua Metals, Varney, Revell,… $0.89 box car kits ($2.49 RTR), 50 cent MR magazines (25 cents for back issues plus 25 cents shipping). Gem brass imports starting at $14.95, Penn Line $29 engine kits, Aristo Craft PRR position light signals for $2.75, …

Ravenscroft had his operating hump yard and a freight car forwarding system that used a small roulette wheel. The early magazines are extremely tattered (as you would expect from a 12 year old drooling dreamer).

Black and white photos and barren scenery (almost all western) was the norm. That’s why I fell in love with Carl Appel’s Norfolk and Ohio (“centerfold” November 1958). The spotlight seemed to have been on scratching building steam engines.

Anyway the biggest highlights have been from HA Smith’s train oriented cartoons. I’ll share them as I go. Enjoy.

1.1    “O gauger who models Pennsy equipment wishes to meet O gauger who models New York Central equipment. Object: merger.”
1.2    “In return for your ivory, we will trade precious gems that white man calls marker light jewels.”

2.1  “Put on your glasses, Frank, I’m over here!”

2.2  “Well, maybe if you had put up the screens when I asked you to …”
3.1  “You and your homemade diesel horn.”
3.2  “In Texas, even HO gauge is bigger.”

1.1  “Wow! What a realistic circus train – animal noises and everything!”
1.2  “I made the grass from an imported Persian rug, the water tower from a caviar tin, and the marker lights from an old diamond stick pin.”

2.1  “Psst, watch out for that witch doctor.”

2.2  “By doing research on prototype roads, I discovered over 99 per cent of them prefer point to point layouts.”
3.1  “This trackwork happens to be true to the prototype of the Bilgewater and Eastern, a little known line which went bankrupt in 1857 after 26 spectacular accidents.”
3.2  “I was lucky to find such a nice dry basement.”

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Op Session 6

Our 6th Operations Session took place yesterday (May 21) and we once again completed a full freight schedule. We were a bit rusty (my part-time tax prep job interferes with scheduling op sessions for about 6 months) but we will get back into the swing of things.

My wife wanted to know what we were laughing about in the loft for 4 hours, so it was a good time together. We were missing a key player (Gene) but we muddled happily along to completion.

The demerit list will be completed when I find the yard bum that knocked the coaling tower off its foundations and derailed all 4 of the steam engines parked under it.

Never knew yard work was such fun!

A PC Geep on a 1950s PRSL layout

Where did you say you last saw that train?
Hmm, pushing 2 tank cars and a cabin into an icing facility? Careful!
Rogue GP40 in staging