Thursday, July 23, 2009

Harpoon BBQ weekend.

I compete in BBQ contests as a hobby. It's more than a hobby but you folks who compete in any sport know what I mean.

Our team, iQue, is again this year competing at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT, at the New England BBQ Championship. This is by far the best contest on the east coast of the USA. Harpoon is a great host providing lots of fresh beer and prize money for the best BBQ. They'll be 50 teams from all over the country - some of the best BBQ cooks in America competing.

Here Chris Hart, the BBQ master of our team, preps the chicken entry just before turn-in.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I just finished building this nice little laser-cut kit from Stevens Creek Models. It's called Thatcher's Outlet.

I mentioned it in this blog several weeks ago. It's a new kit that'll could find a place on almost any model railroad.

I added the little bicycle to the front porch. It's a pewter casting that comes all painted. I don't remember who makes it - I bought it at a hobby shop in Amsterdam.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When a customer asked me to put a "village Green" on his O scale, high rail layout I said okay (without knowing what I was going to do.) He wanted something like the green he remembered as a boy growing up in western Massachusetts.

I had a large space in the middle of the O scale village. We had scratchbuilt about a dozen structures that ran down either side of the village. By placing a "green" in the middle, it split the center of town into two main streets and visually looked more realistic.

I started by cutting an oval from a sheet of 1/4" thick Foam Core board and cutout the pond area in the middle. I glued the foam core down to the road surface and held it in place with weights until the glue dried.

I cut several rows of stones from a Scenic Express urethane foam wall and glued them to the edge of the Foam Core.

The whole green was painted with earth colored paint and finely sifted sand and scenic foam were sprinkled into the wet paint. After the paint dried I sprayed the whole area with dilute matte medium adhesive and added more grass and fine sand.

The statue is off the top of a bottle of Jack Daniels. I painted him and put him on a wood base. He's got a pigeon sitting on his hat.

The benches are store bought. The fence posts are made from 3/16th square stripwood with a map pin stuck in the top. Holes were drilled in the sides of the stripwood to hold the brass rods.

The "lake" is a painted bottom with Magic Water poured on top. Several ducks were placed in the pond.

This was an easy project that adds a lot of life to the little village.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We recorded our July podcast yesterday. A little late in the month but if Scott gets his interviews done it'll be out soon. We talked quite a bit about building the podcast layout. Doug Foscale, Scott and myself worked on it. Jimmy Deignan supplied the materials.
We're building the layout for charity and any profit will be donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Walk.
The track is down and next week we place the structures and start the scenery. I'll post pictures here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

We just acquired our second dog from Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue. He's on the left and his name is Bailey. He's six years old and gets along with three year old Buddy, on the right, very nicely. Two dogs are nice.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Here's a photos of the completed 28' display in the Museum. It's interactive. The green buttons, one on each end of the display, start the train and the sound effects.

All 32 structures were built using photos from the 1900-era as a guide.

Tomorrow I have the pleasure of presenting a clinic at the NMRA Convention in Hartford, CT. It'll be about how I researched and built an On30 display for the Nantucket Historical Association's Whaling Museum on the island of Nantucket, MA. The display depicts the Nantucket Railroad as it looked in 1900.

The railroad was 3-foot gauge and operated from 1881 until 1917. It's reason for being was to haul tourists and their baggage from the ferry dock to the hotels in Surfside, Tom Nevers Head and Sconset. The railroad was 11.5 miles long.

It had an American 4-4-0 type engine and a Mason-Bogie type engine. They had a passenger car, a baggage combine, a home-built baggage car, and several open air coaches.

More information can be found on my home page by clicking on the Nantucket Display link.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thatcher's Outlet

Many of you may remember the Thatcher's Inlet series of articles that ran in Railroad Model Craftsman in the 1970's. Thatcher's Inlet was a small HOn30 layout that Bob Hayden and I built. It featured a New England village set on the edge of the ocean.

Well Thatcher's Inlet lives on. Ken Lunders of Stevens Creek Models has produced this HO laser cut store kit which he's calling Thatcher's Outlet (a little play on words there...)

This is a nice little store which I'm in the process of building now. Go to Ken's web site and check it out. I'll be posting pictures of my model when I complete it.

Podcast Layout Structures

These are a few of the quick and dirty (weathered) plastic structures I built for the podcast layout. They may or may not be used, we'll see. The consensus of the group is that we feature built-up kits from the builders, Fos Scale Limited, and Jimmy Deignan.

If they don't end up on the podcast layout I'll put them in my own city scene.