Saturday, May 12, 2012

The picture at the top is the type of trap I used to build when I was a kid. I would drive to Tucker Trap in southern Maine and buy 100 or so "trap kits." The kit contained all the materials needed to build the traps. I built them in my parents basement, then in the garage, and then, as I got older, in a locker at the "Fish House" in Swampscott, Mass. If I remember correctly each trap cost about $12.00 fully rigged.

The lower, wire trap, was one of the last batch of lobster traps I bought in 2000. I kept this one for old time sake when I sold the business in 2004. I added the rope bridal and the extra escape hatch on the top.

I've seen underwater videos showing young lobsters hanging around the trap - going in and out through the escape hatch to feed on the bait. The adult lobsters, over 7 years old, have to enter through the kitchen (the front of the trap), grab some bait, and come back into the trap (called the parlor) where they can't escape because they're too big to fit through the escape hatches. A trap like this one will last about 7-8 years of seasonal fishing - longer if left in the water year round.

When I bought the last batch of 100 wire traps they were about $52.00 each. Then I need 15 fathoms of rope, a buoy and a bait bag (shown laying in the parlor.)

I have a lobstering video on my website, shot by a PBS crew, and used as part of a sustainable seafood festival. It shows me in the early 1990's hauling my traps near Marblehead, Mass. - it's a download from this site but it's not free. Sorry, I have to pay for the download service.

If you're curious about lobstering you'll enjoy the video.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The second episode of building the EXPO modules is out. It's about 16 minutes and you can watch it here.

In part two I finish the landforms, color some of the scenery, add the fascia, and start the rock painting process. Check it out!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Model Railroad Hobbyist

If you're not downloading Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine you're missing out. It's a free on-line magazine and has a lot of interesting and informative modeling topics every month. I just downloaded the May issue and stopped everything to read it - good stuff!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Building an EXPO module

The EXPO is a model railroad event I'm very fond of.

It started as the Craftsman Structure Show and has evolved over the years from just being about building model railroad kits and structures to a full-blown railroad show. It embraces all facets of the hobby but emphasizes fine model building in all scales and gauges. Many of the best manufacturer's in North America attend the EXPO. The 2012 EXPO will be held in the heart of railroad country - Strasburg, Pennsylvania.

This year a MODULE category was added. The modules are based upon the NMRA HO module standards with a few cosmetic changes. I've put together a 15 minute video showing how I'm building the scenery on my module. You can download the EXPO module standards and view the video by clicking here.

This video will be followed by part 2 in several weeks.

Enjoy the video.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I've always had a love affair with ship models. I must have built a four or five Cutty Sarks and several Constitutions in my life, both plastic and wood.

When I lived in Salem, Mass. the Essex Museum was down the street and free for residents. It contained ship models, half models, paintings, and drawings of all the boats that left Salem for the China trade. I averaged twice weekly visits and marveled at the quality of the models. And, these were built before Elmers glue, ACC and Polly Scale paints. I learned to paint fairly good-looking water by studying the dozens of ship paintings in the Museum. (These were called Documents and were presented to Lloyd's of London as proof the ship, in fact, did exist. And, what it looked like so they could insure it.)

These O scale ship models in the above photo are built in Greece or China or sell for about $75.00. A real bargain if you're ever tried to start AND complete one of these.