Date   

In defense of the blue box

Tim O'Connor
 

Some light reading... and yet I hope it strikes a good chord. I still assemble
blue box kits and I get a kick out of it. :-) Not every model needs to be a museum
piece.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/29/opinion/sunday/in-praise-of-mediocrity.html

Tim O'Connor



--
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*


Re: Early RPM Efforts

Tim O'Connor
 


I operate on the RPI layout twice a year, and almost every scene on the layout is
taken from the prototype, thanks largely to John Nehrich's outstanding reproductions
of prototypical buildings and industries. It just gets better and better. And the
school even gave us our own private entrance a couple of years ago (a dorm security
measure). The op sessions always include a number of students too, so hopefully the
layout will continue for a long time to come.

I've built those early Westerfield kits. I had a side break like glass - but the
fracture was so clean that I glued it back together, and it was invisible.

Tim O'Connor


Dan and friends, yes the NEB&W was a fictitious railroad, but in addition to the modeled prototype scenes you mentioned, the motive power and rolling stock was based on Rutland and D&H prototypes.  It was largely the John Nehrich, Jeff English, Todd Sullivan and Andy Claremont articles in MR and RMC in the early 1980’s on how to turn the available kits of the day into more correct models of actual prototypes that opened my eyes to a whole new world of modeling.  Once the Storzek Rutland and NYC box car kits hit the market, followed by the NEB&W ‘green dot’ kits, I was hooked on resin kits.  The first Westerfield kit I bought was a NYC hopper made of the dark gray casting material.  Assembling that kit was like trying to glue potato chips together.  Every time I touched it something else broke.  It is still partially finished in a box somewhere in my basement.  It was my first experience with scale thickness walls on a freight car kit.
 
Mark Rossiter       

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Re: RPM Chicagoland Photos

John Hagen <sprinthag@...>
 

Dennis.

That is quite likely.

As I said “I could very well be wrong.” And I meant that as I often am, especially since joying the “Geezer agers” (Golden Agers? Still waiting for that).

The layout I visited was in a second story of a somewhat ramshackle appearing building in downtown Batavia. Not being of svelte proportions in those days (nor now for that matter) I suspiciously eyed the outdoor stairs and balcony we used to enter the 2nd floor. But once inside he scene was, for me at least, amazing.

While the main line cabs were on the same level as we were, the layout was one floor down.

The layout made extensive use of scenic dividers so anyone on the operating floor could only view their immediate area. All the local and/or switching run were on that using walk around controls.

I recall that the club was about the most popular destination used for the annual bus trip.  

Any earlier layout I was before my time with the WISE Division.

John Hagen

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 9:49 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] RPM Chicagoland Photos

 

On Tue, Oct 23, 2018 at 10:01 PM, John Hagen wrote:

I remember the Batavia walk around layout well. I can’t believe it was 1974 that it was torn down though.

John,
If you are addressing my post, I believe you misinterpreted what I said, which was the G-C club layout I was familiar with in high school was torn down in 1974. That date from their web site. I dropped my membership about 1970 when I had to go out and work for a living :-(

The Batavia club was still going strong through the eighties, IIRC.

Dennis (two n's) Storzek


Re: Early RPM Efforts

Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
 


Hi Al and List Members,
 
Al wrote: "One modeler complained to another that my ad should have showed the model, not the prototype.  It was the model"
 
Indeed, the highest of compliments!
 
Claus Schlund
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 11:12 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Early RPM Efforts

Mark – For about 15 years we willing replaced those castings  for urethane at no charge for anyone who requested it.  To get the old kits off hobby shop shelves, we notified every shop on out lists that we would replace entire kits if they returned the originals.  Surprisingly, few did.

 

But I received my greatest compliment over that kit.  One modeler complained to another that my ad should have showed the model, not the prototype.  It was the model.

 

  • Al Westerfield

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Rossiter, Mark W
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 3:00 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Early RPM Efforts

 

Dan and friends, yes the NEB&W was a fictitious railroad, but in addition to the modeled prototype scenes you mentioned, the motive power and rolling stock was based on Rutland and D&H prototypes.  It was largely the John Nehrich, Jeff English, Todd Sullivan and Andy Claremont articles in MR and RMC in the early 1980’s on how to turn the available kits of the day into more correct models of actual prototypes that opened my eyes to a whole new world of modeling.  Once the Storzek Rutland and NYC box car kits hit the market, followed by the NEB&W ‘green dot’ kits, I was hooked on resin kits.  The first Westerfield kit I bought was a NYC hopper made of the dark gray casting material.  Assembling that kit was like trying to glue potato chips together.  Every time I touched it something else broke.  It is still partially finished in a box somewhere in my basement.  It was my first experience with scale thickness walls on a freight car kit.

 

Mark Rossiter        

 

 



Re: Early RPM Efforts

 

Mark – For about 15 years we willing replaced those castings  for urethane at no charge for anyone who requested it.  To get the old kits off hobby shop shelves, we notified every shop on out lists that we would replace entire kits if they returned the originals.  Surprisingly, few did.

 

But I received my greatest compliment over that kit.  One modeler complained to another that my ad should have showed the model, not the prototype.  It was the model.

 

  • Al Westerfield

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Rossiter, Mark W
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 3:00 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Early RPM Efforts

 

Dan and friends, yes the NEB&W was a fictitious railroad, but in addition to the modeled prototype scenes you mentioned, the motive power and rolling stock was based on Rutland and D&H prototypes.  It was largely the John Nehrich, Jeff English, Todd Sullivan and Andy Claremont articles in MR and RMC in the early 1980’s on how to turn the available kits of the day into more correct models of actual prototypes that opened my eyes to a whole new world of modeling.  Once the Storzek Rutland and NYC box car kits hit the market, followed by the NEB&W ‘green dot’ kits, I was hooked on resin kits.  The first Westerfield kit I bought was a NYC hopper made of the dark gray casting material.  Assembling that kit was like trying to glue potato chips together.  Every time I touched it something else broke.  It is still partially finished in a box somewhere in my basement.  It was my first experience with scale thickness walls on a freight car kit.

 

Mark Rossiter        

 

 


Re: RPM Chicagoland Photos

Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Oct 23, 2018 at 10:01 PM, John Hagen wrote:
I remember the Batavia walk around layout well. I can’t believe it was 1974 that it was torn down though.
John,
If you are addressing my post, I believe you misinterpreted what I said, which was the G-C club layout I was familiar with in high school was torn down in 1974. That date from their web site. I dropped my membership about 1970 when I had to go out and work for a living :-(

The Batavia club was still going strong through the eighties, IIRC.

Dennis (two n's) Storzek


Re: Intermountain PFE Roof Color Variation Between Runs

Jerry Michels
 

Thanks Tony.  Jerry


RPM Chicagoland wrap-up

Eric Hansmann
 

I've posted a summary of the recent RPM Chicagoland event on the Resin Car Works blog. Links to galleries and other blog posts covering the event are included.

http://blog.resincarworks.com/rpm-chicagoland-wrap-up/



Eric Hansmann
RCW web guy


Early RPM Efforts

Rossiter, Mark W <Mark.Rossiter@...>
 

Dan and friends, yes the NEB&W was a fictitious railroad, but in addition to the modeled prototype scenes you mentioned, the motive power and rolling stock was based on Rutland and D&H prototypes.  It was largely the John Nehrich, Jeff English, Todd Sullivan and Andy Claremont articles in MR and RMC in the early 1980’s on how to turn the available kits of the day into more correct models of actual prototypes that opened my eyes to a whole new world of modeling.  Once the Storzek Rutland and NYC box car kits hit the market, followed by the NEB&W ‘green dot’ kits, I was hooked on resin kits.  The first Westerfield kit I bought was a NYC hopper made of the dark gray casting material.  Assembling that kit was like trying to glue potato chips together.  Every time I touched it something else broke.  It is still partially finished in a box somewhere in my basement.  It was my first experience with scale thickness walls on a freight car kit.

 

Mark Rossiter        

 


good film

 

I just watched an excellent railroad drama: By Whose Hand (1932), which takes place almost entirely on an SP train from LA to SF.  It’s a passenger train, so please forgive me.  But I’ve never seen a film that more accurately portrays the prototype, inside and out.  You can watch and download it from YouTube.  – Al Westerfield

 

 


Re: RPM Chicagoland Photos

John Hagen <sprinthag@...>
 

Denis,

I remember the Batavia walk around layout well. I can’t believe it was 1974 that it was torn down though.

Of course, I have CRS so I can be very well be wrong but the two times I saw it were on WISE Div, bus tours, typically held in May, and I do not think I took any of them earlier than 1983. I wasn’t even aware they held their September – April or May meets until 1982.

Anyway, it was what I considered to be a really neat set up. On one of the tours some of us got to operate a walk around train with a club member for a bit. I was saddened when the layout was demolished.

John hagen


Re: Resin casting - the view from here

bigfourroad
 

Tom
Everyone innovates in their own way and I regard you as an innovator -- last night I affixed an S scale version of your dirt collector valve to the K style brake system on 3rd Fowler boxcar in a mini-run of four. On the C&NW Fowlers these distinctive valves hung down quite noticeably from below the K brake cylinder.  There would be a void there but for your innovation in producing an HO version of that valve in 3D print form and providing the STL to me for up-scaling to S.  I must confess I don't know how you can see and work with them in HO but that's another matter.
Please accept my condolences on the loss of Mrs. Madden and my wishes that you may have many additional years of innovation ahead of you.
Chris Rooney


Re: Resin casting - the view from here

maynard stowe
 

Peter,

One ready source of smaller quantities of casting supplies is metal casting pattern making suppliers. Freeman is one such but there are others. You can also look for design bureaus and ask them who they use. Even in this day of 3 D every thing that are still many around, and most can help you find what you are looking for.
Maynard Stowe

On Oct 23, 2018, at 12:27 PM, Peter Ness <prness@...> wrote:

Hi Tom,
 
Thanks for sharing and raising memories.  I will plead mea culpa now since I have not become innovator, guiding light or even two-bit contributor to resin casting at the commercial level.
 
When you mentioned the Dow or GE rep it reminded me that decades ago I worked at the corporate labs of the now defunct GTE Sylvania. At that time I  did not even have a business card since I was a Technician.  However, part of my job was to prepare test specimens for thermal shock and tensile testing. The test material happened to be epoxy for encapsulation of large power transformers to replace the use of hazardous material coolants.  I cast the test samples in Dow Corning 3110 RTV.
 
Back in the day, distributors would take orders from regular folks so I ordered a kit that included a 1lb can and a tube of curing agent. For my first attempt I used a cast metal flat car end as a master, then the end of an Alco RS-11 hood for the number board detail. I made my own master of a Lionel caboose running board so I could repair a car I bought at estate auction.  For a couple of years I used it to make a variety of small parts using any 2-part epoxy compound I could buy at the hardware store.  No investment in experimentation there, and it showed sometimes!
 
I was having moderate success and envisioned larger projects so ordered a carton – eight 1lb cans IIRC.  It was a large cash investment for a young married guy with a bunch of kids, wife and mortgage. Then life overtook any hobby activities for quite some time and about three years ago, after a couple of moves I finally opened the carton (after building some masters) only to find it had sufficient time to self-vulcanize over the intervening years…so much for my casting career.  Now I am not able to locate any distributors except for commercial sales and they want a Purchase Order to boot.  I am sure there are also much more suitable molding materials today, but I really liked that Dow 3110 RTV!
 
Anyway, thanks for the memories!
 
Peter Ness


Re: RPM Chicagoland Photos

George Courtney
 

I think John Armstrong's track plan called "The Flying Horseshoe" in MR about 1953 was the first I'd seen with a sincere, once around,plan with John's then idea's on walk around control.

George Courtney


Re: Resin casting - the view from here

Brian Termunde
 

Mr. Madden,
While I have only a passing interest in resin kits (although I love to see the exquisite results from others), I found your post very interesting and informative! Thank you VERY much for taking the time to share it with us. I have saved a copy of this for future reference.

Also, may I please extend my sincere condolences on your loss. I lost a very good friend this morning, and while I know losing your wife is a lot harder, losing Todd reminds me, once again, that no loss is easy, and no one can fill the gap left behind. Again, I am SO sorry for you. 

Best Wishes.

Respectfully,
 
Brian R. Termunde
Midvale, Utah


Re: Resin casting - the view from here

Steve SANDIFER
 

Thank you Tom. May the ride continue for a long time.

If not you, maybe someone else would have come along with the same idea – but it was you, and we appreciate it. The world is full of people who say, “I could do that,” but they didn’t. I thank you for all that you have done for the unseen masses of rivet counters like me.

Also accept our condolences for your loss. Life will be different, but never the same. May God bless you as you discover your new normal.

 

J. Stephen Sandifer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Tom Madden via Groups.Io
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 2:19 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Resin casting - the view from here

 

I’m feeling particularly reflective and aware of my own mortality after Sunday’s bittersweet celebration of life for my late wife, and want to set down my thoughts on the history of resin casting in the hobby from my viewpoint as a long-time resin caster. I apologize for the length and beg your indulgence, and hope this will add to the record rather than confuse it.

 

Tom Madden

 

In my Bell Labs career (1960-1994) I was fortunate enough to be awarded a number of patents. Each was the result of my perceiving a need, solving a problem, or seizing an opportunity. I'm proud of those patents, but the reality is, the needs, problems and opportunities were there for anybody, and if it hadn't been me, it would have been someone else. Most likely sooner rather than later. It's important to separate the true innovators from those whose contributions are founded on the work of others, or who just happen to come along at the right time. ("When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.")

Bill Clouser was certainly an innovator, but for me it's because of his articles on using Strathmore papers for modeling. (The Strathmore Story, MR, February & March 1959. Later that same year another innovator, Al Armitage, had his landmark articles on styrene modeling appear in MR.) By the mid-'60s a number of us were, as Dennis mentioned, using tooling resin (epoxy) to cast parts in silicone rubber molds for personal use. Bill's casting was the ultimate expression of that technology, and his work was superb. Problem was, epoxy is a very aggressive casting medium and you'd be lucky to get 6 or 8 good parts from a mold. I was making some very nice HOn3 parts using Ren and Ciba-Geigy epoxies, but cost wise I couldn't compete with brass parts, let alone with Grandt Line plastic parts when they came along. All credit to Bill Clouser for seeing the bigger picture and being the first to offer commercial cast resin parts, but he wasn't the only one using the technology at the time.

The true innovator for resin casting in the hobby was, at least for me, Jack Work, with his March 1961 MR article on cold detail casting in rubber molds. He used Devcon Liquid Steel, a thick, solvent-based putty-like material available in both tubes and cans. You'd squeegee it into an open faced mold, smooth the back, let the solvent evaporate, and 10 or 15 minutes later (for small parts) pop the now-hardened part out of the mold. About the time Jack's article came out a rep for either GE or Dow visited my lab to show some new semiconductor potting compounds. One was a liquid rubber material which didn't need heat to vulcanize, you just mixed two components together and it self-cured. They called it "Ready to Vulcanize" or "RTV" for short. The rep left a pint sample with us, a coworker glued a nickel to a glass plate and with cut-up tongue depressors made a little box around it. We mixed up some of the new material and filled the box with it, came in the next morning and melted some Woods Metal (a low melting point alloy like CerroBend) and poured it into the mold cavity. A half hour later, using a mere $5 worth of Woods Metal, we had a dozen single-sided cast metal nickels to play with. (In retrospect, the economics of that were about the same as for my later cast epoxy parts.)

We eventually threw the cast coins back in the melt pot, but that weekend I went to the hardware store and bought a can of Liquid Steel. The HOn3 market was served with brass parts by Kemtron, Balboa (under the Slim Princess label), and an outfit in Texas called Slim Gems. I was building a bunch of D&RGW HOn3 box cars, passenger cars and cabooses using Clouser's layered Strathmore construction technique and needed lots of detail parts. Availability was the problem, not affordability, so I proceeded to duplicate everything from coupler pockets to truck side frames with Liquid Steel following Jack's article. Even made some two sided "squash molds" for doing side frames so I could incorporate the bearing holes. (Liquid Steel had a component which made it self-lubricating so the bearing holes didn't wear.)

The cold-cast Liquid Steel parts were hard and looked good, but they had hardened by drying, not by curing, and lacked cohesive strength. Great for surface details, not good for structural parts. This didn't become an issue until 1964, when in the course of re-detailing one of my two PFM HOn3 K-27 locos my pliers slipped when I was attempting to remove the number board and I gouged a smiley face into the smoke box front. I was horrified and terrified - we hadn't started a family so Gail was still working, but I thought I had destroyed a model that had cost over 10% of my monthly pre-tax income! It took a week or two before I could consider the problem rationally, but I ended up completely unsoldering all the parts of the other K-27's smoke box front, making an RTV mold of it, and casting duplicates - not from Liquid Steel, but from Ciba's Araldite potting compound. Araldite was a clear epoxy so you could see any entrapped bubbles. Slightly heating the mix reduced the viscosity enough for the bubbles to float out before it "kicked". Much to my relief the replacement smoke box front was a perfect reproduction. So much so that I also duplicated the headlight, headlight bracket, number board and marker lights in Araldite.

So my casting experience started in 1961, and my resin casting in 1964 in a clear case of necessity being the mother of invention. I gave up on epoxy casting before we moved to Colorado in 1970, and never did any casting for the rest of my HOn3 days, which lasted into 1986. It was all personal so I make no claim for being a contributor, let alone an innovator. But it did give me a considerable advantage in experience and insight when urethane resins came along in the 1980's.

I'm not exactly sure of the timing, but it was after I'd abandoned HOn3 modeling, after I'd discovered the articles by Dennis, Richard and Al that continue to inspire so many of us, and clearly after the introduction of Al's and Dennis' kits. At a printed circuit manufacturing trade show in Anaheim I found a company, Conap, offering a new resin that claimed many advantages over epoxy - not as an adhesive, but as a casting and encapsulating material. It was, of course, urethane resin. I gave them my card ("Advanced Printed Circuit Laboratory Supervisor" - a title much more grand than the position, considering I supervised only six people) and asked if they could possibly send me a sample. I must confess to ulterior motives - I had no use for the resin in my lab, but I knew, as Dennis discovered several years prior, that this was the casting material I had been waiting for. A week later a package arrived containing two one-gallon containers - one each of part A and part B to be mixed 1:1 by weight - and a spray can of mold release.

 

Imagine my delight, after those early epoxy casting days, of being able to get 30 or more parts from a mold. Those two gallons of material lasted several years, during the course of which I began an extensive correspondence with Richard Hendrickson and, instead of building his WestRail PFE R-40-23 kit, made all the mods and converted it into a set of patterns for flat casting. In May 1994, two months after I retired, I drove out to the UPHS convention in Ontario, CA, bringing with me a multi-panel display of the R-40-23 showing all the steps from pattern making to finished model. The last panel read: “Gnash teeth in frustration when InterMountain announces injection molded plastic model of the same prototype”.

 

A year later I literally fell into the opportunity of a lifetime when a former neighbor, seeing my hobby casting setup, insisted I join his newly-formed rapid prototyping company. I stayed for 21 years. Experience in that field, now known as 3D printing, exposed me to industrial resin casting in all its glory – multi-part molds, vacuum assisted mold filling, pressure curing, heat treatments, rigid and flex resins and all that. I couldn’t wait to bring it to the hobby. With more enthusiasm than it deserved, I brought it to the attention of Al and Martin, then later to Jon Cagle, two potential resin casters for Ted, Gene Fusco and Aaron Gjermundsen. Al, Jon, Gene and Aaron were success stories, the two for Ted not so much. And Martin, while declining to add closed mold casting and one piece bodies to his personal skill set, was successful in conning convincing me to cast some 1500 tank car shell sets for Sunshine.

 

Am I an innovator? I don’t think so – more of a facilitator. I’m certainly pleased with the contributions I’ve been able to make, but as with the patent example back in the first paragraph, if it hadn’t been me, it would have been someone else. I’ve also been in the right place at the right time, a number of times, and am not unaware of the role luck has played in what I’ve been able to do and experience. It’s been a helluva ride.


Re: RPM Chicagoland Photos

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Friends,

I seem to remember that Lynn Wescott or maybe Paul Larson first popularized this type of layout. Way back in the very 1960s MR had articles on plug-in walk-around throttles and "progressive block control". And don't forget Allen McClelland experimented carrier control of his helper engines on the V&O back then.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff


On 10/23/18 3:53 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
On Tue, Oct 23, 2018 at 11:23 AM, lstt100 wrote:
NEB&W and the Midwest Railroad Modelers club in Batavia, started in 1977, were a couple of the early walk-around shelf type layouts. 
Walk around layouts go back much further than that. I was a member of the Garfield-Clarendon club in Chicago in the late sixties, and the layout they had been building since 1963 was a large free-standing walk around design. While the layout was free standing in a large room in the Clarendon Park field house, it had a multi-lobed shape and the mainline was designed to follow the fascia so a crewman could follow the train. Mainline engineers sat at fixed "cabs" on an elevated platform along one side of the room; power was routed to their train via what was known as progressive cab control, which made use of telephone Co. stepping relays to keep the engineer's throttle connected to the block his train was in. While the engineer's location was fixed, tower operators were located in the aisles near the track they controlled and took care of both setting routes through X-overs and also could take local control of the train to do lineside switching. The layout came down in 1974 when the Chicago Park District decided to remodel the field house, and the club's new layout, in different space, adopted some form of walk around control, but the 1963 layout would have adapted nicely to more modern control if it would have survived.

Even earlier, when I was a kid in the fifties, the house two doors down had a rather large 00 (yes, American 00, 1:76) layout that the boys' grandfather had built. The layout was a hi-bred; there was the typical dense oval, but then the double track mainline took off along the basement walls, eventually coming together into a four track mainline on a shelf along the wall to a loop at the other end of the basement. Control was the typical fixed location panel, however, but you could see the entire run from the panel.

Dennis Storzek


Re: RPM Chicagoland Photos

Tim O'Connor
 

Dennis and all

Although definitely not a "walk around" layout you reminded me of the Tech Model Railroad Club
at MIT - from their Wikipedia page:

  "At the club itself, a semi-automatic control system based on telephone relays was installed by
   the mid-1950s. It was called the ARRC (Automatic Railroad Running Computer). It could run a train
   over the entire set of track, in both directions, without manual intervention, throwing switches
   and powering tracks ahead of the train."

The club is still active, although the layout was relocated sometime in the last 20 years or so.

I think the Pasadena CA model railroad club layouts (more than one) have used some form of progressive
cab control as well, which was still in use when I visited in 1993. Probably DCC, nowadays. The layout
I saw was another of those "walk inside" designs.

Tim O'



NEB&W and the Midwest Railroad Modelers club in Batavia, started in 1977, were a couple of the early walk-around shelf type layouts.
Walk around layouts go back much further than that. I was a member of the Garfield-Clarendon club in Chicago in the late sixties, and the layout they had been building since 1963 was a large free-standing walk around design. While the layout was free standing in a large room in the Clarendon Park field house, it had a multi-lobed shape and the mainline was designed to follow the fascia so a crewman could follow the train. Mainline engineers sat at fixed "cabs" on an elevated platform along one side of the room; power was routed to their train via what was known as progressive cab control, which made use of telephone Co. stepping relays to keep the engineer's throttle connected to the block his train was in. While the engineer's location was fixed, tower operators were located in the aisles near the track they controlled and took care of both setting routes through X-overs and also could take local control of the train to do lineside switching. The layout came down in 1974 when the Chicago Park District decided to remodel the field house, and the club's new layout, in different space, adopted some form of walk around control, but the 1963 layout would have adapted nicely to more modern control if it would have survived.

Even earlier, when I was a kid in the fifties, the house two doors down had a rather large 00 (yes, American 00, 1:76) layout that the boys' grandfather had built. The layout was a hi-bred; there was the typical dense oval, but then the double track mainline took off along the basement walls, eventually coming together into a four track mainline on a shelf along the wall to a loop at the other end of the basement. Control was the typical fixed location panel, however, but you could see the entire run from the panel.

Dennis Storzek

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Re: RPM Chicagoland Photos

Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Oct 23, 2018 at 11:23 AM, lstt100 wrote:
NEB&W and the Midwest Railroad Modelers club in Batavia, started in 1977, were a couple of the early walk-around shelf type layouts. 
Walk around layouts go back much further than that. I was a member of the Garfield-Clarendon club in Chicago in the late sixties, and the layout they had been building since 1963 was a large free-standing walk around design. While the layout was free standing in a large room in the Clarendon Park field house, it had a multi-lobed shape and the mainline was designed to follow the fascia so a crewman could follow the train. Mainline engineers sat at fixed "cabs" on an elevated platform along one side of the room; power was routed to their train via what was known as progressive cab control, which made use of telephone Co. stepping relays to keep the engineer's throttle connected to the block his train was in. While the engineer's location was fixed, tower operators were located in the aisles near the track they controlled and took care of both setting routes through X-overs and also could take local control of the train to do lineside switching. The layout came down in 1974 when the Chicago Park District decided to remodel the field house, and the club's new layout, in different space, adopted some form of walk around control, but the 1963 layout would have adapted nicely to more modern control if it would have survived.

Even earlier, when I was a kid in the fifties, the house two doors down had a rather large 00 (yes, American 00, 1:76) layout that the boys' grandfather had built. The layout was a hi-bred; there was the typical dense oval, but then the double track mainline took off along the basement walls, eventually coming together into a four track mainline on a shelf along the wall to a loop at the other end of the basement. Control was the typical fixed location panel, however, but you could see the entire run from the panel.

Dennis Storzek


Re: Resin casting - the view from here

Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...>
 

Tom Madden’s post was and is a class act of achievement on multiple levels, and as Dennis Storzek (no slouch there!) comments, the real innovation comes when a discovery is turned into something lasting and useful.

Tom’s mention of the work that Bill Clouser did with layered Strathmore papers prior to his landmark work with resin certainly was revolutionary for me at the time (I wore out the relevant MR issues!) I was utterly dumbstruck at the time by what this man could and did do with …..this dense fine grained all-rag-content paper. This then was my go-to for fine kit building for decades, and there is rarely a kit -wood-styrene-resin- that I tackle that does not contain within or without some parts fabricated from this paper (a fine historic kit (c. 1939-43) being putting together right now for a fellow RPM modeler -"using best modeling practices, parts, and materials of the time-). I will surely be making use of this medium. When by serendipity I discovered that Strathmore board was vital to aspects of my daily work (the grain is so small, even, and dense, it casts no inherent shadow to transmitted light), I made certain that a lifetime supply went into retirement with me (instead of landfill).

That Tom would post this most interesting, gentle, and informative narrative to us while he is still in the shadow of Mrs. Madden’s memorial service brought a catch to my throat, because I too have been there, and recognize how this healing process -serving others- can do such good work.

Denny


Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento, CA 95864

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